Showing posts from November, 2010

amnesia tv

Before the program begins, a subliminal message flashes ... if you would prefer to retain your identity, please do not watch this show Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

notes, upcoming

My current work in progress is called, for now, In Constant Contact. Next up, guidelines for the beta professional friends. What are the rules? Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Phony Book Scam

Came across this accidentally, doing a search for myself on the Barnes & Noble website (just to see the latest cruel one-star reviews) and came across a "paperback" called "Tom Lichtenberg" for ONLY $50. Curious about the 3 listed editors, I clicked on their links, and found they have "edited" more than 100,000 phony books all in the same price range, including a book on the number 1, a book on the 11th Century in Literature, a book on the Abyssinian Lark, the Acceptable Programming System, and on and on. all listing these fine people: by: Lambert M. Surhone (Editor), Mariam T. Tennoe (Editor), Susan F. Henssonow (Editor) I wonder if they've actually suckered anyone into giving them any money ...   I like how the people who allegedly bought the phony book about 'Tom Lichtenberg' (the football coach, as it turns out, since these people are VDM Publishing out of Germany, and what they do is make print-on-demand books out of Wikipedia art

Squatter in the Indie Spotlight

Squatter With a Lexus is featured today at the Indie Spotlight  website

professional friend

From the far corner of her executive suite on the top floor of the fancy new headquarters of Syomatix Incorporated, Kandhi Clarke sorted through the latest batch of applications for the position of Professional Friend. She had a bad feeling about this. Ever since the latest round of financing, the various vice presidents in charge of ideas had been full of really bad ones. Chalk it up to buzzwords, but they were falling all over each other trying to come up with concepts that fit the sizzling hot categories of contagion, sky and transparency. White boards had been filled, meetings had been scheduled and re-scheduled, and this was the best they came up with? Imaginary so-called friends? Well, that's what Kandhi called it, anyway. The formal term, Professional Friend, had been settled on after many late-night panic sessions. It was to be a service. A service service, if you will. Your very own Professional Friend would be there whenever, ready for whatever, and guaranteed to never


still toying with the idea of the imaginary so-called friend, but with some automation perhaps, as well as some guy in a cube in Finland who's being paid to be your friend. there is a lot of room for improvisation in this whole space (, a service that automatically hooks up you with the skank you most deserve), the whole social network as social disease idea ... not ready to write yet, though. surgery takes a lot out of you, i've discovered, more than just the individual part itself.

Geek Fiction

I started a Feedbooks List of Geek Fiction  - there are only 3 on there now (Password Incorrect by Nick Name , and two of my own) but I hope other people will add to the list.

piracy fail

I'm a bit disappointed that Zombie Nights seems to be the only one of my books currently being pirated. Come on, people, it's not even one of my best!

store name for a fiction

Less4Less Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

invention of the day

Automatic brights on cars. Off when sensing oncoming headlights, on again after they pass Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Introducing Mr. Diddles

For a preview of: Mr. Diddles, The Pit of Fire, and the Karate Guys by Warren Peas (you know, the loner goth guy from Sky High) Be surprised. Be very surprised.


Came across a story recently asserting that countries which were formerly British colonies are doing better than those which were formerly French. As if. You draw your own conclusions and, by the way, Germany is doing better now than Italy so I guess we know who the better fascist dictator was. Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Introduction to Smashwords - Ebook Publishing and Distribution Made Easy

Check out this SlideShare Presentation: Introduction to Smashwords - Ebook Publishing and Distribution Made Easy View more presentations from Smashwords, Inc. .

Swordplay and Fantasy

Fantasy (the genre) is always romantic about swordplay, but it really fucking hurts to get stabbed Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Universal Boom and Bust

A reasonable theory that the universe itself is merely the latest universe in a cyclical series of universal booms and busts , and why not? Why should anything be immune to the life-death-life cycle which underlines all existences we have experience of, from galaxies to solar systems to planets to the creatures on them? Change over time is one general law Life-death-life is another (economic cycles as well, the bubbles that blow up and burst around us all the time, follow the same pattern)

Nickelhead Comics

Time Zone review

a review of my 'Time Zone', by ba5080 at This one's a keeper: Gibberish:   No wonder they gave this book away for free! It is probably the worst book that I have ever read. I really tried to stick with it under the assumption that it would get better and eventually make sense. All it really did was make me feel like I may have taken the same dose of acid that the author took while writing it! ba5080 hasn't felt compelled to review any other book on that site, although he has rated such authors as Michael Crichton and Bram Stoker (4 stars for Dracula)

invention of the day

The grokking collar. This is placed around people's necks to prevent them from understanding things. At the slightest sign of comprehension, the collar emits a shock which jolts the wearer our of further reflection. Current alpha prototype is being tested with a certain family from Alaska. Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

google street views

very cool collection of google street views by Jon Rafman. the world at a glance, anthropologically speaking ...


we watched this movie on netflix channel the other day - Wristcutters: A Love Story - a dark, absurdist romantic comedy very much my kind of thing. Written and directed by the same person ( Goran Dukic ), it features a world where you go after you commit suicide, where everyone else there also committed suicide, and it's pretty much the same as the world they came from only everything sucks even more. They live in shitty apartments, have crappy jobs,  lousy roommates, never smile, never enjoy anything, are surrounded by decay and rot, their cars are always breaking down and nothing works properly. In the midst of all this they go about their business, resigned and jut getting along. The little touches all through the movie are perfect and wonderful - the director keeps to his vision closely every step of the way and makes it all stand up. Some great performances despite the fact that emotions are generally absent in these creatures. It made me feel good about all the choices I mad

scarcity and value and old people

Maybe old people were more highly valued when they were more scarce. Modern life expectancy has screwed that up. Now we survive things that would have killed us not so long ago, and we go on and on and on and on. No wonder health care costs so much and is only going to cost more and more. It's the leading growth industry now, supplanting war which, come to think of it, used to have the exact opposite effect. It's not a death spiral. It's a life spiral! Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Piracy and Free

Adam Maxwell (Author of 'Cat Chaser' and other fine books ) tweeted that some of his ebooks had been spotted on an illegal bit-torrent download site along with those of several more well-known authors (Steven King, Elmore Leonard etc ...). The kicker is of course that Adam's books are FREE from Feedbooks, so the pirates are charging people for stuff they could otherwise get for FREE. Now, the question is, who are the pirates actually robbing, if anyone, in this case? They're not taking money from Adam. He wouldn't be getting any anyway. And the people who are buying the product they could otherwise get for FREE, they're not being robbed either - they're just paying for something. Is it a win-win-win situation all around?

would-be ghosts

recent episode in my life reminded me that many of us would not be around today without the advances in medicine made over the past century or so. how many of your siblings, friends, neighbors would've succumbed to infectious or other incurable diseases? so many of us are walking around where none of our ancestors would've been ...

Password Incorrect

i love these stories of wild impossible inventions, absurd and cynical enough to come straight from tomorrow's headlines. playful and downright silly, this is really funny stuff. 'Password Incorrect', by 'Nick Name', free from feedbooks

indie pub b. free

As if everyone who picked up a guitar is asking you to buy their song. It seems that 'amateur' has become a stigmatized term. Everybody is a star and wants to get paid. Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Golden Record

One of my favorite human endeavors of all time is the Golden Record - an actual phonograph record containing recordings of human music and speech, hurled into space on the Voyager I spacecraft. Of all the vanities of vanities, this one might take the cake. Not only will no alien civilization ever even come across the darn thing, but the chances of them making any sense of it whatsoever is as close to zero as numerically possible. Who among the people you know even has a darn record player today? A dwindling quantity for certain. It was deemed a kind of 'message in a bottle', but it was more like a secret code written in fish feces and buried in the bottom of the ocean.

Want, Don't Want

"I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or pro cessed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that. " Lloyd Dobler

On the recent controvery

This incident reminds me of ‘The Anarchist Cookbook’ controversy back in the 1970’s (  ). In that case, it was a “traditional publisher” (Lyle Stuart) who “crossed the line” of what is and is not acceptable in the marketplace. ‘The Anarchist Cookbook’ contained recipes for making explosives and other illegal and dangerous items. This week’s bad seed is just as over-the-line as that one was, and the arguments pro and con are almost word for word of what they were back then. The subject matter is certainly horrifying, but you know, it seems that whenever I look at the new releases on Smashwords there’s a ‘Date Rape 10′ or an ‘Incest 17′ so I’m not terribly shocked, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this author genuinely thought that his book was a good idea, and maybe he wasn’t even doing it for the money. (I totally agree with Neil, though, in his comment above. Once you align your passion with money, it’s bound to get at least a little

Kindle Author Interview

My Kindle Author interview , where I get to promote my all-time favorite book, Mad Toy by Roberto Arlt

Stop-n-Food? Really?

Arkadian Anthropology

Reading, to my son, 'Arkadians', by Lloyd Alexander (whose 'Chronicles of Prydain' were my favorite books when I was a child). This one has a curious mash-up of Ancient Greek plus Native American cultures, including a Bad (and seemingly Godless) Patriarchy (The Bear Tribe), a Good Goddess Matriarchy, both of which together make some (obvious) sense, but also a Good Patriarchy (The Horse Clan) which is somehow in the middle of all this. The Good Patriarchy is also fierce, proud and warlike, but somehow not oppressive of women whatsoever, and isn't that nice? I wonder where the Bad Matriarchy is, though. This would even things up nicely. Witchcraft and all that ... Altogether there are some good tales told within the context of this overall, distracting, structure

Inland Empire

"We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream. This is true for the entire universe." Upanishad Laura Dern's comment on her performance coincided with my feeling about watching the film: "You’re not sure where you’re going or even where you’ve come from. You can only be in the moment.” I love that!

Free Ebook Recommendations

I'm currently round-robin-ing among 5 free ebooks, each of which I am enjoying immensely, so I thought I would write them up a bit of recommendation. 1) Complete Stories of Guy de Maupassant, in 13 volumes, of which this is the first, from Project Gutenberg. IMHO the very best short story writer ever in any language. Maupassant does in a few pages what no one else can do no matter how many words they string together - evoke original characters in bright bold excruciating scenes filled with drama and revelation. 2) Japanese Fairy Tales by Yei Theodora Ozaki Spinning themes familiar to fairy tales of all cultures but with distinctively Japanese turns, from their perpetual ocean imagery to their traditional mores and manners, and surprising resolutions you would never even dream of finding in Grimm's or Arabian Nights or Russian, Italian, Native American or Chinese or any other stories. 3) Tokyo Zero by Marc Horne "One man goes to Tokyo to end the world. It goe

the phases of the moon are the only kind of change I can really believe in

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When someone features one of my free ebooks, they get downloaded. Surprised to see that Sony had picked Bobby and the Bedouins for a promotion on this site . When I noticed on Smashwords' Sony retail report that more than 3,000 copies had been downloaded, I wrote to Smashwords, thinking there must have been some kind of mistake. Only around 750 copies were reported as downloaded there. It turns out that the Smashwords downloads count doesn't include their retailers, such as Apple, Sony, Kobo, Diesel and Barnes & Noble. More than 25,000 copies of my books had been downloaded from those places (not including Apple, which Smashwords is not reporting yet for free ebooks). Apple's download counts would probably double that number, at least, so, instead of 150,000 copies downloaded so far this year via Smashwords, Feedbooks and Amazon, the number is probably closer to 200,000, if not more. Featured is everything! 'Bobby' was one of my least downloaded ebooks eve

words matter

I was talking to a neighbor about our local billionaire who is busy with his winery and might very blithely poison our little town's water supply with his pesticides. My neighbor says "that's okay" because the water flows through the billionaire's property and if we can't do whatever we want with our property then we've lost our "freedoms" because of "regulations", a typical right-wing/libertarian viewpoint in this day and age. But "freedom" does not mean "doing whatever you want". The word for that is "anarchy". You cannot run a meth lab on your property. You cannot run a whorehouse on your property. Why? Because we have laws. When they use the word "regulations" they really mean "laws". Using the appropriate words, you see that these people are advocating "lawless anarchy", not "freedom". Words matter.

great pumpkin

Today's Peanuts featured Linus depressed because he waited all night in the cold and the Great Pumpkin never showed up. I read this in the Mercury News at lunch today and almost began to cry. I had been to the doctor in the morning and the biopsy results I'd been waiting for did show up. Cancer was my Great Pumpkin, and did not make an appearance this year, thank goodness Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.4