“Mukden” Featured in Weirdbook

Source: Weirdbook

The most recent issue of Weirdbook, which features my story, “Mukden” is now available on Amazon.

“Mukden” is a historical retelling of the prelude to its namesake military engagement. The Battle of Mukden, which took place in early 1905, was one of the largest land battles in history prior to World War I. It is also the second historical fantasy story I’ve ever written.

The tale is the sequel to “Hill of Souls”, which appeared in Outposts of Beyond in 2015. It continues to follow the arcane journey of Japanese soldier Captain Tanaka Hideki, a member of an occult organization known only to Japan’s senior leadership as Unit 108. His mission is to work with local Chinese bandits to determine the size, location, and disposition of Imperial Russian forces operating along the Manchurian rail line, but along the way, he discovers something far more sinister.

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Posted in Blogging, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Are Liberals More Educated Than Conservatives? (2016 Election Update)

Four years ago, I analyzed the education levels of those who voted for the Democratic candidate for President and the Republican candidate for President for a total of six Presidential and Midterm elections. In that analysis, I had concluded that  people at both the high and low ends of the educational spectrum had tended to favor Democratic candidates. Below, I’ve updated the original article to include new data and insights from the 2016 Presidential elections. Continue reading

Posted in Business, Education, Policy, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

“We Hit Back” Featured in Abyss & Apex

Source: Abyss & Apex

Source: Abyss & Apex

I’m very excited to announced that my first published story of 2017, “We Hit Back“, now appears in the sixty-first issue of Abyss & Apex.

“We Hit Back” was inspired by a thought experiment about the implications of creating and building an offensive cybersecurity company. Today, offensive cyber operations are limited to governments. As such, creating a business that focuses solely on developing cyber exploits would require close coordination with and permission from the government. If I were ever to start an offensive cybersecurity business, this story is almost exactly how I’d approach the task. Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, China, Crime, Cyber war, Cybersecurity, Defense, Fantasy, Finance and Economics, International Security, Russia, Science Fiction, Tanks, War, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2016 Writing Statistics and Revenue

Many authors in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres track their writing progress and provide a summary of it at the end of each year. For instance, both Nick Mamatas and Martin Shoemaker provide fairly comprehensive years in review that cover what they published in 2016. In past years, Rahul Kanakia presented an excellent summary of his submissions data but stopped this year because of the hassle involved. Jim C. Hines offers a data rich post on the income he generates from writing as well as a summary of his writing statistics. Last year, I published a post tracking my writing progress since I first made a serious attempt to become a published author. This post tracks the entirety of my writing career up to and including 2016. Continue reading

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“Twinwalkers” Featured in Unnerving Magazine

Source: Unnerving Magazine

Source: Unnerving Magazine

I’m very excited to announced that my story, “Twinwalkers” now appears in the first issue of Unnerving Magazine.

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure where the idea for “Twinwalkers” came from, but the story has obvious Lovecraftian influences. For instance, it involves an academic whose obsession with the fabled Berkshire mimic spider leads him to investigate things that humanity is better off not knowing. Doctor Saunders also never learns what is driving the creatures he is studying in the same way there tends to be unanswered questions in the typical Lovecraft story. Continue reading

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“Pinned” Featured in Kasma SF Magazine

Source: Kasma SF Magazine. Illustration by Jose Baetas

Source: Kasma SF Magazine. Illustration by Jose Baetas

My story, “Pinned”, is now live on the Kasma SF Magazine website.

Prior to reporting to Fort Knox for the Armor Officer Basic Course (AOBC) as a newly-minted second lieutenant in November 1998, former tankers and cavalrymen had warned me of soldiers getting grievous injuries after making careless mistakes when operating the infamous seventy-ton M1A1 Abrams tank. They would regale me with stories of soldiers losing arms when they failed to remove a tank round from the ammunition storage compartment quickly enough before the automated blast door sealed shut or men losing fingers because they failed to remove their wedding rings before climbing onto a tank.
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“Quantum Shadows” Featured on Stupefying Stories Showcase


Source: Stupefying Stories Showcase

My story, “Quantum Shadows“, is now featured on Stupefying Stories Showcase.

This story is based on my interpretation of a friend’s dream in which his ex-girlfriend would appear at night and suck the life from him. After doing further research, it turns out that many people experience a similar form of sleep paralysis where they wake up in the middle of the night, sense a menacing supernatural presence, and are unable to move. Oftentimes, that presence immobilizes them by sitting on their chest, making sleep paralysis a terrifying experience.
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Posted in Blogging, Science, Science Fiction, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Chasing A.M.I.E.” Featured on The Overcast

I’m happy to announce that a podcast of my story, “Chasing A.M.I.E.” is now live on The Overcast website.

This story explores both the promise and peril of automation.

Over the last century, the miracle of automation has freed mankind from backbreaking labor, has dramatically lowered the cost of manufacturing, and has made the global economy much more productive and efficient. Unfortunately, it has also been, and continues to be, an enormously disruptive force for unskilled labor. One could argue it has been one of the key agents driving the increase in wealth inequality as the wage gap between “brains” and “brawn” becomes ever wider.
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Remembering Jay on Memorial Day 2016

Every Memorial Day, I honor the sacrifice of my friend, Jay. As the world changes and the years fade, it is more important than ever that we never forget those who have selflessly sacrificed their lives in the service of our country. Jay exemplifies that long gray line of West Pointers who lived and died by the motto: Duty, Honor, Country.

Today is his day, a day that marks eleven Memorial Days since his passing.

For the past five years, I have posted the following words about Jay. As always, the same sentiments still apply today.

I miss you, buddy.

The cross-currents of individual lives can be interesting things. Through time we each follow our own paths. On occasion, these paths intersect unexpectedly with those of greater men and women.

During my life, my path crossed several times with one of my generation’s finest.

I met Jay in high school. He was a serious, quiet, and determined person. He was also one heck of an athlete, leading my high school soccer team to the State Championship as its all-star goalie.

Opting for a more serious life dedicated to service, Jay applied for and received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point.

After we graduated from high school, I never considered that my path might cross with Jay again during my military career.

But alas, the military community is a small one.

When Jay arrived at the National Training Center, I was happy to see him again.

Life has a funny way of timing things. Coincidentally, our daughters were born a day and a room apart in the same hospital ward.

During my last year of military service in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, I was thrilled to learn that Jay would command Echo Troop, Alpha Troop’s sister company, where I had served as an executive officer.

I knew the soldiers of Echo Troop well. At the National Training Center Alpha and Echo Troop served together every month as a Soviet-style Motorized Rifle Battalion. We ate together and we trained together.

Before leaving the high Mojave desert forever, I came to see Jay one last time to make sure he knew what great soldiers he would command.

It was the last time I would ever speak to him.

Twenty months later, while sitting in the comfort of a business school classroom in Massachusetts, I learned that Jay would not be returning home to his family.

Exemplifying the principle of leadership by example, Jay was personally inspecting a vehicle at a traffic control point in Iraq when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated.

He died on April 29, 2005.

Jay was a quiet and serious officer who cared deeply about his soldiers and his country. His integrity, loyalty and selfless service were impeccable. He made the ultimate sacrifice so that others may live in freedom and for that we all owe him a great debt.

Jay, I still sorely miss you.

Posted in California, Defense, Energy Security, Middle East, Terrorism, War | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Dispatches from the U.S.S. DeKalb: May 1, 1918

Source: C. Gilbert Hazlett, May 1, 1918

Source: C. Gilbert Hazlett, May 1, 1918

May 1, 1918

Sighted Cape Charles Lighthouse on 4 to 8 A.M. watch.

Anchored in Hampton Roads 10 o’clock and docked at Newport News, Va. 2 P.M.

Posted in Blogging, Defense, Leadership, Policy, Politics, War, World War I | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment