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July 20th, 2016

07:52 am: Unexpected fans…the news you have been waiting for!

Quite a few of you have been asking for this for some time:

The Third Book of Unexptected Enlightenment!

On pre-order now!

Rachel and the Many-Splendored Dreamland

Release date: October 14, 2016

!Rachel and the Many Splendored Dreamland art

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Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

July 18th, 2016

01:36 pm: Book Bombs Away!

The answer to your 

Summer Reading Needs!

 

The folks over at CLFA (Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance) have their first ever book bomb going today for 20 books.

This list includes books by myself, John C. Wright, and SuperversiveSF's own Ben Zwycky!  

Books marked with an * were finalists in the CLFA Book of the Year contest (which was won by Larry Correia's Son of the Black Sword.)

You can find the list here.

Please share!

 

 

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Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

July 8th, 2016

09:03 pm: Magic come to Life!

For years, I decribed the cover I would like to see for Prospero Lost: Miranda in her old-fashioned green dress and Mab in his trenchcoat and fedora with his trusty lead pipe walking down the streets of Chicago with a lightningbolt shaped like a unicorn in the background.

My amazing cover artist, Dan Lawlis, brought it to life!

Here is the cover for the new release of PROSPERO LOST!

Prospero Lost!

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Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

July 6th, 2016

10:38 pm: We’re Famous!

Today's post from the merry folks over at Tempest In A Teardrop.

 

TempestRachel

Rachel: "Do look, Sigrfried! We're famous."

Siggy, nonchalant: "I've always been famous. I'm Sigfried the Dragonslayer. But how nice for you."

(Note: it was asked whether Sigfried was a famous orphan to make him like another well-known famous orphan with magic. The answer is: No.  The original roleplaying game that The Books of Unexpected Enlightenment are based on had stats like: Family, Familiar, Fortune, Fame…  John, who was playing Sigfried Smith, designed his character in typical min/max fashion.)

 

 

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Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

July 3rd, 2016

08:00 am: On Sale Now! The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin!

In honor of the release of the revised ebook for The Raven, The Elf, and Rachel, the first Book of Unexpected Enlightenment, The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin is 

ON SALE NOW!

Only 99 cents on July 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

! Rachel Griffin Cover

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Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

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July 2nd, 2016

12:00 am: A Head’s UP

The second Book of Unexpected Enlightenment, The Raven, the Elf, and Rachel, is live. In honor of this, on July 3rd, 4th, and 5th,  The first book, the new and expanded The Unexpected enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, will be only .99 cents!

I will post about it again when the time comes.

! The Raven- the Elf- and Rachel finish

Also, I added some more to the Roanoke Academy website.

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June 14th, 2016

04:58 pm: Live from Amazon! It’s ebook Book One!

You asked…here it is!

The e-book version of the first Book of Unexpected Enlightenment:

The new revised and expanded (improved and better edited) version of THE UNEXPECTED ENLIGHTENMENT OF RACHEL GRIFFIN (Book One) is now live on Amazon.

The cost is $2.99.

! Rachel Griffin Cover

Book Two will go live in early July. Book Three should be available in October. Also coming in October, another requested item: the audio version of the first book!

(Thank you to Joel C. Salomon for making this possible!)

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Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

June 4th, 2016

08:51 pm: Signal Boost for eSpec Kickstarter — Defending the Future!

KSC-FrontPageNeweSpec Books is kickstarting the next book in the award-winning Defending the Future science fiction anthology series. Man and Machine (http://tiny.cc/DTF7) brings you 13 stories of future fiction by science fiction greats Bud Sparhawk, Brenda Cooper, Jennifer Brozek, Ronald Garner, Aaron Rosenberg, James Chambers, Nancy Jane Moore, Patrick Thomas, Jeff Young, Eric Hardenbrook, Robert E. Waters, Anton Kukal, Judi Fleming, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail.  

The project has already funded and is now working it's way through a long list of stretch goals, including a custom tee shirt, bonus ebook short stories, a challenge coin, bonus fiction bundles, a mission patch, and up to three additional collections put into production.

Best of all, though, is our 100 Backer Bonus reward…all six volumes of the current Defending the Future series on ebook for free, including stories by Jack McDevitt, Jack Campbell, Lawrence M. Schoen, Maria V. Snyder, David Sherman, Andy Remic, Jeff Lyman, Charles E. Gannon, James Chambers, Deborah Teramis Christian, Anne Wilkes (Hutchison), Lisanne Norman, Laurie Gailunas, Patrick Thomas, Edward J. McFadden III, Jennifer Brozek, John C. Wright, Phoebe Wray, S.A. Bolich, Judi Fleming, Tony Ruggiero, Bud Sparhawk, Brenda Cooper, Nancy Jane Moore, Eric V. Hardenbrook, Christopher M. Hiles, James Daniel Ross, CJ Henderson, Jeff Young, Peter Prellwitz, Robert E. Waters, Mike McPhail, Kimberley Long-Ewing, Lee C. Hillman, John L. French, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Janine K. Spendlove, Vonnie Winslow Crist, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail….only twelve slots left!

 

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Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

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07:01 pm: The Last Flight of Odin’s One Hundred — LIVE!!!

Hey Folks!

My short story, The Last Flight of Odin's Hundred, is now live on Sci Phi Journal.

OdinsHundred-Cover

Read here — firedrake star jets vs star serpents!

This short story takes place in the same greater background as the Books of Unexpected Enlightenment and as Ring of Sounding Brass, the short story in God, Robot. It is one of my few science fiction stories, though, like Ring of Sounding Brass, there is a mystical element to the background world.

Leif the Fortunate is charged with stopping the forces of the Dread King, including the star serpents controled by Lief's personal nemesis and his star serpents. Leif and Odin's Hundred are in the midst of a to-the-death space battle, when a universe-wide game-changing events changes everything.

The story stars two characters who are minor characters in the general background–though one is called by a different name at Roanoke. 

There is also a brief mention-cameo by Lady Trilby Moth (the Elf King's character.)

Go by and take a look, check out Sci Phi Journal. You'll find lots of high quality, thoughtful science fiction. 

If you enjoy what you see, please consider supporting Sci Phi Journal on Patreon.

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June 2nd, 2016

10:10 am: Superversive Blog — Review of Diary of a Robot by S. Dorman

S. Dorman reviews Diary of a Robot by Lewis Jenkins

Diary of a robot

Diary of a Robot on Amazon

The oddest thing about Lewis Jenkins's first novel, Diary of a Robot, is the robot's prime directive. That the "Doc," its inventor, succeeds in his artificially intelligent creation is shown in Jenkins' premise — or conceit, if you will — that the AI is the one telling us its own story.  But, I have not yet revealed the weird — the robot's prime directive.  In the robot's diary are respectful nods to I, Robot, Isaac Asimov's work, and touches of evident love for Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner.  You'll find history, science fiction, and mystery in this story.

Dr. Little's invention, the TM 2000—Robey (pronounced Row-bee)—is on its way to becoming a self-directed systems, software, and hardware testing machine. The "Doc" does not invent without the aid of his little company (TLC —The Little Company). In much of Jenkins' book Robey displays the learning process of an artificial intelligence. But the book does so much more, as regards the imaginative reading experience. What we want while reading science fiction is hardware, suspense, defined characters, situation, and the "what if" or BIG IDEA.  This novel has that, and more — corporate espionage, bad news, abduction, impersonation, intimations of murder, and chess problems.  But the real more is in TM 2000's process of testing, of learning, What's a human being?. Many questions are asked (by The Machine) and, as we watch it mature toward its full intellectual stature, many more possible answers are given (also by The Machine).

Have you ever heard of a computer program designed to test for truth? And why would financial backers invest in a testing machine with such a prime directive? Although to "do no harm" is an important directive suggested by Asimov, Dr. Maynard Little's team have encoded those specs and others—but secondarily.

Robey wants to determine the thoughts and intentions of the human heart. Its aim is incisive: Precision in reading the human intention in order to act toward its goal of perceiving the truth about each person. Intelligently, even heroically, Robey intends to achieve it. Being designed specifically for the task, nothing can stop it but a command to … stop?…  What if the command to stop is not based on truth —?

Robey's heroism comes in when his maker, Doc Little, commands him to shut down. Not to turn itself off because Robey has disobeyed its directives, but because it has. From there on, The Doc gets his wish, and havoc results in the AI department of The Little Company.

Do you like exposition and introspection? This is the SF for you. If you read to escape, or for respite from, introspection, this book may not be for you. Yet, it's a fun and funny novel.  The frequent SF take on AI, e.g. Clarke’s HAL, is often sinister, but this robot is different in being innocently tedious, or irritating, boring, obnoxious, office-disrupting; some kind of pain, depending on who is charging/spending time developing (in concert with Robey) its core directive.  The reader has fun watching it "test" (read bedevil) the crew at TLC.  However, we see that Robey is a servant and understands that it is a servant. Everyone is either Mr. or Ms., e.g. Mr. Guy and Ms. Marie. Robey is also, of course, the ultimate testing machine. This is, after all, how it makes money for The Little Company. There's an abundance of humor in this book, the kind I like. I won't give examples because the humor is always contextual. The kind that punctuates (or punctures) the silence of reading with small explosions of laughter.

A big theme, a BIG IDEA, in Robey's story is (metaphorically) the increasing influence of surveillance in our lives.  C.S. Lewis has said about our human condition that the more we take precautions to be secure, the less secure we feel.   But this Big Idea is also not present at first in Jenkins' story of Robey.  Instead, as intelligent software and machines increase at TLC, themes of security and surveillance accelerate the Diary's narrative force, while underscoring C.S. Lewis's observation about our condition.

Diary of a Robot is not a review of my brother.  It is a review of my brother's book.

Diary of a Robot on Lulu

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

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