Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Resurrectionist of Caligo by Wendy Trimboli & Alicia Zaloga

The Resurrectionist of Caligo by Wendy Trimboli & Alicia Zaloga

With a murderer on the loose, it’s up to an enlightened bodysnatcher and a rebellious princess to save the city, in this wonderfully inventive Victorian-tinged fantasy noir.

“Man of Science” Roger Weathersby scrapes out a risky living digging up corpses for medical schools. When he’s framed for the murder of one of his cadavers, he’s forced to trust in the superstitions he’s always rejected: his former friend, princess Sibylla, offers to commute Roger’s execution in a blood magic ritual which will bind him to her forever. With little choice, he finds himself indentured to Sibylla and propelled into an investigation. There’s a murderer loose in the city of Caligo, and the duo must navigate science and sorcery, palace intrigue and dank boneyards to catch the butcher before the killings tear their whole country apart.

An Angry Robot release.

Monday, September 16, 2019


A breathtaking geopolitical epic fantasy, The Monster Baru Cormorant is the sequel to Seth Dickinson's "fascinating tale" (The Washington Post), The Traitor Baru Cormorant.

Her world was shattered by the Empire of Masks.

For the power to shatter the Masquerade,

She betrayed everyone she loved.

The traitor Baru Cormorant is now the cryptarch Agonist—a secret lord of the empire she's vowed to destroy.

Hunted by a mutinous admiral, haunted by the wound which has split her mind in two, Baru leads her dearest foes on an expedition for the secret of immortality. It's her chance to trigger a war that will consume the Masquerade.

But Baru's heart is broken, and she fears she can no longer tell justice from revenge...or her own desires from the will of the man who remade her.

SETH DICKINSON's short fiction has appeared in Analog, Asimov's, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Strange Horizons,and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, among others. He is an instructor at the Alpha Workshop for Young Writers, winner of the 2011 Dell Magazines Award, and a lapsed student of social neuroscience. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. The Monster Baru Cormorant is the sequel to the critically-acclaimed The Traitor Baru Cormorant.

On sale September 24, 2019 from Tor Books. 9780765380753. $19.99 USD

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Imaginary Corpse by Tyler Hayes

The Imaginary Corpse by Tyler Hayes

A dinosaur detective in the land of unwanted ideas battles trauma, anxiety, and the first serial killer of imaginary friends.

In a world where Toy Story meets Sin City, a dinosaur detective battles his own trauma and a remorseless serial killer hell-bent on shaking up an already messed-up town.

Tippy the triceratops was once someone’s best friend: a sunshine-yellow toy detective imagined to help make sense of the world. But inescapable tragedy forced Tippy to be set aside – still loved, still Real, but now abandoned. So he found a home in the underbelly of the imagination, a place called the Stillreal. But friends keep disappearing here, and Tippy is left chasing a mysterious figure who can do the impossible – kill an idea. Permanently. With fear and anxiety already ripe on the streets of Playtime Town, Tippy must face his own demons before all that’s left is imaginary corpses.

Introducing a fantasy-noir of an entirely different breed…

An Angry Robot release.

Saturday, September 14, 2019


"Everything epic fantasy should be: rich, cruel, gorgeous, brilliant, enthralling and deeply, deeply satisfying. I loved it."—Lev Grossman, author ofThe Magicians

When destiny calls, there's no fighting back.

Kihrin grew up in the slums of Quur, a thief and a minstrel's son raised on tales of long-lost princes and magnificent quests. When he is claimed against his will as the missing son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds himself at the mercy of his new family's ruthless power plays and political ambitions.

Practically a prisoner, Kihrin discovers that being a long-lost prince is nothing like what the storybooks promised. The storybooks have lied about a lot of other things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, and how the hero always wins.

Then again, maybe he isn't the hero after all. For Kihrin is not destined to save the world.

He's destined to destroy it.

Jenn Lyons begins the Chorus of Dragons series with The Ruin of Kings, an epic fantasy novel about a man who discovers his fate is tied to the future of an empire.

"It's impossible not to be impressed with the ambition of it all . . . a larger-than-life adventure story about thieves, wizards, assassins and kings to dwell in for a good long while."—The New York Times

A Chorus of Dragons

1: The Ruin of Kings

2: The Name of All Things

JENN LYONS was a graphic artist and illustrator for 20 years and has worked in video games for over a decade. She previously worked on The Saboteur and Lord of the Rings: Conquest at EA Games. She is based out of Atlanta, Georgia. The Ruin of Kings is her first novel.

On sale September 10, 2019 from Tor Books. 9781250175502. $17.99 USD.

Thursday, September 12, 2019


The Devil's Half Mile by Paddy Hirsch is a riveting historical thriller debut set in 1799 New York City, perfect for the fans of Gangs of New York and the works of Caleb Carr and Erik Larson.

Seven years after a financial crisis nearly toppled America, traders chafe at government regulations, racial tensions are rising, gangs roam the streets and corrupt financiers make back-door deals with politicians... 1799 was a hell of a year.

Thanks to Alexander Hamilton, America recovered from the panic on the Devil's Half Mile (aka Wall Street), but the young country is still finding its way. When young lawyer Justy Flanagan returns to solve his father's murder, he exposes a massive fraud that has already claimed lives, and one of the perpetrators are determined to keep secret at any cost. The body count is rising, and the looming crisis could topple the nation.

"A thriller with strong, multifaceted heroes and villains, tight plotting which rattles along in a city where you can smell the horse droppings and hear the authentic voices."—Patrick Taylor, New York Times bestselling author of the Irish Country Doctor series

"A superb historical whodunit. ... Effortlessly incorporates the political and economic background of the time."—Publishers Weekly *starred review*

"Fast paced and often violently brutal, this tale should please thriller readers who enjoy a twist of history"—Booklist

"A solid choice for historical fiction buffs and lovers of political plots."—Library Journal

PADDY HIRSCH is an award-winning journalist and online video host who produces the NPR podcast The Indicator from Planet Money. The author of The Devil's Half Mile came to journalism after serving for eight years as an officer in the British Royal Marines, and lives in Los Angeles. He is also the author of a nonfiction book explaining economics, Man vs. Markets.

On sale September 17, 2019 from Forge Books. 9780765399144. $16.99 USD

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Motivational Quotes On the Humorous Side Part 2

Is there such a thing as funny motivational quotes? Of course! I mean, why can’t we have a little fun and be motivated at the same time? Some of the quotes below are pure gold! Here are 20 more short and funny motivational quotes to help brighten your day:

21. “The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.” – Albert Einstein
22. “The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.” – Terry Pratchett

23. “When I hear somebody sigh, “Life is hard”, I am always tempted to ask, “Compared to what?”” – Sydney Harris

24. “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?” – Steven Wright

25. “A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” – Steve Martin

26. “Bad decisions make good stories.” – Ellis Vidler

27. “Dreams are like rainbows. Only idiots chase them.” – Unknown

28. “Happiness is just sadness that hasn’t happened yet.” – Unknown

29. “I cannot afford to waste my time making money.” – Louis Agassiz

30. “If the world didn’t suck we’d all fly into space.” – Unknown

31. “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

32. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison

33. “The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs, one step at a time.” – Joe Girard

34. “Think like a proton. Always positive.” – Unknown

35. “When I’m sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead.” – Barney Stinson

36. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London

37. “A diamond is merely a lump of coal that did well under pressure.” – Unknown

38. “Be happy  –  it drives people crazy.” – Unknown

39. “Even a stopped clock is right twice every day. After some years, it can boast of a long series of successes.” – Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

40. “Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.” – Franklin P. Jones

[Source: | July 2019 ++]

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Did I read that Right?


 In a Laundromat: Automatic Washing Machines: Please Remove All Your Clothes When the Light Goes Out.

 In a London department store: Bargain Basement Upstairs...

 In an office: Would the Person Who Took the Step Ladder Yesterday Please Bring It Back or Further Steps Will Be Taken.

 In an office: After Tea Break, Staff Should Empty the Teapot and Stand Upside Down on the Draining Board.

 Outside a secondhand shop: We Exchange Anything - Bicycles, Washing Machines, Etc. Why Not Bring Your Wife Along And Get A Wonderful Bargain?

 Notice in health food shop window: Closed Due to Illness...

 Spotted in a safari park: Elephants, Please Stay in Your Car.

 Seen during a conference: For Anyone Who Has Children and Doesn't Know it, there Is a Day Care on the 1st Floor.

 Notice in a farmer's field: The Farmer Allows Walkers to Cross the Field for Free, But the Bull Charges.

 Message on a leaflet: If You Cannot Read, This Leaflet Will Tell You How to Get Lessons.

 On a repair shop door: We Can Repair Anything. (Please Knock Hard On The Door - The Bell Doesn't Work.)

Saturday, September 7, 2019


Glen Cook, the father of Grimdark, returns to the Chronicles of the Black Company with a military fantasy adventure in Port of Shadows.

The soldiers of the Black Company don’t ask questions, they get paid. But being “The Lady’s favored” is attracting the wrong kind of attention and has put a target on their backs--and the Company’s historian, Croaker, has the biggest target of all.

The one person who was taken into The Lady’s Tower and returned unchanged has earned the special interest of the court of sorcerers known as The Ten Who Were Taken. Now, he and the company are being asked to seek the aid of their newest member, Mischievous Rain, to break a rebel army. However, Croaker doesn’t trust any of the Taken, especially not ones that look so much like The Lady and her sister…

The Chronicles of the Black Company

#1 The Chronicles of The Black Company

#2 The Books of the South

#3 The Return of The Black Company

#4 The Many Deaths of the Black Company

"Glen Cook's newest book, Port of Shadow, is is a master class in unreliable narration. " —Jenn Lyons, author of Ruin of Kings

GLEN COOK is the author of dozens of novels of fantasy and science fiction, including The Black Company series, The Garrett Files, and The Tyranny of the Night. Cook was born in 1944 in New York City. He attended the Clarion Writers Workshop in 1970, where he met his wife, Carol. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

On sale September 3, 2019 from Tor Books. 9781250174581. $18.99 USD

Friday, September 6, 2019

Just Thinking!

 No one, even the president is above the law. My question is, how come illegals are?

 How much better would life be if liar’s pants really did catch on fire?

 Caution! Floor covered with political promises.

 Imagine breaking into another country and being angry that their detention camps weren’t up to your standards!

 A Mexican cannot vote in Mexico without a valid ID. He must come to America to do that.

 Politicians killed a bill for giving tuition assistance for children of veterans killed in battle, THEN approve giving illegals free tuition.

 If you haven’t risked coming home under a flag, don’t you dare disrespect it.

 Do you really think it’s okay for Iran to have nukes, but not okay for law abiding Americans to have guns?

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Proofreading (a dying art)

 Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife And Daughter. (Not possible)

 Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says. (Really? Ya' think?)

 Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers. (Now that's taking things a bit far!)

 Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over. (What a guy!)

 Miners Refuse to Work after Death (No good for nothing' lazy so and so's!)

 Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant. (See if that works better than a fair trial!)

 War Dims Hope for Peace. (I can see where it might have that effect!)

 If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile. (Ya' think?!)

 Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures. (Who would have thought!)

 Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide. (They may be on to something!)

 Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges. (You mean there's something stronger than duct tape?)

 Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge. (He probably IS the battery charge!)

 New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group. (Weren't they fat enough?!)

 Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft. (That's what he gets for eating those beans!)

 Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half. (Chainsaw Massacre all over again!)

 Hospitals are sued by 7 Foot Doctors. (Boy, are they tall!)

 And the winner is... Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Monday, September 2, 2019

Trump Tax Records

Please forgive the political aspect of this humor, but this is way too funny not to share—and it is about two of our Commanders-in-Chief. Oh, and it was obtained from an AF vet.

Former Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was one of the brightest people in the current administration. She has a very quick wit about her. During a recent press conference, a reporter with MSNBC hollered from the press corps, "Where is President Trump hiding his tax returns?”

Press Secretary Sanders astutely responded, "We've found a very secure place, and I'm certain they won't be found.”

"And just where is that?" asked the reporter sarcastically.

Mrs. Sanders grinned sardonically and said, “They are underneath Obama's college records, his passport application, his immigration status as a student, his funding sources to pay for college, his college records, and his Selective Service registration. Next question?"

Friday, August 30, 2019

Have you ever thought...

My Thoughts
 I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

 Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

 I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

 There is a great need for sarcasm font.

 How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

 Was learning cursive really necessary?

 Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

 MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my

 Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

 Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

 I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

 Bad decisions make good stories.

 You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that
you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

 Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

 I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

 "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this--ever.

 I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire
day. What a waste.

 Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...

 As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of
transportation, I always hate cyclists.

 I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

 Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, hitting the G-spot, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time.

 I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

 I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with
Miller Lites than Kay.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Pet Store Monkey

Pet Store Monkey

A fellow walked into a pet store and was looking at the animals on display. While he was there, a Chief Master Sergeant from the local Air Force Base walked in and said to the shopkeeper, "I'd like a line-service monkey please."

The clerk nodded, went to a cage at the side of the store and took out a monkey. He put a collar and leash on the animal and handed it to the Chief, "That'll be $1,000.00" The Chief paid and left with the monkey.

Surprised, a fellow went to the shopkeeper and said, "That was a very expensive monkey. Most of them here are only a few hundred dollars. Why did that one cost so much?"

The shopkeeper answered, "Ah -- that was a line-service monkey. He can park, fuel, and service all Air Force aircraft, conduct all required ground ops testing, rig aircraft flight controls, and all with zero mistakes. He's well worth the money."

With his interest peaked, the fellow looked around and spotted a monkey in another cage with a $10,000.00 price tag. "That one's really expensive! What can it do?"

"Oh, that one is a maintenance supervisor monkey. He can instruct at all levels of aircraft maintenance, supervise all corrective and preventive maintenance programs, supervise a crew of maintainers, and even do most of the paperwork. A very useful monkey indeed," replied the shopkeeper.

The guy looked around a little more and found another monkey in a cage at the back of the store. The price tag read, $50,000.00. "Holy cow! What does this one do?"

"Well," the shopkeeper said, "I've never actually seen him do anything but drink beer, flirt with the girl monkeys, and play with himself, but his papers say he's a pilot."

Monday, August 26, 2019

On the Humorous Side

On the Humorous Side

Is there such a thing as funny motivational quotes? Of course! I mean, why can’t we have a little fun and be motivated at the same time? Some of the quotes below are pure gold! Here are 60 short and funny motivational quotes to help brighten your day:

1. “When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.” – Unknown

2. “Age is of no importance unless you’re a cheese.” – Billie Burke

3. “Change is not a four letter word… but often your reaction to it is!” – Jeffrey Gitomer

4. “Every tattoo is temporary, because we’re all slowly dying.” – Unknown

5. “I am an early bird and a night owl… so I am wise and I have worms.” – Michael Scott

6. “I used to think I was indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.” – Unknown

7. “It could be that your purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others.” – Ashleigh Brilliant

8. “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” – Mark Twain

9. “The best things in life are actually really expensive.” – Unknown

10. “The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces.” – Will Rogers

11. “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

12. “Work until your bank account looks like a phone number.” – Unknown

13. “A clear conscience is a sure sign of a bad memory.” – Mark Twain

14. “Always remember that you are unique  –  just like everybody else.” – Unknown

15. “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.” – Charles Schulz

16. “Friendship is like peeing on yourself: everyone can see it, but only you get the warm feeling that it brings.” – Robert Bloch

17. “I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.” – Oscar Wilde

18. “If at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving definitely isn’t for you.” – Steven Wright

19. “It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by then I was too famous.” – Robert Benchley

20. “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m possible!” – Audrey Hepburn

[Source: | July 2019 ++]

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Pale Kings by Micah Yongo

Pale Kings by Micah Yongo

When the gods return to claim their world, the Five Realms will fall, in this earth-shaking epic fantasy thriller following on from the author’s seminal debut, Lost Gods

The Sovereignty has been at peace for three centuries, but now the war to end all wars has finally come. The border cities of the Reach are destroyed, others are falling rapidly, and a nameless force lays waste in the north. When Neythan and his friends are led to the Summerlands in search of answers, he is unexpectedly confronted with secrets from his forgotten childhood, long buried beneath past trauma, and linked to the ancient scroll he has always carried. As the mysterious invasion continues, and the supernatural forces responsible are revealed, Neythan must learn the truth that lies in his blood… before it is too late.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Heart of the Circle by Keren Landsman

The Heart of the Circle by Keren Landsman

Sorcerers fight for the right to exist and fall in love, in this extraordinary alternate world fantasy thriller by award-winning Israeli author

Throughout human history there have always been sorcerers, once idolised and now exploited for their powers. In Israel, the Sons of Simeon, a group of political extremists, persecute sorcerers while the government turns a blind eye. After a march for equal rights ends in brutal murder, empath, moodifier and reluctant waiter Reed becomes the next target. While his sorcerous and normie friends seek out his future killers, Reed complicates everything by falling hopelessly in love. As the battle for survival grows ever more personal, can Reed protect himself and his friends as the Sons of Simeon close in around them?

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Shrouded Loyalties by Reese Hogan

Shrouded Loyalties by Reese Hogan

A soldier returns home with a dangerous secret from an alternate realm, unaware that she is surrounded by spies and collaborators, in this intense military science fiction novel.

Naval officer Mila Blackwood is determined to keep her country’s most powerful secret – shrouding, the ability to traverse their planet in seconds through an alternate realm – out of enemy hands. But spies are everywhere: her submarine has been infiltrated by a Dhavnak agent, and her teenage brother has been seduced by an enemy soldier. When Blackwood’s submarine is attacked by a monster, she and fellow sailor, Holland, are marked with special abilities, whose manifestations could end the war – but in whose favor? Forced to submit to military scientists in her paranoid and war-torn home, Blackwood soon learns that the only people she can trust might also be the enemy.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Tariff Impact ► Things You Might Buy Before Tariffs Make Them More Expensive

Tariff Impact ► Things You Might Buy Before Tariffs Make Them More Expensive

President Trump's latest tariffs on Chinese goods could make the holiday season — and beyond — much more
expensive. Your budget might feel the impact of the next round of tariffs sooner and more keenly than with previous tariffs. President Trump recently announced that the U.S. plans to levy an additional 10% tax on $300 billion worth of goods imported from China. But unlike previous tariffs, which focused on goods that are parts for the manufacture of other things, the new batch of tariffs falls heavily on finished goods, according to CNN.

This new round of tariffs will kick in on 1 SEP, Trump said. So, while some companies may still successfully plead for exemptions, many household items and holiday gift favorites stand to be hit with new ongoing taxes next month.

Since those additional costs could be passed on to consumers, now is the time to consider stocking up on anything you need that may face fresh tariffs. Here is a look at some of the things that may soon increase in price.

1. Office and school supplies -- Erasers, Scissors, Pencils, Crayons, and Sharpeners.

2. Cellphones -- The proposed list includes telephones for cellular networks as a whole. Prices could rise by 14%, according to a June report compiled for the Consumer Technology Association. That would mean that the average retail price for a cellphone ($492) would increase by nearly $70.

3. Baby products – Diapers, Strollers, Walkers, Playpens, Nursery monitor systems, and Child safety seats.

4. Toys for children and pets alike.. Consumers could soon be paying 30% to 40% more for toys, a toymaker executive recently told The Washington Post.

5. Batteries. Nickel-cadmium, lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries all appear on the list of proposed tariffs.

6. Shoes. With 70% of shoes sold in the U.S. coming from China, the industry is bracing for a hit, CNBC reports. Industry analysis suggests a 10% tariff could bump up the consumer price of popular canvas sneakers from $49.99 to $58.69 and that of running shoes from $150 to $187.50, according to CNBC. More than 170 shoe retailers and brands have asked the Trump administration not to raise tariffs on footwear.

7. Winter clothing – Gloves, Mittens, Scarves, Sweaters, and Coats

8. Laptops and tablets -- Laptop and tablet computer prices could rise by 19%, according to the June report compiled for the CTA. That would mean the average retail price for a laptop ($622) would increase by about $120, and that of a tablet ($264) would increase by $50.

9. Video game consoles -- China accounts for more than 96% of imported video game consoles, and there is very little production in the U.S. As a result, nearly all of the higher cost of tariffs on consoles would be passed on to consumers. The CTA expects prices in the U.S. would rise by 19% which would increase the average retail price for a video game console ($294) by $56.

10. Drones -- The CTA expects the new tariffs on this category of goods to push up prices of toy and “starter” drones by 15% overall, or by $61 for a drone at the average retail price of $404.

11. Cameras -- Digital still image video cameras, old-school instant-print and film cameras, appear on the proposed list of goods facing the new tariffs. Photography accessories and parts are also included.

12. Bedding and other linens -- Bedspreads, blankets, quilts and comforters, Pillows and cushions, Curtains, drapes and valances, Kitchen linens, and Bath linens

13. Dishware -- Many kinds of cutlery, drinking glasses, and porcelain and china tableware all appear on the list.

14. Eyewear – Corrective/non-corrective glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses that originate in China.

15. Watches and clocks -- wristwatches, clocks and alarm clocks.

16. Musical instruments -- a number of categories of musical instruments, ranging from accordions to grand pianos — and their various accessories.

17. Bibles -- “Printed books, brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter,” a wide-ranging category that covers everything from maps and calendars to postcards and greeting cards plus most-sold book, the Bible. As many as 150 million bibles are printed in China each year.

18. Fishing and sports gear -- Fishing rods, hooks and line plus a variety of other sports and outdoors activities, ranging from skis and ice skates to tents and camping goods.

19. Fireworks, signaling flares, matches and other explosives.

20. Home entertainment – TVs.

21. Home improvement – Doors, Blinds, Wallpaper, Ceiling fans, Kitchen appliances such as ovens, stoves and dishwashers, Washing machines and dryers

22. Certain motor vehicles – Motorcycles, Tanks, Snowmobiles, Golf carts

[Source: MoneyTalksNews | Brandon Ballenger | August 9, 2019 ++]

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Ash Kickers by Sean Grigsby

Ash Kickers by Sean Grigsby

It’s dragons vs firefighters vs the Phoenix in the scorching fantasy sequel to Smoke Eaters.

With ex-firefighter Cole Brannigan in command of the Smoke Eaters, the dragon menace is under control. Thanks to non-lethal Canadian tech, the beasts are tranquilized and locked up, rather than killed. But for Tamerica Williams, this job filled with action and danger, has become tediously routine.

When a new threat emerges, a legendary bird of fire – the Phoenix – it’s the perfect task for Williams. But killing the Phoenix just brings it back stronger, spreading fire like a plague and whipping dragons into a frenzy. Will it prove to be too much excitement, even for adrenalin-junkie Williams?

Friday, August 16, 2019

THE DEEP by Nick Cutter, Gallery books, $26.00, reviewed by Jim Brock

Nick Cutter is a pseudonym for Canadian writer Craig Davidson. He also uses the pseudonym Patrick Lestewka. I tell you this because I suspect after reading THE DEEP you will be like me in seeking out other books by “them” – especially THE TROOP, the first Nick Cutter book.

The phrase that kept bouncing around my mind as I read THE DEEP was “sickeningly horrific’. This thing touched on some of my “deepest” fears in every sense of the word. First, the world is beset by a plague called the ‘Gets. This is a scary thing to me because it seems so much more possible than zombies, vampires, and etc. People just start forgetting things and these things go from small to large – eventually forgetting to live.

There is some possible hope to be found from a newly discovered substance called Ambrosia which seems to be a universal healer. Ambrosia has been found in the Mariana Trench, the deepest spot in the Pacific Ocean. Multiple governments and corporations have built a trillion dollar lab at the bottom of the ocean to gather and test Ambrosia. This installation is populated by three scientists, the most brilliant of which is Dr. Clayton Nelson. But now, communication has been lost between the lab and the surface.

Veterinarian Dr. Luke Nelson has been summoned, at his brother’s request, before communication was lost. He must get into a small submersible with a deep sea pilot and go eight miles down (that’s 8 miles down) to the lab at the bottom of the Mariana Trench to see what’s going on. This hits my claustrophobia a gigantic blow that stays and pressures me the entire book.

This only brings us to the miserable and horrible backgrounds of Luke and Clayton and the others and to the secret of Ambrosia’s source and what was really waiting for them at the bottom of the ocean. It becomes clear that the ‘Gets might be the mildest horror in THE DEEP. And don’t ask me about what happens to the dig, L.B. I am still traumatized by that. If you like your horror extra strong, THE DEEP is for you.

Friday, August 9, 2019

So You Think You Know Everything? Part 3

 Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.

 TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

 Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

 Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

 Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks; Otherwise it will digest itself.

There, now you know (Almost) everything! (According to Virgil).

[Source: Tailwaggers & Jokes | December 17, 2017 ++]

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

So You Think You Know Everything? Part 2

 If you are an average American, in your whole life, you will spend an average of 6 months waiting at red lights.

 It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

 Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.

 Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.

 No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

 Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and Ears never stop growing.

 Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.

 Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

 "Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand and "lollipop" with your right.

 The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.

 The cruise liner, QE2, moves only six inches for each gallon of Diesel that it burns.

 The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

 The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet.

 The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.

 The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read Left to right or right to left (palindromes).

 There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

 There are more chickens than people in the world.

 There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": Tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

 There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."

 There's no Betty Rubble in the "Flintstones Chewables Vitamins".

Monday, August 5, 2019

So You Think You Know Everything?

Did you know the following?

 A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.

 A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

 A crocodile cannot stick out its tongue, Google "Crocodiles: Facts & Pictures - Live Science"

 A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.

 A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds. (actually disputed at this time, to "might be 30 Seconds, if not active)

 A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second. Not sure about the builders measurement of a Poofteenth, (said to be about 1/128th of an inch)

 A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

 A snail can sleep for three years.

 Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.

 All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill.

 Almonds are a member of the peach family.

 An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain. (I know a few people like that)

 Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.

 Butterflies taste with their feet. (Not standing on that again)

 Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds. Dogs only have about 10.

 "Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "MT".

 February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

 In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.

 If the population of China walked past you, in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Keep Those Grey Cells Active (02)

Here are the answers. How did you do?

1. Johnny's mother had three children. The first child was named April.. The second child was named May. What was the third child's name? Answer: Johnny, of course.

2. There is a clerk at the butcher shop, he is five feet ten inches tall, and he wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh? Answer: Meat.

3. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world? Answer: Mt. Everest; it just wasn't discovered yet. [You're not very good at this are you?]

4. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet? Answer: None. There is no dirt in a hole.

5. What word in the English Language is always spelled incorrectly? Answer: Incorrectly

6. Billy was born on December 28th, yet his birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible?
Answer: Billy lives in the Southern Hemisphere.

7. In California, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not? Answer: You can't take pictures with a wooden leg. You need a camera to take pictures.

8. What was the President's Name in 1975? Answer: Same as is it now – Donald Trump [Oh, come on...]

9. If you were running a race, and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in?
Answer: You would be in 2nd. Well, you passed the person in second place, not first.

10. Which is correct to say, "The yolk of the egg are white" or "The yolk of the egg is white"? Answer: Neither, the yolk of the egg is yellow [Duh]

11. If a farmer has 5 haystacks in one field and 4 haystacks in the other field, how many haystacks would he have if
he combined them all in another field? Answer: One. If he combines all of his haystacks, they all become one big

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Keep Those Grey Cells Active (01)

1. Johnny's mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What
was the third child's name?

2. There is a clerk at the butcher shop, he is five feet ten inches tall and he wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh?

3. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?

4. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?

5. What word in the English Language is always spelled incorrectly?

6. Billy was born on December 28th, yet his birthday is always in the summer.. How is this possible?

7. In California, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?

8. What was the President's Name in 1975?

9. If you were running a race, and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?

10. Which is correct to say, "The yolk of the egg are white" or "The yolk of the egg is white"?

11. If a farmer has 5 haystacks in one field and 4 haystacks in the other field, how many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in another field?

Answers tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

God’s Aging Plan

The Truth hurts: Most seniors never get enough exercise. In His wisdom God decreed that seniors become forgetful so they would have to search for their glasses, keys and other things, thus doing more walking. And God looked down and saw that it was good.

Then God saw there was another need. In His wisdom He made seniors lose co-ordination so they would drop things, requiring them to bend, reach, and stretch. And God looked down and saw that it was good.

Then God considered the function of bladders and decided seniors would have additional calls of nature, requiring more trips to the bathroom, thus providing more exercise. God looked down and saw that it was good.

So if you find as you age, you are getting up and down more, remember it's God's will. It is all in your best interest even though you mutter under your breath.

Nine Important Facts to Remember as We Grow Older

 #9 Death is the number 1 killer in the world.

 #8 Life is sexually transmitted.

 #7 Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

 #6 Men have 2 motivations: hunger and hanky panky, and they can't tell them apart. If you see a gleam in
his eyes, make him a sandwich.

 #5 Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks, months, maybe years.

 #4 Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospital, dying of nothing.

 #3 All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

 #2 In the 60's, people took LSD to make the world weird. Now the world is weird, and people take Prozac to make it normal.

 #1 Life is like a jar of jalapeno peppers. What you do today may be a burning issue tomorrow.

Please share this wisdom with others while I go to the bathroom.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Liege-Killer: The Graphic Novel by Chris Hinz & Jon Proctor

Liege-Killer: The Graphic Novel by Chris Hinz & Jon Proctor

Christopher Hinz's award-winning novel stunningly reimagined as a graphic novel.

Two hundred years after a nuclear apocalypse forced humanity to flee Earth, humans still remember the planet’s most feared warriors – the Paratwa, genetically modified killers who occupy two bodies controlled by one vicious mind.

The legendary Paratwa named Reemul, known as the Liege-Killer, was the deadliest of them all.

Now someone has revived Reemul from stasis and sent him to terrorize the peaceful orbital colonies of Earth. Is this an isolated incident, or just the opening salvo in a plan to take control of the entire human race?

Friday, July 19, 2019

Coal Miners

At the National Art Gallery in Dublin, a husband and wife were staring at a portrait that had them completely confused.

The painting depicted three black men totally naked, sitting on a bench. Two of the figures had black penises, but the one in the middle had a pink penis.

The curator of the gallery realized that they were having trouble interpreting the painting and offered his personal assessment. He went on for over half an hour explaining how it depicted the sexual emasculation of African Americans in a predominately white patriarchal society. “In fact,” he pointed out, “some serious critics believe that the pink penis also reflects the cultural and sociological oppression experienced by gay men in contemporary society.”

After the curator left, an Irishman approached the couple and said, “Would you like to know what the painting is really about?”

“Now why would you claim to be more of an expert than the curator of the gallery?” asked the couple.

“Because I am the artist who painted the picture,” he replied. “In fact, there are no African Americans depicted at all. They’re just three Irish coal miners. The guy in the middle went home for lunch.”

Thursday, July 18, 2019

God of Broken Things by Cameron Johnston

God of Broken Things by Cameron Johnston

An outcast magician must risk his body and mind to save the world from horrifying demons, in the heart-pounding epic fantasy sequel to The Traitor God.

Tyrant magus Edrin Walker destroyed the monster sent by the Skallgrim, but not before it laid waste to Setharis, and infested their magical elite with mind-controlling parasites. Edrin's own Gift to seize the minds of others was cracked by the strain of battle, and he barely survives the interrogation of a captured magus. There’s no time for recovery though: a Skallgrim army is marching on the mountain passes of the Clanhold. Edrin and a coterie of villains race to stop them, but the mountains are filled with gods, daemons, magic, and his hideous past. Walker must stop at nothing to win, even if that means losing his mind. Or worse…

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Outside by Ada Hoffmann

The Outside by Ada Hoffmann

Super-intelligent AI Gods rule the galaxy. Their algorithms determine the rewards you reap before and after death. But the Gods give and the Gods take away. And Yasira has never been good at Gods...

Autistic scientist Yasira Shien has developed a radical new energy drive on board The Pride of Jai that could change the future of humanity. But when she activates it, reality warps, destroying the space station and everyone left inside.

The Gods declare her work heretical, and Yasira is abducted by their agents. Instead of simply executing her, they offer mercy − if she’ll help them hunt down a bigger target: her mysterious, vanished mentor.

With her home world's fate in the balance, Yasira must choose who to trust: the Gods and their ruthless post-human angels, or the rebel scientist whose unorthodox mathematics could turn her world, literally, inside out.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Ash Kickers by Sean Grigsby

Ash Kickers by Sean Grigsby

It's Dragons vs Firefighters vs the Phoenix.

The scorching fantasy sequel to Smoke Eaters.

With ex-firefighter Cole Brannigan in command of the Smoke Eaters, the dragon menace is under control. Thanks to non-lethal Canadian tech, the beasts are tranquilized and locked up, rather than killed. But for Tamerica Williams, this job filled with action and danger, has become tediously routine.

When a new threat emerges, a legendary bird of fire – the Phoenix – it’s the perfect task for Williams. But killing the Phoenix just brings it back stronger, spreading fire like a plague and whipping dragons into a frenzy. Will it prove to be too much excitement, even for Adrenalin-junkie Williams?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Have You Heard...

Have you heard the joke about the bed? It hasn’t been made up yet.

Have you heard about the Corduroy pillow? It's making HEADLINES!

Have you heard the joke about the blunt pencil? Never mind, there's no point

Have you heard the one about the skunk? It stinks

Have you heard the one about the Vacuum? It sucks

Have you heard the one about the Gravel? It rocks

Have you heard the one about the Fire? It went up in flames

Have you heard the one about the Tree? Its sappy

Have you heard the one about the Cheddar? Its cheesy

Have you heard about the 2 people who stole a calendar? They each got 6 months.

Have you heard about the guy who incented lifesavers? They say he made a mint

Have you heard about the kidnapping in school? Its okay. He woke up.

Have you heard about the Italian chef with a terminal illness? He passed away.

Have you heard about the guy who cut off the left side of his body? He’s all right now.

Have you heard about what type of shorts clouds wear? Thunderwear

Have you heard about the cat that swallowed a ball of yarn? She had mittens.

Have you heard about the firs at the circus? It was in tents!

Have you heard about the runor regarding peanut butter? You don’t want to spread it.

Have you heard about the black cat who ran up a big phone bill? She called Persian-to-Persian

Tuesday, July 9, 2019


Beer Can Vasectomy:

After their 11th child, an Alabama couple decided that was enough, as they could not afford a larger bed.

So the husband went to his veterinarian and told him that he and his cousin didn't want to have any more kids.

The doctor told him that there was a procedure called a "vasectomy" that could fix the problem but it was pretty expensive.

"A less costly alternative," advised the doctor, "is to go home, get a large cherry bomb [fireworks are legal in Alabama], light it, put it in a beer can, then hold the can up to your ear and count to 10."

The Alabamian replied to the doctor, "I may not be the smartest tool in the shed, but I don't see how putting a cherry bomb in a beer can next to my ear is going to help us not have any more kids."

''Trust me," said the doctor.

So the man went home, lit a cherry bomb and put it in a beer can. He held the can up to his ear and began to count!


At which point he paused, placed the beer can between his legs and continued counting on his other hand.

This procedure also works in Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, parts of Georgia,
Missouri, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Sunday, July 7, 2019


With my old man I got no respect. I asked him, “How can I get my kite in the air?” He told me to run off a cliff.

 I went to a massage parlor. It was self-service.

 It’s tough to stay married. My wife kisses the dog on the lips, yet she won’t drink from my glass!

 Last night my wife met me at the front door. She was wearing a sexy negligee. The only trouble was, she was coming home.

 A girl phoned me and said, ‘Come on over. There’s nobody home.’ I went over. Nobody was home!

 A hooker once told me she had a headache.

 I was making love to this girl and she started crying. I said, ‘Are you going to hate yourself in the morning?’ She said, ‘No, I hate myself now.’

 I’m so ugly I stuck my head out the window and got arrested for mooning.

 The other day I came home early and a guy was jogging, naked. I asked him, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘Because you came home early.’

 My wife’s such a bad cook, the dog begs for Alka-Seltzer.

 I know I’m not sexy. When I put my underwear on I can hear the Fruit-of-the-Loom guys giggling.

 My wife is such a bad cook. In my house we pray after the meal.

 My wife likes to talk to me during sex; last night she called me from a hotel.

 My family was so poor that if I hadn’t been born a boy, I wouldn’t have had anything to play with.

Friday, July 5, 2019


It’s been a rough day. I got up this morning and put a shirt on and a button fell off. I picked up my briefcase, and the handle came off. I’m afraid to go to the bathroom.
 I was such an ugly kid! When I played in the sandbox, the cat kept covering me up.

 I could tell my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and radio.

 I was such an ugly baby that my mother never breast fed me. She told me that she only liked me as a friend.

 I’m so ugly my father carried around a picture of the kid that came with his wallet.

 When I was born, the doctor came into the waiting room and said to my father, “I’m sorry. We did everything we could, but he pulled through anyway.”

 I’m so ugly my mother had morning sickness AFTER I was born.

 I remember the time that I was kidnapped and they sent a piece of my finger to my father. He said he wanted more proof.

 Once when I was lost, I saw a policeman, & asked him to help me find my parents. I said to him, “Do you think we’ll ever find them?” He said, “I don’t know kid. There’s so many places they can hide.”

 My wife made me join a bridge club. I jump off next Tuesday.

 I’m so ugly, I once worked in a pet shop, and people kept asking how big I’d get.

 I went to see my doctor. “Doctor, every morning when I get up and I look in the mirror I feel like throwing up. What’s wrong with me?” He said, “Nothing, your eyesight is perfect.”

 I went to the doctor because I’d swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills. My doctor told me to have a few drinks and get some rest.

 One year they wanted to make me a poster boy—for birth control.

 My uncle’s dying wish was to have me sitting in his lap; he was in the electric chair.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019


 I read that 4,153,237 people got married last year. Not to cause any trouble, but shouldn't that be an even number?

 I find it ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom until they are flashing behind you
 When wearing a bikini, women reveal 90% of their body. Men are so polite they only look at the covered parts.

 Relationships are a lot like algebra. Have you ever looked at your X and wondered Y?

 America is a country which produces citizens who will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won't cross the street to vote.

 You know that tingly little feeling you get when you love someone? That's your common sense leaving your body.

 My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We'll see about that.

 Money talks ... all mine ever says is good-bye.

 You're not fat, you're just easier to see.

 If you think nobody cares whether you're alive, try missing a couple of payments.

 I always wondered what the job application is like at Hooters and Twin Peaks. Do they just give you a bra and say, "Here, fill this out?

 I can ' t understand why women are OK that JC Penny has an older women's clothing line named, "Sag Harbor."

 Denny's has a slogan, "If it's your birthday, the meal is on us." If you're in Denny's and it's your birthday, your life sucks!

 The location of your mailbox shows you how far away from your house you can go in a robe before you start looking like a mental patient.

 I think it's pretty cool how Chinese people made a language entirely out of tattoos.

 Money can't buy happiness, but it keeps the kids in touch!

 The reason Mayberry was so peaceful and quiet was because nobody was married. Andy, Aunt Bea, Barney, Floyd, Howard, Goober, Gomer, Sam, Ernest T. Bass, Helen, Thelma Lou, Clara and, of course, Opie were all single. The only married person was Otis, and he stayed drunk.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019


VA Mission Act Update 11 ► Top Questions Answered

On 6 JUN VA implemented changes to community care under the VA MISSION Act. The changes included expanded eligibility for community care and a new urgent care benefit. As part of our outreach and engagement efforts, the VA collected the top questions received from Veterans and provided answers to each one below with the goal of making it easier to access the care you have earned.

General Health Care

 When can I receive community care?
Eligibility for community care depends on your individual health care needs or circumstances. You should discuss community care eligibility with your VA care team to determine if you are eligible. This video provides a quick overview of Veteran community care.

 Can I get dental care through the MISSION Act? Eligibility for dental services has not changed under the MISSION Act. You should talk to your VA care team about eligibility for dental services. Click here for more information about dental care.

 How does a community provider know I am eligible to receive community care? If your VA care team has determined that you are eligible for community care and you chose a community provider, VA will send the provider a referral and authorization prior to you receiving care. You must receive approval from VA prior to obtaining care from a community provider in most circumstances.

 I was authorized for community care under the Choice program. What happens now?
The Choice program expired on June 6, 2019, and specific Choice eligibility for community care is no longer being used. If you were eligible for community care under Choice, you should speak with your VA care team or a VA staff member at your local VA medical facility about updated eligibility for community care. This video also provides a quick primer regarding community care eligibility under the new Veteran community care program.

Urgent Care

 How do I become eligible for the urgent care benefit? You must be enrolled in VA health care and have received care through VA from either a VA or community provider within the past 24 months to be eligible for the urgent care benefit.

 How can I find an urgent care provider?
To find an urgent care location in VA’s contracted network, use the VA facility locator at . Select the link entitled “Find VA approved urgent care locations and pharmacies near you”.

 What is the difference between urgent care and emergency care?
Urgent care consists of medical services provided for minor illnesses or injuries that are not life-threatening such as strep throat, pink eye, or influenza. Emergency care consists of inpatient or outpatient hospital services that are necessary to prevent death or serious impairment of health such as severe chest pain, seizures or loss of awareness, heavy uncontrollable bleeding, or moderate to severe burns.

 Do I have to pay a co-payment if I receive urgent care that relates to my service-connected condition?Copayments for urgent care are different from other VA medical co-payments. Co-payments for urgent care depend on your assigned priority group and the number of times you visit any urgent care provider in a calendar year. Visit the Urgent Care webpage for more information about co-payments.

 How do I get prescription medication related to an urgent care visit? VA will pay for or fill prescriptions for urgent care. For urgent care prescription medication longer than a 14-day supply, the prescription must be submitted to VA to be filled. For urgent prescriptions written by an urgent care provider, you can fill a 14-day supply of medication at a contracted pharmacy within the VA network, in VA, or at a non-contracted pharmacy. If a non-contracted pharmacy is used, you must pay for the prescription and then file a claim for reimbursement with your local VA medical facility.

Go to for more detailed information on community
care and urgent care. [Source: VA News| June 19, 2019 ++]

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Roky Erickson, psychedelic rock pioneer with 13th Floor Elevators, dies at 71

Roky Erickson, psychedelic rock pioneer with 13th Floor Elevators, dies at 71

By Randall Roberts

Jun 01, 2019 | 6:35 AM

To fully appreciate the way in which psychedelic rock pioneer Roky Erickson, who died Friday at 71, treated musical creativity at the beginning of his career, one need only reference his band the 13th Floor Elevators’ 1966 debut album.

“Recently, it has been possible for man to chemically alter his mental state and thus alter his point of view,” read the liner notes for “The Psychedelic Sounds of the Thirteenth Floor Elevators,” referencing use of the not-yet-outlawed hallucinogenic drug LSD.

Erickson’s creative output was forever altered, for better and worse, by the explosive cocktail of music and acid. With a feral yowl that telegraphed mania, the singer and songwriter led the 13th Floor Elevators through a series of hard, tripped-out late 1960s psychedelic anthems, including “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” “Slip Inside This House” and “She Lives in a Time of Her Own.”

Erickson’s death was announced by his brother, Mikel Erickson, on Facebook. “My brother Roky passed away peaceably today. Please allow us time. Music and laughter forever.”

The cause of death was not revealed.

Across a trio of Elevators albums and a dozen solo albums, Erickson’s eerie, oft-gothic lyricism illuminated a darkened world filled with gremlins, vampires, zombies, bloody hammers and two-headed dogs. “Don't shake me Lucifer,” he sang on his Halloween-recorded 1987 live album “Evil One,” “I been up all night / and no suicide clock works.”

As if the words weren’t spooky enough, Erickson’s distinctive, soaring voice sealed the deal. Jumping octaves in ways that predicted heavy-metal belters such as Ronnie James Dio and Axl Rose, he sang as if dangling from a 13th-floor window.

The 13th Floor Elevators’ work received a post-breakup boost when the writer and guitarist Lenny Kaye included “You’re Gonna Miss Me” on his seminal 1972 collection, “Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968.” Set alongside proto-punk songs by the Seeds, the Standells and the Count Five, “You’re Gonna Miss Me” became a secret handshake among fans of hard, weird rock music.

Erickson, who was born Roger Kynard Erickson in Austin, Tex., was revered by artists including R.E.M., T Bone Burnett, ZZ Top, Doug Sahm and the Jesus and Mary Chain, all of whom covered his work on the 1990 tribute album, “Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye.” Erickson, however, never broke into the mainstream.

Not that he had much of a chance. By the end of the 1960s he’d been arrested multiple times for drug possession and admitted to the Rusk State Hospital, a mental facility in East Texas. He’d reportedly consumed hundreds of tabs of acid by then, and over the years his attendants have suggested that the drug consumption affected Erickson’s already delicate mental well-being.

“Roky lived in so many worlds, you couldn’t keep up with him,” his longtime friend Bill Bentley told Variety. “He lived so much, and not always on this planet.”

Despite Erickson’s mental struggles, his voice could hardly be contained, and after retreating from the music scene for much of the 1970s, he returned to recording and continued to create work and tour as a solo artist throughout the rest of his life.

His reemergence was greeted with enthusiasm in the budding indie-rock world, most notably with his 1986 album “Don’t Slander Me.” A 2005 documentary, “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” received ample attention, even as it revealed the limits of Erickson’s capacities. In 2010, he teamed with Austin roots rock band Okkervil River for “True Love Cast Out All Evil.” True to its title, the work found Erickson on more solid ground, and less worried about monsters, than he once was.

Some of his most crucial solo work was recently resurrected for reissue by the acclaimed Light in the Attic imprint, inviting yet another generation to trace the artist’s long, meandering trip.

Erickson continued to tour, and became a beloved figure in his Austin birthplace. During an outdoor set in the ‘00s as part of the city’s annual South by Southwest music conference, his stage presence was as endearing as it was curious.

He dotted his concise between-song banter — “Thank you!” — with gleeful giggles. At times he seemed surprised that people were there watching him. At others, he tapped into the music, howled and reconnected with the present.

He leaned into “You’re Gonna Miss Me” as if making his case for the first time. “I gave you the warning — but you never heeded it,” he sang. “How can you say you miss my loving — when you never needed it?”

After another pleading verse, Erickson moved into the chorus with a gleeful sense of vindication: “You didn’t realize,” he sang, rubbing it in through repetition. “You’re gonna miss me.” By the time the song faded out, few doubters remained.

Living in the small town South and attending a Baptist College, this music was an exception to the rule. No more Beach Boys and Four Seasons, this was an assault on our ears and our minds. It was the name of the band that drew me to the album, but it was the music that kept me coming back. It was a unique sound that soon became a favorite.

Unfortunately, it was not a sound that was embraced by many and that was truly a shame. The Iron Butterfly and Vanilla Fudge would become more successful and the entire psychedelic movement came about because of them.

Rest well.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Unintentionally Funny

The United States military loves slapping an acronym on anything that moves. Actually, things that don’t move are equally likely to be described with a jumble of letters when words would do the trick just fine. Sometimes it’s obvious that the acronym-izer should’ve put more thought into the process, and we get some unintentionally hilarious descriptors:

1. PMS -- Professor of Military Science

2. MANPADS -- Man-Portable Air-Defense System

3. MANCOC -- Maneuver Advanced NCO Course

4. DICC -- Defense Intelligence Collection Cell

5. DISCO -- Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office

6. MAGIC CARPET -- Maritime Augmented Guidance with Integrated Controls for Carrier Approach and recovery Precision Enabling Technologies.

7. DRBOB -- Defense Resale Business Optimization Board

8. FARP -- Forward Area Refueling Point

9. FAP -- Fleet Assistance Program

10. BLT -- Battalion Landing Team

11. AOC -- Army Operating Concept

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Survivor’s of the 30’s thru 70’s

To all the kids who survived the 1930s, '40s, '50s, '60s and '70s!!

 First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

 We were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with brightly colored lead-based paints.

 We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets, and, when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps, not helmets, on our heads.

 As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.

 Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

 We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

 We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.

 We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar and we weren't overweight. Why? Because we were always outside playing...that's why!

 We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were okay.

 We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve that problem.

 We did not have Play Stations, Nintendo and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound or CDs, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms. We had friends and we went outside and found them!

 We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from those accidents.

 We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, and no one would call child services to report abuse.

 We ate worms, and mud pies made from dirt, and those worms did not live in us forever.

 We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, .22 rifles for our 12th, rode horses, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and - although we were told it would happen - we did not put out very many eyes.

 We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

 Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

 The idea of our parents bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

Our generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors ever. The past 50 To 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas..

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

If YOU are one of those born between 1925-1970, CONGRATULATIONS!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Missing Wife

A husband went to the sheriff's department to report that his wife was missing. The following conversation ensued:

Husband: My wife is missing. She went shopping yesterday and has not come home...

Sergeant: What is her height?

Husband: Gee, I'm not sure. A little over five-feet tall.

Sergeant: Weight?

Husband: Don't know. Not slim, not really fat.

Sergeant: Color of eyes?

Husband: Sort of brown I think. Never really noticed.

Sergeant: Color of hair?

Husband: Changes a couple times a year. Maybe dark brown now. I can’t remember.

Sergeant: What was she wearing?

Husband: Could have been pants, or maybe a skirt or shorts. I don't know exactly.

Sergeant: What kind of car did she go in?

Husband: She went in my truck.

Sergeant: What kind of truck was it?

Husband: A 2015 Ford F150 King Ranch 4X4 with eco-boost 5.0L V8 engine special ordered with manual transmission and climate controlled air conditioning. It has a custom matching white cover for the bed, which has a matching aftermarket bed liner. Custom leather 6-way seats and 'Bubba' floor mats. Trailering package with gold hitch and special wiring hook-ups. DVD with full GPS navigation, satellite radio receiver, 23-channel CB radio, six cup holders, a USB port, and four power outlets. I added special alloy wheels and off-road Michelin's. It has custom running boards and indirect wheel well lighting. (VIN) #1HGBH41JXMN109186.

At this point the husband started choking up.

Sergeant: Don't worry buddy. We'll find your truck.

Thursday, May 16, 2019


From New York Times bestseller and Hugo Award-winner, John Scalzi, a trade paperback repackage of his gleeful mash-up of science fiction and Hollywood satire—now with a new cover and intro!

The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: they're hideously ugly and smell like rotting fish.

So getting humanity's trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal.

Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents. But although Stein may have just concluded the biggest deal of his career, it's quite another thing to negotiate for an entire alien race. To earn his percentage this time, he's going to need all the smarts, skills, and wits he can muster.

"A remarkably intelligent first-contact yarn, this book is absurd, funny, and satirically perceptive." —Booklist

"Thoughtful and down-to-Earth, Agent to the Stars is a thoroughly enjoyable work, reminiscent of Robert A. Heinlein or Spider Robinson, and a nice change of pace from the less optimistic SF out there." —

JOHN SCALZI is one of the most popular and acclaimed SF authors to emerge in the last decade. His massively successful debut Old Man's War won him science fiction's John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. His New York Times bestsellers include The Last Colony, Fuzzy Nation, and Redshirts;which won 2013's Hugo Award for Best Novel. Material from his widely read blog, Whatever, has also earned him two other Hugo Awards. Scalzi also serves as critic-at-large for LA Times. He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter.

On sale May 28, 2019 from Tor Books. 9781250176516. $18.99 USD.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Richard Timothy "Tim" Bolgeo, APRIL 15, 1949 – MAY 12, 2019

Richard Timothy “Uncle Timmy” Bolgeo, age 70, of Hixson, passed away on Sunday, May 12, 2019.

He was born in Memphis, Tennessee to the late Mary Margaret and Frank Louis “Pete” Bolgeo. Tim served our country in the United States Air Force. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Christian Brothers College in Memphis, Tennessee.

Tim was a retired electrical engineer with over 40 years with the Tennessee Valley Authority.

He was a longtime member of St. Jude Catholic Church. A lifetime reader of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Uncle Timmy was Founder and Chairman of Liberty Con 1 – 25, an original Board Member and Chairman of ChattaCon 7 – 11, and a staff member at numerous conventions throughout the southeast. He was the long running Editor/Publisher of the Fanzines The LibertyCon Newsletter (1987-1997) and The Revenge of Hump Day! (1997 to 2018).

He was also preceded in death by a brother, John Joseph Bolgeo. Tim is survived by his wife of almost 49 years, Linda Vannucci Bolgeo; children, Brandy Bolgeo Spraker and Jason (Jamie) Bolgeo; grandchildren, Alexander and Elizabeth Bolgeo Spraker and Tristan Bolgeo; siblings, Patricia (Archie) Stavrum and Robert Bolgeo; as well as many nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends from 4 to 5:30 pm on Thursday, May 16 at St. Jude Catholic Church, 930 Ashland Terrace, Chattanooga, TN 37415. A Mass of Celebration will follow at 5:30 pm on Thursday at St. Jude Catholic Church with Father Charlie Burton officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Tim’s name to the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Retirement Fund, P. O. Box 9, Nazareth, Kentucky 40048 Arrangements are by the North Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory and Florist, 5401 Highway 153, Hixson, TN 37343.

Tim was one of my oldest friends in fandom. It was close to 40 years ago when we met at the DeepSouthCon in Birmingham. We maintained our friendship at other DSCs, ChattaCons, and LibertyCons (of course) which I attended as a fan and often times as a guest, panelist, or just a normal fan. He was almost bigger than life. He was known world wide, not just in the South.

The world has lost a spokesman for the science fiction field; the South has lost a true Southern Gentleman; his family has lost a patriarch; and I have lost a friend.

I'll catch you on the next bend of the river with Phil Farmer ...


From New York Times bestseller and Hugo Award-winner John Scalzi, a trade paperback repackage of his wild-and-woolly caper novel of interstellar diplomacy—now with a new cover and intro!

A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most . . . unusual . . . way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: a type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony.

To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinaire, who, with the help of a childhood friend turned artificial intelligence, scours the earth looking for the rare creature. But there are others with plans for the sheep as well. Mercenaries employed by the military. Adherents of a secret religion based on the writings of a 21st century SF author. And alien races, eager to start a revolution on their homeworld and a war on Earth.

To keep our planet from being enslaved, Harry will have to pull off a grand diplomatic coup, a gambit that will take him from the halls of power to the lava-strewn battlefields of alien worlds. There's only one chance to get it right, to save the life of the sheep—and to protect the future of humanity.

"With plenty of alien gore to satisfy fans of military SF and inventive jabs at pretend patriotism and self-serving civil service, Scalzi delivers an effervescent but intelligent romp." —Publishers Weekly

"The whip-smart writing exudes his enjoyment in such a way that almost guarantees the reader will take pleasure in the story as well...Humor is hard to do well; it has to be natural, non-intrusive and funny at the same time. Scalzi pulls it off exceptionally well." —

JOHN SCALZI is one of the most popular and acclaimed SF authors to emerge in the last decade. His massively successful debut Old Man's War won him science fiction's John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. His New York Times bestsellers include The Last Colony, Fuzz y Nation, and Redshirts;which won 2013's Hugo Award for Best Novel. Material from his widely read blog, Whatever, has also earned him two other Hugo Awards. Scalzi also serves as critic-at-large for LA Times. He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter.

On sale May 28, 2019 from Tor Books. 9781250174758. $18.99 USD.

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley (UK Only)

For my readers in the United Kingdom, this is available for you from Angry Robot book.

Soldiers are broken into light and sent to the front line of a brutal interplanetary war, in this brilliant military SF from the Hugo Award­­-winning author of The Stars Are Legion.

The Light Brigade
: it’s what soldiers fighting the war against Mars call the ones who come back…different. Grunts in the corporate corps get broken into light, traveling from interplanetary battlefronts. Everyone is changed by what the corps must do. Those who survive learn to stick to the mission brief — no matter what happens during combat.

Dieter, a fresh recruit in the infantry, begins to experience combat drops which don’t sync up with the platoon’s. And the bad drops tell a story of war that’s not what the corporate brass want the soldiers to think it is. Is Dietz really experiencing the war differently, or is it combat madness? Trying to survive with sanity intact, Dietz is ready to become a hero — or maybe even a villain. In war it’s hard to tell the difference.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

FUZZY NATION by John Scalzi

From New York Times bestseller and Hugo Award-winner John Scalzi, a trade paperback repackage of his extraordinary retelling of the SF classic Little Fuzzy—now with a new cover and intro!

ZaraCorp holds the right to extract unlimited resources from the verdant planet Zarathustra—as long as the planet is certifiably free of native sentients. So when an outback prospector discovers a species of small, appealing bipeds who might well turn out to be intelligent, language-using beings, it's a race to stop the corporation from "eliminating the problem," which is to say, eliminating the Fuzzies—wide-eyed, ridiculously cute small furry creatures—who are as much people as we are.

“A perfectly executed plot clicks its way to a stunning courtroom showdown in a cathartic finish that will thrill Fuzzy fans old and new.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“In a genre flooded with bloated epics, it's a real pleasure to read a story like this, as compactly and directly told as a punch to the stomach.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

JOHN SCALZI is one of the most popular and acclaimed SF authors to emerge in the last decade. His massively successful debut Old Man's War won him science fiction's John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. His New York Times bestsellers include The Last Colony, Fuzzy Nation, and Redshirts;which won 2013's Hugo Award for Best Novel. Material from his widely read blog, Whatever, has also earned him two other Hugo Awards. Scalzi also serves as critic-at-large for LA Times. He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter.

On sale May 28, 2019 from Tor Books. 9781250174642. $18.99 USD.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Five Unicorn Flush by TJ Berry

Only one woman with a magical parasite can unite the galaxy, in the mind-blowing SF sequel to Space Unicorn Blues

Reasonspace is in shambles after the disappearance of all magical creatures. Without faster-than-light travel, supply and communication routes have dried up, leaving humankind stranded and starving. Cowboy Jim and his complement of Reason soldiers search for the relocated Bala using the only surviving FTL drive. On their new utopian planet, the Bala are on the brink of civil war between those who want peace under old-fashioned unicorn rule and those who seek revenge on their human oppressors. Only Captain Jenny and her new brain parasite can stop the Reason plan to enslave the Bala again.

Available May 7 in the UK and May 28 planet wide.

Friday, May 10, 2019

STARLESS by Jacqueline Carey

Jacqueline Carey is back with an amazing adventure not seen since her New York Times bestselling Kushiel's Legacy series. Lush and sensual, Starless introduces us to an epic world where exiled gods live among us, and a hero whose journey will resonate long after the last page is turned.

I was nine years old the first time I tried to kill a man...

Destined from birth to serve as protector of the princess Zariya, Khai is trained in the arts of killing and stealth by a warrior sect in the deep desert; yet there is one profound truth that has been withheld from him.

In the court of the Sun-Blessed, Khai must learn to navigate deadly intrigue and his own conflicted identity…but in the far reaches of the western seas, the dark god Miasmus is rising, intent on nothing less than wholesale destruction.

If Khai is to keep his soul’s twin Zariya alive, their only hope lies with an unlikely crew of prophecy-seekers on a journey that will take them farther beneath the starless skies than anyone can imagine.

“Carey is at the peak of her luminous storytelling powers in a tale that will appeal to readers of Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss, while its thought-provoking look at gender, love, and sexual preference bring to mind Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness.”—Booklist (starred)

“Carey handles themes of duty, love, and identity with tenderness and fortitude, never pigeonholing her protagonists, and the tapestry of her characters elevates this novel above its peers.”—Publishers Weekly (starred)

JACQUELINE CAREY is the author of the New York Times bestselling Kushiel’s Legacy series of historical fantasy novels, The Sundering epic fantasy duology, postmodern fables "Santa Olivia" and "Saints Astray," and the Agent of Hel contemporary fantasy series. Carey lives in western Michigan.

On sale May 14, 2019 from Tor Books. 9780765386847. $19.99 USD.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Time's Demon by DB Jackson

Two time-traveling heroes must change the future before they are murdered in the past, in the incredible fantasy sequel to Time’s Children

Fifteen year-old Tobias Doljan Walked back in time to prevent a war, but instead found himself trapped in an adult body, his king murdered and with an infant princess, Sofya, to protect. Now he has been joined by fellow Walker and Spanner, Mara, and together they must find a way to undo the timeline which orphaned the princess and destroyed their future. Arrayed against them are assassins who share their time-traveling powers, but have dark ambitions of their own, and the Tirribin demon, Droƫ, whose desperate quest for human love and Tobias leads her into alliances which threaten all of Islevale.

Currently available in the UK; it will be released on May 28 everywhere else.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

BY FIRE ABOVE by Robyn Bennis

By Fire Above is the rip-roaring new adventure in Robyn Bennis's Signal Airship military fantasy series that New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs hails as “full of sass and terrific characters.”

"All's fair in love and war," according to airship captain Josette Dupre until her hometown of Durum becomes occupied by the enemy and her mother a prisoner of war. Then it becomes, "Nothing's fair except bombing those Vins to high hell."

Before she can rescue her town, however, Josette must maneuver her way through the nest of overstuffed vipers that make up Garnia's military and royal leaders in order to drum up support. The foppish and mostly tolerated Mistral crew member Lord Bernat steps in to advise her, along with his very attractive older brother.

Between noble scheming, under-trained recruits, and supply shortages, Josette and the crew of the Mistral figure out a way to return to Durum—only to discover that when the homefront turns into the frontlines, things are more dangerous than they seem.

“Marvelous, witty and action-packed steampunk with exquisite attention to detail. Bennis's writing is incredible, her vocabulary impressive, and she honest to God made me believe you could build an airship from spare parts.”—New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Ann Aguirre

“Bennis opens and closes with fierce combat sequences and layers in knotty questions about how to distinguish between loyalty and romance from love, and balance obedience to superiors with a duty to subordinates, all starkly highlighted by life-or-death decisions forced on the characters. Readers will hear both the crackle of musket fire and the heartfelt cries of honest self-admission in this rich adventure.” —Publishers Weekly

ROBYN BENNIS is a scientist and airship aficionado living in Madison, Wisconsin. By Fire Above is the sequel to her debut novel, The Guns Above.

On sale May 07, 2019 from Tor Books. 9780765388810. $18.99 USD.