Monday, October 21, 2013

CONtraFlow III and More General Updatery

I am just returned from CONtraFlow in New Orleans, where I was part of a panel titled Frontier Law. I recorded it, but need some time to get it chopped up and remember how to make them available to everyone here.

The con itself was a bit of a blur: between arriving at 4 in the evening on Friday and departing at the same time on Sunday, I felt as if I spent as much time traveling to and from the con as at the con.

Mark Van Name was the Toastmaster, and laid the groundwork for our panel during Friday's opening ceremonies, despite my failure to make it to the ceremonies. He asked the gathered crowd what they would like to learn during the Frontier Law panel and adjusted his moderator's questions and discussion points accordingly.

Note to new authors: don't make the mistake of forgetting that you need to seize every opportunity to promote. It's more of a mental adjustment than it seems, this leap from loner writer to author with a few readers and even more potential readers. At least, more than I expected. I may just be stupid.

Despite Mark Van Name's busy schedule, Alistair, Chuck, and I managed to have a fun meal with Mark and Jennie, with our usual base humor predominating.

I attended several 1632 MiniCon panels, where I learned new things and enjoyed the company of Eric Flint, Rick Boatright, Paula Goodlett, Walter Hunt, Walt Boyes,  Chuck Gannon, and many others. Eric puts on a Snerking The Plot panel, where he reveals the current drive of the series and the state of all works-in-progress. This time, he included my work on The Mughal Mission, which I had a few minutes to present to the gathered writers. As I was last to go, it was difficult to gauge the enthusiasm of my fellow writers.

Dinners were exceptional, as Eric took many of the above 1632 authors to a local seafood joint Friday night. Much fun was had and fine food eaten!

Saturday night was the Baen Dinner, hosted by Toni Weisskopf. Mark Van Name was kind enough to secure an invite for me. The meal was at Restaurant Cypress, and included great company: Eric Flint and his lovely wife, Chuck Gannon, Mark Van Name, Alistair Kimble, Walter Hunt, John Picacio, Jennie Faeries, and Tara Smith. Some of the discussion included favorite films and subcategories thereof, such as guilty-pleasure movies: I'm afraid I gave away the entire plot of Lifeforce with my blathering squee about boobies, space vampires, boobies, zombies, boobies, and mass extinction events.

Despite my carrying on, both nights were very fun and fine eats.

I roomed with Chuck Gannon (AKA The Rainmaker AKA, No Charlie Strauss) who despite being much smarter than I, was willing to engage in lengthy discussion on varied subjects, illuminating some of the darker corners of my mind with enthusiasm.

Speaking of which, I need to get some fiction writing done, tonight and soon.

But first, I was very busy with all the flying, etc, but I wasn't as busy as Brigant, who did more awesome audiobook versions of the serial installments of A Separate Law. They are available, in order, here:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Such An Ego Stroke!

So, I was checking in on my story up at the Star Citizen site, and stumbled across this little bit of awesome by a fan of Star Citizen and my story, A SEPARATE LAW:

Monday, October 14, 2013

Frontier Law Panel at ContraFlow III

ContraFlow III will be my second convention as a panel participant. I am looking forward to it with great anticipation. A couple years ago Alistair and I got it into our heads to do something like this, and now it's actually happening:

Diana Rowland, Alistair Kimble, and I are doing a panel entitled Frontier Law, moderated by Mark L. Van Name at 1100am on Saturday. We plan to lay down the law about a few subjects, namely how law enforcement would be forced to adapt to mind-readers, aliens, elves and all the other awesome in speculative fiction. The panelists have a combined 30 years of law enforcement experience at varied levels, including federal.

We hope to bring the panel to other conventions in the future, and having Myke Cole join us.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My, But I Think I Love This

"Delicate in every way but one:

The swordplay

God knows we like Archaic kinds of fun

The Old Way"

-Glory and Gore: Lorde

Latest Snippet from "1636: The Mughal Mission"

“Shehezada Aurangzeb, a moment of your time, if you please?” The Mullah asked, approaching the young prince as he strode along the gallery leading to the stables. 

Aurangzeb stopped but motioned for his retinue to continue without him. “Of course, Mullah Mohan.” 

As a relatively young man, Mullah Mohan had been given responsibility for Aurangzeb and Roshashana’s education. And since he had left the care of the Harem and such teachers, Aurangzeb still found the imam’s strict orthodoxy aligned well with his own designs for the future. Especially as that orthodoxy carried with it a core of believers who could very well prove the deciding factor when he and his brothers began the inevetible contest for the throne.

“Peace be upon you, Shehezada,” the mullah said with a nod.

“And upon you, peace.”

“Forgive my lack of manners, but there is a matter I want to broach with your father, but I am told the Emperor is not available.”

“That is true. He is overseeing one of his projects.” Which you very well know.

“I see. Perhaps, as one of his councillors, you might be able to advise me…”

“This is most unlike you, Mohan. I must say I am disappointed. Never before have you come to me in an attempt to gain access to my father.”

“Again, I ask forgiveness for my lack of manners. The matter is very important.”

“Perhaps I can hear it, and better judge what is to be done?”

Was that a look of satisfaction? Aurangzeb thought as the other man made to reply, “There is a man here in Red Fort, one who has turned his back upon God’s holy message and made mockery of our faith by engaging in worship before false idols.”

“Surely the determination of such is the purview of the learned religious courts?”

And therefore entirely under your thumb?

A sharp nod, “Normally, yes. However, this man, he is…favored by certain parties at court and, having been absent the court for years, the case against him has languished because of a lack of complaining witnesses.”

“What is it you would have of me?”

Mullah Mohan edged closer and said, voice tight with emotion, “A death, Shehezada.”


“I would see a sinner dead.”

“Who is this man?”

“Amir Salim Gadh Visa Yilmaz.”

“I have never heard of him.”

“He was sent into exile while you were still in the care of the harem.”

“He returns, despite exile? Surely that is sufficient grounds to have him executed and explain your actions later, if necessary?”

“I misspoke: he, specifically, was not exiled.”

Silently wishing for a better breed of ally, Aurangzeb responded carefully: “Mis-stated details lead to unintended deaths in such matters, Mullah.”

“Apologies, Shehezada, in my zeal to do God’s work, I overstep.”

“Yes, you do. Who is it that favors this man?”

“Your siblings, Shehazada.”


“Jahanara and Dara Shikoh, Shehazada.”

“I see. I take it, then, that this amir is also servant of Mian Mir?”

“He was once, yes.”

And therein lies the true reason you wish him dead.

“But no longer?”

“Truthfully, I do not know.”

“Yet you would have his head.”

Eyes glittering with intensity, Mohan nodded. “God wills it so, yes.”

God? Or your own pride? Aurangzeb had to turn his head to hide his incredulity. “Take no precipitous action. I will consider what to tell Father,” Aurangzeb said, turning to leave.

Mohan laid a hand on his arm.

Aurangzeb covered the offending hand with his own, pulled it from his arm and rolling Mohan’s fingers back and to the outside of the man’s shoulder, twisting fingers, hand and wrist.

Mohan, eyes wide, went to his knees.

Shifting his grip and pushing down, Aurangzeb thrust his face into the older man’s, “You dare lay hand upon me?”

White with pain and shock, Mohan struggled to speak, “I forget myself, such is my desire to do God’s work: please, the man must die.”


“Because G–“ Aurangzeb cut him off with more pressure. He had to lean over, he had bent and twisted the man’s arm so far.

“Your true reason. Tell me.”

Beads of sweat popped from beneath the mullah’s turban, “He refuses G–” the words were halted behind a cage of pain-clenched teeth.

Must I break his arm to get the truth?

“That may be, but there is something else. Answer.”

“Mian Mir always favored him.”


“Favored him over me. Loved him, not me…”

Aurangzeb released the man’s hand. Mohan pitched forward, cradling his arm.

“The truth will win you what you desire of me, Mohan. Remember this as you take what you want.”


Aurangzeb straightened, “Do what you will with this man, just be certain the act cannot be placed at my feet.”

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Two Articles That Give Cause for Alarm, and A Video Covering The Issue....

One is of a heinous crime, committed, it appears, for kicks: Shooting on SF Muni Rail

And the second article covers a more general trend that makes for bleak reading: People are stupid into their little worlds.

And this last, a voice of reason, from an entertainer: