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We offer everything from genre thrillers to literary novels to satires, memoir, and cultural commentary. Something for everyone!

An Interview with Dr. Michael Rectenwald

Doctor Michael Rectenwald’s most recent book is the dystopian sci-fi novel “Thought Criminal” which I read as part of the Unsafe Space book club. “Thought Criminal” is his first science fiction novel, but it is far from his first book. He’s the author of eleven books including “Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom” and “Beyond Woke”. And I had the pleasure of interviewing him.

Biden’s ‘Major’ Problem: The Challenges and Benefits of Owning a German Shepherd Dog

Behold the samurai of dog breeds!

The Biden family is to be commended for rescuing a shelter dog, but “Major” has been involved in breaking the President’s ankle, and bitten people twice on White House grounds. In some jurisdictions and under certain circumstances, that would mean a death sentence. The Bidens already have a older GSD named Champ that they have had for years, and Joe Biden claims he knows how to train them. It is clear enough, though, that due to his infirmity and/or his schedule he is unable to put what he knows, or thinks he knows, to use in socializing Major.

Book Review: Disarmingly Great

According to Publishers Weekly, somewhere between 1.5 million and 18 quadrillion books are self-published every year. Technology (read: Amazon) has so lowered the publishing bar that anyone with some spare time and a Pinot-fueled hallucination can see their book listed for sale within a day or two. I’ve sampled my fair share. My Kindle library is littered with self-published stories sold at a steep discount – or free – as authors fight for eyeballs and struggle to make a name for themselves.

The overwhelming majority of these are either awful (but not in a satisfying Showgirls way) or forgettable (but not in a compelling Clive Cussler way). If I finish one, it’s out of curiosity and not the result of a compelling narrative. And I never, ever find myself thinking about one of these novels over a year later.

Enter Disarming.

Thoughts and Well-wishes on Passover and Easter

When you write a column scheduled to appear at regular intervals, you face the inevitable challenge of the news cycle rendering the column obsolete, or the due date not corresponding with any scheduled event on which you can build the column.

Fortunately for me, the column you are reading now appears one day before the beginning of Passover, two days prior to Palm Sunday, and a little over a week from the end of Passover and Easter Sunday. That creates the opportunity for some philosophical musings on the significance of the two holidays, which more or less, but not precisely, coincide for reasons grounded in history.

I’ve written before about the relationship of the two holidays, and why their coincidence is not precise. Easter Sunday is always the first Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring Equinox on March 20th or 21st. That’s why it can vary from late March to mid-April. Passover falls in accordance with the Hebrew calendar, which is likewise lunar in its origin, but calculated a bit differently.

The Presumed Rise after the Fall of Civilization

If we fall, we’ll get back up again. If we tear it down, we’ll rebuild, bigger and better. That’s what we tell ourselves. That’s what we believe.

That isn’t necessarily what happens, as the ruined cities and collapsed civilizations scattered around the world demonstrate.

Where does this belief come from? And how does it affect societies, both in the real world and in science fiction?

A Faith-Drenched View of the South

American Masters’ Flannery O’Connor documentary sheds light on the Georgia author’s unique view of life.

Growing up on the outskirts of metro Atlanta, the city of Milledgeville was the punch line to jokes for a long time. For many years, the Central State Hospital was probably Milledgeville’s claim to fame (even though the town was the state capitol before Atlanta was), and the line was that if you were crazy enough, someone would take you to Milledgeville.

The funny thing is that Milledgeville has so much more going for it than a mental institution. It’s a college town, with Georgia College & State University responsible for much of the town’s social life, and one of Georgia’s greatest writers called it home.

I’ve cherished Flannery O’Connor’s work for decades, and her name even made its way into my book (which will soon see new life) back in 2015. Her short stories, novels, letters, and published prayer journals have gripped me for their Southernness as well as her emphasis on faith, though her Catholic upbringing and my Christian Church/non-denominational background give us different approaches to Christianity.

An Interview with Jason Hunt, CEO of Scifi4Me

This interview arose from the digital arguments when George Phillies merely proposed setting up pages to advertise N3F on Mewe and Parler. Mr. Hurt was defending free speech and the platforms themselves, so I contacted him for an interview. This is the result.

Jason Hunt is the CEO and publisher of SciFi4Me. Corporate Vision Magazine called them the best horror, science fiction and fantasy entertainment media news platform in 2020. And I had the opportunity to interview him.

Why Bridgerton Is the Most Subversive Show on Television

This review contains spoilers for Bridgerton Season 1

I wasn’t looking forward to watching Bridgerton, a new Netflix series which debuted on Christmas Day last year. I hadn’t read the novels – the show is based on Julia Quinn’s eponymous series – and was not familiar with Executive Producer Shonda Rhimes, who signed a $100 million contract with Netflix in 2017, even though everybody on the planet knows her work.

However, even if I had I been exposed to either of those things, I still wouldn’t have cared. There is no shortage of stories about priviledged British royals and their straphangers, and after a while the characters and plot lines all tend to blend together in my head. For me to want to be invested, I have to know I’m going to see something unique.

Downton Abbey accomplished this by focusing on the straphangers as much as the royals. That was interesting, and the entire series held my attention.

Bridgerton held my attention in perhaps the most subversive way possible in this day and age.

An Interview with Cedar Sanderson

I had the opportunity to interview science fiction and fantasy author Cedar Sanderson shortly after her novel The Violet Mouse became available.

An Interview with Author Kevin Trainor

According to Kevin Trainor’s bio, he’s an Army Security Agency veteran. He is a Russian/German/Spanish linguist and did signal intelligence and electronic warfare. He served four years active duty and another twelve years in the National Guard and Reserve. This is what led to his memoir What Did You Do in the Cold War, Dad? He’s also an avid anime and science fiction fan as well as a published sci-fi author.

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