Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pfizer wants a government bailout

With the lose of patent protection on Lipitor, Pfizer has announced it will seek bailout funds to make up for the devastating loss of revenue and profits.
FNN financial reporter Cash Kruggerand filed this report.
Pfizer reports that the loss of patent protection on Lipitor has had a stunning effect on the corporation's bottom line. A press release said in part, "The loss of revenue affects our ability to ability to research and develop new drugs.  Without new drugs in our development pipeline Pfizer will go into a death spiral."  The press release went on to say, "While the economic climate isn't conducive to corporate bailouts, an election year is coming up.  Every seat in the House and a third of the Senate seats are up for election.  This provides us with an opportunity to hire lobbyists and contact politicians.  They'll need money and we need a bailout.  It'll be a win-win for everyone.  Pfizer gets bailout money, politicians get cash that is vital to get reelected and in the years to come the voters have new drugs to help them live longer if they have enough money to buy our new drugs."
Pfizer stock rose 10 percent yesterday on news of the bold bailout bid.  A Wall Street analyst put it this way; "This shows that American ingenuity isn't dead.  This is a creative way to make up a serious revenue gap.  This is in the tradition started by the banks and other financial firms a few years ago: use other people's money."
Kruggerand points out that Pfizer has allocated 500 million dollars to this project and that greatly exceeds the going rate to buy the vote everyone currently in Congress.  Consequently, there is a good chance Congress will vote to give the bailout funds to the drug company
Kruggerand will stay with the story and provide more details about this brazen plan to fleece the public.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tales From Gundarland Reading Guide

Our Cultural Reporter Marcia Hammerhead filed this report.  She obtained a guide for Reading Groups covering Hank Quense's award-winningTales From Gundarland.  The guide was prepared by the  Thieves Guild Reading Circle using stolen copies of the book
Reading Group Guide:
1: Do you think Romeo really loved Juliet or did he woo her to simply piss off her brothers? Find material in the story to support your position.
2: Do you think Rolf and Ralf are sissies because they worry about what Ma thinks?
3: Why are heros like Zarro and The Lone Stranger so inept?  Do you think it is a result of theirTFG award cover upbringing? Or are they simply the wrong stuff?
4: Do you think the princesses will eventually seduce Knuben?  Who will win their contest?  Why will she win?  Will she be happy she won?
5: Why does Maestro Andante only use three kazoos in his band?  Would more kazoos have effected the outcome?  Would five kazoos make a more mellow sound?  Defend your answer?
6: Did Duchess Stilken cheat on her husband with General MacDwarfen before the husband's death?  Cite evidence to support your opinion.
7: How many passive sentences did I use in the book?  List them.
8: In Merchant of Venison, can you add any 'D' words to the court scene?
9: In Rescuing Princesses, why didn't Burga throw the recalcitrant princess, over his shoulder and rescue her anyway?  Explain this lack of dedication to the rescue.  Does this indicate a possibly fatal flaw in Burga's psyche?
10: How can the stories in this collection be used to foster galactic peace? Explain in twenty-five words of less.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Iphone thievery

I saw this on the news the other night: there is a new crime wave in NYC.  Thieves are ripping iPhones out of the hands of folks who are using them on the street.  The thief then runs and away and disappeared in the crowds. This has reached epidemic proportions.

One such thief snatched a phone out of someone's hand, noticed it was a Blackberry and handed it back.

I'm sure this incident won't be reported in the Research in Motion annual report.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Faux News Network: Interview with Gongeblazn

Faux News Network has attained exclusive rights to interview Gongeblazn, the antagonist of Zaftan Miscreants, a novel by the unknown (for good reasons) author Hank Quense.  Gongeblazn is an alien of the zaftan persuasion.  FNN uses a new technology called Wormhole Connectivity to communicate with Zaftan 31B, the alien home world which is in a parallel world.
Here is our cultural reporter Marcia Hammerhead.
Ms Hammerhead: Tell us about your background
G.  My nest mother and father were both highly respected for their skills.  My father was the most famous and accomplished assassin in our home world.  Top politicians and corporate leaders vied for his services and paid huge amounts of money to have daddy blow someone up.  He was so successful, he got the nickname, Widow Maker.  Unfortunately, a gang of those widows trapped him in an alley and cut him to pieces with kitchen knives.  My Ma was equally famous as a poisoner.  A gallon of her special tea could wipe out an entire party.  In her dotage, she accidentally flavored her meal with the poison. 
I chose to take a different career path and joined the navy, although I do use the skills my daddy taught me.
Ms Hammerhead: Mr. Gongeblazn, tell us about your role in the novel.
G: What does mister mean? Is it some sort of subtle insult?  If so, I will demand satisfaction.
Ms Hammerhead:  It is no insult, it's a term of honor.
G. I accept your explanation.  My role is misunderstood.  I'm considered to be a villain, but the reality is that I'm a hero and a patriot who defended the home word against vicious enemies, despicable allies and other low-lifers.
Ms Hammerhead: How can you be a hero and a patriot when you lost two fleets of ships and turned to piracy at the end?
G Obviously, you have been subjected to propaganda from my enemies.  They will go to any lengths to blacken my reputation.
Ms Hammerhead: How can they blacken your reputation?  You've murdered any number of you peers and superiors as well as betrayed others.
G: Of which I'm justly proud.  Assassination and treachery are the hallmarks of a superior Zaftan.  The fact that I'm still alive shows my superiority over those who are dead.  Especially the ones I murdered.
Ms Hammerhead: At the end of the novel, you are captured and will be tried for piracy and face the death penalty, this ending your career.
G: Not necessarily. I'm negotiating with the author to let me escape from prison and take a roll in the next book, so I may be back.  I'm also entertaining offers for my life history and a producer is exploring a musical version of Zaftan Miscreants with me playing myself.
Ms Hammerhead: Thank you for the interview.  FNN will be interviewing more of author Hank Quense's characters.  Look for these reports.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Trump Energizes the Republican Party

This is an exclusive Faux News Network report.

The Republican Party has hit a wall.  With Cain gone, Perry getting ignored and Bachman missing, the fun has gone out of reading about the candidates or watching them on TV.  Gingrich and Romney are boring.  Donald Trump recognized the problem and inserted himself into the middle of the campaign by agreeing to moderate a debate.  Trump has provided a missing ingredient in the campaign; fun.  Trump can make the candidates more ridiculous and irrelevant than they can ever do by themselves.

With his stunning announcement about moderating a Republican debate Trump has sent shock waves through the ranks of the voters.  FNN political reporter Stacy Conundrum traveled the streets and interviewed voters to get their opinions on this situation.

Stacy (in New York City) What do think about the Donald Trump debate?
Voter 1: Great stuff.  The Republican debates have become dull.  Some of the candidates have stopped talking off the cuff because they're afraid of saying something stupid.  Again.  Once they get on the stage with Trump, there's no telling what kind of silly stuff will happen. This could be the death of the Republican Party.  

Stacy (in Iowa) What do your think about the Donald Trump debate?
voter 2: You sound like you're from New York or some sinful place like that. Get off my lawn before I call the cops,

Stacy: (in Kansas) What do you think about the Donald Trump debate?
Voter 3: Trump has a debate?  Did they finally cancel his awful show?  That's good news.  But if this new show is like the old one, why bother watching?

Stacey: (In Seattle) What do you think about the Donald Trump Debate?
Voter 4: Trump?  Who the hell is Trump?  Am I supposed to know who the guy is?  I got stuff to do.  Get out of my face.

Stacy.  My travels will continue and I'll file more reports later.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Zaftan Miscreants Blog Tour

Join me in my blog tour starting next Monday, December 6.  It runs thru Friday, December 16.  Each day, I'll be at different site to answer questions or respond to comments.
The list of sites is shown below:
Monday, December 5th
Guest blogging at Café of Dreams
Tuesday, December 6th
Interviewed at Blogcritics
Wednesday, December 7th
Guest blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
Thursday, December 8th
Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book!
Friday, December 9th
Interviewed at The Hot Author Report
Monday, December 12th
Interviewed at Paperback Writer
Tuesday, December 13th
Guest blogging at Inkyblots
Wednesday, December 14th
Book excerpt featured at Between the Covers
Thursday, December 15th
Book spotlighted at Broowaha
Friday, December 16th

Friday, December 2, 2011

Giant head coach confused by media attention

This is another FNN exclusive report by Jock Strapper who covers sports for FNN.
Giant head coach Tom Coughlin said today that he is puzzled by all the media attention surrounding the current three game losing streak.
He told FNN! "We've been doing this for years, so why is everyone acting like this is a major story.  For a number of years now, we've racked up a great record during the first half of the year and then have problems winning a game in the second half.  This is not news."

Coughlin went to explain that during the pre-season, he and his coaching staff put together a single game plan to use during the entire season. "That relieves us of the onerous task of making a new game plan every week.  We can concentrate on other issues, like holding press conferences."

FNN asked if Coughlin thought the other teams were on to the Giants season-long game plan and had developed plans to neutralize the Giants plays.

Coughlin didn't think the other teams would be so crude as to decipher the Giant game plan.  "That smacks of underhandedness.," he said.  He added that the coaching staff tinkered with the master game plan to compensate for injuries.  This would also confuse the opponents who studied the Giant game plan
He told FNN that he thought the Giants would win another game or even two before the end of the season.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A plan for long-term Federal debt reduction

Faux News Network political reporter Stacy Conundrum has learned one aspect of this plan from a Tea Party operative who demanded anonymity because the plan hasn't been finalized.  The plan, according to the source, will be the cornerstone of the Tea Party's initiative to lower longtime Federal spending.  The operative described part of the plan this way.  "The first step will be to overturn Obama's health plan.  This will eliminate health benefits for over thirty million Americans.  Without access to health care, many of these people will die early, before they are old enough to qualify for Social Security and Medicare.  While this will not solve the Federal deficit by itself it certainly represents a positive step forward to longterm financial stability."  She continued, "If even half of that thirty million don't live long enough to collect, the savings will be enormous."

Our source said the plan would be rolled out in the next few months, Stacy reported, and they expect all of the Republican Presidential candidates to endorse the plan and that they will agree that they have found the key to long-term deficit reduction.

The source concluded by saying, "This type of creative legislation will allow us to continue to give tax breaks to the oil industry, deregulate the banking industry and maintain the farm subsidies, all of which are vital elements in our national interest."

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Anti-Orwellian Developments

Have you noticed how many stores and public places now have video cameras? They record everything going on around them.  Sounds a bit like Orwell's 1984, doesn't it?  Except--how many times have you seen a film clip of a crime in progress on the TV news? Using the cameras to identify criminals and protect private property isn't exactly Orwellian.
And then there are the Smartphones.  Almost everyone has one and most of them can shoot video clips.  In what amounts to an anti-Orwellian development, people use those smartphones to record acts of violence and unlawful activity such as police brutality.  The videos, posted on the web, are seen by millions of people.
Unfortunately, many police officers don't seem to understand that the brutality they are accustomed to use without fear of reprisals is now permanently documented and subjected to public scrutiny.
It is mind-boggling that neither criminals nor the police seem to have grasped the impact of the new technology on their traditional method of operations.  The  crooks continue to pull off robberies under the eye of the camera.  The cops continue to brutalize peaceful demonstrators as if they were invisible and unaccountable for their actions.
These developments certainly weren't foreseen by Orwell when he wrote his horrific novel. 
What do you think about these developments?

Friday, November 25, 2011


Check out the new freebies pages on my website Strange Worlds.  You can find a story, fiction writing articles and even mind-maps all ready to be down-loaded. More stuff will become available over time so bookmark the site

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Congressional Greed

Can you believe the imbeciles we have in Washington?  Congress is composed equally of those who are frightened to raise taxes and those who are scared to cut expenses.  The don't fear the wrath of the voters; they fear the wrath of their corporate masters who have bought their loyalty.
Why do we tolerate this nonsense?  Why do we allow these idiots to remain in office?
The obvious response to this situation is to take action next spring.  Many of our corrupt or stupid representatives will be running for reelection in 2012.  They have to go through a primary election and there is where we must act.  We must swarm to the ballot box and vote for the challengers.  Once the incumbent loses the primary election, we will have a new set of representatives who may act in the best interest of the voters. Until they get comfortable with the money the lobbyists drop on their desks to buy their votes. Then we will have to clean house again.  Since we don't have automatic terms limits, we, the voters, must implement out own term limits.  
And don't tell me everyone in Congress is corrupt except YOUR Representatives and Senators.  They are ALL corrupt and have to be voted out of office.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Two new interviews

Two new interviews of mine have appeared over the last week.
Both are interviews about Zaftan Miscreants.  Check them out.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Merchant of Venison; a sample read

One of the stories in Tales From Gundarland is my version of one of Shakespeare's most famous stories.  I transported it to Gundarland and changed the main characters slightly.  The entire story can be read in my award-winning collection of six short stories and two novellas.
© 2010
In response to Bassanio's urgent plea, Antonio hurried along the still-dark streets of Dun Hythe to the home of his friend.  Since Bassanio rarely awoke before noon, the reason for the early morning meeting must be extraordinary.
He turned off the cobblestone main road and walked the unpaved side streets towards the city walls where Bassanio's house stood by itself.  After his experiments had destroyed his last three homes, two by fire and one by explosion, the city leaders demanded that Bassanio live in isolation from nearby houses.TFG award cover
In front of the house, he paused to straighten his brown jerkin and to adjust his rust-colored cloak before he knocked on the front door.  Bassanio's pale face and red-rimmed eyes alarmed him.  He wore a yellow dressing gown pocked with burn holes and old, fluffy slippers with bunny faces sewed into them.  An elf, Bassanio towered over Antonio's dwarfish figure, but he stooped as if suffering from exhaustion.  His long, light brown hair, now disheveled, partially concealed his face.  Considered the most handsome male in Dun Hythe, he looked far from his best this morning.  "Good! You're here," he said.  "Come in."  His breath reeked of stale wine.
Antonio entered the front room of the house and was greeted by the acrid stink of burnt chemicals.  He noticed that more ceiling beams had been charcoaled since his last visit.  Bassanio's lab was in the back of the house, but he frequently performed experiments wherever he happened to be.
"Are you all right?"  Antonio asked.  "You look like a zombie."  He tugged his short, brown beard in distress.
"I was up late."  Bassanio plowed a hand through his hair.  "Working on a plan to ensure my fortune.  I need your help."
"Tell me," Antonio said.  Bassanio was his best friend and had been ever since they met in the Academy for Agriculture, Business and Science.  He majored in business while Bassanio took science.
"It has to do with Portia."  Bassanio sat down at a low table, picked up a scalpel and chopped up a brown weedy material know as pipeweed, a mild hallucinogenic, into small bits.  "I need money to get her hand in marriage."
Antonio's heart skipped a beat at the mention of her name.  "I thought you two were in love.  You need to woo her some more?"
"Portia loves me and has agreed to marry me whenever her father gives permission.  I need a loan so I can woo the old geezer.  He suspects I'm irresponsible."
"He suspects?  The man must be a lack-wit."  Antonio smiled.  "Everyone in town knows you're irresponsible."
"Very funny."  Bassanio made a face while he massaged his forehead with one hand and continued cutting the pipeweed with the other.
"You must have drunk a lot of wine last night developing this plan."
"Wine loosens the brain cells and encourages innovative thinking."  He scraped a pile of small brown bits into a straight line.  "So, can you lend me three thousand silver pennies?"
"What?  It'll take me years to sell that much venison.  I'll have to take out a loan.  Why so much?"
"You know Portia's old man is filthy rich.  It'll take lots of money to impress him.  I can pay you back right after we marry.  That'll be in three months at the longest."  He took a thin glass tube out of his pocket and lined it up with the brown bits.
"What are you doing?"
"Smoking pipeweed can ease the effects of a hangover, but that is inefficient.  First, you have to find a pipe and then you need to light it and it takes time for the smoke to have an impact.  I'm investigating a new approach.  One that will accelerate the effects."
Antonio made a face and shook his head.  Bassanio never stopped his experiments into new ways to get high or to mitigate the aftereffects of the high.  Someday, one of his experiments would end up killing him.  His eyebrows still hadn't completely grown back since one recent experiment ended in spectacular fashion and involved every fireman in the city.
Bassanio put an end of the tube in one nostril, stopped the other nostril with a finger pressed to the outside.  He inhaled the chopped pipeweed.  He gagged and dropped the tube.  His eyes opened wide and his face turned red.  After a few unsuccessful tries, he sneezed so violently that he and the chair tumbled backwards and crashed to the floor.  After righting the chair, he sat down again, coughing and wiping his running nose.
"I guess," Antonio said, "there's a reason they call it pipeweed and not snortweed."
Bassanio groaned.  "Once I marry Portia, I'll hire an assistant to do this part of the experiments."  After another coughing and sneezing fit, he said, "So what about the money?  I can't get a loan, but I'm sure you can."
"I hate going to a money lender, but I'll have to.  Are you sure you can pay me back in three months?"
"Not a problem."  Bassanio waved a hand dismissively.  "I'll pay you back long before then."

Friday, November 11, 2011

Alien Sex!

Have you ever wondered how aliens Do It?
Wonder no  more.  My novel Zaftan Miscreants has an erotic sex scene in it.  Between 2 hideous aliens.  Guaranteed to make you gag. Or laugh. Or both. One of the participants is my heroine, Klatze, pictured here.

If that isn't enough for you, there is also a sex scene between an android and a ship's main computer.

Zaftan Miscreants, part of my Strange Worlds.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Faux News Network: Republican Demands More Regulation

Stacy Conundrum, FNN political reporter, talked exclusively to Dr. Phillip Pompous, an economist and CEO of a conservative think-tank who advises the Republicans on regulatory manners.
SC: why do the Republicans aver that the financial industry doesn't require additional regulation to keep them from perpetrating another disaster like the one we still haven't recovered from?
PP:  Like most liberal media types, you have no idea about what caused the meltdown and you blame the easiest target available.  The cause of the problem was the middle-class property owners who couldn't pay off their mortgages.   How dumb can these people be, taking on a mortgage that they can't pay off.  Didn't these people ever hear of working a second or third job to get the money to pay off the mortgage?  The financial industry was left on the hook because of these incompetent, lazy mortgage holders.
SC: isn't it true that the financial industry enticed the mortgage holders with misleading offers and half-truths?
PP: More liberal propaganda.  Blame the victims.  Without the stupendous efforts of the financial industry to repair the damage caused by the unprincipled mortgage holders, the country would have slipped into a full-blown depression.  Instead of praising the banks and other financial corporations for their heroic actions to staunch the monetary bleeding, the media blames the banks and spreads the lies put out by the government.
SC: Wait a minute.  The heroic efforts you just mentioned, wasn't it the taxes paid by the middle-class that bailed out the banks?
PP: The dishonest mortgage holders drove the banks to the brink of bankruptcy.  The use of the tax-payer bailout money was necessary and was the best use of taxes in the last several decades.  The government should set up a ongoing fund for corporations to tap when they need additional cash for some purpose. But without all the red tape and oversight of the last time.
SC: So your position and the position of the Republican Party is that the banks don't need more regulation and oversight. Is that correct?
PP: Of course it's correct.  The problem isn't the banks or the energy industry or other corporations, the problem is the middle-class and the poor.  They're the ones causing all the problems in the country.  Unions use negotiating tactics to drain profits from corporations, thus depriving stock holders of needed dividends.  People sue corporations to get compensation for accidents caused by their own stupidity.  We have to stop this guerilla warfare against corporate interests.
SC: So where do you stand on regulation?
PP: Actually, I am in favor of much more regulation and oversight, but not on corporations.  It is desperately required to be applied to the masses.  The government has completely missed the point of regulation.  It has to regulate the actions of the middle- and lower-classes.  The aim of the regulations will be to protect the corporations from these predatory cheaters and liars.  The regulations must make it a crime to walk away from a mortgage and cause a loss to the banks.  Consumers must be prohibited from suing corporations for any reason. Unemployment benefits must be cut.  There are plenty of jobs available. If an illegal alien can find a job, an unemployed can find the same job.  If a few million unemployed took the jobs from the illegals, we'd eradicate several of our nasty national problems.  That is the direction we must get the government to go in.
SC: That's it from FNN news. I'll interview more politicians after I recover from this one.  It may take a while.

Monday, November 7, 2011

FNN Report: Responsible Godhood Movement Gains Traction.

Today, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street Movement, thousands of protesters gathered in front of churches and temples to decry the slipshod methods used by the Creator.  They demanded change and insisted on higher quality control by used by the so-called omniscient deity currently in charge of production.
FNN Religious Reporter Matthew Mark Lukejohn interviewed the movement leader Thaddeus Humbug about the Movement's objectives. Here's his interview.
MMLJ: Why are these people protesting against God?
TH: We are disgusted with the shoddy workmanship put out by He/She/It.  For eons, people have accepted the substandard garbage because they didn't know better.  Well, no more.  Science now allows to identify the defects that plague the production process.  Our movement is calling He/She/It out and demanding changes.
MMLJ: Can you give us examples of what your demonstrating against?
TH: Sure.  We are against people getting born with genes that make it highly likely they will get cancer at an early age.  We're standing up for people born with weak hearts.  We are vehemently against babies getting born with birth defects.  These babies have little or no chance of having a normal life.  Why do these innocent babies have to suffer just because He/She/It can't put out a decent product?
MMLJ: How do you think the process can be improved?
TH: What are all the saved souls doing?  As far as we can tell, they just sit around and sing Hosannas.  It's about time they were put to work on quality control.  And then there's all those angels.  What exactly is their role?  Why aren't they helping out?  Why don't they get busy stopping wars or eliminating pollution?  And don't get me started on why churches and temples need all the gold and treasures that are stored inside them.  Why does He/She/It need treasure?  What does He/She/It do with it?
MMLJ: So your movement is also protesting against the idle saved, the heavenly staff and excessive church wealth?
TH: Exactly.  But out protest is mostly demanding production changes.  The process probably hasn't had a decent quality review since it was started. And whose fault is that?  He/She/It is so pompous and arrogant He/She/It can't conceive of the possibility that the process is defective and can be improved.  This pomposity and arrogance must end.  We demand changes and we want to be involved in the decision making process.  Until the situation improves, we will continue to camp out on church grounds and insist on process improvements.
This is Matthew Mark Lukejohn reporting from The Church of the Holy Elbow in Weehawken, New Jersey.  I'll continue to cover this breaking story.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Five Star review

Zaftan Miscreants has picked up another five-star review. The review reads in part:
The story line itself was not just one cut and dried road, it had a lot of little twists and side-stories and I don't want to give away too much but a lot of the goings-ons could really be paralleled to things happening here and now. Life, love, government, deception, lies, hope, despair, it's all in there wrapped up with some of the best satirical humor I've ever read. Just like a good spaghetti sauce IT'S IN THERE. 

Once you pick up this book and take a taste, you don't wanna put it down til your overly full and sated. 

I would recommend this first to anyone with a sense of humor! Secondly to all fans of sci-fi who are looking for something just a little different. 

Check it out!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Zaftan Miscreants Sample

The book's antagonist, Gongeblazn, is freed from prison where he heard tales of a famous pirate, Blackbeard the Dwarf. Gongeblazn, who believes he is channeling the famous pirate, changes his name to Blackbeard, steals a trading vessel and recruits a crew from the galaxy's worst tavern.  In this scene he musters the crew for the first time:
With everyone on board, Blackbeard called a muster.  He looked over his crew as they stood approximately at attention, most holding their noses and breathing through their mouths.  They consisted of a half-dozen porcines, three zaftans, five dwarfs, one elf, seven humans, the yuk bartender and a half-pint.  He looked down on the diminutive would-be pirate and said, "I do not remember ya signin' The Articles."
"I did sign them."
Blackbeard unrolled The Articles and scanned the signatures.  "What's yer name?"
"Harry Hotspur.  I was a teacher in the high school, but I decided to go adventuring."
"By the tides, ye did sign up. It's just that yer a bit small to be a pirate.  Someone will step on ye when we board a ship."
"I make up for my small stature by being overly aggressive."
"And ya talk funny."
"I'm a political science teacher and it's pretty boring stuff."
"He's kinda useless as a pirate," the former bartender said.  "Maybe, we could throw him at da other crew we when board dere ship."
"Useless, am I?"  Harry charged at the yuk, lowered his head at the last moment and rammed it into the yuk's crotch.  The yuk folded up with a whooshing sound and collapsed to the deck."
"Arrgh, where did ya learn that trick?" Blackbeard asked.
"From my students.  To survive in that high school, one has to be tough and a fast learner.  The students are vicious."
Blackbeard turned his attention to the rest of the crew.  "It has come to me notice that none of ye has a peg leg.  A good crew needs a peg leg or two.  Who will volunteer to get a leg hacked off so he can use a peg leg?"
"Ask one of them," a dwarf replied and jerked a thumb towards the zaftans.  "They look like they can do without a tentacle or two."
"Are ye daft?  Who ever heard of a pirate with a peg tentacle?"  He scanned his forces.  "Anyone own a parrot?"
No one answered.
"All pirate ships have a parrot.  Computer!  Buy a parrot as soon as ye can."
"Live or stuffed?" Slash 9 asked.
"Either one.  Now then.  None of ye are wearin' eyepatches.  Anyone want to get an eye gouged out so ye can look like a salty dog of a pirate?"
"I can hardly see out of my right eye," a porcine said.  "I'll wear a patch if you like."
"Arrrgh!  A volunteer.  Right, put it on."
"Can't.  I don't got one."
"I know.  Order eyepatches.  Black ones I suppose."
"Right.  And order some peg legs and crutches.  Mayhap, one of these lads will lose a limb boarding a ship."  Brimming with pride over his new command and crew, he dismissed them to let them discover the ship had only a dozen bunks for the crew of twenty-four.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Zaftan Miscreants up for adoption!

The "Adopt an Indie" website has my book waiting to be adopted.  It involves getting a copy (free) and reading it, then ask me and other authors questions and/or writing a review.  The event runs during the entire month of November.
The link to my page on the site is here.  And here is the request form.  Fill it out to adopt my novel.  Laughter guaranteed.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Zaftan Miscreant Review

Hank Quense has done it again! His addition of Slash 9, the ship's computer, who wants to control the ship and demands Sam's allegiance brings laughter. But his character Dot 38, an antique robot who has been floating in space for years, is absolutely hilarious. It is portrayed as a spreader of the good news waiting for the Mechanical Messiah to come and save all of the mechanical beings. Then after a knock on the head, it decides the best solution is to form unions for all types of mechanical devices including the Council of Clocks and the Amalgamated Appliances Association.

If there was ever an author born to write satire, Hank Quense is our man. While reading Zaftan Miscreants I couldn't help but compare it to our own world of events. The names and looks may have been changed to protect the innocent, but the insinuations are definitely familiar. As with the 1st book in this series, I have laughed hard as I pictured the scenes in my mind and as I pictured the character from the author's description. Hank Quense is truly a man with an imagination!
Martha Cheves: 5 stars

You can read the entire review on Amazon

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Death of Democracy

This is my personal opinion based on reading history and current event articles.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is protesting a number of issues, but the primary one that links all the issues together is the death of democracy that started with the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War.  
The cause of death is the spectacular success of unfettered and loosely regulated capitalism.  The politicians in Washington who were supposed to protect the Constitution and our democratic way of life have become slaves to the money faucet that capitalism has turned on in the form of lobbyists and campaign donations.  
Our democratic system has been replaced by an oligarchy of money and influence.
While this change has been going on for a number of years, perhaps starting as long ago as 1776, the change process completed under Bush and Cheney, who are part of the oligarchy, and it took several years before we got the full impact. 
The oligarchs are powerful leaders in the energy, drug, defense, banking and other major industries.  They dictate policy to their bought Congressmen and the oligarchs expect their congressional minions to implement the demands.  This means that all legislature passed in Congress is tilted to favor the oligarchs thus making their hold on the country even stronger
How do we take back democracy? I don't know the answer, but we can't expect Congress to turn off the money faucet by itself.  
Some partial answers are to overturn the Supreme Court's ruling that corporations are people with a right to free speech (I.e. campaign donations).  Lobbyists must be strictly regulated or even banned.  A giant step in the right direction would be to institute strict term limits on Congress.  A wave of fresh blood makes it much harder and expensive for the oligarchs to control Congressmen who are constantly getting replaced.  They would be reluctant to fork over money to a Congressman who will soon be out of a job.