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More free books? More free books!

Once more, with feeling.

I’m rounding out these Quarantine eBook Giveaways with three titles.

This time, it’s Volumes 3–5 from The Fallen Cloud Saga, my alternate history set in 19th century America. This will complete your five-book set, and this Thursday thru Monday (May 07–11), they are free.

As always, you don’t need the e-reader; you just need the app. It’s available for free, for PC, Mac, and all smart phones.

Feel free to share with friends, family, enemies.

The Fallen Cloud Saga (Vols 3–5)

Click the links below to visit each book’s page and get your free copy!

The Shadow of the Storm

The Cry of the Wind

Beneath a Wounded Sky

I hope these giveaways have helped you make it through quarantine.

Stay home
Stay healthy
Save lives

k

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First, a bit of business.
My third Quarantine eBook Giveaway is live, today through Monday.
Free books! Tell a friend.

Now, onward to a writing quandary that has been rattling around in my pea-brain this week.

When I was writing speculative fiction (alternate history, high fantasy, science fiction), my process was unaffected by changes in modern life. I was writing about times past, alternatives to the present, or imagined futures, so I didn’t have to worry about current trends or innovations. At most, if a piece was set in the near-future, I might have to extrapolate forward from the day’s news, but in general, I had free rein and could build the world as I wished. (more…)

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Free books, y’all.

Yip, I’m doing it again. To help you get through your quarantine/stay-at-home time, I’m giving away two more titles.

This time, they’re from The Fallen Cloud Saga, my alternate history set in 19th century America. It’s a five-book set, and tomorrow thru Monday (April 23–27), the first two ebooks in the series are free.

As always, you don’t need the e-reader; you just need the app. It’s available for free, for PC, Mac, and all smart phones.

Feel free to share with friends, family, enemies.

The Fallen Cloud Saga (Vols 1–2)

Click the links below to visit each book’s page and get your free copy!

The Year the Cloud Fell

The Spirit of Thunder

 

Keep checking in for updates and future titles.

Stay home
Stay healthy
Save lives

k

 

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First, a reminder that, to help you through isolation, two of my novels are available free of charge, in Kindle ebook format. Free thru this Sunday. Tell a friend.

Now, to the subject at hand.

It’s been a tough week, here. I’ve been fighting depression and towering rage in equal proportions. We’re all still healthy, here, so no worries on that front. No, what’s been troubling me is a trend that has been gathering steam in recent weeks.

As the pandemic crisis has grown in America, most states have issued “stay at home” orders. Here in Seattle, we were among the first to implement such measures, and they have proven effective in slowing the spread. We have cut the transmission rate in half, our hospitals have not been overwhelmed, people have not died because they couldn’t get proper treatment, and we’ve actually been able to send ventilators from Washington to some of the harder hit areas on the East Coast. That’s all good stuff, right there, but it has come at a cost.

Our local economy has taken a beating. Even with our state’s rather liberal definition of what constitutes an “essential business,” a lot of people have been laid off, furloughed, had hours drastically cut, or have found that their employers have simply closed up shop. Restaurants, always a razor-thin profit margin enterprise, have shuttered by the dozen. Family-owned businesses have closed doors that have stood open for decades. Artists and artisans have no place to display their wares, as Pike Place Market and other venues echo in emptiness. People are hurting, unable to pay bills, unable to pay for basic necessities.

It is this—the economic shutdown—that has given rise to a line of discourse that, to be frank, keeps me up at night and fills part of every day with hair-tearing, are-you-kidding-me incredulity. The argument I’ve been battling boils down to this:

The economy is more important than people.

I’ve heard it from the president, from senators, from right-wing pundits, and from folks I know online. “Open the economy.” “Time to get back to work.” All in total contradiction to what science and medicine are telling us is the safest way forward.

I am more than flabbergasted that this line of reasoning even exists. I am more than shocked that it should be promoted by such a large proportion of our society. I am more than offended, more than disgusted, more than outraged, more than appalled.

This rhetoric positively frightens me.

Make no mistake: this rhetoric puts a price tag on human lives. Those who espouse it are saying that it’s better to let people die than to lose money, and that’s some weapons-grade reasoning, right there.

It is unconscionable that this is even an acceptable stance. It is grotesque. And the fact that it primarily comes from the ideological bloc that also aligns itself with “pro-life” causes makes it doubly so.

Those who promote this view usually wrap it up in the guise of “more people will die from a failed economy than from C19,” but never do they support this assertion with any data. In fact, the data that do exist on the topic say the opposite. During the Great Depression, mortality rates dropped and longevity increased. It wasn’t a picnic, as any of our elders will attest, but society did not crumble. And why? Why didn’t society devolve into armed gangs and anarchy? Because we pulled together. We pulled together during the Great Depression, during WWII, and we are pulling together now. All of these stay-at-home orders? They are us, pulling together, to save our fellows, our neighbors, our selves.

Society does not exist to serve the economy. The economy exists to serve society. And it’s not like somehow, during this temporary shutdown, be it for two months or six or even more, the economy will disappear, crumbling into dust and ruin for lack of souls to feed upon.

It’s just an economy, stupid.

We built this economy, and we can build another if we have to. But we won’t have to, because after this hiatus our economy will be revivified. Hopefully, it will be different, requiring better care for all and better wages and conditions for those who we realize truly are essential workers, but it will be there, it is there, ready to get fired up, ready to go. Ready, for when we need it again.

But before that time, we must work to save lives, for without us, without our toil, there is no economy.

In the interim, go, read a book, watch a movie, make love, get a bit squiffy on whatever makes you squiffy. We will be OK, when we all emerge from our burrows and see once more the light of day. And I truly believe, we will be better for this, as long as we hold true to our ideals.

It’s people who make a society, and if we don’t band together against a common threat, what the hell is the point?

Stay safe.

k

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Hear ye, hear ye.

My second ISO-book-giveaway is now underway. Just my attempt to help folks through their self-isolation. Keep it up, guys! You’re doing great!

This time you can get The Ploughman Chronicles (my high-fantasy duology—biology? Two volume!—series set in 9th c. Brittany). Today thru Sunday, they are free of charge, in Kindle e-book format.

As always, you don’t need the e-reader; you just need the app. It’s available for free, for PC, Mac, and all smart phones.

Feel free to share with friends, family, enemies.

The Ploughman Chronicles

Ploughman’s Son (PC:1)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0052PJS24

Ploughman King (PC:2)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0052PJQU8

Keep checking in for updates and future titles.

k

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I’m avoiding pretty much all topics today because, to be honest, if I allow myself to start in on what I see around me, I’m liable to just go off, and it’d be hard for me to stop. In fact, I have about five posts in my Drafts folder that I will never publish, long screeds filled with passion, rants on topics of which I’m sure you’ve already had a bellyful, and of which you do not need another helping.

So, instead of holding forth, I’m turning it around . . . Howzit goin’?

Seriously. How is it going with you? Are you in a location without restrictions, or like me, in hard lockdown? What’s the mood, where you are? If you’re self-isolating, what have you noticed about your routines, your family, your time? Feel free to share down in the comments. (more…)

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What? You thought that just because I posted a book giveaway on Wednesday, there wasn’t going to be a regular post this week? Silly rabbit.

Reading is usually an escape for me, but while in COVID-lockdown, it’s been a challenge. Oh, I can read news articles fine (although I could do with fewer of them), but fiction? I just can’t seem to marshal the requisite mental focus to immerse myself in a novel. My mind is too easily distracted, too easily pulled out of the narrative, and I can only concentrate for twenty or so pages at a time, which frustrates me and compounds the problem.

Last week, though, I thought “Ah, but short stories!” A short story I figured I could handle, so I picked up a collection we’d recently brought home. The Birds and Other Stories, by Daphne du Maurier.

My first introduction to du Maurier’s fiction came via Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rebecca.” It’s a great movie and I recommend it highly, but the novel, ah, the novel! So many interesting and unusual choices in style and structure, with beautiful prose paintings and deep character studies. The book and movie both garnered deserved praise.

But, chances are, your introduction to Daphne came from a different du Maurier/Hitchcock collaboration, specifically “The Birds.” It was with this short story, written circa 1952, that I sat down, in an attempt to get my mind off All Things COVID. (more…)

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