106 Years Ago Today: Why did the Titanic Sink?

It takes 7 Cascade Events to lead to a disaster. What can we learn from these events? What were the 7 events in the case of the Titanic?

Cool Gus wants me to remind you that Area 51: Redemption comes out in 9 days. It will also have the opening of Area 51: Invasion at the end, which comes out in July. The print version of Redemption is available now and the audio will be by publications date, the 24th.

“Historic” and “Unprecedented:” Wild Fire Threat. Are you ready? Do you know what to do?

If you live in the red area on this map, you must read this.

A large portion of the country is facing what is being called a history and unprecedented wildfire condition. Dry and windy is a very dangerous combination. Wildfires move fact and are unpredictable. Here is how to prepare and what to do if caught in one. You cannot prepare after it starts!

 

Cool Gus reviews Paterno on HBO

Paterno covered a very difficult topic. The focus wasn’t so much on Paterno as the reporter who initially wrote about the story, but even then, it moved around a lot.

I thought it was well done.

Overall, the feeling I had was one of sadness and disbelief. While there was awareness of what Sandusky was doing, it seemed no one wanted to really face it. They knew it was wrong but it just didn’t seem important enough for any one person to step up inside the institution. That is rather stunning but gives one an idea how easily people can duck responsibility and pass the buck.

Spotlight was a better movie, focusing on the Roman Catholic Church in Boston.

In both cases we see how adults who have no experience in this area treat is as relatively insignificant without understanding how utterly life-destroying adults preying on children can be. It destroys a child’s development in ways that can never be fixed. They are broken and they will always be broken. At best they can cope with it.

Al Pacino did a good job presenting Paterno as confused, touched by guilt, but overall oblivious. The next game was always more important.

A game is not life.

Cool Gus gives it three paws up with a cone for sensitive material.

 

Area 51 Redemption paperback is live

Even though pub date is 24 April, the Createspace paperback went live early. Computers, gotta love ’em. Here it is: Area 51: Redemption

The kindle version will be live on the 24th, although the pre-order is working.

The audio is completed and going through checks and I’ll update as soon as it is live, but I’m hoping next week.

Tentative cover for Area 51: Invasion which will be out on 17 July. The writing is going really well. Doing a planet-wide invasion is a lot of fun.

Cool Gus reviews The Crossing, two episodes in

Checked out the first two episodes of The Crossing. First, not the greatest title. For some reason it makes me think of The Bridge or some spy movie, when it’s actually a time travel thriller. I get it, but for me, it didn’t click.

The premise is solid and ingenious and this really isn’t giving anything away as they tell us in the first episode: people travel back to our time from the future to escape oppression– immigrants. Pretty timely, no pun intended, given current events.

Also, the opening is scary– they appear in our time in the ocean, below the surface. That’s like, oh shit. Bummer. So most drown.

The protagonist, Steve Zahn, is good– still love him from his comedy movie Happy, Texas.

The woman who develops as the female lead from the immigrants–without too much spoiler– we see her back story in episode two and I really hope there’s more to it than her randomly making a decision one day to switch sides just because she sees a baby. I mean, what, she never saw one before? So she throws away everything? If it doesn’t give me more depth on WHY that day, she decided to entirely flip sides, I don’t think I can keep going with it. Also, the conspiracy thing is, I don’t know, getting kind of old where we don’t know who the good guys and bad guys are. I get it, I do it in my writing too, but at a point when I don’t have a vested interest in the characters, it’s hard to stay. Even Zahn was given a kind of boilerplate character: the sheriff who is separated/divorced and trying to maintain a relationship with his son, but you know, hey these time travelers keep getting in the way.

Nevertheless, an intriguing premise and lots of possibilities in story. Worth hanging on for some more episodes. Cool Gus rates it, he’ll keep watching if I give him a treat.

Two Weeks Until Publication of Area 51: Redemption

I’m very excited about the reboot of my Area 51 series. It’s been ten years since the last book, and Area 51: Redemption picks up right at the end of Area 51: The Truth . It appears humans have defeated the Airlia, but things are never quite as they appear and often we are our own worst enemy. The rogue Watchers, the Myrddin, have their own plan for the future of mankind and it doesn’t include most of us. And there’s something else coming, from outside the Solar System, the will change everyone’s plans.

I learned a lot about the Solar System during my research for this book, including how much we don’t know. That’s a recurring theme in my Area 51 books: we don’t know as much as we think we know. Why were the pyramids built? Why were the statues on Easter Island built? Stonehenge? Was Atlantis real? Who was Jack the Ripper? Just a few topics covers in the series.

Right now I’m well into Area 51: Invasion which will be out on 17 July.

Cool Gus says: nothing but good times ahead. And he’ll be out of the cone soon. Meanwhile he’s picking up some interesting transmissions from outer space.

FREE 4/8 to 4/10 Dragon Sim-13 (Green Berets)

Dragon Sim-13

Technically, this was the first book I wrote– although it came out after Eyes of the Hammer (which is also FREE).

I based it on a thought I had one time when we’d gotten alerted to implement our war plan and didn’t know if it was an exercise or the real thing.

It got pretty good reviews.

Kirkus Reviews: “Fascinating, imaginative and nerve-wracking. Mayer’s tough, businesslike soldiers again include a tough, businesslike female.”
FREE here: https://amzn.to/2JrwvmG
 
Dragon SIM-13 is an elaborate computerized command post exercise to test the readiness of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). The scenario calls for a U.S. Army Special Forces strike against a strategic target in China. But when thousands of students are massacred in Tiananmen Square during democracy protests, the rules change. Meng, the computer genius behind the SIM program, sees a way to avenge a hatred that had been festering for over 20 years, and tip the scales of freedom. With the push of a button on his master computer, simulation becomes a reality: the Dragon mission is actually launched.

156 Years Ago today: Shiloh “Place of Peace”

Today, 156 years ago, was the second day of the battle of Shiloh.

Last night, US Grant sat under an oak tree, his army battered and on the verge of defeat. Many of his subordinates were urging he retreat back across the TN River and yield the field.

On the other side, Beauregard, who taken over for the mortally wounded General Albert Sidney Johnston, had cabled that victory was in grasp.

Two days of fighting at Shiloh in 1862 would produce more casualties than all previous American Wars combined and shock the nation. The true carnage of the Civil War was revealed. I’ve walked the battlefield many times and it’s an amazing experience. Especially to follow how the battle flowed over two days.There are places whose names are written in blood: Sunken Road, Bloody Pond and others.

Below is a brief excerpt from Sumter To Shiloh the third book in the epic series: Duty, Honor, Country. The series follows two West Point cadets from the Academy in 1842 and their interaction with the great people of the time and the events of history. The first book is free on all eBook platforms HERE.

General William Tecumseh Sherman stared warily at the glowing end of the cigar Sam Grant was puffing on. A flickering lantern highlighted the deep shadows on his old friend’s face. After consulting with the other division commanders and coming to a unanimous conclusion, Sherman was going to tell Grant it was best to immediately put the river between their army and the rebels, but something on Grant’s face stopped the words. Sherman stood still for a moment, rain dripping down on his hat.

“Well, Grant, we’ve had the devil’s own day, haven’t we?”

The cigar glowed as Grant puffed and in that dim light he saw Ben’s blood on his hands. Then he spoke. “Yep. Lick ‘em tomorrow, though.”

On other fronts, Cool Gus claims he is starting to pick up transmissions from outer space, but he is healing nicely.

And Area 51: Redemption comes out in a couple of weeks and the next book, Area 51: Invasion is progressing very well. Nothing but good times ahead!

Long Term Memory and the Soldier

My wife and I had an idea for a book a few years back but never got around to writing it. Basically, one of the goals of the military is to make the soldier “more efficient”. If you have a soldier that can go for 24 hours, you are increasing the efficiency. We try that now with various drugs, but there is the danger of the “crash” once the drugs wear off. We came up with an idea for modifying the soldier to allow them to always be awake on a mission. However, the problem is that long term memory is laid down while asleep. Thus an always awake soldier might have memory problems. So we thought of having a “sleeper” on the team. The one who carried the knowledge.

Now the military is coming up with a way to increase memory.

DARPA-funded prosthetic memory system successful in humans, study finds

The future is now. And it’s both exciting and scary.

 

 

 

Don’t forget that the entire Area 51 series is on sale for only $1.99 each; this is in advance of the release of Area 51: Redemption on 24 April! Nothing but good times ahead, as long as Cool Gus continues to heal.

Cool Gus reviews El Ministerio del Tiempo– The Ministry of Time

Following my not so thrilled review of The Titan, a Netflix original, I found another show on Netflix regarding time travel, a topic near to my heart given my Time Patrol series.

El Ministerio del Tiempo is, obviously, Spanish. Subtitled, which I actually kind of like. Spanish, unlike German, is easy on the ears. Not as exotic as French, where even getting called nasty names sounds good. Anything in German sounds like its going to be followed by an actual Blitzkrieg. I liked the Norwegian in Nobel, which I reviewed earlier and is a must see on Special Operations.

I digress, as I often do. Anyway, I’ve watched the first three or four episodes of Ministry of Time and it’s fun. The concept is familiar– doors to different times in the past. They don’t go overboard explaining it, which is always good. The spiral staircase going to the doors looks a bit like my spiral in the Possibility Palace, but great minds think alike. The characters are likeable, have troubles at home or losses.The attitude of the employees as government workers is fun and there is some nice humor here and there, such as the guy complaining about his Xmas bonus being cut. But also some poignant moments, nicely balanced.

I really want to wear one of those big hats with the feather on the side and carry a rapier after watching this. But NOT the stupid gendarme hat.

Sure, as with any time travel story, there are huge plot holes, but I like learning more about Spanish history, which this series focuses on instead of the same stuff we get in the USA. Should Spain enter WWII? Do most Americans even know which side Spain was on in WWII? Or if it was even involved?

Cool Gus gives it three of four paws up! Check it out.