The Red Menace

The Red Menace
Image Copyright Publish America 2009

The Red Menace

"The Red Menace"

From the Jacket Blurb...

In the Fall of 1950, the United States entered into a conflict with aliens from an unknown world. This conflict was fought in the shadows, nobody wanting its existence to become public knowledge. At stake was the very future of humanity and its freedom from off-planet domination.

Harry Edgarton, a veteran of the Second World War, finds himself returning to his wartime duties as an Intelligence and Special Operations officer. He stumbles into alien activity and seeks out those already involved in the conflict to join their ranks. Putting together a team of military personnel, aided by the best scientists America has, Harry starts to investigate sightings of ‘flying saucers’, trying to determine what they want and how to stop them. Along the way, he must face human Quislings who have sold out humanity for a higher place in the new order to come, unimaginative law enforcement and military officials that obstruct his mission through incompetence, and the very flaws of American society and humanity itself.

Can Harry and his team, ‘Detachment Jericho’, divine the enemy’s plans in time to make a difference? Can they steal enough alien technology to give American and her Allies the weapons to keep the war from being a lopsided fiasco? Will American society as it is survive and prosper?

Coming soon to Barnes & Noble and Borders near you. (As of 6 March 2009)

I am an Author!

Well, it's taken five years to get to this point. I've revised my book no less than five times, based on input from various people, including some in the publishing industry I met at GenCon.

As it stands, I'm having to go with Publish America, a company that *does* publish books, but not in a traditional manner. I'll get a whopping $1 as an advance, to secure the contract, then for the next seven years, the book will be available on Amazon and where ever I can get a store to carry it. the only marketing that PA does is to send out review copies to certain magazines and reviewers, and press releases. Otherwise, it's print on demand and PA titles aren't stocked by mainstream book distributors.

That sucks, but it gets me an ISBN, which is a start. I will, though this blog, have discounted copies available, when the book goes to press. Right now, my book is still in the final stages of production, I'm waiting for my contract to arrive in the mail to sign it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's an Army Thing

A buddy of mine wrote this. It's the best thing that, in just a few paragraphs, explains the difference between being a Soldier (Sailor, Airman, or Marine) and just being a citizen of these United States. After you read it, if you still don't "get it", you never will. Hooah & Drive On!

The Army and Life
by redc1c4

If Soldiers make it through Basic and AIT, and into their first unit, they will have undergone a transformative process that they likely won’t even recognize until they return to the scene of their previous civilian life, either on leave, or, if they are a Reservist, when they are released to their parent unit. While one is in training, or assigned to a unit, the world inhabited is only tangentially related to the existence that was once labeled “normal”. When a Soldier goes home, things that bother friends and family will amuse them, or, sometimes, irritate with the pettiness involved. After all, it’s hard to get excited that they’ve run out of someone’s favorite soup of the day when the daily diet has been nothing but MRE’s and sometimes not even that, because the supply truck broke down, or got lost, or orders came to move before they could get to that far. People complaining that they couldn’t possibly drink tap water because “it’s so nasty” really irritate people who have picked pieces of ice up off the ground for moisture, or refilled their canteens with swamp water and hoped the purification tablets really do work.

If a Soldier is one of those who spend a good portion of their career in the field, especially in a Cavalry, Infantry, Armor or Artillery unit, they quickly develop new standards for cleanliness; sleep requirements, and life priorities. 18 days without a shower in 120* weather is uncomfortable, but when the choice is between getting enough sleep to function safely when the next tasking starts in 5 hours, or spending 2 or more of those precious hours on getting to the shower and back, one racks out in the first reasonable location to be found, bearing in mind, of course, that “reasonable” has precious little to do with soft, warm, dry, or even overly comfortable, and everything to do with security, and a reduced likelihood of getting run over by a moving vehicle, or worse, being woken up early.

Another cleanliness adjustment is dealing with things that need to be cleaned. One hasn’t lived until they have participated in cleaning a shower/latrine facility that is in constant use by thousands of troops. The diet of a field soldier is not conducive to intestinal calm, both from the nature of the rations themselves, and the fact that there’s rarely a sink to wash up with before eating. The end results must be experienced to be believed, as should the joy of being on the team that transports portable toilets from the field sites back to the dump point and then cleans them out for reuse. KP, which is always a fun filled adventure, includes, among other things, cleaning all the pots, pans, and other cooking utensils needed for preparing the meals as well as the trays and silverware the Soldiers eat with. However, it rises to new levels of sensory pleasure when said cleaning is done using only water filled trashcans warmed with immersion heaters and scrub brushes, while standing on wood pallets in a dirt field in whatever the weather is that day (or night). Still, it has to be done, and everyone gets a turn at doing it. That is why we have duty rosters, to share the wealth evenly.

The primary purpose of the US Army is to kill people and break things in pursuit of national objectives delineated by the civilian leadership. We are the best in the world at this, and over the years the organization has honed the skills, values and methods that make this possible. One of the first things inculcated into a recruit’s mind is that what matters is the mission. This ethos is expressed most succinctly in the motto, “Mission First, People Always” because, while each Soldier is a valued team member and precious asset, getting the job done comes first. GI’s don’t get to say “I quit” and go home when it gets hard. They embrace the suck and drive on. It has been said that a veteran is someone who, at least once in their life, wrote a check to the USA and it’s citizens, “payable in any amount up to and including my life”. What few outside the services understand is all to often that price may be extracted for the most trivial of reasons, even in peacetime. This is the bond that makes the relationship between all veterans unique, and it is our shared experiences of deprivation and sacrifice that often lead the sheltered amongst the general population to not understand when their delicate sensibilities and overly wrought “concerns” are met with our outspoken derision and often, utter contempt. We are not the same as them, and having been through the fire, we recognize dross when it is attempting to pass itself off as the pure quill.

I got this from red's LiveJournal page. Here's the link:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I recently received a link from a friend on Plaxo. It involved an article on President Obama and his personality. Here is a link to the article.

I read the article and found it offensive. Why?

I was sort of expecting some evidence of the alleged narcissism. The only thing offered up as evidence was the book Obama wrote that was supposed to be on race relations. He wrote an autobiography, but given that racists still try to oppress blacks in America, this could fill the intended purpose.

While racism is the "bloody red shirt" of American politics, it *also* does take place. And conservatives *need* to accept that the black experience, for the majority of blacks, is simply different than that of whites.

By experience, blacks have learned, even in the current generations, to take nothing for granted. Even young, professional blacks have sudden and jarring encounters with racism in the most unexpected places. And these are the most optimistic members of the black community, the ones that used student loans and hard work to overcome any and all obstacles to success.

I recall listening to Rush Limbaugh many years ago, 1992, I think. He was railing on the Federal Government "going after" a country club on the basis of prejudice. It refused, as a matter of policy, to admit black members. The Government used interstate commerce as it's segue into the case, arguing (successfully) that if the club had *any* members that resided out of state, that said club was therefore subject to Federal anti-discrimination laws.

As a conservative, i was mortified. Not that the Fed would do this, but that a conservative, arguably a member of the party of Lincoln, would ignore the realities of (wealthy) life. The man bringing the suit that was ultimately won argued that many high-dollar business deals were done in the informal and relaxed atmosphere of the country club and that he was being denied access to this aspect of the business he (and members of the club) were in - a violation of Federal statute.

He was absolutely right. That *is* how some business is done - on the basis of personal relationships and after taking the measure of your (potential) business partner after a round of golf or a good lunch where many things are discussed.

When asked about my politics, I describe myself as a Bull Moose Republican. Since so few Americans know what that is, even with liberals, it gives me an opportunity to explain my politics. I often get the opportunity to convince people that not all conservatives are fascists (a commonly held belief on the far left) and I've even managed to learn a thing or two.

A Bull Moose Republican is a conservative that embraces diversity. Theodore Roosevelt, our founder, was the first President to ask a black man to a state dinner at the White House. George Washington Carver, an incredible man by any measure. And he took a political beating for it, to the point he regretted the act, but *never* the opportunity.

But TR was a man of character. He was elected with Big Money contributions, but he started the process that gave us legal protection for unions, the 40 hour work week, overtime pay, and worker's comp. He had *real* character, not that which many conservatives try to trot out every four years and convince us is character.

And the man of character, the *true* man of character, requires that for an accusation to be spread about a public person's traits, that there be *some* evidence. I don't see any in the above article.

But that's just my opinion, though I am willing to sign my name to it.

Scott Hann
Indianapolis, IN

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Almost There!!!

Well, the contract has been signed and sent in, my final draft is getting proofed (I'm sure, despite all the proofing I've done, they'll find punctuation and grammar issues!!), and we're almost ready to print "The Red Menace".

I still have to wait for the cover people to contact me. Arja, who did the cover above, hasn't gotten back to me about an artist release, so I'm using that as a guide and the cover department will re-execute the design, with a couple changes based on their experience. Once they contact me, that is.

Anyway, the book will be out, soon! Figure, sometime around or after the end of March, 09.

Thanks for hanging in there!

Scott H

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Ray of Hope...

These days, everybody has a "cause". I do. I have two. I help organise a blood drive at the Indianapolis GenCon and I work with the Veterans for Freedom. It's to the point that I'm really starting to annoy friends and family over the Iraq issue. But I also know when to let it go.

With the Holidays asserting themselves, It really cheers me up to see Jennifer Anniston, Antonio Banderas, and Robin Williams helping Margo Thomas continue her father's crusade for St Jude Children's Hospitals. They aren't moaning about abortion, dolphin safe tuna, the environment, or how President Bush is the AntiChrist.

They're just trying to make the lives of some very sick children a little better and, if they are lucky, a little longer. That's what makes a someone a hero.

Take a few moments, in the coming holiday season and the coming year, offer some prayers, incense, whatevery you do, for these three people that are doing something decent. They are doing something that they do *not* have to do. They are heroes.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Dead Dinosaur Day!!

Yes, you read that right. The dinosaurs that survived the Chicxulub impact all changed over the eons and their descendants are today's birds. So the United States' Thanksgiving Day is a day when, by tradition, a dead dinosaur is roasted and eaten.

Instead of giving thanks for this and that, which *everybody* does on this day, I'm posting the words of a famous American author, telling the reader what he believed in. I think you'll see that this is appropriate, even if it's not clear to start.

And if you don't know who Robert Anson Heinlein was, you should. His science fiction was, in it's time (and still is), breakthrough. Go to your local Borders or follow this link:

"Have Spacesuit, Will Travel" was written in 1958 and it still stands on it's own two feet, today. RAH had the incredible ability to write stories about the future that, somehow, age gracefully.



Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein wrote these words in 1952 and delivered them to a national radio audience in a broadcast interview by Edward R. Murrow. His wife, Virginia Heinlein, read them when she accepted on his behalf NASA's Distinguished Public Service Medal on October 6, 1988, awarded him posthumously.

I am not going to talk about religious beliefs, but about matters so obvious that it has gone out of style to mention them.

I believe in my neighbors.

I know their faults and I know that their virtues far outweigh their faults. Take Father Michael down our road a piece --I'm not of his creed, but I know the goodness and charity and loving kindness that shine in his daily actions. I believe in Father Mike; if I'm in trouble, I'll go to him. My next-door neighbor is a veterinary doctor. Doc will get out of bed after a hard day to help a stray cat. No fee -- no prospect of a fee. I believe in Doc.

I believe in my townspeople. You can knock on any door in our town say, 'I'm hungry,' and you will be fed. Our town is no exception; I've found the same ready charity everywhere. For the one who says, 'To heck with you -- I got mine,' there are a hundred, a thousand, who will say, 'Sure, pal, sit down.'

I know that, despite all warnings against hitchhikers, I can step to the highway, thumb for a ride and in a few minutes a car or a truck will stop and someone will say, 'Climb in, Mac. How how far you going?'

I believe in my fellow citizens. Our headlines are splashed with crime, yet for every criminal there are 10,000 honest decent kindly men. If it were not so, no child would live to grow up, business could not go on from day to day. Decency is not news; it is buried in the obituaries --but it is a force stronger than crime.

I believe in the patient gallantry of the tedious sacrifices of teachers. I believe in the unseen and unending fight against desperate odds that goes on quietly in almost every home in the land.

I believe in the honest craft of workmen. Take a look around you. There never were enough bosses to check up on all that work. From Independence Hall to the Grand Coulee Dam, these things were built level and square by craftsmen who were honest in their bones.

I believe that almost all politicians are honest. For every bribed alderman there are hundreds of politicians, low paid or not paid at all, doing their level best without thanks or glory to make our system work. If this were not true, we would never have gotten past the thirteen colonies.

I believe in Rodger Young. You and I are free today because of endless unnamed heroes from Valley Forge to the Yalu River.

I believe in -- I am proud to belong to -- the United States. Despite shortcomings, from lynchings to bad faith in high places, our nation has had the most decent and kindly internal practices and foreign policies to be found anywhere in history.

And finally, I believe in my whole race. Yellow, white, black, red, brown --in the honesty, courage, intelligence, durability....and goodness.....of the overwhelming majority of my brothers and sisters everywhere on this planet. I am proud to be a human being. I believe that we have come this far by the skin of our teeth, that we always make it just by the skin of our teeth --but that we will always make it....survive....endure. I believe that this hairless embryo with the aching, oversize brain case and the opposable thumb, this animal barely up from the apes, will endure --will endure longer than his home planet, will spread out to the other planets, to the stars, and beyond, carrying with him his honesty, his insatiable curiosity, his unlimited courage --and his noble essential decency.

This I believe with all my heart.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Veteran's Day dinner...

Well, tonight I had dinner at Golden Corral, their annual "Military Appreciation Dinner". I sat there with a friend of over 25 years, also veteran, surrounded by men and women - all of them complete strangers - with whom I shared one bond. We had all served in our nation's military.

There were veterans of the Second World War, Korea, Viet Nam, and the various conflicts of the Cold War, along with those, like me, who'd never heard a shot fired in anger. A guy off to one side had DJ equipment and was playing patriotic music and Boy Scouts were helping bus the tables for the overworked staff. I felt things I hadn't felt in a long time, a sense of belonging being one of them, and remembered things from my service over 20 years ago.

I thought about all these things, then I thought about the current debate over Iraq. Recently, I read a short biography of actor Henry Fonda. Fonda was something of a liberal, and was best friends with Jimmy Stewart. The two had shared an apartment twice in their years coming up in New York and Hollywood. In World War II, both enlisted. Stewart became an officer commanding bomber crews in the Army Air Corps, personally flying 20 official and an unknown number of off-the-books missions over Germany, including the October 14th, 1943 raid on Schwienfurt where roughly one plane in five didn't return. Fonda enlisted in the Navy and ended up an officer in an Intelligence billet in Hawaii.

Fonda and Stewart were best friends, yet Stewart was a staunch conservative and Fonda a liberal. But they were *not* the kind of conservative and liberal we see grabbing TV Air Time today. They could disagree and be friends. They didn't stage protests dressed up in idiotic colors claiming to "support the troops" while with the same breath denouncing the war those troops are fighting.

Here's my point, and if you are a "this war is illegal, impeach Bush" kind of liberal, pay attention.

You cannot denouce the war *and* support the troops. Pick one.

You see, while that would have worked in Viet Nam, it can't today. In the 60s, we had a conscipt army - the draft. Today's military is *all* volunteer. Everyone currently serving thier first term of enlistment volunteered *after* we went into Iraq and things didn't turn out as well as we'd have liked. That's over 3 million Americans that haven't voted at the ballot box in favor of freedom for Iraqis, but they've voted with their feet, risking thier very lives to bring freedom to people that have never known it.

I'll discuss with anyone whether or not we should have gone in. But now we are there and no matter what course we choose, there will be consequences. Pulling out, suddenly, before the job is done, is a slap in the face of all those who served in Iraq. And Henry Fonda would have agreed completely.

Scott Hann

Getting Started...


I hope this blog helps to sell my book, but I'll settle for giving those that like it a place to let me know. I plan on using reader feedback to improve my writing.

Right now, I'm in a holding pattern until I get my contract from Publish America. Once it's in hand, I'll sign it, send it back, and then we get to pre-press/pre-production work, where I submit a final copy of the book, we discuss how to organize the book, and it gets done. I've got my front cover done, as you can see on the entrance page, and Arja's finishing up the back cover.

I hope folks will enjoy and since I have to do all the serious marketing for "The Red Menace", I hope you'll help me spread the word, too!

Scott H