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:

1 comment:

Don said...

Glad to see you have finally been published. I am certain it was a tough, uphill battle. I hope you see rewards at least as high as your hopes.