At long last, the day is here. You really don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to do this. It has been six years getting this book ready. I’ve been sitting on this beautiful Scott Pond cover for a year. I’m so thrilled to let everyone see it. But that isn’t all I have in store for you today. [click to continue…]


Before I get into the review, I have a confession to make. This review is way, way, WAY over due. Last summer I had written a few reviews of books that I had read and enjoyed immensely. This led to my being approached by several people and asked to do reviews on their books. I quickly went from having no reviews to do to having several to do. At the same time, my voice work exploded. I quickly became overloaded. At the time, I decided that the best way for me to clear the backlog was to focus on one thing, batter at that, and keep at it until it was done. Well, some things went easier than others. And then Life happened. The result is that this review is finally being written some four plus months after it was originally intended to be written.

Free Will (and other compulsions) is the second book in J. Daniel Sawyer’s Antithesis Progression series, which manages to combine science fiction and noir elements into a fascinating future setting. The first book in the series is Predestination (and other games of chance). If you’ve read Predestination and enjoyed it, you’re sure to want to pick up Free Will, and no doubt look forward to the next time J. Daniel Sawyer publishes a book with a short title (and a long and contradictory subtitle). At the time of this writing, Free Will is only available in electronic formats, but is available for Kindle, Nook, and a variety of other formats via Smashwords.

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All right. I admit it. I should have written this post earlier. My only excuse is the timing, seeing as this news came out just as I was getting into the swing of things for NaNoWriMo this year. It took this article from Tee Morris to remind me that I had been remiss in supporting my friends in their good fortune. So let me repair that now.

My friends Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris have had their first joint project, Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, land on the official ballot of the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards in the Best Science Fiction category! And they are in among fierce competition, with names like Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Stephen King, John Scalzi, and China Mieville also in the running. Phoenix Rising also happens to be the only Steampunk work in this category. Tee and Pip are my friends, but they have also written a really spectacular book (as you can see from my review here). If you have a Goodreads account, you should vote! And if you choose to vote for Phoenix Rising, I’m sure that would make Tee and Pip happy. [click to continue…]


Ghost Ship

by Doc Coleman on August 10, 2011 · 0 comments

in Asides

I have got to tell you about this great book I just finished reading. Which also means telling you about a lot of other books by the same authors. The book is Ghost Ship by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, and it is the third book in one series and the 8th book in another series, and… it’s kind of complicated.

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Some people fear birthdays. They hide them. They deny them.

Not me.

For me, a birthday is a victory celebration! Another year to stride upon this Earth, win battles, and fight off death for another day.  In the end to plunge my banner into the heart of another year and cry to the heavens that this year will not defeat me! I have taken on all that it had to dish out and I remain standing! Victorious!

But not everyone sees it like that.

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Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel is the first novel from Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris writing together. They take us back to the age of Queen Victoria, and give us a view of a secret organization in Her Majesty’s government. This clandestine organization, the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, deals with the strange, the bizarre, and those things best not talked about in polite society. Agents of the Ministry travel the world investigating these strange and unusual events, and returning dangerous artifacts to Mother England where they can be safely stored away from dangerous hands.

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Even though I’ve been an avid reader for most of my life, I’ve never paid much attention to book-finding tools. I have tried using Amazon’s recommendation tool, but it always seemed like it would recommend one or two things I might actually like, and five or six things that they were currently pushing. My tastes ares pretty eclectic, so “what’s popular” usually doesn’t appeal to me. I’m either not interested, or I’ve already discovered it before it became popular. So, despite the fact that many (if not most) of the folks that I interact with online are using, I was never really interested in it. I’ve done pretty good finding my own reading materiel.

I’m not sure what changed last week. Maybe it was seeing the occasional status update on Twitter that mentioned Goodreads, or someone mentioning putting reviews there. Something happened, and as a result I went over to Goodreads and created an account. As I mentioned before, a lot of the folks that I follow on Twitter and Facebook were already on the site, so I began accumulating numbers of friends in chunks. I also began the effort of listing and rating the many, many, many books that I have read over the years. So far I’ve barely scratched the surface.

In the process of setting up my presence on Goodreads, I stumbled on one of my friends who had rated an issue of Flagship magazine from Flying Island Press, and noticed that each of the writers who contributed to the issue was listed as an author.

I’ve been published in an issue of Flagship.

I went digging and pulled up Flagship issue 4, the issue with my article in it. Sure enough, in the list of authors was the name Doc Coleman.

I clicked it.

Naturally, it linked to an empty profile. All that was there was a name and a link to the Flagship issue. And another link that said, “Is this you?”

I clicked it.

I typed up a little note telling the Goodreads folks that I was new to the site and I had just discovered that an author profile already existed for an article that I wrote and asked them for access to that profile.

Last Monday I got a notification that I was now a Goodreads Author.

It is kind of interesting, considering that I have never really pursued the idea of being a writer, the way this made me feel. I guess it is the sense of achieving a milestone along the way. Having that byline on Goodreads makes me feel proud, as if I’ve arrived. Not that my reputation is made by any stretch of the imagination. There are a lot of steps necessary to become successful at writing, however you may personally describe success. Arriving at the party is an early step, but an important one. Arriving at the party is no guarantee that someone will dance with you, but if you don’t show up you definitely won’t have a dance partner.

In the big scale of things, it isn’t much. Especially not compared to how much so many others have achieved. Or all the hard work that they’ve put in building their writing careers. Compared to them, this is a drop in the bucket. A nothing.

But it is my nothing. And it makes me happy.

And now I need to get back to writing. I need to rack up some more bylines on that listing. A body of work will not create itself.

Hope you enjoyed this small moment.