Friday, April 21, 2023

The Golden BB

 I'm sure that for any of you old enough, that you remember an expression or saying from the late 80's / early 90's: The Golden BB. Because they sure used the hell out of it. I saw it in several movies and also several science fiction novels.

Now, what is the 'Golden BB' you ask? It's a BB. I'm not sure if it's .22 caliber or .175, it's not made of gold, it's not made of anything special at all. However it, through odds or incredible amount of luck, manages to hit the exact right spot to totally destroy a military aircraft - usually a fighter or a bomber.

The Star Wars Death Star explosion? Yeah, something like that, only they did it with a BB. Not an explosive set in the exactly perfect spot.

Now the whole 'Golden BB' thing sounds great, it's David and Goliath on steroids times a thousand, no! A Million!!

The problem is, it's pure bunk. Even if you scale it up to a single bullet from a standard issue military rifle, you're not going to blow up or down any military aircraft with a single shot. You're not even going to get through the canopy to hit the pilot in the head and kill him. 

Why? You ask?

Simple: Redundant systems, armor, all sorts of things. There are very few critical flight systems on an aircraft that a single bullet can destroy. And that's taking them out of the aircraft and setting them on the ground to be shot at point-blank range. For those few things where it can do significant damage, there are more than one, and they're behind metal. 

Now I'm not saying that there aren't weapons out there were a perfectly placed shot can take out some aircraft - but those aren't 'BB's. They're heavy weapons, mounted on something, and they're sending out a pretty large and heavy projectile. They may even be explosive. Or exotic materials (like depleted uranium). They are most definitely NOT BB's.

You have to remember that aircraft fly into things at some pretty high speeds. Like birds, hail, water, dust, etc. And some of those things (like birds) can be pretty damn big. So they're made to take that kind of abuse even if they're not military. And if they are military, well then moreso.

Then there are the engines. Engines are big vacuum cleaners and will suck up anything (or anyone) in their path. Some engines are notoriously fickle, those are ones in older, smaller, and 'cheaper' aircraft. The T-38 was said to flame out if you coughed in front of it. Other engines, like say a centrifugal compressor type, you can shovel rocks in the front and you will get gravel out the back. 

Also most military aircraft (most, not all) have more than one engine. There are usually at least two actuators for each flight control surface. There are back ups for damn near everything, and often back ups for back ups. Then a lot of nifty little tricks that you learn or get passed around for whatever it is you're flying.

So no. No 'Golden BB's.

The reason I bring this up is because we all hear things and are told about things that are '1 in a million' shots / chances, but in realty they're 0 in a million. They can't happen, won't happen, never happened. There are a lot of things like that in life and I've had people who should have known better tell me things that were just so patently wrong it wasn't funny. But everyone likes a long-shot and everyone likes a cool/funny/unexpected/underdog story.

Not saying those things don't exist either. But sometimes, sometimes the claims are just so ridiculously out there that no, no one in their right mind who has any critical thinking skills should believe them.

Yet way too many people do.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Buy a cool knife and help someone out


My friend Benjamin Olsen who makes really great knives is auctioning off one for charity. I have a -lot- of his knives, they really are great. So if you want a good knife and want to help someone out, please check out his auction:

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

For those of you who like AudioBooks

 Audible has the audiobook for Summer's End on Sale currently. I don't know how long this will last, I only know about it because a fan told me.

So if you've been holding off, now's the time!

Summer's End on Audible



Friday, February 24, 2023

Looking for Something to Read this weekend?

Hey everyone, it's time to give some attention to some well deserving writers, some of whom are friends of mine. So if you're looking for something to read this weekend, by all means take a look!

First off, this just dropped today from Raconteur Press: Space Cowboys

This is an Anthology about Cowboys in the future, in space. There are a lot of good stories and people worth discovering: Check it out:


Next up is my friend Jim Curtis (JL Curtis on Amazon).

Jim has three main genres in which he writes. My personal favorite is his Science Fiction Rift World Series. Next would be his Grey Man series, which is a modern day story about a group of people fighting drug cartels in the southwest. This is by far his most popular and you might want to check it out. Third are his Westerns, and while I don't tend to be a fan of Westerns I have found that I enjoy his.

Jim also knows more about firearms than damn near anyone I know and competed in the shooting sports for years. On top of that he's a Navy vet (Mustang) and has seen the kinds of things you normally only find in the movies.

So if you're looking for something to read this weekend, give him a look:


Also I would be remiss if I didn't mention Dorothy Grant and her 'Tactical Romance' series. These are amazing stories that I am also quite fond of. They're interesting and exciting Science Fictions / Military stories written by a former Alaskan Bush Pilot who is married to a retired special forces commando (and no, not an American special forces commando, which of course makes it even more interesting!)

Again, worth the look so please do look:


And while I'm on the subject, if you like Science Fiction (as well as Westerns) you should check out her husband's (Peter Grant) works. His 'Maxwell Saga' is again, another one of my favorites, not just because of his military experience, but he has also a far better understanding of the Tong gangs and their empire than I've ever run into before and you will definitely find that to be fascinating.

Check him out as well:

So, definitely something for everyone out there if you're looking for something new or someone different to be reading. All good people, all good books!

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

New Valens Heritage Book Out!

 Beware of Darkness (Link)   is now live on Amazon in both ebook and paperback formats! 

I don't have a date yet on audio, though 'Ain't it the Life' should be out in Audio come May. Preorders for that will hopefully go live soon.

This is another Mihalis book, and I hope you all enjoy it!

Again link: Beware of Darkness

Monday, December 19, 2022

Christmas Sales


Hey everyone, I will be running the following promotion on the Amazon store and the Amazon UK store for Christmas:


From 12/23 5am to 12/27 11pm PST 0.99 cents on for the following:

Jan Stryvant

Valens Heritage

Mihalis - us only (due to an Amazon Promotion)

Sean (SJ)

Valens Legacy

Black Friday

Perfect Strangers


John Van Stry

Portals of Infinity

Book One: Champion for Hire

Book Two: The God Game


I will see about adding Take Two and the First Dan's Inferno books, but as they're no longer in Kindle Unlimited (too many problems with the KU people) it's a bit more involved to put them on sale.


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

(and I'm still avoiding Social Media right now, so I'm sorry if I haven't been replying to any posts or pages).

Saturday, December 17, 2022

So, Yes Been Thinking

Lot of blog posts this week. Wonder why? ;-) 

So I've been thinking about things, obviously and I've realized a few things as well. First off, I shouldn't be unhappy that a lot of folks didn't want to spend the $8.99 for the Summer's End ebook when I've made a friggin' career out of always having low prices to try and make it easier on my readers. I mean, seriously! I took forever to go to $4.99 and I think I may STILL have some books out there at $2.99. Definitely more than a few at $3.99.

So it's pretty mean spirited of me to bitch about this. So mea culpa. 

Will I be writing the sequel? Probably. It's on my schedule to be written in January so I'll probably still be doing it. Will it ever be sold? Probably not. I haven't heard word one from my publisher, so I'm thinking that they're not interested. December is definitely the worst time in the traditional publishing business to release a book if you're not somebody famous. I guess they may be waiting to see what happens in January - but for me, I've moved on. 

I think I mentioned somewhere that one of the 'lower level' folks who works there that I was talking to mentioned they were considering putting the book up for an award. One I wouldn't mind having though I honestly know I don't have a prayer of winning. Who knows? If they do, maybe that'd rekindle sales but again, no longer my concern.

What I do need to do is focus on the here and now. If I'm not going to be writing books for them, (they've been rather quiet the last two weeks and for me 'quiet' equals 'bad news' - but who knows, maybe I'm wrong on that) that will free up a lot of time this coming year and while one of the two series I was looking to write for them I won't be writing unless they ask me for it, the other I'll write for myself, which also means you lot :-) I also of course have a few more things Valens that I want to get done.

So with the end of the year coming up it's time to move on to new things. Yes, I'd hoped to be able to be successful as both a traditional published writer as well as an indy writer. Barring a miracle, that is not to be. C'est la vie. 

Again, I very much want to thank all of you for having been there and for having supported me. It has meant a lot to me, and again, I shouldn't have been unhappy over folks who just couldn't afford it. Or chose not to spend that much, especially on a new genre that they don't have an interest in.

Last of all, I'm not going to be on Social Media much for a little while. I'm trying to 'break' that addiction so I can spend more time writing. It's become a bit insidious how much of my time it has come to consume. I'll still be on Patreon & SubscribeStar of course, and I do pop into my discord a couple times a week. But I want to see just how long I can stay off of Facebook, Twitter, and Mewe. 

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy all those other holidays which I know happen around now but I'm not exactly sure when.


Friday, December 16, 2022

Ah December...

 So today I started out with an hour long drive (each way) to the 'local' big bookstore. So I could give them some signed copies of the new Summer's End book, so they'd have some to put on the shelves. Apparently books released in December don't usually end up on the shelves until January because of all the promotional stuff going on in December. They sit in the chain's warehouse.

If only I had known. So get home, the gate doesn't work (still- it didn't let me out this morning either so I had to open and close it by hand). After lunch I checked it out, the batteries in one of the remote sensors you're required to have for 'reasons' were dead. It's working now.

Then of course there was the $5000 dollars worth of tax fines in the mail... WHAT!!!!

Yeah, eye-opener. So spend the next few hours first on the phone, then finding out I've been filing one of the local state reports to the WRONG agency and so max penalties - with interest. Isn't it funny how they always wait until your penalties are up to a certain point before they notify you? But the nice thing was once I went back and FILED (electronically too) the proper form with the proper place, I only got hit with a 50 dollar fine on the last four, so that was a lot less money. I may be able to get some of that money back as well.

I will say this about Texas - their tax help people are the BEST. Hands down. They will take the time to walk you through everything so that the absurd fines go away and then they'll tell you how to appeal the regular fines so hopefully you get that money back as well. Honestly I'm starting to wonder if the whole reason the absurd fines exist is to get you to file the stupid paperwork, because as soon as you do, those fines (and the interest on them) goes away. 

So yes, it's been an 'exciting' day. I'm starting physical therapy for my shoulder, now that it's mostly healed. Doc still wants me to replace the joint. I may in a couple of years, we'll see. But I'm not looking forward to that at all. It's still sore and annoying, but it doesn't hurt like it had been and of course the muscles that had been paralyzed are now working again. 

Oh, and my office chair died yesterday. At least I had one in my shop I can use for now. Been a hectic week.

Thursday, December 08, 2022

Another Valens Heritage Book is out: Ain't It The Life

 Hello everyone,

Yes, I have a new Valens Heritage book out today. The cover art unfortunately ran a bit late or I would have had this out last week. I just hope this doesn't take away from folks looking to buy my other new book: Summer's End. 

This is the second book in the series to feature Troy, as we get to see just what Washington D.C. has in store for him. Or perhaps what he has in store for Washington?

Anyways, I hope you all enjoy it!

Ain't It The Life


Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Summer's End Comes Out Next Tuesday!


Hey everyone! In six days my newest book, 'Summer's End' comes out on Amazon and in bookstores across the nation! So yeah, I'm gonna pimp it from now until then :-)

I'd like to thank Baen Books for giving me the opportunity to write hard SciFi once again.

For those interested, here's the link for Amazon: