Friday, June 15, 2018

Worst Books Ever: "Moon People" by Dale M. Courtney

Whenever people call books like Twilight the worst book ever, I always shake my head. Not because Twilight is good, but because it's by no means the worst book ever written. It's time we talked about the real stinkers. That's why I'm going to be highlighting the true worst books ever published by a traditional publisher in the science fiction and fantasy genre. Today, Moon People by Dale M. Courtney.

Long before Amazon leveled the playing field for self-published authors, anyone who wanted to publish their own books had to go to companies called vanity presses. Vanity presses became notorious for their sleaziness, charging huge amounts of money to desperate people to print books regardless of quality that would end up gathering dust on the author's shelves. In 2008, the online self-publishing industry was just getting off the ground with Xlibris, a company that published books on demand. That's where Moon People came from.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Popular Kindle Unlimited Authors Make Way More Than You Think

What do popular indie authors on Amazon make?

That's a question you may not have thought about. I think we all know that big stars like Stephen King and Hugh Howey make a lot of money, but what about people you'd consider lower-tier? Those self-published authors who most people have never heard of but have books floating in the top 1000 of Amazon? Authors who might never end up on the New York Times bestseller list or reviewed by major publications? What are they taking home?

Well, get ready for some math that will blow your mind.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

When Bestsellers Are Badly Written [Rant]

There's a Darwinian belief that great books become bestsellers and bad books never even get past the slush pile. Of course, we all know that's not true. If you look on lists like Goodreads' Worst Books of All Time, you'll find books like Twilight and The Da Vinci Code. Those books are riddled with weak characters, ridiculous plot twists, and bad grammar. At the same time, we can all agree those aren't really the worst books of all time. I'm not saying those books are well-written, but they clearly aren't the worst. I mean, Moon People by Dale M. Courtney and The Eye of Argon by Jim Theis aren't even on the top ten. Also, there are plenty of people who think these books are fabulous, enough to make them bestsellers. So why are writing problems in so many bestselling novels hated?

Thursday, May 31, 2018

New Release: "Heart of the Nexus" - Book 2 of the Nexus Trilogy

The second book in the Nexus trilogy, Heart of the Nexus, will be released on June 1, 2018. It continues the saga from the first book and throws the four refugees from Earth into a new and more dangerous world.

Four people have been taken from Earth to the interplanetary maze known as Nexus where they've survived their first journey to a dangerous world, but the trip home is far from over. It isn't long before they discover the brutal alien Kraghs have returned, and they don't plan to leave them empty-handed. When one of the four is threatened, the other three must fight to save them but they discover the Kraghs have a plan that could threaten the Universe.
Click here to pre-order your copy

Of course, you can also get the first book, Enter the Nexus now.

You only know half the story of Jekyll and Hyde. Prepare to see literature's greatest monsters in a whole new light with Hyde!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

"Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse-FiveSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Most people think the purpose of science fiction is to explore things that don't exist like laser guns and spaceships. In fact, the best science fiction is a way of exploring our modern world in ways that regular fiction can't. In that sense, "Slaughterhouse Five" is one of the best and most important science fiction novels ever written.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Bizarre Books: "English As She Is Spoke"

If you ever saw the classic Monty Python sketch about a bizarre Hungarian phrasebook, then you might have an idea of the comedy that can come from a badly translated English phrase. In modern times, the Internet has brought Japanese culture and its bad translations of "Engrish" to a whole new audience, but before all of them, there was English As She Is Spoke.

In 1883, an obscure author named Pedro Carolino published a small Portuguese-to-English phrasebook titled English as She Is Spoke. Though it was intended for Portuguese speakers, it quickly gained an international audience for its bizarre English phrases. It seems that Carolino spoke little to no English himself but did know French. As a result, it's believed he used a Portuguese-to-French dictionary to translate his phrases into French, then used a French-to-English dictionary to produce an English translation. The result was a lot like running English through Google Translate, and made unintentionally hilarious results.

Here are some of the more famous examples:
The walls have hearsay. = As paredes têm ouvidos ("The walls have ears")
That not says a word, consent. = Quem cala consente ("Silence is consent")
What do him? = Que faz ele? ("What does he do? / What is he doing?")
That pond it seems me many multiplied of fishes. Let us amuse rather to the fishing. = Este lago parece-me bem piscoso. Vamos pescar para nos divertirmos. ("This lake looks full of fish. Let's have some fun fishing.")
These apricots and these peaches make me and to come water in mouth.  = ??? ("These apricots and peaches make my mouth water.")
Ever since the 19th Century, many hours were wiled away with the book being passed around and read out loud to howls of laughter. Author Mark Twain himself wrote the introduction for the first U.S. English edition, and said, "Nobody can add to the absurdity of this book, nobody can imitate it successfully, nobody can hope to produce its fellow; it is perfect."

The book is available online in full at Project Gutenberg, and it sure lives up to its reputation.

Related Posts:
Bizarre Books: The Pop-Up Book of Phobias
Bizarre Books: Six-Gun Gorilla
Bizarre Books: How to Avoid Huge Ships

You only know half the story of Jekyll and Hyde. Prepare to see literature's greatest monsters in a whole new light with Hyde!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

"Blindsight" by Peter Watts [Review]

Blindsight (Firefall, #1)Blindsight by Peter Watts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I first read this book, I liked it a lot. I also thought I understood it. I had a few nagging questions, but I thought those were easily dismissed in favor of a larger story. I read the book again to clear up those questions, and I was even more confused. I also discovered plot threads that had come up earlier that were never addressed and parts where I thought something had happened that really didn't. I know some people argue this book improves on further reading, but I had the opposite experience. I thought the novel got worse on the second reading.

Friday, March 9, 2018

New Release: "Enter the Nexus" - Book 1 of the Nexus Trilogy

Today is the official release of my next novel, the first in a trilogy that will be released throughout 2018. Called Enter the Nexus, here's the cover and synopsis.
Shy librarian Brenda Martinez, tough cop Jack Taylor, arrogant businessman Wallace Carrington, and geeky teen girl Moonbeam Zhang were just living their lives until they were suddenly teleported onto a mysterious world. Facing terrifying monsters and bizarre aliens, they quickly discover they've been caught up in a strange experiment and the only way home is to go through a maze that crosses thousands of planets throughout the Galaxy. They'll have to work together to survive and uncover the secrets of the NEXUS.
Click here to buy your copy at Amazon.
You can check other online bookstores like Apple and Nook at Books2Read.

Stay tuned for more information on Heart of the Nexus (Book 2) and Fall of the Nexus (Book 3) in the Nexus Trilogy!

Already released:
You only know half the story of Jekyll and Hyde. Prepare to see literature's greatest monsters in a whole new light with Hyde!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Cover Release: "Enter the Nexus" - Book 1

On Friday, my next novel Enter the Nexus will be released. It's the first in the Nexus Trilogy, an epic adventure that I'll be releasing every three months this year, starting on March 9, 2018. I'll have more details on Friday but check out the cover!

What do you think?

You only know half the story of Jekyll and Hyde. Prepare to see literature's greatest monsters in a whole new light with Hyde!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

China Has the Most Beautiful and Horrible Library in the World

In 2017, China unveiled a library that captured the imagination of the entire world as what was called the ultimate library.

The Tianjin Binhai Library was designed by Dutch design firm MVRDV, working with local architects from the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute. It was completed in only three years and stands five stories with more than 36,000 square feet.

The really impressive part is the atrium. Designed to look like a gigantic eye, the main area looks like it has bookshelves that run from the floor to the ceiling.

That's where the problems start.

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