Satan reviews ‘The Rift’ (Great American Satan that is) (Non-fiction)

The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story will be released on July 13, 2022.

Freethought Blog’s Great American Satan posted the most in-depth review of my upcoming novel, The Rift. It’s an honest and fair review and if you’re undecided about buying it, I’d strongly urge you to read this review.

Even within that subculture, the book could lose audience from its concept alone. As I mentioned, the progressives burned by the IRL conflict may have very little interest in seeing a redemption tale play out. Hopefully, the ten years since the furor began will help them get past that enough to read the novel. It handles the subject very well. Everything that starts to feel insensitive, or like a misstep, is ultimately redeemed through the story’s plot. It’s kind of brilliant at that, playing its hand with more subtlety than you might expect.

And all that said, maybe I’m not giving the average non-skeptic-culture reader enough credit here. If the price is right and you like the idea of a feminist sci-fi adventure in a tabloid UFO setting, give it a shot. And if you are in the book’s target demo – skeptic culture warriors – definitely pick this one up.

If you decide to pick it, it’s available on Amazon, and other retailers. You can pre-order the eBook version for $.99, or wait until the official launch date of on Wednesday (July 13).

Just to clarify, the novel is inspired by the web stories I’ve written over the years, but within its own continuity. It’s just like the difference between Marvel Comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So you don’t need to be familiar with the web stories to enjoy The Rift.

The Rift is coming next week! (Non-fiction)

It’s only five days away from the release of my novel, The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story. The story of skeptic blogger Tom Larsen, how his determination to infiltrate the Humanist Heart congress compiles to work with his local tabloid, The Bolingbrook Babbler. This leads to him getting attacked by a weredeer, and waking up inside Bolingbrook’s Clow UFO Base. With his confidence shattered, and being thrust into the agendas of powerful beings and organizations, can Tom accept the unbelievable truth before it’s too late?

Here another excerpt from the novel:

“My God,” Tom heard himself say.

“Common reaction,” Robert replied bluntly. “Do you remember everything you read in the Babbler?”

Tom nodded.

“Not much has changed in twenty years. Clow is still the largest urban UFO base in the world—and it’s my base.”

Tom looked back at the landing bay. The Babbler was telling the truth, at least about Clow Base. He remembered all the times he’d debunked the base’s existence. The arguments were sound, yet here he was.

Robert cleared his throat.

“It’s like being in an Asimov novel,” said Tom.

Robert shook his head. “Not enough robots. Let’s go.”

It’s nice to see years of work finally coming to fruition. You can preorder the e-book for $.99 at these vendors, including Amazon until July 12. The book goes live on July 13. If you’re looking to buy a book next week, especially during Prime Days, I hope you’ll consider The Rift!

Excerpt from The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story

The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story releases on July 13, 2022.

Here’s a short excerpt from The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story:

“Let’s talk about the stable boy and the rock,” said Michelle, sitting down with Tom on the couch. “As I recall, there was a little boy who was brought to a dragon’s lair.”

“Dogma the dragon.” Tom pointed to the dragon in the picture, who sat atop a pile of rulebooks.

Michelle nodded. “He looks scary. Good job.” Tom smiled. “Now, the boy was scared, but he was also thirsty. So he asked the dragon for a cup of water. Dogma said no, and told the boy if he was thirsty, he could squeeze water out of a rock. So the boy squeezed and squeezed, but no water came out. Dogma told the boy that if he believed, it would. So the boy squeezed and squeezed and believed and believed. Still, no water came out.”

“Until the knight of truth appeared and chased Dogma away.”

Michelle nodded, picking up another of Tom’s drawings, which showed a knight holding a glowing sword. “You drew that very well.”

“Thanks,” Tom replied.

“So the knight told the boy there was no water in the rock, and the boy rued his foolishness.”

“I don’t want to be foolish.”

Jason sat down with them. “Neither did the boy. He vowed to slay all the dragons of deception and asked the knight of truth to teach him how to vanquish them. The knight took him under his wing. The boy studied and trained for a long time, till one day he became a knight of truth himself, and he was never fooled again.”

Michelle frowned. “That’s your dad’s version.”

“It’s the best version. Don’t you agree, Tom?” Tom nodded vigorously. “Good. Because a very special movie just arrived.” Jason picked up what looked like a CD. Tom’s jaw dropped as he remembered the giant LaserDiscs his grandparents still owned. “It’s about a wise old man who fights dogma,” Jason continued.

“With a sword?”

“With magic.”

Jason stood up and inserted the disc into the DVD player, then joined Michelle and Tom back on the couch. He placed an arm around Tom’s shoulders and pressed play. On-screen, a magician with thick, professionally styled hair and a neatly trimmed snowy white beard appeared behind a desk.

“You know what the best part is?”

Tom shook his head.

“He’s real.”

You can preorder the eBook for $.99 at Amazon and other retailers. Otherwise, the release date is July 13, 2022.

The Rift gets a five star review! (Non-Fiction)

What if everything you believed was wrong?

While it doesn’t make up for losing Callie, my novel, The Rift, received a five-star review from The Wishing Shelf, calling it, “A richly written novel filled with memorable characters. Highly recommended!”

In many ways, it’s very hard to put a label on this book. Yes, it has fantasy elements. But it also looks at feminism, activists, and even fundamentalism. And, on top of all that, it’s often rather funny too! The author, Mr. Brinkman, is a talented fellow who knows how to tell a story, develop his characters in interesting ways, and generally keep everything moving – with plenty of twists to keep the reader off kilter. So, although it’s very hard to classify this novel, it is thoroughly enjoyable and very, VERY hard to put down.

So, what’s the plot? Well, in a nutshell, the protagonist, Tom, is a strong supporter of the skeptical movement. When there’s a modern feminist conference, he plans to infiltrate it and confront a podcaster who accused him of making her feel ́uncomfortable ́. And it ́s at this conference that the fun begins!!!

Reading this novel, I was reminded of a saying my dad told me when I was much younger. “People,” he told me, “always hear what they want to hear.” In many ways, this is what this book is about. How people today tend to focus on the words and not the intent behind the words. I don’t know if the author is an anti-feminist, but I do know his novel – in terms of the way men and women interact – is rather thought-provoking.

So, if you are looking for a commentary on human nature, plus you enjoy a good laugh, PLUS, on top of all that, you fancy a story filled with a few weredeer and time rifts, this book is for you. I saw in the blurb, it says, ́If you like the X-Files and Stranger Things and the dry humour of Fargo, you will love The Rift. ́ I think I can go along with that.

To clarify, I’m not perfect, but I do consider myself a feminist, and I am willing and still learning. The main character, Tom, has to reconsider his anti-feminist views, including facing the real reasons why he feels the ways he does.

Still, I will take a five-star review, and read and listen to what other reviewers will have to say about it.

Release date for my novel The Rift and a preorder sale (Non-Fiction)

The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story

The wait is almost over! My novel, The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story, will be released on July 13, 2022, on Amazon and other vendors. It will also be available for bookstores and libraries to order. Right now, I’m running a $.99 preorder sale for the ebook version:

Tom Larsen grew up believing in stories from the Bolingbrook Babbler newspaper: of UFOs, half-human weredeer, and of vampire gangs that roamed the streets at night. Then one day his parents told him the truth—the stories were all a lie.

Fresh out of college, Tom built a reputation as a blogger of the scientific skepticism movement, debunking the reports of paranormal events in his hometown. However, after famous podcast host, Jamie Kyle, posted a video about how Tom’s attempts to “hook up” with her at a skeptic’s conference made her feel uncomfortable, the blogger was furious.

Now, in his mid-twenties and still angry about his humiliation, Tom has made a career from defending the skeptical movement against “modern feminists”, including Humanist Heart, a group of social justice skeptics. And, when he hears that his hometown of Bolingbrook will host Humanist Heart’s congress, and Jamie will be their guest, Tom hatches a plan to confront the podcaster.

The only problem is that he must work for the Bolingbrook Babbler to gain access to the congress, and risk ruining his skeptic reputation. But an attack by a weredeer while working on his first assignment for the Babbler leaves Tom’s beliefs in pieces. The monsters, the UFOs, everything he tried to debunk—are all real! His worldview is shattered, forcing Tom to question whom he can really trust, and the causes he once dedicated himself to.

Now, there are angry Men’s Rights Activists trying to disrupt the congress, weredeer have surrounded the area, and mysterious time rifts appearing throughout the village. Only Jamie and the Babbler can help Tom fix this, but will he find the courage to face the real reasons why he’s angry at Jamie and the Babbler before it’s too late?

If you’ve read Pathways to Bolingbrook, you might want to know that Sara Langston returns for this installment of the Bolingbrook Babbler Stories.

My new novel, The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story, will be released on July 13, 2022. Pathways to Bolingbrook: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story is free and available now. For book updates, sign up for my newsletter.


Podish-Sortacast for 5/14/22: Art and Social Justice

I’m planning on joining the Freethoughtblogs Podish-Sortacast team this Saturday at 4 PM Central Time to discuss Art and Social Justice.

If this seems like an odd cross-over episode, you’re a bit behind the times; long before The Handmaid’s Tale dropped there was Guernica, Strange Fruit, and Oliver Twist. Art and social justice have always been paired up, and in this episode we’ll be discussing that pairing. We might pop a few myths, but under absolutely no circumstance will we discuss Star Trek.

I don’t know about ignoring Star Trek, but I’m sure we’ll have plenty to discuss, and I’ll be interested in reading your comments. I also promise not to turn this into an infomercial for my upcoming novel, The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story, but I will have some news if it comes up.

See you tomorrow!

Bolingbrook bunnies attack Aurora mayor Richard Irvin (Fiction)

A rabbit gang attacked Aurora mayor and Republican gubernatorial candidate Richard Irvin while he was recording political ads in Bolingbrook. Irvin was rescued by Animal Control’s Rabbit Response Team and treated for minor bites and scratches, and given a rabies shot.

According to eyewitnesses, as Irvin recited these lines, “You know what the Left hates more than Republicans? The black friends of Republicans! I want to be your black friend,” a herd of rabbits stopped to watch. For the next commercial, Irvin pointed a green prop gun at a remote-controlled camera. He recited the lines: “Some people say J.B. Pritzker has access to a space laser. Well, I prefer to practice my Second Amendment rights up close and personal.” Irvin pulled the trigger and the prop gun made a pop sound. The rabbits then charged Irvin and the crew.

“I think it was just a misunderstanding,” said Juliana, who asked that we not use her last name. “The poor abandoned bunnies thought Richard wanted to be their friend. They probably felt betrayed when he set off his cap gun. That’s why they attacked him.”

Joe, another eyewitness also witnessed the attack. He said: “Let’s just say I will never look at Monty Python and the Holy Grail the same way again.”

The Rabbit Response Team caught five rabbits and chased away the rest. The captured rabbits will be sent to a rescue organization to domesticate them.

“This is what happens when you don’t properly care for your rabbit,” said an officer who asked not to be named. “Too many residents adopt and then abandon their rabbits. These once innocent creatures have no choice but to join gangs in order to survive. They started out raiding gardens, but now they’ve moved on to attacking humans. For the love of God, if you’re not willing to fulfill a rabbit’s special needs, don’t adopt one! They can be loving pets with the right caretakers.”

When reached for comment, Irvin confirmed the attack and said he was okay:  “I want to thank the staff of Barber’s Corners Media for their professionalism during a crisis. Things have gotten so bad in Illinois under Pritzker and Madigan that rabbits are hunting humans! Those two make me angry, just like the idiots in my party who want to ban abortion. We can’t tell people it’s okay to spread a deadly airborne disease then say we’re pro-life. And while you’re here, tell Pritzker that I prosecuted criminals before I defended them! So I know criminals, and Trump is the biggest criminal I know. He’s worse than all the Illinois democrats combined!”

“You can’t say that!” someone in the background yelled.

“Chill out,” Irvin replied. “I’m just talking to the Babbler. No one believes them.”

A spokesperson for Barber’s Corners Media would neither confirm nor deny they were working with Irvin.

In the background, Covert Social Media Operative Charlene Spencer sat conversing at a desk with Bolingbrook Mayor Mary Alexander-Basta:

“I told you my friend at Miblart makes great covers.”

“You are too kind,” said a man on a video call.

Alexander-Basta said, “We’ll need it soon because I want the Village to publish its fantasy novel before that Babbler staffer does. There are no rifts in Bolingbrook.”

“I won’t argue,” Spencer replied. “Here’s your invoice.”

“Wow! I can’t believe it. What’s the catch?”

The sound of gunfire could be heard in the background. The man ducked, followed by the sound of an explosion that shook the camera. The man returned to his seat and adjusted the camera.

“Sorry about that. So any free changes you want to make?”

Spencer replied, “Could you add a blue tint to this part?”

Also in the Babbler:

Bolingbrook will not recognize Christopher Hitchens’s birthday as a holiday
AI announces candidacy for Will County Board against Jackie Traynere
Trumpanati cancels convention at the Bolingbrook Golf Club
God to smite Bolingbrook on 5/20/22

Note: This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer.  

My new novel, The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story, is coming out soon. Pathways to Bolingbrook: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story is free and available now. For book updates, sign up for my newsletter.

Another ways to get a free copy of Pathways to Bolingbrook (Non-fiction)

From now until the end of May, you can get a free copy of Pathways to Bolingbrook, as well as free ebooks by and other fantasy authors.

Into the Pathway Village!

You can also get a copy of Pathways at Amazon and almost everywhere ebooks are sold. I’m also offering a print edition that includes bonus material bonus material.

Finally, I hope to have an update about The Rift, the next book in the series, soon.



We get letters. (Unfortunately) April 2022 edition (Fiction)

By Doug Fields
Reader’s Editor

(Out of character: Unless stated otherwise, these are not real letters.)

Sometimes I’m proud to say that I edit the Babbler’s letters to the editor. This is not one of those times. Maybe it’s all the readers with COVID dementia, or maybe the past five years have brought out the worst in us. No difference. These letters make me question the future of humanity. Judge for yourself.

While most Bolingbrook residents stand with the Ukrainian people against the Russian invasion, this reader just has to be special:

To the Editor:

The New York Times says Ukraine doesn’t have a Nazi problem. This is the same newspaper that published a Hitler editorial in 1941! Therefore Vladimir Putin is right. Let’s stop punishing Russia and start supporting Putin’s special military operation to rid the world of Nazis once and for all!

Julie X. Weimar
Bolingbrook, IL

Someone better warn Malcolm Nance before it’s too late.

Our descent into the abyss continues with this letter. This reader doesn’t know that Bolingbrook isn’t in the Sixth Congressional District. Then again, incumbent Congressional Representative Marie Newman doesn’t live there either. 

To the Editor:

Days ago, Fake IL06 representative Sean Casten said the public was going to “level” Rep. Marie Newman and insurrectionist President Trump was still free. Yet the so-called ethics committee is investigating Newman instead of those two. How outrageous!.

Don’t let the media confuse you. Newman is running on the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. That’s all you need to know. Oh, and she’s not afraid to vote against Israel! 

Newman shouldn’t be forced to violate her crypto agreement and she shouldn’t be stopped from investing in America. She shouldn’t be stopped period. Don’t let anyone tell you to think about it. Just vote for Newman and she’ll do the rest!

Bill Z. Blankenship
Downers Grove, IL

I’m not sorry to say that anyone who invested in cryptocurrencies shouldn’t be considered an environmentalist. 

Locally, this next resident wants a certain book banned. 

To the Editor:

We must prevent the most woke novel in history from reaching Bolingbrook! The Rift promises to be a story about aliens and monsters set in our fine village. Don’t be fooled! It has trans people and feminists in it! The author says it’s not marketed to children, but why does it have a gay magician in it? It also has suspicious references to elevators…

We must do everything in our power to stop the woke mob from canceling us by banning this book! Our freedom depends on it! Scream about it at every government meeting. Don’t worry about what to say. Have faith that God will put the right words in your mouth.

Jill “I have a gun and that’s all you need to know,”
Bolingbrook, IL

The novel mentioned is The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story, written by our webmaster. Let me assure you it is not pornographic, and probably will tick off a certain slimy part of the atheist community.

Now, this next resident is taking the suburban cancel culture scare to its logical conclusion:

To the Editor:

You know, there are so many positive things going on in Bolingbrook, like the opening of Eiffel Waffle. But there are too many “critical” distractions that are dividing our wonderful community, e.g. things like Critical Race Theory, Gender Critical Feminism, and scientific criticism. 

The solution to this critical problem is simple: We must ban critical thinking in Bolingbrook. Instead of arguing over garbage toters, golf clubs, and COVID restrictions, we should shut out the negativity, and just enjoy all the fine businesses in Bolingbrook. Free your mind, and just follow the wonderful thought leaders who make our village first! In the First Party, we trust!

Marcus T. Fish
Bolingbrook, IL

I enjoy thinking for myself, while being grounded in the real world, thank you very much. People who want to think for you shouldn’t. 

Maybe next time I’ll be able to feature letters that don’t fill me with despair.

Also in the Babbler:

Russia threatens heatwave and snowstorms this weekend
Downstate judge threatens to declare atheism unconstitutional
Governor Pritzker buys UFO display ads attacking Mayor Irvin
God to smite Bolingbrook on 4/21/22

Note: This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer.  

My new novel, The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story, is coming out soon. Pathways to Bolingbrook: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story is free and available now. For book updates, sign up for my newsletter.