Would you let this man run your Mars colony? (Non-fiction)

Elon Musk

Elon Musk has decided to improve Twitter by imposing reading limits.

To address extreme levels of data scraping & system manipulation, we’ve applied the following temporary limits: – Verified accounts are limited to reading 6000 posts/day – Unverified accounts to 600 posts/day – New unverified accounts to 300/day

Considering that most social media companies want readers to say on as long as possible so they see more ads, this is not the way to recoup his $44 billion investment. I don’t know if it’s a cover for a broken update, or he has no impulse control when it comes to Twitter. Honestly, I surprised it hasn’t crashed and burned already.

If he fulfills his dream of moving to Mars and running a colony, I’m sure he would screw it up in ways I can’t even begin to imagine. Fortunately, I have a feeling he’ll be long gone by the time humanity figures out how to build sustainable cities on Mars.

Busy Week (Non-fiction)

Not sure if I’ll get a story in this week. I’m prepping for an interview and workshop, and, hopefully, I’ll hear back from one of the places I’ve interviewed at.

The new novel is coming along. At this point, I’m thinking that I’ll finish the first draft next year, but I could surprise myself. Right now, I’m working on a scene that takes place at Navy Pier Grand Ballroom. I’ve been there once for an awards ceremony. It was part of the original Pier, and quite a contrast from the strip mall on the lake.

In the meantime, if you subscribe to my monthly newsletter, you’ll get a free copy of God to Smite Bolingbrook, a collection of my pre-Freethought Blogs stories. This eBook is only available through my newsletter. Plus I’ll have a couple of special announcements in next month’s edition.

If I don’t post again this week, I should have story up by next week.  Maybe Brookbot will return…


God to Smite Bolingbrook is out and it’s free! (Non-Fiction)

After promising to make a collection of my pre-Freethought Blog Babbler articles, I finally got around to it. God to Smite Bolingbrook is a collection of some of my favorite stories from 1998 to 2016. It includes my first Babbler article from 1998, and other fun stories. Ever wondered what a reboot of Phil Plait’s Bad Universe TV show for an interstellar audience would be like? Or if creationists took a stab at mathematics? Or what AtheistTV could have become with the right programing director? Now you can! God to Smite Bolingbrook is a trip down memory lane for long time readers, and an opportunity to learn about the evolution of the Babbler stories, and setting.

If that’s not enough, it also includes an excerpt from my novel, The Rift. You’ll get the prologue and the first chapters.

So, how much for this eBook? If you subscribe to my author newsletter, you’ll get God to Smite Bolingbrook for free. If you decide to remain a subscriber, you’ll get updates about my books and other projects at least once a month. Subscribers will also be the first to know about any special deals. I hope you’ll check it out.

Now back to writing Revenge of the Phantom Press.

Cover of God to Smite Bolingbrook

God to Smite Bolingbrook: Best of the Babbler 1998 to 2016.

The title of my work in progress (Non-Fiction)

I’m working on my next novel, which is the sequel to The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story. While I discarded an earlier draft, I feel like I’m back on track with this draft. I’ve also settled on the title.

The next Bolingbrook Babbler book is… Revenge of the Phantom Press: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story.

Tom is back as the main character, and it’s set over a year after the events in The Rift.

On the eve of Bolingbrook’s 50 anniversary, the Phantom Press, the Babbler’s long lost rival publication, reappears. The Babbler is one of the first targets for the twisted spirit’s quest for revenge.

Risking his career and possibly his life, Tom sets out to investigate their return. With the help of a woman from his past, and Anti-Psychic Kitty, Tom attempts to unravel the Phantom Press’ mysterious return.

Tom soon realizes that the ghosts of the Phantom Press could be part of something far more powerful and dangerous. Something that could upend the global balance of power. Can Tom uncover the truth before Bolingbrook’s 50th anniversary becomes its last?

No release date yet. Possibly 2024. Maybe this year, provided I’m able to get it fully vetted and edited. I’ll keep everyone updated. 🙂

Kobo Plus comes to the UK and the US! (Non-fiction)

Kobo, a Canada-based eBook and audiobook retailer, just opened their subscription service, Kobo Plus, to the US and UK market. Like Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service, a user pays for a monthly subscription and gets unlimited access to eBooks and audiobooks. From their blog post:

The Kobo Plus catalogue is ever-growing, with more titles being added to the collection each month. The service has three budget-friendly subscription plan offers:

  • Kobo Plus Read: Unlimited eBooks for $7.99 USD or €9,99 GBP per month
  • Kobo Plus Listen: Unlimited audiobooks for $7.99 USD or €9,99 GBP per month
  • Kobo Plus Read and Listen: Unlimited eBooks and audiobooks for $9.99 USD or €12,99 GBP per month

The Kobo Plus subscription is an ideal way to approach a bucket list of literary classics, an entire author’s catalogue, or to dive into a new field of interest. With unlimited reading for one low monthly fee, the subscription lets readers sample a few pages from a genre or author they have never read, and move on to another book guilt-free if it’s not to their taste. It’s an ideal option for avid booklovers who can tear through several books a month, and for those who prefer to read a few chapters before committing. There’s never been a better time to discover new authors and series on a Kobo eReader or with the free Kobo reading app.

This is a great development for independent publishers too. Before, UK and US indie publishers had to choose between only distributing their eBooks only through Amazon, or opt out of KU to sell each eBook individually through Amazon and other retailers (Known “Wide Distribution”). Since Kobo Plus doesn’t have an exclusivity requirement, indie authors can now enjoy the benefits of distribution through a subscription service and wide distribution. The payment for authors on Kobo Plus is about the same as KU’s payment.

My books are already on Kobo Plus. So you can bing my books, move on another author, and not have to feed the Amazon machine. Any competition for Amazon is good news for all readers.

Disclaimer: These are not affiliate links, nor am I being paid by Rakuten Kobo beyond normal book sales. 


I have an online store! (Non-fiction)

I’m trying out I’ve added an online store and memberships to my Buy Me A Coffee page. You can buy eBook editions of my books, plus you have choice of monthly subscription options. They range from a simple monthly donation to store discounts up to getting a signed paperback copy of any new releases. I also have a lifetime membership option as well. Plus you can still send me a one time donation too. Any purchase or donation will help me complete the next Bolingbrook Babbler novel.

I’m also open to suggestion for rewards and membership levels. Check it out, and feel free to leave a comment.

Help a FTB member out.

(Updated with the correct reason for the fundraiser.)

Fellow blogger Great American Satan is having a fundraiser to make cover lost wages during recovery. From the comments:

strictly speaking, the money isn’t for the procedure, it’s replacing lost wages from recovery time. don’t wanna sit upright 8 hrs a day, commute, and charge around on breaks with a stitched up gut.

I really like the stretch goal:

To make my bills less ouch, I’d like to fundraise.  Here is the incentive:  Donate at all, and you can choose a word I will rhyme in a rap.  If five people choose orange, I’ll try to come up with five shitty sorta-rhymes for orange.

This will be strictly words on digital paper, maybe starting below and then compiled in a blog post, unless we reach goals. At $500, I will do an audio performance of the rap.  At $600, I will do a video.  These productions, if they happen, will be lo-fi as all hell, because I just don’t have the time for big effort.

Please consider helping out, if only to hear what rhymes with orange…

Quick Life and book updates (Non-fiction)

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been quiet for the past two weeks. It’s because I got laid off from my job. So I’ve been hitting the job boards and adjusting to my new situation. It’s been rough for my wife and I, but we’re hanging in there. We’re okay for now. There are some job leads I’m following, and one of them might work out. I’ll post updates.

There are a couple ways to help, if you want to. If you like Urban Fantasy books, consider buying my Urban Fantasy series the Bolingbrook Babbler Stories, or asking your local library to add it to collection. It would help. I’ve also set up a BuyMeACoffee account where anyone can leave a donation. I’ve set up some membership levels for monthly subscriptions. Some rewards include early access to my new releases, and signed paperback copies of a new release. If you want other rewards or have other ideas, I’m open to them.

On a brighter note, I’m working on the next Bolingbrook Babbler novel. I’m aiming for a release in 2024, but if things work out, I might get it out this year. This one focuses on Tom Larsen, the main character in The Rift. It will be a very haunting book. I’ll leave it at that for now. You can subscribe to my free newsletter if you want to be one of the first to know the title.

Lastly, my current book, A Fire in the Shadows, is part of two review copy bundles put together by Booksirens. All the ebooks are free to download, but if you do, please consider leaving a review. Most are advance copies of books soon to be published, while a few are recent releases. You don’t even have to download my book, but I hope you will consider helping one of these authors with a review. The bundles are:

I hope to get back to regular updates starting next week. Including job search updates.

The Podish-Sortacast goes live today: Atheist Organizations and their discontents

What’s wrong with atheist organizations today? Why are some “leaders” aligning themselves with the “Intellectual Dark Web,” or supporting reactionary causes? On today’s Podish-Sortacast, we’ll tackling the problems within organized atheism, and touching on problems with organizations in general. We’ll be live on YouTube, or you can watch the recording. The live show starts today at 16:00 US Central Time, and I should be there. I’m on the board of a Kol Hadash, and was involved in the skeptical movement for some years. My novel, The Rift, is partly based on Elevatorgate and the right-wing shift by some leaders in the atheist movement. So I should have something to add today.