Back from Sakuracon

I took Dan to Sakuracon over the weekend. Sakuracon is the big anime (Japanese animation) convention in Seattle.

Anime fandom sure has changed since I first encountered it in the mid-Eighties. The Eighties boom was fueled by the introduction of the home VCR, which made possible the widespread piracy of laserdiscs and videotapes from Japan. Fans bombarded everyone they knew with low-quality tapes of their favorite shows. These were in Japanese, without subtitles, but many of the shows were so visual that understanding the dialog was unnecessary. read more...

My SF Novel Will Be Available in a Few Days

I approved the proof of my SF novel, “One Survivor,” today, which means that it’s technically in print already. However, it takes a couple of days for the news to spread. Amazon and Ingram (the world’s biggest book wholesaler) ought to figure it out at more or less the same time.

It’s a 258-page trade paperback and retails for $16.95.

I’ve posted a new One Survivor page on the Norton Creek Press Web site, which has background information about the book.

I’ve also published a lengthy excerpt, which consists of the first third of the book. If that doesn’t hook you, nothing will. read more...

Ruggedized PCs for Farmers’ Markets and Outdoor Use

We discovered years ago that our best chance of keeping our record-keeping and advance orders straight was to have a laptop with us at the farmer’s market. But most laptops can’t be used in bright daylight, let lone rain. What to do?

One solution we hit upon was to take the record-keeping PC with us to the market. For this, we turned to the Panasonic ToughBook. These are ruggedized PCs that can be tossed around, rained on, and generally treated like farm equipment. Spill-resistant, dust-proof, with shock-mounted disk drives and daylight-readable screens, they’re the bee’s knees for outdoor use. read more...

My SF Novel, “One Survivor,” Almost Ready

The aftermath of my cold has slowed me down, but I’ve made my final pass through my science fiction novel, One Survivor. Karen will go over it one more time, and then I can upload it to Lightning Source. It should be available in a week or so.

And it’s about time, too, considering I started this project in 1987!

After that, we’ll finish up the third book in the Tom Slade series. And there are plenty more books where these came from — chicken books, farm books, novels, you name it — all stacked up waiting for us to find some time. read more...

Radio Clocks and Daylight Savings Time

Ah, daylight savings time. What was the point of it again? Oh yeah … it doesn’t work, but Congress look concerned and attentive. This isn’t easy for them, so they’ll clutch at any straw.

Anyway, I have a lot of “atomic clocks,” which are really radio-synchronized clocks that get their signal from the super-low-frequency transmitter at WWVB in Fort Collins, Colorado. I like these because you can forget about your timepieces except when you need to replace the batteries five years later. They set themselves to the radio signal. read more...