Monday, August 7, 2017

We had a visit from a FIDO Master, whom some of you will recognize from this photo, taken just as he announced "mate in three," playing black in a recent game where he employed the little known Russian Wolfhound Gambit to great success.

Gracious in victory or defeat, except for the occasionally over-exuberant moment when he is apt to seize upon his opponent's King and give it a good shaking, the FIDO Master's appearance at the board is a welcome sign to all.  Renowned for their aggressive and vociferous approach to the game of chess, FIDO Masters are virtuosos at intimidating opponents. Occasionally going so far as demonstrating their disdain for an opponent’s blunder by lifting their leg on the errant piece.

Unfortunately, The FIDO Master will not be attending any upcoming club meetings in the near future.. He’s been barred from local establishments after an unfortunate series of events best left unmentioned involving a rare steak, a lady's hat and a small child's ice cream sundae. For the time being, the FIDO Master must relegate his over-the-board play to non-food-related establishments, but he said he is looking forward to some chess sessions over cigars in the cabana.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


In a very favorable review, Blueink Reviews said Alvar's Spear was "neo-retro science fiction," compared my book to Ursula Le Guin's Hugo-Award-winning The Word For World Is Forest, and added, "readers who are looking for neo-retro science fiction—especially those who enjoyed Ursula Le Guin’s early works—will find this novel both entertaining and enlightening." 

I have to say, I like the classification. And I'm flattered by the complimentary comparison to Ursula Le Guin's novel. (Who wouldn't be?)

Here are some of the other nice things they said:  

"Alvar's Spear is archetypal science fiction: wildly imaginative, thought-provoking, and thematically profound."

"The story is undoubtedly a powerful read. Ideas explored include prejudice, acceptance and unity, but ultimately, the questions asked are deeply spiritual in nature."

"This is a solid science fiction offering. The philosophical undertone (quotes from Nietzsche, Cicero, Sun Tzu, Sitting Bull, Malcolm X, Sartre, etc. serve as chapter headers) adds a deeply contemplative layer to the narrative tapestry."

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


ALVAR'S SPEAR, by Charles Freedom Long, a sci-fi fantasy, is Star Wars quality action.  Alvar's Spear takes us into the future, where sentient races are at odds, where the ultimate fate awaits entire worlds unless one person, Gar, a hybrid, can find a way to save his world before it is too late. Wonderfully written, elaborately detailed, filled with engaging dialogue, heated passion, and action. 

Synopsis: Gar, a hybrid of more than one race, is given a mission to save his home world from being eviscerated. Sentient factions from different worlds are verging on conflict, and in the center of it all is Gar, who must find a way to restore stability and peace. Gar is up against a ruthless and power-hungry man, Noksun, a senior official who sees him as his only real obstruction to his plans to become the ultimate ruler. Gar calls for the help of the greatest geneticist in the known Universe, Mbali, a beautiful Terran who can help him, but who seems to oppose him at every turn, not trusting his words, until… The dynamics of power, the power-plays, the introduction of mutants and genetically modified sentients, all of it becomes a space-operatic war on a scale and with passion and violence that keeps one reading to find out how, with only a small faction of men and women behind him and the Snow Wolves, Gar can possibly go up against the organized military might that Noksun has prepared to launch in order to take control of the planet.

This story has lots of well-written dialogue between the players, scripted with a unique language of its own, with a touch of romance, conflicted jealousies, back-stabbing and of course, lots of action. You get it all!
There is also a message, the timeless message of unity, equality and humanity built into this story – where the good are fighting against the evil who want to keep the camps divided, keep hatred and division alive – a theme which is all too-real in our contemporary times.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

IT'S HERE -- A NEW NOVEL IN THE SEVEN WORLDS SERIES From Award Winning Author, Charles Freedom Long

Thirty years after dancing with the dead, half-Terran, half-Antal, Gar has just one desperate last chance to save the Antal hive from immolation at the hands of its own mother, the sentient moon-world, Alvar. He must do this before a mutant conspiracy turns Alvar into a fetid swamp, and enslaves the Antal. Alvar has sworn to hurl herself into the gas giant she orbits before she allows that to happen.

To become the planetary savior, Alvar’s Spear, Gar must confront enemies, assassins, a traitor, and a beautiful, brilliant, Terran geneticist. He must travel into the mysterious Forbidden Mountains of the vild, from which no one has returned. If successful, he will save Alvar.

But the danger of creating a savior is that he will be his own person. He will do what he will, and whether his acts are judged good or bad will only be known in the unrolling of time. Time is not on gar’s side. But time does unroll. What it reveals may not be to everyone’s liking.

Available at Amazon

Monday, February 27, 2017

Don't Be Paranoid, But Do Be Attentive

Surveillance through technology is so pervasive, the collection and use of our data is so much more sophisticated. It’s totally covert. And people don’t realize what is going on.
It’s all about the emotions. They call it bio-psycho-social profiling. It takes your physical, mental and lifestyle attributes (mining much information freely given on sites like Facebook) and, using algorithms, works out how people work, how they react emotionally, and then targets them--usually with bots--with words they will react emotionally to, and a message the manipulator wants them to accept.
Many of the techniques were refined in Russia, and then exported everywhere else. These incredible propaganda tools were developed in an authoritarian regime, and have now moved into free market economies with an absolute absence of regulatory stoppers--vacuums. And nature deplores a vacuum, so you get a firestorm.
The Oxford Internet Institute says one third of all traffic on Twitter before the EU referendum was automated “bots” – accounts that are programmed to look like people, to act like people, and to change the conversation, to make topics trend. And they were all for Leave.
Before the US election, they were five-to-one in favor of Trump – many of them Russian. Yes, Russian bots. Last week they were identified in action in the Stoke by-election in England –
We’re not quite in the alternative reality where the actual news has become “Fake news!!!” But we’re almost there.

Out on Twitter, the new transnational battleground for the future, someone has tweeted a quote by Marshall McLuhan, the great information theorist. “World War III will be a guerrilla information war. With no divisions between military and civilian participation.”