Thursday, September 6, 2018

Dancing With the Dead was a finalist for Indie Book of the Year. Alvar's Spear won GOLD for Best Indie Science Fiction Book of 2018. My new release, Witches Gambit has been called "A Masterpiece." 

Save the date--two weeks from today-- September 20th - 6 pm--at the Westfield Library-- I will be reading from, all three--and hosting an open discussion about writing, being an empath, and what it might mean to a society to talk with the dead. 

I hope you will be there--bring your questions with you.


Friday, July 27, 2018

GOLD MEDAL WINNER

I just received my GOLD MEDAL for Alvar's Spear from Next Generation Indie Book Awards. The judges had this to say:
"A rock-solid chunk of classic science fiction. Clearly inspired by the titans of 1960's and 1970's, yet completely unique and by no means derivative. Alvar's Spear is "old school", but with all of the positive and none of the negative connotations that term provokes. The book's overarching message of unity as it conflicts with prejudice feels particularly relevant to today."
I'm celebrating by lowering the price to 99 cents. If you're looking for a fast-paced story that's unlike anything you've seen since you read the masters of science fiction, --a story of revolution, love and redemption on a sentient planet where a pack of snow wolves plays a major role--get your copy now at http://mybook.to/alvarspear

Sunday, July 1, 2018

International Writers Inspiring Change Gives Witches' Gambit Rave Review

Witches’s Gambit by Charles Freedom Long. FIVE STARS!

This is an excellent story – masterfully written. Imagine Earth in the not too distant future, where religious fundamentalism has divided the camps between deep-faithed Christians and Muslim followers, and those who adhere to no particular faith at all. It is a fractured world, mankind is severed by fear, suspicion and racism.

In this hotbed, weapons of mass destruction are still flaunted by questionably sane governments and corporate avarice that fuels division and hatred to fill their accounts.

Three humans find themselves approached by an alien visitor who has come to Earth to convince them to return to his world and plead on behalf of the human race to the Council of Seven Worlds. Mankind’s obsession with war and self-destruction, and the fact that Earth is on the cusp of jumping into interstellar space travel, is perceived by the Council of Seven as a threat to their existence, and because of humanity’s historically tragic history of murder and mayhem, it has been decided that Earth must either be destroyed or subjugated before they can assault other worlds with their destructive forces. 

Aidan, Michael and Peebles, three humans, must endure a life-threatening journey through a quantum loop in order to stand before the Council of Seven Worlds and convince them that destroying Earth, or invading it, will not accomplish the end they seek.

This is an excellent tale, one which puts the human race on trial, showing the good, the bad and the very ugly, and to the last page, one wonders how these three ambassadors can possibly avert what seems to be the inevitable.

More than science fiction – Witches’ Gambit is a preview of where our world is heading if fundamentalist religion and corrupt politicians continue to divide the human race into illusory camps; and corporate greed continues to fuel a military establishment, a world where fear dominates and where logic, love and science have taken the backseat.

Review by Writers Inspiring Change

Friday, June 1, 2018

JUST RELEASED- WITCHES' GAMBIT

      Aidan Ray, successful attorney—and psychic—secretly communes with the dead in a fascist Christian society that would call her “witch” and wipe her mind.
      Earth is split into separate warring theocracies who want to dominate the planet. They are on the verge of expanding their conflict into outer space.
     Michael Good, an executive who likes to live dangerously, leads a secret insurgency in Aidan’s home state.
     Fate places them together. And together, they must face a crisis that could destroy the earth.
     A mediating alien, concerned about the future of their shared universe, has come to Earth.  His galaxy is on the verge of making a preemptive strike to prevent the spread of a species that resolves its problems by murdering each other— a diseased specimen that may have to be exterminated before it infects other worlds:  humans.   
     He ponders if Earth is worth saving? And asks Aidan and Michael to plead humanity’s case to the Council of the Seven Worlds, before the Earth is destroyed.
     But to do that, they must brave the hazardous passage to another galaxy from which they may never return.
      Or have anything to return to.


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Book One of the AWARD-WINNING Seven Worlds Series
Book Two, INDIE BOOK OF THE YEAR FINALIST, DANCING WITH THE DEAD, Book Three, NEXT GENERATION INDIE GOLD MEDAL WINNER, ALVAR’S SPEAR, are available online or at select bookstores.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Woodcock in the Back Yard

Last evening, just after sundown, one of my Maltese dogs started barking furiously at something behind the garage. He looked like he was about to attack it. (For those of you who have only seen Maltese Show dogs on TV, they are one of the oldest known breeds, carried on ships by the Phoenicians and later the Maltese as effective rat-killers. They are lightning fast and can jump very high, so a short-cropped Maltese dog can easily kill a fairly large rodent, or in this case, a bird). 

I called him off and hustled out there---to find a large woodcock doing what woodcock do when threatened--staying perfectly still and depending on their amazing camouflage to protect them. Unfortunately, their scent is not camouflaged. I moved all three dogs into the house and approached close enough to see that it appeared uninjured, and since it was about three feet from my grass clipping compost bin, which is full of earthworms (a Woodcock banquet)--earthworms are their preferred food. They have a beak that is fixed at the back with a movable tip to help them root out worms in the soft soil they frequent), I decided that was why it had paused in my backyard on its migration back up north. Woodcock tend to fly at night, so I told the bird "No one is going to hurt you--enjoy your feast." 

I just left it alone, went out this morning to see it had moved on. It's probably gone across Lake Erie into Canada by now.

Monday, March 5, 2018

An Evening at the Chess Club

I don’t know what your image of a chess club is, but chances are, it’s erroneous. For one thing, it’s not overstuffed leather chairs and brandy. Most chess clubs manage to scrape a meeting location together thanks to a local school, service club or business. And not all chess players are geniuses. (Einstein was a mediocre chess player). But, chances are, you will probably meet a bunch of local characters, male and female, young, old and in-between. And it’s not stodgy. Unless you come into a rated tournament, when silence and concentration are the rule, you’ll encounter some interesting conversations, behaviors and some very interesting chess moves.
Like "The Screw" --screwing the piece firmly into the square which gives the impression of great scientific solidity--as practiced by the past World Champion Smyslov.
Or the "La Delicatesse" move, where, pinky in the air, the piece is not lifted at all, nor touched with the forefinger, but delicately slid with the two middle fingers into a crushing mating position guaranteed to make strong men weep.
Or its antithesis, "The Sledgehammer" gambit, where you have a hopelessly lost game, so you lift a piece high in the air and bring it down on the board with such force that all the other pieces are sent flying and you hope your opponent cannot reconstruct the position so you have to start over.
You may witness "The Sucker Punch", where one player maintains a constant patter of comment on the game, suggesting better moves for his opponent, and ultimately suggesting a worse, in fact, a terrible move, after which he sweeps the piece off the board with a loud chuckle.
Maybe you will encounter one of my favorites to watch: "The Whirling Dervish", where a piece--preferably a Knight--is lifted from the board and flown around in circles through the air, finally coming to rest on a square it could never have reached from its original position and forking your King and Rook.

Or maybe, you'll just have some fun and play a few games of chess with some new friends.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

BREAD AND CIRCUSES

This phrase began around 100 AD, when the Roman poet, Juvenal, pointed out the erosion of civic duty among the Roman population, who no longer cared about its historical birthright of political involvement—republicanism. (In the sense of creating a republic of representatives).

In the Roman Empire, it was bread, chariot races and gladiatorial games that filled the belly and distracted the mind, allowing emperors to rule as they saw fit.

The notion is particularly apropos today, Super bowl Sunday. The culmination of a season of NFL contests that more and more resemble gladiatorial combat—just look at the lifelong injuries if you doubt that. We have NASCAR, the modern chariot races, with death and dismemberment as spectacular penalties, cable and satellite TV with 300 plus channels, mega-lotteries, offering the tantalizing hope of becoming millionaires, at odds worse than being hit by lightning. Supermarkets crammed full of junk food, filled with sugar---six times more addictive than cocaine—and salt, and chemicals designed to tickle the taste buds and distract consumers from the reality of what they are putting into their bodies.

Please note, I am not opposed per se to football. Nor NASCAR. Nor lotteries. Nor TV. Nor junk food. I am opposed to what they are used for by today's emperors-- politicians and the power-elite. Diversion, distraction, satisfaction of the immediate, shallowest desires of a population, as a way to keep them ignorant, complacent, and slaves to debt while those politicians and powerful persons continue to rob them of their money, health, intellect, and moral backbone. To make them no longer care about the historical birthright of the human race-----to grow wiser, stronger, more loving, more inclusive, more—dare we say it?—godlike in our imitation of greater beings we claim to exist and care for us.

So, while you’re watching the Super bowl spectacle, picking up a six-pack, Cheetos, and a mega-lottery ticket—or not—take a moment to wonder----does this resemble the decline of the Roman Republic? Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.