Dec 9, 2016

First of New Sci-fi Series Released

In December 2016, author Shaun J. McLaughlin published the first novelette, Final Exam, of a new science fiction series on Amazon.

For his final exam, Shane and his student partner visit a snowy vacation planet to solve a mystery--how could a sub-intelligent species leap 50,000 years in evolution in months to harness fire and develop a language. Their investigation leads them into deadly conflict with a sophisticated gang trying to gain control of the planet for its mineral riches.
Shane and his secret fraternity investigate infractions of the colonization charter that protects vulnerable intelligent species and their planets. They risk their lives to make sure that the tragic aftermath of 1492 in the Americas never happens again anywhere humans go. Some people want them stopped.

Final Exam begins a series, written in the classic sci-fi visions of Asimov and Heinlein, that examines human society as people expand through our galaxy. Humanity faces its historic enemy, humankind, but under different skies. Even as civility and civilization advance through the millennia, greed, gangs and malice remain as wolves chasing down the weak and vulnerable.


Nov 8, 2014

Novel: Dark Southern Sun

Dark Southern Sun, the second novel in the Ryan's Journey series, is now available as an ebook on Amazon and Smashwords, and as paperback at Amazon, CreateSpace, and elsewhere. For a pictorial guide, see the novel's Pinterest board.


Dark Southern Sun, picks up where Counter Currents left off and takes place entirely in Australia.

It is a tale of love, friendship, and honor in the goldfields of old Australia. Ryan washes up on the southern shore of Australia near death in 1845. Rescued by two Wathaurung native children and nursed to health by their parents, his life and theirs are entwined through good and sorrow for the next ten years. Set against the historical backdrop of Australia’s formative years, Ryan witnesses the displacement of the Aboriginal people, and he faces the chaos of the world’s largest alluvial gold rush and the bloodshed of Australia’s only armed uprising. Throughout, two very different women—one white, one black—tug at his heart as he struggles from penury to prosperity. As he rises in social esteem as an astute businessman and cunning street fighter, Ryan creates two bitter enemies—one white, one black. In time, they set aside their vast racial and emotional hatreds and combine forces. Can Ryan survive their vicious attempt to destroy him and save the good life he has built?

The cover art is by Wathaurung elder Marlene Gilson, who also reviewed the novel for cultural accuracy.

Tags: #HistoricalFiction #Adventure #HistoricalRomance #Australia #HistoryAustralia

Mar 30, 2014

Seven Best Writer’s Resources to Come By Email

Updated April 2014
I am stingy with my time. In trying to live a full life and write a book or two a year, I rarely indulge in prowling the Web for useful stuff. At the same time, I know I must stay current on the craft and business of writing and indie publishing. How do I reconcile temporal frugality with the need to know?

Mar 9, 2014

IndiePENdents.org: Where Authors Help Authors

Unfortunately, this installment on indie author communities no longer applies. The group ceased activity and is looking for someone to takeover. They still have an active Twitter account.

In a world awash with hundreds of thousands of new books yearly, where many are amateurish efforts, indiePENdents.org provided authors with a method to prove their books meet a basic professional standard.

Feb 10, 2014

Scribophile: Best Peer-to-Peer Writers' Resource

This is the second installment about indie author communities I find valuable. These are places where you can hone your craft and/or contribute to bettering our profession. 

Updated Feb. 14, 2014
Scribophile, online since February 2008, is a friendly and effective peer-to-peer author critique resource. It bills itself as an “online writing community that provides serious feedback for serious writers.” Basic membership is free. A premium membership is available for an annual fee. It provides extra services and privileges.

Jan 30, 2014

Indies Unlimited: Top Site for Indie Authors

This is the first installment on indie author communities I find valuable. These are places where you can hone your craft and/or contribute to bettering our profession.

If I had just one indie author site to subscribe to, it would be Indies Unlimited. This site, which began in October 2011, offers everything an indie author needs to get noticed, develop one’s talents and engage in the indie author community.

Jan 11, 2014

Shteyngart may be half right

U.S. writer Gary Shteyngart ruffled literary feathers in the land of the beaver and maple leaf recently when he essentially called Canada’s writing establishment wimps. In one paragraph in a story at vulture.com, he said:

“I was the judge of a Canadian prize, and it’s subsidized, they all get grants. Out of a million entries, we found four or five really good ones, but people just don’t take the same damn risks! Maybe they want to please the Ontario Arts Council, or whatever it is."