Thursday, October 15, 2020

Big Election Sale

I had a plan to have ten of my Kindle ebooks on sale leading up to the election.  The hope was that maybe somebody would download one of my books so they would have something to read while they waited in line to vote.  So that was the plan, but then I started seeing all these posts of people waiting in line for ten hours or more to vote early.  My big sale that wouldn’t start until the end of the month wouldn’t help them, so I’m now doing four smaller sales from now through the election.  This post will show which books are free to download when.  So if you’re going to be waiting in line, hopefully something of mine will strike your fancy and help pass the time.  And if you’ve already voted, then reward yourself.  And if you’re not an American citizen, then be sure to vote in your country’s elections.  Democracy only works if the people participate.

Thursday October 15 through Monday October 19

A Man of Few Words

 


A Man of Few Words is a collection of fifty flash fiction stories by Stephen L. Thompson. What would really happen if a “T-Rex on steroids” attacked a city? Why do science fiction writers make the best lovers? How does a company get to Second Base with VIPs? These questions and more are explored by Stephen using less than 1000 words and in various genres from humor to horror and general fiction to science fiction.

The majority of the stories were previously published (most by Stephen himself on his website) but all were revised for this collection. In addition, each piece is accompanied by some background information on the origin of the story or a funny tale about the writing of it to give a fuller experience.

The Moon Before Mars

 


Over the last few years a lot of people have caught Mars fever. It seems a week doesn’t go by without a report of some new group wanting to send people to Mars, or some big name in the industry talking about why we have to go to Mars, or articles talking about the glorious future humanity will have on Mars. All of this worries Stephen L. Thompson. In his opinion, a Mars base is currently not sustainable because there’s no way for it to make money. A few missions may fly doing extraordinary science, but if it’s then cancelled for cost the whole Mars Project may just be seen as an expensive stunt.

Fortunately, there are other places in the solar system besides Mars. While bases on the moon and amongst the asteroids won’t be as inspirational as one on Mars, they will have opportunities for businesses to make goods and services as well as profits, meaning less chance of them being outright cancelled. This will make life better on Earth and secure a firm foothold in space for humanity. The essays in “The Moon Before Mars: Why returning to the moon makes more sense than rushing off to Mars” allow Mister Thompson to describe his ideas on what can be accomplished on the moon and with the asteroids, and why Mars isn’t the destiny of humanity its cheerleaders make it out to be.

Tuesday October 20 through Saturday October 24

Lonely Phoenix

 


Partway to a new colony world, board member Geoffrey Ames is woken from hibernation by the caretaking crew of the Lucian. They require him to look into the matter of their fellow crewman Morgan Heller. Morgan’s claims – such as being over 1500 years old – would normally land him in the psychiatric ward, except he can back up some of his other claims.

The Only Certainty

 


On The Day, for reasons unknown, people began changing. They went to sleep as their old selves and woke in their beds in different bodies: bodies that had belonged to other people. And each time they fall asleep, they wake in a new body. Set months later, “The Only Certainty” follows Derrick Gorton on an average day in this new world as he deals with food shortages, the semi-collapse of society, and how to finish his latest novel.

Sunday October 25 through Thursday October 29

Relics

 


This work contains some profanity and sexual situations. It is intended for mature audiences only.

A plague that kills men has devastated the world’s population. Only a few thousand boys and men were able to be quarantined. But Mike Shay is the only man known to have a natural immunity to the plague. Therefore, he is practically the only man in a world of women. He spends his days reading, playing video games, and making the occasional sperm donation. Then Dr. Veronica Barrett shows up, disrupting what passes for his life. She says she’s there to investigate his “mental wellbeing,” but is there more to her visit?

Instead of the normal, adolescent, heterosexual male fantasy of being the only guy on a planet of women, “Relics” tries to give a more realistic view of Mike’s life.

Seventh Story Stockpile

 


Over the years, Stephen L. Thompson has posted several short stories on websites that later – for one reason or another – died. While the corpses of some of these sites are still around where you can read his stories, many have vanished from the internet. And since there are few sites that will publish such previously published works, the only way you could read them was if he self-published them in a collection.

In addition to such “lost” stories, he’s included some new stories that – for one reason or another – he felt he’d have a hard time finding someone to publish them. So “Seventh Story Stockpile” basically contains stories he didn’t know what to do with. But now he can move on to other projects.

Friday October 30 through Tuesday November 3

Political Pies

 


Everybody complains about politics, but does anyone do anything about it? Stephen L. Thompson’s attempt to do something about it is to collect forty of his short stories with a political element into his Political Pies anthology. His stories are either politically neutral or equally condemning of the national parties. Instead of trying to sway you to one ideology or another, his goal is to just get people thinking about politics in the hopes a rose might grow out of all the political manure.

The All-You-Can-Read Buffet

 


The All-You-Can-Read Buffet is a collection of forty stories covering various genres and themes ranging from six to over 4,200 words in length. Some of these stories Stephen L. Thompson began writing a decade ago, while others were written especially for this collection. All together, they are a buffet of his writing. As such, he encourage you to read as much as you want. Go back for seconds, thirds, fourths even. He won’t even mind if you skip over the stuff you don’t like, but, to quote your mother, “How do you know you don’t like it? Have you tried it?”

The Future is Coming

 


As a science fiction writer, Stephen L. Thompson has spent a lot of time thinking about how technology will change the way we live. He has come up with these ten short essays about science fictional elements that will – almost certainly – one day become science fact as a way for people to start coming to terms with them. Because he has spent time thinking about clones and AIs, Stephen feels that he’ll be okay when they do finally show up whereas most people will probably freak out. He hopes his essays will get people to start thinking about the future because, no matter what we do, the future is coming.

Duty



For reasons of safety and avoiding paradoxes, Time Travel Incorporated assigns a Guardian to all its travelers. So when there is an accident during political historian Roj Hasol’s trip back to 1968, it’s his Guardian Susan who sets out on the arduous task of cleaning up the mess.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Register to vote/Check your voter status


It seems every four years the political talking heads come out and say that “This election is the most important election of the modern era.” And you know what, for 2020, they might actually be right.  Because whether you think everything is hunky-dory, or you think the best description of the country is a dumpster fire, there will be major repercussions whoever wins this November.

Now you could just sit back and say, “Why bother voting when the system is broken?” Well, one aspect of why the system is broken is because too many people don’t bother being a part of it.  The only way to have a government that reflects the country is if the majority of the people participated in choosing that government.  Our government is not perfect – it’s very, very far from perfect – but not voting is you saying you’ll just take whatever happens.  And if you don’t like what you’re given, well, you can’t complain because you had the chance to make your voice heard and chose not to.

The way to make your voice heard is to register to vote.  How to register should be laid out on your state’s website.  But even if you’ve already registered, you should take the time to check your registration status, which I think is an option on most state websites.  (You may also wish to double check on your polling place.)  An important reason to do this now, is that there are several reasons why your status could be wrong: you moved and forgot to update it, a clerical error, or maybe you were caught up in an overly enthusiastic purge.  Whatever the reason, if you check now and find a problem you can get it all worked out before Election Day.  Election Day is hectic enough without people waiting in line only to find out there’s an issue.

So register to vote, or check your status, so everything will be in order come November 3rd and you can make sure your voice will be heard, in this, the most important election of the modern era.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Fourth of July Sale!

For the last few years, I’ve tried to have a free sale for my ebook of political stories, Political Pies, around the Fourth of July.  But this year – because of everything – I figured I’d include a few of my other ebooks as well.  So if you are so disgusted with real politics you don’t want to even read fictional politics, you have a few other choices.  All of these will be free to download from Wednesday July 1st, through Sunday July 5th.  So grab them before you get too drunk.

Political Pies

Everybody complains about politics, but does anyone do anything about it? My attempt to do something about it is to collect forty of my short stories with a political element into this anthology. The stories are either politically neutral or equally condemning of the national parties. Instead of trying to sway you to one ideology or another, my goal is to just get people thinking about politics in the hopes a rose might grow out of all the political manure.

A Man of Few Words

A Man of Few Words is a collection of fifty of my flash fiction stories. What would really happen if a “T-Rex on steroids” attacked a city? Why do science fiction writers make the best lovers? How does a company get to Second Base with VIPs? I explore these questions and more using less than 1000 words and in various genres from humor to horror and general fiction to science fiction.

The Moon Before Mars: Why returning to the moon makes more sense than rushing off to Mars

Over the last few years a lot of people have caught Mars fever. It seems a week doesn’t go by without a report of some new group wanting to send people to Mars, or some big name in the industry talking about why we have to go to Mars, or articles talking about the glorious future humanity will have on Mars. All of this worries me. In my opinion, a Mars base is currently not sustainable because there’s no way for it to make money. A few missions may fly doing extraordinary science, but if it’s then cancelled for cost the whole Mars Project may just be seen as an expensive stunt.

Fortunately, there are other places in the solar system besides Mars. While bases on the moon and amongst the asteroids won’t be as inspirational as one on Mars, they will have opportunities for businesses to make goods and services as well as profits, meaning less chance of them being outright cancelled. This will make life better on Earth and secure a firm foothold in space for humanity. The essays in “The Moon Before Mars: Why returning to the moon makes more sense than rushing off to Mars” allow me to describe my ideas on what can be accomplished on the moon and with the asteroids, and why Mars isn’t the destiny of humanity its cheerleaders make it out to be.

Duty

Who cleans up the mess when the time machine malfunctions?

A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories

Hopefully, in the not too distant future humans will return to the moon. We will build bases and colonies, make farms and factories, and live, love and learn. “A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories” contains five of my short stories that are all set upon the moon. They give the tiniest glimpse of the possibilities awaiting us there.


Monday, January 13, 2020

Too young to die for the country


I work in a store to pay my bills.  One of the things we sell are cigarettes.  Recently, the age to buy them was raised from 18 to 21.  This has upset a few people.  Oddly, the people upset seem to all be in the thirties who proudly announce that they are non-smokers. 

The common argument seems to be “If they’re old enough to fight in a war, they should be old enough to buy cigarettes.” And, they have a point.  It does seem odd that people that can get shot at or watch their friend get turned inside out by a roadside bomb shouldn’t buy cigarettes because they’re dangerous. 

Ignoring the idea that the human brain apparently doesn’t fully mature until we are in our mid-20s, which is why – from some vaguely remembered article I read years ago – some people argue that the age for buying beer and cigarettes should be older.  It’s far easier to damage younger brains.

But ignoring that, I wondered what if we switched things up.  What if we didn’t send people to war until they were 21?  People could still join the military at 18, go through all their training, but then get stationed either within the US, or in some safe allied nation, like Germany.  Only older troops would be sent to possibly hostile areas, like Iraq.

Wouldn’t that hinder our capabilities in a war? you ask.  Well, the way around that is that whenever Congress votes on a bill declaring war, they’d just stick in an amendment saying that the age restrictions would be lifted for the conflict. 

The biggest problem, that I can see, would be unit cohesion.  Right now a unit has people of various ages in it and you can’t just send 20% of a unit overseas because everyone else is under 21.  Of course, if this was a direction we went in, there would be ways to work around the problem.  It’s almost funny that – at one point – the ancient Romans had almost the opposite set up.