B. Michael Stevens is my guest on ASJ

Debut author B. Michael Stevens joins host Richard Paolinelli this week to discuss The Goddess Gambit. Marketing a novel that doesn’t fit a specific genre and Stevens’ story in the upcoming Planetary Anthology: Pluto.

Afterwards, Richard discusses a disturbing trend: Gatekeeping. It has him running a little hot under the collar. But don’t worry, no show hosts were injured during the filming of this week’s episode.

You can watch the show starting Wednesday, March 13th at Noon (EDT): Here’s the link:



An MP3 download of the show will be available Wednesday afternoon that you can listen to on your MP3 player at your convenience.

And be sure to grab a copy of Stevens’ debut novel right here: The Goddess Gambit

Silence One Author, Silence Us All

I ran afoul of an author(?) tonight on Twitter who is part of a minor clique of shrieking harpies who seem dead set on making authors miserable. In nearly every instance, they haven’t done well with their writing. Instead of working on improving their craft, they seek excuses to blame others for their shortcomings.

Part of their schtick is to bully authors into pulling their stories or massively changing them on the grounds of “diversity/sensistivity” or some other nonsense. The one that really boils my writer’s blood is the claim that unless you are the same race/gender/sexual orientation/whatever as your main characters then you have no right to write a story with them in it.

If you will pardon my French: What a load of horseshit!!!!

What amazing classics we would have been denied if this wrong way of thinking had been the norm throughout literary history. Was Shelly a mad scientist or a creature constructed from body parts of the dead? No, she was not. Does this disqualify Frankenstein as a classic that should be pulled from the shelves? Of course not.

Hemmingway was not a Cuban fisherman. Should we remove The Old Man and the Sea from the lists of great works? Of course not.

It has always been my position that all authors should be allowed to tell their story, their way. If they have done their job researching their story, it will show and the story will be well accepted by readers.

Every author should be free of the bullying from these small-minded troglodytes that cannot accept that you don’t have to be a person of color, the same gender or sexual orientation as your MCs. Nor are you required to have lived every minute of the life your MCs live in order to write well about them. Good writers can write excellent stories about incredible characters of any kind. Bad writers can only whine about those that can do what they themselves cannot accomplish.

Do NOT let these negative people shame you, nor demand that you filter your story through “sensitivity readers” or even demand that you pull your book from publication. They have NO right to silence you. They do NOT represent the majority of readers that are seeking the kind of story you’ve written.

The greatest crime is when even a single author’s voice has been shamed into silence. Write your story. Share it with the world. Do NOT give a second thought to these shrieking harpies who only want you to be as miserable as they are so they can feel better about themselves.


Every 50 Reviews

Ok, here’s the deal.

From now on, whenever one of my books (not an anthology I am in mind you, but one of my own novels) hits 50 reviews, I will randomly pick one of my followers on Social Media (Twitter/FB or my mailing list here) to win a signed copy of that book.

This repeats every 50 reviews for each book.

Here is the Amazon link for my author page for all of my books:


A Call For Help

Bonnie Oliver could use your help.

Author AM Freeman has created an anthology designed to help raise funds to help offset the costs of Bonnie’s life-saving surgery.

If you’d like to submit a story for the anthology or find out how to donate directly to the GoFundMe account, please follow this link:

Save A Life, Get A Free Book

And thank you for all of your help in this worthy cause.

A Call For Help Video 


A Bright Future, Redux

So, whilst you were sleeping in the wee hours of this morning, this happened at Cape Canaveral, Florida:

SpaceX Crew CapsuleCrew Dragon’s first launch

No astronauts were aboard, aside from a mannequin named, Ripley, and a plush toy shaped like Planet Earth. But still, it was a pretty important launch. It was the last step before American astronauts board an American rocket on American soil and launch themselves into space.

That hasn’t happened in almost eight years. Think about that one for a minute. The country that won the Space Race in the 1960s by being the first to put a man on the Moon, has spent the last 96 months hitchhiking its way up to the International Space Station. A station that was built thanks mostly to the United States’ space shuttle program – the only nation to successfully build one of those too.

Poor Planning

Back in 2011, I was putting together a special section for the AV News in the Antelope Valley that paid tribute to the 30-year-old shuttle program. I got to interview John Glenn, yeah THE John Glenn, for a story that ran in the section.

He was very angry about the decision to rely on Russia to ferry our astronauts up to space because we hadn’t bothered to have a replacement ready to go when the shuttles were grounded. Orion was supposed to eventually take the place of the shuttles, but last I heard Orion is nowhere in sight.

Fortunately, the private sector has stepped into the void. Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Boeing have both constructed capsules that can carry astronauts as well as cargo into space. Eventually, they’ll construct spacecraft that will carry travelers to Mars and hopefully beyond.

Promise Delayed

I stayed up into the wee hours this morning to watch Crew Dragon – or Demo-1 as it was called – and was reminded of a morning some 50 years ago. I’d stayed up all night so I wouldn’t miss the launch of Apollo 11.

Apollo_11_3We were going to land humans on the Moon for the very first time. Soon after, we would have a permanent base up there where people would live. Then we’d go to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and onward out to the outer worlds. We’d finally see what they looked like. Then Alpha Centauri, our nearest stellar neighbor. These were the accomplishments we knew awaited us on that morning.

Many of them we expected to have ticked off the list by now. Yet, we really haven’t. After six visits we stopped going to the Moon. And we have yet to send a single human being beyond our Moon. We’ve sent probes, of course, and we have some great pictures of all nine planets (yes, Pluto is still a planet. Fight me.) and a few samples from Mars.

But all of those accomplishments pale in comparison of what we were expecting back in 1969. Growing up, I was hoping to travel to the Moon and Mars as easily as we travel from Los Angeles to New York today. That isn’t going to happen.

But maybe, with efforts like this morning’s, we’re back on the path that will allow my two grandsons to one day walk the surface of the Red Planet. That was the most important cargo Demo-1 carried aloft last night: Our hopes and dreams for a brighter future.