Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Ephemeris Encyclopedia Galactica: Unexplored Space

All of "Unexplored Space" can now be yours to explore, and it's all in one volume. This book outlines everything of interest in Sectors 22-41 of the Ephemeris universe. Find new species, new mysteries, the ruins of ancient civilizations, and unexplored worlds just waiting for exploration.
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/151807/The-Ephemeris-Encyclopedia-Galactica-Unexplored-Space

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A couple of five star reviews

My short short, "Lost in the Dark" has received a couple of five star reviews over at Smashwords.  If you want to check the story out, please feel free to do so...it is a free download, after all...

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/553679

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My short stories on Smashwords

A while back, I started publishing some of my previously published short stories on Smashwords.  Life, editing, and other factors kept me from working on that for a while, but I'm now back to listing my stories there.  Most of the stories are available for just 99 cents, but two of them are free.  If you'd like to check out some of my previously published works, please feel free to visit https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jaerwine.
And if you like any of the stories, PLEASE write a review.  We smaller authors are dependent upon reviews from readers.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Ephemeris Encyclopedia Galactica: Sectors Thirty-Nine - Forty-One

The exploration of “Unexplored Space” concludes with Sectors 39-41.
The final sectors of "Unexplored Space" are now yours to explore.  There are many new planets to colonize, new mysteries to solve, and one mystery that may be too dangerous to even try to solve...
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/151582/The-Ephemeris-Encyclopedia-Galactica-Sectors-ThirtyNine--FortyOne

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What should science fiction publishers publish?

There's been a lot of talk since the Hugo nominations came out about what science fiction publishers should be publishing.  I figured I'd weigh in with my two cents (for what they're worth).  The answer for me, as an editor, comes down to a good story.  When I'm reading submissions, I don't care whether or not the person has some agenda in their story, and I don't care if the story is nothing more than a rousing space opera like the "stories of old."  I simply want to read a good story that is well written.  And by well written, I don't mean that it lives up to some standards set forth in a college English class.
What is a good story?  Something that holds my interest.  Like every other editor, I have my own personal beliefs (religious, political, etc.), but a good story doesn't have to fit with my beliefs.  I'm an Atheist, but I've published a lot of good stories that have definite religious overtones.  Why did I publish them if they didn't fit my beliefs?  Because they were good stories.  I'm a progressive, bordering on liberal, but I've published stories that had definite conservative overtones.  Why?  Again, because they were good stories.
I know for a fact that I have published at least one author who was on one of the puppy slates, and I don't care.  He's a good writer, and if he sends me a good story, I will still publish him.  I really don't care about all of the political infighting that's going on in the field.  My goal is to publish the best SF and fantasy that I can get for the small payments we can afford.  If it doesn't match my beliefs, fine.  If it doesn't match the beliefs of the majority or the minority in the field, fine.  I just want to publish good stories.
So, what should science fiction publishers publish?  Whatever they feel like they should publish.  We're not here to make everyone happy.  If it pisses some people off, that's life...and maybe that's a good thing.  Literature should provoke an emotional reaction of some kind...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

One day sale on The Martian Wave: 2014

Today only you can get a pdf version of The Martian Wave: 2014 for just $1.20.  It usually lists for $3.99.  Simply go to http://www.drivethrufiction.com/product/129608/The-Martian-Wave-2014, and get your copy today.
The Martian Wave features stories about the exploration and colonization of space, with special emphasis on our solar system.  In this issue, you'll find alien microbes and aliens that are like nothing you've ever imagined.  You'll be taken to icy worlds, and the sands of Mars.  You'll even get a look at Earth trying to regain its place in the stars.

The volcanoes of Io and the deep dark of space are also waiting for readers.  Many stories paint a possibly grim future for humanity, but others are truly optimistic.  No matter the tone, all of the stories and poems in this issue capture the adventurous spirit that make Humanity what it is.

Step inside, and be transported to places you've never imagined...maybe even places you never could imagine.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Amazon BS

In the last couple of days I've noticed that my last two collections, A Robot, a Cyborg, and a Martian Walk into a Space Bar and Taurin Tales have both had some Kindle sales, so I decided to go over to Amazon and look at the webpages.  You know, see where their sales rankings were and see if anyone had reviewed them.  Much to my surprise, I found out that the print versions of both titles were listed as out of stock.  The only reason I can think of for this is that the publisher, Nomadic Delirium Press, did not give Amazon the usual 55% discount that they ask for.  The reason they did this is because the profit margin is already very small, and in order to give that kind of discount, either the publisher has to take almost no money (as these are royalty paying books, this also means that the authors make less money), or they have to price the books much higher, which puts them out of the price range for a lot of readers.  This is the dilemma that many small press publishers face.
Amazon does, of course, offer an alternative, which is Create Space.  However, Create Space does not have the distribution that most small press publishers would like.  It's very difficult to get a Create Space created book on Barnes & Noble, and traditionally, my books (those that I've edited, and those that I've written) have done better at B&N than they have at Amazon.
This kind of game is just another example of Amazon trying to dominate the market.  Unfortunately, dealing with Amazon is a necessary evil for authors, editors, and publishers, but it always leaves a bad taste in my mouth...

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The June issue of The Fifth Di... is now available

Copied from the Nomadic Delirium Press Blog:
The June issue of The Fifth Di… is now available at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/547172, and it’s only $1!
The Fifth Di…, one of the longest running on-line zines continues on with four new stories. This month we feature Tim McDaniel, Tony Cella, Eileen Maki, and Robert P. Hansen. Warning: Contains some sexual material that some readers might find offensive…but then we’ve never tried to be politically correct…

E-book of the week for May 31st

From the Nomadic Delirium Press Blog:
The e-book of the week for May 31st is Seedlings on the Solar Winds by J Alan Erwine.  You can get it for just $1.98 by going to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/16551 and using coupon code VW35R at checkout.
America as a fascist state, soldiers driven to terrorism, insane computers, insane humans, insane aliens, these are just some of the things waiting for readers in the pages of this new short story collection from prize winning science fiction author J Alan Erwine.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ephemeris character sourcebooks now available in print

The various character sourcebooks for the Ephemeris RPG are now available in paperback.  These supplements give new sub-classes for each of the character classes, as well as new weapons, cybernetics, armor, and other items.  Each of them is a great tool for expanding your game…
The Bandit’s Sourcebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1512286222
The Cyber Wizard’s Sourcebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1512286923
The Diplomat’s and Explorer’s Sourcebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1512270199
The Law Enforcer’s Sourcebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1512266035
The Nanist’s Sourcebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/151229070X
The Scientist’s Sourcebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1512233544
The Soldier’s Sourcebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1512233110
The Trader’s Sourcebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1512232521

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ephemeris RPG adventures now available in paperback

The four Ephemeris RPG adventures that have been published so far are now available in paperback:
Mission of Trade, or Mission of Mercy?: http://www.amazon.com/dp/151206341X
Necessity’s Call: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1512119830
The Derelict Ship of the Ancients: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1512130559
The Secrets of Gladsheim IV: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1512140414

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Marionettes on the Moon on sale

Borrowed from the Nomadic Delirium Press blog:
This week’s e-book sale is on Marionettes on the Moon and other stories by J Alan Erwine.
Get your copy for just $1.48 by going to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/16865 and using coupon code LA56H.
Do Humans control their destiny, or are they merely victims of the circumstances that surround them?
A collection of short stories from prize winning SF author J Alan Erwine examines whether we have freedom of choice, or are merely puppets on strings subject to the whims of the universe. Marionettes on the Moon features 13 short stories, including the never before published title novelette.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Taurin Tales on sale

For the next 24 hours, the PDF version of Taurin Tales is on sale for 60% off at DriveThruFiction.
http://www.drivethrufiction.com/product/134975/Taurin-Tales
Taurin Tales is a shared world anthology featuring some of the top names in small press science fiction. The Taurins were created by science fiction writer, editor, and game designer J Alan Erwine. Once he had created them, he invited some of his favorite writers to play in the universe, and further flesh out these new aliens. Thus was born Taurin Tales.
The stories in this collection cover a large aspect of Taurin life…grand space adventures, small character studies, the tackling of difficult social issues, the past and the future of the Taurins.
Included in this collection, you’ll find David Lee Summers, D. Moonfire, Ian Brazee-Cannon, Tyree Campbell, Anna Paradox, Laura Givens, and Rick Novy.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

24 hour sale on Taurin Tales

Starting May 7th at 10 am CST, an e-book version of Taurin Tales will be available from DriveThruFiction for 60% off.  This sale only lasts for 24 hours!
http://www.drivethrufiction.com/product/134975/Taurin-Tales
Taurin Tales is a shared world anthology featuring some of the top names in small press science fiction. The Taurins were created by science fiction writer, editor, and game designer J Alan Erwine. Once he had created them, he invited some of his favorite writers to play in the universe, and further flesh out these new aliens. Thus was born Taurin Tales.
The stories in this collection cover a large aspect of Taurin life…grand space adventures, small character studies, the tackling of difficult social issues, the past and the future of the Taurins.
Included in this collection, you’ll find David Lee Summers, D. Moonfire, Ian Brazee-Cannon, Tyree Campbell, Anna Paradox, Laura Givens, and Rick Novy.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Science Fiction Month

Copied from the Nomadic Delirium Press blog:
DriveThruRPG and DriveThruFiction are currently running Science Fiction month, where you can get their SF titles for 15% off.  This includes a number of our titles, including, just to name a few: Ephemeris, A Robot, a Cyborg, and a Martian Walk into a Space Bar, Taurin Tales, and many many more.
DriveThruRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/2805/Nomadic-Delirium-Press
DriveThruFiction: http://www.drivethrufiction.com/browse/pub/2805/Nomadic-Delirium-Press

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ephemeris supplements available as paperbacks

Borrowed from the Nomadic Delirium Press blog:
Six Ephemeris supplements are now available as paperbacks from Amazon.
The Ephemeris Omnibus: 2013 http://www.amazon.com/dp/1511835664
Ephemeris: Critters & Pests http://www.amazon.com/dp/1511836067
The Ephemeris Species Compendium http://www.amazon.com/dp/1511836199
The Ephemeris Encyclopedia Galactica: Near Space http://www.amazon.com/dp/1511836571
The Ephemeris Encyclopedia Galactica: Colonized Space http://www.amazon.com/dp/151183630X
The Ephemeris Species Compendium of Deep Space Species http://www.amazon.com/dp/1511836733

Friday, April 24, 2015

More government and medical BS

This will almost certainly turn into a rant, so if you don't like my rants...you might want to move along.
For a few months last year, I was on Medicaid.  The simple fact was that it was too expensive to put me on to Rebecca's insurance.  Doing that would have meant taking food from our kids' mouths.  The actual truth is that as a family of five, we could have all qualified for Medicaid, but we wanted to keep private insurance for Rebecca and the kids because we wanted to keep our regular doctor, and we felt a lot more comfortable with having the choices a private insurance company offers as opposed to having to go to a Medicaid doctor.  Plus, we weren't really looking for charity.  We believe in hard work, and we felt that we didn't need a government "hand-out," as some Republicans would call them.
So, I was on Medicaid and then I never responded to a letter that I didn't even get, so I was booted off the program.  I wasn't too worried about it.  Sure, we had to pay a small fine on our taxes, but it wasn't really a big deal.  Our income is low enough that we qualify for a lot of tax breaks, so whatever.
Now, with my health deteriorating faster than I expected, I decided I would get on Medicaid again...just in case.  I was denied because I make too much money...
Some people reading that might just shrug it off, but I work around 15 hours a week at barely above minimum wage, so how I could make too much money escapes me.  Even if you add in what I make from writing, editing, and game design, as well as what Rebecca makes, we're still well below middle class for a single person...let alone a family of five.
So, how in the hell do I not qualify?  I did some research and found out that our income is actually low enough for me to qualify, so why didn't I?  The only answer I have is that the government systems are entirely corrupt.  This isn't our first experience with these types of problems.  When the Office Depot I worked for closed and I was laid off, I tried to get unemployment, and it took me more than six months to get that.  During that time, we had to get food stamps.  There was simply no choice, but we got booted out of that program after they sent us a letter saying that someone else was living in our home...someone we'd never heard of.  Our calls and letters to the office were never returned.  Finally I got unemployment, and we let it go.  Eventually, I got off of unemployment when I was hired by OfficeMax, and just so that people understand that we aren't the type of people that abuse the system, I was making more on unemployment than I was at OfficeMax, but again, we didn't want the handout, so we decided it was better for me to be working, even if it meant our family would have to struggle more.
So, I ask again, how screwed up is this system in Colorado that I can't qualify for Medicaid when we have to struggle to pay every single bill we have?  We don't go out to eat all the time.  We don't waste money.  We don't do drugs, drink, or even smoke, and yet somehow we keep getting screwed over by the system.
At this point, I'm about ready to tell them all to go screw themselves, pay to see a doctor, and have him declare me as partially disabled (since work does cause me more pain, and I am having more and more trouble doing my job), and then collect disability until I can get surgery.  And as a disabled person, the government would probably have to help pay for the surgery, and that's going to cost them a hell of a lot more than giving me medicaid on the off chance that I might need to see a doctor...
No matter what the government says, it's always the poor that get screwed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The increasing pain

The regular followers of this blog know that I occasionally blog about my dealing with chronic pain, and this is another such blog entry.  For over a decade now, I've been dealing with pain that's caused by a reconstructive chest surgery I had when I was a teenager that has slowly been breaking down.  Unfortunately, the deterioration seems to be increasing.  It used to be that I had pain in my two lower left ribs, but now I'm beginning to have pain all through my chest...in all of the ribs and in the sternum.  It's also become painfully obvious that my sternum is collapsing further into my chest.  Although that may sound scary, it actually isn't.  The collapse is very slow, which, unfortunately, is causing me to have shortness of breath.  The odds of a rapid collapse that might puncture something are extremely small, so I'm not really worried about that.  My biggest concern is the increasing pain.
The other night at my oldest's honor band concert, I went to put my arm around Rebecca and felt a few of my ribs pop, meaning that I couldn't even put my arm around my wife to enjoy our daughter's performance.  It's now gotten to the point that I can't go out and play volleyball with the oldest, or soccer with our middle daughter, or pick up my youngest and play with her like I used to.  It's very depressing, but I know that just about anything I do can cause pain.  Last night I took a deep breath and felt a rib pop and the pain increased dramatically.
It's obvious that at some point I am going to have to have surgery to repair this, but that's not something that is even remotely feasible at this time.  I am uninsured, and the cost to put me on Rebecca's insurance right now would mean that the family would be eating ramen for a long time to come, and it would also deter our plans of getting our own house.  Hopefully she will get promoted before the next open enrollment, and that will at least make it a little easier, but such a dramatic surgery would put a real strain on us, as I would be useless for quite some time...something I would not deal well with.
Dealing with this pain, it has become quite clear to me how some people can be driven to suicide by chronic pain.  Don't worry, I'm not suicidal.  I have an amazing wife and three wonderful daughters, so I wouldn't do something like that.  I'm just saying that the pain, the feelings of uselessness, and the depression could certainly lead someone to make that decision.
For now, I just have to do whatever I can to avoid things that will cause pain, which is almost anything.  I have to take it easy when I'm cleaning the house, when I'm at my "real" job, and just about anything else.
Well, that's enough griping for now.  If you've actually read this far, thanks.  This wasn't an effort to try to get people to feel sorry for me.  I don't want that.  Sometimes, it just feels good to document these types of things for others to see.  In time, I will get this fixed and I will be out of pain.  For now...I deal...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Battle for Turtle Island on sale

For the next week, you can get the e-book version of the role playing game The Battle for Turtle Island: Buffalo Wars for 50% off…that’s just $2.50. Go to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/291831 and use coupon code XF49R at checkout.
Imagine it’s the 19th century, and the colonization/conquest of the Americas is underway yet again, only this time magic is real, and the Indians have a lot more of it than the colonists. This is the world of The Battle for Turtle Island: Buffalo Wars.
The colonists may have the better weapons, but the Indians nearly double the magic of the colonists. Maybe this time the history of the Americas will be very, very different. The Battle for Turtle Island: Buffalo Wars is actually two books in one. It has the core rules for The Battle for Turtle Island RPG, which will be a series of books featuring the different parts of the Americas, and it also has the Buffalo Wars supplement which looks at the battles for the plains.
You can choose to be a Cavalry Soldier, an Arapahoe Medicine Man, a Colonist Trapper, an Apache Warrior, or any number of other classes, and your character can choose to change classes as they advance. This book contains, the character classes, the special abilities for each Indian tribe, the goods, the spells, and much more.
The only other thing you’ll need to play is some dice and a vivid imagination.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

More healthcare cost griping

The bills are starting to roll in for Rebecca's recent surgery, and once again it's time for me to gripe about healthcare costs, and the screwed up American healthcare system.  The hospital attempted to bill the insurance company over $45,000 for the procedure and recovery.  This doesn't even include an overnight stay.  She was discharged the same day.  Granted, the insurance company negotiated a lower cost, but it's ridiculous that things are this expensive.  True, a big part of medical costs are caused by frivolous malpractice lawsuits brought about by less than scrupulous people, but you can't honestly expect me to believe that it cost the hospital that much money for my wife to be there.  Even with a healthy profit margin, that's still insane.  Especially given the fact that the insurance company was able to negotiate a lower price, that shows that hospitals are overcharging.
It's also interesting to note that the insurance company is negotiating a larger percentage discount on bills now that we've paid our deductible...meaning that they have to pay 90% of the coverage.  This also tells me how corrupt the insurance companies are.
I still believe that Obamacare was a step in the right direction, but we still have a very long way to go if we want a healthcare system that truly works.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to figure out how a lower middle income family is supposed to pay our 10%. Guess I need to write some more books...

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Ephemeris Encyclopedia Galactica: Sectors Thirty-Six - Thirty-Eight

The exploration of “Unexplored Space” continues with Sectors 36-38.
There are a lot of new planets to explore in these sectors, and there are places that have even been colonized, some of which see almost constant war.  There are the remains of more Glikth-machine wars, and a species that has only recently died.
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/146792/The-Ephemeris-Encyclopedia-Galactica-Sectors-ThirtySix--ThirtyEight

Friday, March 20, 2015

Rebecca's recovery

We've been home for a few days since Rebecca's surgery, and her recovery is progressing slowly.  Her pain levels have finally dropped off to something a little more manageable, especially since she stopped taking the pain meds.  They seem to have been giving her very serious headaches and neck pain.  She has had a low grade fever from time to time, but nothing that points to an infection, but I'm still keeping a close eye on her...and she'd probably say too close of an eye.
She is now able to get up and move around a lot easier without my help, so she definitely seems to be on the road to recovery.
There's been a cold circulating through the house, and I have some of  the early signs of it.  I have a feeling that as soon as I'm sure she's out of danger from infection, I will probably drop and be sick for days,

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The fear is beginning to set in

We are now just a few days away from Rebecca's gallbladder surgery, and although this surgery is very routine, and it's done all the time, it's still surgery.  There is always that chance that something could go wrong, and this is becoming very "real" for all of us.
It's only been a little over a year since she lost another brother, and given the number of people that have passed in the science fiction/fantasy community over the last year (both writers and fans), including people that I considered at least good acquaintances, if not actual friends, it makes the fear that much more real.
Add to this the passing of a former co-worker just a few weeks ago, a lady who we called the Den Mother because she always tried to take care of all of us, and the fact that a very dear friend checked himself into a hospital last week because he was suicidal, makes death a very real aspect in our lives right now.
We all realize that gallbladder surgery is nothing like brain or heart surgery, but there's still that big "what if?"  Rebecca's not just my wife and the mother of my children, she is, without a doubt, the best friend that I've ever had, and the thought of losing her is terrifying.
Add to this the fact that the kids are worried about her, and a couple of them are acting out in different ways is just making things that much harder.
I realize that almost certainly in a week's time I'll be looking back at this post and thinking how silly it was to be this nervous...but for the moment, the fear is beginning to set in, and that's more real.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

E-book sale: Taurin Tales

Borrowed from Nomadic Delirium Press:
During this week's e-book sale, you can get Taurin Tales from Smashwords for just $2.  Go to A HREF="https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/472428" target="_blank"> https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/472428
and use coupon code ZQ47N at checkout.
Taurin Tales is a shared world anthology featuring some of the top names in small press science fiction. The Taurins were created by science fiction writer, editor, and game designer J Alan Erwine. Once he had created them, he invited some of his favorite writers to play in the universe, and further flesh out these new aliens. Thus was born Taurin Tales.
The stories in this collection cover a large aspect of Taurin life…grand space adventures, small character studies, the tackling of difficult social issues, the past and the future of the Taurins.
Included in this collection, you’ll find David Lee Summers, D. Moonfire, Ian Brazee-Cannon, Tyree Campbell, Anna Paradox, Laura Givens, and Rick Novy.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Happy 14th

Today was Eryn's 14th birthday.  It's hard to believe how much she's growing up..  When Rebecca and I first started dating, Eryn was just in Kindergarten, and now she's about to start high school.  Tonight she was also inducted into the National Junior Honors Society.  She's turning into my overachiever, and I'm very proud of her.  She's getting good grades, she was on the A team in volleyball, and she's participating a lot in everything at school.
Happy 14th Eryn!!!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

GM's Day Sale

Through the end of the week, DriveThruRPG is running a GM's Day sale to celebrate those gamers that make gaming possible. We've joined in the sale, and we're offering all of our Ephemeris products for 30% off. Now's the time to stock up on all of the titles you haven't had a chance to pick up, or if you haven't started playing...now's the time!
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse/pub/2805/Nomadic-Delirium-Press

Book sale

Alban Lake Publishing has three of my books on sale through March 17th.  You can pick each of them up for just $8 each.
You can get A Problem in Translation by going to http://store.albanlake.com/product/a-problem-in-translation
You can get Where the Fleet of Stars is Anchored by going to http://store.albanlake.com/product/where-the-fleet-of-stars-is-anchored
You can get Red Moon Rising by going to http://store.albanlake.com/product/red-moon-rising

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

The disappearing middle class

There has been a lot of talk about the disappearing middle class in America.  After doing our taxes last month, I can attest that the middle class is most certainly disappearing.  We are middle class, or at least lower middle class, and every year becomes more and more of a struggle for us.  When we first moved in together, I left my fast food management job, but Rebecca kept her full time retail supervisor's job.  Those first years were difficult for us, but we got by...even if just barely.
Now, almost seven years later, Rebecca is still a full time retail supervisor, I'm now working part time as a retail supervisor, and I'm making more than ever from writing, editing, and game design, and we aren't making ends meet.  The simplest explanation is that the cost of everything is rising dramatically, while our incomes are not.  When we get our annual raises, we get 2-3%, but the cost of everything is rising much higher than that.  Our rent goes up about 5% annually, and everything else follows suit.  It's no wonder that people making middle class income, especially lower middle class income are struggling more and more each year.  We can't keep up with rising costs, and as long as pay rates stay low and don't increase accordingly, all of us in the middle class will continue to struggle.
That's enough economics for today.  Off to do some work...have to make some money somehow...