Friday, July 24, 2015

Christmas in July

Borrowed from the Nomadic Delirium Press blog:
For the rest of July DriveThruFiction and DriveThruRPG are running a Christmas in July sale.  During this time, you can pick up our titles for 25% off.  This is a chance to pick up some of our fiction, or any of the Ephemeris titles that you might need to complete your collection.  Simply go to or  The sale prices are already programmed in.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mental health treatment in America

A few days ago, the Aurora theater shooter trial came to an end with the accused being found guilty on all counts.  No doubt this creature was crazy...after all, no one in their right mind would think about doing what he did, but clearly the jury decided that he was not insane, which is a legal term and not a psychiatric term.  Basically, even though he was nuts, he was well aware that what he was doing was wrong, and that's the reason why he will either get life without parole or death.
The biggest problem I have with this whole scenario is that even though this creature was seeking treatment, he obviously never got all of the help that he really needed.  And for that, the fault lies with insurance companies and the way that Americans view mental illness.
That might sound crazy, but stay with me for a minute.  Many insurance companies do not cover mental health issues the same way they do physical health issues.  For many, they pay a smaller percentage, leaving he patient to pay high bills, and mental health treatment can be expensive.  In addition, many insurance companies severely limit the number of caretakers in their network, also making it harder for people to seek treatment.  Major hospitals might be in the network of an insurance company for physical health issues, but not mental health issues.  This doesn't make sense to me.  Mental illness is just as real as physical illness.  In the majority of cases, there is a biological reason for the mental illness, but somehow it's different in the eyes of the insurance companies.
This difference probably comes from the way that Americans view mental illness.  A large number of Americans think that the mentally ill are weak.  Basically saying that a person who suffers from depression is weak and just needs to grow a backbone, or some other stupid comment that you might expect to hear from people.  This is like saying that a person who gets cancer is somehow physically weak.  We don't shun and shame people with cancer, why should we do it with people suffering from mental illness?
I've known a lot of wonderful and a lot of strong people that have suffered from depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses, and it wasn't their fault, and yet America somehow blames them.  This is wrong in so many ways, and this, in addition to the insurance BS, is a big reason why people who are suffering never seek treatment, and this can lead to the creation of monsters like the Aurora Theater shooter.
Wake up, America! Mental illness is no different than physical illness, and it's about time that we start treating them the same.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Martian Wave: 2015 table of contents

For those of you that have been wondering what the new issue of The Martian Wave will have in store for you, here you go:

From an Unnamed Rock by Jerry L. Robinette
On the Bridge by Matthew Spence
Mars Ride Along by EJ Shumak
I’ll Take the Moon by Andrew L. MacDonald
Red Sleepers by T. Fox Dunham
I’m a Little Teapot… by Robert P. Hansen
Greenie by David Castlewitz
Uhlanga Regio by Glen R. Stripling
Binaurals by Josh Brown
Fathers of Mars by David Wright
Earth Camp by Alicia Cole
The Tulku of Titan by Mike Morgan

Rip van Winkle on Mars by David C Kopaska-Merkel
The Star Chaser by Christina Sng
Observations From The Black Ball Line Between Deimos And Callisto by Alexandra Erin
Within a Flotsam Web by WC Roberts
Like A Drunken Cosmonaut by Alan Ira Gordon
A Star-Struck Night by Robert P. Hansen
Some Things Come Unbidden by Lisa Timpf

Pre-order your copy today at

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Martian Wave: 2015 pre-release

Borrowed from the Nomadic Delirium Press Blog:
The official release date for The Martian Wave: 2015 is August 15th, but you can now pre-order your own copy.  For the moment, the only place to order a print copy is directly through us at  Amazon and other retailers will have the book in the weeks to come.  The book will list for $10, but if you order from us before the release date, your price will be $9.
If you'd like to order an e-book version, you can order through Smashwords at, or you can order the Kindle version at

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Featured e-book for July 18th

Borrowed from the Nomadic Delirium Press blog:
The featured e-book for today is Seedlings on the Solar Winds and other stories by J Alan Erwine.  You can get this e-book for 50% off for the rest of the month by going to
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.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Featured e-book for July 14th

Borrowed from the Nomadic Delirium Press blog...
Today’s featured e-book is A Robot, a Cyborg, and a Martian Walk into a Space Bar. You can get it for 50% off for the rest of the month by going to:
A Robot, a Cyborg, and a Martian Walk into a Space Bar is a serious literary work of science fiction and fantasy stories that looks to delve into…who are we trying to kid? This book is a collection of comedic science fiction and fantasy stories written by some truly talented authors.
The book includes stories from Francis W. Alexander, Lou J. Berger, Wayne Carey, James Dorr, Laura Givens, Alan Ira Gordon, John Grey, Carlos Hernandez, Gilda A. Herrera, Ahmed A. Khan, Sheryl Normandeau, Robert Lowell Russell, John Skylar, Glen R. Stripling, and Scott Virtes.
You’ll be taken to alien bars, alien planets, and any funny place these authors could come up with. You’ll meet meddling appliances, aliens with strange habits, and aliens trying to live on or visit Earth. There are even time flies and a cloned genius. This collection has everything you need to tickle your funny bone.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Featured e-book for July 10th

Borrowed from the Nomadic Delirium Press blog:
The Ephemeris Omnibus is the featured e-book for July 10th.  You can get it for 25% off at Smashwords by going to
The Ephemeris Omnibus 2013 features the Ephemeris core rulebook (with some rule changes, including mutli-classing), and all of the rule supplements that have been released as of the end of 2012. All of the species and class supplements have been blended into the core rulebook to create a massive (over 200,000 words) rulebook that will allow you to play the most extensive Ephemeris game you'd ever want to play.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Smashwords e-book sale

Smashwords is having an e-book sale for the entire month of July, and many of my titles are available for up to 50% off.  There are a couple of my short story collections, one of my novels, several titles that I've edited, and all of the Ephemeris titles.
Check it out today at:

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.

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 is a free download, after all...

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
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...

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, 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, 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 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:
The Cyber Wizard’s Sourcebook:
The Diplomat’s and Explorer’s Sourcebook:
The Law Enforcer’s Sourcebook:
The Nanist’s Sourcebook:
The Scientist’s Sourcebook:
The Soldier’s Sourcebook:
The Trader’s Sourcebook:

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?:
Necessity’s Call:
The Derelict Ship of the Ancients:
The Secrets of Gladsheim IV:

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 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.
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!
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.

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
Ephemeris: Critters & Pests
The Ephemeris Species Compendium
The Ephemeris Encyclopedia Galactica: Near Space
The Ephemeris Encyclopedia Galactica: Colonized Space
The Ephemeris Species Compendium of Deep Space Species

Friday, April 24, 2015

More government and medical BS

This will almost certainly turn into a rant, so if you don't like my 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 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 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...