Category Archives: Current Events

Man and Science

“Science is one thing, wisdom is another.  Science is an edged tool with which men play like children, and cut their own fingers.”–Sir Arthur Eddington

The Associated Press ran a story today headlined in our paper, “Britain Approves Gene-Editing Work on Human Embryos.”  The lead paragraph:  “In a landmark decision that some ethicists warned is a step down the path towards ‘designer babies,’ Britain gave scientists approval Monday to conduct gene-editing experiments on human embryos.” Continue reading

Go Set A Watchman

Released on July 14, Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman has already sold more than 1.1 million copies amidst much conjecture about its origins and publication.  Add to that the new book’s characterization of the beloved Atticus Finch as a born again racist, and you have controversy in the book world that, among other things, sells books.  The fact that I don’t have to tell you who Atticus Finch is is proof of the wide-ranging extent of the debate. Continue reading

Southern Writer’s Magazine

Southern Writer’s Magazine has just published its new Holiday Catalogue.  I have an ad for Gods and Lesser Men on the next-to-last page.  Check it out!

Also, as noted in the ad, I’ll be attending the Book’Em North Carolina Writer’s Conference and Book Fair in Lumberton, NC, on February 28, 2015.  It’s a great event.  Follow this link to the website:

I’ll be on the panel discussing “Suspenseful Writing.”

An “Almost” First Draft

Today, eight months since I began writing it, I have an “almost” first draft of Titan’s Brood.  Three hundred twenty manuscript pages (73, 812 words), it is now ready to be put on the shelf for a month or two.  I know I’ve reached that stage when I begin haggling with myself over a few words I’ve changed five or six times already, only to return to the original.  Sometime in October, I’ll print it out and go over it one more time (50 pages a day), then forward it to the fellow in New York who will tell me what’s wrong with it.  Work on the final draft will probably start around the first of next year. Continue reading

Titan’s Brood II

When I began work on this novel in January, its primary story lines involved corruption in college football and a man’s effort to save his dying wife.  Those ideas still have prominent places in Titan’s Brood, but the genetic revolution–the amazing (some would say frightening) advances in gene manipulation arising from the mapping of the human genome–is now front and center in the book. Continue reading

The Black Owls Is Free on Kindle

My publisher has just advised that Kindle users will be able to “purchase” my second novel, The Black Owls (September, 2013), from Amazon for FREE on May 9, 10 and 11.  It’s a good opportunity to sample my fiction at no risk, and determine if I actually practice what I preach in this blog.

For those unfamiliar with the book, it has its own page on this website, and my November 8, 2013, post describes some of its virtues and peculiarities.  I also discussed a review of the novel in a December 12, 2013, post.  For my friends on Goodreads who have The Black Owls on their shelves, it won’t get any cheaper.  Alert your friends and followers.  I believe they’d enjoy it.

Nuclear Politics and The Kingfishers

The following is an unabashed, hopefully dignified, plug for my new book, The Kingfishers:

Today’s bitter politics ensures that many of the country’s problems go unaddressed.  Arguments about government, culture, the economy, all seem intractable, but none is more critical than the fierce debate over nuclear energy.  Issues surrounding climate change, fossil fuels and the inability to quickly bring alternative energy sources on line have given rise to calls for the enhanced use of nuclear power to meet our energy needs.  See, for example,   My new novel, The Kingfishers, explores the politics of the nuclear option, and the human frailties of the people who produce nuclear energy.   Continue reading

September 11th

This blog is about books and writing, but today I’m going to recount my own experience on that day twelve years ago, and the days immediately afterwards.  It was not unique, but it was different.

I was sound asleep in a hotel room in Melbourne, Australia, when the first plane hit the World Trade Center.  Melbourne is fourteen hours ahead of New York, and the first news I had of the attack was from the newspaper on my breakfast table almost a full day after it occurred.  I recall feeling left out at the time, not experiencing the pain personally with the rest of my country.  I was scheduled to leave Australia the following Saturday, but air traffic in the US had been shut down and overseas flights into the country halted.  I wanted to go home very much, but had no idea when I could.  I can’t remember what the state of personal communications devices was in 2001, but–always far behind the times–I wouldn’t have had one anyway.  My only contact was with with my wife via the hotel telephone, and the two or three times we spoke there wasn’t much to say. Continue reading