All posts by LawDog

In today’s press news:

Alien Family Values is live!

We did this one with Guest Editor Sandra L. Medlock, and I’m tickled pink about it.

The cover is — as usual — by Cedar Sanderson, as are the interior illustrations and adverts. She flat knocked them out of the park again.

Oh, by the way, for the confused out there: the adverts are tongue-in-cheek. If you send me an outraged e-mail regarding the ‘Adopt A Human’ advert, or a confused email about not being able to find the ‘Paint Your Spaceship’ company on the Internet …

… there will be judging. Just before I bin your email. You’ve been warned.

Previous Intern Steve (now called “Nick” for some reason) has waxed eloquent about Father’s Day over on our Substack. Man can turn a phrase; I’ll give him that. Probably should think about being an author, or something.

Anyhoo, I’m told interns should have positive reinforcement, or something (personally, I thought the regular beatings were pretty positive, but what do I know), so pop over there and leave him a positive comment.

In other news, my Duct Tape Little Sister won First Place for Novelettes in the 2023 Analytical Laboratory Awards.  Yay! Monalisa is a hell of a writer and deserves the accolades.

I think that’s about it.


Thank you

As a ‘thank you’ to the Gentle Readers who have paid for a subscription to our Substack, today we release the first of my serialized short stories.

There will be a snippet posted later today for everyone, and paying subscribers will get to read the whole snippet today.

If you’re not a paying subscriber — fear not! We will make it available to all readers next Wednesday.

This one is ‘Blood In the Sand’, a story that was first published by Peter Nealen in his SPOTREPS anthology, and has been broken down into three parts with illustrations. Each part will launch on a Wednesday. Paid subscribers get access to each part a week before everyone else.

I know it isn’t much, but it’s my way of saying “Thank You” to those people who believed enough in our little press to throw money at our Substack.

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.

If our fans like this enough, we’ll release other of my previously-published stories — and maybe some of the ones that have never seen the light of day — in future Substacks.

The working title for this one was ‘Turbo-murder In Tangiers’, and its definitely a hairy-legged action/adventure story — I was definitely channeling my inner Alistair MacLean this time. 

Anyhoo, I hope y’all enjoy it, and again: Thank you.



Is it entertaining?

I hate Facebook. For many reasons, but the current one is the fact that the little bugger refreshes randomly, and I lose a post I was reading.

Today’s Facebook embuggerance was a comment I was reading on an author page that showed up at random on my wall. The comment was from someone who mentioned that they couldn’t submit to Raconteur because we are a conservative publishing house.

I was trying to respond when Facebook refreshed and I lost it.

Damn it.

Folks, fans, and general passers-by — I don’t do ideological purity tests when people submit stories. I barely register author names. The only thing I am reading for is whether the story is entertaining or not.

“It Must Be Entertaining, All Else Is Negotiable.”

I’m serious about that. Send us stories that entertain, that enthrall, that thrill; send us stories that leave the readers satisfied, yet wanting more.

I don’t have the time, nor the energy, to care about anything else; least of which being the label on the lever you pull in the voting booth.

I’m pretty sure that I know where the rumour started from, too. I have repeatedly stated — well, I suppose “ranted” might be a more accurate description — that I will not publish message fiction.

That is correct. And I will hold this line as long as I am CEO of this house. By “message fiction” I mean stories that sacrifice entertaining on the altar of whatever message the author feels strongly about.

“It Must Be Entertaining, All Else Is Negotiable.”

That “must” is there for a reason, and is not optional. Stories offered to Raconteur Press MUST be entertaining. Period. Full stop. End of statement.

Now, for those of you in the corner weeping and rending your garments, understand that an entertaining story is fully capable of having a message under the entertainment. As multiple examples I offer the Original Series of Star Trek.

Don’t send us a story where the entertaining part is an afterthought — we’ll send it back with a suggestion that you self-publish it.

“It Must Be Entertaining, All Else Is Negotiable.”

Other than that, I truly don’t care about your political leanings, and honestly don’t have the time, nor the spoons, to hire private investigators to vet everyone who submits a story to us.

Just … send us entertaining stories. That’s all I care about.



Now that I’ve fired this old thing back up, the spammers have descended.

Sweet Freyja on a twister mat are the new breed more dedicated than their forebears. I just marked a comment as spam that had to be a several hundred words or more. And I’m seeing a lot more spam written in Cyrillic and Thai script than I used to.

Why would you spam an American blog in a language that has a good chance of not being spoken by either the author, or any of his readers?

Speaking of — does anyone know if the function where you mark a comment as ‘Spam’  on WordPress actually does anything? Other than kick that comment into the Spam folder?

Gentle Readers have been asking if I’m going to resume doing political commentary — particularly on the recent political court cases all over the media.

Ehh. I really don’t have a good opinion of the American judicial system right now, and rather than screaming, “They’re all sodding corrupt and dirty!” I’m just going to concentrate on other things.

Which is proving harder than I had thought it would be, because I’ve lost my creative spark, and getting it back is … not progressing as well as one might hope.

The worlds inside my head are not as clear and bright as they used to be, and getting them out of my head and onto the screen is running into a block somewhere around my fingers. I can sit down at the desk, see what I want to write in my head, but I can’t make my fingers hit the keys. Bloody frustrating.

And when I do, I inevitably compare what I’m writing now to what I’ve written in the past … and the comparison is never good. If you’re following our Substack, I wrote a little drabble called “The Jungles Of Y’rd”. After I finished it, I read it, and almost binned it because it feels clunky and inelegant compared to earlier works of mine. I realize — and have been informed by multiple people — that I am probably being hyper-critical, but I can’t help myself.

I don’t know what to do to get that spark re-ignited. I suspect pulling my head out of my fourth point of contact and cease feeling sorry for myself would be a good start, but that seems to be a slow process.

I probably need to go fishing again — I haven’t drowned a worm in years — and taking some firearms training to get my head right probably wouldn’t hurt.

I originally typed that as “… and taking some pew-pew training …” and realized that I was unconsciously typing in code, trying to avoid tripping the absolutely-bloody-ridiculous Social Media censorship … and now I’m peevish and annoyed.


I’m going to go research what’s new in bass lures. See y’all tomorrow.


Fundraiser, part 2

Earlier this week I posted the details for the fundraiser we’re running for our Production Manager, who’s having a wee bout of pericarditis.

Jack Wylder heard about it, and decided to help out.

If you pop over to Bear & Hare Studios, he and his lovely wife are selling Raconteur Love stickers:

All profits will go to Jonna, to help her defray medical costs.

Since Jack announced these, Gentle Readers have been asking if we’re going to be selling these at LibertyCon and other conventions.

Alas, no. The paperwork nightmare is one I don’t even want to think about, so the only place these will be available will be through Bear & Hare Studios.

I’d like to thank everyone who has already donated, from the bottom of my heart. You have no idea how much your donation has been appreciated.


Relax, buttercup, it’s cynicism.

I got spanked when I was a kid. Deserved it, mostly.

Right after my generation everyone started yelping that spanking was bad. Lots of ink spilled about how “spanking was abuse”, “spanking was violence”, and my current favourite: “Spanking children leads to aggressive and violent adults.”

Now I know that spanking — as in most other things having to do with the human condition — is a complex issue, with no pat answers.

So, before you get your Hanes all up in a half-hitch, this is a sardonic post.

How-some-ever, I’m looking at the reactions of all the non-spanked college kids towards Jewish folks in general, and Israel in particular; along with the kittenish antics of college kids over the last couple of years — college kids who are at least two generations into the “Thou Shalt Not Spank” era …

Huh. Doesn’t look like the little bugsnipes needed spankings to become “aggressive and violent adults.”

Again: Cynical amusement.



I am reliably informed by the minions that while I may have something of a Name here — and in some areas of the gun internet — I am unknown in the Substack ecosystem.

Apparently “YAY!” wasn’t the reaction they were expecting.

The minions have decided that well, that just won’t fly; and that Substack — and larger authordom — must be introduced to the magnificent floof that is LawDog, so Plots Have Been Hatched.

Wednesdays will be LawDog Day on the Substack.

Tomorrow they are posting — what else, but the Pink Gorilla Suit story. I guess that’s pretty much the classic intro to me, even though I’m a little more proud of the Mr Johnson story.

Anyhoo, after that, they are taking short stories of mine that have appeared in other folks’ anthologies, and serializing them. Little editorial clean-up, some illustrations, that sort of thing.

If you have a paid subscription to the Substack, of any amount, starting 12 JUN 24, you’ll get access to these serialized, illustrated shorts a week ahead of general posting. They’ll be available for paid subscribers on one Wednesday, then the following Wednesday they’ll be posted in the clear for everyone to enjoy.

It’s my little way of thanking you for sending us money. It’s not much, but it’s what I have right now.

I hope y’all enjoy .


Addendum to earlier post

Over a year ago I wrote this post in which I cautioned anyone who is around guns at all to have a dedicated carry-on bag that your guns never, ever get anywhere near.

I have discovered an addition to that rule: If you shave with double-edged safety razors, put a cartridge razor in your dopp kit, and never let your safety razor near it.

Apparently if Kabuki Security the TSA finds a double-edged razor blade in  your carry-on they will Lose Their Poo, and while you don’t seem to be under threat of arrest; it seems that Kabuki Security the TSA will cause you to miss your flight in the ensuing “investigation”.

Sigh. The amount of distaste I feel at living in these modern times grows every day.

I’m trying to decide if I should buy a pack of disposable razors, use one and just throw it away after each trip is done; or buy a Mach 3 travel handle and some cartridges.

I dislike disposable razors intensely — I’m used to shaving with a heavy safety razor and the light-weight disposables throw everything off; but a bag of the one-shots is probably going to be cheaper than buying a short Mach 3 handle and a pack of the cartridges.

Bloody TSA.

Bloody busybodies and their bloody politician sycophants nerfing civilization in the name of unattainable “safety”.




Jonna Hayden is the Production Manager at Raconteur Press. She’s the one who keeps all of our squirrels on a timetable.

She and her cat both ran into fairly serious health crises at the same time — and of course Jonna took care of her cat first.

Her issue requires 90 days of enforced rest, which means she can’t do the two side jobs that keep the wolf away from the door; and Raconteur Press isn’t making enough yet to pay her a salary or benefits.

So, we threw together a fundraiser for her.

I’d appreciate it if you could throw some change into the jar, or spread the word if you can’t.

Thank you.


Hooves, Tracks, and Sabers

And the Amazon elves smile upon us one more time. Hooves, Tracks, and Sabers went live this morning, instead of tomorrow!

The second of our collaborations with noted author and historian Dr. James Young, HT&S is a collection of alternate history stories involving cavalry.

We’ve got some good ones in here, Gentle Readers. So, if you like stories of “what might have been” involving thrashing hooves or clanking treads, pick this one up.