It’s live! LLIIVVEE!!

Direct link.

Looks like Kortnee may have beaten the Amazon elves into submission — our anthology with Guest Editor James Young went live a day early.

We are really, really happy with this one, and I think y’all will be, too.

Go! Read! Review! Tell everyone! Support starving authors! (And small starving publishers!)

Didn’t Cedar knock that cover out of the park? Wow.



This is a way past due post, and one that is meant for authors out there.

If you are on Amazon, you need to have an Amazon author’s page. You do this by going to Amazon Author Central and creating an Author page. Once you have done that, there will be a hyperlink on any book you have claimed. Folks can click on that hyperlink and be taken to your Author page, where other books you have claimed will be listed — and fairly importantly — the ‘Follow’ button is located.

I say ‘fairly importantly’ because if your Gentle Readers have clicked that ‘Follow’ button, Amazon will — allegedly — send them notifications when you upload a new book. You can see how this could be helpful.

I also seem to have been remiss in telling new authors that they really should claim any of our anthologies they’ve been in.

To do this, go to your Amazon Author Central page, click on ‘Books’ on the tab-line across the top, and then click ‘add it now’, and follow the instructions.

Amazon is a little squirrely on the number of authors they’ll let claim a book, but we’re usually under their max limit. If you find you can’t claim one you’re published in, let us know and we’ll see what we can do. No promises — it IS Amazon, after all.

Please remember to go forth and have your family, friends, fans, followers, and random folks on the subway ‘Follow’ your Amazon page, and Amazon page of any other author they like — it helps you, and it helps us.

Thank you.




This Friday (09 FEB 24) we will be launching the first of a couple of series with Guest Editor James L. Young.

I’m really kind of chuffed about this one — it’s an anthology centered around giant robots/mecha, and James brought in some stellar talent:

I’m serious, folks, some of the names that submitted stories had my inner BattleTech fanboy squeeing.

As usual for us we got enough stories that there will be a second volume of giant robot stories coming out later on.

All that being said, I’d like to ask our Gentle Readers to do me a solid: I’d like Giant Freakin’ Robots to launch high enough that we impress James and the authors that he has brought with him. Impress them enough that we can keep bringing this level of talent and entertainment to our fans. Buy this book. Talk about this book. Recommend it to your families, friends, and random people on the subway.

And — as always — leave ratings and reviews.

I’d certainly appreciate it.



I am holding the Official Company Record Book for Raconteur Press.

It is where we have stored the Company Charter, the Certificate of Formation, the Acknowledgement of Filing, and other such legal paperwork as required for the formation of a Limited Liability Company in the State of Texas, and the United States of America.

Whoof. It’s real. That mild look of panic you see on my face is pretty genuine.

Like I said in my previous post — it’s going to be an interesting year, and this is where it really kicks off.


Changes afoot

Hoo boy, does 2024 have some interesting times coming for this little publishing house.

First off, we start 2024 by getting the Orange Tag of Happiness on our first release for the year:

Direct link is here.

We have also welcomed Intern Steve to the madhouse. He’s actually named Nick Nethery, and he comes to us by way of the Department of Defense’s Skillbridge Program. He attended MarsCON to meet us, and fits in perfectly. As long as he’s good with getting paid in cheese sandwiches and abuse for the foreseeable future, I fully intend on offering him a job when his internship is complete.

Speaking of Raconteur’s “Hey, does this hankie smell like chloroform to you” hiring process, we also met up with Mike Burke of the Alpha Mercs at MarsCON, and promptly shangai’d him, too.

So, if anyone asks: Yes, Nick and Mike are honest-to-god Raconteur Press staff; and as with all of my people, both of them have my complete confidence and trust.

As both of them are retired/retiring US military veterans, they bring a certain grip upon the subject of Mil-SciFi that the ladies might lack a bit of, and will start by handling the Space Marine anthos, as well as “… other duties as assigned”.

We accomplished many, many things at MarsCON — a lot of which will be revealed as the year moves along — not the least involving no small amount of time with a lawyer and a CPA as we set up Raconteur Press as a Real Company.

There is an actual website in the works, which we will launch in due course, and take Raconteur Press off of my blog.

While our dance card for 2024 is full up, I have started filling anthology slots for 2025, as well as black-bagging my first Guest Editor for that year. (Insert evil laugh here.) Until the website launches, click on the Raconteur Press tab on the task-bar above to keep abreast of anthology calls, closing dates, contract dates, and pub dates.

I’d like to remind everyone that Moggies In Space 3, a Galaxy Fur, Fur Away closes this weekend — get your stories in — and Space Marines 3 contracts go out on Saturday 03 FEB 24.

Busy, busy, busy.


Nuclear Power or Bust

*ring, ring* “Unknown Number”

Oh, what the hell. “Hello?”

“Hello, sir. First, I must tell you that this is not a sales call.”


“Do you mind answering some questions?”

“Depends. Do you mind hearing the answers?”

“All right, sir. Do you agree that solar power is necessary for green energy independence in Texas? Yes, or no response, please.”

“No. Solar is stupid. If you want green energy, start pushing for more nuke reactors.”

“Yes, sir. How liable are you to install solar panels on your residence?”

“I’m not. Solar is stupid. Nuclear power or bust.”

“Yes, sir. If I were to tell you that there are government programs that will off-set the cost of solar panel installation, would that change your mind?”

“Buddy, I realize that you’re working from a script, but if you don’t engage your brain, folks are going to think that you’re retarded.”



“I haven’t had my coffee yet.”

“I can tell. Any other questions that I can answer by telling you that solar is stupid?”

“No, sir. You have a good day.”

“You, too. Go get some coffee.”fox having his coffee while contemplating a nuclear power plant with approval

Yog’s Law

I have stated multiple times that authors are some of the most parasitised organisms on this little green dirtball. Once you start writing you quickly discover that there are freeloaders and sponges lined up around the corner waiting for the opportunity to milk you dry of every last bit of money and work that you have created.

This happens at every level — someone needs to explain to me just exactly why traditional publishing hasn’t been the subject of multiple rounds of RICO investigations — but of particular interest to me are independent authors and vanity presses.

A “vanity press” for the purposes of this conversation is a company where you — the author — pay them to publish your work. If you send your publisher a cheque along with your manuscript: They’re a vanity press. And they’re a parasite.

Author James D. Macdonald has long had a case of the hips at vanity presses, and coined what is referred to as “Yog’s Law”, which is simply: “Money flows toward the writer.”

Clear, concise, simple, and true. Any publisher should make their money as a share of the profits from selling your book. Your brain-sweat goes into writing the book, their brain-sweat goes into editing and marketing your book; and y’all split the proceeds.

In response to the growing backlash against vanity presses, a lot of the little barnacles have restyled themselves as “hybrid presses”; and they say  that the authors aren’t paying for publishing, they’re paying for “a la carte” services.

In other words, you’re not “paying for publishing”, you’re paying for editing. You’re paying for a cover.

Some folks feel this is fair. 

As far as I’m concerned, as a small publisher: It’s still bushwa. They’re still parasitic little vanity presses. They want to milk each and every author of as much money as possible, without taking the risk of actually having to work to sell the books.

If you have sent your publisher money, then they’ve made their money. They don’t give two hoots in hell about your book — they’ve already made a profit. And it really, really annoys me.

Other folks in the industry feel that the “hybrid press” “a la carte” model is actually a fair and viable system.

It isn’t, but that’s just my feeling on the matter.

As such, and to give some guidance as to distinguishing between a vanity press and a genuine “hybrid press” author Dan Thompson offered the “Self Publishing Corollary to Yog’s Law”: “Money and rights are controlled by the author.”

If you’ve decided that a “hybrid press” is right for you, and you’re okay with giving them money along with your manuscript, I ask only that you check one more thing: do they want the rights to your work?

In other words, are you paying them to take your rights? Are you paying them to take your intellectual property?

If so, they’re a vanity press; they’re a parasite, and you have a duty to starve the little bastards out of existence.

That is all.


The Tao of Lawdog #765

Dear Manbun Neckbeard,

Normally I don’t offer advice to those who are neither kith nor kin, but in this case I should like to offer some words of wisdom from one who has been around this little green dirtball a few more decades than you:
The Law of Physics is not like other Laws — such as the Law of Traffic or the Law of Pedestrians — it is pitiless, merciless, does not brook stupidity, and usually extracts a stiffer penalty than a mere fine or jail time.

With this in mind, in the future, consider taking your pretentious, hipster douche-baggery down to the crosswalk before crossing the bloody frontage road — especially at zero-bloody-dark thirty and you in (no doubt hand-dyed, Free Trade) black cotton everything.

Now, do not mistake me: I don’t particularly give a warm bucket of rat expectorant if a Ford F250 — like the one that just had to swerve out of your way — punts you thirty feet down the road, but I don’t want to spend my next few trips down this road driving through the miasmatic cloud of halitosis and patchouli that would probably linger after having been knocked from your pores by the impact.

Much like the olfactory reminder of the demise of a skunk, only with fewer skid marks evident, come to think.

So. Move your non-GMO arse, you jackass.

Nothing but love,