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Texas Bill

Survival Fiction or Learning is Fun!

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I ended Gran De Daddy sooner than I wanted to, but the spot seeded appropriate. Left out was Micheal's reaction to the loss of his finger, an account of what went on inside the household between the time the kidnapper showed up with their son, and Phil's flying entrance into the dining room.

 

I am thinking about a means of resurrecting the story starting with a wrap up of Gran De Daddy and continuing from there. I felt Phil, Willa and Jasmine were strong characters and don't want them to be left in limbo simply because I decide not to push buttons on a keyboard. Inside my mind, the main characters are real people and I think of them as being live, breathing individuals and I feel something akin to grief when their story ends. The main thing that will make another story interesting is that, cautious Ms.Willa,in the heat of action, seems to have the same cold bloodlust as Phil when it comes to dealing with bad people. I'm thinking the detective who came to Phil's room at the end may contact him for help solving (in Phil's way) a heinous crime. Of course Willa will be his partner. How about that?

 

Phil and company will have to wait a couple months though. I am finishing a novel named 'Disaster' which chronicles a family who waited until almost the last minute to prep for a looming multi-faceted breakdown of society. It will be a three part series with the titles, 'Disaster', 'Revenge' 'Rebirth'. I will find a way to squeeze Phil in.

 

Terry

 

Terry, I forgot to ask earlier. Any chance of seeing more of Phil and his family from Gran De Daddy? I loved that story and I would certainly buy more stories about any continuing adventures. I know it would be hard to come up with a plausible reason for Phil to come out of retirement again but well worth the effort.

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my favorite so far is One Second After although I thought Patriot (pretty good) and Survivors..(idk still haven't finished it, doubt I will...) currently reading Lights Out, not as good as One Second in my opinion but its a good read too..

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Terry, that sounds awesome. I noticed that Willa was really good at thinking on her feet and she is a cool customer. I like where you are heading, and now all you have to do is push those pesky buttons on the keyboard. I am pretty pumped about the new project you described as well and I hope to hear more about it.

 

Rayz, those are all good books. They present some interesting survival scenarios, from family group to MAGs up to whole communities. If you haven't read any, also check out some of the books written by our fellow member, Terry McDonald, aka workquick. Pick up Nanobot Aftermath (Hard Roads and Annie Higgins combo) for some cool PAW fiction and Gran De Daddy, which is a humdinger of a thriller. He also has Gran De Daddy as part of a collection entitled Oddities, which has some other really good short fiction as well.

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Just finished Seven Fires. It was interesting, but very unevenly paced and in need of some editing. There were typos, misused words, and tense problems sprinkled throughout the book, which I found distracting. There were long stretches where the story was told simply and I enjoyed it, but then there would be these long stretches of dialogue that had some of the most convoluted, hard-to-understand sentences in them. And there's a speech at the end that not only went on for pages, it also didn't even have a single paragraph break! Ugh.

 

Writing problems aside, the story was interesting. It was more a call to live in harmony with the earth than a survival book. The survival that we hear about is either thoroughly planned in advance and not detailed in such a way that it's useful advice, OR it's basically totally accidental (getting trapped in a fully stocked grocery store is not a bad way to face the start of TEOTWAWKI). A lot of the conflict has to do with war, international relations, biological warfare, nuclear war, etc., more than rebuilding and surviving. But the look at how a village styled after "the old ways" and focused on the Native American sense of connectedness with the earth is really fascinating.

 

All in all, not my favorite book, but it definitely had a few points that made me think.

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Ditto, Oregonchick. I definitely liked the first "book" better but I did like the different perspective in Seven Fires. I was confused a bit by the book too because Washington, DC was destroyed at the being of the book and a few years later it was serving as the capitol again. At first, I thought they meant Washington to mean federal government but later I realized they meant the actual city itself.

 

On the other hand, I finally managed to get through Free Falling by Susan Kiernan-Lewis, which was a well written and edited book with some completely "stupid" characters. Capt. Bart would hate this book (if I can speak for him) because the protagonists survive purely on luck. This book featured the terrible decision-making process that sends a numerically inferior force riding straight down the country road and into an ambush so that our protagonists could be reunited in the enemy camp. Our female heroine manages to save the day by snatching the holstered pistol away from a psycho killer and manages to gun down him as his cronies because the bad guy has gone into his wild monologue mode. I hate lazy authors who feel the need to dumb down their characters in order to heighten suspense rather than tightening their plot. This book is exhibit A.

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I HATE "lucky break" survival fiction. You might as well write, "Jennifer was running, fleeing the city after the nuclear strike warning sirens went off. Suddenly, she tripped and fell into a fully-stocked bunker that was set up for six people. There were two married couples who welcomed Jen with a smile, but she was immediately drawn to Colt, the tall, dark and ruggedly handsome ex-Army Ranger (or possibly Navy SEAL) whose shuttered gaze hinted at a wounded soul. A soul that Jen knew she could warm up even as nuclear winter fell..." ;)

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Hello Oregonchick,

I fell into that trap in a way. My novel "Hard Road" is a prime example of things coming easy. The scenario I portrayed would allow an abundance of everything, but it seemed that people could not grasp that if only a half million people survived a non-destructive event, it would take many, many years to exhaust the available supplies. Because of that (and a couple other reasons) I gathered a few bad reviews. Lesson learned-- not to make things too easy. By the same token, I have read books, some very popular, and could not understand where the wealth of supplies could have gone to. You are correct about the short coming of 'Seven Fires', but as you noted, even with the pontificating, it was still an entertaining read. I always look forward to seeing which books are recommended on this thread.

 

Terry McDonald.

 

I HATE "lucky break" survival fiction. You might as well write, "Jennifer was running, fleeing the city after the nuclear strike warning sirens went off. Suddenly, she tripped and fell into a fully-stocked bunker that was set up for six people. There were two married couples who welcomed Jen with a smile, but she was immediately drawn to Colt, the tall, dark and ruggedly handsome ex-Army Ranger (or possibly Navy SEAL) whose shuttered gaze hinted at a wounded soul. A soul that Jen knew she could warm up even as nuclear winter fell..." ;)

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Hi, Terry!

 

I'm not opposed to some good fortune coming people's way, or, within the context of the world that's been created, it can certainly be explained why there would be abundant resources for scavenging/looting so that if the protagonist wasn't prepared before TEOTWAWKI, there would be a chance to stock up and actually survive. What I appreciate is when an author takes the time to explain some of the rationale - why things are available, why the character chooses or looks for particular items, and how they will be used. If it's coherent and logical, it can be a good part of the story. And I think that's something you manage well.

 

My complaint is with the authors who allow their characters to consistently make bad decisions, then "reward" them by having whatever they need magically appear in front of them. At a certain point, it becomes hard for me to root for the characters because it seems like they should be Darwin Award candidates instead of heroes! LOL

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Ditto to what Oregonchick said (you had me laughing out loud with the "Colt" reference). Specific to the book I was complaining about, the female protagonist rescues her family not through any particular grit or determination, and they make dumb mistakes you would think hard experience would provide some warning. These folks should have been big winners in the Darwin Award sweepstakes, from the husband riding off to help some random stranger on their farm and waltzing into a trap to the wife constantly forgetting her pistol at key intervals (a pistol which she somehow manages to conveniently purchase from a local in Ireland after a disaster). They know there is a vicious gypsy gang raping and murdering in their area but still get taken by surprise. Also, the wife makes that eternal mistake of letting attackers walk away, making mortal enemies instead of compost.

 

As for the scavenging in Hard Road, Terry, I was very impressed by how you seemed to have spent a lot of time thinking out the scenario for years after the nanoplague. Some things would endure quite well while other items would expire quickly. Of course, the MaxxPro was a bit of an unlikely discovery but I thought the coolness factor outweighed the "What the heck?" for that one. I actually got into a "Comments" exchange (ha,ha) because one of your haters was complaining about how your characters were drinking from a years old water tower where you specifically stated the water was used to bathe and wash but was not potable.

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Guys, I just wanted to mention a little novella I recently read by J.F. French entitled Self Apocalypse. I didn't care much for the title but it was a pretty good story about a guy hunkering down at his place in the mountains to weather a breakdown scenario. Some pretty good, simple tips and also deals with the issue of spending time alone in the woods. Nothing groundbreaking here, and several times while he is out hunting small game I could not help thinking, "Wow, some rabbit snares sure would be nice in that situation". With that in mind, I went a bought some ready-made ones and enough wire (or cable, as the trappers like to call it) to make some additional ones now that I know how to do it.

 

Anyway, I would like to see if the guy ever gets around to writing a sequel, but no cliffhanger ending, thank goodness.

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I just wanted to let you guys know Cheryl Cholley's Survivalist by Circumstance Book One is now available on Amazon. This compiles the first seven episodes into one book and will shortly be coming out in electronic form as well. I've read them as they were released and while not a ton of action, it has some good ideas for sustainable homesteading and setting up a MAG as well as being suitable for all ages. The story essentially follows a family opting out of living in the Big City (San Francisco) and moving to a farm and ranch area outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. They don't start out as preppers, or survivalists, but sort of back into it, hence the name of the book. Based on the ending and the teaser I read for the next installment, expect more action as the state of the union continues to slide.

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Over the weekend, I read Randy Dyess's The Farm, which was a sequel to Out of Gas. Other than relying a little too much on luck (yep, Grandma's homestead just happens to be located in the middle of a massive, community based MAG), the story was engaging and educational. On the short side, this second in a three book trilogy otherwise checked all the boxes for me. I also finally finished Nathan Hale's Death of Civilization: Reclamation, a six hundred or so page sequel which was chock full of action and adventure while also exploring the trials and tribulations of rebuilding society after a global disaster has claimed 98+% of the population. A warning to readers- Reclamation has some awful, ugly scenes of torture and cannibalism that are in keeping with the story but troublesome nonetheless.

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I have been on a kick here recently and read another survival/prepper based book entitled Against the Grain by Ian Daniels. I enjoyed the book and I was surprised to have never heard of it before. I know it is newer, but still I figured something this engaging would have been picked up on by others already. The book had a few editing issues but the story was well paced, the action realistic and the ideas portrayed (such as proper protocol for running a convoy) seemed to ring true. Also, the characters were well developed and the protogonist, a mystery man who is much more complicated than meets the eye, has to wrestle with more than just the looters and raiders trying to kill him. As the story unfolds, you are given more pieces of the puzzle but by the end you are really anxious for the next book. No cliffhangers here, but the story is just that interesting. I won't give any spoilers, but the story doesn't go like you think it would.

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Hello all. Texas Bill, I'll have to grab 'Against the Grain' it sounds like an interesting read. I just published another Novel, 'Disaster' a tale about a family that realizes they should be prepping, but get a late start. It will be free at Amazon for on day only tomorrow. I hope you all read this soon enough to grab it for free. Leave a review if you have time. Terry

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BF2Z5QG

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Thanks, Terry. I hate to gush but I was impressed at how the author seemed to have a handle on what kinds of low intensity conflicts would crop up in such a situation. Also, the author managed to create some interesting emotional situations and I enjoyed how he had his protagonist deal with them along the way. Not at all what I was expecting.

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Thanks Texas. It's back up. I think I'll wait a couple days to be sure before I schedule another free promotion. For now I'll get back to reading 'Against the Grain'. It started a bit jumpy, but the story draws you in quick enough.

Terry

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BF2Z5QG

 

 

Dang, Terry. That is terrible. However, I don't mind paying for it so no sweat. You've got my interest up from the description you gave so post here to let us know it is out. Thanks for the heads up.

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Cannibalism-- shudder. Poor Bobby does seem a bit like food. I do hope you enjoy the story. I am working on the sequel now-- 'Redemption'. (PS. Just for you, I started an outline plot for a sequel to Phil and Willa. It will be a very fun project and I think you will enjoy it.)(and for me.)

Terry

Well, I am about thirty pages into Disaster and I already like this family so I shudder to think what you are going to do to them, Terry. If they have to resort to cannibalism, though, I nominate Bobby. Just kidding!

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So excited to start Disaster, which I just downloaded on Kindle!

 

Just finished Against the Grain by Ian Daniels. I liked the story, but found it a little disjointed at times. I think, in part, that's because the story starts after TEOTWAWKI, but while things are still sort of in transition. So it's a different world than our current one, but at the same time nobody seems to be adjusted to the new circumstances. You never really get a sense of what's going on with the lead character, who holds himself apart from everyone and hints about a few possible reasons, but mostly he just seems tired and like he's needlessly suffering from self-imposed loneliness. Also he is oddly inappropriate with the women in his group who are unavailable, while being surprisingly hands-off with the attractive, interested, single woman in the group. It made me doubt his honor or character a bit.

 

Overall, I feel like the author would have really benefited from some work with a hands-on editor who could have tightened up some grammar/spelling issues AND helped resolve some of the uneven pacing and plotting. That said, it's still a very interesting look at how people respond to life when even things like basic utilities are unavailable and about the kinds of choices and hard work that would be involved if you want to survive (let alone thrive) in that kind of world. Definitely worth the read, but far from my favorite book on the subject.

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Terry, I finished Disaster last night and felt like I took a kick in the gut. Please don't be offended, I liked the book a lot, but well...that was some brutal stuff. Also goes to show why keeping a low profile is important as well as maintaining vigilance at all times is just about impossible without sufficient numbers.

 

I grew up in the country and you were dead on with how some of those bucolic country folk can be just as vicious as any gang member these days. Ada's description of the blitz attack on King's place sent a shiver up my spine, and what happened to Max's family was...words fail me. Anyway, I am eager to get my hands on the sequel. Good stuff here.

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