| home | audio books | books in print | ebooks |
| email | links | memoirs | news | newsletter | reviews |


Darrell Bain's Newsletter

March 2007

  From the cubbyhole of Darrell's new three-sided desk, all sides equally messy.

Note: Responses to subjects brought up by this newsletter are welcome. I can be contacted by e-mailing me from my website.

Aging and Love, Early Bird Gene, Free Books, My Adventurous Brother, Progress Report and more.

Aging and Love
Love may or may not be blind, but it can fool the mind in really funny ways. For instance, if you truly love your spouse, partner or significant other, you'll hardly notice the aging process. I can walk down a street and see old women and pick out all the signs of the aging process. Wrinkled, sagging skin, graying and thinning hair, tummies that protrude and thighs that may not thunder but certainly make their presence known. On the other hand, I can look at my wife Betty, who's probably older than most of the women I just described and I don't see any of those things. In my mind she's still just as young as when I first met her and even more attractive. Funny how that works, isn't it?

Warp Point, my latest novel, is still selling at Warp speed at Fictionwise.com.

Early Bird Gene
I've always wondered why everyone in our family likes to get up so early and go to bed so early and now I know. A gene has recently been discovered which alters the internal rhythm of the body, putting it about four hours ahead of most people, which is why I'm up at four o'clock this morning writing. About 0.2% of the population has this gene according to the report. Betty is retired but she gets up about six, having gradually adjusted to my hours over the years--somewhat. She still stays up much later than I do most of the time. I guess it would make waves in a marriage if a real late sleeper married someone like me. Or perhaps not. They wouldn't get in each other's way that much, anyhow.

Betty doesn't seem to require nearly as much sleep as me. The other day I gave her a copy of David Weber's Mutineer's Moon. Science fiction isn't her favorite genre but she stayed up all night long with that book. I don't blame her; it's that good. She said I could pat myself on the back for that one.

Which brings up a corollary subject. Doesn't it make you feel really good when you give or recommend a book to someone else and they tell you how much they enjoyed it? It does me.

Free Books
Yes, that's right. I'm going to be giving some of my books away, and it's very easy to qualify to receive them. Here's how it's going to work:

  1. Each month in my newsletter I will give away five copies of a book to be selected by me. This month's title is STRANGE VALLEY, a suspense/thriller/science fiction novel of people living in a small city in northern Missouri who are slightly different from the rest of us.

  2. The first five people who e-mail me each month after my newsletter is announced, with the subject line "Free Book", will receive a copy of Strange Valley. I'll even pay the postage and handling. You can e-mail me from my web site, www.darrellbain.com .

  3. Is there a catch? Only one: All I ask is that if you enjoy the book, you tell five of your friends or acquaintances about it and mention that it can be purchased at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, ordered from any bookstore, or an autographed copy purchased at my web site, www.darrellbain.com.

  4. That's all there is to it. If you don't qualify the first month, try again. I have enough spare books so that I'm pretty sure you'll eventually receive one if you keep sending me an e-mail after each newsletter is announced with the subject "Free Book." (My family and relatives are not eligible).

I hope a lot of my readers like this idea. If you have any questions, please let me know. I can be e-mailed from my web site, www.darrellbain.com. Good luck and happy reading.

My Adventurous Brother
I keep intending to write a book about my brother but always seem to get off track somehow when I start. His life is really worth writing about. In fact, I'll let him tell you about himself.

Hi. I'm Gary Bain. I was one of the first ten pilots the Marine Corps selected to fly and pioneer the Harrier vertical landing and take off jet fighter.

I flew over 200 missions in the F-4 Phantom in 'Nam and ejected twice over there. The second one was my 213th mission and I was blasted out of the sky by 37MM on Mother's Day, the 11th of May, 1969. An incredible rescue ensued as the Jolly Greens pulled me out of the jungles of Laos, in the area of Tchepone, the most heavily defended area of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. I had to leave the aircraft in an inverted position and in excess of 500 knots. Broke my left arm in half, broke my leg and back and sustained other multiple injuries. In the past few years I have located and talked with all eight crewmembers of the Jolly Green Rescue teams that were involved in my two rescues. This past August I got to meet Dennis Palmer, the PJ that came down the hoist in Laos and yanked me out of there. He removed my name tag as they cut my flight suit off to patch up my arm. In August of this year he returned the name tag, after 37 years!! As a note of interest I also had to eject from A Harrier in 1977 that flamed out on me.

And should you ever need a survival story, here's some more of the things I've encountered. I started sky-diving before I went to flight school and over the course of 126 jumps, encountered 3 instances in which I had to deploy my reserve parachute. In 1990 I was stranded in the pacific for 32 days, a true survival epic. I've been through the eye of 3 hurricanes and experienced one 6.7 earthquake. I also had quite an experience in the wilds of British Columbia when I took my wife on a horseback trip that she calls, "The vacation From Hell". I also have exclusive footage of the discovery of the tenth Colossal head to be discovered in San Lorenzo, Mexico. The head is a ten ton monolith carved from basalt stone by the Olmecs, the most ancient civilization in the Americas. I captained a luxury live-aboard dive boat in the Cayman Islands and encountered shark attacks. I produced a couple of award winning underwater documentaries as a result of the footage I obtained over the course of the 3 years I ran the boat. I've gone to Alaska recently in search of gold nuggets. Using my metal detector I found over 6 ounces of nuggets but the big find was by someone else. He picked up an incredible 88 ounce nugget, yes, that's correct, 88 ounces!! Many others have found an array of nuggets in this place ranging from 2-50+ ounces.

All of the experiences I've noted are documented, either on video, photos, and or log books. You can visit me at www.videoexplorers.com.

Book Report
I have a special for you this month. Try 1632 by Eric Flint. It's a novel about a moderate sized coal mining town in West Virginia somehow thrown back in time to the year 1632 and displaced to Germany in the process. In case you're not up on your history, 1632 was right smack in the middle of the "Thirty Years War" that devastated central Europe. Eric Flint has a wonderful style of writing that grabs you and plunks you down into that era and keeps you there while you read. His characters are real. I liked Julie, the high school cheerleader and champion rifle shot the best but other characters are just about as good. Flint has his history right and uses historically accurate men and women of the era to make the book so believable. It's a great read and will really make you glad you weren't alive and living there during that period. It was brutal for everyone except the nobility and even they didn't have things all their own way. I don't usually go into such detail about a book I've read the past month but this one deserves every bit of praise I've given it and more. And by the way, I'm reading the sequel now, 1633, co-authored by David Weber. Betty is reading behind me, too.

Ridley Pearson's Under Currents is a good detective mystery, especially, if like me, you enjoy the forensic details which gradually add up the evidence to make a case against the killer. As a former Medical Technologist for 25 years, the forensic parts of the story really appeal to me. Pearson has drawn some good characters here as well.

It's always nice to find a book by one of your favorite authors that you haven't read. Keith Laumer was a prolific science fiction author and a very good one before his stroke. Galactic Odyssey, for instance is some of the best space opera ever written and Time Trap is one of the funniest science fiction novels I've read. He wrote many, many other books and I thought I had read them all. Then, on our last trip to the Half Price Bookstore, I found his Dinosaur Beach. It is a really engaging time travel story with more paradoxes and time loops and all the other contradictions of time travel you're likely to run across in one book. I love it!

I just finished David Weber's In Fury Born, and I'm gasping for breath. It's a great book, if just a shade unusual for him in the second half of it. I just discovered him a few years ago. He is really good at military space fiction. Heck, he's really good, period!

Depressing Weather
We saw the sun yesterday for the first time in …shucks, I don't even remember the last time! It's cold in the morning and cool or cold and cloudy or rainy in the afternoon and it seems like it's been going on forever. It would seem like perfect weather for a writer to just hole up and generate a lot of words but a gloomy atmosphere depresses me. I've been writing but I'm not sure of the quality of what I've turned out. I'm ready for Spring!

Progress Report
Williard Brothers. The next novel about this zany trio, Space Crazy (working title), is pretty far along. And by the way, the collection of all four novels is available at Fictionwise.com in one volume as an e-book. It is presently the second highest rated science fiction selection by readers there. Also, the price for the four volumes in one is a savings over buying the individual copies.

Betty's shorts are doing well at the same web site, especially Nurses In Your Home.

The book version of my Memoirs is coming along fine. It will be have almost twice the length of the individual segments I posted on my web site and will include a number of photos from various stages of my life. I'm really enjoying expanding the original memoirs but I still have to be very careful of two things: First, I don't want to unnecessarily hurt or embarrass anyone, including myself, and second, I don't want to be sued! Given those two caveats, it's interesting to dredge up those old memories, good and bad, but it will never be a tell-all kind of book. There are just too many things I can't or won't write. Nevertheless, I guess it's interesting since a publisher wants it already, for both an e-book and a print version.

Note: I turned in the manuscript for editing a few days before this newsletter was completed.

Biggest Fan
Three years ago I received a fan letter from a man up in Alaska who told me how much he enjoyed my Williard Brothers books, beginning with Medics Wild and progressing on up through Postwar Dinosaur Blues, Bigfoot Crazy, Three For The Money (In print, the title will be The Billion Dollar Caribbean Caper), and the latest, still a work in progress which will probably be titled Space For Sale. Jamie actually has about as much to do with the writing of Three For The Money as me, since he continually urged me to "write another Williard book". The collection and individual titles are available at Fictionwise.com and eReader.com and print copies of the first two are available at Amazon or book stores. The other two are scheduled for print. I've been corresponding with Jamie ever since that first letter, almost every day, in fact. He is an extremely interesting fellow and has an interesting and happy family as well. Since first meeting him (by e-mail, of course) he and his family have moved to near San Antonio, Texas, which happens to be the destination of a short trip we're planning on taking in March. So of course we've been making plans to meet then. I am really looking forward to this. Computers have indeed changed the world.

And by the way, three of my short stories were written with his children in mind. Darby and Samantha are the two girls and the titles of the short stories I wrote for them use their names as the titles. The other story, Unforeseen Reward, has the primary character named for the boy, Dylan. Those three short stories probably would never have been written had Jamie not talked about his family in our mail to each other.

Loss of Digital Data
There was an article on Outlook Express taken from Popular Mechanics concerning the loss and/or degradation of digital data over time. I'm paraphrasing here: A rather scary example cited some of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz's files with diagrams of the propulsion, electrical and other systems critical to operation. These are digital files on the ship's computers. The shift to digital technology, which enables Navy engineers anywhere in the world to access the diagrams, makes maintenance and repair more efficient. In theory. Several years ago, the Navy noticed a problem when older files were opened on newer versions of computer-aided design (CAD) software.

"We would open up these drawings and they don't look exactly like the drawing did before," says Brad Cumming, head of the aircraft carrier planning yard division at Norfolk Navy Shipyard. The changes were subtle -- a dotted line instead of dashes or minor dimension changes -- but significant enough to worry the Navy's engineers. Even the tiniest discrepancy might be mission critical on a ship powered by two nuclear reactors and carrying up to 85 aircraft!

So my question, like the article posed, is what happens in the future? I've already experienced problems when trying to recapture words written on an old word processing program. As they said above, "It doesn't look the same." I'm reminded of an old science fiction story where civilization crashed because all the data in the world was put in one place then someone lost the key. I feel like that sometimes when I'm trying to find old writing of mine. The problem is only going to get worse if someone doesn't figure out a way of permanently preserving data that can be read by any reader of the future. I don't pretend to know how it will be done, but it will come. Can you imagine going back to the old five inch floppy disks? Or finding a computer that can read them today? I just bought my first computer without a floppy disk reader, thus invalidating everything on my floppy idsks unless I have it preserved somewhere else. I think I got all my files important enough to save onto a one Gig flash drive and my pictures on another. If I made a mistake, too late!!

I know I've mentioned diets and how hard they are to stay on and how I used to wonder why people couldn't stick to a diet until I developed diabetes and my wife's triglycerides were sudddenly sky high. I apologize again to anyone I ever berated about dieting. Damn it, a diet is easy to start but the very devil to stay on week after week, month after month, year after year. And Betty is such a good cook, and likes to cook so much that we are perpetually torn between good food and healthy meals. Rats. Also Kitty Mess, as Betty says when she feels like cussing. Why do we have to gain weight as we age or develop diseases where we're forced to diet? Maybe it's repayment for the sins of youth. Whatever, I'm tired of it. I let my diet go for a while, sort of, but I'm making an effort again. Only four peanut butter cookies for dessert instead of a half dozen. Rats and Kitty Mess both!

The Iraq War
Ain't hind sight wonderful? If we were going to invade anyone, it should have been Iran, not Iraq in MHO, but that idiot Saddamn had everyone convinced he owned WMD in quantity. And after Afghanistan, Bush and our military were feeling feisty. However, let that be. My biggest complaint is that no one who was involved in the decision making appears to have studied much, if at all, about Iraq's history and political and ethnic and religious makeup. The country's boundaries were drawn arbitrarily when the colonial nations began leaving, and the only way the country was held together since then was by force. Betty says just come home and let them fight it out. I hve a tendecy to say the same thing but I don't think it's quite that simple. Having got ourselves into the Middle East mess (and I'm not speaking of just Iraq), I believe just up and leaving would make a bigger mess of things. But damned if I know of anything else we can do short of sending a couple of hundred thousand more troops there and really stamp out the factional fighting--if it can be done at all. As my brother said about a year after the war began, "Boy, we really opened a can of worms there, didn't we?" We sure did, and they're crawling all over the world now. America's image is being savaged and the whole area is in a turmoil. The Islamic terrorists seem to be able to produce suicide bombers the way we produce automobiles--they just keep rolling off the assembly line in never ending numbers. Having said all that, I do believe that if we are going to keep troops in the area we should insist that the moderate states we're protecting like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia send troops into Iraq with us to smother the insurgency and try to put the pieces back into some sort of order. And I don't necessarily mean democratic order or laissez faire capitalism. Just whatever works.

Movie Option
After numerous trips to London and Hollywood and investing a lot of money, the firm which had the movie option for The Sex Gates opted not to renew the contract. Therefore, The Sex Gates is now open for a movie option again. Anyone interested?

THE END. Thanks for reading.

Darrell Bain
Shepherd, Texas
March 2007



Places to find my books

Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.


| home | audio books | books in print | ebooks | links | news | newsletter |

Home   Next



Web site content Copyright © 2005-2007 Darrell Bain. All rights reserved.

Web site created by Lida E. Quillen and maintained by Ardy M. Scott.

This page last updated 02-23-07.

border by Windy