Alien Affairs' campaign begins March 11, and last for thirty days. When it goes live I will publish a link to the page and begin whining for nominations. Mark your calendars!
Monday, March 9, 2015
Saturday, March 7, 2015
Last year I wrote about hummingbirds and announced that we fed the little buzzards 195 pounds of sugar (less maybe a pound that a thieving bear slurped). In 2014 the hummers broke that record. We dissolved 205 pounds of sugar for them. As I write this, they are beginning to return from their sojourn south of the border
and are lapping over three cups of hummer juice a day.
and are lapping over three cups of hummer juice a day.
But that's not all they are doing.
Take a look at these.
Look at the little guy's eyeballs
They are about a week old
She's making them beg
She gave in
Greedy little suckers
Did you know they make their nest out of spider webs?
In anticipation of growing appetites, I just stashed fifty pounds of sugar in big jars and canisters.
All photos by Hurricane Sandy Skipper
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Louise, Sarah and Katherine, how many girls were there? Private detective, Fin, short for Finley, took a job to find Louise. His only clues were a photograph, a woman’s name and a general area, but a pro can work with little or nothing. Fin located Katherine—who bore a strong resemblance to Louise—attending school at Kent where his girlfriend’s nephew, Stan, also studied. Stan agrees to ask Katherine, or Kat as she prefers, on a date to try to get Fin some answers to his questions, but as might be expected, he gets romantically involved. Now, enter the bad guys—and they are really bad. Murphy works as a leg breaker for Brice, the loan shark. He grabs Fin and beats enough information from him to also nab Kat and Stan. Then things start to really unravel and little by little we learn the dark secrets of Louise, Sarah and Katherine.
Jaqueline Chandler drags her characters through Hell and back. The action scenes of But You Can’t Hide have enough grit and intensity to raise welts on the reader as much as bruises on the characters. The twists of misfortune are relentless as is the complexity of the plot. The reader is led down a disorienting gallery of blind alleys only to emerge as in the dark as before. This story has it all: suspense, action, pace, strong characters and depth of plot. Once you start reading But You Can’t Hide you won’t stop.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
When I became aware that some miscreants were producing a TV series to be called Dark Matter, I was forced to regroup. This very day (note it in your diaries) a new, and possibly more apt, title came straight from the cosmos: Alien Affairs.
In honor of the event I have decided to offer another excerpt.
President elect Kennedy said, “I’m not at all comfortable with this plan.”
“It’s gone too far to pull the plug now. How are you going to keep all those Cubans quiet?”
“Dammit, I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it. What else?”
Allen Dulles sucked on his pipe before continuing to brief the incoming president. “In 1947 a flying saucer crashed near Roswell, New México. We captured it and four aliens, three of which were already dead.”
Kennedy looked incredulous. “You’re serious. What happened to the fourth one?”
“It was put out of its misery but since then we’ve discovered from one of the artifacts found at the crash site that they were here to destroy us.”
“My God, why?”
“According to information found at the crash and deciphered several years later, they created the human race as some kind of experiment and they were simply finished with us. They intended to release some chemical agent that makes everybody sterile and in a generation we would go extinct.”
“And you believe this?”
“I don’t accept the idea that they created us but I have to take seriously the threat to annihilate us. The concern is, we don’t know if the sterilization agent is on the earth or possibly on the moon and can be released remotely, or if they are sending another squad to try again. My people say that the soonest they can get here again is 2016, that is unless they have a base on the moon.”
“Well, we damn well better get to the moon and find out.”
“Yes, Mr. President, we could use a little help with that.”
The political turbulence of the summer of 1974 landed Gerald Ford in the Oval Office with a suddenness not seen previously in American History. After his appointment to the vice-presidency when Spiro Agnew resigned in disgrace, he had to wait only eight months for Richard Nixon to also resign under fire. The Director of the CIA, George Bush, had to scramble to bring the new president up to date on clandestine activities.
Near the end of one such briefing session Ford conceded, “We’re going to have to learn to live with Ho Chi Minh and put the whole thing behind us.”
“I’m afraid that is the prudent thing to do,” Bush said.
“There is something I’ve wanted to ask you since I took the oath of office.”
“What is the truth about UFOs?”
Bush rubbed his jaw and took a deep breath. “Mr. President, since the CIA has taken charge of the matter, that information is released on a need to know basis, and just being the president does not give you a need to know.”
“You’ve got to be kidding.”
“What could possibly be so vital that it has to be kept secret even from the president?”
“Unless and until something happens that puts you in a need to know position, that must remain classified.”
Ford glared at Bush, dumbfounded.
Friday, January 23, 2015
Some years ago, on a whim, I visited the UFO Museum at Roswell. It's a bit schmaltzy but the shear bulk of material they offer is rather compelling. When I walked back into the New Mexico sunlight I had the oddest feeling and asked myself, "What if it actually happened?" What could possibly have been so terrible that it had to be squelched for so many years? Soon you will know the answer. Check out this excerpt from Dark Matter.
SS January 23, 2015
Carrie took a call daily from Georgia Turnbull inquiring whether she had spoken with the aliens. “Not a peep out of them. How are things going in California?”
“We’ve delivered twelve SM-3 missiles with tactical nuclear warheads to SpaceX at Vandenberg Air Force Base and their shop in Hawthorne is working around the clock to fabricate explosive bolt brackets to attach them to the capsule. SpaceX made the thing with a cowling that will cover them for takeoff and can be jettisoned later—it’s perfect. You know, of course, you are not in the need to know for any of this?”
“At least you know I won’t be flapping my jaws in the White House pressroom.”
“Call me as soon as that phone rings. How do feel about it?”
“You’ll do fine.”
Carrie aimed the remote at the television and spent a few minutes with the sound muted watching coverage of a crowd in Times Square. Some carried signs but most wandered looking up occasionally as if expecting to see flying saucers descending on them. “Poor bastards,” she said aloud, “if they only knew.”
She left the office but did not go home. Instead she stopped at a sports bar near her house in Georgetown. Her DC uniform—black pantsuit—drew suspicious looks from some of the more disreputable looking patrons. She ordered chardonnay and glanced around at the flat screens. Most displayed sports but a couple had news feeds of the people milling in front of the White House.
The barmaid noticed where she was looking and said when she parked the wineglass in front of her, “What do they think they’re going to accomplish out there?”
Carrie said without thinking, “They just want to be with other human beings.”
“Yeah, maybe. What do you think they look like?”
Carrie could not help smiling. “I think they are going to look like the aliens we see in the tabloids, little guys with big heads and big black teardrop eyes.”
“Huh. Well, I suppose that image had to come from somewhere. I wonder if they’re gonna make contact this time or just fly around some more.”
“My gut tells me this time there will be contact.”
“I hope you’re wrong. The idea gives me the creeps. It’s good for business, though.” She moved on to take other drink orders.
Carrie felt her phone vibrate. When she looked at the caller ID in the display, it was gibberish. Her heart slammed against her diaphragm. She chugged half the wine, put a napkin on top of the glass and ran outside before the call could go to voicemail. On the sidewalk she tapped the icon and said the normal greeting of the alien language, “Come.”
It took forever for the signal to go and return from interplanetary space. “Come,” a voice said. “You are a very clever creature. Are there many like you now?”
“I am the only person on this planet who can talk to you.”
“How did you manage it?”
“We found your reading device.” She realized that her heart was still racing. “We know why you are coming.”
“It would have been better if you did not.”
“Not for us. We are prepared now to stop you.”
“And how ever could you do that?”
“And why would I be fool enough to tell you?”
“It does make us proud to see how bright our creation has become, but that spark is precisely the reason we must prevent you from getting any smarter.”
“What exactly are you afraid of?”
“We did so well at making you ingenious, but we failed completely at making you passive.”
“That is right, and that is why we are not going to let you destroy us.”
“We are not going to destroy anyone. Look at it this way, everyone will be free to fornicate without need of contraception.”
“Is that your idea of a joke?”
“Actually, I was being serious.”
“What would we have to do to convince you that destroying us is unnecessary?” In the back of her mind she found it surreal to be negotiating for the survival of the species.
“It would not be up to us to make that decision. We have been sent here with orders that must be obeyed.”
“Look, we know where you are. We have the means to intercept and destroy you.”
“You see, it is exactly that belligerence that is the problem.”
“You don’t leave us a choice. You engineered us to survive and that is what we intend to do.”
“I will be interested to see what you attempt, but alas, it will fail.”
“Do not be so sure. We have had seventy years to develop our defenses since you were here.”
“We too have had the equivalent of your seventy planetary revolutions to develop our defenses. There will not be an incident like the last time. Apparently those oafs did not know how to fly.”
“How do you know we did not shoot them down?”
“All right. Do not say I did not warn you.”
“You are a very plucky example of your species, but I am afraid I can see that it is a bluff. I have enjoyed talking with you and look forward to doing so again. Now, I have work to do. Going.”
“Going.” She disconnected and slumped against the wall.
Back at the bar she swilled the last half of her wine and asked for whiskey neat. A man two stools away said, “That was some strange language you were speaking. What is it?”
She had not even noticed him pass her on the sidewalk. For a moment she felt panicky, then she said, “It’s the language of the Dogon people of Mali.”
“Yeah? How’d you ever pick that up?”
“I’m a missionary and a nun.”
That quashed his interest.
Dark Matter is in the beta read phase. Anyone interested in offering to beta read it, please contact me via www.Scott Skipper.com The "Contact Me" page is under the "More" tab. Leave an address and let me know what ebook format you prefer.
Friday, December 19, 2014
Peter Claydon, Flight Lieutenant in the RAF, nearly walked in on an SS beating and murder of a British radar technician. A French Nazi collaborator with access to top secret radar technology and two German thugs were attempting to beat classified information from the hapless Englishman. Claydon stumbles upon the scene seconds after the shooting—nearly getting himself shot—and receives a message from the dying man. The message excites a great deal of interest in the intelligence community. Then, a week later, Claydon spots the same French turncoat in the background of a photograph taken from the body of a Luftwaffe pilot. Being the only person able to recognize this dangerous traitor, Claydon is assigned the task of assassinating M. Passy. He is then sent back to France in the company of the daring M. Carnac to locate and eliminate this threat to the secret of that vital new defensive weapon, radar.
This extraordinary story has an equally extraordinary history. D.M. Crook was the grandfather of the modern day publisher of Pursuit of Passy. He has chosen to offer this magnificent book for free which deeply puzzles this reviewer. It is a noteworthy piece of fiction with intrinsic value and I would have been happy to pay for it. In league with Fredrick Forsythe and Ken Follet, Pursuit of Passy is a great book that deserves commensurate attention.
Free at Smashwords / $.99 at Amazon
Riley Grannan was a bookie. He so excelled at his craft that he could earn a fortune in an afternoon, or lose one.
Eleven-year-old Dayton Shannon was the motherless son of an abusive father until his Uncle Tom agreed to teach him the ropes of bookmaking. Dayton had a natural affinity and his uncle taught him well enough that the renowned Riley Grannan hired him to assist in his betting operation. At the age of twelve Day got to travel the racing circuit, see the world and earn more in a year than in a lifetime of shining shoes at the train station.
This is the most peculiar book that I ever enjoyed. Many years ago I learned that horseracing is not only a beautiful spectacle, but it is a beautiful way to lose money. Since I shun the odds makers much of the bookmakers’ jargon was lost on me—I don’t even fully understand the title—and I can’t deny that one-hundred and twenty year old racing statistics are an arcane topic, but this story is irresistible. It is told from multiple viewpoints that at times made it hard to remember who was telling the story, and it is not conventionally edited, but none of that detracted from my enjoyment. The characters carry this tale of high stakes, fast living, corruption and redemption in the 1890’s. It is a nostalgic look at racing from the standpoint of that often-unsavory character, the bookie.
Price $3.99 / $1.99 at Amazon
Buy at Smashwords
Buy at Amazon