What makes authors fools

Apr 14, 2022 10:30 pm

Before I answer the titular question, let me ask you: Has there ever been a better comic strip than Calvin and Hobbes? I don't think so, but I'm willing to see arguments to the contrary.

Now, more on (not moron) the subject topic:

"Author: A fool who, not content with having bored those who have lived with him, insists on tormenting generations to come." -- Montesquieu

I insist on tormenting anyone who will allow me to inflict my work upon them. I bring this up because I stumbled across a new review of The Shrinking Zone last week. It was posted on goodreads. It gave me new hope. Let's face it, Lauren's slamming of the trashcan lid upon that novel almost as soon as it was released did little to edify my confidence, even though I did have some good fun with her review. Fortunately, a champion has answered the call to arms. A titan endowed in the art of plain-speaking has surged to the battle's front. Raising the eloquence of simple truth as her shield, and brandishing keen observation as her sword, she strides into combat as the defender of freedom.

So what does this modern demigoddess called Lois have to proclaim? Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts.

Without further ado, I present (unveiling) the five-star review:

An Alternate History Too Close to Home

Stanley Wheeler has jumped into current events and extrapolated them into a possible alternate future. By accurately seeing that "two weeks to flatten the curve" could readily be a means to control and power, the reader joins a remote farm to experience just how far government control could go. The basalt and sagebrush setting woven through the book was vivid in my minds' eye and set up a bedrock foundation for the fortitude of the characters. A fifth column book reminiscent of Heinlein with characters reflecting simple sheep herders, ranchers, and farmers goaded into action by not being allowed to just quietly subsist. Mr. Wheeler's style of gripping story, cliff-hangers, and sudden changes of fortune contribute to an entrancing tale that is all too soon over. His prescience is an added caution to readers that this future may be more possible than we realize.

Now that's a review that'll stick to your ribs. Did you get catch some of those style elements this champion of truth mentioned--"gripping story," "cliff-hangers," "sudden changes of fortune," and "entrancing tale"? She gets it. That's what makes authors fools. When a reader catches the excitement and the spirit of the work like that, the author suffers an acute case of delirium. I know I did. I particularly like her use of "prescience," which I hope refers to foresight, and not the class I had before science (which, if I remember correctly, was mathematics in my 6th grade class schedule).

Of course, I've gone on much too long about this review, but in the throes of delirium, I can't be held responsible. It does make me wonder if it is possible to top this review, either of The Shrinking Zone, or any of my other books. Not that I'm throwing out a challenge or anything.


As long as I'm delirious, let me introduce you to a blog I enjoy. In this particular installment, the host features a few books, including mine:

Frontier Partisan.


Honor Roll with special thanks to these subscribers:

Lois for her stunning review and heroic defense of The Shrinking Zone

Budd for reviews for a couple of my books, as well as his expression of how much he is enjoying reading the Tomahawks and Dragon Fire series.

Colleen for leaving ratings for several of my books on Amazon.

Rob for leaving a review of Threading the Rude Eye

Michael for leaving a review of Threading the Rude Eye, and The Shrinking Zone

There are other reviews of my books, but I don't know whether those reviews are also subscribers to this newsletter.

If you have posted a review anywhere of any of my books, let me know so that I can include you in the Honor Roll.


If you're thinking of responding to the battle cry that Lois has issued, and posting a review on Amazon, goodreads, or your own blog, here is a list of my books with very short descriptions to help you choose.


Finally, I hope spring is springing in your location, as well as in your heart. Life is too short to hold winter in our soul. Springtime and new growth beckon. Now's the time to answer the call. While your at it, help someone else along the way.

Thanks for letting me torment you,