Tag Archives: Reblog

Grey, Zane: Raiders of Spanish Peaks (1931).

My review dated 14th June 2018:

“Raiders of the Spanish Peaks” first saw light of day in December 1931 as a serial in the recently established magazine “Country Gentleman”. It ran as a six-part story until May 1932. Then, in 1938 it was published by Harper & Bros. Later it reappeared in Zane Grey’s Western Magazine 4(5) in 1950 and as a Dell picturized edition called “The Rustlers” in 1954.

Zane Grey always has a theme for his historical romances. He tries to keep them true to the times, using historical people and places to emphasize his messages. Charles “Buffalo” Jones conveys the importance of understanding stories from its time and place in history. He also tries to convey the idea that all stories have two sides to them. “Raiders of the Spanish Peaks” is set to the 1880s in Kansas and Colorado. At that time Comanchee, Ute, Kiowa and Arapaho tribes were still being removed from lands wanted by cattle ranchers into reservations. Jones refers to one of the darkest times in the history in the US, a time described well in Zane Grey’s “The Thundering Herd“.

The rest of the review can be read on my Zane Grey blog

Heppe, Matt: Writing archery don’ts!!! (2013 May 31)

Matt Heppes 4th bow

For all of you authors out there who want to write your own archery scenes – PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT MATT’S ARTICLE.

He explains why some scenes described in books and movies just are not possible in real life. Here is a taste:

Have you read the following scenes in a book? Or maybe seen them in a movie?

A company of archers stands ready on the battlements of a castle as a horde of (vikings, orcs, Frenchmen) charges towards them. The captain of archers shouts, “Nock! Draw! Hold it! Hold it!” as the enemy approaches ever closer. Finally, at the critical moment the command is given… “Fire!”Or maybe an archer/sniper is hiding behind a tree, bow at full draw, waiting for a lone horseman to approach.Or an archer has a bow at full draw, holding an enchantress prisoner.To all three, I declare… BALONEY!

Amazon KDP VS Smashwords And What I’m Doing Now

For the authors out there. Pros and cons of Smashwords and Amazon KDP.

SJB Gilmour Writes

Right.  I’ve used both platforms, and they each have their pros and cons.

Things I like about Smashwords:

  • They distribute to B&N, iTunes and others.
  • I can make the price anything from $0.00 (Free!) to anything I like.
  • They pay into my PayPal account.

Things I don’t like about Smashwords:

  • The ‘meatgrinder‘ *  ebook compiler is truly awful, making formatting for Smashwords a nightmare.  For example, I can’t get my text to look the way I want it to, with both indents and after spacing.
  • The dashboard is lumpy — accurate, but difficult to navigate and well, just lumpy. *
  • They insist I submit the work in .doc format or similar – not pre-formatted in epub or mobi.

* You’ll see what I mean about it being lumpy by checking out the above links.  Wading through the Smashwords Style Guide is like trying to swim in molasses.

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Heinrich, Joe/Heine, Steven/Norenzayan, Ari: The weirdest people in the world (2010)

Reading as much as I do, creates a problem of abundance when it comes to writing a book-blog. Which book am I going to choose to write about. There are sooooo many that I have loved, that I love and that I will probably come to love. Authors and books are my favorite thing on this earth – next to my family and dog (OK and maybe friends). I’ll admit there are quite a few sucky authors, but there is an abundance of fun, excitement and learning out there.

Because I am such an addict I read quite a variety of literature. Scientific articles, jokes, curio and scholarly works. But my favorite is fantasy and science fiction. I have to admit that I consider most of the fiction out there as some kind of science fiction or fantasy as well.

Recently a friend of mine posted a link to an article called We Aren’t the World by Ethan Watters who writes for Pacific Standard. The article We Aren’t the World is about the research performed by the researchers Joe Heinrich, Steven Heine and Ara Norenzayan. They look at some of the assumptions anthropological researchers have made based on research on a selection that might just be a bit biased. I remember asking some of the same questions (to myself) at the time of my own psych classes.

Once I read through the article I thought “Yup, sounds about right” and that was that – until it settled in. Then I got really exited about what this could mean to the world of research and just had to write about the article and the three brilliant researchers on my blog.

Prisoner’s dilemma as presented in various psych texts

Heinrich, Heine And Norenzayan ended up publishing an article called The weirdest people in the world in The Cambridge Journals in 2010. What they claim is that behavior depends on your background. In their case they used a version of the prisoner’s dilemma to see if the West had the answers to how to predict behavior. What they found was that there were grounds to question a theory of genetics determining this type of behavior. It turned out that how people ended up dividing the offered money (which was what was used in the experiment) depended on background (in form of society, religion and class). Sooooooo, in order to predict something about human behavior one would need a wider selection – representation had been too poor thus far.

Science being what it is, theories have to be tested and tested and tested before a degree of certainty can be reached. But, thankfully, the wonderful thing about science is that once some person questions a theory and goes out and finds a different answer, and others find the same different answers scientific knowledge grows and more questions get to be asked. I LOVE science.