Saturday, December 22, 2012

Complacency: a strange creature indeed

Well, well, 12/22/12, and we're still here.  Not that I take 'existence' for granted.  Quite the contrary.

It's been a few months since the last essay I've posted to this blog, but that doesn't mean my thoughts have been idle.  I had a few ideas I've been considering as a good points to re-enter the blog routine, but some of those incubated past their apparent expiration dates.  I was going to step over one of my ground rules and discuss some politics before the presidential election, but that passed - maybe for the better.  I might just go back to that as we slide into 2013 and the nation's finances become (hopefully) center stage.  

However, one idea that kept resurfacing was the concept of complacency.  I'll be didactic for just a moment, to keep things nice and clear.  Merriam-Webster defines complacency as (1) self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual danger or deficiencies, (2) an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction.

I find complacency to be the most insidious of human shortcomings.  It's a characteristic, or issue, I've dealt with in much of my fiction, because I think it touches upon a basic philosophical aspect of being human: in our efforts to find a notion of stability and security in the great unknowns of existence, we want to believe that the way in which we live is not subject to change, particularly if the state of living happens to be somewhat appeasing.  The dark side of complacency, though, is just what it's definition suggests - that satisfaction with a current state of being is illusory, while change - in all in its anarchic incarnations - lurks just around the corner.

Indeed, there are many problems lurking ahead as we round the corner to 2013, but I'll focus on two in particular.

The idea of writing a bit about complacency hit home after Hurricane Sandy.  I live on Long Island, New York, but I was fortunate enough not to sustain any damage to my house. Power went out, but again I had the good fortune to have power and connectivity services restored within forty-eight hours of the storm.  When I was able to see more of the world around me, I came to realize the degree of my good fortune.  Within days, though, the stark reality of multi-hour gasoline lines and the looming prospect of people possibly freezing to death in the frigid nights following the storm were a bit of a shock.  Not just to me, but to many people I know, such things seemed surreal - these were realities that happened somewhere else, not in our area.

Complacency had reared a bit of its ugly head.  Should anyone have been surprised at the damage suffered by Long Island, Manhattan, and coastal New Jersey?  Not at all.  Emergency management officials, climatologists, and weather professionals had all expressed concern after Hurricane Katrina slammed New Orleans that the New York-New Jersey area was even more susceptible to damage from a major storm.  Just look at a map.  Long Island's south shore looks out over the vast expanse of the Atlantic, and the south shore forms a nice funnel with New Jersey's coast to trap storm surge water and amplify its effect.  Nevertheless, the attitude prevailed that something of such scale could never happen here, and that abatement efforts were perhaps futile given the scope of vulnerable areas.  

It's not a matter of denial.  Denial would constitute the simple belief that it can't happen.  Complacency tells us it won't happen, because it hasn't happened before, and since it hasn't happened before, there's no reason it could happen.  It may seem subtle, but it's more than a semantic difference, and a recent event highlights that difference.

Moving ahead, we are confronted with a very different, but no less shocking event, the horrifying shootings at Newtown, Connecticut.  The scale of affected people may be much different than Hurricane Sandy, but the impact is perhaps more devastating.  We knew Hurricane Sandy was coming.  On the other hand, no one expected the tragedy of Newtown.

Or should we have expected such a tragedy?  Days before Newtown, there were multiple shootings in a mall in Oregon.  Before that, the movie theater shootings at a showing of 'Batman'.  Prior to that, the shootings in Arizona that targeted Gabby Giffords. 

Need the list continue?  Or should it be taken from the opposite perspective, and taken as confirmation that mass shootings are not a question of if but when.  The same can be said of Hurricane Sandy's impact on New York-New Jersey.  It really wasn't a matter of if, but when.  

All the troubles that beset us are not coming as surprises, but manifestations of low outcome scenarios made real.  On the other hand, maybe they're not such low outcomes as we would like to believe.  Insert 'complacency' here.  The examples go beyond what I've mentioned here.  Japan thought it was safe against tsunamis - to a point.  Areas of the United States that never saw flood damage, have seen massive flood damage - hence the growth of flood insurance.  The same goes for wild fires.

So, if complacency underlies so many problems, is there a common cure?  In a way, there is, and this is what makes complacency such a curious creature: it is a generalized process underlying specific situations.  Until there is a serious discussion about gun control, we will be plagued by mass shootings.  Until coastal over-development is addressed as a major concern in future land projects, coastal floods will be devastating.  Until elected officials can have a serious discussion about government over-spending, economies in many countries will creep ever closer to calamitous recession and bankruptcy.

If there's a common thread, it should be self apparent.  At least by now, that is, and it's something that takes the conversation straight back to that initial definition of complacency: we have to see through the illusion of our self-satisfaction to see the true nature of the dangers ahead.  Complacency urges us not to look our problems in the face, because doing so not only forces us to acknowledge the problems, not only forces us to acknowledge our own hand in their creation, but forces us to accept that we must have a sobering discussion about changing our ways.  Complacency needs to evolve, so that we are complacent with the nature of change itself.

Until then, our messes will continue to pool about us, and their dark waters rise ever higher.  It sounds grim, but it need not be.  If there's a thread of hope, it comes in the one thing we possess as a species, and that is the conscious ability to adapt, to not only accept change, but embrace it and bend it to our advantage.  

After all, if we lacked that capacity, humanity never would have spread across the globe, and we would have vanished long ago.  The message for 2013 is that we still have windows of opportunity, we only need to be brave enough to pursue them.

And so, on that note of guarded optimism, we ring in a new year.  Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Waking for the change of year. . .

Well, well, here we are in the month of December, and I have once again found myself on the tail end of things.  I must apologize, because at the advent of this blog my intention was to post monthly, but it's rather obvious that this plan hasn't quite worked out.  As the saying goes, Life is what happens when you make plans, and Life has certainly stepped into me over the last few months.  Distractions have come in the form of some 'ups', and also as some 'downs'.  Most notable of the 'downs', and certainly something which I feel obligated to mention out of respect, was the loss of three close family members, each more unexpected and tragic in their departure from the world we know.  


In honor and memory to: 'Poppa' Joe, 'Unc' Kay-Werner, and Brendan, the three of you are in my thoughts every day.  


Now, if you care to bear with me, I'll try to rewind and highlight some of the 'ups'.

In the publishing world, awards are announced in two seasons, Fall and Spring.  So, as this Fall came along, I was very happy to come away with six national awards.  Adding to the National Indie Excellence Award I won in 2011, I am now honored to say that my two books, 'Remnant' and 'Oddities & Entities', are now the recipients of seven national literary awards - three for 'Remnant' and four for 'Oddities & Entities'.  This Fall I received three award nods from the 2012 Readers Favorite Book of the Year Awards, and another three nods from the 2012 USA Book News Best Book Awards.


So, there I am in Miami back in November with my books and the two Bronze medals I received in the Readers Favorite Awards.  This was an exciting day, because the night before the USA Book News Best Book Awards were announced for 2012, revealing another set of award nods.  To win even one award in either contest is a great honor, but to win three awards in each contest was something quite beyond all of my expectations.

When I set out on this crazy adventure to be an author, I had a few goals in mind.  One, and a perpetual goal, is to write stories that not only entertain but have literary quality.  Second, was to get published in the first place, something I achieved through short stories and then books.  Third, was to build critical acceptance of my writing through professional market reviews, and I've been fortunate to receive such acceptance.  Fourth, and perhaps the most dream-like of my goals, was to have some awards to set myself apart as a serious author.  Now, not that I take myself too seriously, because I really can't believe that's me holding two award winning books with my name on them, but after all the work it took to get to this point, I would like to at least pause for a moment of satisfaction.  

Ahh.  Okay, back to work.





For specifics on the awards, you can take a look at the new pages I added to this blog for my books.  While you peruse those pages, you might notice something else new as well - I had the pleasure of making book trailers for both books.  These, combined with a mobile version of my website that I put together, are part of the ongoing effort to expose my writing in as many ways possible.

Speaking of exposure, 2013 is going to mark my first serious endeavor to garner serious exposure for my books, and my writing in general.  Toward this goal I have several efforts loaded with excitement, and, as things move forward, I will either put up posts for appearances/blog stops, or perhaps add a page to this blog to keep things together.  As always, my main home on the web is my website, www.rolandallnach.com

Barring the end of the world as we know it in the next few days, I'm looking forward to what the future might bring in my publishing pursuits.  I've been working to get to the point where I feel I have something compelling to spur the interest of the larger reading world.  Between the reviews and awards, I think I'm getting to the point where I have the confidence to ask people to invest their time in my books.  To me, as an author, the commitment of readers is a matter of trust, and a matter of great responsibility.  It's something I take very seriously, and I hope my efforts translate to the page.

That's all for now.  Fare thee well, 2012, you were without doubt one of the more interesting orbits around the sun.  Happy holidays!
  




Friday, July 6, 2012

"Turn the Wheel", a new story from Roland Allnach

My latest short story, "Turn the Wheel", is now appearing in the 'Garden Nettles' issue of Midwest Literary Magazine.  Have a read, and enjoy.


http://issuu.com/litmags/docs/garden-nettles-binder1/203

Monday, June 25, 2012

Editorial Honor for "Conquest's End"

My short story, "Conquest's End", which was serialized over four of the Spring issues of Bewildering Stories, was named an Editor's Choice for the Spring Quarter 2012.  That's a nice honor, and I'm grateful to have my story received with such high regard.  Another interesting tidbit regarding "Conquest's End" is the editorial review posted by Don Webb, editor of Bewildering Stories.


Read "Conquest's End": http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue477/conquests_end1.html


Read Mr. Webb's review: http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue480/cc_conquests.html

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A busy, busy month...

When I took the plunge to get this blog up and running my intent was to post a little essay each month, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen for June.  My trips out into the spotlight this month required that I do a good review of my website, and that took more time than I had anticipated, but now it's all set for visitors.


My appearance on 'The Balancing Act' has aired, and this Thursday I have another interview, with host Cynthia Brian on World Talk Radio's 'Starstyle'.  I've already posted this info, but here it is again:
http://www.voiceamerica.com/worldtalkradio/vshow.aspx?sid=764
The interview will be live this Thursday, 6/21, 6pm EST.  Drop by and have a listen!






In the meantime, I will return in July with another little essay.  For now, I'll be retreating to my stockade of short stories to work on some new tales to tell. . .

Thursday, June 14, 2012

'The Balancing Act' Interview has aired!

My interview on Lifetime's 'The Balancing Act' has aired this morning and I have to say I'm very happy with the way it went.  In case you missed it, you can watch it right here:


Monday, June 4, 2012

First Review for 'Oddities & Entities'

The first market review has been released for 'Oddities & Entities'.  I'm happy to say the review is a glowing 5-star critique, from the website Readers Favorite.  Check it out at: http://readersfavorite.com/review/6492
This is the second review for my writing from Readers Favorite.  They also honored my first book, 'Remnant', with a 5-star review.  Check that out at:
http://readersfavorite.com/review/6189

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gen M: The Militarization of American Youth

This month's essay came into focus one recent day when I brought my older son to an airsoft  game.  For those unfamiliar with airsoft games, they are arena style combat matches between teams armed with air powered rifles that fire small plastic beads.  It's a step up - a big step up - from the paint ball guns which gained popularity during the late 1980's.


I had the chance to run around in the woods and play in some paint ball games while in college, and I have to admit it was loads of fun.  There were, of course, the hardcore players who seemed to take it a little too seriously.  The thing was, at least from what I saw at the time, the players were people similar to me: late teen or early twenties guys looking to run around in the woods and have some fun on a Saturday.  Now, I have to admit that my experience with paint ball was somewhat limited, and I knew at the time there was a bigger world of paint ball tournaments out there, but it seemed a rather tiny subculture.


Fast forward to today.  Times have changed, to say the least.  What was once a fringe entertainment of paint ball has been replaced by something very different: a more widespread, invasive, militarized form of entertainment for our upcoming generation, a group I've come to think of as 'Gen M'.  The way I see things, there are three avenues leading to this development.


First to consider is the widespread popularity of modern video games.  What I would like to point out is rather obvious, and that is the rabid popularity of combat games fostered by online multiplayer sessions.  These games (of which there are several titles across the current game platforms) are major financial undertakings, with production budgets often matching or exceeding the budgets of Hollywood films and a corresponding rivalry in sales receipts.  Impressive, considering that the mass film audience is adult and the mass video game audience is teen to young adult, with the corresponding disparity in disposable income weighted to the film audience.  What the games have that Hollywood does not is an ongoing profit stream through various updates - mostly in the form of 'map packs' to provide new combat terrain - allowing for the game experience to remain fresh.  The impact of interactivity on our entertainment consumption is well documented: give people something new, and they'll come back for more.  Distribution is key, as these games have a pervasive presence.  In addition - without delving too deeply into game psychology (this is meant as an essay, not a book) - there has always been the vicarious thrill throughout history of games providing players the opportunity to destroy an opponent without causing actual physical harm.  The abstract, or even peaceful, victory embodied by classics such as chess or popular board games of old pales beside the immediate satisfaction of snaring a rival player in one's gun sight.  Like it or not, we are a society of instant gratification, and instant gratification appeals to the minds of the young more than any other sector of the population, as study after study have shown.


The second consideration is the simple reality that we are a society which has been involved in foreign warfare for years.  Our current generation of elder teens have had their earliest impressionable memories fashioned around the attacks of 9/11 and grew up watching shock & awe and the incessant, decentralized skirmishes of asymmetric, partisan warfare.  Mass battles in the style of World War II are out, replaced by engagement of small detachments.  Perhaps this contributes, along with the much popularized elimination of several high profile targets such as Osama bin Laden, to the glorification of lone elite units embodied in several branches of the US military - the very units personified in the most popular multiplayer console games.  This 'lone wolf' situation not only holds appeal to the innate American ideal of the rugged individualist but perhaps as well to the natural trend of the young to buck their elders and pave their own course.  As such I don't think it's a stretch in this instance to make a case for confluence between military and civilian life.  History teaches us that during times of war it's a common and natural side effect that civilian society begins to assimilate certain aspects of military society.  As an example, consider the evolution of cuff links.  Napoleon was disgusted by the fact that many of his troops in the field, sick with various respiratory ailments, wiped their runny noses on the sleeves of their uniforms.  To stop this practice large buttons were attached toward the ends of their sleeves, and from there, the fashion lingers to this day.  For a more current example, consider the evolving design aesthetic of our auto industry.  Vehicles are designed to look more rugged - perhaps even more 'aggressive' - with lower roof lines and a corresponding narrowing of window space, all of which are reminiscent of the image of the most commonly seen US military vehicle, the Humvee.


Last but not least in the fostering of Gen M is the opportunity afforded by the 'comfort' of having our teenagers enjoy their recreation in a fixed setting.  Rather than having teens wandering the streets, many adults sooth their concerns by knowing where their child is.  The fixed location, whether it be an ice rink, gym, or an airsoft competition, provides the basic security of knowing where we have left our teens and what they will be doing to occupy themselves.


And so there is the culmination of these circumstances: a location to bring our teens, an activity brought to reality to heighten the already embedded virtual thrill of combat video games, and the not so subliminal effect of long term warfare on societal impressions and our youth.  The question, then, is to ponder the impact of this reality.


I've always entertained the notion that I would pity anyone foolish enough to attempt an invasion of the United States, a nation in which there are more firearms than people.  There is no debate that we are a gun culture, no matter how one feels about the NRA or gun control.  Weaponry is ever present, and the arguments to possess arms have proven themselves entrenched and resilient - whether for home defense against crime, economic collapse, civil war, alien invasion, zombie apocalypse, or any other doomsday scenario.  The combination of combat video games and the real world extension of airsoft games provide an informal but arguably effective training school in tactics, particularly urban combat doctrine.  And while I am very wary of the shaky leaps between chicken-and-egg causality debates about virtual violence in entertainment and real violence in society, I think some of the points I've discussed here illustrate a certain escalating momentum.  I would be curious to see poll results among airsoft participants concerning a simple question: how many of them are interested in pursuing a career in the military and, perhaps more telling, were they interested in such pursuit before or after their introduction to recreational combat?


I don't propose that we are creating a generation of warmongers.  I do, however, wonder  where all this militarized 'entertainment' will lead us.  At some point, as with all generations, today's teens will become the future business and political leaders shaping our society.  It's a standard of human psychology that individuals, and to an extent society as well, responds in one of two ways to a shaping experience.  Either it is rejected, and an opposite path chosen, or it is accepted, and emulated.  Our youth may look upon the militarization of their leisure activity as nothing more than fun and games, a lesson that it's better to act out in the virtual world rather than manifest those acts in the real world of human mortality.  On the other hand, they may decide that the immediate gratification at the proverbial pull of the trigger, amplified by the desensitization fostered by endless acts of virtual violence, is more satisfying than the tedious process of discussion and the inevitable concessions of compromise.


Time will tell, as it always does.  In the meantime, we'll be left to ponder what benefit or relevance is held in an ever growing number of our teens and pre-teens building an extensive knowledge base of countless firearms, urban tactics, and virtual trash talk.  In the best of outcomes, society will look back and laugh at these concerns.


In the future, all this might be considered nothing more than the natural technological evolution of human competition.  A hallmark of civilization has been the refinement of physical, mortal competition between bands of humans to conceptualized competitive encounters embodied by sports and game play.  There is still a winner and a loser, and we often associate military terminology to the degree of victory: not just a win, but 'conquered', 'destroyed', 'wiped them out', 'took no prisoners', and so forth.  This aspect of our innate psychology begins with our earliest youth - we're all familiar with cowboys and Indians.  As I watch such young faces at an airsoft tournament go through weapon prep dressed like they just walked in the door from Kabul, I wonder where things will have to go to take the experience to a new level.  Gen M will have to answer for its experience in one way no one can project, and that's the type of entertainment in which their youth might indulge.


And, like us today, Gen M may very well have some concerns of their own.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A new piece of short fiction: 'Conquest's End'

My latest published short story is currently available for reading.  A tale of mythic fantasy, 'Conquest's End' is hosted at Bewildering Stories.  Check it out right here:
http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue478/conquests_end2.html

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Teaser for 'The Balancing Act' interview

The teaser for my interview for Oddities & Entities on Lifetime's 'The Balancing Act' is now up.  Air date for the full interview is Thursday, June 14, so tune in!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Interview for 'Oddities & Entities'

I just taped an interview with Lifetime's weekday morning show, 'The Balancing Act', to promote 'Oddities & Entities'.  The full interview has a tentative run date of June 14.  In the meantime, I have this set picture with Kristy Villa (one of the hosts) and myself.  Links will follow for a video teaser and the interview...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Friday 13th: superstition or supposition?

For the first monthly topic on this blog, I'd like to throw out a few thoughts about the curious month we know as April, 2012.

This particular April happens to contain two days of note: April Fool's Day, and a Friday the 13th.  Which led me to think that there may be a fitting connection between these two events.  April Fool's is, for the most part, a day when we hopefully can laugh at ourselves with a few good-hearted pranks.  Friday the 13th is another matter, and how it's viewed has a lot to do with the particular outlook of people.  For the superstitious it's a day to take note, for others, it's nothing but a curiosity.  Nevertheless, there's probably a fair number of people who dismiss the day but within themselves decide to maybe wait until Saturday to do something, or perhaps roll their eyes when something goes amiss on Friday.  Which leads to the question, superstition or supposition?

First, let's take a brief historical detour.  The tradition of Friday 13 goes back to the downfall of the Knights Templar in France.  The Knights Templar gained wealth, and thereby prominence, during the times of the Crusades.  The great monarchies of Europe went into massive debt to fund their efforts during the Crusades (think of the Crusades as a militarized Apollo program), and as a result there was a fair amount of borrowing going on.  Among those handing out gold were the Knights Templar, and as with most organizations that loan funds, they in turn earned power.  At a certain point it was decided they were a threat, and so King Philip IV of France acted.  In one swoop, on the night of Friday 13 (October, to be exact), the Knights Templar were arrested on charges of heresy and tortured into false confessions before receiving prompt death sentences.  With the Knights obliterated, France's debt worries were alleviated, but the fear inspired by the precipitous collapse of a powerful, 'untouchable' group such as the Knights left a lasting impression - and, to say the least, a rather bad impression, bad enough that the infamous date lives on.

In our modern times common considerations of the Knights Templar may be forgotten, but the shadow of ill fortune is alive and well.  Certainly there are some facets of the number thirteen that are of interest: it is a number that has its own associated phobia (triskaidekaphobia, anyone?), some buildings are built without a designated thirteenth floor, some hospital emergency rooms are built without a designated bed thirteen, and of course there's the episode of Apollo 13.  While the superstitious will cite any ill event on Friday 13 as substantiating the date's black cloud, the sketpical will cite the argument of causal connection: did an ill event occur because it was Friday 13, or was the event as likely to happen on any other day?

It's a matter of perspective.  The human mind by instinct seeks to make structure and sense of things, even if the 'sense' the mind imposes can be argued as illogical.  One of these processes of the mind is to associate events of note.  For example, if the Apollo capsule blew out an oxygen tank on mission 12, would some relate the failure to the fact that it was mission 12?  Likewise, without the bookmark of a periodic recurrence of Friday 13 - a day ingrained for the French destruction of the mighty Knights Templar - would there be any collective thought as to that particular date being a particular moment for bad outcomes?  If one were to scour history, without a doubt there could be long lists of disastrous events for any of our seven days in conjunction with a number.  Monday 3, anyone?  Thursday 22?  Despite that, we stick with Friday 13.  The downfall of the Knights Templar can be likened in modern terms to the overnight mass arrest and execution of all the executives of a global bank.  As much as one might despise the bankers, there's the unnerving realization that if those who are so high up can be brought down, those of us who are lower shouldn't expect any greater degree of security.  And the sense of security, I believe, is a guiding force.  Once again, the human mind looks for order in the world.  It's easier for us to recognize a day as a causal effect for bad events because in recognizing that day it provides a structure for us to hopefully avoid bad events.  It's easier to say someone was a victim of bad 'luck' because they tempted the warning of Friday 13 than to accept the fact that random circumstance struck out of the blue, because random circumstance means none of us are safe, no matter what we do.  Fortune, fate, luck, call it what you will, a random world without order is one we believe lacks any safety or security.

Now, for curiosity's sake, here's a historical list of the good and the bad, for April 13 (not all on Friday):
http://www.historyorb.com/events/april/13
For comparison, here's a list of the good, the bad, and all else on, for example, Wednesday 2:
Oh...no cohesive list, no data, no lengthy list of research hits.  Should we conclude nothing of note has happened on any Wednesday 2 in recorded history?  Of course not - there's no logic in that conclusion - but we lack a preconceived notion for 'Wednesday 2', in contrast to 'Friday 13'.  It's ironic, because it turns the valid argument of causal connection on its head, supporting the argument even as it deflates the argument.

So, in the end, is there some mystical association of 'Friday' and '13' to support the superstition, or is it supposition on our part, a subconscious act of our minds to create order in a confusing world?  Either Nature is fooling us, or we're fooling ourselves - something brought to mind by having a Friday 13 juxtaposed with April Fool's Day.  I, for one, will cast my vote on subconscious connection, and shy away from the notion of superstition.

All that aside, I'll put this post up on Saturday 14 - just to play it safe.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

ICON-31 Appearance

ICON-31 has come and gone, and it was a great experience.  I had the opportunity to share the speaking stage with prominent authors David Weber and Charles Gannon for a panel discussion on Military Sci-Fi, which was quite a treat.  I also had some time in the convention Dealers Room for a book signing session, where I was able to talk to some interesting people.  All in all, a bigger experience than I had hoped for and another way to help promote my writing.  Years ago I remember attending ICON with a dream of attaining publication and sitting on the 'other' side of the author tables, so having these experiences satisfied a long held aspiration.  Let's see what happens next year!

New Blog Review and Giveaway

Here's another blog review for Remnant, this one at 'Everyday Life', with another book giveaway. Check it out at http://www.everydaylifes.com/2012/03/remnant-anthology-by-roland-allnach.html

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Appearance Schedule at ICON

The programming schedule is posted for ICON, at Stony Brook University, NY, for the weekend of Friday 3/30 to Sunday 4/1.  I will be appearing at events over all three days:
Meet the Pros - Friday from 9:00pm - 1:00am in Sayville Room (Holiday Inn, 3845 Vets Highway, Ronkonkoma, NY)
Self Publishing for artist in the electronic age - Saturday from 2:00pm - 3:00pm in Harriman Hall 112
Military SF - Saturday from 4:00pm - 5:00pm in Javits 101
Roland Allnach - Author Signing - Saturday from 7:00pm - 8:00pm in Authors Table 1, Dealers Room
Author Readings - Roland Allnach - Sunday from 10:30am - 11:00am in SAC (Student Activity Center) Room 312
Roland Allnach - Author Signing - Sunday from 3:00pm - 4:00pm in Authors Table 2, Dealers Room
Full ICON scheduling is available at http://www.iconsf.org/
Maps for Stony Brook University available at http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/maps.shtml

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Return of this blog

After a long time away from this blog, and a few abortive attempts to make sense of what I plan on doing with it, I've decided it's time to push it out into the light, so to speak.  This is still a very new thing for me but I'm trying to learn what I can and make this something of an enriching experience for any visitors.

For those dropping by, I have two goals here.  As an author, there is the obvious goal to share my written works with an audience.  My primary means for that is my website, www.rolandallnach.com, but as that focuses strictly on my writing life, I thought I could entertain some discussion not related to my writing right here on this blog.  I have some fairly diverse interests, which is to say I believe there's a wide range of things to discuss on this little blue planet we all share.

That said, I will fire up the first discussion in April.

For now, there are some great blog reviews of my first book, Remnant, which I'd like to share:
http://trophyw.blogspot.com/2012/03/remnant-anthology.html
http://kimberley-moments.blogspot.com/2012/03/remnant-by-roland-reviewgiveaway.html
http://couponer101.com/2012/03/book-review-and-giveaway-remnant-by-roland-allnach/