I’m delighted to say that The Sure Bet King, my first full-length novel, is now out, and it could not be more timely. It’s a deep dive into the current, rapidly changing issue of…
…sports betting. Yes, I was a little surprised myself to see how naturally that topic came to me. From looking at shifting odds on a few obscure soccer leagues, golf tours, and Russian table tennis promotions in mid-2020 to seeing one place after another, including my native New York, legalize sports betting to seeing all my suspicions of the industry confirmed as I did research, I felt I had the topic of a book at hand.
The book is, strangely for me, mostly nonviolent. Although it did use Command to help with its production, because it’s a surprisingly important factor to see how long it would take an aircraft or ship to get from Point A to Point B, and the sim is great for that. The style of the book is of a type of genre fiction I like to call the “Pop Epic”, aiming to be both sweeping in scope and accessible to readers. One of the most successful writers of pop epics in his day was Sidney Sheldon, who combined extremely readable and simple prose with a willingness to tell grand yet tawdry sagas. After reading his books, I aimed to follow in his footsteps.
The Sure Bet King is available in Kindle or paperback.
The newest DLC for Command, Kashmir Fire, has been released.
It’s always interesting to look at projections from the past. Not just to see how right or wrong they were, but to see how they could have diverged from actual history. On the 30th anniversary of the Gulf War, it’s timely to look at a partially declassified 1995 analysis of the Iraqi military. Historically, it crumbled to the point where its very weakness and fragility was an important role in the post-invasion turmoil. But what if it didn’t?
One what-if that’s very Command-friendly is their “modernized and expanded” option with over fifty new aircraft (likely a Flanker variant of some sort given the time period) and multiple battalions of so-called “Double Digit SAMs”.
Although centered around fighting on the ground, a version of this “rearmed and souped-up Baathish Iraq” appeared in Michael Farmer’s tank novel Tin Soldiers, an excellent book that’s arguably the best post-1991 technothriller ever written.
Sahel Slugfest, my newest Command LIVE scenario, is now out.
On Fuldapocalypse, I review Red Dawn, the classic 1980s “invasion movie.”
Box Press, the second in my Smithtown Unit series of thrillers, is now out. That book, along with its predecessor, are meant as homages to the classic “Men’s Adventure” short novels of the past and are set in an alternate history where, among other things, the Soviet Union still exists in the 1990s.
And Command was used to help make these novels. Not by simulating battles, but by just moving units (in one case, a large propeller plane, and in the other, a helicopter) around in simple editor scenarios and seeing the time it took for them to get from one spot to another. This allowed me to write travel times that weren’t too fast or too slow into the books.