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Writers Blog

A new writer's blog has been posted: "Dangerous . . . and Late." This piece is for anyone in the arts, and especially writers.

Dangerous . . . and Late




The 8th N.C. Infantry shortly before reorganization as the 18th N.C.

Current project:

The Candle Man

 An American Civil War Fantasy

It is a work centered on the life of Glendon Fayte, the soldier in the 18th North Carolina Infantry who shot Stonewall Jackson, but only after seeing what the results were of not shooting him. This work has so much to do with what is happening in the present it is frightening to me, fantastical to some, heresy to some others, and will probably put me on the "cancel" block. No matter. My stories tell themselves. I just get to write them down.


I do not know when it will be available. I've closed in on the ending a number of times. By the time I've reached such an ending, however, the muse drags me back to the beginning to recast the entire thing. Just by itself The Candle Man is a tough book to write. Tied into the present as it is, however, between riots, economic woes, political division and discord, and a bear attacking a sheep while the surrounding flock of sheep jabber among themselves about not getting "too involved," it makes one wonder if immortality  is such a good deal. As soon as I get a glimmer of an approaching conclusion I will announce it here. -b



Longyear Wins 2021

 Prometheus Award

for Best Novel

2021 Prometheus Awards:

Barry B. Longyear wins for Best Novel,

F. Paul Wilson story inducted into Hall of Fame

The Libertarian Futurist Society, a nonprofit all-volunteer international organization of freedom-loving science fiction fans, has announced Prometheus Award Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction winners.
The 41st annual Prometheus Awards will be presented online in late August with an awards ceremony and panel discussion, with Reason magazine as the media sponsor of the post-ceremony panel. Reason editor Katherine Mangu-Ward and Reason book editor Jesse Walker will join LFS President William H. Stoddard and others (to be announced) to discuss "SF, Liberty, Alternative Publishing Trends and the Prometheus Awards."

The Prometheus Award for Best Novel
The War Whisperer, Book 5: The Hook, by Barry B. Longyear (Enchanteds), has won the 2021 Prometheus Award for Best Novel for novels published in 2020.
  In one of the rare novels to imagine a fully libertarian society and attempt to do so realistically, Longyear depicts a near future in which the Mexican government's bungled response to a devastating Category 5 hurricane prompts the people of the border state of Tamaulipas to secede, declaring themselves an anarcho-libertarian freeland. The protagonist, Jerome Track, must first decide whether the freeland is worth his commitment, and then develop an innovative strategy for its defense. In the fifth book of Track's autobiography, Longyear grapples with how a society that refuses to use coercion against its people can defend itself against military aggression without conscription or taxation, and develops an intriguing and plausible solution.
  This is the first Prometheus Award recognition for Longyear, best known for the award-winning novella and film of Enemy Mine and the first writer to win the Hugo, Nebula and Campbell awards in the same year. However, several of Longyear's earlier works, most frequently his 1981 novel Circus World, have been nominated by LFS members for the Prometheus Hall of Fame.
  The other 2021 Best Novel finalists were Who Can Own the Stars? by Mackey Chandler (Amazon Kindle); Storm Between the Stars, by Karl K. Gallagher (Kelt Haven Press); Braintrust: Requiem, by Marc Stiegler (LMBPN Publishing); and Heaven's River, by Dennis E. Taylor (An Audible Original, with print and ebook editions The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency)
 The Prometheus Hall of Fame for Best Classic Fiction
"Lipidleggin','" a short story by F. Paul Wilson, won the 2021 Best Classic Fiction award and will be inducted into the Prometheus Hall of Fame.
  First published 1978 in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine and part of Wilson's Future History series, "Lipidleggin'" takes a humorous look at a future United States where saturated fats have become controlled substances and rebels resist such government prohibition.
  F. Paul Wilson, now a six-time Prometheus Award winner, won the first Prometheus Award in 1979 for Wheels Within Wheels and also won in the Best Novel category for Sims in 2004. He's won the Prometheus Hall of Fame award twice before, for Healer, in 1990, and An Enemy of the State, in 1991. For his overall career, Wilson received a Special Prometheus Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2015.
  The other Prometheus Hall of Fame finalists were The Winter of the World, a 1975 novel by Poul Anderson; "As Easy as A.B.C.," a 1912 story by Rudyard Kipling; "The Trees," a 1978 song by the rock group Rush; and Emphyrio, a 1969 novel by Jack Vance.

  While the Best Novel category is limited to novels published in English for the first time during the previous calendar year (or so), Hall of Fame nominees - which must have been published at least 20 years ago - may be in any narrative or dramatic form, including novels, novellas, stories, films, television series or episodes, plays, musicals, other video, graphic novels, song lyrics, or epic or narrative verse.
  Prometheus Awards History

  The Prometheus Awards, sponsored by the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS), was established and first presented in 1979, making it one of the most enduring awards after the Nebula and Hugo awards, and one of the oldest fan-based awards currently in sf. All LFS members have the right to nominate eligible works for the Prometheus Awards.
  The Prometheus Award has, for more than four decades, recognized outstanding works of science fiction and fantasy that dramatize the perennial conflict between liberty and power. Such works critique or satirize authoritarian trends, expose abuses of power by the institutionalized coercion of the state, champion cooperation over coercion as the roots of civility and social harmony, and uphold individual rights and freedom for all as the only moral and practical foundation for peace, prosperity, progress, justice, tolerance, universal human flourishing and civilization itself.
  After separate judging committees select finalists in each annual awards category, LFS members read and rank the finalists to choose the annual Prometheus Award winners.
  As always, the annual Best Novel winner will receive a plaque with a one-ounce gold coin; and the Hall of Fame winner, a plaque with a smaller gold coin. Appreciation review-essays of each winner, explaining why LFS members view them as deserving of such recognition, will be published on the Prometheus blog (lfs.org/blog/) as part of our ongoing Appreciation series of all Prometheus winners.
  Membership in the Libertarian Futurist Society is open to libertarians interested in how science fiction and other fantastic genres can promote an appreciation of the value of liberty. For more information, visit www.lfs.org or contact LFS Publicity Chair Chris Hibbert (publicity@lfs.org)

The Enemy Papers

>>>>Back in print!

This is the omnibus collection of the Enemy Mine Series. It begins with fragments of the Drac Talman, including "The Myth of Aakva,"  "The Story of Uhe," and much of "The Story of Shizumaat." Following that is Enemy Mine, The Author's Cut, the novel-length expansion of the original novella that was made into a motion picture by Fox. Next are the two novel-length sequels: The Tomorrow Testament, and The Last Enemy. Included as well are two essays: "On Alien Languages," recounting some of the horror and fun of inventing languages, and "Run Drac Run," the epic saga of the writing of the Enemy Mine Series.




Announcing the publication of Alien Runes: Building and Using Your Personal Oracle. This is an introductory work describing the oracle, how it works and how the reader can modify it to build an oracle to suit his or her own experiences, goals, and challenges. It also includes theories on why it works as well as a history of how the author tinkered it together and developed it over three and a half decades.  At the same time Enchanteds has released Vade Mecum for Alien Runes  for those experienced in using the Alien Runes Oracle (see below).


■Is it the hand of a god, the key to life-transforming spirituality, guidance from a guardian angel, a mere parlor game, a reach for the infinite, or the product of an overtaxed imagination?


■The only valid means of answering the above question is to employ the Alien Runes Oracle in your life for a period and see if and how it works. In Alien Runes: Building and Using Your Personal Oracle author Barry B. Longyear describes and provides the historical basis for the oracle system he has developed and used for over three decades in his reach to grow within a spiritual life. Many will find the oracle very useful as is. With that as a template, however, he shows, step-by-step- how the reader can adapt the Alien Runes Oracle to the reader's own circumstances, life challenges, goals, and beliefs. Skeptics may find this oracle an amusing entertainment for guests. Those who open themselves to this adventure of discovery, however, will receive the guidance to achieve a life of fulfillment, contentment, and joy, and as a bonus discover themselves.



Vade Mecum for Alien Runes is a working book of rune readings, talisman sets, and index of issues for those experienced in using the Alien Runes Oracle either as a permanent guide or temporary set of runes and readings preparatory to devising their own versions of Alien Runes. Use of the Vade Mecum presupposes the reader is familiar with the terminology of Alien Runes and the symbology. In addition, it assumes the reader understands how to pose questions to the oracle, has chosen a selector, and understands how to use one in obtaining a response from the oracle.






Glendon Fayte is my rather strange American Civil War novel with a twist or two. Perhaps even a surprise ending. Don't know when I'll finish it, but confined to my home office to avoid the Covid-19 virus, it shouldn't take too long.  It is the story of the wastral son of a mining baron in Transylvania County, North Carolina who gets caught up in the insanity of secession and the War Between the States, and is likely the single person most responsible for the South losing the war.



This version is the original award winning novella that inspired the 20th Century Fox motion picture ENEMY MINE starring Dennis Quaid and Lou Gossett, Jr. It is the story of a human combat pilot, incomplete in himself, taught to be a human by the sworn enemy with which he is stranded, an alien who leaves with the human its most important possession: its future. This version of "Enemy Mine" is the winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards for best novella (1980). Other versions available are expansions of this version.




The War Whisperer

The final book of The War Whisperer: Book 7: Changes is now live on Amazon as both Kindle and paperback. That is the lot, and although this project cost me more than I care to recount just now, I wouldn't trade the experience for mountains of money. I learned so many things, had my mind stretched five different ways, and to my reckoning I've made a real contribution to a discussion that is only just beginning in the USA and elsewhere. I also learned how far I can drive myself, and how to let go of everything I was supposed to be doing for the past six years to focus on the story still in the machine.


I hope those who read the series enjoy it, perhaps a few even grasping the meanings in the work. Nevertheless, in the end I write for myself, and I am pleased with the work and dread the next few days it will take to get this story out of my head and get on with the next project. Even now I am beginning to miss White Cloud, Jaz, Reb, Tex, Lorena, Sara Mae, Juan-Diego, and so many others. It feels like a wake, and I hope I can resist the temptation to conjure up a zombie sequel for some kind of old-home celebration. The War Whisperer is complete.



Turning The Grain


Turning The Grain: A Novel of a Future Past

This is the most recent science fiction work of Barry B. Longyear and is the full novel portions of which were serailized in Analog Science Fiction and Fact. In a Sam Tomaino review (Analog, Sept 2009), he writes "Gordon Redcliff is a cynical Native American who has made his living as a soldier and a sniper. He winds up as part of a time-traveling mission to a village 139,000 years in the past, located in what is the present day Egypt, near the border of Libya. He is supposed to be a bodyguard to a scientist and they will visit the village before it is destroyed by a meteorite. They are supposed to leave and do nothing that would affect the world in the 139,000 years between then and now. Things go awry and Gordon is stranded in the past. Longyear once more shows how good a storyteller he is."


Available in both Kindle and paperback.





THE ENEMY PAPERS - Kindle Edition

The eleven thousand year saga of the Dracs from the Myth of Aakva to the quest for peace of an alien terrorist named Yazi Ro, and of the humans who became part of the legend.

The work contains three complete Novels: an expanded Enemy Mine, The Tomorrow Testament, and The Last Enemy, as well as substantial fragments of The Talman, and essays on the story of Enemy Mine and troubles on building an alien language.



ROPE PAPER SCISSORS, the third crime adventure in the Joe Torio Mystery Series, following The Hangman's Son and Just Enough Rope, is now available at Amazon. The work came in at 340,000 words, hence it is being published by Enchanteds in three volumes: Rope, Paper, and Scissors.

This was a lot of work through a laundry list of health issues, but now it's done. I think it's a great story, and I am very grateful to all those who helped make it possible.

The most frequent question I am asked about the Joe Torio Series, is "Should I read the others in the series (The Hangman's Son and Just Enough Rope) before reading Rope Paper Scissors?"

Well, of course, one should purchase all of the series and read them in order. However, it is not necessary. The exception is Rope Paper Scissors. The three books together make up one novel, one story. Paper, for example, is the middle of the story. Reading it first will probably leave you wondering what's going on. If you choose to do so, however, have at it.



Screen-Handy English Rules and When to Break Them for Writers of Readable Writing

For Working Writers: All that crap you were supposed to memorize in high school English some of which may have faded or fallen though the cracks. Mount this Kindle on your monitor and when needed quickly find the answers to most of your English grammar, punctuation, and usage questions, as well as a bundle of ways to diddle, bend, and break the rules.

The Kindle is available now for $2.99.

I have been asked if this would be suitable for middle schoolers, and it does have a bit of rough language in it. However, I would have killed to have this be my English text when I was in the eighth grade. It contains no words eighth graders wouldn't understand and in all probability are already comfortable using. The work's object, however, is readable writing, as in fiction and nonfiction books, stories, and articles for sale. If you are on an academic kick and looking for tried and true guides for putting in footnotes or diagramming sentences, this is not the English text for you.


Updated the Kindle for Sea of Glass. Strange going through this work again. When I began writing, this was where I began, I fought with this manuscript for nine years, becoming an established author in the meantime. Near the end of that nine years, I had my original thirty thousand words, a signed and paid for contract offer, and a delivery date. I also had absolutely no idea how to finish this book.

I had lived with the character of Thomas Windom for nine years, however, and in many respects knew him better than I knew myself. I sat down and wrote Tom a letter in which I expressed my frustration at finishing the novel and asked his advice on what he wanted me to do with the damned thing.

In my head, I got a very clear message: "Put it down the way I give it to you and make sure it stays that way." In a few weeks more I had another seventy thousand words to go with the original thirty, and a book that still seems like someone else wrote it.

My late friend, George Alec Effinger, told me he regarded Sea of Glass as an "undiscovered classic." Be that as it may, it is an important story to me, and if I had to pick one of my stories to put forward to earn my way out of writers Hell, Sea of Glass would be it.



ENEMY MINE - The Original Novella in Kindle Format

Strange as it may seem, the originally published version of the novella "Enemy Mine" (1979)has not been available except from used magazine vendors, until now. The version released in the Author's Guild Backinprint.com edition is a slight expansion of the original that was first published in my themed collection, MANIFEST DESTINY. The many appearances of this story in anthologies since then are that same slightly expanded version.

The version we have been marketing from this site , ENEMY MINE: The Author's Cut, is a rather substantial expansion of the original that first appeared in the Enemy Mine omnibus titled: THE ENEMY PAPERS. This was in order to better balance Enemy Mine against its two sequels, THE TOMORROW TESTAMENT and THE LAST ENEMY, both full-length novels.

The Enchanteds version we are releasing with this announcement, titled: ENEMY MINE The Original Award Winning Novella, is as the title says: the original. Excepting for correcting a few typos appearing in the original, this version is as it appeared in the September 1979 issue of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, thirty-two years, three awards, and a motion picture ago.