Friday, March 21, 2014

Get Started on Your Next Favorite SciFi Series NOW for FREE

This weekend, several amazing science fiction stories are listed for free on Amazon. You can get started on your next favorite SciFi series right now, at no cost. Even better, with the release of Grendel Unit 2 upon us, Tony Healey and I have made both parts of Sun Hammer free as well.
Click any of the below links to go grab some of the coolest, most exciting speculative fiction you'll ever read.

Grendel Unit 1: Bad Day at Khor-wa
Part 1 of the science fiction saga about a team of black ops soldiers saving the universe from terrorism. 
Far From Home & Grendel Unit: Sun Hammer Part 1 "The Eyes Of The Enemy"
The team up of the smash best-selling Far From Home series and the Grendels, written by Amazon Top 100 science fiction author, Tony Healey
Grendel Unit & Far From Home: Sun Hammer Part 2 "Suicide Planet"
The second installment, written by yours truly
Far From Home 1: Legend
Get started on Tony Healey's best-selling series about Captain Jessica King and her crew. 
Stranded (The Hroza Connection Part 0)
William Vitka's intelligent science fiction adventure for the working man

Monday, March 17, 2014

Grendel Unit 2: Ignition Sequence is COMING

They are the universe's most dangerous operatives. A covert group of military specialists who take on the hardest targets and never miss. Now, their team has been dismantled by the dangerous political maneuverings of their commanding officer, General Milner.
Captain Vic Cojo and the massive mantipor known as Monster have been captured and imprisoned. Lieutenant Frank Kelly, the crew's First Officer and tactical medic, now on trial as a potential conspirator, is facing the same fate as his former teammates. And worst of all, Yultorot, the religious fanatic who blew up an elementary school, is now working for Unification as an intelligence asset.
Things have never looked darker for the Grendels.

Prepare for ignition.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

1st Look at the Actual Guns of Seneca 6

This cover art envisions the three main characters from Guns of Seneca 6 in a way they've never been seen. Take a look.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Why I Changed My Twitter Name

I have 13.5k followers on Twitter, so isn't changing my name completely insane? 
Not to me. 
Many moons ago I first decided to venture into the untested waters of Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing + sought guidance on how to be successful. One of the 1st things people told me was to go on Twitter and build the largest following I could. 
Through a lot of hard work and the magic of TweetAdder, I did exactly that. I have thousands upon thousands of followers who I don't know, don't pay attention to, and don't interact with. And they feel the same way.
The 1st mistake I made with Twitter was setting up my account. At the time, i'd spent 2 years writing Whitechapel: The Final Stand of Sherlock Holmes and I assumed it would be the only thing I created that I'd ever be known for. I never dreamed how much opportunity existed and how much I would apply myself.
It's safe to say that Whitechapel is one of the books I'm less well known for (aside from all the irate Holmes fans I traumatized) and many readers might be confused what the hell an Apiary Society is in the first place.
To be completely honest, I never considered changing my name before because I was afraid. I was afraid that after all this time building up such a large following on Twitter, by changing my name, people would lose track of me.
But then I realized that was just a residual feeling left over from all that bad information I acquired early on.
You see, it used to be (and probably still is) the common consensus that success in independent publishing was found by having all sorts of blogs and social media sites with exhaustive updates. I wasted large amounts of time writing those blogs, making videos, copying blogs from Goodreads to Linkedin to Facebook and everywhere else. It was time I could have spent writing.
Take it from me, folks. The only way to be successful in this game is to both write well and often. That's it. Of course there are all sorts of things that go along with that, but as sure as I'm standing here, blogging and updating Linkedin are not one of them.
So now, I'm officially putting the stake in the heart of that vampire.
If people can't find me on Twitter to add me to their Follow Friday lists or whatever, so be it. If they are people I wanted to interact with, they'll see this and know.
From here on out and forevermore I will be on Twitter as myself. Regular old @BernardSchaffer. Maybe someday there will be a verified checkmark next to that, but either way, I'll probably be too busy writing to immediately notice.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Fire Goes Out: Why I Discontinued Star Trek Return Fire

It's with a heavy heart that I must announce the early end of my Star Trek series, Return Fire. I will not be writing the third and final installment, and thus, fans will never know how the tale of Liam O'Brien and his fight against the Borg ends.
That's it. It's over, Johnny. Get off my lawn.
All right, all right, I have some good news about the series too, but first let me say why I'm discontinuing it.
First and foremost, when I began writing Return Fire, I knew it would never be published as an official Star Trek series. I knew it, and yet I went with it anyway, because I felt compelled to. And sure enough, the further along I got in the telling of the tale, the more I fell in love with it and wanted to see it blossom.
Essentially, I became the woman who dates George Clooney.
She knows he won't ever settle down, knows he refuses to change, but secretly in the back of her mind she thinks if she loves him enough and proves herself enough, it will all work out in the end. And then, when it doesn't, she just has to pull the plug and try to move on.
Well, George, I speak for all the women who have moved on when I say that Return Fire deserves better than that. Return Fire is a good story. It's not fanfiction. It's not a b-side. It's a good, solid, science fiction story that builds on universal themes and it deserves an audience.
I love Star Trek, but they didn't invent the space opera wheel. There is plenty of common subject matter to go around and with the right refitting and adjustment, Return Fire can live and grow into something beautiful.
So, here's the part about the good news.
Return Fire will be back. It will be back bigger, badder, and bolder than before. Most importantly, it will be all mine, and all yours too.
Live long and prosper.
To pour a little salt in the wound, here is what the final installment's cover would have looked like. It was done by my friend Tony Healey, and deserved to be seen.
Star Trek: Return Fire 
Thanks to everyone who enjoyed the series and left reviews and sent me emails. I'm still a Trekkie, a Trekker, a Trek-head (I think I just coined that phrase) and have nothing but love for the fandom. I promise that you will recognize Return Fire in its new form, and that this will all be worth it. Stay tuned for more details to come. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

KAS 2013 Donation to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Proud to say that Carnival of Cryptids and Resistance Front have finally made enough money to make our first donation to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Thanks to all those who contributed to both volumes. Your hard work means we've just given a nice chunk of change to an extremely worthy cause, and I think we have a right to feel proud.
One of the best things about an independent publisher and author is that you can make decisions like this, where you gather a group of talented individuals who are committed to social causes. Thank you for supporting our efforts.
To purchase Resistance Front for just .99 cents and read a massive compilation of work featuring Harlan Ellison, Alan Dean Foster, and many more, click this link.
To purchase Carnival of Cryptids for just $2.99 and read a fantastic compilation of works about mysterious beasts, click this link.
Both books will continue to support the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a non-profit organization that fights the worst kind of evil you could possibly imagine.
Also, please support KAS contributor Tony Healey, who has a new anthology called Edge of Oblivion, and all proceeds are being donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. For just $2.99 you will get sixteen stories, one of which is by yours truly.
This is an example of the power of independent publishing. Continue to support us, and we'll keep fighting to make the world a better place.

Bernard Schaffer 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Being On the Edge of Oblivion

I write from the edge
I live from the edge
I sleep on the edge, which means I don't sleep much on the edge.
I look over the edge
I see what's waiting over the edge
I stand on the edge
Like I'm defending the edge
I search the edge
for those who stood first on the edge
and I wait at that edge
but I'm alone at the edge
because if you are on the edge
you don't look for company
and you don't need it.
But some of you are standing with me
and some are ones I brought to the edge
and some I watched flee from the edge
and some I threw over the edge
and some used to be King on the edge
but they lost the edge
because they grew old and soft
and now I speak their names into the void like fallen ancestors.
They say that when you look into the void, the void looks into you
I say
let it and don't be afraid.

Buy Edge of Oblivion Now and Fight Cystic Fibrosis 

Tony Healey has recently released a collection of short stories by sixteen genre authors, titled Edge of Oblivion. All proceeds are being donated to The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, an organization that has special personal relevance to Tony and to anyone whose life has been affected by this particular disease that chases after children and young adults more than anyone else.
Like most diseases, it is curable. Also, like most diseases, it will take the hard work of devoted researchers and people who give their money to that particular cause. Lucky for you, you will get a nifty book out of it in return with some truly hair-raising stories inside.

The House on Lantern Lane

A word about "The House on Lantern Lane," my contribution to the anthology:
It's a time-honored, hackneyed concept for writers to talk about where they get their ideas from. Everybody has some kind of smart-assed response, starting with Harlan Ellison who used to tell people he wrote to a company in Schenectady, New York, and he swears some gullible idiots begged him for the address.
The truth is, we all sit down and think 'em up. Every single story. Every single sentence.
I've described it as a universal antenna that I leave extended up into the ether like a metaphysical fishing net, just waiting to snag something worth keeping. A lot of it gets thrown back, even the stuff that seems like it might be delicious to eat. Some of it is a little bony and difficult, but that's what makes it so appealing. Some of it arrives already cooked, ready to eat, and sometimes, it even comes in the form of a dream.
I don't often write from dreams, and even rarer, do I write from nightmares.
However, this particular time, I had a dream so vivid and so perfectly realized that I woke up and decided to write it down. The House on Lantern Lane, as it appears in short-story form, is the exact representation of a dream I had one night that both bothered me and intrigued me. It was so atmospheric, so filled with strong imagery, that I felt compelled to document it.
I never had any real intentions with the story, other than to write it and move on. I had no short story collections planned, and in fact, have largely moved away from writing shorts to focus on novels. That's why, when Tony rang me and said, "Allo, guv, fancy a bit a tea an' crumpets for a spell while I cobble this wee anfology ah'm puttin' togever tae benefit sick kids, an all? Football, fish an' chips, God save tae Queen an' James Bond, eh mate?" 
(Did I mention Tony's British?)
And I looked around me files an' I said, "Too right, guv, pint o' lager, Fifa footbaw hooligan I'm a fan a Dizzee Rascal froom wayback, Picadilly Circus an' Sherlock Holmes in a Tardis. Does Keely Hazel 'ave fantastic wobbly bits an' is David Beckham a poof?"
And he said, "Too right!"
Which is exactly how Tony wound up securing the rights to The House on Lantern Lane. But I digress.
All proceeds from the book go to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and you get sixteen awesome stories from various authors, including my fever dream of a nightmare that now seems fairly British in origin.
Edge of Oblivion.

Schaffer, out.
And as a matter of cultural reference, for people who didn't understand what Tony was talking about before, a tee-shirt featuring the word "England" on it.
Ladies and gentlemen, Keely Hazell.