Friday, 13 July 2018

Back From Hols


Interesting map seen at a brocante (boot sale), which caught my eye.

We were lucky again to be invited to visit our friends in the south of France. And I can only say how grateful we were for their generosity in putting us up and taking us out for meals. We had a lovely time.

Temperature ran up to 36 degree centigrade, which for my American friends translates to 96.8 in Fahrenheit. So for many of my friends in America, a tad cool. But for a British Rose, hot enough. We swam in the swimming pool, which was the maximum extent of any exercise.

And at the same brocante I saw this old tinplate Hornby train set. Who would've thought.
  

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Summer Sun



Too hot to paint or build models in my spare time, so I've been out shooting instead.

In my imagination, I see myself riding through the glen, wind blowing through my hair, shooting arrows. If only. Mostly melting into a puddle or when indoors, huddling next to the aircon.

Anyway, enjoy the heatwave while it's here. This being Britain, it probably won't last.
  

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

CAS-1-Mod 3 Ape Suits WIP

  
Work in Progress: left to right: third attempt at making Espera's recoilless rifle, next is McAdams's command variant, and though I went with a different weapon, this is a Nguyen's Ape combat armour suit (see below for more info).

CASDA 5136, Combat Armor Suit Detachment Alpha, is my Green Beret Special Forces unit that appears in my second novel Strike Dog. As I was writing this piece up, I realized when I described CASDA 5136 in the book, that I had created a force that was doctrinally different to my Marine Corps 1st Combat Armor Suit Reconnaissance Company.

I was just writing a cool action sequence for a character in a combat armour suit. But on reflection, it's clear to see that by describing the weapon loadouts I created a force that was functionally different to the one I described in Bad Dog.

That is what I would call, creatively serendipitous.

Anyway, I've been looking at my Ape suits (acronym for: Autonomous Pilot Expert-system) and in particular Sgt. Espera's weapon loadout. In Strike Dog I describe him having a recoilless rifle, but my first attempt at instantiating one was less than satisfactory, and I rebuilt it using the parts I had for the Marine gauss rifle. Comparisons of both can be seen here.

Hence this new build. I still have to do some further work involving Milliput, but I'm liking the shape and feel.

I have parts for three more Army Apes tucked away, so my plan is to make half of CASDA 5136. The other six mechs would be identical, as in carrying the same sort of loadouts. My thoughts being that each half of the detachment was a mirror of the other. Like this.

Combat Armor Suit Detachment Alpha 5136
Captain Anthony Downey, detachment commander
Master Sergeant Campbell, operations and team sergeant
Staff Sergeant Morales, combat engineer
Sergeant Mary Lewis, communications
Sergeant Schmidt, medical
Sergeant First Class Frank Radoslovich, weapons

Chief Warrant Officer 1 Andrew McAdams, assistant detachment commander
Sergeant First Class Thomas Nguyen, assistant operations and intelligence
Staff Sergeant Julia King, combat engineer
Sergeant Miguel Sanchez, communications
Sergeant Daniel Robinson, medical
Staff Sergeant Juan Espera, weapons
So, Espera is the heavy weapons specialist, hence he carries the big recoilless rifle. Though a fat lot of good it does him, but to say more would be spoilers.
  

Monday, 4 June 2018

Break Out – Now Available



I'm happy to announce that Break Out, story four in The World Of Drei series is now available to buy on Amazon.

Plot Summary
The civil war rages as Russian Federal Republics forces continue fighting the VisegrĂĄd Baltic Alliance. The war carries on during the coldest winter to grip the country in more than a century.

In the midst of the confusion, a new threat emerges. An enemy cybertank that attacks without fear.

Now, Lieutenant Morozova must rise to the challenge and lead her platoon into battle. Seventh Rota's third platoon must be the eyes for the newly formed battalion tactical group, and seek out the enemy.

Break Out is the next episode in ongoing The World of Drei series, continuing on from Terror Tree, Mission One, and Regroup.


Buy This Book


If you've not yet read any of the stories in this series then all four of The World of Drei stories can be found here. And, you can see some reviews of Terror Tree here.
   

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

General Data Protection Regulation Notice

   
As you may be aware, on 25 May 2018 the EU General Data Protection Regulation EU (2016)/679 (GDPR) comes into force in all EU member states. 

This Act applies to ‘personal data’ meaning any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified by reference to an identifier. It requires that personal data be processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner, and that personal data be collected for specified and legitimate purposes. 

I currently do not run an email list and have no plans to do so in the foreseeable future. 

For those who subscribe to email updates for this blog, your personal data may be collected by the third party service. I have no control over the tool.  

Blog posts or comments may include personal data such as the names of people who've made comments or similar. These posts are often shared on social media including my Twitter and FaceBook pages. The privacy policies of Twitter and Facebook will apply to information posted on their websites.  

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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Reviews of Bad Dog

   

Please excuse the fact that I'm posting the latest review of Bad Dog from a 20 year Navy veteran. I felt honoured to have had this man take the time and effort to write something about my work. Thank you sir.

Good sci-fi read with one foot planted solidly in the real world

Ok, I'm not a professional book reviewer. If you are looking for a critique on the art of writing, move along. I'm just a reader, and a retired military member and all of my thoughts start from there.

Truthfully, it is a pretty good story. I think it reads a bit like a short story, which I can appreciate. Don't get me wrong, I like a good Lord of the Rings style epic as much as the next guy, but now and again I like something shorter and to the point. This book scratched that itch. I found it pretty compelling from start to finish, and I can't wait for the next book to come out in print (I think it is already out in electronic format, but I like paper). I love a good near-future story where things are just different enough to make your imagination kick into gear, but not so foreign that I'm sitting around thinking "What's a flingledorp and why on Earth is this one attached to the hangwopper of a flogtrud?" Look, I want to follow the story without too much confusion. Pollard succeeded for me. I'm a 20 year veteran of the Navy and I'll say that about 99% of all the jargon, personalities, and events feel dead on which really added to my enjoyment and the believability of the story. For those of you with less military experience, Pollard does include a nice glossary in the back of the book so you don't get lost in all the TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms... military loves them).

I don't know if I have any downsides to relay, but I'm pretty easy to please. I'm hoping there is more to come soon.



And here are some more reviews...
 

No gung-ho and serious SF Military reading

This the author first novel and I got totally absorbed from the first page to the end.

This is SF Military but don't expect finding super-uber soldiers or extraterrestrial advanced enemies fighting each other in remote galaxies, no "Starship Troopers" rehearsal at all. On the contrary, set in in the last quarter of the XXI century, the book provides a glimpse of what could be a very realistic progressive evolution of modern tactical warfare and weapons... in a geopolitical context that will also be familiar to the reader, where a reconfigured US (called "Confederated States" but not yet explained in the book what happened) is challenged by an increasingly assertive China in a remote region in Afghanistan.


The book focuses in a Marine recon unit and the pace of the action is truly good.


The atmosphere is very realistic thanks to the extensive and thorough(full) military research undertaken by the author that you can follow in her personal blog.


After I finished reading the novel, I really eager for more. Luckily a second part is very close to publication.


I can strongly recommend the book and if the sequels are as good as the initial work, I can see Ashley Pollard becoming a reference in this writing genre

  
Excellent book. A fresh view on near future power armor warfare. I felt that I was reading a good story and not the writer's opinions on how they live their own life, which is hard to find these days in any genre.


This book caught me pleasantly by surprise. I had settled into the near-future military action and begun to suspect that powered suits were the extent of the Science Fiction, but then it took off in a totally unexpected direction which I won't spoil for you. I ended up thoroughly gripped and unable to put it down until I knew how it played out. I love SF and it's great to find a new writer with ideas as well as genuinely good writing. I look forward to more.
   

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For those who subscribe to email updates for this blog, your personal data may be collected by the third party service. I have no control over the tool.

Blog posts or comments may include personal data such as the names of people who've made comments or similar. These posts are often shared on social media including my Twitter and FaceBook pages. The privacy policies of Twitter and Facebook will apply to information posted on their websites.

If you would like any personal data which is included in my blogposts or comments to be removed or have any questions, please email me through my contact widget.