Tag Archives: Robert E. Hampson

Rob’s Update: FenCon Rocked

Week 39 of 2022

Greetings all

First, welcome to all the new readers. I was able this week to finally get all my updates from Pennsic and FenCon uploaded. Thanks to all of you who joined up. If you have any questions about what all I’ve got going on here, just send me an email at rob@robhowell.org.

And wow, what an amazing week it’s been. Let’s start with the first new release, The Chimera Coup by Christopher G. Nuttall.

This came out on Tuesday and is a post-apocalyptic swords and sorcery world with technology added. It’s fast-paced, as you’d expect from Chris, and you’re going to love it. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BFLV4TH8.

Yes, I said first new release, as there was also on the 16th The Valkyries Initiative.

I contributed a story in here about a Valkyrie working her job on the mean streets of St. Louis. After 1500 years working for Odin and Freya, she thought she’d seen everything. She was wrong. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BF8NMWXK/.

But wait, there’s more! The Pain Bearer by Kendra Merritt came out on the 13th. This is the 8th of the Eldros Legacy and is probably my favorite novel so far in this series. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BDTWRP9W/.

Whew. What a sequence. And that all follows No Game for Knights, which came out on the 6th. It’s available here: baen.com/no-game-for-knights.html.

If you’re keeping track at home, and I am, this stretch of 4 books I contributed to in 14 days is a personal record.

I was also on 3 different podcasts: Cursed Dragon Ship and Inside CKP both had all the Eldros Legacy authors on. Then we did a Dudes in Hyperspace episode. Click on the show names to watch or listen to all these episodes and so much more.

And what did I do to celebrate? I went to FenCon and had a great time with Larry Correia, Chuck Gannon, and Rob Hampson (all Guests of Honor there) along with fellow CKP authors Mark Wandrey, Bill Webb, Kayla Krantz, Sandra Medlock, and Fred Hughes, plus a bunch of other awesome people.

Frankly, it felt like LibertyCon Lite and I need it, having missed LibertyCon itself.

So much has gone on that I even did my September AAR already, and you can get it here: robhowell.org/blog/?p=2856.

This week I’ve been editing Responsibility of the Throne by G. Scott Huggins. This is the sequel to Responsibility of the Crown and is excellent. Dragons, halfdragons, intrigue, and boarding actions.

I also finally got around to doing something I’ve needed to do for some time and that’s create a New Mythology Press Release Schedule. It’s located here: chriskennedypublishing.com/2022/09/22/new-mythology-schedule/. Bookmark that site as I’ll be updating that page.

Heart, Wings, and Fire
Heart, Wings, and Fire

I’ve been nibbling at some story ideas too, though I’ve had little time to write them. September has routinely been my worst month as I’ve come out of Pennsic and all the summer cons, and this year is no different. That has meant October is one of my best, though, and I anticipate it will be.

One last thing, it’s time for a cover reveal from one of my favorite covers so far. Heart, Wings, and Fire by Trisha J. Wooldridge comes out on the October 4th and here’s the cover. This starts her amazing 27 Kingdoms Universe, which you’re gonna love.

Princesses, dragons, and fey, oh, my!

Now I need to let you all go so I can get ready to record the first Dudes In Hyperspace Podmail show. There are so many questions, we’ve had to move that to its own regular episode.

What I’m Listening To

I came back recharged in many ways, and popped right back into setting my playlist to all Rush songs.

Right now it’s Distant Early Warning  off of Grace Under Pressure. I remember distinctly getting this album at about the time I was most interested in the Cold War and the Soviet military, so even if it hadn’t have been Rush, I’d have loved it.

Quote of the Week

Happy birthday to Joan Jett who, let’s just say, I especially admired when I was a teenage boy.

“I saw him dancing there by the record machine
I knew he must have been about seventeen”
I Love Rock’n Roll, as performed by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

Dudes In Hyperspace

Follow the Dudes In Hyperspace here:

The latest show includes a preview of the NFL season with David Hayes.

We’re literally recording our Podmail episode in half an hour, so keep an eye out for that tomorrow.

Cool Stuff In Eldros Legacy

Get five free stories and signed up with the Eldros Legacy mailing list! Here There Be Giants is at: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/qabsr57lq3+.

A Murder of Wolves by Jamie Ibson comes out on the 11th of October.

Currently available:

Get all the Eldros Legacy novels at: amazon.com/dp/B09Z9WVKYV

New Mythology Works in Progress

2023 FantaSci Short Story Contest open call.

The theme is Bonds of Valor, and you story must include deeds of valor centered around bonds between characters. This could be a romantic relationship, a buddy adventure, oaths to kings, or whatever you can come up with.

Deadline: November 30th, 2022
Word Count: 7-10,000 words
Specifics: Times New Roman, 12 point font, 1.5 line spaced.

Current Schedule of New Mythology Press

Deep Space and Beyond
Deep Space and Beyond

Deep Space and Beyond


Fantasy Kindle Unlimited
Fantasy Kindle Unlimited

Fantasy Kindle Unlimited


Escape to a Fantasy World
Escape to a Fantasy World

Escape to a Fantasy World


Rob’s Works in Progress
  • Sowing Spring’s Wrath (3,213)
  • Farewell, My Ugly (23,151)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (3,405)
Upcoming Events
New Releases

This week we have The Chimera Coup by Christopher G. Nuttall. This is a post-apocalyptic swords and sorcery world with technology added. It’s fast-paced, as you’d expect from Chris, and you’re going to love it. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BFLV4TH8.

The Valkyries Initiative, a new set of stories set in the Hit World universe edited by Marisa Wolf, came out on Friday. I contributed a story in here about a Valkyrie working her job on the mean streets of St. Louis. After 1500 years working for Odin and Freya, she thought she’d seen everything. She was wrong. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BF8NMWXK/.

Your pre-release has the Four Horsemen returning this week with World Enders by Chris Kennedy & Marisa Wolf. This is book 2 of The Phoenix Initiative, and you can get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BG19B753.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 331.8 (I’ve been traveling and not eating well. Since coming back, I’ve re-focused on eating better. Time to get back on the downward path.)

Updated Word Count: 157,349

Eldros Legacy Archives: 813 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Founder in the Eldros Legacy series

Rob’s Ramblings: September AAR

Yes, there are still ten days left in September, but so much has gone on that I really need to do an AAR. Plus, October looks like it’ll be just as busy so I don’t know when I’ll get this done, and as I look back a monthly AAR sounds like a pretty good regular post.

No Game for Knights
No Game for Knights

This month started off with a huge bang when No Game For Knights came out on the 6th. This is the noir-themed science fiction and fantasy anthology edited by Larry Correia and Kacey Ezell and follows up Noir Fatale, which was also really fun.

My story in here was entitled The Incomparable Treasure, and it continues the adventures of Edward Aethelredson. If you’ve read The Eyes of a Doll, you want to read this as it follows up some of that story there.

The Pain Bearer
The Pain Bearer

Then, on the 13th, New Mythology released The Pain Bearer, by Kendra Merritt. This is my favorite of the Eldros Legacy novels so far, including my own The Door Into Winter.

On the 16th, The Valkyries Initiative came out. This is an anthology in the Hit World universe edited by Marisa Wolf.

The Hit World is what I call genre gumbo. It has everything: aliens, magic, gods, myths, James Bond-style espionage and assassinations, intrigue, and if it doesn’t have it now, it will someday.

Really fun.

The Valkyries Initiative
The Valkyries Initiative

My story in here is actually in many ways like my story in No Game for Knights. It’s hardboiled and has more than a bit of noir influence. It’s about a valkyrie who’s been doing the bidding of Freya and Odin for some 1500 years now. She’s currently working a job in St. Louis and, spoiler alert, everything goes sideways.

I like putting characters into difficult positions where no choice is good, and this was one of my favorite bad situations so far.

The Chimera Coup
The Chimera Coup

Today, we released The Chimera Coup, which starts a new series called The Heirs of Cataclysm. This is post-apocalyptic, swords and sorcery and tech and is full of action as one would expect from Christopher G. Nuttall.

If you haven’t read Chris’s stuff before, you should. He’s got a bunch out there, including some other fantasy series, plus  a bunch of great mil SF and space opera. We’re honored to have the opportunity to publish this.

Books 2 and 3 in this trilogy will come out soon, and you’re going to love how he wraps this all up.

I’ve also been a part of a number of podcasts. The Eldros Legacy crew did an interview on the 7th on Inside CKP. We did another interview with Cursed Dragon Ships on the 13th. Between those, the Dudes in Hyperspace had their NFL preview show on the 8th.

Click on the show links to check out all three of those.

Whew, that’s 4 books released and 3 podcasts recorded in 2 weeks!

But wait, there’s more! I also just got back from FenCon in the DFW Metroplex.

Larry Correia was the guest of honor, Robert E. Hampson was the science GOH, and Chuck Gannon was the toastmaster. Man, that’s a heck of a list and it drew out a ton of people. I heard, though I haven’t confirmed it, that FenCon drew almost as many people this year as it had done in the previous two pre-pandemic years combined.

Again, I’ve got no confirmation on that, but it sure seemed hopping to me. I was only on two panels, one on Indie Publishing and the CKP Look Ahead, but both were very well attended. Thanks to all who come out.

I also had constant traffic in front of my dealer’s table. I sold more than I expected, which is always nice, but I also got to really talk to a bunch of great people.

The author next to me, Tim Gilliland, was brand new. This was his first con ever, whether to sell or not. He’s in his 60s and finally getting to do what he’s always wanted to do. I predict he’ll do well, given how enthusiastic he was.

This was actually a theme, as I was aware of more people who said this was their first ever convention than I can recall at any other con. Great to see all the new blood.

But truly, it was the old blood that made this con for me. Because of the guests, there was a huge percentage of attendees who I usually see at LibertyCon. Since I missed it this year, I was ecstatic to have sort of a LibertyCon Lite.  Yeah, yeah, I do realize it was probably the wise choice to be at my own wedding instead of the con, but I still missed my friends.

I had a great conversations with old and new friends, which is really the best part of cons. Selling books is great, and I love panels, but it’s the people that matter.

Among friends I had good conversations with were Larry, Rob, Chuck, Sarah Hoyt, Cedar Sanderson, Jonna Hayden, C.V. Walter, Dan Hoyt, Karl Gallagher, Sean CW Korsgaard, Mark Wandrey, Lloyd Behm, Joy Wandrey, William Alan Webb, Sandra Medlock, and Toni Weisskopf. I also met Fred Hughes and Kayla Krantz, two newish authors in the stable, plus a bunch of people like Tim Gilliland, David Birdsall, and Greg Gagnon who I expect to get to talk about when they get their own writing careers going.

What a fun crew.

I came back with a number of new ideas and looking forward to going to the next FenCon.

What’s left in September? Well, to be honest, prepping for October, plus we’ve got our Dudes in Hyperspace podmail episode coming out this week.

On October 4th, we have the release of Trisha J. Wooldridge’s Heart, Wings, and Fire. This is another new series set in her 27 Kingdoms world.

This story is really something new for New Mythology Press, something I’ve been wanting to see. It’s full of action, but less in the way of swords and more in the way of standing up to challenges. It’s also set in an Asian-inspired setting. I love all sorts of myths and legends from across the world and I want to see more of it.

Then on October 11th, we have the 9th Eldros Legacy novel, A Murder of Wolves, from Jamie Ibson. This is set on Daemanon and is a neat take on druids.

There’ll be more from the Dudes in Hyperspace, of course, and maybe more still yet to talk about.

September 2022 rocked, and I can’t wait for October.


Rob’s Update: A Pleasant Little Peace

Week 30 of 2021

Greetings all

I’m sitting in my booth on a beautiful day at Armistice. Indeed, the weather has been exceedingly pleasant. Truly beautiful weather.

Right now, I have three very talented musicians playing medieval songs across the courtyard on viol (I think), recorder, and hurdy-gurdy. The breeze is just enough to give the air a nice feel. And all around me are the wonderful sounds of a medieval marketplace enjoying itself.

First, this week, is a poll from Chris Kennedy himself. He’d like to know what readers want. You find the poll here: https://joesolari.typeform.com/to/joz29tie. This will help us get you what you want. Better yet, if you fill it out, you’ll be  able to enter a drawing to win one of three $100 gift cards at the store of your choice or $100 cash sent to your PayPal or Venmo.

Most of what I’m doing when customers aren’t here are reading through the submissions for Talons & Talismans. I can confirm now that there will actually be two anthologies because I got so much cool stuff. One will come out in October and the other in November. I’ll announce the full lineups a week from today.

I submitted a story to Three Ravens Press on Monday for an anthology. I got to redshirt a good friend in there, as well as having fun with zombie tropes, something I’ve never done before.

My current short story is my story in Talons & Talismans. It’s about Rabah and Jaime Muniotz, two characters earlier in Shijuren’s history, whose actions shape some of the foundation of what I did with Ausartxango Belatz in Brief Is My Flame and None Call Me Mother.

In the next couple of days, I’m going to start a new novel that will be entitled The Door into Winter. Sometimes, the perfect title comes to you that not only fits your plans but seems like the perfect mold to write a story around. This one will start a new series in Shijuren following Irina, Ausartxango, and Geirr after None Call Me Mother.

I do have some disappointing news to report. Due to circumstances outside anyone’s control, I was forced to cancel my appearance at DragonCon. I want to thank all the volunteers, especially Cisca and Regina, for all their hard work. Also, we will still have a major announcement that weekend, however, so stay tuned here.

Been an eventful week, but for now, I’d better get back to selling.

What I’m Listening To

Hurdy-gurdy and recorders in the courtyard accompanied by the occasional rasp of a bowyer shaving bow staves. Quite ideal, I think.

Quote of the Week

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay. It is entirely likely that means today’s quote is apocryphal. However, like many such quotes, it’s too fun not to believe it happened.

“Damn the torpedoes!”
― Admiral David Farragut

New Mythology Works in Progress
Current open anthology calls:

I’m currently working on Talons & Talismans. Starting in September, I’ll be editing the next Milesian Accords novel from Jon R. Osborne. Really looking for that.

I am so excited for what’s coming, and I can’t wait to really give you a full schedule.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • MON (3,211)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • CSC (1,283)

Upcoming Events

  • FactoryCon, 22-24 October, Coinjock, NC
    Details in the CKP – Factory Floor on Facebook.
  • 20BooksTo50K, 8-12 November, Las Vegas, NV

New Releases

More 4HU awesomeness! This week it’s Robert E. Hampson and Sandra L. Medlock’s And Break it Not, where they continue their thread on the Wrogul. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09BBZY6GS.

There’s also another Buck Book, this one is Lloyd Behm’s Shadow Lands, Book 1 of his Shadow Lands series. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KX8GHYX.

.Today’s Weight: Updated in a week

Updated Word Count: Updated in a week

Shijuren Wiki: Updated in a week

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Author of the Shijuren-series of novels

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: At Cooper’s Lake Campground

Week 29 of 2021

Greetings all

Sorry for being late this week. I arrived in Pennsylvania later than anticipated on Wednesday, so I couldn’t post my update early. And then yesterday and Thursday were devoted to setting up my booth and camp here at Armistice.

Armistice is being held at Cooper’s Lake Campground where Pennsic has been held since the early 70s. They have developed this to an really nice place to relax in many ways, even if you’re not camping here for an event. The changes in the 20 years or so I’ve been coming here are truly astounding.

I knew this spot of the world was important to me but not how much until I got here to check in. In the line, a old friend of mine, who happens to be one of the people who attended the first SCA event ever in 1966, came up and gave me a hug. Not an abnormal way we greet each other but I nearly cried.

It is incredibly good to be home again.

Anyway, this will be a fantastic week for me. I’m set up with a little office as part of my booth, so I essentially have full functionality to write as if I was at Brewbaker’s or something like that at home. If people aren’t here, I get to write. In the past, this has been a fruitful week and I expect no different.

I will be finishing a short story today and tomorrow for a fun little anthology. Today is also the deadline for stories for Talons & Talismans, and I’m excited with what’s come in. You’re going to love these.

Given the schedule, I anticipate providing you all a full list of participants in the anthologies on the 15th or so. While I have no limitations on my writing, there are some limitations on getting out to print stuff. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I’m going to have to give a number of finalists a thorough, proper read through. I already know it’s going to be tough because there’s some great stuff.

With that, it’s time to start selling.

What I’m Listening To

People chatting and enjoying the fantastic weather so far at Armistice.

Quote of the Week

Dusty Hill of ZZ Top passed away this week. Some of ZZ Top’s music, especially the earlier stuff, is truly amazing. Today’s quote is from a song where Dusty was the singer.

I been bad, I been good,
Dallas, Texas, Hollywood.
I ain’t askin’ for much.
I said, Lord, take me downtown,
I’m just lookin’ for some tush.
― Dusty Hill, ZZ Top, Tush

New Mythology Works in Progress

Current open anthology calls:

I’m currently working on collecting all the stories together so I can process Tolons & Talismans.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • CSC (1,283)
  • MON (829)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

And Break It Not by Robert E. Hampson and Sandra Medlock is the newest 4HU title. The return of the Wrogul! You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09BBZY6GS.

We have not one but two new series in the CKP world.

First is book one of the Abner Fortis, ISMC series: Cherry Drop by P.A. Piatt. This you can get here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09B14VBK2.

Next is book one of the The Lunar Free State series by John E. Siers, entitled The Moon and Beyond. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B097QMN7PJ.

Today’s Weight: Will update in two weeks

Updated Word Count: Will update in two weeks

Shijuren Wiki: Will update in two weeks

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Holy Cow!

Week 36 of 2020

Greetings all

I was very productive this week… when I could work. I lost Tuesday and Wednesday to because I wasn’t feeling well. Not anything big, just my body will occasionally shift out of place and I’ll have, in this case, a dislocated ankle. Worst I can remember. Knocked me for a loop. I guess I’m getting old.

Anyway, on Monday I submitted a short story called “An Oath’s Other Edge” to a Corner Scribblers anthology. I also got to do the introduction. Really nice of them to invite me to join them, and I hope you guys check them out on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/The-Corner-Scribblers/e/B082YQWLCZ.

Then I got into editing None Call Me Mother. I may have mentioned that my editor said it started of slowly, but by the end of it she lost track of working because she fell into the story. That’s a great compliment, of course, at least for the second half.

So I went into editing with the goal of streamlining and cutting. It’s much stronger already. I’ve already cut over 7000 words and I’m only about 150 pages in out of about 520. It’s actually about 10-15% shorter in those pages now, but definitely faster and more powerful.

It’s an odd thing. I’ve spent years fighting this book to get to the end, but I’m loving chopping major chunks out of the draft. Useless. Gone. Gloat. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Next week the sweetie and I will be out on a trip to Clarksville, TN and we’re having a few people over on Monday for Labor Day. That means I’ll only have 3 days or so in the next week to really hammer at it, but I expect finish this pass middle of week after. Then I’ll do one more editing pass to make sure I haven’t chopped something important (which I will have and will miss but my editor will catch).

By the end of October I’ll send it back to the editor for line editing and proofreading. Then I’ll do my print and read out loud pass. Then it’ll be ready. I expect the artwork to be done early October. Overall, it’s looking like some point in November and it’ll be live.

Getting there.

What I’m Listening To

The Cardinals playing in Wrigley Field against the Cubs. There’s something very soothing and right about this matchup, even without fans. Call it the Harry Carey Battle, given that he actually announced for the Cardinals way back when before ultimately going to the Cubs.

Quote of the Week

And since Harry was such an interesting guy, we might as well use one of his quotes. No, I’m not going with the low-hanging fruit of “Holy Cow!” Instead, I’m going with something thoughtful. Yes, by *that* Harry Carey.

Odds are I won’t write for 54 years, though I can hope. Still, I hope I always remember this quote by him. I’ll never master this craft so much that I can’t learn something new.

“I’ve only been doing this 54 years. With a little experience, I might get better.”
– Harry Carey

News and Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (29,837)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

  • Focused on None Call Me Mother

Upcoming Events

New Releases

Robert E. Hampson is an incredibly smart man. Like an actual real genius. A brain surgeon working on cool stuff like artificial memory. Not only that, he’s got the best initials evah!

You’ve probably read him in the 4HU, but yesterday, his first completely separate novel came out. It’s called The Human Side, and you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08H7DLJC9.

Today’s Weight: 363.0

Updated Word Count: 237, 231

Shijuren Wiki: 72 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Interview: Dr. Robert E. Hampson

This guy is brilliant. He’s a neuroscientist working on how humans remember stuff and he’s a science fiction writer as well. He’s also a very nice guy and fun to chat with. If you can, sit down with him. You’ll learn something, I guarantee it.

Interview: Dr. Robert E. Hampson
Dr. Robert E. Hampson
Dr. Robert E. Hampson

What is your quest?

My quest is to entertain and inform.  An online friend once remarked that I teach as naturally as I breathe.  I’m a scientist, so much of my nonfiction writing is basically: “How do I break this down so that the average reader can understand (with maybe some recourse to Google)?”  Sometimes while writing nonfiction I hit on something that I think would make a good plot point for fiction.  I grew up reading Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, so I want to write stories that take people on adventures in a future that has a certain hope for spreading mankind to the stars.

Then again, one of my strongest influences was James P. Hogan, so I also lean toward having sympathetic scientist/engineer characters and include the human side: love, laughter, longing and loss.

In person at conventions, I definitely like to entertain, and often I find myself in the position where my main contribution is to be the comic relief.  Strangely, that doesn’t make it into my fiction very often.  “Headspace and Timing” in Tales from the Lyon’s Den is the rare exception, and I hope folks like it. (Rob’s Note: This was released on 25 September as the first of a new set of Four Horsemen anthologies. You should buy it. You should especially buy the second one, Luck is Not a Factor, because I have a story in it 😀 )

What is your favorite color?

I like to take something from my education and professional work and weave it into the story.  Again, I tend to have sciency-type characters, although I’ve also shamelessly borrowed from friends’ careers as well.  For “Unto the Last, Stand Fast” in The Good, the Bad and the Merc I was heavily influenced by “The Last Stand” by Sabaton.  I’ve also written stories that draw heavily from dreams.  My stories for John Ringo’s Black Tide Rising series were influenced by some things I remember from free-association musing and dreaming after reading John’s stories.

What is the average flying speed of an unladen paint brush?

I think any writer has this – there’s something we think is funny, or cute, or an essential reference – and the reader doesn’t get it.  One of the problems with having lots of ideas, writing them down, even writing the stories (but not selling them) is that I create a character.  I *like* the character.  The character has adventures.  In my mind, I know all of these things, so when I write something else in that universe or with that character, I incorporate the known background.  Unfortunately, if the other stories never see the light of day, the reader has no idea why the fact that “Mr. Davis” was a Boy Scout camp counselor should mean anything.

I’ve had an anthology editor tell me I’m just not ready for prime time… after I’d already sold 4 stories to anthologies.  Granted, I haven’t sold to big name magazines (Analog, etc) yet, and I definitely known that I have much to learn.  But it’s certainly amusing to contemplate that 10 stories sold (by now) is “not ready.”

Rob Hampson playing the trumpet.
Rob Hampson playing the trumpet.

What are the powers of your personal Holy Hand Grenade?

My proudest production is a story that was submitted to the US Army’s Training and Doctrine Command’s (TRADOC) Mad Science Writing contest.  My story “To Serve and Serve Again” is one of my favorites.  It has a bit of history, though – I wrote the story “They Also Serve” about a cardiovascular surgeon dealing with his own version of PTSD having to patch up soldiers and send them back to war.  It was for Tom Kratman’s Riding the Red Horse and he wanted a sequel that would continue the story. (Alien invasion, and a treatment the doc developed was key to allowing human soldiers to survive).  TAS was around 10k words, TSaSA told the tale of a combat medic, since one of my best friends served two combat tours as a medic – and it came in at almost 15k… I actually figure I could probably write 3-4 more stories in that setting and compile into a book if I ever get the time.

…And then the sequel anthology fell through.  The TRADOC contest wanted stories of no more than 5k words.  The problem from my perspective was that TSaSA was just right for the contest (and I was right – it was a finalist) so I had to cut it.  So I trimmed some of the explicit character development and left scenes that would allow the reader to fill in the gap.  I had to cut what I thought was important backstory, but it had to go.  The final product was lean but read well.  I was proud of it, and obviously the jurists liked it – it was in the finalist compilation of the best 25 stories submitted.

Interestingly enough, someone did an analysis of how the stories submitted to the contest were a pretty close match to the Department of Defense’s advanced research solicitations.  It seems that a keyword search of the “research wanted” announcements by DoD was a pretty close match to a keyword search of the stories submitted.  The article singled out one particular story to illustrate a fictional “portable medical record” that was nearly identical to a DoD solicitation for a “portable medical record” … and that story was mine.  So, yeah, I’m particularly proud of that one.   Military SF, ripped from the pages of actual research… kinda.  .

Lightning Round

  • Favorite Muppet? The “Doctor Russ” muppet.  This one’s pretty obscure, but a long-time friend of mine worked with Sesame Street to develop educational videos for children of deployed and returning service members.  For Russell’s retirement from the Navy and DARPA, one of the Sesame Street producers showed a video featuring Elmo and Dr. Russ and presented him with the Dr. Russ muppet.
  • Crunchy or Creamy?  Crunchy.  More character
  • Favorite Sports Team? San Antonio Spurs.
  • Cake or Pie? Why not both?  (actually, Pecan Pie, but I can no longer eat it due to the high sugar content)
  • Lime or Lemon? Again, both.  Lymon.
  • Favorite Chip Dip?  French Onion
  • Wet or Dry? I’m a big guy who’s always sweating.  Definitely prefer dry.
  • Favorite Musical Performer We’ve Never Heard Of?  Not a performer, but I’m a fan of video game music.  The guys composing music for Halo, Mass Effect, Destiny, etc. are composing fantastic symphonic epics.
  •  Whisky or Whiskey? Shame on you!  There is no “e” in whisky.  Single malt. Neat.  Preferably old enough to pour itself another.
  • Favorite Superhero? DC:  The Flash, Marvel: Captain America
  • Steak Temperature? Medium rare, especially if it’s well-aged beef.  The longer the aging, the rarer I would cook it.
  • Favorite 1970s TV show? The Six Million Dollar Man… it influenced my career, so this is a no-brainer.

Tell me again where we can find your stuff?

And where can we find you?

  • June 1-3, Guest, ConCarolinas, Charlotte, NC
  • June 29-July 1,  Guest, LibertyCon, Chattanooga, TN.
  • July 13-15, Guest,  ConGregate, High Point, NC.
  • August 30-September 3, Guest, Dragon*Con, Atlanta, GA.

Thanks to Dr. Hampson for taking the time to answer my questions.

If you have any suggestions or comments about this interview format, let me know so I can keep tweaking it.

Also, thanks to you for reading. If you’re interested in any of the other interviews I’ve done, you can find them all here: https://robhowell.org/blog/?cat=326. If you are a creator, especially an independent creator, and you want to be spotlighted in a future interview, email me at rob@robhowell.org.

Finally, if you want to join my mailing list, where I’ll announce every interview, as well as what’s going on in my life, go to www.robhowell.org and fill out the form (Name and Email Address) or drop me an email and I’ll add you.

Have a great day.

Rob Howell