I'm thinking it's high time I introduced my readers to more of the very interesting people who've come into my life over time. Some I've already described in my reminiscences of South Africa (Mike, Inyati, Fanyana, Flynn and others). However, some of my American friends have been just as memorable. Over time, I'll introduce some of them in these pages.
Author Michael Z. Williamson is one such person. Miss D. and I regard him as not just a fellow author, but a friend. We've hosted him as he passed through our area, and look forward to doing so again. He's uniquely his own man; living life on his terms, full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes. As he says in his bio:
My hobbies are much what I do for a living and a few other things: reading, writing, historical re-enactments, forging blades, throwing myself out of aircraft, hiking, Karate, Kung Fu, shooting, archery, fine liquors, fine food, traveling and ranting at the political, social and moral state of the world.
That makes him pretty much a Renaissance man in my book. He's a whole lot of fun.
One way he makes a living is to sell high-quality hand-made knives, swords and other Sharp Pointy Things. He sometimes has some breathtakingly lovely examples. I bought one for Miss D. at LibertyCon last year, a long slender firestorm Damascus blade so beautifully patterned that she's reserved it to wear with her Con outfit of corset, medieval blouse and skirt. It currently lives on the nightstand next to our bed. His current selection of knives for sale is tempting me with items like these (click the images for a larger view):
They are all, of course, one-of-a-kind blades, not mass-produced. Each one is unique. I think I'm going to have to lock my wallet and credit card away for a few days . . . (wipes drool from chin).
He also modifies existing blades for new purposes. I love this two-foot-long Swiss Army 1914 Pioneer bayonet, converted to fit a modern US AR15/M16 rifle.
It was famously pictured on his daughter's pink AR15 when Morrigan was only eight years old, towering high over her head. It drove the anti-gunners to foaming fits of frustration, much to the delight of the rest of us. (Now in her mid-teens, Morrigan's favorite personal protection is a long-barreled S&W .45 revolver. Mike doesn't worry much about her boyfriends . . . )
The most important thing Mike does, as far as many of us are concerned, is write books. His novel 'Freehold' has become an enduring modern SF classic, with fans all over the world - so much so that a 10th anniversary signed limited hardcover edition was issued by Baen and sold out within a matter of weeks. (Yes, Miss D. and I got ours. No, you can't have it!) He's written many other books, all of which can be bought through his Web site or from Amazon.com.
His latest offering isn't fiction, but what he calls 'Wisdom From My Internet'. It's a collection of his classic snark, wit and humor from his social media - blog, Facebook, Livejournal, Twitter and so on. Here are a few examples.
Paralegals are not airborne lawyers.
The Ho Chi Minh Trail was not a Vietconga line.
A well hung jury is not composed of male gigolos.
There isn't a series about NSA called 'Game of Phones'.
As a legal immigrant who came here with a Visa, I want to know why illegals are getting American Express.
"Dad, they taught us in school that Che Guevara was a freedom fighter. Is that true?"
"Yes, he fought against freedom at every opportunity."
I support permissive laws to restrictive ones. Therefore, instead of a ban on texting while driving, I support a law allowing the injured party to shove your iPhone up your ass.
The Israeli martial art is Krav Maga, not Jew Jitsu. Nor is there a form for Japanese schoolgirls called Krav Manga.
The Israel Defense Force's battle cry is not "Torah! Torah! Torah!"
There are many more quips and essays, but you'll have to buy the book to read them. They illustrate why Mike names his blog 'The Sacred Cow Slaughterhouse'.
All in all, Miss D. and I are honored to call Mike our friend. We hope you enjoy his books as much as we do (not to mention his Sharp Pointy Things).