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Tom Weiss

Associate Editor Tom Weiss is Liberty Island’s editor of adventure, focusing on horror, action, thrillers, mystery, and military. Tom is a retired Lieutenant Colonel with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. His writing has appeared in professional military journals, PJ Media, and Liberty Island. He spends time in Western Wisconsin and Eastern Australia and is convinced the Minnesota Vikings will never win the Super Bowl.

Murmurations: Part 4

The ongoing weekly serial continues. Click here for the introduction,  here for Part 1, here for part 2, and here for part 3.

Murmurations: Part 3

The ongoing weekly serial continues. Click here for the introduction,  here for Part 1, and here for part 2.

Murmurations: Part 2

The ongoing weekly serial continues. Click here for the introduction and click here for Part 1.

Murmurations, Part 1

A New Weekly Fiction Serial Begins

This is the start of a new weekly sci-fi serial running on Wednesdays

Discover A New Sci-Fi Novel in Ten Parts: Murmurations

Serial novels have a long and distinguished history.

Charles Dickens is often credited with popularizing the form, beginning with The Pickwick Papers in 1836, and many other notable authors followed in his footsteps. The Count of Monte Cristo was serialized. So was Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Heart of Darkness. Dostoyevsky wrote a serial novel. So did Tolstoy, Verne, Joyce, Hemingway, Wolfe, and King.

And now, courtesy of Liberty Island, you can add my name to the list.

Why Is Liberty Island ‘Ideological’?

ide·​ol·​o·​gy | \ ˌī-dē-ˈä-lə-jē: a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture.

All stories are, on some level, ideological. Countless assumptions about how people should act are hard-wired into every narrative. They have to be, otherwise the story would fail to resonate.

To illustrate the concept, picture an emaciated cat, helpless and stranded on a tree limb high above the ground. Our radiant heroine hears plaintive yowling outside her house, flies out of the front door and, suppressing her innate fear of heights, climbs the tree and saves the cat. You feel good about our heroine, right?

Now reset the scene. This time, our annoyed heroine stomps into the living room, plucks her trusty shotgun from its prominent position above the fireplace, strolls outside, and unloads both barrels into the animal, which drops to the ground with a wet, sickening thud.

How do you feel about her now?

A Bonfire of Reason

A third of the way into Tom Wolfe’s classic novel of the 1980’s, The Bonfire of the Vanities, a darkly comedic scene unfolds around Assistant District Attorney Larry Kramer shortly after he starts investigating the case of Henry Lamb, a teenager who was the apparent victim of a hit-and-run.

What Remains of The Remains of the Day?

I can see myself, standing in a local video rental store, circa 1995, holding a hard plastic covered copy of  and thinking, “How badly do I want to see this movie?”

Real Coffee with Scott Adams: A Review

Nothing about Scott Adams’ daily news and analysis show, Real Coffee with Scott Adams, should work.

Not especially telegenic (said the pot to the kettle), Adams would blend right in at an Upper Midwest accountant’s convention. His lilting voice – something he lost for a number of years – isn’t remarkable, and he is incapable of pronouncing some names. His show features no production value or set design to speak of. Bare wooden home office shelves adorned only with copies of his books form his backdrop.

And yet, once you start listening, it’s hard to stop.

Book Review: Disarmingly Great

According to Publishers Weekly, somewhere between 1.5 million and 18 quadrillion books are self-published every year. Technology (read: Amazon) has so lowered the publishing bar that anyone with some spare time and a Pinot-fueled hallucination can see their book listed for sale within a day or two. I’ve sampled my fair share. My Kindle library is littered with self-published stories sold at a steep discount – or free – as authors fight for eyeballs and struggle to make a name for themselves.

The overwhelming majority of these are either awful (but not in a satisfying Showgirls way) or forgettable (but not in a compelling Clive Cussler way). If I finish one, it’s out of curiosity and not the result of a compelling narrative. And I never, ever find myself thinking about one of these novels over a year later.

Enter Disarming.

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