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The Real Colette

At this point, my obsessive relationship with HMCS Sackville is reasonably well documented. It began when I based a Defense Command corvette on her, then escalated in 2013, when I spent Battle of the Atlantic week with her in Halifax. After that, Sackville turned up in Champions, swimming through Newfoundland’s coastal waters with Alex in […]

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Just Plain Late

It’s quite impossible for me to be fashionably late, so this week I’m going to be just plain late. As previously mentioned, I’m going to turn up at Sci Fi on the Rock this weekend, but I won’t be on the ground for the entire event. The convention kicks off on Friday afternoon and wraps up […]

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Two Weeks To Retirement

I have very few regrets when it comes to Defense Command. One lament continues to be that I never changed Ken Barron’s first name… because forever more, people will think I’m him. I’m not. Or, at least, I don’t want you to think I am. Whatever. The second lament is much more important: it wasn’t […]

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Ready, Aye, Ready.

The first thing you have to understand about Canada’s navy: it began with an obsolete cruiser named Rainbow. When the Royal Canadian Navy was first founded in 1910, Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier found himself in a difficult position. At the time, Britain and Germany were engaged in a Mahanian naval race, building Dreadnoughts (and […]

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Special Guest Star

It’s been a quiet season for author notes, but with good reason. New projects are waiting in the wings (one of which I’ll be blathering about soon) but in the meantime, the regular schedule for Champions continues: Tuesday, July 29, will see the launch of Outports. And it’ll feature a special guest star. One of […]

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Sackville’s Home

By now it’s a cliche to speak of the ‘greatest generation’ –– children of the Great Depression, who emerged from a level of poverty and starvation that we can scarcely imagine, to fight the injustices being wrought in Europe. Cynics among us are rightly skeptical that any war –– no matter how apparently just its […]

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Lost Tonnage

Earlier this week, I saw a confusing tweet from my good friend Mik; a battle had occurred in the massively multilayer online game EVE Online, which had resulted in an estimated $300,000 in damages. Now, I haven’t really played mulitplayer online games since Starcraft, so I wasn’t sure how such a battle could have a […]

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The Greater Gifts

I’ve never denied being a sentimentalist. I suppose readers know this by now –– Defense Command was secretly a love story, Smith and Waller shared a name, and if you think the Earthers don’t have heart, or that Alex and Stephanie are not truly the closest of friends, you’re mistaken. Last year, the Iceberg team […]

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Year Eleven

One year ago tomorrow, Iceberg Publishing hosted its Tenth Anniversary Gala at the Tannery in Kitchener. The evening was beyond memorable –– an opportunity to take a step back and reflect on all the work we’ve done at Iceberg, and all the adventures still to come. It was a fine evening, with excellent company… And […]

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Validation – Part 2

A number of fast-moving small craft are approaching your ship, and frankly, you don’t know what they’re up to. Your squadron has never really operated in this zone before, so distinguishing between civilian traders and a swarm of attackers is difficult. If you overreact in defense of your force, you might end up firing on […]

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Validation – Part 1

I was having beers with lunch. For me, you must understand, this was a very rare thing –– as I’ve previously stated, I only drink beer on special occasions, and to do so with lunch was literally unheard of. More shocking still: I was the only one drinking. Two other people were in the room, […]

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Corvette Mischief

Yesterday we were at last able to announce that my mother, Jacqui Tam, has been awarded an IPPY Silver Medal for the Tenth Anniversary Edition of her masterful work, A Daughter’s Gift. It only took a decade for the world to recognize what I’ve been saying since 2002: that hers is Iceberg’s finest book. It is […]

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How Cool is This?

This time last year we were getting ready for a photo shoot for the Champions alternative history series. The exact date was Sunday, May 6th on location at the Southern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society venue in St. Jacob’s, Ontario. The number of people involved, including models, photographer and assistant, make-up and hair, props, Iceberg team, […]

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Seeing A Lady In Halifax

It’s an exciting couple of weeks for Iceberg Publishing. I can’t get into all the details of why –– certain announcements won’t be official until next week –– but by way of a hint, the beginning of May is usually when certain book awards are announced. It’s a time for publishers like us to crowd […]

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Unrequited Horizons

In the summer of 2011, I nearly gave up writing altogether. That seems a bit silly now, considering all the stories that have happened since, but at the time we were winding up both Defense Command and His Majesty’s New World, and all I had left to work with was a loose collection of ideas […]

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Iceberg Reaches South Africa

Khaki-clad soldiers spent Saturday, July 26 advancing up a dry, grassy hill called Talana, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Some 115 years ago, this hill had been the site of the first battle of the Second Boer War; this time, the soldiers were members of the Dundee Diehard historical re-enactment team, and their foes were neither […]

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Monitor Reborn

When the Defense Command Fleet moved against Mercury, Wolf, Lion and Cyclops were tasked with a special job. Depending on whether you asked Wes Pellew, Mik Mikaelsen, or Ken Barron himself, you’d get different historical comparisons for their task: it was either sinking the Belgrano, or challenging the Graf Spee. The latter was my favorite […]

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DCN to RCN

Last week I was in Halifax, to join in the commemoration of the Battle of Atlantic. As my note last Thursday probably conveyed, I hugely enjoyed this visit –– it was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken, and considering some of the things we’ve been able to do at Iceberg, that’s saying a […]

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Cold Snap

This week in Waterloo, Ontario, we’re in the midst of a cold snap, with wind chills dropping to –26 degrees Celsius (that’s around –8 Fahrenheit to our non-metric friends). It’s pretty brisk, reminding me of the weather from my years in Lethbridge, Alberta… a very dry and sharp cold can cut through to your bones, […]

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