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Looking Good

Way back in 1980, when I was a 19-year-old Mathematics major at Memorial University of Newfoundland, I entered the Flare magazine $1000 Question essay contest. The question: Looking Good: Will it still matter in the liberated 80s?  Apparently what I wrote resonated with the editors, because much to my surprise and delight, I won the […]

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A Different Martini

The world as I see it is made up of two different kinds of people: those who hear the words ‘Martini Henry’ and think they refer to a guy called Henry who likes Martinis… and everyone else, who knows (obviously) that those words refer to one of the most iconic rifles in the history of […]

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Paying Respect

I am currently back in Waterloo. The reason for my visit isn’t a happy one –– Arthur Stephen, the person who brought me to this city and Wilfrid Laurier University in 1999 –– died suddenly last week. Boss, mentor and ultimately a fast friend, he is gone from us too suddenly and too soon, and […]

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Sound Checks

I am no musician. The only instrument I ever learned to play was the recorder (in elementary school) and that was terrible. I can’t sing worth a damn — as Jacqui once reported, I failed even to belt out “Old Man River” with Boba Fett when we were both guests at a convention. Music is […]

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Memories

One of my favorite science fiction series is set over the five-year period from 2231 to 2235, and written in a fourth-wall-shattering first person perspective by retired Admiral the Lord Ken Barron, some 30 years after the events. This affinity will come as no surprise to some readers who are also Defense Command fans, but […]

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Time To Count

I hate being late. I’m one of those guys who always prefers to turn up early, scope out the place, then decide on the best way to go in. Being early has many advantages… but sometimes circumstances demand you be late. For instance: we were supposed to release The Count last fall, but instead, we’ve […]

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A New Year

If anyone had asked me a year ago today what I’d be doing on December 31, 2014, I would have predicted that I’d be spending part of the day preparing graphs and charts for Iceberg’s annual planning meeting at Yummyaki restaurant in Waterloo, Ontario. We’d head there for about 6:00 p.m., and discuss both our […]

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Phase 2

We’re back online. After roughly seven months of disruption — getting a company moved 3,500 kilometres across the second-largest country in the world takes a fair amount of work — we’re finally able to resume author notes with some regularity… and that’s good, because while we were in transit, plenty happened that warrants discussion. First […]

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My Father’s Hands

The Iceberg partners, as Kenneth mentioned in his last Author Note, have returned to the land that inspired the new world in the His Majesty’s New World and Champions series. New career opportunities –– the kind that surprise you but you can’t ignore –– inspired the shared decision to empty our home in Ontario, and […]

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Return to the New World

Mountains, foothills, and wide open prairies –– by now, readers of His Majesty’s New World and Champions are familiar with the landscape of the planet that Britain and the United States began colonizing in 1881. Whether it be the Royal Newfoundland Regiment marching into the unknown in 1919, Alex and Stephanie fighting Scourge in 1942, […]

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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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Anywhere Is Possible

Today –– August 8th –– is my father’s birthday. It’s been 20 years since he’s been with us on this occasion, and more than that since we celebrated with a special supper, my mother’s homemade chocolate cake, an enthusiastic rendition of Happy Birthday to You, and brightly wrapped presents. On his last birthday in 1994, […]

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A Sign

This past weekend, Peter, Kenneth and I arrived in Gros Morne, Newfoundland for what has become something of an annual retreat for the Iceberg partners. The first year we visited – 2011 – we were lured by the Newfoundland Tourism television commercials. As I explain to people who aren’t from this part of the world, […]

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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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In Woody Point

I’m home in Newfoundland this week –– in the community of Woody Point in Gros Morne National Park. This is the fourth straight summer that I’ve made the pilgrimage back to this place, to stay in the same suites over the same bay, and hike the same land. To people who haven’t been here, that […]

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Friday Favorite: The Gift of Maya Angelou

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a new Author Note, and I offer an apology to my regular readers for that. I’ve actually been writing a lot in the last couple of months –– a project that had been idling for quite some time is back in full swing, and that’s occupied any […]

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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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Oh Shoot

After a couple of novellas on the sidelines, Stephanie Shylock got thrown back into the deep end with last month’s Scourge. Without spoiling too much, let me just say that if I’m ever trapped in the mountains, being chased by alien space monsters, there’s a very short list of humans I’d want to be stuck […]

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Happy Birthday

In my twenty-nine years, there’s been only one May 27th upon which I forgot to wish my mother a happy birthday. The ironic thing is that this wasn’t because I was away and it slipped my mind; the year was 2005, and she and I were on an Iceberg book tour in Lethbridge, Alberta. We […]

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Honour Guard

This past Sunday marked the end of National Nursing Week. This coming Sunday marks the eighth anniversary of my mother’s death. For me, the connection between the two is, and always will be, profound. Most people who know me know my mother was a nurse. She loved working in the Emergency Department, but moved from […]

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