December 6, 2020

First Contact (Review)

f you don’t like Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams, you might as well stop here. Because First Contact, by Evan Mandery, is very much in this class of storytelling. Me, I loved it. Written in 2010, it’s got a clueless president (so dense and self-centered, it’s nearly prophetic). It’s got his aide, Ralph, the hapless young man who he sends to get his sub sandwich lunches. It’s got Ralph’s new girlfriend, who is second-guessing her decision of going to law school. And it’s got the ambassador from Rigel, who is a bit of a practical joker, and his own aide […]
April 21, 2023

On Sheet – It don’t come easy

get a lot of complements (and bragging rights) from my dispatching. I’ve sat down cold in many, many sessions and made the railroad jump. I’m blessed at being good at something I really enjoy. But it didn’t come easy. Sure, years ago I was the hot-shot dispatcher in the Orlando Round Robin group (the big fish in the poop pond). Most of our dispatching was mother-may-I (which is a very simple way of dispatching where the dispatcher tells the trains (often by the engineer’s first name) where to go and what to do). If you are just starting out (or […]