Ministry of Bombs (New Release!)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

On the Struggle Trilogy and accompanying material

Though this post is about The Struggle Trilogy, it's also about the focus of the book as well (read Baghdad, read Iraq, read the Middle East).

In my opinion, fiction and non-fiction are separate, but the line between is quite blurred. Nevertheless, The Struggle Trilogy, a novel about Baghdad which I published in 2012, sits comfortably in the fiction section. Well received in certain quarters (one review, two review, three), I have nonetheless heard from some people who might not agree with the shift in their preconceptions.

So here are a two very important articles (by the great Dexter Filkins) covering some of the ground, which cover some of the ground that my novel does. First is an article on the Quds commander, Qassem (for you readers out there, you will note that it is the main Iranian's name as well). The article, top notch work, traces a handful of feats that the Quds has indeed carried out, as well its influence on events through out the region.

The second article, focuses on Iraq, but gives a good overview of what was left behind with regards to the sectarian political games (and very dangerous ones) being played. I highly recommend both articles for all those who are interested in Iraq, and for all those readers of The Struggle Trilogy. If you haven't read it, check out the free short story The Struggle today.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Short I'm working on

People have asked, and yes the next installation of Gods Fail (The last one as well) is being worked on, as is another project, though I'm not sure this one has a similar large reach.

For now, here is a short piece:

Monday, April 7, 2014

[OM] What to consider when reviewing books/Also, how to review a book.

What should one consider when rating and reviewing a book?

With ratings (the 1-5 stars for this book) so ubiquitous now that we have the internet—though I like that ability to have a say—it seems that all books are being considered on the same plain. Yet I have the inkling that some stories simply shouldn't be rated on the same five star system as others.

I'm going to discuss what I look for in a book when I'm ready to rate it. In the end such matters can only be idiosyncratic (some people look for a riveting plot and neatly tied ends, while others look for prose and nothing resembling a plot), but I hope to at least provide a template for a rating scheme that will possibly address all of these issues.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

[OM] On what makes a classic (Literature!(?))

What makes a classic book? Now even the experts disagree, so perhaps I should rephrase the question as: What kind of book do I consider to be a classic (or is it Literature)? Indeed, I have issues with some books considered classics today. So take what follows with this in mind (though, to be fair, I do differentiate between classics I merely don't like but can see why they're revered, versus ones I like, versus ones I have no clue why people like). In the end, reading is a very personal affair. Something that occurs between the reader and the author.

Also, in my mind, this discussion is intertwined with the argument of what makes a great book today? But it seems to me that the criteria one uses to say a book is a classic should be applied to modern books and that in of itself will allow you to predict which books in the contemporary era will make it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Another Interview

Just wanted to point everyone towards another interview here. Check it out.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

[OM] On the new news paradigm.

Also titled:
On Bill Maher's notes on the news.

I've just watched and listened to Bill Maher's New Rules (from, I believe the earlier part of this month—March 2014) and I want to discuss something that has been going around: the hatred for the new paradigm of news: that people are only seeing what they want, and a second matter on the lack of journalists bringing down the level of news.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

To keep the thoughts here (with excerpt)

Another short piece as I finish up the final epic story about labyrinths. This one is short and meant to be an interview scrounged up from the archives of a distant intelligence apparatus of a distant Empire

Read below and enjoy!

Friday, March 28, 2014

[OM] On keeping people away for 10000 years and more

Do not trespass: How one keeps people away from a site for 10k, perhaps 100k years? The original article is here. And some of the warnings are here.

This is the problem facing scientists who are trying to cover/bury and keep covered radioactive nuclear waste. This is, to say the least, a very unique situation. How would you keep people (assuming you can keep out the elements and so forth) away for 10000 years, or perhaps longer?

Sunday, March 23, 2014


While you wait for some more pieces, here's another great post from out there in the internets. On the reasons why it seems (for some of us) that our nation so easily falls into the same ruts over and over. Mull it over.

A great article on Veteran PTSD

I have to commend Rose for another great post (and check it out as soon as you can); this one concerns veterans and their adjustment to back home. Rose is doing research on the matter and in this post attempts (doing a masterful job, I might add) to tackle the specific lack of assimilation to civilian life when veterans return. One can think of this when veterans see people worrying about things that seem to be trivial, and perhaps even shallow. Now, whether this is a valid complaint is not the argument; it simply remains that many veterans find it hard to adjust because of this reason.

This, of course, is one of many such avenues (or variables in a complex formula, if you will) that Rose is looking into. I wish him luck (or perseverance, which seems like it should be more helpful) in his endeavors. But for all of you out there, check it out as soon as you can!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Just to note

I want to thank John for the great review on The Struggle Trilogy. For a short time (until 2014 April 02nd) use NH85B as a coupon for 50% off the ebook, at this link HERE.

That's it for now. Enjoy!

Read the news (how to)

On Reading the News in the Internet Age

Any intellectual worth his salt, any citizen of any democracy/republic, or anyone who wishes to see the world as true as can be must come across the issue of how to read the news (though to be fair, there is some value in only reading the news to stay in tune with the currents of your fellow man). I'm referring to how one can gather the best news possible without being misled.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

And so it goes.

Here we are: this is a short, though more of a flash fiction piece than anything. Also, it's about life and not about anything else. 

Soon I'll add another story:

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Best Books of the 21st Century

Update (10.4.2014) This list will be two. The first part will focus on books I think will make it far into the future, while the bottom half (after the handful of recommendations by others) will focus on good books, but ones that don't seem as likely to make it far into the future.

(27.2.2014) It's hard to claim a book is either "The one" or will even be talked about in ten years, let alone fifty or a hundred, but one must at least swing for the books that one cares about (or believes will make posterity—whoever they are—somewhat happy or sufficiently sad). Some might say wait a few years (I've heard that one must wait at least 20-30 years to properly judge a book), but there will be time for that later.

The date has been added so that should anything change, I will add a new date and put it at the bottom.

In the mean time, below the jump is a list of books which I have found to be disturbing in a sense, and as these usually bring about some dissonance in me I assume that they will stick in others' heads as well. Please feel free to add any you believe are missing from this list.

Best Books of the 20th Century

This post will be constantly updated, but I'm going to list the best (to be defined here as books that seem to have lasting import and which have depth, ie speak to a large portion of humanity and the fragility within us all.. as told by me) books, IMHO, of the previous century (yes, it's an arbitrary time period to choose, but I'll use it for now. Probably best to think of human time in epochs, with major changes involved... not for now, however). I won't rank them, though I'll try and give at least a few reasons for them, and keep the ones closest to my mind up top. As usual (and if my taste in books over the past decade are any indication) I will change and drop certain books whenever needed. I'll try to keep those that have dropped out, for whatever reason, at the bottom with that in mind. And you're more than welcome to add your own two cents.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Writing and getting some pieces out.

I'll include shorts that I have decided not to publish as ebooks soon enough. I am working on editing a novel and hope that Spring (a season that sounds like foreign land I've only heard of in books with the temperatures this winter) 2014 will allow for this book to come out.

A couple things. I have a short article on writing "The Struggle Trilogy" here.

And I also want to direct people's attention to a documentary that's out, on the Korean War. The trailer is here. And it's available on Amazon here.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

More thoughts on Diary of a Man in Despair

Writing is coming along well, and there should be a couple shorts and more coming out soon. I will, hopefully, have parts of a short out here soon.

I wanted to further discuss the book I read recently, Diary of a Man in Despair (New York Review Books Classics). The book has found itself as the basis for a lot of my thoughts recently and I wanted to delve into why this is (btw any book that sinks its teeth into my mind like this is, no matter its flaws, definitely a candidate for the title "classic").

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A note on another great book

I could say more, but I'll keep it short and sweet: About a man in Germany during the Nazi Regime. He goes off on many screes, some more insightful than others. But through it all you can see a man who is cut by the fall of a country he loves. Check it out with the link below.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

New books up and at you

I'm not anticipating another book for some time. There's a short novella in the works (being edited), as well as a couple short stories which I'm still shopping around. I don't anticipate putting these up for some time.

There is another novel that I'll finish soon. It's very unique and different from all my previous books. Writing it has been an interesting experience. To some levels it's been influenced by my recent readings of Borges (though I dare not say it's near his level).

As time goes I'll put up some excerpts.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Another Review for The Struggle

There's another solid review for The Struggle Trilogy done by Cate at
Thanks Cate!
You can find the full review here. Many thanks to Cate for reviewing!
And for those who want a try, you can buy the book Here .