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Speculative fiction writer from Canada. See his work in AltCoin Magazine, Gizmogrind, and other places. Get exclusive content

You need these five books if you want to improve your writing

I just turned 45 — although I still feel 30 — and despite a long(ish) writing career, there are new things I learn every day. The old adage that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks doesn’t apply in this case. Perhaps because I’m not that old, and I’m not a dog.

Instead, I devour books and learn new tricks. I read the classics with great enthusiasm: Dickens, Dostoevsky, Hemmingway. I also lose myself in modern works of fiction as well as biographies and memoirs. Each book…

Sales are on the decline, but there is hope for the future of books

The lineup formed at the entrance of the bookstore around 10 pm. By the time the doors opened the next morning, the line stretched around the block. The store was Trident Booksellers in Boston, and it was summer 2007. People around the world clamored for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was part seven of the series and at 67 million copies sold, one of the top ten best selling books in history. Little did anybody know it at the time, but 2007 would be the high water mark of physical book sales. Never again would books be so…

God may speak to some directly, but everyone else requires a plan

One indestructible myth in the world of writing is that writers simply need to write from the soul, and the words will speak for themselves. Like old-Testament prophets repeating the words of God himself, writers are expected to be pure creatives. Successful writers are magically born with artistic genius.

That’s all nonsense.

Writing is a craft. One is not born to write. No baby appears from the womb able to read and write. Like any craft, writing is something that is learned through study and practice. …

The last 100 days of the Great War were a preview of the next one…

It’s only been five years since Cindy Skaggs gave the world that zinger. Published in 2016, Fight By The Team is a thinly-veiled trash romance novel that involves a torrid affair between a special forces sergeant and a beautiful chemist. Nevertheless, this quote stands out. Why? Because it is a nugget of truth that soldiers around the world have recognized since 1916. For the German soldiers of the Western Front in 1918, it was particularly terrible.

It’s been 103 years since Foch unleashed his 100 Days Offensive. Once Germany’s Operation Michael ground to a halt outside Amiens, it was the…

I can't stop laughing at this. Definitely saved this article. Question: did an AI really write this? Because if so, the human race is doomed. I didn't see any Terminators with sass like that.

and three reasons I wouldn’t do anything else

Bad news. Professional writing isn’t something you can love. If you love writing because it clears your soul or some such wishy-washy nonsense, then you’ve got a hobby. That’s not a career.

Pro-level writing is a job. It’s a rather shitty job when you add everything all up. And I can’t imagine doing anything else.

The Pay Is Low

Leutnant Wilhelm Biltz saw the three British tanks lumbering towards him and instantly knew he was about to do make history. He was going to engage enemy tanks with his tank. His A7V tank stood astride the main railway line to Amiens. The other two tanks in his command flanked him on either side. His tank, named Nixe, sported a 57mm main gun and six Maxim machine guns. He had 17 men crammed inside the humongous “land battleship,” all of them perspiring in the heat. As the English Mk IV tanks slowly crawled into view, Biltz gave the order: “Fire!”

Want to know a secret? It may offend you, so be prepared. My secret is that I don’t consider self-publishing as a badge of honour. People who self-publish are not “authors,” in my books. Sure, they are writers, but I only consider an author to be someone who has written something good enough to be chosen by a traditional publishing house for publication. Am I elitist? Perhaps.

Why is that?

Prestige Of Being Published

For starters, if anyone can do it, it’s not art. Writing a book is art. In fact, writing a book so good that a team of profit-motivated people want to…

Too bad for content mills. Their business model has been disrupted by the biggest player on the block: Medium. The hordes of dreamy internet sensations who take work designing SEO-driven clickbait for peanuts per word have all flocked from Fiverr. Now, Medium is the best place on the internet for an unending stream of clickbait titles followed by mind-numbing lifehack articles.

Let’s not forget about those content mills. They were the scourge of the internet. I use the past-tense because, although they’re still around and seemingly doing better than ever, their days are numbered. Not only did people become sick…

There are more than 1500 cryptocurrencies out there, and most will never reach the mainstream. ETH and DAI are exceptions. When DAI broke the $1 billion market cap in late 2020, people noticed. A lot of people started to ask “What the heck is DAI?” and, “Should I buy ETH or DAI?”

The simple explanation is that ETH and DAI are not competitors. Instead, they are both cryptocurrencies powered by the Ethereum blockchain. That said, they are quite different from each other, and serve different purposes.

Take a closer look.

The Ethereum Blockchain

For starters, both ETH and DAI exist on the Ethereum…

Nathan A Drescher

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