New Book: A Learning Experience II–Hard Lessons!

14 Oct

Fifty years after Steve Stuart and his friends captured an alien starship, the Solar Union is a thriving interstellar power, while Earth is increasingly backwards and falling into barbarism. For two youngsters from Earth, the Solar Union offers the only chance they will ever have to make something of their lives …

But humanity’s involvement in Galactic affairs has not gone unnoticed. The enigmatic masters of the universe have put together a fleet to crush the upstart humans before they can threaten the precarious balance of power. Pushed to the limits, the Solar Union must fight to defend its freedom – and the existence of the human race.

Download a FREE SAMPLE, then purchase it from Kindle HERE!

[Like my other self-published Kindle books, Hard Lessons is DRM-free. You may reformat it as you choose.]

15 Responses to “New Book: A Learning Experience II–Hard Lessons!”

  1. Dennis The Menace October 14, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

    Alright! Galt’s Gulch In Space!

    • chrishanger October 14, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

      A little like that Chris Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2014 17:12:31 +0000 To:

      • David P. Graf October 16, 2014 at 1:41 am #

        Given that it’s built within us to dislike that which is unlike us, I think that the relative lack of racial and ethnic discrimination portrayed in the Solar Union is just not believable. But, I enjoy the book very much!

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard October 16, 2014 at 4:30 am #

        It is “built in to dislike the different” but the “different” doesn’t have to be racially or ethnically different.

        IMO the “different” for the citizens of the Solar Union are those who reject the common “creed” of the Solar Union.

        So Citizens of the Solar Union aren’t concerned about racial or ethnic difference as long as individuals follow the common “creed”.

        It likely took a lot of work to create the belief in the common “creed” but remember that the Founders (mainly military) were careful in selecting the original citizens of the Solar Union.

        The US military is not concerned about race or ethnic background but was mainly concerned about “can you do the job”.

        People who were racist (either against whites or against minorities) were not among the first pick to be asked to become citizens of the infant Solar Union.

        Even after the Founders went public IIRC they weren’t interested in people who were racist or bigoted (in a real sense) against people with different ethnic backgrounds.

        Mind you, we did see evidence of “strong dislikes” in the Solar Union citizens.

        They strongly disliked people who thought their ethnic/religious background deserved special treatment.

        There was evidence of a strong dislike for people who remained on Earth or people who thought Earth customs were better than Solar Union customs.

        Of course, Chris doesn’t create utopias so there’s room for other bias to develop among the people of the Solar Union but IMO the bias won’t be because of racial differences among humans or because of different human ethnic backgrounds. [Smile]

      • chrishanger October 16, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

        That’s very true Chris Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2014 03:30:26 +0000 To:

      • chrishanger October 16, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

        It’s hard to be racist when anyone can change their skin colour to … well, anything. . Chris Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2014 00:41:45 +0000 To:

  2. johntae71 October 16, 2014 at 5:31 am #

    The Basic cybernetic implants that every Citizen is required to have already separates them from the ground “apes” on Earth. That and the longevity treatments Union citizens enjoy already separate them from Earth Humanity.

  3. wraiththirteen October 16, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

    I would give this book 4/5.
    The first book appeared to be every sci fi fans fantasy, pretty much getting everything they ever dreamed of for pretty much free. Then as they changed the world consiquences happened. There was no putting the genie back in the bottle. I thought it was really great because you got out of your comfort zone.
    Even though hard lessons was well written I find it somewhat disappointing because I feel you went back into your comfort zone. Generally you write stories where the heroes are more skilled and better equipped but out numbered by some enemy (basically the normal space opera). In a learning experience that theme was a secondary theme to the genie is out of the bottle theme. In hard lessons you went back to your comfort zone, granted the space opera theme probably sells more books, but I think you would have grown more as an author for you to stay out of your comfort zone.
    Your comfort zone is to write about the military especially marines, the problem is that the solar union is a very different government than any on earth but its military is very similar to any military. Military’s tend to run pretty similarly no matter where it is. For instance how does the solar union tax people? Or how many groups start a colony where only people in their group can take part? How are the crab aliens integrating with the human population? Are the aliens trying to act human? If so is a two parent home good for their psycology? How does growing up with the internet in your head effect you? I am sure that anyone without unlimited data at all times would find them a little odd. Is living on an asteroid preferable to living on a planet or its just better because you dont have to be around the people you left? Are licenses required for anything? Do some of the settlements require licenses while others dont? What is the AI’s motivation? Have they had their own whiskey rebellion? Whats it like to live on or grow up on a half terraformed mars/venus? What jobs are available when a factor can build anything just by uploading a design? Do they grow food on the asteroid settlements, or is the food bought from earth? I would encourage you to go out of your comfort zone and do something similar to farmer in the sky with this series somewhere along the line. Again I dont think you did a bad job I was just hoping you would stay out of your comfort zone.

    • chrishanger October 17, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

      I didn’t want to dwell on the collapse of Earth TOO much .

      The Solar Union’s military is derived, quite literally, from the US military, so it tends to mimic the idealized US Army/Marines/Etc. I didn’t think that a military could work on anarchist principles, unless it’s the Culture (where the ships are self-aware on a far greater scale than any of the SU’s AIs.)

      I’m not sure how to make any of the ideas you suggest entertaining. Something akin to the Whiskey Rebellion … maybe have some SU citizens intend to intervene on Earth and others objecting to this? I was planning to touch on something like this in the third book, although I wasn’t going to make it the centrepiece.

      The Solar Union doesn’t prevent anyone from setting up their own Canton – there’s only two rules; you must allow datanet access and you must allow unrestricted emigration. In the long run, Steve et al calculated that Cantons that denied political freedom would wither and die as their populations voted with their feet and left. It might be fun to write a short story about someone leaving such a Canton, but I don’t know how entertaining it would be.

      I’ll give it some thought, but I don’t know how easy it would be to do something else.


      Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2014 20:28:10 +0000 To:

      • wraiththirteen October 17, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

        I dont think you can run a military any differently either, and I understand you got to make stuff entertaining. It wouldnt be a stretch to see a whiskey rebellion over the unrestricted emigration to cantons, for instance where is the line between property rights and emigration rights? In hard lessons there was a news clip about a bunch of Muslim women who were emigrating after being raped and beaten by their husbands, what are the chances of them wanting to start a canton without any men? Why cant they just say there is no more property on their canton so no more emigration? How do they keep terrorist from earth from blowing an airlock? I was actually a little surprised that not everyone was expected to go through an anti terrorist questioning session. Heck whats to stop someone leaving earth and stalking someone who left earth to run from them? As political groups get run out of earth how do you keep them from taking over/ruining the solar union?
        Personally I think if you can make the civilian side of the solar union entertaining you will grow a few levels as an author. I dont think you realize how fantastic of a world you made. You gave Ann Rand big nods and her best work dealt with civilians. Get out of your comfort zone I want to see how much better you get.

  4. David P. Graf October 17, 2014 at 12:48 am #

    Just one typo in chapter 40. “After spending two weeks meditating while the Coalition and the Varnar haggled” should probably read “After spending two weeks mediating…”

  5. Robin Angell November 20, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    I loved this book and look forward to book 3.

    • chrishanger November 20, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

      Cool! It’s on the way.


      Sent from my iPad


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