Merry Christmas!

23 Dec

Hi, everyone

Before I say anything else, you can get some free books 24th-26th HERE.

It’s been a wild year, hasn’t it?

[Insert a lot, and I mean a lot, of grumbling here]

Anyway, the good news is that I have finished the first draft of The Stranded on Monday and am currently waiting on the edits.  It’s been fun to write, seeing it is a very different universe and I have big plans for the two remaining books if it takes off.  Provisional titles are The Land of Always Summer and The Reality Bubble.  I don’t know when The Stranded will come out, but I hope it will be soon.  My editor has been unwell, so things have slowed down a little.

The bad news is that I’ve had to change computers (again).  I ordered a top of the line machine and discovered, as always, that beating it into submission – and some kind of usable condition – is taking time.  The latest version of MS Word is even worse than the previous version, which I would have thought was impossible, and the screen is giving me headaches I can’t avoid and can’t do anything about.  I’ve adjusted the brightness and messed around with the resolution and, really, the results have been poor.  I’m still not used to it, which leaves me with a problem – my old machine was falling apart, which is why I changed in the first place, and my emergency backup machine isn’t designed for long-term use.  Sigh.

And I’m still feeling unwell.  My doctor gave me more antibiotics yesterday, after the last two sessions didn’t take.  (Apparently, I’ve got something bacterial.) 

My current plans for the early months of 2022 start with Endeavour, a new Ark Royal book that may either be the start of a trilogy or stand-alone, depending on how it shakes out.  It’s set in the post-war universe, with the human race discovering the remnants of a fantastically advanced race that may be dead and gone … or maybe not.  Then there will be the start of a new series, hopefully part of a shared universe, followed by The Infused Man.  And then … well, we’ll see.

It’s my son’s birthday today, so I have to go make a cake.  See you all later.

And if I don’t post again, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my readers.


21 Responses to “Merry Christmas!”

  1. Derek Haig December 23, 2021 at 11:47 am #

    I feel your pain with MS word! Thankfully I don’t have to use it a lot. Most of computer usage is on apple devices.
    Hope the course of medication is successful and that your cake baking skills are on parr with your writing skills. Excellent!!

  2. davidmatthewson December 23, 2021 at 12:44 pm #

    Happy birthday for your son, get well – please! – and Happy Christmas.

  3. Bill December 23, 2021 at 1:35 pm #

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well!

  4. Rob Montgomery December 23, 2021 at 2:41 pm #

    Merry Christmas Chris and Family! I wish for you the very best new year!

  5. William Ameling December 23, 2021 at 3:07 pm #

    What happened with Family Secret? I thought it would have been out by now.

    • chrishanger December 24, 2021 at 2:07 pm #

      My editor is poorly. I’m just waiting on her.


  6. Alejandro December 23, 2021 at 3:58 pm #

    All the new monitors come with the bright and contrast too high, I don’t know why. The first thing I do when I bough one is to dismish it.

  7. Fred Mora December 23, 2021 at 4:04 pm #

    Get well soon!

    Regarding Word Woes, I completely understand. The poor usability and reliability of word processors has led me to avoid them completely. I use a text editor and either simple markup (such as Markdown) to generate epub format, or LaTeX to typeset books. The productivity gain is worth the learning curve. In your case, if you use Windows, you could probably be fine with a simple text editor such as Notepad++ and use either an online converter, or the Pandoc program, to generate epub.

  8. ruopp December 23, 2021 at 6:22 pm #

    Thank you!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and all your family.

  9. Damian December 23, 2021 at 7:38 pm #

    As always I’m impressed and inspired by your drive and creativity. As a recent purchaser of a new desktop PC, I feel your pain. Have a good Christmas and thanks for all the stories.

  10. Cathy Howat December 23, 2021 at 8:01 pm #

    Merry Christmas.

    Get Outlook for Android ________________________________

  11. randallberger December 23, 2021 at 8:13 pm #

    Sounds like you have a Windoze machine. Time to get a Macintosh. Since 11986, I have never had a compatibility issue.

  12. Joaquin Castillo Escoriaza December 23, 2021 at 8:24 pm #

    Great that there is more AR coming along. Do make this a new trilogy!

  13. 500csm December 23, 2021 at 9:20 pm #

    Your health is more important. We’ll wait and read whatever you put out.

  14. Michael December 24, 2021 at 4:51 am #

    Hey Chris,

    I’m not saying don’t take the antibacterial medication, but if they aren’t working that well, try adding natural foods that have potent antimicrobial effects. The best one I know of is oregano oil; it can be used topically but also orally (add 10-20 drops to water, it is a strong flavor so be aware). Garlic of course, and I think Grapeseed oil (don’t quote me on that one). I seem to remember an episode of Joe Rogan’s podcast where Dr. Rhonda Patrick talked about clearing MRSA after the antibacterial treatment wouldn’t clear it permanently with that trifecta.

    Hope you get well soon and conquer your computer woes.


  15. Philip Peake December 24, 2021 at 10:03 pm #

    I know what you mean about the new version of Word. I treated myself to a new laptop (Mac). I have to use Word because a lot of the people I work with do, so bought a new license for a stand-alone version (I refuse to subscribe to software).

    Well, it seems that the new stand-alone versions are really the “cloud” versions, just without a subscription and no obligatory connection to cloud services – although it does keep trying to trap you into using them at every step.

    I think they have been trying to make it lighter-weight because of the “need” to run it from “the cloud”. And failed pretty badly at backwards compatibility and functionality.

    I used the default style to write up a document for a client.
    Who ever thought that headings should be blue? And who thought it ok not to have at least one blank line before (and maybe after) a heading?

    So I tried to alter the style. Same way I have altered them a million times before. Added a blank like before, and one after, applied to the whole document … and it changed only the one I was editing rather than applying globally. Even worse, when I tried to undo the chanfe to have another go, it made he change, but didn’t change the document formatting… I ended up manually inserting the white space that I wanted.

    It appears to be badly broken in several ways. Which I REALLY object to given the price of the license.

    One day, give a Mac a try. I doubt that you will ever go back.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, and hope you all start feeling better very soon.


    • randallberger December 24, 2021 at 11:12 pm #

      I agree with Philip … Once you go Mac, you won’t go back!

      I have been a Machead since 1986 when I got my first Mac … a B/W Tombstone Mac Plus … still works and I still have it! Maybe to show the grand kids … My three daughters are Gen Whys and Zeds and born with a mouse in their hands and learned on this machine.

      If you have to downgrade to your previous version of Word for compatibility, you can that on a Mac … Make sure it is stand-alone version and you don’t have to log on or be networked for it to run. When I had to join the Dark Side for work, that used to drive me spare!

      Happy Holidays … Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, Pagan Tannenbaum … whatever … Is your wife making Malaysian-style Fried Chicken? Is it a White Christmas? We had 90F yesterday in Castlemaine!



  16. Jeff Norton December 24, 2021 at 11:43 pm #

    Hi Chris – glad for the message!

    As for Word issues, I’m with you. Our next iteration for family use will be Office Libre – its far more functionable, works 90-ish% like MS’s travesty, and is active on the computer, not cloud dependent, and compatable with previous saved DOC extension work . I’ve been on the Office testing team for work, and have begged going to Office Libre, like other GOV agencies, since it seems to work better (and have less issues than 365) but its fallen on deaf ears, and (probably) hefty chicanery from our MS Oriface rep.

    Happy B-day to the young one – better days ahead!

    Happy Holidays and best wishes. Raw garlic in your food will help with the illness – its been working for me, since all the issued meds cause stomach issues and have not worked. Lemon water with ground ginger root also seems to help.

    TTFN, -Jeff

  17. Reader December 25, 2021 at 3:10 pm #

    You might find it interesting –

    It’s a blog post written by a software developer (who also published a book, though it’s a technical manual, not fiction) as an illustration on how much effort it takes to format a whole book with LibreOffice. He also has a post about using Scribus for the same purpose.
    Obviously, being a software developer, he would recommend LaTeX, but that it clearly beyond your reach, and for your purposes probably an overkill anyway.

    If your display gives you headaches, try researching that, and maybe send it back and exchange it for a different model. I’m very well-versed in PC displays, but headaches is something that I never had to worry about, so that’s all I can advise. Low refresh rate can be very irritating, but you have to REALLY go out of your way to get anything lower than 60Hz on modern displays. Some people mentioned white LED backlight vs blue LED backlight or somesuch, but I suspect that it’s just marketing crap. PWM modulation ( see ) can cause headaches. Never been a problem for me, but maybe it’s your case

    Get better soon.

  18. Steve December 26, 2021 at 2:38 pm #

    This may be pie in the sky, but I vaguely remember a story about someone (probably the Chinese) coming out with the first eink laptop system. I’ve never had any problems reading with eink, and can’t really spend a lot of time using regular monitors. Who knows, it might help?

    • Reader December 27, 2021 at 1:32 pm #

      eInk has poor color representation and sluggish refresh rate. Sure, the technology is getting better, but it’s still a far cry from LCD or OLED. It also requires external lighting. But – yes, it’s totally easy on the eyes.

      P.S. my previous comment seems to have been relegated to the spam bin 😦

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