My (fictional) answer to climate change is underwater cities

Once upon a time I was a US Navy submarine officer. Those six years on active duty were packed with experiences that I mine every day in my life as a writer. Surprisingly, I’ve written very few submarine stories—until now.

My short story “Fathom the Ocean, Deep and Still” is in the latest issue of Compelling Science Fiction magazine. It’s a futuristic tale about an underwater, bio-engineered city going through a growth spurt of sorts.

You can read the story for free HERE.

But before you click on that free link, you should know that Compelling Science Fiction pays pro rates to writers (like me). If you can afford the $3.60 to buy the issue on Amazon, I’m sure the magazine producers would be very appreciative.

Better yet, check out their Patreon page. For less than $2 a month, you can get every bi-monthly issue (in Kindle or EPUB format) the day it is released.


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David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles and numerous speculative fiction short works. In his spare time, he co-authors contemporary thrillers with titles like Weapons of Mass Deceptiona story of modern-day nuclear terrorism. Get the David Bruns Starter Library for free.


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My Short Story “Dyad” Gets a Podcast Makeover

As I posted on my Facebook page earlier this week, I have good news and I have bad news.

First the good: my short story “Dyad,” originally published in The Cyborg Chronicles, was sold to the StarShipSofa podcast who turned into a great audio experience.

“Dyad” is a futuristic cop story. When two federal agents from TechDiv show up in the TaylorTech parking lot, CEO Dr. John Taylor worries that his cybernetic parts company is in for an unannounced inspection. Then he learns his daughter may be in danger from a rogue cyborg and the feds need his help.

On the flip side, they managed to misspell my last name on their website as Burns, instead of Bruns. Never fear, it’s really me! Even after 50 years, hearing your family name mispronounced never gets old. (They have promised to fix it.)

Give it a listen here. The story starts at about the 5:15 mark if you want to skip the parts where the commentator butchers my surname over and over again…


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David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles and numerous speculative fiction short works. In his spare time, he co-authors contemporary thrillers with titles like Weapons of Mass Deceptiona story of modern-day nuclear terrorism. Get the David Bruns Starter Library for free.


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PARADISI CHRONICLES: An Open Source Sci-Fi Universe

Another world. Another chance…

cw-paradisi-ebookIn the last decades of the twenty-first century, seeking to escape a devastated Earth, ten families focus on constructing spaceships to colonize the world they call New Eden, in the Paradisi System. But the world they claim for their own is already inhabited, and the Ddaerans, although human in appearance, possess abilities that the Founders and their descendants do not…

Twelve authors take us on that incredible journey with adventurers, scientists and colonists, as they push the boundaries against the unknown, against alien civilization, and themselves.

I’m thrilled to be a part of a new Chronicle Worlds anthology by Samuel Peralta.

Introducing Paradisi Chronicles, an open-source sci-fi world where writers can create their own stories within a larger framework universe.

Here’s a sample of “A Touch of Deceit”.

My contribution to the collection is “A Touch of Deceit,” a neo-noir mystery set on the planet of New Eden where rookie agent Gideon Thorndike is called on to solve a murder using his very unique skillset.

For a limited time, The Paradisi Chronicles is on sale for 99 pennies!


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David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles and numerous speculative fiction short works. In his spare time, he co-authors contemporary thrillers with titles like Weapons of Mass Deceptiona story of modern-day nuclear terrorism. Get the David Bruns Starter Library for free.


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Writing a Novel About Terrorism: When Fiction Becomes Reality

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When JR and I set out to write Jihadi Apprentice, we intended for it to be fiction–realistic fiction, mind you, but still fiction.

Sometimes art imitates life and sometimes it’s the other way around.

I explored what it means to write a novel about homegrown terrorism in an age of homegrown terrorism in a guest post over at The Angry Staff Officer.

Please take a moment to give it a read.


David Bruns & JR Olson, AKA the Two Navy Guys, are proud Minnesotans, US Navy veterans and co-authors of “ripped from the headlines” thrillers about current events, like Weapons of Mass Deception.  Join the Two Navy Guys Readers Group and get a free copy of Death of a Pawn, an international murder mystery.


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Book Review: KING PESO by Carmen Amato

Grab a margarita and come on down to Acapulco . . . If you can take the heat.

61kk2ia9i2lKING PESO, the latest Emilia Cruz mystery from author Carmen Amato, is a smart, fast police procedural with a spicy local flair.

Detective Cruz breaks all the rules: she’s a strong woman in a man’s world, has a handsome gringo boyfriend, and a way of poking her nose in places that her superiors would rather not have examined. In this fourth installment of the series, Emilia is hoping to crack the infamous El Trio murders, a series of related killings of high-ranking police officers, but flamboyant Mayor Carlota has other ideas. Carlota wants Emilia to form an all-female squad of police officers to demonstrate to tourists how safe Acapulco really is. In the midst of all this, Emilia’s partner’s wife is murdered in cold blood—an extension of the El Trio murders? Cruz finds that inquiring minds are not welcome here.

Buy KING PESO from Amazon

While Amato’s stories of Cruz and her adventures are wonderful, what really makes these novels pop is the setting. This is not some watered down version of a nameless Mexican resort town, this is the gritty side of Acapulco from someone who has walked the streets and talked with the residents. In the world of Cruz, the city is a character, one Emilia dances with every day, one she alternately loves and hates and will never leave—no matter how much she wants to. For all its color and its crime, all its joy and its poverty, Cruz is Acapulco and Acapulco is Cruz, imperfections and all.

If you’re tired of the same old “cop catches bad guy” novel, Emilia Cruz offers an exciting twist on a familiar story line. Well worth your time.


David Bruns & JR Olson, AKA the Two Navy Guys, are proud Minnesotans, US Navy veterans and co-authors of “ripped from the headlines” thrillers about current events, like Weapons of Mass Deception.  Join the Two Navy Guys Readers Group and get a free copy of Death of a Pawn, an international murder mystery.


 

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New Release: JIHADI APPRENTICE by the Two Navy Guys

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Last summer, after crowdfunding and publishing Weapons of Mass Deception, we started to think about a storyline for the sequel. We knew two things: (1) we wanted the sequel to feature the Minneapolis and (2) we wanted the topic to be timely.

The big headlines in the Minneapolis newspapers at the time were about young men being recruited to fight for ISIS. This phenomenon didn’t make sense to us: why would native-born American citizens of any ethnic background want to fight for a terrorist organization?

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So we started asking questions. We talked to people in law enforcement. We got introductions to and spoke with people in the Somali community. Then we had lunch with a mutual friend who also happens to be a criminology professor who specializes in gangs.

He described why terrorist groups, like gangs, appeal to young men in their teens and early twenties. At that age, young people are looking for meaning in their lives. The idea of belonging to a cause, of fighting for something you believe in, is very attractive. He also talked about the powerful role of women in gang culture. Then he said the thing that sparked a novel:

“Radicalization begins with personal relationships.”

The premise for Jihadi Apprentice was born at that moment. Our book was not about terrorism, it was about how someone became a terrorist. Recruitment is a many-layered, dark game of manipulation and seduction. That was our story.

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Here’s what a few early readers are saying:

“There is authenticity here – from the chain of command and interagency cooperation described to the weapons, protocols and military toys.”

“…a unique and delightfully surprising aspect of this novel is its focus on women characters—on both sides.”

“This book was engrossing, exciting, intriguing, and plausible to the point of being scary!”

“Your favorite characters from WMD all return, but it’s the new ones you need to watch out for!”


David Bruns & JR Olson, AKA the Two Navy Guys, are proud Minnesotans, US Navy veterans and co-authors of “ripped from the headlines” thrillers about current events, like Weapons of Mass Deception.  Join the Two Navy Guys Readers Group and get a free copy of Death of a Pawn, an international murder mystery.


 

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Once Upon A Crime Bookstore Presents JIHADI APPRENTICE

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We are beyond happy that Minneapolis independent bookstore and literary landmark Once Upon a Crime is hosting our first-ever Book Launch Party for Jihadi Apprentice, the sequel to Weapons of Mass Deception.

Not in Minnesota? Can’t make it? No problem

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An Unlikely Minnesota Story

Last summer, after we successfully crowdfunded and published Weapons of Mass Deception, we started looking for a subject for the sequel. We knew we wanted this book to have direct story connection to Minnesota. In WMD, we made the mistake of burying the Minnesota link in the second half of the book, which makes it really hard to market the novel to a local audience!

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David and JR signing copies of their 2015 novel Weapons of Mass Deception.

Jihadi Apprentice tackles a serious issue in the Twin Cities: homegrown radicalism of young local Somalia-American men. While our book is fiction, it started by us reading a series of news articles about ISIS recruiting in the local Somali-American population. Unfortunately, the fact that the main news story now—a year later—is the ISIS trials is further proof that this issue is here to stay.

Stop by the Once Upon a Crime mystery bookstore on Wednesday, June 15th, from 7-9PM to say hello and pick up your signed copy of Jihadi Apprentice.


David Bruns & JR Olson, AKA the Two Navy Guys, are proud Minnesotans, US Navy veterans and co-authors of “ripped from the headlines” thrillers about current events, like Weapons of Mass Deception.  Join the Two Navy Guys Readers Group and get a free copy of Death of a Pawn, an international murder mystery.


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Two Navy Guys and the Big Media Weekend

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When it rains it pours, and there’s been a lot of rain here at Two Navy Guys HQ.

Thing #1 – Book Signing this Saturday for Weapons of Mass Deception

If you’re anywhere near Minneapolis this Saturday, April 23rd, JR and I will be at the Barnes & Noble in Blaine, MN for an author event. Mike Marcotte from the Twin Cities Live Book Club is hosting an author panel discussion followed by a book signing. (Twin Cities Live is an afternoon talk show on the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis.) If you’re in town, stop by and say hello!

Thing #2 – Two Navy Guys will be on the radio this Sunday

If you’re not local to Minnesota, you’re still in luck. Roshini Rajkumar has invited us back to her Sunday afternoon show on WCCO Newsradio 830 to talk about the new book, Jihadi Apprentice. We’ll be on this Sunday, April 24th, at 2:05 PM Central, right after the news at the top of the hour. You can listen live on the interweb, and since it’s a live show, you can even call in!

Thing #3 – The Jihadi Apprentice Kickstarter is fully funded!

A HUGE thank you to all of our backers. On Thursday evening, we crossed the funding finish line for the campaign.**  Those wonderful Collector’s Editions are definitely going to happen again this year. You guys are the best!

If you still want to get in on the pre-release action, the Jihadi Apprentice Kickstarter will run for another two weeks.

**This a major milestone. Kickstarter is an “all or nothing” crowdfunding site, meaning that if your project misses the funding target (even by a little bit), it is cancelled.


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David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles, one half of the Two Navy Guys and a Novel blog series about co-writing a military thriller, and co-author of Weapons of Mass Deceptiona story of modern-day nuclear terrorism.


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How One Writer Raised $1100 for a Veterans’ Cause

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Last month, while I was buried in a writing deadline, something remarkable happened.

Author-editor Chris Pourteau handed a check for $1100 to Pets for Vets, a national non-profit that matches shelter animals with military veterans. Here’s the best part: the money was raised from the sale of Chris’ new fiction anthology Tails of the Apocalypse.

How Much is a “Match” Worth

The word “match” is a key term for Pets for Vets. When I met Cathy Lile, a member of the Board of Directors, in Minneapolis last December, she told me that “match” is how they describe the internal process of bringing the pet and the veteran together. It covers assessing the needs and temperament of the veteran, finding the right animal from a nearby shelter, training the animal for his new life with a volunteer for about six weeks, and putting together a “care package” of food and other living essentials for the new pet to move in with his veteran.

The “match”–all that stuff I just described–costs about $1500. In other words, Chris’ efforts went most of the way toward bringing together one pet and one vet.

The Big Idea and the Results

In a post called “Writing for a Cause,” I talked about how the idea for Tails of the Apocalypse came together and how I got involved in the project. From the beginning, it was a big idea: put together a great anthology, tie it to a cause that we can all relate to, and then see how far we could push it.

The campaign ran from early November through December 31, 2015. Here’s what happened:

  • 103 print & audio books sold
  • 342 ebooks sold
  • 59,000 Kindle pages read

Of those three stats, the Kindle pages read number resonates the most with me as an author. This wasn’t someone who bought the book just to support the cause, this was actual eyeballs reading pages. Since Tails is an anthology of short stories, I’m assuming we had readers who just read one or two stories and put the collection aside. In other words, that 59,000 pages read probably represents thousands of different readers.

There is no free lunch…

Or as captured in Robert Heinlein’s immortal acronym: TANSTAAFL! *

If you know anything about producing a book, you know that putting together a collection like Tails costs thousands of dollars. Chris chose to put himself deeper in the financial hole by giving away most of his profits to Pets for Vets, but I suspect he’s okay with that.

It’s easy to be cynical these days, but organizations like Pets for Vets help us fight back against those feelings of frustration and helplessness by getting back to basics. They take one animal who might otherwise be euthanized and one military veteran who’s struggling with life “on the outside” and match them together.

Together, maybe they both get a chance to heal.

If you’d like to support Pets for Vets, go HERE.

If you’d like to find out more about Tails of the Apocalypse, you can find it on Amazon in print, ebook, and audiobook.

*From The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein, meaning “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”


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David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles, one half of the Two Navy Guys and a Novel blog series about co-writing a military thriller, and co-author of Weapons of Mass Deceptiona story of modern-day nuclear terrorism.


 

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New Book Release Supports a Veteran’s Cause

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New Release

Tails of the Apocalypse

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The Walking Dead meets The Incredible Journey in this short story collection about beloved animals struggling to survive the end of the world. Brought to you by fourteen of today’s most exciting independent authors, Tails of the Apocalypse is more than just an anthology—it’s a way to support a great cause.

For the rest of 2015, editor and author Chris Pourteau will donate $1 from every book sale to Pets for Vets, a national non-profit that matches shelter animals with military veterans. Personnel train the animals as special companions for veterans suffering from emotional trauma, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The work of Pets for Vets is a great match for the themes of self-sacrifice and unconditional love explored in our anthology, so this holiday season, give meaning to your reading.

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One of the most original and captivating collections of end-of-the-world ‘tails,’ shown through the eyes of an amazing cast of unforgettable furry and feathered characters.

R. J. Pineiro, author of The Fall

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