Electrical Schmelectrical

posted in: home improvements 0

We’re just emerging from one of the big house projects, which is a major upgrade to our electrical service, taking our whole two-family house from 200-amp service to 400A. This involves bigger meters on the outside, bigger panels on the inside, and an even bigger payday for the electrician. Also, bigger and better circuits and power in the house.

And the first of the two new meters…

One of the things this is making possible is getting rid of our 30-year-old Caloric gas range with its accompanying hydrocarbon fumes and replacing it with a GE Profile induction range. We’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but the driving factor was to spare our lungs from the insidious pollution of natural gas and replace it with the mind-altering effects of strong electromagnetic fields… no, wait—I mean, replace it with a cleaner, more climate-friendly, and better-controlled cooking experience. Seriously, we’ve been doing at least half our cooking for the last six months on a portable induction “hot plate” sitting on top of our gas range. We love it. Cleaner, safer, less waste heat, and way better control of the cooking. The only downside was having to buy a couple of new pans. We’ll be getting a nice rebate for the induction range.

Also part of this project was putting in some switching to make possible the use of a backup generator in the event of a prolonged power outage. For now, the backup is the little generator in our campervan, but in the fullness of time, we’ll upgrade that, as well. (But while the power was off during the work, I did keep two refrigerators and a freezer going with the camper gen. And it should keep the heat on, as well, since the gas-fired steam boilers only require a small amount of current to run.)

The job took so long, I thought we were going to have to offer the electrician a room to stay in. The major work is done now, though we still have a couple of small things for him to do. In the meantime, I think we’re close to agreement with the outside contractor to build new front porches on the house. I’m not doing any of this work myself, but I feel tired!

Here’s our new range. It will go downstairs with us when we move.

The Infinity Link for Next to Nothing

posted in: BookBub, specials 0

What with inflation, and I don’t mean cosmological inflation, $.99 really is next to nothing. Well, that’s the price right now for the ebook of The Infinity Link, complete with the new cover art and spiffed-up interior layout. Limited time only! Pretty much anywhere you like to buy ebooks.

Here’s how the ad writers at Bookbub distilled it: “Humanity is on the verge of first contact with visitors from the stars, and one woman holds the key. Is her telepathic link with the intergalactic visitors a beacon of hope, or will it spell doom for the entire human race?”

And Publishers Weekly: “A long, ambitious work, painted on a canvas as big as the solar system. The concept itself is even larger—the eventual linkup of various intelligent life forms of our galaxy, including humans, whales and several alien races. Carver carefully sets up his story and develops it in a meticulous fashion…it works very well.”

Read all about it, and choose your preferred store here! And tell the world—the whales are counting on you!

A Little Love from Australia

I’m a big fan of Australia. Not only do they have kangaroos and koalas, many of my favorite actors and actresses are Aussies. I hope to go there someday. Do you suppose I’ll meet Hugh Jackman or Cate Blanchett or Margot Robbie? Probably not. But it turns out that Aussies have great taste in science fiction, as well.

An Australian SF magazine called Aurealis has just reviewed my novel Sunborn. This is amazing. How often does a book get reviewed almost 15 years after it was published? Never, that’s how often. Well, hardly ever. But in this case…I think it’s time for me to count my blessings. Reviewer Terence MacManus has just given a thoughtful (and favorable) review of the fourth book of The Chaos Chronicles, and concluded with this:

Sunborn is a wonderful synthesis of the best classic science fiction elements with the novel and unique storytelling that sets Carver’s work apart.

It’s nice to be appreciated. From Aurealis Issue #165.

Sunborn by Jeffrey A. Carver

Etsy Sale – $10 Off Book Orders

Chaos Chronicles set

Etsy is running a special, starting now, for two days only: $10 off any order $40 and over. Use the code YES10. This applies to any Etsy order. That means it applies to any of my autographed print books on Etsy, and Etsy is eating the $10! Haven’t you been thinking, The holidays will be here before you know it, and what better gift than autographed science fiction? You know you have. Here are a few possibilities, any of them personalized upon request:

  • Complete set of autographed Star Rigger Books
  • Complete set of The Chaos Chronicles (to date)
  • Set of first-edition Tor hardcovers of the first four Chaos novels
  • Signed hardcovers of The Reefs of Time and Crucible of Time
  • À la carte selection of titles such as Eternity’s End, The Infinity Link (first edition), the Starstream novels, and Battlestar Galactica. I even have a grab-bag treasury of original mass-market paperback editions.

The possibilities are endless! Help me empty my basement shelves!

One catch: the sale is available only to customers in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. Free shipping in the U.S. Extra outside the U.S.

Through Wednesday Oct. 11.

Bikes in the Electric Era

I have a new e-bike! This is quite a change from my beloved Bacchetta recumbent, which has been my pedaler of choice for a number of years now. I acquired the recumbent as a solution to the backache that upright bikes seemed to inflict on me, and it’s been great. Here’s the recumbent…

But that was a different era, before I came down with this pesky pulmonary fibrosis, which makes me get short of breath before I can go a city block, and necessitates an O2 tank or portable concentrator on my back. But perhaps, I thought, I’ll do better with a bike with an electric motor, but which will still let me pedal as I am able or inclined to. And perhaps they’ve developed better saddles (seats) for bikes since the last time I bought an upright bike, forty or fifty years ago. Here’s the one I got…

It’s a Biria Electric Easy Boarding bike, very easy to step into. It has a powerful motor on the front wheel hub, and a good-sized removable battery under the luggage rack. It’s a Class 2, which I now know means that it gives you a boost automatically when it senses torque in the pedals, and it also has a throttle, which gives you an extra boost when you want it. You can just drive it on electric, if you’re tired. But in the auto-boost mode, it helps you while encouraging you to do some pedaling. It’s not quite a fly-cycle, but it does go zooom when you ask it to, up to 20 mph. I like it!

As I feared, though, the saddle that came with it was a butt-killer. And others available in the bike shop were little better. But spend enough time on Amazon, and you’ll find options. I tried two, both described as good for folks of an, er, older generation, or folks whose backs hurt on regular seats. (It seems there are a lot of people who fit this description.) This is the throne I settled on, called the Giddy-Up. Contoured memory-foam seat, much better than the stock seat. Red light on the back, powered by a rechargeable battery. They give you a 12-inch USB cable to recharge it. (Um…?) Well, the light doesn’t matter to me, because it’s blocked by the bike’s battery case anyway. And the bike has its own head and tail lights.

Here’s proof (sort of) that I rode it the seven miles to Lexington today. I cannot claim that it was butt-pain-free. I probably need to build up some tolerance, and maybe make further adjustments. I’ll let you know.

A New Look for The Infinity Link

The Infinity Link was my first BIG book, and by big, I mean big in size, as well as ambition and scope. It was my first hardcover, in a handsome edition from Bluejay Books in 1984, and reprinted in mass market paperback by Tor a year later. Both editions featured a gorgeous wraparound cover painting by David Mattingly, and that same cover, thanks to the generosity of the artist, has been gracing my Starstream Publications ebook edition since 2015. I still love it—I have a huge, framed poster of the Tor paperback rendering. The novel itself is one that I’m still very proud to have written. Here’s the cover blurb:

Mysterious travelers…impossible love…

The year is 2034, and at the Sandaran Research Center, a young woman named Mozy participates in a cyberlink experiment via tachyon beam. So intimate is the connection that she falls hopelessly in love with her distant partner, David Kadin, a man she has met only through the link. Upon learning that the project is to be terminated—and wanting desperately to fulfill her dreams—Mozy makes a daring decision.

Her choice catapults her into a flight of astounding discovery—one that puts her squarely in the path of a potential war, communication with the whales of Earth, and secret first contact with visitors from the stars. Are the aliens enemies or friends? No one knows, and now it may fall to this young woman alone to discover the truth. Caught in a telepathic link with the Talenki voyagers, Mozy’s personal odyssey becomes entwined with the fate of all of Humanity.

Combining visionary speculation with passionate human characters, The Infinity Link is an epic work of transcendent science fiction and an exploration into the very nature of humanity. From the Nebula-nominated author of Eternity’s End and recipient of the Frank Herbert Lifetime Achievement Award for science fiction writing.

Times change, and the original cover now seems of a different era. So as I prepared the book for its first new print edition in many years, I decided it was time for a new cover. My designer (Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff) and I worked long and hard on it, to get the look that I wanted. And here it is!

That’s the look of the ebook edition, as well as the trade paperback newly available on Amazon, and soon to be available everywhere. The images are by Kran Kanthawong and Branislav Ostojic via Dreamstime; Maya combined and merged and tweaked and created the type layout. The print version gave us fits, because it turned out to be really hard to get the vibrancy of that blue rendered in the Amazon KDP print-on-demand process. We never fully succeeded. The print edition looks good, I think, but it doesn’t jump off the paper in quite the same way the ebook jumps out of the glowing screen.

For those who are fond of the older version, copies of the original, first-edition hardcover are still available—autographed—through my Etsy shop. (A great gift idea for the upcoming holidays?)

Happy Anniversary!

posted in: personal news 1

Jeff and Allysen celebrate 37 years of marriage

Yesterday was our 37th anniversary, and we celebrated with a lovely dinner at the Rowes Wharf Sea Grille, right on the Boston waterfront. Great meal, great setting, and wonderful to celebrate 37 fantastic years together. I was startled to realize that I was 37 when we got married, so I have spent exactly half my life together with Allysen. Amazing! Here we are, mugging for the camera.

New Sale on Audiobooks!

The Infinite Sea audiobook cover

Can we talk books for a minute? Chirpbooks is currently featuring The Infinite Sea in audiobook, price knocked down from $14.99 to a mere $.99. Can you even buy a pack of gum for that little? I don’t know. I do know that this is a great chance to pick up a few of my audiobooks for a great price.

Several other books in The Chaos Chronicles are also on sale for a limited time, including the series starter, Neptune Crossing. Click the link and you’ll see them all! Insanely good narration by Stefan Rudnicki. If you jump now, you can get it before the promotional email goes out! That ought to be worth something.

If you prefer Barnes & Noble or Spotify, several of them are on sale there, too. Prices may vary.

But they won’t last forever!

My New Theremin

posted in: music, personal news, quirky 1

The other day, I turned 47—or maybe it was 74—I have selective dyslexia around this question. My loving family gave me something I’ve always wanted: a theremin! So I can make sounds like in Forbidden Planet (although apparently that movie, to my amazement, did not actually have theremin music). Well, maybe like The Day the Earth Stood Still. (Here’s a studio session with the theremin.) Or maybe I’ll even learn to make music. My wife never goes halfway on this sort of thing, so she researched and researched until she found the best theremin for a beginner, top quality, of course. This is a Moog Theremini, nicely portable and with all kinds of audio features, from the makers of the original Moog Synthesizer.

I don’t know how to play it yet. I mean, I can make spooky sounds, which is very cool. For now, I’ll promise to post a video in the future when I can do something interesting. Maybe an orchestral piece, like Once Upon a Time in the West.

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with a little Pink Floyd on theremin.

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