Monday, 22 June 2015

ISIS and the rest of the world.

In the novel The Prisoner of Parison  by Eddie Gubbins, Megram, the Shaman of the Sandari, spoke to Nelvask the Magician for the first time. “ Nelvask, Unlee my colleague, is sad and disillusioned after what happened at the Rock. All his life he has never seen such power. The Covenent always hinted at power but very rarely used it to even subdue our people. We all thought we were powerful with our small illusions that impressed our people. At the Rock a few days ago, we saw what power can do. They closed our fire pit and dispelled our illusions very quickly. The ones on the creatures’ backs smashed our other Priests into the ground. Only because Grand Master Silker insisted that we come with his soldiers are we here. All we really want is a quiet life.”
“ Megram, I hear you.” Nelvask looked off into the sun set. “ All I wanted was a quiet life. I wanted to carry on my studies in the dusty vaults of the Mountain. Then I was chucked out by opposing factions. Ever since then I seem to have been on the run from their power. Even though it may appear strange to some after all their enmity towards me, I have had to align myself with those I regarded as my enemies in order to oppose a greater danger. I do not like what I have to do but I am willing to help.  All of those who want freedom have to try to help win any way we can. Will you help me?”
Unlee suddenly smiled sadly. “ Yes we will help you while praying to our God that what we are doing will help good triumph over evil. If we had more time we could sit over a glass or two of riki spirit and talk about what is good and evil. We could argue about who is the real enemy and who are our friends. All we can do now is trust that we are on the right side and help you. I will stand at your right side and slowly replace the departing soldiers with my illusions when the time is right. Megram will stand on your left and do likewise. Between us we ought to be able to hold the ridge for a while giving the army a head start back to this place you call Alskar.”
Nelvask grasped his hand. “ Thank you.”
As far as ISIS is concerned is it time to start, like Nelvask, to talk to what are regarded as our enemies so that we can combat together a greater evil? It is something that must be contemplated by or leaders.

The Prisoner of Parison by Eddie Gubbins available from Kindle and Amazon for download as an ebook
From Amazon and as a paperback.
The Prisoner of Parison is book 3 of the Rombuli Saga.
Book 1 The Teacher of the Rombuli and Book 2 The Return of the Exiles are also available as ebooks and paperbacks.
There is a sequel in Princess Daphne by Eddie Gubbins set six years after the Rombuli Saga.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Tales from the Sea

Tales of the Sea by Eddie Gubbins is a semi-autobiographical novel based on my life at sea as a ship's officer between 1957 and 1969.

In its pages the reader will meet the characters with whom I sailed and their antics. They will experience nights ashore and visit through my eyes exotic places. Read about the different ships, old and new as they plough across the oceans carrying the products of the world Throughout the account there is the sea and its dangers. It dominates the sailor. The sea can be angry or benevolent. Storms rage sending the ship rolling and heaving pounding into the waves. At other times there can be flat calm and very peaceful, The essence of the novel can be summed up in a poem:

The Call
The sea is calling, always calling
Even when the sailor has long left voyaging behind.
The sea calls, ever calls,
Over the noise of this sometimes dreadful life.
To sail away , to leave this life behind,
But to where?
That is what adds to the thrill.
Let the voyage be long or short,
Let the oceans be calm or fierce,
In the urge to sail away,
Lies man's eternal quest
For something new.
Why oh why does man always strive after the new
When accepting the present would save a lot of heart ache.
It has long been a mystery to me but,
More than in any other profession,
The sea  offers a greater chance to satisfy this need.
The sailor never arrives
Because each new port is a stepping stone to the next
And on to the next
Until the nomadic lifestyle grows too much.
It maybe that the sailor observes other people
Settling into a pattern of life which brings rewards
Such things as family and home,
Anchored to other views of living
Rather than constantly on the move.
So the sailor leaves the sea
And puts down roots.
Or does he?
The sound of a seagull screaming ,
The wind moaning around the roof of his house 
The sound of waves lapping on the shore
Will awaken in the hidden recesses of his mind
The longing to feel the excitement once more
As the ship goes silent,
Ready to leave for the sea.

Dependence on electronic devises!

For our exercise during the creative writing class I attend, the tutor gave us the subject of a lightening strike. For some reason I came up with the following short piece.

Lightening Strike

The sea stretched flat and calm deep blue to the horizon. The sunlight sparkled on the wake as it rolled away from the stern. The steady hum of the engine provided a background to the swish of the sea against the hull.
A ping from the consul lining the front of the bridge made the second officer look down at the electronic chart. The position of the ship was highlighted as a flashing dot and the second officer adjusted the course slightly to head the ship in the right direction The captain joined him for his afternoon tea. They stood looking out across the containers stacked on deck talking quietly as the ship ploughed on through the calm sea.
“ Whats that?” the second officer asked pointing to the horizon ahead of the ship.
The Captain picked up the binoculars and stared into the distance. The cloudless sky over the ship had been replaced by a dark smudge low down. They watched as the dark stain slowly took up more and more of the sky. Soon they could make out the clouds racing towards the ship. Towering above the thick blanket of grey were columns of black flat topped clouds. The rumble of thunder was now audible. Suddenly the sky was ablaze with streaks of lightening. Racing across the heavens in horizontal streaks or jagged sparks driving vertically into the sea. The view of the sea had disappeared, veiled in torrential rain which beat down the waves which had been forming in the storm.
“ Warn the crew that they will need to take cover while the storm passes,” the Captain ordered looking along the deck at some sailors painting the bulwarks. “ It will ruin their painting when it hits but there is nothing they can do about it.”
The second officer spoke into the telephone and soon a sailor appeared on the bridge. 
“ Yes sir?”
“ Look out there.” the second officer said pointing. “ Tell the crew to take cover until the thunderstorm passes.”
“ Right you are, Sir!” He turned on his heel after casting a worried look at the approaching storm and hurried off off the bridge. The Captain and the second officer watched as the crew collected their paint pots and hurried back to the accommodation structure.
The thunder was now very loud and the sea was now like a sheet of grey steel. Like a curtain being pulled across a window cutting out the light, all about the ship was dark. The thunder crashed shaking the ships structure and lightening streaked in jagged forks across the sky. Rolling onward, the rain approached the ship, crossed the bow and was then streaming down the bridge windows. It was like driving through a waterfall. The Captain stood his face illuminated by the glow of the radar screen as he intently searched for any sign of other ships. The second officer stared through the revolving clear view screen which cleared a section of window.
Flashes of lightening lit up the structure and the thunder rattled the windows. A violent jagged pulse caught the mast sending sparks along the aerial. Alarms on the bridge started to sound as another strike hit the ship. The control panel sparked and flashed and then went dark. The ship yawed as the gyro compass stopped and the auto pilot failed. 
“ What the hell?” the Captain shouted as the radar stopped.
The radio officer rushed onto the bridge. “ What is happening? The radios are exploding around me. We have lost all communications.”
“ It appears we have been struck by lightening. Get the sailor up here and put the steering into hydraulic manual.”
The second officer pulled a lever and took the wheel. “ There is no compass.”
The Captain shook his head. “ Pull down the visor and steer by the magnetic compass. I know we have not used that for a long tome if ever but do it.”
The Chief Engineer came running up the ladder to the bridge, panting from the effort. “ The computer which controls the engine has gone down. We are getting all the controls on manual.”
The sailor appeared and took over the wheel.
The second officer looked around the ship and the bridge. “ What do we do now?”
The Captain grunted. “ While the electrician wis trying to restore the bridge equipment, we will have to do things the old fashioned way. Get out the paper chart for the ocean.”
The second officer shook his head. “ Except in college I have never used a paper chart.’
He pulled out a drawer and shuffled some charts. Selecting one he smoothed this over the chart table which had come to be a place to put the coffee making rather than the centre of navigation. He scratched his head.
“ Don’t look like that. Where is the last printed position from the sat nav?”
The second officer searched through a file lying on the consul until he extracted a piece of paper. “ The print out from two hours ago. It is the best we can do because we print out the position from the chart every fur hours.”
With a pencil and parallel rulers, he marked this position on the chart. He then marked a line representing the course to be followed. Measuring off the distance travelled since that last reported position, he placed a mark on the chart.
“ Get out the sextant. To measure our position we will have to start taking sun and star sights.” The Captain watched as the second officer found the sextant case in one of the cupboards. 
“ There is no way we can take a sun sight at the moment because of the cloud.”
“ Just get all the necessary stuff ready and when the clouds clear away, we will be able to calculate our position. I know. You have never done this in practise before only in theory but you have done it. Lets see how it goes, shall we?”

It opened my mind to the thought of what would happen if all electronics were suddenly inoperative. This is no theoretical problem. All the electronics in a shop I went to were down but they tried to keep the store operating by using hand held battery powered calculators. When the girl demanded £125 for five items priced at approx £5 I could only shake my head. 
Has anybody thought of a contingency plans if this happened?

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Waves of Immigrants.

When looking at the news items showing the waves of desperate humanity pouring across the Med under such danger, it is difficult not to wonder what the Europeans are supposed to do. I sometimes want to scream at the television when some reporter asks how they feel at being here and they reply free and with hope. By what stretch of the imagination do they assume that they have any right to come and settle here. In the UK the population is growing at a great rate.
Then as a Christian I read the following:

From Matthew 25 v 35 to 40
34"Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 
35For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' 
37"Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?
 38'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?
 39'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?
 40"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.

There are two factors which must be discussed. One is to try to make sure that the places from which they come are viable states. Given the conflict in the world and the corruption which is rife in these countries this is not easy. The other is to welcome immigrants into the country and find out what skills they have. In this way though doing nothing to stem the flow of immigration it will make the country stronger economically. These thing have to be discussed because present policies are not working.

My novel A Legacy from Mary by Eddie Gubbins includes a view of corruption and the consolidation of power in a few hands.
Available from and Amazon as a paperback and Amazon/Kindle as an e-book for downloading to e-readers.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Princess Daphne

Princess Daphne by Eddie Gubbins is a sequel to the Rombuli Saga trilogy.
Six years have passed since t   he defeat and sending back through the time and place portal of the Black Elves. Edward Eastland had settled into the role of the Governor of Rombuli and Sandaria. With his daughter Dorethea, son William and his wife Kitty he had become a family man living for the most part on his estate. His friend Tag had given up the life of a Ranger in the Imperial Parison Army and with his wife Margaret had become a farmer. Well not quite a farmer because he still organised the town watch. Edward and Tag's trading business prospered and they were rich. They had now taken up what their friends thought of a an ordinary life.
When he thought about his previous life he missed the fear and tension which had accompanied his struggles against the Black Elves. There was the memory of the tingle running up his spine as he entered a dark place with enemies waiting unseen.Sitting at his desk with the sun shining through the window and his children playing in the garden,his shoulders tightened as though he was anticipating an arrow between his shoulder blades.He missed the fast beating heart when beside Tag he had crept through enemy teritory. In addition was the times he ahd to pull in and use his power to help his friends or himself. All of this was now missing from his life.
One day without warning his daughter came to tell him that a dragon had landed in the meadow and wished to speak to him. The dragon had been sent by the elves of the Golden City. An alien creature with green skin had been captured wandering the streets of the Golden City. The elves could not understand its language except that it spoke Edward's name. They want him to come to the Golden City and confront the creature.
If Edward answers this request from the elves will he be drawn back into the world he thought he had left for ever?

This is available from or Amazon as a paperback or Amazon and kindle as an ebook for downloading to e-readers.