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The White Witch - Comrades

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  07:54:40  29 June 2018
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Handyman454
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On forum: 02/20/2010
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The White Witch - Comrades

Chapter 1
USA - NEW YORK – 1st Trip Out

“When the Federal authorities of 16 nations
advise against going into the Zone, tell me
again, why this is a good idea?”
Felicia Velier

“Tell me again, why you’re going?” Felicia had asked, her hands planted firmly on her shapely, narrow hips.

It was by now apparent that she really didn’t care why I was going, she was just stuck in the argumentative and denial mode.

“To make money.” I’d replied. I knew that she knew I was holding back on the actual reason but neither of us was ready yet to air it out.
I was trying not to face her and had my back turned to her as I packed the single suitcase I was allowed to take.

Since returning from Afghanistan, life for me had turned mundane and pointless and I was constantly warring with notions of suicide on nearly a daily basis.

I'd spent 4 years in the field with 9 other Green Berets comprising BBQ team, 16th Special Forces Group. We’d been inserted into the Panshir Valley and charged with carrying and operating an AN/PEQ-1 SOF Laser Marker, a piece of equipment that when combined with GPS devices, would mark Taliban positions located along the Shomali Plain for air strike missions.

Life there had been violent, to say the least and although none of us now discharged kept in touch, I was sure they were just as affected by the same PTSD issues that I suffered on a daily basis.

“And you spent $10,000 on this camping trip to hell?”

She was back on the money again and having covered that 3 times already and I was growing tired of going through it.

“Yes. I spent $10,000 on this excursion.” I repeated, emphasizing the word excursion.

“And over a dozen nations don’t want you in there and the entire Russian military is guarding it from your entering?” She continued.

“That’s more or less right.” I confirmed remotely. “Except it’s a small group of Ukrainian militia. The USSR isn’t involved in it anymore. It doesn't really exist anymore.”

I knew what was coming next because we’d gone through it twice already.

“Whatever! And it’s full of deadly radiation, beasts and people?” She replied again.

“Look. Felicia. This is getting old.” I started, a bit agitated.
“You and I have gone over this at least 15 times over the last 6 months and no less than twice in the last hour.”
“There are only certain areas that are hot, I have years of hunting experience and I was specifically trained and put into service for 4 years to successfully, locate, determine and eliminate bad guys.”

I chose the word, eliminate because I knew if I said the real word, it would start another morals crusade that I wasn’t interested in debating.

“The bottom line is I’m going and additional arguing about it won’t make me change my mind.” I followed up. I’m going and that’s that.”

“Why would you want to go someplace like that then?”

She asked, this time with a little hysteria in her voice.

“A place the police won’t let you go? They should know! Why do you want to break the law by sneaking in and stealing things?”

“Fel.” I started off softly, using the pet name I’d established for her.
“First off, the Zone was set up by the military. Not the police. Technically no one is breaking any laws going in, they are simply disobeying a military exclusion order.”

I knew this was just splitting hairs but again, I wasn’t interested in arguing the difference either.

“Second. Nothing within the Zone produced by man has any value to anyone. It’s old, falling apart and tainted by radiation. Ergo, nothing is being stolen.”

Third, the items that the Zone produces are valuable. Those items are worth great money and I’m looking forward to bagging some of them, and fourth, the military isn’t interested in the Zone except to the extent that it affects whatever it is that they’re doing out there behind the chain link and razor wire and I’m not in the least interested in that part.”

“What about the…” She paused, searching for the word. “The mutilates. The things out there?”

“The Mutants.” I corrected her as I continued to pack.

“Whatever.” She countered, annoyed at the correction. “What about the Mutants. You said they would eat you. What about them?”

“Like all problems, the mutants are an issue to be dealt with.” I replied. “But not that big a problem and I’m armed and trained well enough to take care of myself.”

I’d finished packing, zippered the case shut and had turned toward her.

“I’m going and that’s pretty much all there is to it Fel.” I said.

She stood there for a moment with sadness in her eyes and took one last shot.

“If you go.” She started and I knew pretty much what was coming next. “I won’t be here when you get back. I can’t do this Bridger. I can’t watch you walk to your death and then sit here and wait for the word to come back.”

“I understand Fel.” I’d said. “You need to do what makes you happy Babe.”

What I didn’t say was that if I died out there, no one would ever bring word back. It didn’t work like that.

That was one of the reasons I liked the idea of it. All or nothing.
Since I’d heard about the Zone, accidentally, of nearly all the people I’d spoken with, most had never been there, and simply said their friend or some guy they’d known went and never returned.

All, however, told the stories of great wealth from the things they called artifacts and that’s what I was in it for. Well, that and maybe to ride the edge of death again.

She stood there for another moment as tears formed and then turned, picked up her purse and walked out the door.

See more on my page
www.MCSpangler.com
  13:39:46  30 June 2018
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PCDania
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On forum: 09/22/2007
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---QUOTATION---
I’d finished packing, zippered the case shut and had turned toward her.
---END QUOTATION---


Shouldn't that be "zipped the case shut"? I think 'zippered' means the case has a zipper instead of say velcro.


---QUOTATION---
“And over a dozen nations don’t want you in there and the entire Russian military is guarding it from your entering?” She continued.

“That’s more or less right.” I confirmed remotely. “Except it’s a small group of Ukrainian militia. The USSR isn’t involved in it anymore. It doesn't really exist anymore.”
---END QUOTATION---



Why is he talking about USSR when she talks about the Russian military?
  14:48:47  30 June 2018
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Handyman454
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On forum: 02/20/2010
 

Message edited by:
Handyman454
06/30/2018 14:58:02
Messages: 268
PC - Thanks For Responding


---QUOTATION---

Shouldn't that be "zipped the case shut"? I think 'zippered' means the case has a zipper instead of say velcro.

“And over a dozen nations don’t want you in there and the entire Russian military is guarding it from your entering?” She continued.


Why is he talking about USSR when she talks about the Russian military?
---END QUOTATION---



I like the "Zipped" part. That works. [Made the change]

USSR is a common US misnomer.
Most people in the United States understand very little of the Russian Republic political system and even less now than before.
Most assume the old USSR to still be in control of all the states and even fewer know Ukraine exists much less of it's independence.

The woman is a representative of that state of ignorance and the protagonist, through his hands on knowledge and experience, understands it better but is hesitant to try to correct the woman for obvious reasons.

I tried to explain the political lead-in in the prologue of the book itself but that's only in the book.

The book is written in an Indiana Jones style of fast, action hero, treasure & bounty hunter.

The first book, "Comrades", should be available on Amazon within the next 24 hrs. price introductory at $0.99

I'm currently working on Book II "Whisper" and should have it ready for editing by mid July.

www.MCSpangler.com
  21:08:21  30 June 2018
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PCDania
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Sorry, I must be a bit thick headed.

She who don't know to distinguish says Russian army, he who knows better tells her there is no USSR army.

From your explanation it is like they are a couple who have lived together for so lmany years that he knows she means USSR when she says Russian. Problem is that I as a reader do not know they have it like that, I can not read their thoughts or knows their subconscious understanding of each other.

IMHO it would work better if he corrected to Ukrainian army and told her about the Ukrainian independence, that way you would also educate some US readers who might not be aware. Maybe it is because I'm an European and don't know much about what ordinary US Americans knows about other countries.
  16:12:35  1 July 2018
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Handyman454
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Message edited by:
Handyman454
07/01/2018 16:27:00
Messages: 268

---QUOTATION---
IMHO it would work better if he corrected to Ukrainian army and told her about the Ukrainian independence, that way you would also educate some US readers who might not be aware. Maybe it is because I'm an European and don't know much about what ordinary US Americans knows about other countries.
---END QUOTATION---



Actually you would know better about the political workings of the European nations than I would safely say 85% of Americans know.

I updated and clarified some of the Prologue history in the book pertaining to the Russian and Ukrainian independence and Ukraines current, exclusive control over the Zone as well as adding a bit more on Bridgers history.

Thanks for the input PC

(Were you able to view my authors page?)

The White Witch - Comrades
www.MCSpangler.com
  17:59:57  1 July 2018
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PCDania
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Thanks for finding my suggestions useful.

Yes, I have looked at your page. I find the excerpt difficult to read because it is centeret instead of aligned to the left. Maybe it's just my damaged brain that plays tricks on me. Don't worry too much about it, it mostly affects my ability to concentrate.
  19:58:51  1 July 2018
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Handyman454
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---QUOTATION---
Thanks for finding my suggestions useful.
Yes, I have looked at your page. I find the excerpt difficult to read because it is centeret instead of aligned to the left. Maybe it's just my damaged brain that plays tricks on me. Don't worry too much about it, it mostly affects my ability to concentrate.
---END QUOTATION---



Good suggestion:
I corrected the website to paragraph the narrative to the left.
Sometimes my creative eye gets in the way of my common sense eye.

BTW
The Kindle site allows the reader to see all of the prologue as well as most of chapter I prior to buying.

Please take a look at the Prologue and tell me what you think from a European standpoint.
  20:33:23  1 July 2018
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PCDania
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Message edited by:
PCDania
07/01/2018 21:09:55
Messages: 1825
Don't know what happened when you corrected your website. My antivirus will only allow me to access it in my Chrome browser when using Incognito Mode as it is not a secure site (no HTTPS, certificat is invalid). I've visited other sites today without problems that don't use HTTPS. Maybe it's because you have links to ordering your books....?

I have read the Kindle prologue.

Only thing is: Have you been in touch with GSC Game World regarding copy rights? I wouldn't know if not because I have played the games but the science fiction parts including characters mentioned in the prologue are invented by GSC. Would be a shame getting a cease and desist and I have no idea how strict GSC is.
  21:48:52  1 July 2018
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Handyman454
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On forum: 02/20/2010
Messages: 268

---QUOTATION---
Don't know what happened when you corrected your website. My antivirus will only allow me to access it in my Chrome browser when using Incognito Mode as it is not a secure site (no HTTPS, certificat is invalid). I've visited other sites today without problems that don't use HTTPS. Maybe it's because you have links to ordering your books....?

I have read the Kindle prologue.

Only thing is: Have you been in touch with GSC Game World regarding copy rights? I wouldn't know if not because I have played the games but the science fiction parts including characters mentioned in the prologue are invented by GSC. Would be a shame getting a cease and desist and I have no idea how strict GSC is.
---END QUOTATION---



I had the same issue when I uploaded the new site this morning and after a call to Godaddy, I had to delete all the old cached history & images and then it worked fine.
Unfortunately it had something to do with the old "GoCentral" site and the Lenox, C-Panel site I'm using.

As I understand copyrights there has to be a conflict of business competition involved. If I were writing a game it would conflict and compete with theirs and violate the law.
As it is, the books are a completely different format and non competitive and actually are considered advertising.
I love the game and gave them great credits on the inside cover.
Don't even have a problem promoting the games actually.

If they give me any crap though, I'll denounce the games, remove any and all endorsement and change the story to reflect another entirely different Zone in another entirely different area.
I'm already considering that as we speak anyway.

It's pretty cut and dry...
There's no competition and it's free advertising of both the old games and the new one, assuming they ever get that one together.
  00:41:02  2 July 2018
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PCDania
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Message edited by:
PCDania
07/02/2018 0:45:24
Messages: 1825

---QUOTATION---
If they give me any crap though, I'll denounce the games, remove any and all endorsement and change the story to reflect another entirely different Zone in another entirely different area.
---END QUOTATION---


You might get angry with me now but copy right is copy right. It is your choice to base your books on those great games. It's not their fault you didn't ask and got permission.

What if I made a game based on your books without asking for permission. Would you sue me then?

Edit
Tried the link to your site again and forced it through. Then I clicked the Home link and was directed to a sub directory at what I guess is your business site: mikeshomerepairs.com/mcspangler/ It isn't a https site but it loads correctly.
  21:24:07  2 July 2018
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Handyman454
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Message edited by:
Handyman454
07/02/2018 21:25:46
Messages: 268
1) You might get angry with me now but copyright is copyright.
I'm not angry - I greatly appreciate the input.

2) What if I made a game based on your books without asking for permission. Would you sue me then?
No. If you made a game I'd be happy for the advertising.
Your game doesn't conflict with my book readers
In fact it enhances them.
On the other hand though....
If I made a game and then you made a game, then I'd consider suite
Your game competes with mine.

My book doesn't compete with your game. It enhances it.

3) Tried the link to your site again and forced it through.
Still think you need to go to history, delete previous history and delete all items, pages, cache and cookies.
Should work fine after that.

Thanks again for chipping in. I need all the advice I can get.
Wish more people would comment.
  00:35:12  3 July 2018
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PCDania
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---QUOTATION---
My book doesn't compete with your game. It enhances it.
---END QUOTATION---


Think it's the first time in my life I've seen someone say that or similar.
  17:17:55  3 July 2018
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Handyman454
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Message edited by:
Handyman454
07/03/2018 17:20:22
Messages: 268

---QUOTATION---
My book doesn't compete with your game. It enhances it.
Think it's the first time in my life I've seen someone say that or similar.
---END QUOTATION---



[chuckles]

"Enhance" was a bad choice of word. The definition is wrong.
"Promote" or "advertise" was probably a better choice.

There's no competition here.
It's all FREE advertising for them.

People don't buy a book instead of buying the game.
People read about the zone in the book that might not have known about it before and then buy the game to experience it first hand.
Or, they buy the game then after 5 years of playing it over and over again, they buy the book.
Either way, GSW loses nothing on the publications and gains everything on the free advertising.

On the other hand, if GSW starts printing books, then I'd have to either discontinue the Bridger series or move him out of Ukraine.
I could see that as a conflict with their profits.

Wish I could get some kind of outline of the land and beasts within the new version (in works) so I could write that into the books.

Bottom line....

I'm not interested in fighting GSW over copyrights, right or wrong.

If I hear from GSW in any negative regard concerning my $0.99 books, without any static whatsoever on my part, I'll pull the book offline, rewrite it to put Bridger in another place, rename and redesign the antagonists, regions and history so they don't have anything to do with the STALKER game and they can rely on their own funding for advertising sales of the old games and new one.
  12:08:29  4 July 2018
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PCDania
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Yeah, the use of 'enhance' was umm, extraordinary but I got what you meant.
  19:52:34  4 July 2018
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Handyman454
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---QUOTATION---
Yeah, the use of 'enhance' was umm, extraordinary but I got what you meant.
---END QUOTATION---

  00:36:46  8 July 2018
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Handyman454
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PRICE UPDATE!!!

Joined Kindle Publishing KDP Direct! yesterday.
For the next week Kindle will be spotlighting my book and giving it out free to the public and their built in reader base.
After that week, the price goes up again so get it now while it's FREE!!!

You can find the link here...

www.MCSpangler.com
  15:12:35  11 July 2018
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Handyman454
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The White Witch - Comrades ** FREE **

Hey. You know what day this is?
This is, get the White Witch series book I, Comrades, FREE day!

Seriously.

At the moment my book is available from Kindle at no charge.
This is a marketing plan to generate interest before returning it to a priced item.

I would greatly appreciate if you guys would download the book (the kindle viewer is free) read it and then leave me feedback on Kindle of your thoughts about it.
I'd really like to get your impressions and thoughts on the Bridger adventures.

I'm already 138 pages into book II and trying to complete it by the end of the month.
I'm guessing though that it will be early Aug.

I'm creating some nasty insects for him to deal with in book II - Whispers.

Go get the book!!!
  07:15:56  16 July 2018
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Handyman454
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The White Witch - Comrades: Rev 2

I started out thinking I would use the mapping GSC used and add my own stories but after I started looking into the actual geography of the Pripyat/Chernobyl area (thank you Google!), I decided to create my own geography and story using the actual Ukrainian geographical locations for the STALKER POI's.

After spending several days online with Google maps, I discovered that the GSC, Zone layout is nowhere near correct to the actual geography and though I managed to find nearly all of the locations that the game uses (Very real locations too! Including some great pics taken by various tourists and posted on the internet) and after a great deal of thought, I decided to use the actual geography for the map and storylines that Bridger uses in his exploits.

To that end, there are some really neat, new explanations for the Jupiter Underground that is still in my book, and the trek to the laundromat is slightly different as well since the building locations are different from the GSC map.

I also became aware that the car lot and theater populated by the Monolyth in the game is actually the Fluvial Port located on the south end of a tributary just off the Chernobyl Port Bay, which by the way, is also the location of the docks in the Jupiter area of the game.

In addition I discovered that the Jupiter Plant, a key location in my book and oddly, depicted as part of the marshy Chernobyl Port Bay, is actually located SW of Pripyat, nowhere near the bay much less the docks, actually located NE of Pripyat.

Consequently, the Jupiter area has also changed immensely due to that issue and a reintroduction of salt water from the Pripyat River that has flooded the region again.
The Skadovsk is underwater, Owl and Beard having subsequently moved to a new location.


2nd Book - Whisper
In the second book, I needed to have the dredge pit involved which in the GSC game is located west of the Yanov Train Depot (which actually exists as well). Trouble was, one, while I could find the Train Station, I couldn't find the dredge pit and two, the train station and railway lines in the GSC game run N & S but in reality, they run E & W and I couldn't find the Dredge Pit anywhere.

So I took a little "Authors Privilege", found a spot on the actual map (south of the station) that looked reasonably similar to the pit in the game and created the Saganaw Pit & community.
I like it and I think it works well with the story line.

The revision 2 version will be uploaded to the Kindle site in a week or so after I'm sure I have all the loose ends figured out in it.
I need to make the storyline bullet proof before I revise the book.

Hope someone reads this since I'm excited about it.
Welcoming all comments and thoughts.
  16:42:51  6 August 2018
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Handyman454
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Handyman454
08/06/2018 20:16:06
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The White Witch - Comrades - Edition II

I recently uploaded Ed-2 of Comrades to Kindle.

Edition 2 includes a rewrite of the final chapters of the book from the time Bridger reaches the surface in the Jupiter Plant to his encounter with the Bandit.

As stated prior to this thread, I have been doing a great deal of research into the actual terrain of the Pripyat area and how it relates to the story and in this edition, I added a map of the area Bridger is covering.

I'm thinking about creating a 3rd edition that would include more pictures from the area.

I'm also working on uploading the paperback version of the novel as well but I'm experiencing frustrating issues regarding the cover image that keep occurring each time I attempt to do so.

Hope to have those issues resolved soon.

Still wondering if anyone has had the opportunity to read the 1st edition yet.

***---***---***---***---***---***---

Comrades introduces Bridger to the reader and gives a little background on his Afghanistan Spec Forces training and experience.
It also introduces the TIR&T and its relationship with Bridgers artifact hunting.

The book goes on to describe Bridgers "underworld" travels from the United States to the Ukraine and it's benefits and costs.

Pripyat then opens with Bridger regaining consciousness in one of the many hotel/condominiums that abound the Pripyat city.

His initial destination is the trader at the Yanov Train Station where he's seeking information on the location of a particular artifact of interest to the TIR&T.
Knowing that a large contingent of military have been recently stationed in and around the Checkpoint area, his plans include the use of the secret, Underground Rail Tunnels (once used to move troops and supplies between the 50km distance, Duga 1 and Duga 2 Antenna bases) that also services the Jupiter Plant, to bypass the militia.

His escape from the top floor of the hotel is followed by his exploits further north at the Fluvial port where he encounters numerous monolithians, in preparation for his planned travels through the Underground Tunnels.

After visiting the Fluvial Port on Pripyat Port Bay he heads south again to the Hospital briefly and then further south to the old military base in the Laundromat for a short, overnight stay to recuperate.

The next day, Bridger heads out of the Laundromat, east to the Underground Tunnels access port where after a long and treacherous descent into the darkness, he finally begins his journey to the Jupiter Plant.

During his travels through the tunnels to the Underground Duga Train Yard, he encounters several Zone related adversaries and when he finally reaches the turntables of the train yard, he meets Alina who has been abandoned and left to fend for herself alone, inexperienced and unarmed by the Stalker guide of dubious character who she had employed to escort her safely to Sinapor City.

After reluctantly agreeing to escort her to the safety of Singapor City and another brief overnight in the Duga Underground Train Yard Depot the two of them set off for the Jupiter Plant ascent and the Yaniv Train Depot and now, with his new Comrade, ultimately Singapor City.

During the escape from the train depot, Bridger suffers a debilitating injury in the process of combating several of the "local Zone related adversaries", that hampers his movements and abilities through the balance of the tunnels.

Further complicating the travels, Alina also suffers a life threatening injury while in the tunnels.

Upon reaching the end of the tunnels and the Jupiter Plant stairs, the two, both injured are accosted by a new (Bandit) adversary who nearly gets the better of them but Bridgers negotiating skills and marksmanship save the moment.

The book ends after an above ground, perilous walk from the Jupiter Plant to the Yaniv Train Depot which ends with a startling discovery of the current Yaniv Train Station conditions, several new people of unknown affiliation, Alina near death and Bridger too spent to be of much use to her.
  19:15:35  8 August 2018
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Handyman454
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The White Witch - Comrades - Edition II THE HARD COPY BOOK

I finally got the hard copy submitted to Kindle Publishing and as of this moment I have the first hard copy, paperback novel available for purchase via Kindle.

I sent for a review (proof) copy myself so I have the first book printed.

If any of you have read the book I'd love to hear from you.
  02:03:27  13 August 2018
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Handyman454
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The White Witch - Comrades - Edition II THE HARD COPY BOOK

I got the hard copy paperback from Kindle Publishing today and I love it!

It looks better than I thought it would. Love Kindle!

If any of you have the interest to order the book itself, I'd love to hear from you.

Use the following link and look for the title for more details from the book!
  17:02:06  17 August 2018
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Handyman454
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Paperback Success

I sold the first paperback edition a couple days ago and since then it's gone crazy.

Apparently, the paperback version is more desirable than the elect format is.

Thank you to all that have bought or downloaded the book.

In addition to writing the second book, Whisper, I'm working on learning how to render 3D artwork now.
I'm going to set up another page on my site soon to display some of my early results.

I have it in mind to create new, static graphics for the book and possibly a motion picture version of the story as well.
  17:36:13  22 August 2018
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Handyman454
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Working On Graphics

I acquired a 3D software package and have been learning how to create 3D graphics.

Some of my early creations are on my website for those interested in seeing them.

My ultimate goal is to create a graphic novel from the artwork.
To do this though, I have to learn how to render 3D Props. Things like guns, knives, backpacks, etc.
A lot of the standard S.T.A.L.K.E.R. gear isn't available in 3D rendering yet so in addition to learning how to create the 3D characters, I'm simultaneously learning how to render new 3D items in a 2nd software package.

It's amazing technology and in my opinion, it's fantastically interesting.

http://www.mikeshomerepairs.com/mcspangler/3d-graphics/
  11:01:27  5 October 2018
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Forat1940
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On forum: 10/05/2018
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good to knw this


---QUOTATION---
If they give me any crap though, I'll denounce the games, remove any and all endorsement and change the story to reflect another entirely different Zone in another entirely different area.
You might get angry with me now but copy right is copy right. It is your choice to base your books on those great games. It's not their fault you didn't ask and got permission.

What if I made a game based on your books without asking for permission. Would you sue me then?

Edit
Tried the link to your site again and forced it through. Then I clicked the Home link and was directed to a sub directory at what I guess is your business site: mikeshomerepairs.com/mcspangler/ It isn't a https site but it loads correctly.
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good to know this
  03:26:59  21 November 2018
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Handyman454
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 02/20/2010
Messages: 268

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good to knw this
You might get angry with me now but copy right is copy right. It is your choice to base your books on those great games. It's not their fault you didn't ask and got permission.

What if I made a game based on your books without asking for permission. Would you sue me then?

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My dad, a retired layer, used to say.

"You can sue anyone for any reason. Winning the suit on the other hand, is an entirely different matter."

To win a suit you have to prove that you lost something.
No one loses anything here.
People may buy my book who have no interest in their game.
People may buy their game who have no interest in reading my book.
And, people may buy both but neither of us loses anything in the deal.

1) There is no copyright violation here.
There is no question of the difference between my book and their game.
There is no competition for profits between my book and their game.
There is no copying of my book and their game.
They don't publish books, they publish games.

2) (Silly hypothetical) I really couldn't care any less if 20,000 people made games based on my book ideas.
I have no basis to sue anyone because I haven't lost anything.
No one will buy a game instead of a book and no one will buy a book instead of a game.
They will buy whatever product they are interested in buying. Or both.
There is no competition.

If I published a game... Now there is a competitive issue and grounds for a suit.
You build and market a game that uses my games theme without my permission, I suffer a loss and have grounds to sue.

If I had a copyright on the Stalker brand of books and someone started writing books based on my brading, then there's competition and loss.
 
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