× HOME BLOG BOOKS FREE STORIES! ABOUT
books by Jack McDaniel

Blog

The Sapient Rift

One of the reasons the sapient rift could be so difficult to cross is how quickly intelligent life advances in terms of its technological prowess. It is difficult to imagine any intelligent civilization progressing slowly. Curiosity fuels intelligence.
intro

Sapient Rift

I love science fiction, always have. Television shows, movies and, especially, books have been a staple part of my diet since I used to sit in my underwear watching Batman & Robin, The Green Hornet and Star Trek on my parents' black and white Zenith television.

Ever since I discovered sci-fi I have been enamored with the unlimited possibilities I saw out there – “where no man has gone before.” The stars and the greater universe made me curious about a lot of things. I suppose at some point most of us ask the question “are we alone”? The odds seem to be in the favor of “no, we aren’t”. There are billions of galaxies containing billions of stars and billions upon billions of habitable planets. Given those numbers life can’t be so uncommon as to make our presence upon the universal stage singular. What a tragedy that would be! ... more »

No, You May Not Punch Some Girl In The Face

When it comes to parenting I’m like most guys with a teenage daughter: clueless and making stuff up as I go along. Any guy claiming otherwise is full of it.
intro

Junior Prom has come and gone, which was mostly uneventful, but quite costly. That’s okay. As any father will tell you, once your daughter becomes a teenager you turn into a 24 hour ATM. Currency equals love. That’s why some of us with lots of greenbacks go for younger women when we age. It’s learned behavior. ... more »

Sideways At The Darkness

New Fiction
We illuminate the darkness with the questions we ask. And how we ask those questions is as important as what we ask.
intro

Jeffrey once asked The Darkness why he – Jeffrey – was different than everyone else. This was on a rainy day in November when we were all bored and the cold filtered through every living thing. The Darkness told him your place in the universe is determined by the day you were born on and which child you were in the family. Jeffrey thought being born in January and the first child in our family makes him special from the universe’s standpoint. That was just so much baloney. Jeffrey was a C student and barely an athlete. His specialness was in his head. Plus, and this was a fact, as I learned that summer Saturday, he sucked at bowling. ... more »

Stacks Of Notebooks

I sometimes wonder if the notebooks forced certain habits upon me, or if I use them because they lend themselves nicely to the way I do things.
intro

In a kitchen closet is a box containing 30 notebooks, give or take a few. There are a couple more notebooks at my office. Then, there is my current notebook, a soft cover large Moleskine, sitting on the kitchen counter. They vary in style and sometimes purpose, especially the older ones. There are spiral ring-bound notebooks with college ruled paper. A few of them are hard backed with heavier paper. I almost never think about them. They are an extension of me, taken for granted and never questioned. ... more »

I Miss America

Everywhere we go there we are. We have surrendered our uniqueness for convenience and conformity
intro

I miss our straight-forward approach to solving big problems. I miss the willingness to tackle those problems without agendas or motives, simply because they existed and needed solving and who better than us to provide the solution. ... more »

The Obstacles In Our Way

Navigating the crooked path to truth and honesty
intro

We have entered an era where “proofiness” trumps all. The statement “I believe …” coming from anyone causes us to stop in our tracks and give added weight to any explanation. It’s as if the belief in something – anything – is more important than the veracity of what the person actually believes. Sarah Palin can say on national television (with a straight face!) and no one in the media even questions her competency to be before a microphone: "Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant – they're quite clear – that we would create law based on the God of the bible and the Ten Commandments.” Somehow, questioning the idiocy of her “belief” is off-limits, so no one in the media does, and this lends more credence to her statement with the listening and watching public, blurring lines between fact and folly. ... more »

Scoring In Vegas

I de-skinned my knees. When I stood up there was blood flowing everywhere, shreds of skin and DNA missing, tangled in the fake grass and adding a bit more color to the local landscape.
intro

The first morning I skinned my knees. Actually, I de-skinned my knees. When I stood up there was blood flowing everywhere, shreds of skin and DNA missing, tangled in the fake grass and adding a bit more color to the local landscape. No worries. I cleaned out the wounds with some water, applied some Neosporin, and got on with things. ... more »

Obamacare Is Taking Our Guns!

Irrational Fear and Inconvenient Facts
intro

For some people the depths of their fear cannot be measured. Fear of 'Them', of the government, of 'turrurists', of losing their rights. Fear, Fear, FEAR! How they live like this I cannot imagine. ... more »

Quit Stealing My Wonder

Of all of the adults in the U.S. only 33 percent believe humans have always existed in our current form (no evolution)
intro

There are those who scoff at science and, in particular, evolution. They often argue with a visceral madness that God created them as they are, that there is no damned way we can count chimps as a relative, distant or otherwise.

Of Evangelical Protestants in the United States, 64 percent believe God made man as he is today. Fifty percent of those claiming allegiance to the republican party believe this, according to a recent PEW study ... more »

Antidepressants and the American Zombification

35 million people in the U.S. take antidepressants. One in four women over 40 are on them
intro

I get bored quickly. I have ADD – and when it comes to numbers I have a serious case of OCD. Occasionally, I wish people away by completely ignoring them, not in spite, mind you. I just don’t want to be bothered. I have things on my mind – scratching to get out – and stuff to accomplish, however trivial, thank you very much. Yes, my anti-social tendencies can be annoying to some and I am aware that I have the patience of a claustrophobic man trapped in a dumbwaiter. Whatever. If I’m comfortable with it then you will have to be too. I see no need to change. ... more »

You're A Dick

Here’s another observation since I’m on a roll and trying to see life as this guy. He’s the guy everyone told me I should be.
intro

Against my better judgement I agreed to set up some sort of booth at a local leadership conference. My opinion of these things is pretty low, having been forced in the past to attend a few. I can tell you leadership conferences are generally attended by people following orders to attend and hoping to escape their cubicle confines for a day or two. At best attendees can be found on the sub-mid-level management rosters of many Fortune 100,000 companies. At worst they are unemployed and thinking of ... more »

Welcome To Hell

They were his people, those huddling in the dark, writhing in pain, the skulls beneath his feet. They were for him.
intro

Something resembling a sharp stick struck him in the side. The pain was registered, but overwhelmed by a sudden wave of pain that was beyond comprehension and description. Falwell cried out in agony. He was coming to and this new reality wasn’t within his realm of experience. Falwell cried out in agony. He was coming to and this new reality wasn’t within his realm of experience. Where the hell was he? ... more »

Space Oddity

Chris Hadfield just completed something that only a handful of men and women have ever done. He spent five months in space on the International Space Station (ISS). Hadfield did more than just take his work to edge of our world for a few months.
intro

Chris Hadfield - Space OddityChris Hadfield just completed something that only a handful of men and women have ever done. He spent five months in space on the International Space Station (ISS). Hadfield did more than just take his work to edge of our world for a few months. He packed his guitar along for the ride and while on the space station gave an amazing rendition of David Bowie’s "Space Oddity". ... more »

A Man Of Culture - Iain M. Banks

I just learned that one of my favorite writers is dying, cancer and apparently late-stage. Iain Banks – or Iain M. Banks for fans of his science fiction novels – has had an unusual and sparkling career.
intro

Iain M. BanksI just learned that one of my favorite writers is dying, cancer and apparently late-stage. Iain Banks – or Iain M. Banks for fans of his science fiction novels – has had an unusual and sparkling career. Mr. Banks has produced some wonderful mainstream fiction (whatever the hell ‘mainstream’ means) but is probably best known for his Culture novels, a science fiction universe filled with high-tech gadgetry, love and, most importantly, humor.

I discovered Banks by accident. I hadn’t read a science fiction novel in decades when one day walking through Barnes and Noble I spied the cover to his most recent work – ‘Matter’ – on the bottom shelf of the newest science fiction releases. ... more »

Copyright © Jack McDaniel