More exciting Fantasy and Science Fiction novels

A Sellsword’s Compassion By Jacob Peppers

A Sellsword’s Compassion is Book One of The Seven Virtues by Jacob Peppers. It takes place in a War torn land as the sons and daughters of the late King Marcus battle over who will claim their father’s throne and able-bodied men and women flock to one cause or the other in the hopes of a better tomorrow. At least, most of them. If life has taught the jaded sellsword, Aaron Envelar, anything, it’s that hope is for fools and causes are a sure remedy for breathing.

However his latest job leads him to the corpse of a prince and a conspiracy that threatens to destroy the entire realm, Aaron is forced to choose sides in a war he doesn’t want, between forces he doesn’t understand. Thrust into a world of mythical assassins, a madman with a superhuman strength, and a nagging ball of light with a superiority complex who claims to be the embodiment of compassion, Aaron takes on his hardest job yet—staying alive.

Benjamin Ashwood by AC Cobble

Set Against the backdrop of warring political, economic, and military factions, Benjamin Ashwood is book one in an engaging fantasy adventure, series by A.C.Cobble which is Packed full of action and adventure. It features Young Benjamin who starts off as your typical orphan in a small farming town. Life is simple in Ben’s village until an unexpected attack brings the arrival of exciting strangers.

Before Ben understands what is happening, they’ve recruited his sister to go with them on an adventure to the big city where his sister enrols as a pupil at the all-female magic school. To ensure her safety, Ben accompanies her among company of mysterious swordsmen and magic-users. At the city Benjamin starts brewing beer for a living,

This goes well until he gets involved in politics of the dangerous kind and discovers that the city is ruled by unscrupulous leaders and he finds himself in a more dangerous world than he ever imagined. Mages, demons, thieves, and assassins are just a few of the perils he faces on an epic journey to a city shrouded in myth and legend. Ben and his friends end up battling a threat to all of mankind and Benjamin must decide whether to flee or stand up to them…

Trilisk Ruins Michael McCloskey

The Trilisk Ruins is the first book in the PIT series by Michael McCloskey. They feature a character named Telisa Relachik who studied to be a xenoarchaeologist in a future where humans have found alien artifacts but haven’t ever encountered live aliens. Then she discovers an Ancient race of cephalopod like aliens called Trilisk. Of all the aliens whose extinct civilizations are investigated, the Trilisks are the most advanced and the most mysterious.

Telisa refuses to join the government because of her opposition to its hard-handed policies restricting civilian investigation and trade of alien artifacts, despite the fact that her estranged father is a captain in the United Nations Space Force. However When a group of artifact smugglers recruits her, she can’t pass up the chance at getting her hands on objects that could advance her life’s work. But she soon learns her expectations of excitement and riches come with serious drawbacks as she ends up fighting for her life on a mysterious alien planet.

Valley of Embers (The Landkist Saga Book 1) by Steven Kelliher

Valley of Embers is book one of five in the epic fast-paced Landkist fantasy series by Steven Keliher. It is set in the mythical realm of Landkist where For hundreds of years, the flame-wielding Embers have been the last line of defense against the nightmare creatures from the World Apart, but the attacks are getting worse. Kole Reyna and his guards Protect Last Lake from the terrors of the night. They are the Last Line of defence, and he fears for his people’s future.

Then Kole is wounded by a demon unlike any they have seen before, and the Emberfolk believe it is a sign of an ancient enemy returned, a powerful Sage known as the Eastern Dark. Soon the besieged inhabitants of the Valley of Embers are one of only a handful of walled towns remaining as the last bastions against the night, and the dwindling population of Emberfolk struggle to defend their secluded homes from the Dark Kind. Kole has never trusted in prophecy, but with his people hanging on the precipice, he reluctantly agrees to lead the Valley’s greatest warriors in a last desperate bid for survival. They must risk everything in search of a former ally long-thought dead, to help them, and whether Kole trusts him or not, he may be the only one capable of saving them.

Paul Cezanne

Prolific French Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne sadly passed away, on 22nd October 1906. He was Born 19th January 1839 in Aix-en-Provence, France, At the age of ten Paul entered the Saint Joseph school, where he studied drawing under Joseph Gibert, a Spanish monk, in Aix. In 1852 Cézanne entered the Collège Bourbon (now Collège Mignet), where he met and became friends with Émile Zola, who was in a less advanced class, as well as Baptistin Baille—three friends who would come to be known as “les trois inséparables” (the three inseparables). He stayed there for six years. From 1858 to 1861, complying with his father’s wishes, Cézanne attended the law school of the University of Aix, while also receiving drawing lessons. Hhe committed himself to pursuing his artistic development and left Aix for Paris in 1861, encouraged by Zola, who was already living in the capital at the time. In Paris, Cézanne met the Impressionist Camille Pissarro and Over the course of the following decade they went on many landscape painting excursions together, in Louveciennes and Pontoise.Cézanne’s early work is often concerned with the figure in the landscape and includes many paintings of groups of large, heavy figures in the landscape, imaginatively painted.

Later in his career, he became more interested in working from direct observation and gradually developed a light, airy painting style, but was also interested in the simplification of naturally occurring forms to their geometric essentials.Additionally, Cézanne’s desire to capture the truth of perception led him to explore binocular vision graphically, rendering slightly different, yet simultaneous visual perceptions of the same phenomena to provide the viewer with a different aesthetic experience of depth than those of earlier ideals of perspective, in particular single-point perspective. Cézanne’s paintings were shown in the first exhibition of the Salon des Refusés in 1863, which displayed works not accepted by the jury of the official Paris Salon. Although in 1882 he exhibited Portrait of Louis-Auguste Cézanne, Father of the Artist, reading ‘l’Evénement his first and last successful submission to the Salon. Cézanne exhibited twice at the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874 and the third Impressionist exhibition in 1877). a few individual paintings were also shown at various venues, until 1895 when he had his first solo exhibition. He concentrated on a few subjects and was equally proficient in each of these genres: still lifes, portraits, landscapes and studies of bathers.

His work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th century Impressionism and the early 20th century’s new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. Both Matisse and Picasso considered Cézanne “ the father of us all”. Cézanne’s often repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields. The paintings convey Cézanne’s intense study of his subjects. Cezanne sadly died after he was caught in a rain storm for two hours while painting in a nearby field and contracted pneumonia. He is buried at the old cemetery in his beloved hometown of Aix-en-Provence.

Gare de Montparnasse

The Montparnasse derailment occurred on 22 October 1895 after theGranville–Paris Express overran the buffer stop at its Gare Montparnasse terminus. With the train several minutes late and the driver trying to make up for lost time, it entered the station too fast and the train Westinghouse air brake failed. After running through the buffer stop, the train crossed the station concourse and crashed through the station wall before falling 10 metres (33 feet) onto the Place de Rennes below, where it stood on its nose. A woman in the street below was killed by falling masonry. The driver was fined 50 francs and one of the guards 25 francs.The train was outside the station in this position for several days and a number of photographs were taken. At least one photograph is out of copyright and is used as the cover page of a book by John Taylor and on the front cover of Mr. Big’s album, Lean into It.

On 22 October 1895 the Granville to Paris express was composed of steam locomotive No. 721 hauling two baggage vans, a post van, six passenger carriages and a baggage van. The train had left Granville on time at 8:45 am, but was several minutes late as it approached its Paris Montparnasse terminus with 131 passengers on board. Trying to make up lost time the train entered the station too fast, at a speed of 40–60 kilometres per hour (25–37 mph), and theWestinghouse air brake failed. Without sufficient braking the momentum of the train carried it slowly into the buffers, and the locomotive crossed the almost 30-metre (100 ft) wide station concourse, crashing through a 60-centimetre (2 ft) thick wall, before falling onto the Place de Rennes 10 metres (33 ft) below, where it stood on its nose. A woman in the street below was killed by falling masonry; and two passengers, the fireman, two guards and a passerby in the street sustained injuries. The woman, Marie-Augustine Aguilard by name, had been standing in for her husband, a newspaper vendor, while he went to collect the evening papers. The railway company paid for her funeral and provided a pension to care for their two children.

The locomotive driver was fined 50 francs for approaching the station too fast. One of the guards was fined 25 francs as he had been preoccupied with paperwork and failed to apply the handbrake. The passenger carriages were undamaged and removed easily. It took forty-eight hours before the legal process and investigation allowed the railway to start removing the locomotive and tender. An attempt was made to move the locomotive with fourteen horses, but this failed. A 250 tonne winch with ten men first lowered the locomotive to the ground and then lifted the tender back in to the station. When the locomotive reached the railway workshops it was found to have suffered little damage. The train was outside the station for several days and a number of photographs were taken, such as those attributed to Studio Lévy and Sons, L. Mercier, and Henri Roger-Viollet. The Lévy and Sons photograph is out of copyright and is used as the cover page in the book An Introduction to Error Analysis by John Taylor. The picture is also featured on the front cover of American hard rock band Mr. Big’s 1991 album, Lean into It. It also appears as a dream in the novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret and its film adaptation, Hugo. It is referenced in the television series Thomas and Friends in “A Better View For Gordon” and depicted in the comic book The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec.

International Stuttering Awareness Day

October 22 was designated International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD) in 1998. The day is intended to raise public awareness of the millions of people – one percent of the world’s population who have the speech disorder of stuttering, also known as stammering. This is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases as well as involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the person who stutters is unable to produce sounds. The term stuttering is most commonly associated with involuntary sound repetition, but it also encompasses the abnormal hesitation or pausing before speech, referred to by people who stutter as blocks, and the prolongation of certain sounds, usually vowels or semivowels. According to Watkins et al., stuttering is a disorder of “selection, initiation, and execution of motor sequences necessary for fluent speech production. For many people who stutter, repetition is the primary problem. The term “stuttering” covers a wide range of severity, encompassing barely perceptible impediments that are largely cosmetic to severe symptoms that effectively prevent oral communication. In the world, approximately four times as many men as women stutter, encompassing 70 million people worldwide,or about 1% of the world’s population.

The impact of stuttering on a person’s functioning and emotional state can be severe. This may include fears of having to enunciate specific vowels or consonants, fears of being caught stuttering in social situations, self-imposed isolation, anxiety, stress, shame, being a possible target of bullying (especially in children), having to use word substitution and rearrange words in a sentence to hide stuttering, or a feeling of “loss of control” during speech. Stuttering is sometimes popularly seen as a symptom of anxiety, but there is actually no direct correlation in that direction (though as mentioned the inverse can be true, as social anxiety may actually develop in individuals as a result of their stuttering).

Stuttering is generally not a problem with the physical production of speech sounds or putting thoughts into words. Acute nervousness and stress do not cause stuttering, but they can trigger stuttering in people who have the speech disorder, and living with a stigmatized disability can result in anxiety and high allostatic stress load (chronic nervousness and stress) that reduce the amount of acute stress necessary to trigger stuttering in any given person who stutters, exacerbating the problem in the manner of a positive feedback system; the name ‘stuttered speech syndrome’ has been proposed for this condition. Neither acute nor chronic stress, however, itself creates any predisposition to stuttering.

The disorder is also variable, which means that in certain situations, such as talking on the telephone or in a large group, the stuttering might be more severe or less, depending on whether or not the stutterer is self-conscious about their stuttering. Stutterers often find that their stuttering fluctuates and that they have “good” days, “bad” days and “stutter-free” days. The times in which their stuttering fluctuates can be random. Although the exact etiology, or cause, of stuttering is unknown, both genetics and neurophysiology are thought to contribute. There are many treatments and speech therapy techniques available that may help decrease speech disfluency in some people who stutter to the point where an untrained ear cannot identify a problem; however, there is essentially no cure for the disorder at present. The severity of the person’s stuttering would correspond to the amount of speech therapy needed to decrease disfluency. For severe stuttering, long-term therapy and hard work is required to decrease disfluency.

ISAD includes an online conference, running annually from October 1 to 22 each year, targeted at people with an interest in stuttering as well as speech-language pathologists and their clients. The conferences, held every year since 1998, are all still available online. It also includes public awareness events, a media campaign, educational activities and online resources. In an article published in the UK magazine Community Care to mark International Stuttering Awareness Day, Irina Papencheva from the Bulgarian Stuttering Association and Phil Madden from the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities demanded a fresh start in attitudes towards stammering, saying that “everyone has the responsibility to be aware, to be sensitive in our conversations and meetings” and to remember that stuttering is “not funny”