• E is for Evil now available!

    E is for Evil is out in paperback and ebook! (Links at the bottom of this post.) It features my story “G”, a dark twilight-zone romp through the...

  • Can the Dunwich Horror be Part of a Balanced Ecosystem?

    So you’re a Yog-Sothoth-worshipping cult fanatic, but you also care about your family. You want to bring forth a presence of an Elder God, since they technically...

  • How does Princess Peach float?

    One of video games’ most famed princesses, Princess Peach has been kidnapped at least 12 times and has likely developed Stockholm syndrome along with bipolar disorder (based...

  • Let the Mind Shine

    In this illustration by Debbie Ha, we see the wonder of discovery through the eyes of Voltan, who has finally found a way to put his hyperactive...

  • Astro HAL Campaign Finished!

    My race to space in the Axe Apollo Contest is finally over, after 167 days with the space suit. It will likely require fumigation at this point....


In this illustration by Jeff Doten, we see the only place in Grianach District where order remains after a war has broken out along genetic lines: the spaceport. For a lonely boy experiencing drastic mental changes he can’t fathom, the spaceport provides a haven and familiar refuge from all the noise and chaos pervading the blue-green countryside of the planet Monitum.

The boy is Voltan Ald’erda, whose genius is kicking into high-gear with a burning desire to see patterns, solve puzzles, and classify everything he sees. It’s driving him crazy. These growing pains stem from his modified genetics that are at the centre of the conflict. Here we see Voltan sneaking into the spaceport his parents managed before they were murdered. Voltan desperately wants to find a way to curb the bloodshed, and to find some clarity in a world that is anything but. Though he is trying to escape, his brilliance becomes crucial in determining the future of Monitum.

Shepherds of Sparrows — coming soon in Fall 2013!

This Saturday, I’ll be joining a horde of local authors in Sherwood Park for a book fair. I’ll be reading my children’s story “The Tokayak’s Tokomak”, which is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Come by, say hi, and support local artists!

Here are the details posted from the WITP website:

Book Sale and Fair

Saturday, October 19, 2013
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Free Admission
Book purchases are cash only

Grab a coffee, shop for books, and meet local authors at this annual celebration of writers and poets. Plus, listen to authors share their works in an open-mic session and snag an autograph on your new purchases.

Click here to find out who is coming to Words in the Park 2013!

Open-mic schedule:
1:00 pm- Mandy Eve-Barnett hosts Children’s Authors
2:00 pm- Sharon Baggs hosts Poets
3:00 pm- Linda Pedley hosts Life Stories

Strathcona County Library, 401 Festival Lane, Sherwood Park (in the Community Centre). Driving/Parking Directions

How do you like the new site? With the previous wordpress update breaking the old website template, it was time for a site revamp. There aren’t many themes out there that are suitable for authors to use, so I think we lucked out finding this one.

HF attire

This is what you should wear when interacting with HF. Keep a good 5 metre radius from him if not properly adorned with chemical face shield, chemical apron, chemical rubber gloves (check for holes!), and cleanroom bunny suit. Image from University of Alberta, Nanofabrication Facility.

The design also begged for a simple logo as a textbox with “Hal J. Friesen” seemed too lacklustre. So I came up with a monogram logo of Hal’s initials, “HJF”. Something bold with clean lines, functional and compact, maybe enclosed in a square or circle to hold it together.

I had to stay away from anything reminiscent of the periodic table (especially if the “J” is not included). The initials “HF” brings up very very very dangerous connotations for anyone who has worked with nano-etching of glass or in aluminium smelters. The CDC has a whole article on the immediate effects of associating with HF and what to do if you have been exposed to his presence. In summary, he’ll eat your bones! And leave you a nice globby mess.

I digress. Below, you’ll find a couple of ideas that I tossed around in the logo design process. The logo will also be on Hal’s new business cards. So be sure to ask him for a card the next time you see him in person. Just make sure you’re wearing your PPE and be ready to run if he spills.

Screen shot 2013-10-15 at 3.55.46 PM



LLNL breakthrough

Image courtesy of BBC.

I spent a good chunk of my Master’s research on fusion, so I have to share this.

Nuclear fusion milestone passed at US lab.

Wow. This is AWESOME news.

Why? At the end of a very expensive research campaign that made big promises, there was great potential for fusion research to be shunned and pushed to the fringes indefinitely, to the great detriment of humanity. This milestone means more legitimacy in scientific communities around the world, with more effort toward this ultimate source of green energy.

We’re not quite wearing fusion belts yet, Mr. Asimov, but we’re getting there.

The following is reposted from Lynda Williams’s Reality Skimming Blog, as the first in a series of posts leading up to the release of my novella, Shepherds of Sparrows!–

PromoLogo150This fall will see the release of Shepherds of Sparrows by Hal Friesen, the first title from Reality Skimming Press, and the introduction of a new tradition called the multivision’d promo.

Hal’s stories about Nestor, the Nersallian who fell in love with a Nesak, have appeared in Okal Rel Legacies titles Opus 3, Opus 4 and Opus 5, from the Absolute Xpress imprint of Hades Publications. Reality Skimming Press is stepping in to expand the story of the Okal Rel Universe.

Visit this blog weekly, from now through the end of 2013, to find out more about Nestor’s harrowing adventures assisting Di Mon, Liege of Monitum, with an outbreak of rogue science and a murderous backlash, on Monitum.

And experience what we mean by multivision.

For the promo, it means we’ll be illustrating scenes from Shepherds of Sparrows using the talents of more than one artist.

For books it means we plan to offer a choice of covers: character-focused ones and a Jeff Doten set featuring settings, instead.

Olivia, The Caddy, Dartha

Olivia, The Caddy, Dartha

As a sample, the composite image on the right offers two versions of Hal’s teenage heroine, Olivia, getting refugees to board a ship. Maja Madeline LaValley is the cover artist for the 2013 release of the book. Debbie Ha will be assisting in the promo.

Richard Bartrop portrayed Hal’s character, The Caddy, in the Opus anthology where he is introduced. And Yukari Yamamoto recently did the character sketch, at the lower right, of the ordinary-looking Lorel mastermind Dartha, who appears both in Shephards of Sparrows and in the concluding volume of the Okal Rel Saga, Part 10: Unholy Science, forthcoming from Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Drop in to the Reality Skimming presence on facebook at http://facebook.com/relskim to ‘like’ our page and get involved. We love readers, tweeters, kibitzers, reveiwers, bloggers, SF organizers, filkers, fans, pros, artisans, writers, artists, lurkers, educators and kindred spirits of all kinds.