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Title: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Smurf Hunter on November 05, 2012, 09:59:13 PM
You all know the drill. 
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on November 11, 2012, 04:55:23 PM
I heard it's pretty good...
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Chemsoldier on November 11, 2012, 08:58:53 PM
I heard it's pretty good...
Hearsay!

Enough of this banter you!  Less talkie...more publishy! 

To paraphrase the old lady from the Wendy's commercial, "Where's the book?"
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: backwoods_engineer on November 12, 2012, 05:34:27 PM
Dying here!  Finished Joe Nobody's 3rd "Bishop" novel, and I've STILL got three days days for Heavy G's books!  Grrrr!
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: TexDaddy on November 13, 2012, 07:33:13 AM
Hearsay!...
Not only that, the source is biased.  ;)
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on November 13, 2012, 09:00:13 PM
Please do an Amazon review of Book Four.  Thanks.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: backwoods_engineer on November 14, 2012, 03:31:34 PM
Got books 3 & 4 on the KINDLE NOW!

Thanks Heavy G!
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: MTUCache on November 15, 2012, 03:38:27 PM
Once again, couldn't keep from devouring these as quickly as possible. Should finish Book 4 this evening...

I am enjoying the story, and it does seem to be developing into a good arc... crisis coming at some point!

Another thing that I'm particularly enjoying though is imagining other parts of the country within the same world. We're getting glimpses into Texas and Seattle, but since there's so many different ways this could play out around the world it's interesting to think about how other parts of the country would be doing. Is that small farming community in Iowa having trouble getting their corn in the ground without gas for their tractors? Have the media been conveniently ignoring the blazing inferno in NYC, or the brutal enforcement of marshal law in Chicago? Have the Mennonites in PA even noticed? What does the suburban wasteland of Arizona look like with AC being spotty and summer right around the corner?

My particular favorite... is there a similar patriot-minded community forming on an island in the Great Lakes, putting up defenses, preparing to be self-sufficient, and meanwhile taking "foraging" expeditions onto the mainland to pick up equipment and supplies left by the panicked masses?

Then again... maybe that's coming in later books. Things are moving so quickly now that while some places are in a complete meltdown others have barely noticed. The sick and elderly may be dying, but we've yet to hear about large-scale starvation setting in anywhere. Pretty scary to be left in the dark with a media you can't trust and no idea what's "really" going on out there.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Smurf Hunter on November 19, 2012, 10:28:36 AM
90% done - will finish book 4 today on my commute home.

Snelling

I get he's a self-righteous liberal dick, but Grant almost seems to be bullying him.
When Grant initially shut him down, I supported it.  At subsequent meetings the grange, Grant seems to be antagonizing him for public show.
I don't like this personality flaw with Grant.

pancakes

How are the characters not getting fat eating all those carbs and gluten every day?  I used to ride a bicycle 10 miles every day year round, and was always soft around my mid-section because I ate whatever I wanted to.  I've since gone paleo and lost 20 lbs. with less exercise than I used to do.

mopeds/trucks inside Pierce Point

What are the distances between the sleeping quarters, the grange and the gate?
Why not pedal around on mountain bikes?  I get you've got ARs and heavy load outs, but it wouldn't kill a healthy person to pedal 1-2 miles at a moderate pace, even with 50lbs. of gear.  Seems silly to waste the gas inside the stronghold.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: backwoods_engineer on November 19, 2012, 11:21:56 AM
Snelling

I get he's a self-righteous liberal dick, but Grant almost seems to be bullying him.
When Grant initially shut him down, I supported it.  At subsequent meetings the grange, Grant seems to be antagonizing him for public show.
I don't like this personality flaw with Grant.

As an amateur writer, it looks to me like Snelling is being used as a literary device, a foil, and those conversations wouldn't proceed exactly as described in real life.  Snelling allows Heavy G to explain Grant's arguments againt normalcy bias, hoplophobia, relying on the non-existent police, and other general grasshopper-type behaviors.  You need a Snelling, or else you get too many pages of preachy screeds.   Working it into a conversation makes the medicine go down easier.

My $0.02.  Heavy G can explain himself, but that's what it looks like to me.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: MTUCache on November 19, 2012, 12:25:53 PM
Snelling
I get he's a self-righteous liberal dick, but Grant almost seems to be bullying him.
When Grant initially shut him down, I supported it.  At subsequent meetings the grange, Grant seems to be antagonizing him for public show.
I don't like this personality flaw with Grant.
Lol... I thought the same thing. Although, Heavy G did say that we'd see a true character, with both strengths and weaknesses, not some superhero. I don't particularly like seeing this flaw in a leader (or judge), but you can't say that it's not a flaw we don't see in many, many men with any degree of ego and power.

To be perfectly honest, after reading these latest two books, I can't say that I wouldn't be closer to Snelling's mindset than Grant's. Maybe that's a flaw in my own character, being too complacent and unwilling to so quickly resort to "fortressing" up the community. Personally, I don't think I would have willingly gone along with a lot of what Grant and Rich have put into place so far... having the community feed this many people on guard-duty with barely any indication that those guards would be needed seems kind of wasteful. I'm sure we'll see differently in the future, but if I was in that community I would think that he was being awfully paranoid so far. I think I would have been happy with a half-dozen guards at the bridge and a lot less in the way of "community development" at the Grange... again though, that's just my point-of-view (what are we feeding all these guys for again?)  ???

I do feel like the calendar and time-line of the books got way off track in this last one.... in some ways it's hard to believe that it's been two weeks since the Crisis (not much mention yet of anyones food stores running low, even non-preppers, food trucks without any escorts, etc), and in other ways it seems like part of the story is pulled from things that wouldn't have been put together for months afterward (FC guys getting a reputation for liking girls in Frederickson, the Rebel Radio guys starting back up and establishing some kind of supply-chain for their CDs... not to mention the communication via graffiti)... I have a hard time coming up with a way how things could have moved so quickly in some areas while so slowly in others. I don't doubt that all of them could/would happen eventually, and I can only imagine how hard it would be to put a calendar like this together, but it definitely had me scratching my head. I'm still astounded that this could all be wrapped up in 299 days, even with 260+ left to go... just seems like the chaos is just beginning to unravel.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Smurf Hunter on November 19, 2012, 02:27:17 PM
Good thoughts MTU.

The chronology does seem challenging. 

If things went to hell in just a week or two,  the vast majority of people would be inclined to think a recovery might come as quickly.  That would make buy-in for things like military fortifications of Pierce Point difficult.  I also think the time frame of creating and deploying the FC people seems far fetched.

The biggest prepping lessons I've taken from this series so far:

1) economics - not just bartering, but how to establish agreements for distribution of resources
2) transportation - some people think my affection for riding and wrenching on old bicycles is eccentric, but I'll be a big shot if the gas runs out :)
3) fire arms - I'd rather have 4 competent dudes with deer rifles than 20 idiot mall ninjas
4) politics - as in the "Real" world, trade is a big motivator for cooperation.  This requires creativity and dynamic thinking.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: backwoods_engineer on November 19, 2012, 02:32:36 PM
"The Team" == " 20 idiot mall ninjas", smurfhunter?

They didn't come off that way to me.  They're sheepdogs, in the Nutnfancy sense.

I do agree the timeline seems a bit accelerated, but then again, that charge has been leveled against every other piece of prepper fiction, starting with "Patriots" by Rawles.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Smurf Hunter on November 19, 2012, 03:00:46 PM
"The Team" == " 20 idiot mall ninjas", smurfhunter?

They didn't come off that way to me.  They're sheepdogs, in the Nutnfancy sense.

I do agree the timeline seems a bit accelerated, but then again, that charge has been leveled against every other piece of prepper fiction, starting with "Patriots" by Rawles.

Whoa - I wasn't referring to "the team".

To my count, the only shooting in book four was granny capping the to FC dudes with her .22 target pistol.  I still have a couple chapters to go in book 4, but it doesn't look like Pierce Point will blow threw all their 5.56 in an epic battle against an army of zombie socialists led by Diane Feinstein.

My point is there's no need for the "paras" - at least no need at this point in the book.  To a degree it may be a deterrent.

Last critique from me for the day:

Why is HAM radio considered secure?  I'm not a HAM, but occasionally listen to HAM using my Uniden scanner that cost around $100 from Amazon.  As I understand it, encryption is not permitted over HAM.  The frequencies may be less common compared to CB, but I'm not fulling understanding how it's more appropriate for OP-SEC sensitive comms.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: hanzel on November 19, 2012, 03:42:59 PM

Why is HAM radio considered secure?  I'm not a HAM, but occasionally listen to HAM using my Uniden scanner that cost around $100 from Amazon.  As I understand it, encryption is not permitted over HAM.  The frequencies may be less common compared to CB, but I'm not fulling understanding how it's more appropriate for OP-SEC sensitive comms.

I think you answered your own question.  Fewer people have Ham radios, even the receiver only scanners vs a CB radio which are very common.  Its not considered "secure" its just more "secure" then other options.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on November 19, 2012, 08:43:19 PM

Why is HAM radio considered secure?  I'm not a HAM, but occasionally listen to HAM using my Uniden scanner that cost around $100 from Amazon.  As I understand it, encryption is not permitted over HAM.  The frequencies may be less common compared to CB, but I'm not fulling understanding how it's more appropriate for OP-SEC sensitive comms.


A good question.  Ham frequencies are harder for the common person to listen to; CB is more common.  And there's far more ham frequencies to monitor.

I didn't put any encryption into the story because, in the spirit of keeping things real, I don't think normal people have encryption.

However, there will be lots of encrypted communications in the future books... just not the kind of encryption you're thinking of.  *evil laughter*  You'll love the encryption method.  It's totally real and believable.  I'll give you a hint: quadra.  That's all I'll say.  It'll make sense in about Book Seven. 
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: backwoods_engineer on November 19, 2012, 10:04:13 PM
To my count, the only shooting in book four was granny capping the to FC dudes with her .22 target pistol.

Wasn't that sweet?  I was cheering granny!
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Smurf Hunter on November 20, 2012, 09:37:33 AM
Wasn't that sweet?  I was cheering granny!

Indeed.  I was a "having a day" yesterday, and in hindsight my posts came off grumpy.  Sorry if feathers got ruffled.

The ability of granny to take down two tangos with a .22 target gun demonstrates how successful insurgencies can happen. 
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on November 20, 2012, 08:54:07 PM

The ability of granny to take down two tangos with a .22 target gun demonstrates how successful insurgencies can happen.


I understand why you're calling them "tangos" (phonetic alphabet for "T"; "terrorists"). But by about Book Five you'll be calling them "Limas."  You'll see why *evil laughter*

I hope "Lima down" becomes a Patriot slang phrase.  *more evil laughter*
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Smurf Hunter on November 21, 2012, 09:59:22 AM
I understand why you're calling them "tangos" (phonetic alphabet for "T"; "terrorists"). But by about Book Five you'll be calling them "Limas."  You'll see why *evil laughter*

I hope "Lima down" becomes a Patriot slang phrase.  *more evil laughter*

I got this one.

Lima = "L" as in Loyalist

BTW:  Since HG or his publisher couldn't be bothered to release any more books this week (sarcasm), I started reading Paul Revere's Ride (http://www.amazon.com/Paul-Reveres-David-Hackett-Fischer/dp/0195098315/).  I'd heard about it at an Appleseed shoot a few years back, but never got around to reading it.

I won't digress too much from this thread, but there are some important truths about resisting tyranny I've learned just reading 10% of that book.


I bring all this up, because history DOES repeat itself.  However we will never be so lucky to have an adversary with the high moral character of Thomas Gage.
Today our antagonists perform warrant-less searches, detentions without trial, drone strikes, etc. 
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Hootie on November 27, 2012, 06:11:42 PM
I just started book 4 today, but i got to ask...

when are books 5 and 6 going to be available?
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: thefuzz1290 on November 27, 2012, 07:13:43 PM
Not soon enough. I finished book 1 in 2 days (a plane ride to and from TX), book 2 in 1 d day, book 3 the next day, and book 4 the next.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on November 27, 2012, 08:32:47 PM

when are books 5 and 6 going to be available?


Mid-February, 2013.  I sent the books to the publisher about two weeks ago.  It takes a couple months to edit and format them.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: otowner98 on November 27, 2012, 08:39:47 PM
Glen, book four was great - nice cliffhanger there, too.  I am anxiously awaiting books 5 & 6, and all the rest.  Thank you for doing all of this.  You have really kicked me back into high gear in a way I haven't been since I was new to TSP 4 years ago.

Were winners ever announced for the signed copies contest from October?  I'm way behind on the Podcast, so apologies if has already been announced.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on November 27, 2012, 08:41:44 PM

You have really kicked me back into high gear in a way I haven't been since I was new to TSP 4 years ago.


Awesome!  That's what I love to hear.  It's why I did this.

Quote

Were winners ever announced for the signed copies contest from October?  I'm way behind on the Podcast, so apologies if has already been announced.


Yep.  The winners were notified on October 31 or maybe November 1 and the books have been mailed out.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: NWPilgrim on November 28, 2012, 10:25:53 PM
As with Books 1 & 2, this next installment again feel more real than reality.  That is, today's world seems surreal because we have overspent so grossly and our politicians so blatantly steal from us, yet most of the world just blithely go about each day as if nothing is wrong.  The 299 books are what should be happening, or eventually will happen.  Those consequences and events are what is real, not this sugar coated ball of goat crap we consume.

I agree though with questioning the overwhelming support by the community of dozens of guards and a full time security Team when there has been virtually zero direct threat to the community yet.  Just feeding that many mouths would be a serious burden on a community where only a fraction did prepping, I am not sure I would be jumping on the bandwagon to provide for so many guards and a dedicated team so soon and without indications of very large threats. I grew up in a rural area and most people would be fairly confident in their own family's ability to provide their own security.  They might support a few guys doing shifts of two men at a time at the gate, but I kind of doubt a the diverse opinions of a few hundred residents is going to gel around the idea of so many security people easting free and using their gas.

From what I understand of the book series the Community is a launch pad for a Patriot movement and political force, so for the story line it is necessary to form this up and have it underway when bigger events evolve.  But in reality I think it would be a lot slower and messier.  There would be many more divisions of opinion and more "opt outs" until something happened to demonstrate two gate guards and personal guns were not enough to handle the supposed growing threat.  If there is so much violence in Olympia and Shel..Frederickson, then it would not be surprising for at least some roving looters to try the homes of Pierce Point and that would be motivation to form up better.  But with no violence at all against the Point it does not seem urgent two weeks into the collapse (sorry Jason, "Crisis") to be deploying a large security force.

I think in a real even, most effort is going to e going into helping ensure neighbors have enough firewood to stay warm, gather as much food and work gardens as possible, and perhaps a lively bartering at the Grange in greater measure than meetings every night.

Another thing I like is that it is not a total collapse of civilization and end of rule of law.  This version of collapse still has the government functioning to a degree and as usual they are more focused on getting and keeping power over citizens than actually doing anything meaningful.  And the power is still on at least some of the time, and cities are favored over rural.  Rifles are carried but alsways with consideration to the circumstance and location. This is a much more likely scenario than total collapse and everyone running around in cammies and full combat gear everyday.

While I really like the books, I am questioning whether I am going to keep spending $10 on each one for the next 6 books.  That is pretty steep.  Great story so far but not sure I am willing to pay $100 for it. At $3-$4/book I would be all in for the series.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: backwoods_engineer on November 29, 2012, 01:35:36 PM
I on the other hand will gladly pay Heavy G's price.  There is more to that price than the value of the book alone; there is patronage of an author who is "one of us," and I want to see him do more books in the future.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Smurf Hunter on November 29, 2012, 02:13:38 PM
I on the other hand will gladly pay Heavy G's price.  There is more to that price than the value of the book alone; there is patronage of an author who is "one of us," and I want to see him do more books in the future.

I'm of the same feeling there and want to personally support HG's work and its greater mission.

When you figure that most every kindle book costs $9.99, each book in 299 series has to complete with best seller novels, classics and other more popular titles.
If I wasn't a TSPer, didn't know of "Glen Tate", but wanted a quasi-collapse/dystopian political thriller, something like Matthew Bracken's "Enemies" trilogy is a safer bet. (I've read it, and highly recommend it).

Also, there are many up and coming authors in the dystopian genre who regularly sell there titles for a few dollars, or even free.  I read many of those, not because I'm cheap, but I read frequently on my long bus ride into work, and simply go through a lot of reading material on my kindle.  These sorts of titles are hit or miss.  Most have bad editing, or awkward prose.  For the few gems I find, I post a solid review and hope the author is encouraged.

Speaking of amazon reviews - we need to do a better job.  I've referred the 299 series to non-prepper friends, and I got feedback that the reviews all appeared to be posted by personal friends or fans of the author.  Unfortunately our community support is a little too transparent for some critical shoppers.  Maybe we can find a way be objective in my written comments, while still offering a high star rating.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: PrepperJim on November 29, 2012, 09:22:04 PM
Ack! My wife had a Lisa moment today which I posted over in the Flip that Spouse thread.

Why oh why must it be three steps forward and two back? It will be rocky times in the PrepperJim household for awhile. I'll just keep telling myself, "be the G". :-)
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on November 30, 2012, 05:25:46 AM

At $3-$4/book I would be all in for the series.


You have no idea what it costs to produce a book and sell it.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Chemsoldier on November 30, 2012, 06:16:03 AM
You have no idea what it costs to produce a book and sell it.
Which unfortunately, has no bearing on the average person's willingness to buy something.  Their willingness to buy is based on how much they want something and any other factors (wanting to read prepper fiction that isnt written by crazy people).

An example is my Grandmother, she knew that 10% is the average tip rate for waitresses...but after about $.50 she couldn't process it anymore.  She didnt think she was under-tipping.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: thefuzz1290 on November 30, 2012, 07:01:24 AM
I thought $10 for the short books was a little much, but I do know how much it cost for small publishers to produce a book. You can't expect a small publisher to be able to produce a book at the same price as one of the mega publishers. I'll pay it to support small business.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Serenity Gulch on November 30, 2012, 09:24:11 AM
At this point in the game if I lived in Pierce Point I would probably be on Grant's selfish and suspicious list. As readers we've had the benefit of being inside Grant's head so we know his intentions are good, but what does all this look like to an outsider?

A group of heavily-armed young men come into your community and take over a cabin that doesn't belong to them. They and their leader insist that your community needs protection due to an immanent attack, and they are just the people to do it. In exchange all you need to do is feed them from your own ever-dwindling supplies of food. So far you've not seen any violence in your community and the only "attack" turns out to be a huge false alarm. Were you really in danger of attack or was this just a false flag op put on by these armed men to gain your trust?

They want food in exchange for their protection, yet they've managed to somehow come in possession of a semi full of food which they claim they will dole out to the community at some later date.  ::) They are doing a door-to-door survey in your community to make a list of number of occupants, what supplies and equipment you have on hand, and your political leanings. They ride around the community in the back of a pickup demanding adulation like they'd just liberated Paris.

 If I was in that situation I think my instincts would be screaming "scam" and "protection racket". I would be keeping my cards very close to the vest and doing the absolute minimum to attract their attention. I might even be quietly surveying some of my other neighbors to see if we need to put together a force to try and take this "Team" out of the picture.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: MTUCache on November 30, 2012, 10:49:45 AM
At this point in the game if I lived in Pierce Point I would probably be on Grant's selfish and suspicious list. As readers we've had the benefit of being inside Grant's head so we know his intentions are good, but what does all this look like to an outsider?

A group of heavily-armed young men come into your community and take over a cabin that doesn't belong to them. They and their leader insist that your community needs protection due to an immanent attack, and they are just the people to do it. In exchange all you need to do is feed them from your own ever-dwindling supplies of food. So far you've not seen any violence in your community and the only "attack" turns out to be a huge false alarm. Were you really in danger of attack or was this just a false flag op put on by these armed men to gain your trust?

They want food in exchange for their protection, yet they've managed to somehow come in possession of a semi full of food which they claim they will dole out to the community at some later date.  ::) They are doing a door-to-door survey in your community to make a list of number of occupants, what supplies and equipment you have on hand, and your political leanings. They ride around the community in the back of a pickup demanding adulation like they'd just liberated Paris.

 If I was in that situation I think my instincts would be screaming "scam" and "protection racket". I would be keeping my cards very close to the vest and doing the absolute minimum to attract their attention. I might even be quietly surveying some of my other neighbors to see if we need to put together a force to try and take this "Team" out of the picture.
Very much agree... although, when you think about it, it's pretty ironic that we're already doing this at a country-wide level. When it's kept out of our sight (behind closed doors or across an ocean of water), we're willing to give up 30-50% of our effort and money so that we can have the illusion of safety, security, and that someone competent is really in charge out there, looking over us. Arming, feeding, and supporting hundreds of thousands with barely any indication that we actually need their protection. Of course, if you question the need for an overseas military you're automatically labelled as some kind of whacko-commie or pipe-smoking hippie who has no sense of patriotism.  ::)

Put this at a smaller scale, within sight of your own front yard, and suddenly it seems a little paranoid to be keeping up this level of protection, doesn't it?

All that being said... I'm confident we'll have a fire-fight coming at some point where everyone will be extremely glad that the Team is in place. Until then though, I'd be extremely suspicious of this Grant character, city-boy playing mall-ninja who just came in a "took over" with his "team" of military contractors.  :P
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: PrepperJim on November 30, 2012, 11:46:34 AM
At this point in the game if I lived in Pierce Point I would probably be on Grant's selfish and suspicious list. As readers we've had the benefit of being inside Grant's head so we know his intentions are good, but what does all this look like to an outsider?

I was thinking almost the same thing. There would be rivals for control from Rich and Grant especially when they went surveying for stuff. If they came around and asked me what I had it would be, "I have some food and water for a hurricane, a couple of guns some ammo (not much), and obviously a generator and gas.  Sure I'd like to help out, but shouldn't we (beyond Rich and Grant) be involved in these side discussions about how to run stuff. Heck, I've lived here all my life and don't know you from Adam. I'd like some say in how things go around here." 

There just is not enough internal conflict when it comes to control. Not everyone will give up control without input. But, then again, we are only two weeks into it which is still the honeymoon phase of post-disaster. Wait until the food starts to run low!
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: yoshi on November 30, 2012, 01:17:20 PM
Some thoughts:


Great job, Grant. Can't wait for 5 & 6.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: backwoods_engineer on November 30, 2012, 02:47:13 PM
Chapter 108.5 (http://299days.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Bonus-Chapter-108.5.pdf):

While reading this bonus chapter for Book 4, I was thinking about the Kurt Hoffman quote (http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2012/09/remember-evil-exists-because-good-men.html), "Remember: Evil exists because good men don't kill the government officials committing it."

I think it is very realistic that only after Peterson gets shot does he realize that he has been doing evil to others by cheating in the courtroom to be able to seize people's possessions and land for the government.

I also think there is going to be a lot of this going on in the near future; Civil War II is coming as surely as the Collapse.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Absit on November 30, 2012, 08:59:32 PM
The timeline is accelerated, I feel like people wouldn't be ready to have a gun battle in 2 weeks - especially since they're largely secluded from the violence of the cities.  I also noticed a lot of typos in book 3/4 (paperback).

Also, when you keep saying CB in the books, do you mean CB or do you mean the GMRS/FRS style radios you actually see in most hunters' households.  I've only met one person with an actual CB radio, but tons of people with GMRS/FRS radios.

About the prices, I agree it's steep.   I understand publishing books can be expensive, especially for a small publisher, which is why I was so surprised to hear you'd be releasing two books at a time for the massive series.  From a consumer point of view wouldn't it have made a lot more sense to publish half as many books with twice as many pages?  Yeah, it's a marketing gimmick to bring in more money.  I'm not going to fault anyone for wanting to make money, but I'd be significantly happier spending a little more (or the same amount, but not twice as much obviously) on one book every couple months than I am buying two at the current prices.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: NWPilgrim on December 01, 2012, 03:32:27 AM
You have no idea what it costs to produce a book and sell it.

You are correct I don't.  But I DO know what else I can buy for $10 or $100, especially on Kindle format. I like the story, I have bought four of the books so far in the spirit of supporting a prepper author who bothered to edit (pretty much).  And I wrote two glowing reviews both here and on Amazon. But there are a ton of other books I want to get, too.  I have to weigh spending $100 on one series versus buying a couple of stand alone novels, a couple of history books, and some Hornady .224" 68 gr BTHP bullets to reload.

There are a lot of things I would love to do to, but I doubt many people would pay what it would cost for me to do those things either.  Just because I would charge a fair price for my time and materials does not mean it is something another person wants to pay.  Each dollar increase filters out more customers as well as improves the margin. It is balance of cost-benefit and alternatives.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on December 01, 2012, 07:42:16 AM

From a consumer point of view wouldn't it have made a lot more sense to publish half as many books with twice as many pages? 


A book twice as long would have been pretty expensive.  The publisher and I went around and around about this. 
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on December 01, 2012, 07:43:42 AM
Lots of good observations here.  But keep in mind that you're only seeing 40% of the story now (Book One through Four of a ten-book set). 

Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Smurf Hunter on December 01, 2012, 10:56:09 AM
A book twice as long would have been pretty expensive.  The publisher and I went around and around about this.

So, as an example - is it actually cheaper to publish 2 separate 300 page books, than a single 600 page one?

how's that possible?  The amount of editorial work would appear the same, but you've got 2 titles (ISBN, marketing, distro, etc.) - I can't imagine it would actually cost less for 2 titles.  I realize I have no direct knowledge of this process, but this doesn't compute.

Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: otowner98 on December 01, 2012, 12:16:50 PM
     My company owns a very large digital press, and we also sub out a lot of printing and binding work that we can't do internally for various reasons.  Printing books is a hell of a lot more expensive than you would imagine, and like everything else, that has been accelerating in the past decade. 
     This will only get worse - as with everything else. 
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on December 02, 2012, 06:10:52 AM
By "expensive," I mean the sale price would be higher.  A double-sized book would be roughly double the sales price.  There are price points readers are used to.  A $19.99 book with double the content sells a lot less than two $9.99 books.  That's just the way consumers buy books.  *shrugs*
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Smurf Hunter on December 02, 2012, 12:23:12 PM
By "expensive," I mean the sale price would be higher.  A double-sized book would be roughly double the sales price.  There are price points readers are used to.  A $19.99 book with double the content sells a lot less than two $9.99 books.  That's just the way consumers buy books.  *shrugs*

I understand all this, but am glad my day job is a software engineer so I don't have to worry about it :)
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: JC2 on December 09, 2012, 04:55:06 AM
I was utterly dissapointeted in book four.
I was reading along not paying attention to my location on my kindle, getting into the book and then it stopped. Really, you had to stop it right there and now you want me to wait for the next book. Heavy G - you suck.
Seriously though - great read so far Heavy G. I'm definetly into the series:) Looking forward to book five and six and seven and.... you get the point.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on December 11, 2012, 08:53:11 PM

I was utterly dissapointeted in book four.
I was reading along not paying attention to my location on my kindle, getting into the book and then it stopped. Really, you had to stop it right there and now you want me to wait for the next book. Heavy G - you suck.
Seriously though - great read so far Heavy G. I'm definetly into the series:) Looking forward to book five and six and seven and.... you get the point.


 ;D
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Hootie on December 16, 2012, 08:41:16 PM
I am officially a 299day junky. I am just tweaking out for book5.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on December 17, 2012, 05:29:14 AM

I am officially a 299day junky. I am just tweaking out for book5.


Ha! As you can tell, tweaking is a topic at hand in Book Five.  If any of you were on the fence about whether starting meth is a good idea, you won't be after Book Five. 
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Hootie on December 20, 2012, 02:09:42 PM
question about the "gang gas", gas that has some water added to it...
in theory, if you added alcohol (190 proof) to the gang gas, would that help if you were using that for car fuel?

just a random thought I had when reading book four.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: RitaRose1945 on December 22, 2012, 04:23:50 PM
LOVING the books so far (worth 10 bucks if you ask me) and getting antsy waiting for #5 and #6.  I've got the Kindle versions, but I'm thinking about getting the dead tree versions for my oldest son.  It's right up his alley.

I also loved the granny scene.  I really thought she was a goner, and the part where the guys are grossed out getting rid of the bodies while she hates it, but deals with it just like with farm animals.  Regretable but unavoidable and part of life.

As far as Snelling goes, I kind of likened Grant's attitude toward him as how I am around dogs.  I know, I know - I see pretty much ALL human interactions as reflections of how I deal with dogs, but it's usually true.  Snelling thought he was going to be the alpha dog and everyone would follow his lead.  When he spoke up and got all snarky with Grant, Snelling was challenging him as alpha/leader.  When a dog does that, you have to respond as confident and in charge or the other dog just gets more aggressive.

Like I said, I hang out with dogs a whle lot, so take it with a grain of salt.

In that same light, I'm sure no one is surprised that Dan is my favorite character.

My only wish?  Any way we could toss in a Seahawks link somehow?  Just kidding!  Mostly...
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on December 23, 2012, 06:05:51 AM

As far as Snelling goes, I kind of likened Grant's attitude toward him as how I am around dogs.  I know, I know - I see pretty much ALL human interactions as reflections of how I deal with dogs, but it's usually true.  Snelling thought he was going to be the alpha dog and everyone would follow his lead.  When he spoke up and got all snarky with Grant, Snelling was challenging him as alpha/leader.  When a dog does that, you have to respond as confident and in charge or the other dog just gets more aggressive.


Yep.  Snelling is not only a personality struggle between him and Grant, as you correctly identified above; Snelling is also a symbol for the current Left-Wing Establishment.  He personifies the statists who are in power.  He shows readers who might not interact with the Snellings of the world (like I do) how the people running things revere - almost worship - government.  He also shows people how the libs really feel about average Americans.  He is like Nancy Ringman in that he exemplifies the people who are currently in charge and shows how their attitudes got us in the predicament we're in.

Oh, and I've always hated architects.  They can take something incredibly practical, like building a building, and turn it into "art."  (I have at least one reader who's an architect but I told him that I like architects who are Patriots; it's the wine-and-cheese ones I don't like.)

Quote
 

Any way we could toss in a Seahawks link somehow? 


Well, there is the reference in the Prologue (which is also Chapter 299 - the first and last chapter are the same) to Grant and Ben getting drunk at the 2005 Superbowl with the Seahawks (true story). 

Coming up in Chapter 186, which is at the end of Book Six, there is a brief reference to the New England Patriots that will surprise you. It has nothing to do with football and everything to do with politics.  I know, I know, it seems like that's weird.  But it will make sense.

In fact, I describe the political significance (at least during the events in the book) of the New England Patriots, rain, and PopTarts.  Seriously.  It makes no sense now, but will when you read it.

Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: RitaRose1945 on December 23, 2012, 06:27:23 AM
Great!

But I seriously feel like a junkie looking for a new fix now.  Here's hoping the publishers are quick!
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Alan Georges on December 23, 2012, 01:52:36 PM
OK Heavy G, so far I’ve read all four and really enjoyed them.  But now I’ve got a question: what’s going on in the rest of the world while we’re concentrating on  the Pierce Point group and the WAB guys?  As readers, we’re getting a tiny bit of the picture from Jeanie in the state gov bunker, but Grant and crew aren’t even getting that.  Any news reporting from the outside?  Power’s still on, is there any news on TV or radio?  News from outside the U.S. via shortwave?  Maybe the ham at Pierce Point can get some word on the condition of the rest of the U.S.?

This part is driving me nuts because being cut off from outside news after Katrina for a couple of weeks drove me nuts.  (A problem that’s well fixed before the next big storm, largely through help from this board; many thanks to all there.)  It would be important for Grant and the crew to know what’s happening outside, to know if the remnants of the government had any *ahem* plans regarding groups like theirs.

Anyway, it’s a great read, thanks for writing it.  Please, keep’em coming.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on December 24, 2012, 07:36:06 AM

OK Heavy G, so far I’ve read all four and really enjoyed them.  But now I’ve got a question: what’s going on in the rest of the world while we’re concentrating on  the Pierce Point group and the WAB guys? 


 ;D Wait until Book Five.  You'll learn lots about the outside world.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Alan Georges on December 24, 2012, 08:04:30 AM
;D Wait until Book Five.  You'll learn lots about the outside world.
OK, will do!
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: cheryl1 on December 29, 2012, 12:34:14 PM
Ok, I'm back online after taking a couple of days vacation from the world to read Books 3&4! I am looking forward to my birthday in a couple of months-just so I can get Books 5&6. I am loving this series.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: hoosiermom on December 30, 2012, 10:00:15 PM
Hey Heavy G - I finished Books 3 & 4 shortly after they arrived, and hubby is finishing up #4 as I type.  Great books - thank you so much for getting up at 4 in the morning to write them!  I've enjoyed them - I like the different points of view from the different people/locations, and I like the ideas presented for solving problems.  (He just finished #4!  He thought "it was great"!)  Some folks have mentioned a quickened pace for the timeline, and I had a couple of thoughts about that. 

The timeline isn't the same for all the people involved in the book - things move slower in some areas, quicker in others.  In the rural areas, it's maybe slower.  But where Grant is at Pierce Point, they've seen things close to them escalate quickly - i.e., the stores running low on food, gas shortages, etc.  Grant is the main character of the book, so thankfully lots of action takes place around him. 

I think, too, that things escalate quicker than we may realize or be prepared for.  For example, during this past summer's derecho storm, in our area there were thousands of people without power.  We were lucky - only 1 1/2 hours w/o power.  But most people went w/o power for anywhere from half a day to 7-10 days.  By day 2, people were wanting ice to be handed out for free, because they were going to lose all their food.  (Also witness Hurricane Sandy.)

Finally, from what I understand from reading Heavy G's comments and listening to his interviews, I think the idea behind the book was to present the idea of being prepared in a non-threatening way, and how that would be useful.  So, in that sense, it's good to have different situations arise to be able to present these ideas.

I like that some of the ideas put forth by Grant and Rich are designed to help others.  Being a "prepper" doesn't just mean prepping for yourself; it means being able to help others.  That to me is a huge side benefit of being prepared. 

THANK YOU for the books, and can't wait for the next round!!
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Sulla on December 30, 2012, 10:46:50 PM
I'm enjoying the series a lot and am looking forward to books 5 and 6. I sure hope we are able to make it to book 10 before it becomes a reality.

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8358/8329076690_177150d1d6.jpg)
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on December 31, 2012, 08:52:47 PM
hoosiermom:

You are correct - the pace is different for different people in different places.  That's how it will be in real life.

You are also correct that I wanted the books to show the rational side of prepping.  Grant and Rich helping people is certainly part of that.  That's how it will be in real life.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on December 31, 2012, 08:54:22 PM

I'm enjoying the series a lot and am looking forward to books 5 and 6. I sure hope we are able to make it to book 10 before it becomes a reality.

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8358/8329076690_177150d1d6.jpg)


Sulla: I love, love, love the "I miss America" on bricks.  That looks totally cool.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: JC2 on December 31, 2012, 11:30:42 PM
Quote
You are correct - the pace is different for different people in different places.  That's how it will be in real life.

I read a book called "Hard Times" not long ago and it is people telling about their experiences during the great depression. It is very eye opening as your quote says
Quote
the pace is different for different people in different places.
.
In the book, some people had no knowledge that a depression was going on except what the news reported. Others, it was absolute misery.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Sulla on January 01, 2013, 04:32:10 PM
Sulla: I love, love, love the "I miss America" on bricks.  That looks totally cool.

Thanks Heavy G.  I'm still looking for a "graffiti" font that has lower case letters so I can be accurate with the 'miss', as soon as I find a font I like I'll redo it.
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: hoosiermom on January 02, 2013, 06:36:45 PM
I'm enjoying the series a lot and am looking forward to books 5 and 6. I sure hope we are able to make it to book 10 before it becomes a reality.

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8358/8329076690_177150d1d6.jpg)

Sulla - looks awesome.  I love it - this is a keeper, and I think lots will want to share in this great graphic (and thank you Heavy G for the words!).  The phrase is so to the point, non-threatening, etc.  It just is what it is - I miss it, too. 
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on January 02, 2013, 08:43:26 PM

Sulla - looks awesome.  I love it - this is a keeper, and I think lots will want to share in this great graphic (and thank you Heavy G for the words!).  The phrase is so to the point, non-threatening, etc.  It just is what it is - I miss it, too.


The phrase is also a play on words (sorta): "I miss America" is kind of like the Miss America contest.  Not that the collapse of a country and a beauty pageant have anything in common; it's just that people "miss" in the same sentence as "America" and it sticks with them.

Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: hoosiermom on January 03, 2013, 02:22:13 PM
The phrase is also a play on words (sorta): "I miss America" is kind of like the Miss America contest.  Not that the collapse of a country and a beauty pageant have anything in common; it's just that people "miss" in the same sentence as "America" and it sticks with them.

And you know, that did cross my mind when I first read the words.  The whole Miss America pageant is filled with fun stuff, intelligent women, great dresses, etc.  Like it or hate it, if you're watching the Miss America pageant, the thought might cross your mind that hey, anyone can grow up and be Miss America, know what I mean?  And that's what people think/thought of America - hey, anyone can grow up and be Miss America or whatever they want.  I'm not sure I'm properly conveying what's in my head, but hopefully you get the picture.

It's a catchy phrase, and the play on words I think adds to it.  Well done! 
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: bob3 on February 01, 2013, 04:41:34 PM
So did I miss the announce release date for Book 5?
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Hootie on February 01, 2013, 06:00:19 PM
So did I miss the announce release date for Book 5?

Book Five should be out in March.

I think we are all starting to tweak out for book5...
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Heavy G on February 02, 2013, 10:24:09 AM

And you know, that did cross my mind when I first read the words.  The whole Miss America pageant is filled with fun stuff, intelligent women, great dresses, etc.  Like it or hate it, if you're watching the Miss America pageant, the thought might cross your mind that hey, anyone can grow up and be Miss America, know what I mean?  And that's what people think/thought of America - hey, anyone can grow up and be Miss America or whatever they want.  I'm not sure I'm properly conveying what's in my head, but hopefully you get the picture.


Yep, you are conveying it.  That's one of the aspects of the phrase that I was getting at. 
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: backwoods_engineer on February 08, 2013, 12:08:05 PM
I think we are all starting to tweak out for book5...

I know I am.  I was very disappointed when I heard Heavy G announce that March date on Armed American Radio.  Still, I support Heavy G in his work, and will be waiting to buy all 10.  If we don't have an economic collapse by then :-D
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Nicodemus on February 08, 2013, 01:40:03 PM
I can understand jonesing for the books, but give ol' G a break. If it were Heavy G R R Martin, it would be a couple of years between releases.  ;D
Title: Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
Post by: Giovanni Marmotta on May 09, 2013, 01:35:44 PM
Hi

I just started Book 4 so I write here. (the last shipment took quite a while to get here, but I'm happy it's possible, at all, to read your books here in Europe.) I really like your books heavy G. There are some aspects about the "politics" and the outside thoughts that irritate me a bit. I can't explain it yet. I still try to make up my mind about it. But mostly I really enjoy your style.
Book 5 is already here and i really hope you are faster than g r r

PS Sorry about my english