Author Topic: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]  (Read 8585 times)

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2012, 07:16:03 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.
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Offline thefuzz1290

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2012, 08:01:24 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.

Offline Serenity Gulch

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2012, 10:24:11 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.
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Offline MTUCache

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2012, 11:49:45 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
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Offline PrepperJim

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2012, 12:46:34 PM »
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!
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Offline yoshi

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2012, 02:17:20 PM »
Some thoughts:

  • I noticed a few typos, missing punctuation and a few missing words. Maybe someone can find and correct? (Kindle version.)
  • I think Snelling will make for a good foil, but up until now he hasn't doing anything "foil-ish" except to be a dissenter. Perhaps this gets played out more in future books. I do agree with the sentiment of Grant being a little heavy-handed in his approach, but I imagine he has a lot going on in his mind right now. Hopefully that part of his character changes/adapts in future books. I relate to Grant more than the main character in Lights Out in terms of how to handle dbags.

Great job, Grant. Can't wait for 5 & 6.
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Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #36 on: November 30, 2012, 03:47:13 PM »
Chapter 108.5:

While reading this bonus chapter for Book 4, I was thinking about the Kurt Hoffman quote, "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.

Offline Absit

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #37 on: November 30, 2012, 09:59:32 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.
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Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2012, 04:32:27 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.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 04:39:16 AM by NWPilgrim »
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Offline Heavy G

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2012, 08:42:16 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. 

You might be interested in the ten-book prepper novel series called 299 Days.  I, like, wrote it and stuff.  Prepper Press is publishing it.  Seriously.  Check out www.299Days.com.

"If you pissed away your time and energy watching football and herding the family to endless soccer games, well, sorry grasshopper." -- post by jasonthomas on TSP

Offline Heavy G

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2012, 08:43:42 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). 


You might be interested in the ten-book prepper novel series called 299 Days.  I, like, wrote it and stuff.  Prepper Press is publishing it.  Seriously.  Check out www.299Days.com.

"If you pissed away your time and energy watching football and herding the family to endless soccer games, well, sorry grasshopper." -- post by jasonthomas on TSP

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2012, 11:56:09 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.


Offline otowner98

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2012, 01:16:50 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. 
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Offline Heavy G

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2012, 07:10:52 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*

You might be interested in the ten-book prepper novel series called 299 Days.  I, like, wrote it and stuff.  Prepper Press is publishing it.  Seriously.  Check out www.299Days.com.

"If you pissed away your time and energy watching football and herding the family to endless soccer games, well, sorry grasshopper." -- post by jasonthomas on TSP

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2012, 01:23:12 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 :)

Offline JC2

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2012, 05:55:06 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.
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Offline Heavy G

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #46 on: December 11, 2012, 09:53:11 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

You might be interested in the ten-book prepper novel series called 299 Days.  I, like, wrote it and stuff.  Prepper Press is publishing it.  Seriously.  Check out www.299Days.com.

"If you pissed away your time and energy watching football and herding the family to endless soccer games, well, sorry grasshopper." -- post by jasonthomas on TSP

Offline Hootie

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #47 on: December 16, 2012, 09:41:16 PM »
I am officially a 299day junky. I am just tweaking out for book5.
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Offline Heavy G

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #48 on: December 17, 2012, 06:29:14 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. 

You might be interested in the ten-book prepper novel series called 299 Days.  I, like, wrote it and stuff.  Prepper Press is publishing it.  Seriously.  Check out www.299Days.com.

"If you pissed away your time and energy watching football and herding the family to endless soccer games, well, sorry grasshopper." -- post by jasonthomas on TSP

Offline Hootie

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #49 on: December 20, 2012, 03:09:42 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.
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Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #50 on: December 22, 2012, 05:23:50 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...

Offline Heavy G

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #51 on: December 23, 2012, 07:05:51 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.


You might be interested in the ten-book prepper novel series called 299 Days.  I, like, wrote it and stuff.  Prepper Press is publishing it.  Seriously.  Check out www.299Days.com.

"If you pissed away your time and energy watching football and herding the family to endless soccer games, well, sorry grasshopper." -- post by jasonthomas on TSP

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #52 on: December 23, 2012, 07:27:23 AM »
Great!

But I seriously feel like a junkie looking for a new fix now.  Here's hoping the publishers are quick!

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #53 on: December 23, 2012, 02:52:36 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.
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Offline Heavy G

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #54 on: December 24, 2012, 08:36:06 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.

You might be interested in the ten-book prepper novel series called 299 Days.  I, like, wrote it and stuff.  Prepper Press is publishing it.  Seriously.  Check out www.299Days.com.

"If you pissed away your time and energy watching football and herding the family to endless soccer games, well, sorry grasshopper." -- post by jasonthomas on TSP

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #55 on: December 24, 2012, 09:04:30 AM »
;D Wait until Book Five.  You'll learn lots about the outside world.
OK, will do!
Build it or buy it, start it up and try it, maybe even fry it.  Otherwise you'll never know if it works.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Offline cheryl1

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #56 on: December 29, 2012, 01:34:14 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.
I've seen the village and I don't want it raising my children.

Offline hoosiermom

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #57 on: December 30, 2012, 11:00:15 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!!

Offline Sulla

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Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #58 on: December 30, 2012, 11:46:50 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.

You only get one shot at life. There are no do-overs. Live up to your own expectations, be proud of who you are, and above all be happy!


Offline Heavy G

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    • 299 Days
Re: 299 Days: The Stronghold (Book Four) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #59 on: December 31, 2012, 09:52:47 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.

You might be interested in the ten-book prepper novel series called 299 Days.  I, like, wrote it and stuff.  Prepper Press is publishing it.  Seriously.  Check out www.299Days.com.

"If you pissed away your time and energy watching football and herding the family to endless soccer games, well, sorry grasshopper." -- post by jasonthomas on TSP