Dale Cozort



Anthologies, New Books & Ambitious Plans

After a long hiatus it is time to get active on this blog again. I’ve been busy writing and that is producing a stream of published books and stories in anthologies, with more coming quickly if everything goes right.

Let’s start with the anthologies. My stories have recently been published in two anthologies. The first was: Alternate Peace, with alternate history stories not involving wars. This was a major ego-boost, with my name in the table of contents next to Harry Turtledove, arguably the biggest name in Air-218Alternate History. The second was a New Pulp anthology called Mystery Men & Women Volume 6. This was an experiment for me, a venture into a sub-genre that consciously strives to be a throwback to the days of the depression-era pulp hero, complete with covers and interior illustrations that hark back to that era.

My pulp hero can briefly, painfully bring the recently dead back to life, hopefully to figure out who murdered them.

I also self-published a collection of stories and Alternate History essays

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called Space Bats & Butterflies. The Alternate History essays are for people with a deep interest in history. The stories should be general interest. This collects a lot of stuff I’ve written over the years for an on-line zine but wanted to put in more permanent form. This is roughly sixty percent alternate history essays, with the biggest single section looking at what might have happened if the Germans went after Moscow instead of heading south in 1942.

I do include several AH and time-travel stories for more general readers.


Continue reading “Anthologies, New Books & Ambitious Plans”

Featured post

The Past Is a Foreign Country

This is an excerpt from my novel Necklace of Time. My protagonist, Simon Royale, a well-known writer is in an alternate reality that in many ways is like a fun house mirror version of the 1960s, thought the chronological time is 2015. There is a bit of a twist to the background: existence of the alternate reality is public knowledge. Southwest Airlines flies there out of Sacramento. Simon recently had sex with a woman who turned out to be the wife of the alternate reality’s Simon Royale. She claims she thought she was with her husband. There are repercussions. 

Rape by deception. It’s a thing over here. Apparently enough pervs try to sneak into wives’ beds while hubby is working the night shift that they passed a law against it. Come to think of it, we probably have laws like that back in the civilized world. I’ll have to check. I could use a law like that in a novel if we have them back home. Never let a personal catastrophe go to waste.

Eastport police officers Linde and Mosley are polite in a hulking, menacing way. They’re both a couple inches taller than my six feet one, probably in their late thirties, very white. Poster boys for a fifties Officer Friendly campaign if you don’t look at their eyes too closely. They’re wearing gray blazers two sizes too small in the shoulders.

They have a ‘Why yes, we would love to use our nightsticks’ look to their faces, so I go along without asserting my constitutional rights. Actually, I’m not sure what constitutional rights, if any, I have over here. I’m a citizen, but not of their US.

I figure I’ll sort that out where there are witnesses to any nightstick usage. They don’t cuff me, so at least I don’t add a perp walk to this already catastrophic day. I don’t see anyone I know on the way to the station, another small blessing. Continue reading “The Past Is a Foreign Country”

New Novel, SF Workshop and New Cars

I went to Lawrence Kansas for a two-week science fiction novel writing workshop this summer, followed by a two-week writing retreat. The workshop started June 9th and the retreat continued into early July. Financially this was a stretch, but my job gives me summers off and with my daughter back home I didn’t feel too bad about leaving my wife home alone all that time. They are good friends now that my daughter is an adult.

In any case, four weeks of concentrated writing time was great. I put the finishing touches on my alternate history novel Finding Yourself (now renamed The Necklace of Time and available on Amazon, which is cool—novel number 7 out the door for me). I also worked on

I drove to Kansas and back using a rental car, a Ford mild-hybrid, which mainly means that it is able to store and use energy that would otherwise be wasted in braking. It consistently claimed to have recaptured over ninety percent of the braking energy and sometimes all of it..

It’s a much more modern car than the beater I normally drive, with a very nice built-in GPS system, on a well-thought-out display that makes driving in unknown territory much simpler than a cell phone or a stand-alone GPS.

The more modern aspect bit me at first, though. I almost didn’t get started. I brought the car home the night before the trip and apparently left some power-draining accessory on. When I came out to start the trip, the battery was dead. In an older car, that wouldn’t be too much of a problem. Just pop the hood and connect a charger. With this car there was no apparent way to get into the car with the battery dead and no way to get the hood up to recharge the battery without getting into the car.

After a lot of experimenting, I discovered that there was a key hidden in the fob, but where was the keyhole? After a lot of looking around the doors, I tried a Google search, which told me that there was a keyhole hidden near the driver’s side front door handle. Hidden is the operative word. I had to pry off a piece of rubber molding with a screwdriver to get at it. All of this just to get into the car, after which I had to figure out how to charge the battery—not necessarily that easy when you’re talking a hybrid.

I think I’ll stick to my 19-year-old Buick a while longer—as in until it drops dead. Cars without visible keyholes scare me.

I listened to books on Audible most of the seven-hour trip to Lawrence and back, a Chris Nuttal space opera on the way there and a Louis Lamour western on the way back. Mindless entertainment in the case of the western, but it did pass the time. I used an iPad and a Bluetooth external speaker to play the books. The iPad internal speaker isn’t quite strong enough to overcome the road noise, but the external speaker worked well. If I had dinked around a bit, I suspect that I could have synced the iPad with the car’s speakers, but I was okay with the external speaker.

The Eyes Rule

Our economy runs on eyeballs, which is another way of says that it runs on public attention.EyesImage Every company in the world is trying to cut through the clutter competing for the public’s attention and get their product noticed. That’s what makes a product succeed or fail. Continue reading “The Eyes Rule”

Build a (Better!) Alternate Timeline

interconnectedImageIf you really look at what would happen in an alternate  timeline after something significant changed, you realize that events are so inter-related and there are so many points of individual decision that within a decade or two what happens in that alternate timeline is pure guesswork, no matter how meticulously you think it through. Continue reading “Build a (Better!) Alternate Timeline”

Writing: Measuring Writing Progress

TargetImageIt’s hard to measure progress in writing. Quality improvements are what we should really be going for, of course, but it’s almost impossible to measure quality improvement. We can measure quantity of writing, at least in rough drafts. Words per day is pretty simple to track and I find that setting a minimum goal is a good way to motivate myself.

Continue reading “Writing: Measuring Writing Progress”

Would You Still Be YOU??

FetusImageI was recently doing comments for Point of Divergence, the Alternate History Amateur Press Association, when I realized something: Those of us who think about Alternate History much have long realized that very few if any people who actually historically lived would be born even a few years after a major change in history. Continue reading “Would You Still Be YOU??”

Plotting, Pantsing, and a Sneak Peak

CoffeeTypewriterImageI discovered National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) eight years ago and have participated in it every year, writing at least the ‘required’ 50,000 words in a month every year, and usually around 75,000. I think of myself as a professional writer, so I try to harness the NaNoWriMo energy to something that helps my writing goals. That usually means a lot of plotting before the month, so I don’t use up my words on false starts that don’t end up usable. Continue reading “Plotting, Pantsing, and a Sneak Peak”

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