Sunday, March 31, 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Finder And The Wishing Stone...

The Adventures of Alibi Jones continue – another done-in-one adventure on this episode! Hear the audio adaptation of the comic book story Alibi Jones and the Wishing Stone! Out of the pages of Alibi Jones and The Sunrise of Hur, Finder returns. Finding Alibi on Ceres Central, the cosmic hippie thinks Alibi can track down an alien artifact people call the "Wishing Stone"... The story will soon appear in the pages of The Adventures of Alibi Jones #2 from Glow-in-the-Dark Radio Comics, with art by Meisha!

The Adventures of Alibi Jones #1 - The Comic Book - Print: 

The Adventures of Alibi Jones: Six Short Stories – FREE Audio Book –

Alibi Jones and The Sunrise of Hur – Now FREE at Podiobooks!

We’re part of the Comic Related Podcasting Network – you can find us each week at

Promo this week for The 2013 Wicked Women Writers Challenge:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Looking for a Colorist

We're on the home stretch of The Adventures of Alibi Jones #2 and we're looking for COLOR! If you're a colorist and you're interested in coming on board, you could be working on cool pages like this one with Art by Dave Siddall and Inks by Matt Grant!

Get in touch with me if you're interested - Mike Luoma - at

Art By Dave Siddall and Inks By Matt Grant - Color by You?

20% Off My Print Books Through March 31st!

The lovely folks at Lulu just sent this along... use "VERNUM" at checkout to get 20% off Everything at Lulu - of course, I'm hoping you'll pick up one of MY books... conveniently gathered here:
Deals are blooming. Save 20% off anything using coupon code VERNUM at checkout. Hurry, offer ends March 31 at 11:59 PM
You could get my latest novel Alibi Jones and the Sunrise of Hur as a quality paperback for around $12... if I'm doing the math right. Again, the savings code is good site-wide. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Late Episode "About Time"

Listen in for the audio adaptation of a comic book story! Old lovers, Time-travel and threatening Aliens in mysterious armor - science fiction adventure in Alibi Jones: About Time! Alibi's old high school flame Shirra shows up with a mysterious stolen package... and a whole lot of trouble on her trail!

The Adventures of Alibi Jones #1 - The Comic Book - Print: 

The Adventures of Alibi Jones: Six Short Stories – FREE Audio Book –

Alibi Jones and The Sunrise of Hur – Now FREE at Podiobooks!

We’re part of the Comic Related Podcasting Network – you can find us each week at

Promo included for the April 1 pre-sale of Garaaga's Children: Ancients.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"We Know Better"

The main conclusion the Republican Party drew from their losses in 2012 after the recent "GOP Postmortem" conducted by Reince Priebus? Their policies are sound, their principles are correct, but their message was off. They spread the blame for bad messaging around - mostly they blame the press for "distorting" their message, but they also infer that folks like Todd Akin with his "legitimate rape" comment didn't help.

They're correct, in part. Their "message" was rejected by a majority of the American people. But the rest of the GOP "postmortem" assessment smacks of self-delusion - they're not acknowledging that their policies and principles were rejected soundly as well. In their delusion, the GOP is venturing into dangerous territory for any American political party - the realm of "We Know Better" - The American people only *think* they know what they want and need - the GOP Knows Better.

We've seen this before. One party develops their ideals into principles and policies approved of by the American people, but then begins to swing ideologically toward their extreme as the party grows more successful. In the face of resistance to their swing from the American public, the party retrenches instead of adapting - because "We Know Better."

The liberals and the Democrats were certain they knew better as the sixties went on and then turned into the seventies. At that time the GOP were able to take advantage of the Democrats telling the Southern Dems they were wrong about racism - "We Know Better" - the GOP's "Southern Strategy" then peeled away the Dixiecrats and turned them into Republicans. Were the Democrats "correct"? Yup.

But here's the thing - the American public responds very poorly to being told they're wrong, to being told a political party "knows better" about what they want and need than they do. It smacks of Elitism.

The GOP of the 1970s capitalized on this to such a large degree they fused the term "liberal" to an errant definition implying liberal government is dominated by Big Brother Social Programs where you're a victim of an elitist, leftist state that "knows better" than you. Following the country's economic collapse post-Vietnam, this allowed them to discredit the Democrats' policies and principles, ultimately leading to the election of Ronald Reagan.That false characterization still haunts the left today.

It was quite a trick - the Democrats' own "We Know Better" attitude allowed the right to label a movement trying to get the greatest good for the greatest number as, somehow, impossibly, "elitist". And in so doing, they diverted attention from the fact that their GOP policies, dominated by "trickle-down economics" were ACTUAL elitist policies, creating a redistribution of wealth upward, concentrating the country's wealth in the hands of a moneyed elite few in number. It set the stage for a great number of low-information voters to identify themselves as right-wingers even as they voted against their own economic self-interest, a trend that continues today. Powerful stuff.

Now the GOP is now engaging in their own version of "We Know Better". In part they have to - their contributing supporters seem to demand this approach. It also seems to energize their base.

It remains to be seen if the Democrats can capitalize on this - can the left show the right for the elitists they are? Can they stir up the American public's resentment at being told someone else "knows better" than they do? And can they pull it off without themselves coming off - once again - as elitists? Don't know. Have many doubts, as a matter of fact. Recognizing this opportunity exists would be a good first step...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Alibi Jone is In Over His Head! w/Timeline BONUS

The Adventures of Alibi Jones continue! Listen in as Mike Luoma reads his short story "Alibi Jones In Over His Head" – an encore presentation – on this episode of Glow-in-the-Dark Radio.  This story actually takes place inside of Chapter Fourteen of the novel Alibi Jones and The Sunrise of Hur, as Alibi negotiates with the Kee'Klick. It became a separate short story when Juan Carlos Quattordio illustrated it for Earthbound Comics Presents #1. The comic book short can now be found in The Adventures of Alibi Jones #1 from Glow-in-the-Dark Radio Comics. It's Free Audio Science Fiction Adventure with Alibi Jones! There's also exclusive BONUS material – listen after the story for the Alibi Jones Timeline!
The Adventures of Alibi Jones #1 (comic book) –

We’re part of the Comic Related Podcasting Network – you can find us each week at

The Alibi Jones Timeline

The Adventures of Alibi Jones occur in the 22nd century. This timeline features brief, hopefully not too spoilerish summaries of events in the stories and novels, published and about to be published, so far.

Alibi Jones is the son of Bernard Campion, aka BC, the former Vatican Assassin who became the first Prime Representative and founder of the Solar Alliance after the Eldred war. Because of the circumstances, we actually know when Alibi was conceived – during events in the novel Vatican Assassin, when BC and Alibi's mother Ruth first meet and get to know each other on Fortune Station.

2110 – Alibi Jones is born. At first, his father does not know he has a son. Ruth doesn't tell BC about the pregnancy or the birth.

2113 – (Vatican Abdicator/"Alibi Jones: Father's Day") When Alibi Jones is 3 years old, his mother takes him to meet his father. Then Ruth shoots and kills BC. Ruth is arrested and committed. Alibi is given into the care of Anita Capituna, BC's ex-fiance and new Prime Representative of the Solar Alliance.

Alibi Jones grows up with his "Aunt" Anita, mostly on Ceres Central but also for a few months here and there in other places, as she tours the Solar Alliance over the course of her nearly twenty year tenure as Prime Rep. She retires to Ceres Central and becomes its governor in 2131. Alibi joins the Solar Alliance Mediation Corps after graduation from college and begins training in negotiations and conflict resolution.

2134 – ("Alibi Jones: Blind Eye") Alibi takes on his first major assignments in the Mediation Corps. He negotiates a trade deal between the Dakhur and the Flaze (that later is shown to have problems...). Alibi runs into his old friend Shirra as well.

2135 – (Alibi Jones) While trying to track down an old friend, Alibi discovers a Tek'Tah operation providing human specimens for experimentation to a surviving member of the race known as the Ancient Enemy! Meets Kit the Dakhur and Katie Ramsey. Alibi and Katie begin seeing each other.

2136 – ("Alibi Jones: Vacation") Alibi and Katie see each other for a while, but their relationship runs hot and cold. They go visit Kit at his new assignment on the world called "Paradise".

2137 – (Alibi Jones and The Sunrise of Hur) Although Alibi and Katie are no longer together, they attend Kit and his mate-to-be Trish's Joining Ceremony. The joyous occasion is marred when Rene Laveillur's thugs invade and kidnap Katie, killing Dakhur in the process. The Dakhur relic The Sunrise of Hur disappears after the ceremony.
– ("Alibi Jones In Over His Head" – during events in ...Sunrise of Hur) Alibi visits the aquatic race the Kee'Klick on their world Kee'ere. Getting to know a new alien race can be a tricky business.
– ("Alibi Jones: About Time") After Alibi and Katie finally go their separate ways and Kit goes off to do his own thing, Alibi finds himself alone. His Aunt Anita invites him to stay with her on Ceres Central for a bit of R&R. Alibi's old girlfriend Shirra shoes up with a device stolen from The Devrizium. The supposed start of the Time War of The Devrizium.

2138 – ("Alibi Jones: Remember Two Things") The Devrizium attack. Alibi can't be sure which reality he's living in, which timeline is real. He tries to sort it out.
– ("Alibi Jones and the Wishing Stone") Finder tracks down Alibi on Ceres Central with a proposition. He thinks Alibi's the one who can find a certain something he's been trying to track down.
– ("Alibi Jones: When I Get Older") Another attack by The Devrizium. Alibi wakes up an old man. Why doesn't he remember growing old?
– The shifting timelines of The Time War of The Devrizium make charting this part of Alibi's life an iffy proposition. But by late 2138 things seemed to have settled down.

2139 – (Alibi Jones and the Hornet's Nest) Word begins to spread of Alibi's role in the destruction of Kismet. He's forced to leave the Mediation Corps and relocate. His new assignment puts him out beyond the borders of the Solar Alliance.
– ("Alibi Jones and the Ghost In The Machine") Alibi and his crew investigate sightings of a ghost ship – a hulking alien vessel has been spotted in remote deep space, along with the apparition of an SAIF pilot pleading "Don't let me die AGAIN!"

And then...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pulp Adventure With A Woman Vigilante Warrior

As I'm wide awake on this Monday night - I'm blaming the cold medicine - you get the benefits of my insomnia as I've decided to put together a post compiling all the places you can get a FREE download of my eBook short story SOUVERAIN: THE KID! It's your chance to read a pulpy adventure tale for free!

Set in the later years of the Iraq war, Souverain ventures out on her own beyond the Green Zone to help the women and children of Baghdad survive, when no one else will. In "The Kid", Souverain is faced with leaving a legacy as her world changes.
Souverain is the vigilante warrior woman mentioned in this post's title, a character created by Ben Ferrari.  I wrote three stories for her that Ben illustrated that appeared in Lady Fight #2 - #4, collected in Souverain #1 - all released by Earthbound Comics. The prose short "The Kid" also appeared in the Souverain #1 collection. Later, Ben and I released it as a stand-alone free eBook to see if we could reach out to new audiences with our work beyond the world of comics, maybe draw some new people in.

You get the benefit of that decision - a free eBook, a short story by me. Free.

At Smashwords - All eReaders:
Barnes & Noble Nook:
SONY eBookstore:
KOBO Books:


Saturday, March 09, 2013

The End Of Alibi Jones?

This is IT! The Grand Finale of Mike Luoma’s Alibi Jones and The Sunrise of Hur! Glow-in-the-Dark Radio’s Free Audio Science Fiction Adventure, with Alibi Jones, Kit, and Katie leaving Kismet, making their way to Hur and hopefully freedom. Chapter Twenty-Nine – the final chapter of the novel!
There’s a promo for the 2013 Wicked Women Writers Challenge:
We’re part of the Comic Related Podcasting Network – you can find us each week at

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Gotta Get Away!

Audio Science Fiction Adventure! Dive into over a half-hour’s entertainment as Alibi Jones, Kit and Katie try to leave the planet, Kismet. Alibi is making up a plan as they go – will it work? Or will they be stuck on the world where Alibi and Kit are guaranteed to be killed? Find out, on this episode of Glow-in-the-Dark Radio, with the penultimate chapter - Chapter Twenty-Eight - of Mike Luoma’s Alibi Jones and The Sunrise of Hur – Free Science Fiction Adventure!
We’re part of the Comic Related Podcasting Network – you can find us each week at

Friday, March 01, 2013

Choosing A New Pope

When I was writing Vatican Ambassador a few years ago, I did a ton of research into the practices of the Vatican, the Curia, and into the process by which the College of Cardinals picks a new pope. Though raised Roman Catholic and an active church participant up and through my teen years, it was still fascinating to learn about the papal selection process in greater depth than I'd been exposed to through experience.

Now, I'm writing about the Vatican and the New catholic Church in the year 2110. The small "c" is deliberate - this new, ecumenical Christian church of the future is "catholic" in the word's broader sense. However, to entice the actual Catholics to join, the new church did agree to let them bring along the trappings of the papacy. Figured that gave me the literary license to use what I wanted and streamline the rest in the context of my story...

Thought you might enjoy reading an excerpt from Vatican Ambassador that gives a little insight into the process. This first part of Chapter Fourteen features lead character BC's quick ascendancy into the College of Cardinals and participation in the process of choosing a new Pope. Here's a bit of  Vatican Ambassador:

When mass numbers of people get sick, things break down. Even as humanity advances, it still takes raw people power to keep the machines running.
BC has a hell of a time booking passage down to Earth. When he finally secures a ride, the flight itself is nearly empty.
The Rio Di Janeiro spaceport on Earth is another shock. Many of the shops and stores are shuttered. Other travelers are scarce.
BC hunts around for a connecting flight to Vatican City. It takes a few hours. He books his flight and calls the Vatican to let them know he’s on the way.
BC lands in Rome to a very different greeting. The media have somehow been alerted. Reporters surround the gate at the airport as BC disembarks. They spot BC and begin hurling questions at him.
"Ambassador! Where have you been?"
"Father Campion! What do you know about the plague?"
"Why haven’t you been infected, Father Campion?"
"How did it happen?"
"Do you think this is the work of the UIN?"
"What’s your reaction to the Pope’s death?"
BC ignores them all best he can as he walks past. He breathes a sigh of relief when he spots a waiting Vatican transport with his name on it. He hops in and rolls away from the pursuing, clamoring crowd.
Aside from the media dogs, there weren’t many other people there at the port.
How bad is it?
BC is sent to the College of Cardinals immediately upon his arrival at the Vatican, his luggage whisked away to some rooms he’s told he’ll be shown to later. Cardinals Hardwick and Terpa are waiting for BC when he arrives outside the Sistine Chapel.
"Cardinal Campion, you’re just in time!" Terpa says, greeting BC.
"What? I’m not a Cardinal…" BC demurs.
Terpa and Hardwick nod.
"You are," Terpa says to him.
"But I was never even a Bishop… That’s a done deal?" BC asks.
"A done deal," Hardwick says. "There aren’t many of us left," he tells BC. "You were elevated in absentia by the late Pope Peter the Third, under special circumstances. We’ll make it official while you’re here in Rome. You’ll be elevated to bishop at the same time."
"Okay," BC says, surprised, trying to think.
Made a Cardinal against my will! These people are desperate.
"How bad has this sickness gotten?" BC asks them.
"It’s bad," Terpa says. "It is a plague such as the world has never seen. Billions are dying, Cardinal Campion. Not all who are exposed are infected… it seems to affect people at random. It’s very strange."
"The UTZ Scientists have announced cures twice," Hardwick says, "only to find their announcements have been premature, that their measures don’t measure up."
"I’m afraid many people are sure it’s the work of the Muslims," Terpa tells him.
"Really?" BC asks.
"We’ve seen the polls," Hardwick says. "We hear it from our own people."
"It’s not the Muslims," BC tells them. They both stare at him. Terpa finally breaks the silence.
"What…" she says, and then she pauses. "How do you know?" she asks him. "Mars has been silent, closed off."
Hardwick shakes his head.
"There’s been no traffic from Mars," he tells BC, "and no communications, either. There’s no way to know how the UIN has been effected."
"I know that," BC admits, "but I also know that this ‘plague’ wasn’t caused by the UIN."
"You know? Well…" Terpa says. "…what are you saying? This is natural? Or is someone else responsible?" she asks BC.
"I’ve spoken with some UTZ scientists," BC says, stretching the truth. "They think it may be extraterrestrial."
I don’t want to tell them about The Project… yet.
"We’ve heard that, too," Hardwick says. "But couldn’t they have found a virus or something on Mars and somehow, I don’t know, ‘weaponized’ it? That would make it ‘extraterrestrial’, wouldn’t it?"
Now he’s a Cardinal and a scientist?
"Not really… They don’t have the technology to create this sickness," BC explains. "Our scientists admit that even they couldn’t create this."
"I haven’t heard any of them admit that," Hardwick says, the question in his voice.
"They haven’t publicly," BC tells him.
A group of young priests appear from inside the chapel and approach them.
"Primus inter pares? Your eminence?" the lead priest, a young African woman wearing bright blue clerical robes addresses Cardinal Hardwick.
"Yes, Reverend Chiamaka?"
"It’s time. The other Cardinals are waiting for you and the Secretary Cardinal to begin the Papal Conclave," Chiamaka says, nodding to Cardinal Terpa as well. "The chimney has been prepared. The chapel has been swept for any possible surveillance devices. All is in readiness, awaiting only the three of you."
"Well, then… as the Dean of the College of Cardinals, I officially invite you to join the conclave, Cardinal Campion!" Hardwick says to BC, extending his hand.
"Right now? I accept, I guess," BC says tentatively. He shakes Hardwick’s hand. They enter the chapel and the doors crash shut and are sealed behind them.
"Come," Hardwick says to BC and Terpa, "We have work to do."
The Sistine Chapel… Gets to me every time…
I didn’t know there was damage in here, too. It was never hit directly. It was one of the few buildings they protected.
Sadly, there has been some damage. Some of the wall frescoes are now cracked, or broken, with pieces fallen off. Several of Michelangelo’s masterpieces on the ceiling have lost chunks, ugly white patches showing through some of the master’s work.
Sad to see… Huh, there’s old Jeremiah up there… some say it’s a self portrait by Michelangelo… funny, I never read Jeremiah’s book until forced to by The Light. He puts the cur in curmudgeon. Look at him up there, angry and puzzled. Guess we have that in common…
"Watch where you’re going," Hardwick cautions BC. BC’s been so busy looking up he didn’t notice the chair he was about to walk into. The chapel has been furnished for the affair: large, red velvet cushioned, oaken thrones are arrayed along the side walls, facing each other.
BC looks around. Staring up at the ceiling he didn’t see the other Cardinals gathered around the altar. There aren’t as many as he’d thought there would be. He tries to make a quick count.
There are only about fifty people here… and a lot of them are pretty young to be Cardinals!
"Where’s everybody else? I thought we had over two hundred Cardinals in the College?" BC asks Hardwick and Terpa.
"We did," Terpa says.
"We now have 59 Cardinals," Hardwick says sadly.
"Counting me?" BC asks.
"Counting you," Hardwick tells him.
 "Oh. I see."
"Have a seat," Hardwick says, indicating a throne for BC.
"Thank you," BC says. Hardwick nods. He and Terpa then continue on up to the altar.
A throne… a throne of my own…
BC sits down. He looks across the chapel at some of the other Cardinals, already seated.
I feel like I just walked into a party I was not invited to… Talk about not belonging somewhere… what?
The Cardinal on the throne next to BC is talking to him in a soft voice. All BC hears is, "by the Cardinal Camerlengo, stand."
"What?" BC asks in a hoarse whisper.
"Stand up!" the old man snaps back at BC.
Cranky old dude! Well, I guess this is it…
Cardinal Camerlengo Hardwick, Dean of the College of Cardinals, stands before the altar and swears them all to secrecy. Terpa and two other Cardinals walk down the rows of chairs and hand each of them a slip of paper.
"Please be seated," Hardwick says as the last of the ballots is handed out. BC looks at his slip.
"Eligo in summum pontificem," BC reads. Luckily, there is a translation underneath the words:  I elect as supreme Pontiff...
BC looks around the room. He notices others doing the same.
I don’t even know any of these people! Maybe I’ll vote for myself… or Hardwick. Maybe Terpa… this church could use a female pope, a first for the NcC and Christianity in general. This is just the first ballot; it doesn’t mean anything anyway…
BC writes his own name down and laughs.
Why not? I’m sure we’ll find out who the real candidates are after this first vote.
Hardwick speaks from the altar.
"Please bring your ballot up, present it, and place it in this chalice," he tells the assembly, indicating an ornate, oversized gold and silver chalice on the altar, covered by a thin gold paten.
The Cardinals process up to the altar in an orderly fashion. BC tries not to smirk as he walks up to the altar, holds his vote aloft, and then slides it under the paten and into the cup. He is one of the last to vote. As he heads back to his seat, Terpa and the two other Cardinals line up with Hardwick for counting.
The counting takes a while. Each name for each vote is read aloud three times: Terpa reads the name aloud and writes it down on a tally sheet in front of her, then hands the ballot to the next Cardinal. The next Cardinal reads the name aloud as well, and then hands the ballot to the third Cardinal. The third repeats the name again, and then runs a needle and thread through the ballot, creating a string of punctured votes.
"Bernard Campion," Terpa says aloud, about halfway through the ballots. Her eyes lock with his briefly.
She does not look happy… guess she didn’t like my little joke…
"Bernard Campion," repeats the second Cardinal.
"Bernard Campion," echoes the third, and then he pokes the needle and thread through the ballot, adding it to his string.
One ballot for BC…
More names are called. It’s clear there won’t be a pope elected on this first vote, there are too many names for any candidate to have received a full two-thirds.
"Bernard Campion," Terpa says again, his name echoed by her two colleagues.
Wait a minute… Another ballot? Who else would vote for me?
BC hears his name come up again on two other ballots, his name repeated three times each time, before the voting is over.
This is insane…
The first vote finally over with no winner, Terpa and the other two Cardinals assisting in the voting gather all other notes from around the room, and then head to the back to burn the ballots and notes. The black smoke will let the outside world know there’s been no decision. While they perform the ritual task, Hardwick addresses the rest of the assembly.
"We do not have a new pontiff yet," he tells them, "but we do have four candidates who have received more than one vote. Cardinal Castellini of Turin has five in his favor. Cardinal Kibwe of Nairobi has four, as does Cardinal Hardwick, er, myself," he says, pausing awkwardly, visibly uncomfortable. "And, finally, Cardinal Campion of the Vatican Mission on Lunar Prime has three votes."
BC can feel the eyes of the other Cardinals on him. Luckily, Hardwick continues, drawing back their attention.
"We will vote again tomorrow, twice in the morning, and twice in the afternoon, if necessary," Hardwick tells them. "I would like to ask now for a vote on the number of ballots we will have before we look for a simple majority rather than a two-thirds majority.
"As time is of the essence, I suggest six, in hopes that we can elect a new pope in our third day. All in favor?"
The vote carries.
"Good!" Hardwick exclaims.
"Please follow Cardinal Terpa. She will lead you to the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where you’ll be staying. It’s similar to a staff-less hotel. Everything you need is, hopefully, provided. If there is anything more that you require, please see Cardinal Terpa or myself. We reconvene at 6 am tomorrow morning. Thank you, God Bless You all," he says, finishing.
"Amen," the assembly answers back.
The Cardinals begin filing out after Terpa, heading for their rooms.

(Continued in Mike Luoma's Vatican Ambassador!)