Helping you make headlines: for bloggers

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Il ne s’agit pas alors de paresse, de laisser-aller. Bien au contraire, l’individu est tourmenté

It is not then laziness, sloppiness. On the contrary, the individual is tormented

Alfred Sauvy

The internet has changed publishing in ways that disproportionately empower many individuals who were traditionally powerless. The good caused by this is so radiant, that everything bad about the internet is irrelevant and not worth anyone’s concern. Having published at a very wide variety of different web-based publications starting as recently in March 2013, I have seen how a solid campaign can be created through which a blogger can go from having no platform at all, to utilizing the web as much as possible for the purpose of reaching an audience. And it can give you a voice, perhaps propel you into headline news, even if you have no money – absolutely nothing.

At one time, I attempted to distribute my ideas as a YouTuber, until I found that such an effort was not really where my strengths lay. After then, writing became my main focus. However, no single platform exists on the web (the way YouTube exists for people who want to be a successful vlogger) through which you can become a successful blogger. You have to use every platform available, to the maximum extent.

The sort of campaign I am talking about is the main subject of one my ebooks, Make Your Own Headlines, which tells you how to break through into online media as an expert blogger within six months by following six easily accomplished “phases”. The best thing about it is that you don’t need a budget, and I’ve even taken the price tag off the book itself this Sunday. You can get it from Amazon, here. Since writing this short book, I have also turned its expert content into a free online course with OpenLearning, and set up a campaign with Indiegogo to crowdfund similar self-publishing packages that I am considering creating in the future.

I believe in the democratic internet. By that, I mean that I reject all campaigns offered via the internet that help the rich get richer. Instead, I support only campaigns that enable the voiceless, the poor and the marginalized to express themselves and fulfill their interests, and my plan for helping you make headlines is zero-budget for exactly that reason. I feel strongly compelled to say this because (although I haven’t raised any donations on Indiegogo for Make Your Own Headlines) I have been bombarded repeatedly though every channel by scam artists offering to donate $5 to the crowdfunding campaign if I will pay them $10. As if this will even slightly impact the likelihood of the campaign raising any money, or do anything other than waste money that I don’t have in a vain attempt to raise even less money that I don’t have.

Make Your Own Headlines aimed to be aligned with everything good about the internet, and against everything bad about the internet. If the cost is that it doesn’t raise any cash on Indiegogo and actually wastes my own money, I can live with that, because I know it helps powerless and oppressed people gain more power.

By Harry J. Bentham

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Born in the Wrong Century?

posted by Harry J. Bentham

C’est une sphère infinie, dont le centre est partout et la circonférence nulle part.

It is an infinite sphere whose center is everywhere and circumference is nowhere.

Blaise Pascal

In my publishing this week, most notable were an op-ed at Press TV , my last to have expressed hope that Scots vote for independence, and my review at h+ Magazine of Julian Assange’s 2014 title, When Google Met WikiLeaks. Currently, I am authoring a highly critical review of the Google book, The New Digital Age (2013) – a book discredited heavily by Assange – also intended to be published at h+ Magazine.

One of my best-received science fiction volumes, Wrong Century, will be made free to download this weekend. It has four stars on Amazon, and I will welcome any further ratings given by customers for it. Search Beyond, the “series” to which this title belongs, is still searching for a fan base, although I am told by my readers that the stories featuring in it are as gripping and as original as any major science fiction franchise.

The readers’ opinions I refer to come from popular peer-review platforms like YouWriteon, Wattpad and also the editorial staff of several online publishers that have given me their direct assistance in improving my digital titles. This peer-review process has made Search Beyond stories far better than the many cheap attempts by independent authors to dupe Amazon’s sci-fi consumers into absent-mindedly clicking the download button. The level of effort invested by me into these titles is matched only by the painted artworks created specially for these e-books. Even still, I am not trying to gain great amounts of money from this series, and am happy enough to give it to you for free.

I also want to call your attention to one of the most unique features of my largest work of fiction, The Traveller and Pandemonium. That book, representing nearly two years’ work, is the largest work of science-fiction and fantasy I have ever penned, and likely to be the last on that scale. One thing that was most rewarding for me, during my time creating the book, was the creation of fictional extraterrestrial languages to feature in its pages – represented by calligraphy that is included with an accompanying translation at the start of each chapter.

Unfortunately, one of the key things my fiction works have been lacking is a willingness of readers to rate the books on Amazon, despite the high volume of downloads. Therefore, I must request that readers remember to star any of the works you have downloaded as soon as you get the opportunity. This goes a long way in making it possible for me to know what sort of work I should focus on, and also stirs me into accepting the high standards expected by avid Amazon Kindle readers.

By Harry J. Bentham

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US Empire hates Scottish independence

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Toute oppression crée un état de guerre.

All oppression creates a state of war.

Simone de Beauvoir

Image from Voltairenet

The US, like the UK’s Conservative government, clings to an outdated adversarial worldview based on the old-fashioned wartime alliances of the Twentieth Century and a policy of aggressive intervention into the affairs of foreign countries. A negative and paranoid perception of the world pervades the US establishment, detached from the complex realities of the Twenty-First Century, and it is reflected in their cliché-ridden reaction to the prospect of Scotland securing its future as an independent country in the referendum that will take place on 18 September.

The US position on Scotland’s internal matters has, since August , been as typically meddling and arrogant as the rest of US foreign policy:

…this relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is based on shared values of democracy, individual freedom, and the rule of law;

… British statesman Winston Churchill in 1946 labeled the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom the Special Relationship because of the unprecedented depth of cooperation and the extensive historic ties between the two nations;

… throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries, the United States and the United Kingdom fought together in several struggles, including the First and Second World Wars, in which millions of American and British soldiers sacrificed for their countries;

I have illuminated the parts of the US House of Representatives’ Resolution 713 that confirm they are stuck in the past and appear to be oblivious to modern developments that have contributed to the Scottish people seeking independence.

First, the US should not talking about what the United Kingdom wants, but what Scotland wants, and the claim about shared values of democracy, individual freedom and the rule of law is absurd and irrelevant even if there was any truth to it other than blatant, Cold War-minded US propaganda. Right now, the US regime cannot even agree upon its own internal model of democracy, individual freedom and the rule of law, as has been proven by its flagrant abuses of power, detentions, torture and domestic spying born out of its fear of its own people. Mirrored by the UK like a puppet state, such practices are hardly part of any model that the Scottish people would like to follow.

Second, the “special relationship” has no real popular resonance, either for the US or the UK – except among establishment cronies in both countries. Not only is Winston Churchill’s claim anchored in a bygone era when the world was divided into rival alliance structures, but the US doesn’t even believe in the special relationship anymore itself. If it did, why does it feel the need to aggressively monitor its supposed closest ally, which is a huge violation of trust, or make interfering declarations like Resolution 713 itself regarding the internal affairs of its supposed closest ally? In addition to this, what about the European Union? Isn’t that special relationship more important to Scotland’s future than some outdated alliance that was needed to defeat the long-dead Nazis? If the threat is from Russia, isn’t the EU  a better place to start cultivating alliances rather than teaming up with reckless US aggressors and adventurists, who are entirely detached from European interests? Don’t the core interests of Scotland coincide more with a united Europe than with the dated US-UK “special relationship”?

In the Resolution’s declarations, the House of Representatives:

(1) believes that a united, secure, and prosperous United Kingdom is important for U.S. national security priorities in Europe and around the world;

(2) believes that diplomatic, economic, and military cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom in bilateral, trans-Atlantic, and global arenas is essential to the national security of the United States;

This is perhaps the biggest blunder of this resolution. It puts US national security interests above the interests of the Scottish people, which tells us everything that is wrong about the “special relationship”. The “special relationship” has never been about the interests of real people on this island, but about how the people of this island can be misguided into serving US interests. Think of the conflicts and crises that have taken place since the Second World War: In every instance, the US tried to equate its own over-inflated ambitions with the UK’s, while giving back nothing to the UK. In no instance did the US take any significant steps in the interests of the UK as its power shrank, and in every case the US tried to enlist the UK’s support to protect the US from harm or help the US attain more power. The US uses the people of this island as a human shield for its own greedy global ambitions, and its panic over the drive of Scots towards securing their independence from imperial domination by London is the result of the an even more selfish desire to subordinate the interests of more human beings to the interests of the US empire and its cronies in Westminster.

All that the US has done by issuing this dull and uninspiring resolution is feed the Scottish people with more hope that they will be able to govern themselves better, including gaining a more independent and representative foreign policy. The US Empire will be weakened by Scottish independence, and that is yet one more reason to vote Yes on the 18th.

Catalyst Yes book deal

In support of this referendum, so world-shaking it has hit the halls of arrogance in Washington, I’m creating a new book deal. UK customers will be able to get Catalyst: A Techno-Liberation Thesis (2013), at a discounted price from September 15 to September 18 – starting at an 84% discount on September 15 and ending at the original price on September 18 when the referendum takes place.

By Harry J. Bentham

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Defining stories: my own star wars

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Qui définit le moment où j’écris?

How to define the moment that I write?

Michel Foucault

Next month it’s October. It may seem early, but it reminds me to draft a science fiction horror story for entering into the sort of literary competitions often seen on the web at Halloween. I was thinking of a new installment in my Search Beyond Series, which has already reached a total of four volumes, each containing as many as five individual short stories.

Here are my notes for possibly the creepiest story I could think of, to take place on the fictional star ship Traction featured in all the Search Beyond stories:

The Captain [George Sannox] is trapped in [an apparent] “zombie” outbreak on the ship, caused by a mysterious bat-like intruder. [Called the Navidian Plague, it causes blindness and tumorous growths around the eyes. The back-story would be that Sannox experienced an outbreak of the Plague at some point in his childhood, and was traumatized by it.]

In case this sounds riddled with clichés like all too many horror stories, I had an excellent twist in mind, but won’t reveal it here, in case readers prefer to discover it for themselves. Stay tuned to find out what happens.

I get a lot of downloads on Amazon, but one thing I must request is your star rating of the titles you download. I’m giving out two free Amazon Kindle science fiction downloads, Superstructure and Journey into the Machine, so go ahead and download both of them because it will cost you nothing and will help give you a taste of my fiction writing.

Superstructure: Now featuring 6 fascinating bonus stories, Superstructure is the adventure of Carl Resco, a young student in the distant interstellar future. On the dark side of the planet Sapo, the brutal Provide armada hunts for the elusive Loci sect, and Resco must brave extreme dangers to find the answer to his former mentor’s disappearance.  FREE Friday 12th-Sunday 14th. No-one has rated it yet 

Journey into the Machine: Cyberpunk stories exploring esoteric questions. Where do uploaded people go when they die? These are short stories based on this theme. FREE Friday 12th-Sunday 14th. No-one has rated it yet 

ABOVE ALL – I can’t repeat it enough – I need you to be a star by giving me your star rating for these free books on Amazon. Your reactions – positive or negative – are worth far more than any payment I might get through Amazon.

By Harry J. Bentham

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