Episode 64 – Deck the Halls with Sci-Fi!

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The Newbie Writer’s Podcast

Episode 64- Deck the Halls with Sci-Fi!

Special Guest: Hank Quense

Hank’s Website


Zaftan Entrepreneurs

Fiction Writing Guides





Award-winning author Hank Quense lives in Bergenfield, NJ with his wife Pat. They have two daughters and five grandchildren. He writes humorous fantasy and scifi stories. On occasion, he also writes an article on fiction writing or book marketing but says that writing nonfiction is like work while writing fiction is fun. A member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, he refuses to write serious genre fiction saying there is enough of that on the front page of any daily newspaper and on the evening TV news.

Zaftan Entrepreneurs is the first book of a trilogy. In it, an alien mining ship discovers a planet that holds promise to be a mining bonanza. Unfortunately, it is inhabited by humans, dwarfs, elves and other races and they object to the mining expeditions.  Zaftan Miscreants is the second book in the trilogy. It is awash with unusual characters and filled with bizarre plots Hank’s previous works include Tales From Gundarland, a collection of fantasy stories. Readers Favorite awarded the book a medal and EPIC designated it a finalist in its 2011 competition.

Altogether, Hank has over fifty published short stories and a number of non-fiction articles. His latest book is a Shakespearean Spoof called Falstaff’s Big Gamble. It takes the characters and plots (sort of) from Hamlet and Othello and transports them to his fantasy world Gundarland. He is currently working on a short novel that takes the Rhinegold myth used by Richard Wagner in his great Ring Cycle of Operas and turns it into a scifi tale. Called Wotan’s Dilemma, it will be published in 2013.

He often lectures on fiction writing and self-publishing. Military Recognition Four years ago, to show support for our armed services and to provide a measure of entertainment, Hank put together a collection of ten humorous short stories, all previously published, for the troops to read and spent considerable time in distributing it to our troops.

For his efforts, the US Army sent a him a letter thanking him for his contribution. The letter was signed by the Army Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Army. Hank also received a Certificate of Appreciation at the same time. He continues to send free books to the troops thru the Operation Ebook Drop program.

Tales From Gundarland Readers’ Favorite gave this book an award in its fantasy category and EPIC short listed it as the best anthology of 2010.


Write about the perfect holiday – the perfect family. What does the perfect Christmas morning look like? Sound like? As you write, consider the ideal. Does it come from you? Or has your ideal been generated by stories, commercials and film?

Word of the Week:




adjective: Wakeful; alert.

From Old English wacan (to wake up) + rife (abundant, common). Earliest documented use: around 1480.

“If you’re still wakerife let me suggest another, possibly chastening, exercise in memory.”
S.L. McKinlay; The Shots That Count; Glasgow Herald (Scotland); Dec 14, 1965.

“As for me, I’m wakerife and morne, but hope springs eternal. I don’t know how she does it, what with those leg irons on, but spring she does.”
Ben Tripp; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Agenda; CounterPunch (Petrolia, California); May 30, 2003.

Tortured Sentences:

“I want someone who will look at me, not because I’m ‘hot’ but because I’m ‘classy’ or ‘pretty.'”  This student (from a final exam for a colleague of mine), complaining about how men objectify women, has clearly absorbed the lessons of the Women’s Movement — and will settle for being seen as a less-sexy piece of meat than other women.  You’ve come a long way, baby.

Dr Michael Pinksy.

Shout Outs:

Apparently its the end of the world. *shrugs



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