Joseph Carrabis signs and discusses The Augmented Man at The Barnes&Noble in Nashua, NH

I keep on keeping on.

The good folks at the Nashua, NH, Barnes&Noble bookstore invited me to do a book signing on Saturday November 23, 2019 2:00 PM.

Please attend. I’ll be so lonely otherwise…

A bit about The Augmented Man
The US Military concedes that any kind of combat leaves soldiers psychologically damaged and makes reintegration to society difficult.

The solution is to find individuals who are already so psychologically damaged the most horrendous combat experience will seem trivial by comparison. Better, find individuals psychologically damaged who’ve also experienced massive physical insult and trauma. Best, individuals psychologically damaged, physically traumatized, and emotionally vacant.

But where to find such individuals?

Captain James Donaldson suggests using massively abused and traumatized children as the basis, arguing “…they’ve already experienced more at home than they’ll ever experience in the field. All we need to is help their bodies catch up to where their psyches and emotions already are.

Nine individuals are selected for Augmentation and entered into combat.

One survives.

And comes home.

I recently took part in an authors’ reading and used the Surface section of The Augmented Man as my text.

One of the other author’s partners said, “I’m uncomfortable with your subject, but your writing pulled me right into the story.”

YES! Thank you, that’s what it’s all about.

To me.

When the power of the writing overcomes the reader’s objections to the story’s content, take a moment and be proud. You’ve done good work.

About me
You can find out more than you need to know at my About page.

Indie Groupers Published Me

(that’s not right…)
I got Indied by a Publishing Group…

No, I got me indie published…accurate and not what I was going for.

I got groped by some Indie Publishers…

(wait a second)

A publishing group identified me as a grouper!

I was indemnified by the Indie Publishers!

(should have written this before I had that Scotch…)

The Indie Publishing Group Interviewed Me!

Yeah, that’s the ticket!
And here it is – Author Interview with Joseph Carrabis!.


Empty Sky Chapter 5 – Jack Games

Some friends are closer than a brother

(final edit before the proofreaders (he said). You can read the previous version here.

Read Empty Sky Chapter 4 – Joni Levis

Creator and above level members can download a PDF of the first five chapters to read offline

Jack Games leaned against Room 343’s window. 343 was the largest private patient’s room in his clinic and the only one with a picture window overlooking the University of Chicago Medical Center’s quad. He watched some med students play hackeysac on the lawn while others sat on benches soaking up the early Fall sun. The quad was surrounded on all sides by the Medical Center’s white, gray and tan facades. The university hospital stood just out of sight off to the side.

“What are we going to do, Tom?”

Tom MacPherson snored, a gentle hnnh sound.

Thirty PhDs, MDs, DScis and related specialists worked for Dr. Jackson Arthur Games. He chaired the University of Chicago’s Neurosciences Department, co-chaired the Center for Narcolepsy Research at the University of Illinois, Chicago, was on the board of the Defense and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, unofficially owned the third floor of the Brain Research Institute, sat on the board of the BRF Center for Molecular Neurobiology, and on Monday afternoons held an online, invitation-only Sleep Disorders Specialty Clinic.

None of which meant shit right now. Jackson Arthur Games had come a long way from DC’s Prospero House, the largest orphans’ home in the tri-state area, and most of it with the MacPherson family’s financial backing.

“Smart investment, eh, Tom? You spent how much money on my education and I can’t do a frickin’ thing for you now?”

Tom hnnhed. Tom hnnhed in his sleep for as long as Jack knew him.

He remembered one day when he and Tom were in Jack’s college dorm room. Jack got dressed while Tom sat on the bed, watching Jack’s silhouette against a not quite as large window.

“Holy shit, Jack. You’re black.”

“All the way down and for most of my life, smart ass.”

“No, I mean, I’ve always known you were a ‘black man’, but I never noticed your skin. It’s black. Darker than mine anyway. Wow. That’s neat.”

Jack held up his hand as if to check Tom’s statement then caught himself. Tom’s sincerity was both stupefying and contagious. But Tom had always been innocent and naive in ways Jack couldn’t quite fathom.

“You are truly color blind, my friend.”

Their bond cemented in their junior year.

Tom was packing his car for Christmas break and Jack blocked his path. “Hey, fuckhead.”


“How come you never ask me home? What’s the matter, you a closet racist? You got something against orphans? Did you think I had someplace to go?”

Tom made no comment. He picked up a laundry bag and put it in his trunk. “None of that’s true, Jack. You know that.”

“Well, you never ask me home. What’s the prob? You got a crazy uncle locked in the attic?”

Tom stopped mid way to his trunk with a box of books in his hands. “No. Go get your things. I’d love to have you with me for the holidays.”

They drove two-hundred highway miles in silence. They exited the highway and traveled some low mountain roads until they came to a old village built along a river.

Jack said, “Is that a waterpowered mill?”

“Yes. Still operational. Doesn’t power anything, just something to look at and remember.”

Jack looked at the company store turned country store, the hitching posts, rail guides, and water troughs still prevalent along Main Street. “Wow, what a sense of history.”

Tom snorted.”You got that right.”

They rode another twenty minutes in silence. Tom turned up a gravel drive hidden in trees at the far side of town. The drive stopped at an ivy covered mansion buried in a copse of oak, ash and pine.

“Tom, I’m sorry. This was a stupid idea. I’ll head back to town and hitch back to school.”


“I’ve been here before, Tom. I’ve made friends before whose family thought the darker the skin the darker the man. I don’t need to be your proof that desegregation doesn’t work.”

“You think that’s why I never asked you home?”


“Come on.” They walked through the front doors, their arms full. Tom headed up some stairs. “I’ll get you settled. Then you can meet Mama.”


“Yeah, Mama. You’ve gone this far, you might as well get the whole show.”

“Look, Tom, just tell me. Am I going to be the show?”

“What are you talking about?”

“I can imagine it now. The sweet smile, the warm handshake, the genteel and curious questions. Then when you and Mama are alone, ‘Get that nigger out of my house.'”

They dropped their packs and books in a room with aircraft models hanging from the ceiling and ship models on the shelves. Superhero and car posters covered the walls.

“No Farrah Fawcett poster?”

“A, she was before my time and 2,” he pointed, “it’s hanging in my bathroom.”

Jack stared, unmoving, unbelieving he was this close to the Grail. “You got a private bathroom?”

“Sure do.” Tom headed out the door. “Follow me.”

They walked down a thickly carpeted hallway of heavy wood paneling. Every few feet there was a picture of an old white guy. Tom opened a door.

Jack took a deep breath and followed him in.

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Mr. Helfen dines in the dark

In the quiet of the night, welcome visitors to our table.

A few nights back we heard some celebrating. Curious, I rose from my slumbers and investigated.

Behold, Mr. Helfen. Many years back we were routinely visited by Mr. Giffords.

Mr. Giffords was a jovial sort and quite convivial. He came at all hours, announced his arrival, requested his pleasures, graced us until other, coyoteish chores called him away.

We’ve not seen this good fellow for some six years now, and yes, we miss him. We’ve heard others of his clan cavorting but none came to share their exploits with us, tell us of their far travels, of the things they’d seen or whom they’d met.

Until a few nights over this past October.

Welcome Mr. Helfen, a bit shyer, a tad more timid.

Still, a welcome guest at our backyard table.

By the way, the sounds you hear 3/4s in are me tapping to get Mr. Helfen’s attention, nothing more.

Together! Live and On Stage! Phoebe Darqueling, Empress of Steampunk, and Joseph Carrabis, Boring and Dull! With Special Guest Stars Michelle and Geoff Genge Joins Us!

and oh, what a show it promises to be!

Phoebe Darqueling, Michelle and Geoff Genge, and I are doing an author meet&greet at the River Bend Bookshop on Sunday, 10 Nov 2019, from 11:30am-2:30pm. If you’re reading this blog, you probably know something about me.

But what about The Mighty Phoebes?

Phoebe Darqueling is the pen name of a globe trotting vagabond who currently hangs her hat in Freiburg, Germany. In her “real life” she writes curriculum for a creativity competition for kids in MN and edits academic texts for non-native English speakers. Though her first love is Steampunk, she dabbles in a variety of speculative fiction genres. Folks can get a free copy of her reference book, The Steampunk Handbook, by signing up for her newsletter. Her novels include Riftmaker: A Steampunk Portal Fantasy and the Mistress of None series. You can find her short stories in the Chasing Magic, The Queen of Clocks and Other Steampunk Tales, Harvey Duckman Presents Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 anthologies right now, with upcoming stories in Taught by Time and Cogs, Crowns, and Carriages coming soon. She’s an equal opportunity Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Firefly fan, but her favorite pastime is riffing on terrible old movies like they do on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

She’s also one of the many wonderful, astute people who interviewed me.

And also Fantasy&Sci-Fi Life and Writing Dynamic Duo Michelle and Geoff Genge!

Geoff and Michelle Genge are a dynamic writing duo who live and raise their two amazing children deep in the woods of beautiful Prince Edward Island, Canada (and i’m jealous). Each brings unique talents and skill sets combined with a shared love of literature and great story-telling. They met in school and fell in love while travelling the wonders of the ancient world.

Michelle has been writing in her work-world for over twenty years and is excited to enter the creative fiction realm. Geoff brings his passions for comic adventure, classic sci-fi, and the weird realm of the paranormal fringe. Together they are embarking to create their own great escapist stories and share them with the world.

So come meet us and be greeted by us at the River Bend Bookshop! It’ll be fun!