Richard's Home Online

Richard
                                    Seltzer
Here I post thoughts, memories, stories, novels, plays, essays, reading lists, genealogical research, info about ebooks for sale, and matters of interest to friends and family.  This isn't your typical web.  It's meant to be idiosyncratic and fun.  I always welcome feedback and suggestions.

I'm the publisher of Seltzer Books, with over 14,000 time-tested books in ebook format, available for sale through Barnes & Noble (Nook), Kobo, Apple, Google Play, and PublishDrive. Earlier, I published entire libraries of books on CD and DVD primarily for the blind, who used "screen readers" to convert the text to voice. (This included a 4-DVD set with over 20,000 books for just $149). I also made a quixotic attempt to build and run my own ebook store, Quench, trying to single-handedly compete with the likes of Amazon. My publishing company was originally known as B&R Samizdat Express and consisted of just my wife Barbara (B) and me Richard (R). Samizdat means "self-published" in Russian. Barbara died in 2012, and I recently got an offer that I couldn't refuse for the domain name samizdat.com. So I am now rebuilding the web site as seltzerbooks.com 

In the early days of the Web, I worked for Digital Equipment's Internet Business Group as their "Internet evangelist." When the company was swallowed by Compaq (which was later swallowed by Hewlett-Packard) I worked independently as an Internet marketing consultant, writing extensively about business on the Internet. Many of the books, articles, and speeches I wrote back then are available here. My AltaVista Search Revolution was the first consumer-oriented book about search engines. Library Journal, called it "indispensable". My Web Business Boot Camp was a pioneering guidebook for Internet start-ups.

My original samizdat.com web site, which I used as a sandbox to test ideas about the Web, has been preserved by the Internet Archive as part of their Wayback Machine.  They have stored 666 versions of that web site, captured from November 1996 to September 2017.
This link takes you to the part of the archive that is devoted to samizdat.com. Select the date you are interested in; then you can browse the archive the same as you do the live web, clicking on link after link.  Everything from the web site is there, including all the issues of my Internet-on-a-Disk newsletter and the hundreds of articles from my blog. (They now archive seltzerbooks.com )

I am finally in a position to write fiction full-time.
My novel Parallel Lives was just published (March 2020) by All Things That Matter Press. That same publisher will be publishing my novel Beyond the Fourth Door probably before the end of July and also has another novel of mine, Nevermind, under contract and is considering two other novels of mine Breeze and To Gether Tales. I am now writing another novel The Shakespeare Twins and then plan to return to the saga of Alexander Bulatovich, which I began long ago with The Name of Hero.  I also continue to look for publishers for a book of essays (Lenses), a collection of 1900 short jokes (ASAP's Foibles), and another novel (The Attic, co-written with Ethel Kaiden).. In my spare time, I'm working on an expanded version of my translation Ethiopia Through Russian Eyes.

Richard Seltzer, seltzer@seltzerbooks.com

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List of my published books

Beyond the Fourth Door
Published by All Things that Matter Press
The first door is birth. The second is death. Finally, Frank and Marge go through the fourth door.

5 out of 5 stars
Richard Seltzer is a master of educating us to the possibilities of existence once we set our mind free and open the door to the unknown.


paperback


Kindle ebook

Please read, enjoy and review





Parallel Lives
published 2020 by All Things that Matter Press

The story, which begins in an assisted-living facity in New Hampshire, leads to 18th century Boston and London, where there's unfinished business that residents, through mirror selves, must take care of.

5.0 out of 5 stars
"Ingeniously woven trip through space and time"


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blog interview

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What would have been a epigraph for this novel if I had read it sooner:

"What then is Time? Is its course but one way? Or is it like a swift stream that rolls some things along faster and some slower, leaves, sticks and stones, which may change places, and pass each other by, collide, and combine, even as all are borne along? I sometimes think that we lead many lives between birth and dying, and one one, or perhaps two, are ever known to us consciously, the others pass in parallel, invisible, or they run backward while the one we busy ourselves with runs forward."
from Lord Byron's Novel by John Crowley


Works by and about historical figures who are characters in this novel:

Mercy Otis Warren, historian and playwright

The Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution


The original 3-volume work is 1317 pages long. Mercy wrote early drafts of this work near the time of the events described, and completed the work about four years before it appeared in 1805. Mercy wrote in the third person even when dealing with events involving her immediate family. James Otis (early advocate of the rights of the colonies) was her brother, James Warren (speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives) was her husband, and Winslow Warren (would-be diplomat) was her son.
Other works by Mercy Otis Warren

Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne, general and playwright

____________________________

Under contract to the same publisher (All Things That Matter Press)


Nevermind, novel, written 2012-2019


The lives of Ruth and Mark are punctuated by the two times they invoke nevermind, hand-me-down magic that Ruth learned from her mother, that can undo what has been done and alter the shape of reality. They fall in love twice, once in their early 20s,; and for the second time, on a world cruise, when they are 70.

When they first meet, during World War II, both Ruth and Mark are sheltered, naive, and repressed. Ruth -- her mother dead and her father in prison, raised  by unmarried aunts and haunted by the lies she has been taught to tell -- distrusts all men. Mark, a GI away from home for the first time, raised in a male-dominated household, is tempted by worldly-wise women while seeking the perfect innocent wife. Their on-again off-again romance, among the contingencies of wartime America, forces them to grow up quickly.

Their marriage falls apart when they lose their four-month old son, Davey, on a transcontinental train. They blame one another and divorce. Then, separately, they each invoke nevermind, which solves their immediate problem -- Davey -- but leads to unintended consequences. Each finds Davey and doesn't tell the other, to avoid custody battles. Each raises him separately, in parallel similar worlds.  

Ruth finds her father, who, in this world, is loving and caring, with a very different past. And after she is widowed from a loveless second marriage, she evolves to become a sex therapist known as "The Love Granny" and author of an unpublished autobiographical novel, "Well-Meaning Lies. Meanwhile Mark writes a successful series of books about the role of lies in American history.

Their separate worlds become entangled when, after they have changed so much that, at first, they don't recognize one another, they meet again, 40 years later and fall in love again. Learning that they each have Davey and that other aspects of their life stories conflict, Mark and Ruth invoke nevermind once again, this time together, hoping to avert disaster and leading to yet another world -- their happily-ever-after.


Beyond the Fourth Door
, novel, written 1969 - June 2018

The first door is birth. The second is death. Frank and Marge go through the fourth door.

Without knowing why or how, a pair of college students go through the second door without dying, waking up  50 years older than they were before and with no memory of what has happened.

Seeking a way out, they read a novel that Frank wrote about them and his family before the missing years. It's a coming-of-age family saga with

Charlie, an amateur movie maker;

Sarah his insightful bible-believing mother;

Irene, his creative and uninhibited wife;

Frank, his nephew, the author of the novel; and

Marge, who loves and hates both Frank and Charlie.

Trying to sort truth from fiction, when perception and action are often shaped by lies,  Frank and Marge bond with one another as they find ways to slip through cracks in time and space.

RICHARD'S OTHER WORKS

The Barracks
(from Saint Smith and Other Stories), novella, 11K words also published at Untold Tales Publishing,
The Barracks
 takes place during basic training at Fort Polk, LA, in the summer of 1970, during the Viet Nam War. The overwhelming majority of the trainees are reservists. All white, in a matter of weeks, they'll return home and go about their usual lives, unless something unexpected goes wrong. Four black trainees in the same platoon face immediate assignment to Viet Nam, so they have been deliberately failing the course, being "recycled," over and over again. Tensions of the war (which none of them support) and race relations (which the reservists never faced before) come to a head over an incident that in and of itself seems to have little significance but symbolically looms large.

    based on that novella  The Barracks, a three-act stage play (1989) and Spit and Polish, a full-length screen play (2001)

  The Gentle Inquisitor and Other Stories, published at Untold Tales Publishing,
These eight ironic stories deal with serious questions in unique and playful ways. They'll make you smile and wonder and prompt you to think about human nature and the meaning of life from new perspectives.

  The AltaVista Search Revolution:How to Find Anything on the Internet, Osborne/McGraw-Hill, 1997 and 1998, with Eric J. Ray and Deborah S. Ray
     The first consumer book about search engines. (AltaVista was the forerunner of Google.)
     
Winner of the "Distinguished Technical Communication Award," the highest award given by the Society for Technical Communication Publications.    
     2 editions, Hebrew and Japanese translations. Braille version published by National Braille Press    
     "This complete guide to using the AltaVista web searching/indexing system will be indispensable to both librarians and patrons.... Get one copy to circulate, nail one down in the computer lab, and pass one around the reference desk."
-- Library Journal
 

  Ethiopia Through Russian Eyes by Alexander Bulatovich, translation by Richard Seltzer (Red Sea/Africa World Press, 2000)      at Kobo     at Nook    at Apple
     including 78 photos taken in Ethiopia in 1896-1898
     "...the most important book on the history of eastern Africa to have been published for a century...."
   Old Africa (complete review)

  The Lizard of Oz, fantasy, 1974, revised and expanded 2018  at Kobo  at Nook query message for second edition     at Apple      at Nook      at Kobo   query message
    
"An intriguing and very entertaining little novel" Library Journal
     "Carroll and Tolkien have a new companion"
Aspect
     "A work so saturated that the mind is both stoned with pleasure and alive with wonder"
Lancaster Independent Press
     "A commentary on our times done delightfully" Philadelphia Bulletin
     "A gallery of figments of contemporary culture that could take its place on the library shelf of memory along with classic figures of children's fiction" Valley  Advocate
"Adventures in Small Press Publishing" the story of how I self-published this book in 1974

  Now and Then and Other Tales from Ome, children's stories, 1976    at Kobo     at Nook     at Apple
     "A highly original collection of short stories, sometimes humorous, sometimes profound." Boston Globe

  The Name of Hero, historical novel, Tarcher/Houghton Mifflin, 1981    at Kobo     at Nook     at Apple
     translation of this novel into Russian 
     sources and related documents


   Saint Smith and Other Stories, 2011    at Kobo    at Nook     at Apple


- Lenses, written 1995-2020 a book-length collection of short essays that look at knotty questions from unusual angles

 Echoles From the Attic, novel, with Ethel Kaiden, written 2008 at Kobo  at Nook (Barnes & Noble)


  MGMT MEMO: Management Lessons from DEC, 2018    at Apple    at Nook    at Google Play


  Snapshots of DEC, 2018     at Apple     at Nook


 Web Business Boot Camp Hands-on Internet lessons for manager, entrepreneurs, and professionals, Wiley, 2002     at Apple     at Nook     at Kobo

- Take Charge of Your Web Site, MightyWords, 2001


  Shop Online the Lazy Way (Macmillan, 1999. Braille edition published by National Braille Press)    at Nook    at Google Play    at Apple  


  The Social Web: How to build successful personal or business Web sites, 1998)     at Apple  


  The Way of the Web Lessons from the Internet. How to adapt to the new business environment, 1995)    at Kobo     at Apple


  Dryden's Exemplary Drama, senior thesis at Yale (1969)    at Apple     at Google Play     at Nook

 Death of the Federalist Party, paper written in high school, in 1963.   at Apple     at Google Play


    Dark Woods and Other Poems     at Apple     at Nook

 
HUMOR

- ASAP's Foibles, word play, over 1200 short jokes

- Six-Word Stories, prompted by images post on Twitter to AgathaChocolates (daily, starting February 13, 2020)

- Trumpisms (Trump jokes at Glossy News Satire, 2019)  one of the top 10 most popular articles of the year (#6)

- Trumpisms 2.0 (Trump jokes at Glossy News Satire. 2019)

- Trumpisms 3.0 (Trump jokes at Glossy News Satire, 2019)

- Trumpisms 4.0 (Trump jokes at Glossy News Satire, 2020)

- Trumpisms 5.0 (Trump jokes at Glossy News Satire, 2020)

- Trumpisms 6.0 (Trump jokes at Glossy News Satire, 2020)

- Trumpisms 7.0 (Trump jokes at Glossy News Satire, 2020)

- Tumpisms 8.0 (Trump jokes at Glossy News Satire, 2020)

- Trumpisms 9.0 (Trump jokes at Glossy News Satire, 2020)

- Trumpisms 10.0 (Trump jokes at Glossy News Satire, 2020)


SHORT STORIES

- The Gentle Inquisitor (from Saint Smith and Other Stories)

- The Choice (from Saint Smith and Other Stories)

- Creation Story (from Saint Smith and Other Stories)

- Chiang ti Tales (from Saint Smith and Other Stories)

- The Mirror (from Saint Smith and Other Stories) (American Bystander #13, 2019

- Now and Then (from Now and Then and Other Tales from Ome)

- Revolution  (at Glossy News Satire, 2019)

- Finnegan Died  (at Glossy News Satire, 2019)

- Size Matters   (at Glossy News Satire, 2019)

- Hundreds and Hundreds of Gerbils

- Julie's Book: The Little Princess (from Now and Then and Other Tales from Ome)


- Mary Jane's Book: The Book of Animals (from Now and Then and Other Tales from Ome)


- The Little Oops Named Ker Plop (from Now and Then and Other Tales from Ome)

- Hands

- Tiger in the Elevator

- Yanni


PLAYS


  Without a Myth and Five Other Plays     at Apple   at Google Play   at Nook


- Without a Myth, three-act play (1971)

- Heel, Hitler, ten-minute play (2015)

- The Barracks, a three-act stage play (1989)

- Rights Crossing, a two-act historical play, set in the American Revolution (1976)

- Mercy, a two-act historical comedy, set in the American Revolution,  based on the lives of Mercy Otis Warren and General Johnny Burgoyne. (1975)

- Heel, Hitler, ten-minute play (2015)

- The Lizard of Oz, children's play (1976)

SCRIPTS

- The Lizard of Oz radio script,
episode 1, episode 2, episode 3

- Spit and Polish, a full-length screen play (2001)

- Traffic Jam, a short screen play (1972)

-  Family on Demand, first episode of proposed sitcom, co-written with Ethel Kaiden (2004)

SPEECHES

- From Russia and Ethiopia to the Internet (Wesleyan College) article
- Surviving as a Small Business in the Age of Google: Generate Search-engine Traffic (NEXPO, Washington, DC)  article
- The Future of Business on the Internet (Lewiston, Maine)  script
- Increase Traffic on the Internet Without Advertising (IQPC Conference, San Francisco, CA)  article
- Corporate-wide Knowledge Management  (ExpoManagement 98, Buenos Aires, Argentina)  article
- Business Opportunities on the Internet (Comdex, Buenos Aires, Argentina)  script
- The Social Web: from Hyper-links to People-links  (Web Week 97, Oak Ridge National Labs, Oak Ridge, TN)  book
- Basics of Effective Web Sites: How to Succeed When the Rules of the Game Change (Boston)  book
- Building Communities on the Internet (Internet Expo/Email World, Boston, New Orleans)  article


COLLECTIONS OF ARTICLES

- Current thoughts on all topics

- Internet Present & Past

- Internet History

- Internet Strategy and Marketing


- EBay and Other Online Auctions


- Internet Search


- Community and Collaboration


- Web Site Design


- Working At Home


- Publishing and Ebooks

- Glimpses (essays toward a personal philosophy)


-
My book reviews

INDIVIDUAL ARTICLES

- 70 Online Dates - Learning to Date at 68


- Asthma in Timisoara: A Glimpse at the Romanian Medical System


- Romantic Romania?


- Training, Not Censorship: The Need for Cyber-Street-Smarts


- Global Competition and the Long Road to General Prosperity (1992)


- Thoughts on Reading and Writing


- The Bugle Boy


- Why Bother to Save Halloween?


- The Nostalgia of Tomorrowland


- Adventures in Small Press Publishing: the Lizard of Oz


- From Russia to Ethiopia to the Internet


- The Serge Solovieff Mystery - A World War I Variant of the Spanish Prisoner and Nigerian Scams


- Making sense of the myths behind Greek tragedy, in particular the mythos of Pelops/Atreus/Agamemnon, grad school paper (1970)


- Filial Respect in Confucius and Socrates and the Divergence of Western and Chinese Philosophic Traditions, paper written while an undergraduate at Yale, May 1967


- Another Look at Moliere's l'Avare (The Miser), paper written while a student at Brentwood School in Brentwood, Essex, England, May, 1965.


JUVENALIA

- The Story of the Trojan War in Unintentionally Humorous Verse doggerel written in the sixth grade (age 11)

- Hi-Q or Peg Solitarie, a solution to the game solved and recorded in the third grade (age 8)

- Stories Written in the Second Grade

BOOKS IN PROGRESS AND FINISHED BOOKS, IN SEARCH OF AGENT/PUBLISHER


- The Shakespeare Twins -- the formative years of Shakespeare, the twin sister no one knew he had, and their turbulent and passionate relationship, working on second half

 - To Gether Tales -- romantic stories shared on a cruise ship soon before the pandemic

- Breeze, novel, written 2000 - March 2018 query message

 -
Sign Me Up, (picture book)

- What Can You Do With a Fifth Foot? (picture book)


OTHER WRITING PROJECTS

- The Name Trilogy, including The Name of Hero, The Name of Man, and The Name of God (opening chapters of Name of Man)

 
PUBLISHING

Seltzer Books (titles organized as Virtual Book Tables)

Catalog (with links to ebook stores)


DETAILED RESUME

READING

Sixty-Twp Years of Reading (complete list of books I've read since 1958)

My Current Reading list (2020)

Recommended contemporary books (published since WW II)

My book reviews

Book reviews by Dean Rink

Author page at Goodreads

FAMILY AND FRIENDS

GENEALOGY

The Cary-Estes Genealogy by May Folk Webb and Patrick Mann Estes

-- as a web page

-- as a Word document

The Cary-Estes-Moore Genealogy by Helen Estes Seltzer

-- as a web page

-- as a Word document

Richard's genealogy page (listing over 1600 direct ancestors)


OTHER INTERESTS

English-Greek Dictionary, a Vocabulary of the Attic Language by S. C. Woodhouse (1910), a hyperlinked version


DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation), the world's second largest computer company before its demise in 1998, where I worked 1979 to 1998.


Grace Sherwood, Virginia Witch

Mercy Otis Warren


Ethiopia

World War II


Robert Greene


General Johnny Burogoyne

Civil War (to come)


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