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Robert Mason

The memoir of a combat Huey pilot during the Vietnam War. Chickenhawk was a New York Times Bestseller and has been in print by Penguin since 1983.  Now available on Kindle and iBookstore and all ebook stores.


"...Violent, deafening, treetop world of 1000 Viet Nam helicopter missions...its vertical plunge into the thickets of madness, will stun readers as well..."


"A hypnotic narrative"

—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times

"How extraordinarily touching it is that these men who have suffered so much still want to make us better...If I sound just a little overwrought, I defy you to read this straightforward, in many ways underwrought, narrative and feel any differently...filled with the grim humor of men under pressure, filled with details..."

—Robert Wilson, USA Today

"Unaffected, straightforward... His descriptions of flying air assault, med-evac and ammo-resupply missions make exhilarating important addition to our growing Vietnam War literature.

—C. D. Bryant New York Times Review of Books

"Mason recounts the war as experienced in mission after mission behind the cockpit's vulnerable Plexiglas windshield...Mason's gripping memoir...proves again that reality is more interesting, and often more terrifying, than fiction."

—John Patrick Diggins, Los Angeles Times

"A wry undertone of ironic of the best...a superb piece of story telling, really excellent."

—Larry Heinemann, (Close Quarters ), Chicago Sun Times

"The sounds and sensations of flying helicopters dominate...When he flies so does his book..."

—Lee Lescaze, The Washington Post

"It is very simply the best book so far out of Vietnam—the best book so far and the best book by far."

—Harry Levins, St. Louis Post Dispatch


Recovering From the War: 
A Guide for All Veterans, Family Members, Friends and Therapists
Patience H.C. Mason.
First published by Viking Penguin in 1990. 
Recovering from the War is a systematic investigation of the costs of war for veterans and their families, including information on how to recover from combat trauma. The examples are from Vietnam, but the experience is universal, so the book is helpful to active duty service members.

Part One, Vietnam: What it was, consists of a series of chapters containing interviews with Vietnam veterans: Who Went, In the Rear, In the Pipeline and Forward Bases, Going Forth: Aviation and Mechanized Combat, In the Field, and Back in the World. Each chapter covers one type of Vietnam experience, followed by questions to help the reader understand what veterans go through. The details are from Vietnam but the experiences are universal, applicable to any war where the enemy can't be easily identified and anyone can kill you. 

Part Two, The Aftereffects, begins with "What's So Different About Vietnam", a guerrilla war with no front line and no way to identify the enemy, conditions which apply to Iraq and Afghanistan. The next chapter, "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,"  contains a clear discussion of the symptoms of PTSD along with suggestions for beginning to get help. "Our Problems" finishes the section and discusses how PTSD impacts the family.

Part Three, Help Yourself has three chapters, First Aid, Listening, and Changing. These are designed to put your feet on the path that will lead to your recovery, whether you are a family member, friend or veteran. They contain a lot of personal experiences.

There is a list of sources, suggested further reading, other sources of help, guidelines for a 12 step group for families of veterans and an index.

Robert Mason

Weapon was Robert Mason’s first try at fiction. “I'd always been interested in the possibility of Artificial Intelligence, so that's what I wanted to write about.” Solo is a robot designed to be one thing, a weapon. During tests in Costa Rica, it becomes obvious that Solo has a mind of his own. And emotions. And has no desire to ever be "human."

“Marvin Minsky of MIT, the originator of the term "artificial intelligence", once told me Solo was his favorite robot, and that I explained AI better than he did. He's wrong of course, but it was a terrific compliment!”

Weapon was a New York Times Notable Book in 1993

In 1995, WEAPON was made into the movie "SOLO" starring Mario Van Peebles. “The best thing I can say about the movie is that it's nothing like the book.”


Robert Mason

Solo, the charming super robot who was left to drown at the end of Mason's WEAPON (1989), found that his waterproofing was better than design specs called for. His fans should be quite pleased that he has bobbed back up.

Every bit as personable as Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator but, with his black carbon-fiber exterior, less-well-human, Solo has pulled himself back from the bottom of the ocean, paid a courtesy call on his adopted Nicaraguan family, wowed a Stone Age Indian tribe, hacked into the Defense satellite-computer system for an update on the military-industrial complex, watched old movies to brush up on the fine points of being human, and stowed away in the bilges of a banana boat on his way to New York. In Manhattan, he hooks up with a brokenhearted bag-lady whom he reconstructs and with whom he builds a thriving business based on his marvelous ability to talk heart-to-heart with the computers at Merrill Lynch, Shearson Lehman Bros., and Nomura Securities. Solo needs his newly earned fortune to rebuild his batteries so he can go disconnect from Con Ed and go to florida. He wants to rescue his younger, stronger brother, an Army colonel who's programmed to kill without question. Solo can't do it alone. He needs the help of his brilliant and filthy-rich inventor, who is only too glad to leave the office and have some fun.

The techno-thrills are secondary to such amusements as Solo adapting to N.Y.C. and N.Y.C. adapting, more or less, to Solo. Much fun for the techno-credulous.


Chickenhawk: Back in the World, Life After Vietnam.

Available on Kindle, iBookstore, Barnes&Noble, and from many other eBook sellers.

How did the 23-year-old combat helicopter pilot cope with life after Vietnam?

"I was a crazy insomniac at 38, 15 years a veteran helicopter pilot from the Vietnam War. I had finished college, tried various jobs and businesses, lived in Spain. It was all interesting, if only I could’ve gotten a minute’s peace. I drank too much. All my jobs sucked. My girlfriend got pregnant. My wife complained I never took out the garbage.

“That's when I found myself on a mission, on a sailboat off the coast of Columbia, on a rendezvous with Indians in canoes who packed nearly three tons of marijuana into our 35-foot yacht.

“Then it was  2000 miles of sailing the stormy Winter seas to Charleston, South Carolina. So far, every single step of this genius plan had proven to be a very bad idea. For example, we sailed into a South Carolina back-channel at 3am, flashing a million-candle-power floodlight scanning the banks of the canal, as inconspicuous as a Mardi Gras parade.  And then, loaded to the gunnels with 3 tons off marijuana, surrounded by a reeking, nearly visible cloud, of marijuana gas, we motored to within 30 feet of a skiff manned by three U.S. Customs Agents. ‘Ahoy,’ said one of the agents as they came closer. ‘May we come aboard?’”

“And that’s just the beginning of the story.”

Robert Mason

Chickenhawk: Back in the World is a litany of screw-ups that make you glad you’re not Mason.” --Michael Costello, author, A Long Time from Home.

The sequel to Chickenhawk is now an eBook.

Woodland Litter Critters ABC

Patience Press

The Litter Critters and the story are by Patience Mason

8.5” x 11” high resolution photo illustrations by Robert Mason

Hardback $16.99

Paperback $12.99

The Litter Critters were all found hiding in the woodland litter by Patience Mason. Artfully crafted from acorns, leaves, twigs and thistles, they seem to come alive. As they gather to watch the sunset at the shady river, the Litter Critters introduce young readers to the alphabet. All the Critters were created by Patience and photographed, in action, by her husband, Robert Mason. Available as 8.5”x11” hardcover book from Amazon or local book stores, and soon, an interactive iBook version for the iPad.

Publish date is July 1, 2014. Advance copies of either the hardback or paperback edition, each 8.5”x11” and 32 pages are available at