THREE COURTESANS may be my next book

I am working on three things, turning to one of the others whenever I block on one. They are: a sequel to the Amelia Earhart novelette STAR CADET, space opera EMPRESS OF UNITY, and screenplay THREE COURTESANS.

COURTESANS is my hardest and artistically riskiest book as it’s not sci-fi but contemporary fiction. Or perhaps erotic fiction, as it is about three prostitutes. I will have to tread a fine line between porn and literature and may not be up to the task.

When THE EONS-LOST ORPHAN and its sequels made a big splash financially (by my modest standards) I began to get emails from beautiful young women wanting to make my acquaintance. I deleted those except for one which caught my curiosity. She claimed to be a third-year pharmachemistry student at UCLA who augmented her scholarship by entertaining “generous sophisticated men.”

Could she be real? A little research uncovered that at least 10% and up to 25% of college women sometimes work as “sugar babies” to help with the crushing cost of education. So I made an hour appointment with her. She would charge me a mere $300, half her usual fee, because she “admired my books so much.”

Instead of retiring to her bedroom in an off-campus apartment gotten through UCLA’s housing program we retired to her favorite nearby restaurant. Near the end of an hour of chatting we returned to her apartment, where she generously allowed me more time with her for free. She disrobed to “cool off from the hot outside” and showed me all her textbooks and lab workbooks.

Though distracted by all the bare flesh I eventually tentatively decided she was for real. It IS possible that I was fooled, but in my years at NASA and Boeing I’ve met lots of scientists and engineers. I know the type, and am one for that matter. We look like everyone else, and for the most part are. But there are some core characteristics that are hard to fake.

In the next few months I researched prostitution. I discovered that there are indeed truly horrible people involved in it. All those police reports and screenplays about them are not exaggerations. But I also discovered that for 99% of sex workers it is just business as usual with little or no drama. They stay discreet and pay their taxes. The police leave them alone except for a few times when they have to impress the politicians and the “good people” and they go all righteous for a week or three.

A few months ago some incident recalled chemist “Polly” to me and an idea popped in my head. Why not write a book about the real world of prostitution, the ordinary world that most people don’t realize exists?

I began, writing it in a prose form that closely follows screenplay form. It can be read as a book but can be easily adapted into a screenplay if Netflix or Amazon or whoever wants to produce it.

Currently there are three main characters, all escorts. One just graduated from high school and is only a few months into “the life.” One is in her late thirties, a veteran escort. The third is mid-twenties. The three get together occasionally for a dinner or drinks and share experiences at work and their private life and support each other.

As the story unravels the lives of these three friends intertwine. And that’s it. Now you know everything I do about THREE COURTESANS.

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I just finished the second book of a trilogy by debut author Emily Croy Barker. I highly recommend the books. Book 3 is being written.

Click on the images to preview and buy the books.

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Sightings of UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) by commercial and military pilots have been reported since WWII and have been routine for the last several years.

There are several possibilities. Secret technology by an advanced Earthly nation is one. This is very unlikely. No human security program could be successful for over seventy years. Too, human governments would long ago have bragged about such advances. And they certainly would not be spending many billions today on less advanced propulsion.

They are craft piloted by extraterrestrials. If so, why aren’t they routinely sighted at lower altitudes or from the ground? If their purposes are benign, why haven’t they long since communicated? Seventy years of spying on radio, TV, and the internet should have given advanced aliens the ability to talk to us.

Or if their purpose is malign, why haven’t they attacked us in some way? Perhaps they have and they’ve just been subtle enough not to be detected. Maybe they have been stoking hatred of all kinds. Disrupting our economies. Sowing epidemics and pandemics. That’s possible but we humans seem well able to do those actions ourselves.

A third possibility is that the craft are unpiloted drones of some kind. That would account for reported accelerations and course changes that could kill humans. That would explain why the sightings are mostly at high altitudes. Craft fly better in thin air. That would explain why sightings are of such poor quality. Drones can be quite small.

A fourth possibility is that the UAPs are natural phenomena. Maybe there are electronic life forms in the upper atmosphere, beings made of plasma. Possibly curious about the cold metal objects invading their natural habitat. But also shy about approaching those objects too closely, sending them fleeing back to the realm of the Northern lights, their natural home.

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I think my book The Star Woman would make a great limited-run series on Netflix or the like. The ten chapters of the book could be shown as ten episodes.

Who would play Karen Danburn, the heroine of my book? I wrote it as my version of Supergirl, AKA Kara Danvers. In the comics and the TV show she is portrayed as a blond White girl. I showed her this way on the cover of my book. But I’d love it to be Rihanna who impressed me in the movie Battleship.

As an experiment I adapted the first chapter of The Star Woman. Want to read it? Go to THIS page.

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GENE EDITING and the Future

Gene editing is an old topic in science fiction. In the last decade science has almost caught up with fiction. The next few years will see many more advances. They are likely to be rapid now that the technology for gene editing has become well understood. Want to be prepared for them?

There are two kinds of edits. One affects only individuals, called SOMATIC editing. Vaccines are examples. Another example would be a shot or a pill or an inhaler to change our genes so that our skin color changes. Or our eye color. Or make us more muscular. Or taller.

The second kind of gene edit affects not only us but any children we might have. This is called GERMLINE editing. An example is a treatment which eradicates our genes for some dangerous disease or trait, such as schizophrenia or hemophilia. (Or a treatment to change our skin or eye color or muscles or height.)

As the examples show gene editing can have effects that are good or trivial or bad, as when a treatment is created to cripple or kill. A White supremacist might want to craft a virus to eradicate all Blacks (or a Black might want to eradicate all Whites).

Thus we have six possible uses of gene editing. SOMATIC (good, trivial, bad) and GERMLINE (good, trivial, bad).

What will happen? History shows that all six uses will happen, no matter how hard governments, smaller organizations, or individuals try to control them. The situation is compounded because gene editing is already little more difficult or expensive than hacking computer code. There are millions of computer hackers. Soon there will be millions of gene hackers.

Which will make, for better or worse, for LOTS of science fiction stories.

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I’m now reading a fascinating true account of a scientific detective effort that yielded miraculous technology which could erase tragic genetic diseases, remake our bodies, and fight epidemics like COVID-19 (which it already did by producing several vaccines against it). The heroes of the story are two women: Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier.

Click on the image to read the first few chapters & to buy the book.

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More FUN DANCING SCENES from Great Older Movies

Just for fun – a mashup of dancing scenes from movies set to the tune of Rasputin, performed by the German all-Black vocal group Boney M.

Click on image to see the video.

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ILIZA SHLESINGER hilarious comedy specials

I recently came across a genius comedienne, smart, creative, and most of all HILARIOUSLY funny. She is Iliza Shlesinger.

She has been working steadily since 2007. She is best known for five comedy specials. Here they are, from earliest to latest. I eagerly look forward to what she does next.

Click image to preview & add to your Watchlist/MyList.
The first two are on Amazon Video, the next three are on Netflix.


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FUN DANCING SCENES from Great Older Movies

Just for fun – a mashup of dancing scenes from movies set to the tune of Footloose.

Click on image to see the video.

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Michael Jackson inspired BILLY JEAN dancing

Whatever Michael Jackson did in his personal life, in his public life he gave joy to many millions of people all over the world. Here is a dance mashup of performances by both expert and amateur dancers to the tune “Billy Jean.”

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