THE EONS-LOST ORPHAN – my latest book

Jane Doe remembered nothing about her past when she awoke naked in a park. She was unhurt and seemed 14 years old, a small pretty blond.

In the hospital and later in an orphanage her intelligence was found to be so high it could not be measured. She liked people and made friends easily. She was also incredibly agile and tough.

She was adopted by a professor and his retired school-principal wife. She liked them and was happy. But sometimes she’d look up at the night-time sky and think she must have come from there. And she decided she must return there.

This story is about how she did it.

Chapter 1 – Entry

Click HERE to get it on Amazon.

Click HERE for background information: the aerospace planes
in the story and spaceships and other such, plus other material.

Click image to see a larger version.

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TEACHABLE ASSHOLES and the MeToo movement

I was brought up to be an asshole. A lot of men are. The main issue of the #MeToo movement for each of us men is: Are we teachable assholes? Or unteachable?

The unteachables are and forever will be rapists or wannabe rapists, abusers, harassers, sexual bullies.

Many if not most men are taught that being an asshole is the proper way for us to live and relate to other men and to the “weaker sex.” Here are some of the messages that bombard us as we grow up. Few of them are noxious alone. Together they are a poison cocktail.

Big boys don’t cry. (Only weaklings, like gur-uhls, show their emotions.) This makes sense in a warrior or predator culture, where the slightest weakness will be pounced on and exploited.

Women are the weaker sex. They like strong men. They like take-charge men. They like leaders, not followers. Your job is to turn a girl’s No to a Maybe, a Maybe to a Yes. Then fuck ’em and forget ’em.

You’ve probably heard these and similar messages, maybe even (click HERE to continue.)

 

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THE TRANSMUTER’S DAUGHTER – terrific true SF

From the Amazon web site:

The Transmuter’s Daughter by Laurence Dahners is a near-future science fiction thriller. Morgan Djai’s company’s been bought out, he’s been laid off, his wife wants a divorce, and his brilliant but estranged brother has just been murdered. As Morgan tries to assume his duties as guardian for his brother’s teenage children he’s confronted with the mystery of why his brother died carrying a $10,000 chunk of platinum in the pocket of his jeans.”

Lots of SF has no scientific speculation at the heart of the story. This one does.

Had to read it at one sitting. (Oh, OK. I did get up to zap half a pizza and put ice in a glass and pour iced tea into it!)

Click the image to read the first few chapters.

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LATEST JUMPER MOVIE on YouTube

I just finished watching the 10th and final episode of Impulse.” This is the latest movie inspired by Steven Gould‘s four-book series of novels about a family of teleporters, beginning with Jumper. The roughly fifty-minute episodes tell a single story arc with a couple of minor subplots. It ends the arc but leaves enough unanswered questions for a sequel.

I enjoyed it, but must warn you the only aspect of the movie to Steven’s book Impulse is teleportation and a teenaged female main character who discovers her talent when she is frightened by a threat.

For a free view of the first episode click on the THIS link.

The main problem with “Impulse” is the fact that it is only available on YouTube Premium. The only devices you can view it on are computers, mobile phones, and a very few Smart TVs.

To get around those limitations I downloaded the episodes to my PC computer via the YouTube DOWNLOAD button. I then used an app to make a DVD from the episodes so I could more conveniently watch it on my TV. (I use Freemake Video Converter but there are other free but good DVD makers.)

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GRANTVILLE GAZETTE – Athena’s Journey

I’ve long been a fan of the 1632 Universe series. It and the critiques of the alternate universe it describes from many other fans in the Baen 1632 Tech conference inspired me to write my Shapechanger Tales series.

Recently I entered a story, the first of several, into the 1632 Slush forum. Participation in it is required before you submit a story to the editors of the online 1632 publishing site. If you’re not familiar with it, click on this link to The Grantville Gazette. For just $12 you get access to the latest edition and to ALL THE PREVIOUS ONES. There’s lots of good stuff in it.

Stories in the Slush go through several versions. When critiques cease for a particular version I go through all of them and make any changes needed to the story. So far not a single critique has struck me as being off base. As a result my story has improved a lot. Two critiques in particular made me completely rethink my main character and how I portray her.

Athena Sarah Mawusi Akwete Ocampo is a “quarter-blood” or “quadroon” woman living on the west coast of Africa. Her father is a rich merchant there dealing in, among other things, gold and ivory. But not slaves. His wife is half-black. He hates the slave trade but can do nothing about it. As he has no son, she has long been his most capable assistant. She is also a fierce and expert fighter.

Sarah (she prefers that name rather than her prestige name, Athena) hears of the appearance of a magical city from the future called Grantville. At first she discounts the news but too many stories and convincing ones makes her decide the city is real. Like many, she wonders about it. Unlike most, she goes to find out.

Join others in reading the latest version and helping me make it better.

CLICK IMAGE TO SEE A LARGER VERSION

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Latest Vorkosiverse story from LOIS MCMASTER BUJOLD

Anything new from grand master Lois McMaster Bujold is a cause for celebration. I hastened to download her latest story in her Vorkosigan Universe series. THEN I celebrated.

Click the image to read an excerpt and to buy the story.

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MURDERBOT 2 now available – terrific

The follow up to Martha Wells‘ novella “All Systems Red” is now available. It is as compellingly readable as its predecessor. It is complete in its own right, but part of a longer story arc which will span two more books till the overall story finishes.

Martha is a prolific writer with several series as well as single books to her credit. I’ve long been a fan of her, ever since I was introduced to her Ile-Rien series, one of my favorite series of all time. Find out more about her extensive works on the Martha Wells web page.

Click on the images to preview or buy the books.

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Eric Flint’s RING OF FIRE press

I’m a big fan of the 1632 Universe created by Eric Flint. I’ve read all the novels in the series, and they inspired me to write my own alternate-history series: The Shapechanger Tales.

Recently I discovered that Flint created the Ring of Fire press, an organization which publishes short novels published originally in the online subscription service The Grantville Gazette. This service is a place for shorter fiction taking place in the 1632 universe. Each issue also includes one or two short articles exploring some part of the universe. For $4.20 a month the Gazette is a real bargain.

So far I’ve read and recommend the following. My favorite perhaps is the first. Click on the images to read the first few chapters.

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LAER’S POLITICS – complex, not red or blue

In these highly political times I’ve decided to openly declare my politics. They are complex, because the universe is complex. They are NOT binary: black or white (or red or blue). Or liberal or conservative.

I am liberal AND conservative. AND moderate, a rare bird in these divisive times, where you must be one or the other.

On most SOCIAL issues I’m liberal. On ECONOMIC issues I’m moderate. And on most DEFENSE issues (personal and national) I’m conservative. My personal flag is red AND white AND blue.

At the base is defense. At the personal level, I interpret the 2nd amendment right to bear arms as applying to personal defense, not as applying to militias as the founders viewed it. I also believe that for every right come responsibilities, the chief among them to act wisely. (To see more click PERSONAL defense.)

At the national level, I support a leaner and more effective defense. I believe we need to focus less on hugely expensive weapons, and more on ground troops and cyberwar. (To see more click NATIONAL defense.)

After our physical survival is assured we must consider our fiscal survival. Economies are cybernetic systems. History has shown that massive top-down control of economies (socialism) is largely a failure. Bottom-up controls (capitalism) is much more effective. But only if some top-down controls ensure certain endemic ills of capitalism are prevented. Small businesses, for instance, like all infants, must be protected from big-business predators. (To see more click ECONOMICAL issues.)

Physical and fiscal survival supports our spiritual and social health. Racism is an evil we must aggressively fight – BUT with firmness not fanaticism. The same goes for religious intolerance and sexism. I am a feminist, because feminism is at its base about fairness. Not just to the women in our lives, but also to men. We have also been victimized by paternalism though obviously less so than women. (To see more click SOCIAL issues.)

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PROOF – marvelous movie about a female math genius

It’s rare that I highlight an old movie on this site. I usually focus on what’s soon to come out, or did so recently, and which you might not have discovered. But I recently rediscovered a fabulous older movie: Proof, a movie based on the Pulitzer-Prize winning play of the same name.

We SF/Fantasy fans like to read and write books about superheroes and geniuses, like the recent terrific Gifted and like Good Will Hunting. Proof is about a mathematical genius, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, the daughter of another genius. In it we discover that she has done original ground-breaking research of her own, and must fight to convince others that it is her work rather than the unpublished work of her recently passed-away father.

Besides a drama of a high order, I especially liked that it realistically shows what it’s like to be a genius, heir to all the weaknesses as well as the strengths that all of us share.

Proof is available streamed or on DVD from Amazon.

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