ORPHAN sequel now available

The sequel to The Eons-Lost Orphan is now available on Amazon.

It is fitting though a coincidence that it comes out the same week the movie Captain Marvel premieres. The comics series started in 2012 by Kelly Sue DeConnick was one of the inspirations for the first Orphan book.

In The Orphan in Near-Space Jane Kuznetsov makes cislunar space her home. “Near-space” (my term) is the sphere around Earth out to just beyond the Moon.

Jane also creates several inventions that make it home to the human race as well. One of them helps a NASA Jet Propulsion Lab project exploring the asteroid belt to make a momentous discovery. And the Glorious and One True Republic of China, one of the three splinters of today’s China, kidnaps Jane intending to force secrets out of her.

The splinter republic really should not have annoyed the woman that their own military pilots call The Dragon.

Click image to read the first few chapters and to buy the book.

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Writers’ memories are what Lois McMaster Bujold calls a compost heap. I think of them as a treasure chest. The inspirations for the stories we craft come from this collection of sensory and emotional and mental memories.

The larger and more varied these memes the richer our writing will be. This is the reason why Stephen King’s advice for becoming a better writer is READ MUCH / WRITE MUCH.

Just what memes are valuable and what are valueless no one can tell. The same meme might be one or the other depending on the story we need to tell.

Much of my inspiration comes from comic books Here are the very indirect sources of inspiration for several of my books. (Click the images to read a sample of the books.)

        Wonder Woman                Captain Marvel                  Supergirl

                                     Batman                                                Aquaman

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The current plan for the sequels to The Eons-Lost Orphan sees Jane and her companions travel further and further into space.

Orphan 2, tentatively titled The Orphan in Near-Space, sees her make what astrophysicists call “cis-lunar space” home. This is the spherical volume out to a bit beyond the Moon. I just passed 72,000 words in this book on my way to 100,000 words.

In Orphan 3 she travels to and through the asteroid belt and visits Mars, Venus, and Mercury. In Orphan 4 she visits Jupiter and Saturn. And there is where she first ventures into interstellar space by passing through one of the subspace portals which cluster near Saturn.

What is it like beyond our star system? You can get some idea by reading the just-released novelette “Catching Ultrawoman.” You will also meet one of the secondary but important characters: billionaire Anna Prince. She shows up in my Super Olympian duology, especially in book two: The Super Olympian: Mystic Warrior. Also in The Once-Dead Girl.

Click the image to read a preview.

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to: JEFF BEZOS, subject: LUNA CITY

I’m an aerospace software and systems engineer, working most recently at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and Boeing’s Phantom Works. I am now retired and spend much of each day writing, mostly fiction.

I am also one of many diverse professionals who study, think, and discuss how to colonize the Moon. Here are some ideas your own engineers may not have suggested to you.

BUILD WITH TELEROBOTS – Drones remotely operated from Earth are most cost effective. “Deaths” among them are not tragic, they need no air or water or food or habitats, they need not be returned home.

BUILD WITH PREFABBED PARTS – Construction on the Moon can be done faster and better by doing the hardest work here on Earth.

USE LOCAL MATERIALS – Lunar rocks and soil contain useful minerals which can be extracted in several ways. These include oxygen and the metals iron, calcium, aluminum, and magnesium.

USE VR/AR HEADSETS – “Vears” are an infant industry slowly ramping up to a big business. Remote operation of drones and viewing of the Moon by long-distance “tourists” is a way to give Earth-bound humans a better way of visiting the Moon.

Putting people on the Moon is a practical near-term goal. Putting them on Mars is not. It’s time to build a moon base, or better a moon city.

After the base or city is built it would be covered by a thin layer of dirt to protect it from meteorites and extremes of heat and cold. Artwork by Chris Butler, available in several different versions at his web site.

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News from the Orphan sequel front:

At 25 Jane Kuznetsov (the Orphan) has her first boy friend. This is normal for the people where she was born. They lived very long lives and matured much later. They might not marry and have children until they were 50 or 100 years old.

Her boyfriend is a good deal older and a celebrity in the entertainment industry. On occasion he treads various red carpets at such events as movie premieres, awards shows, and such events. Naturally Jane has to have nice outfits for such events. Here is one.

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Two more stories available about THE FIRST SHAPECHANGER

I was working on two Shapechanger Tales novelettes when the Orphan appeared naked and asleep in a public park. She haunted me until I HAD to tell her story. I did that in The Eons-Lost Orphan. She haunts me still as I work on the sequel: The Orphan in Near-Space.

Recently, when the Orphan gave me a few hours off from her story, I polished one novelette (Phoenix’s Flight) and finished the other (The Fair Warrior). They further extend the narrative of the first shapechanger, Maelgyreyt.

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

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SHUFFLE DANCE – a growing phenom

The Shuffle Dance was inspired partly by Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk. It began in Melbourne, Australia, in the ’90s and grew in Asia, including Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, Japan, and especially China. At the same time it was spreading to Europe and more slowly the US.

Here are a couple of videos that show it off. The first is of a Chinese grandfather and his very young daughters. I wish I could dance as well as they do!


The second video features Slovakian dancer Nicolette Paxi Paxianova performing to a mix which includes Alan Walker‘s hugely breakout hit “Faded.”

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WOMEN with SWORDS – hypnotic

The title says it all!

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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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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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