THE EONS-LOST ORPHAN sequel

I’ve had a lot of queries about sequels to The Eons-Lost Orphan. Good news: I’m a quarter of the way into the first one. Bad news: I don’t expect to finish before Thanksgiving. Christmas week is a more likely launch date.

What will Jane do in the sequel? Spend more time in space. Some on or near the World Space Station, on or near the Moon. There she will meet her first lover. And there and back on Earth begin to tangle with one or more of the three Chinese splinter empires.

Sequels can be tough. I have to maintain the appeal of the first, and I don’t really know what that is. I broke a number of rules of writing I always thought universal. Some of the negative reviews took me to task for that.

For instance, Jane is a sort of Supergirl-lite, nearly a “Mary Sue” – a term for someone perfect in every way. There is little conflict, no great super-villain or super-bad problem. Jane and her kind were designed by an advanced race over a thousand years to be perfect warriors and charismatic leaders. Anything or anyone who threatens the people under her protection is doomed. Fights with her are quick and lethal, so there are no long-drawn-out fist-fights so beloved of action movie makers.

Luckily for the people of Earth she’s also a loving person who likes being around people and working with them, building them up rather than using them. (Like her super-soldier nature, she was designed that way too.)

So what’s in the quarter-novel so far? Jane is assigned to the space-threat program by the Space Force (the short name for the real-world Air Force Space Command). This is just an excuse. Basically they have a proven genius on their payroll and they want to give the golden goose a chance to lay more golden eggs.

She is stationed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (where I spent 11 years). The first task she sets for herself is doing research on telemagnetic floater tech. This will allow aircraft to take off from almost any flat surface rather than huge and expensive (and vulernable) runways. This is vital to ground support aircraft that do emergency evacuations, reconnaissance, and ground attacks. Below is the first of four test beds which she and her staff build.

To see the others (and find out a little bit more about the sequel) follow this link: FLOATER TECH at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Click image to see a larger version

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MURDERBOT 4, last of the series, now available

The last of the four novellas which make up Martha Wells’ The Murderbot Diaries is now available. Each is a complete story, but together they make up one complete novel. It brings to a satisfying resolution the longer story arc.

In case you don’t know her, 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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MURDOCH MYSTERIES – fascinating police detective show

One of my favorite TV shows is Murdoch Mysteries, a Canadian series. The main character is a Toronto detective in the constabulary in the late 1890s and early 1900s. He is something of a Sherlock Holmes, if Holmes used and sometimes invented all the new forensic tech available to him.

Murdoch is not alone in his endeavors. He is aided by a marvelously realized set of other characters, in particular Dr. Julia Ogden, the coroner. And he often encounters famous (and infamous) historical characters.

The series has become very popular over the years and has fans all over the world.

Here’s a peek at the new season starting September 24th. But best to start at season one, available on Amazon.

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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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ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL preview & director discussion

20th Century Fox has just released the latest preview of “Alita: Battle Angel.” Along with it is an interview with producer James Cameron, director Robert Rodriguez, and actress Rosa Salazar.

You might think the youngest of the trio would have little to say. You’d be wrong. The actress shows herself well able to keep up with the two heavy hitters of the movie world. (Which is appropriate, as she portrays a supreme warrior well able to hit very heavily in the fictional world!)

I found the discussions fascinating. They made me even more interested in seeing the movie when it comes out the Friday before Christmas: December 21st.

(You might want to tap the YouTube icon in the bottom of the screen to see the interview on YouTube and thus in a window filling your computer screen. Or you can do what I did.

I downloaded the video and made a DVD so I could see it on my TV via my Blu-ray player. Products used to do that: the Firefox extension Easy Youtube Video Downloader. And Freemake Video Converter.)

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WOMEN with SWORDS – hypnotic

The title says it all!

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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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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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