Sequel – ATHENA’S BUSINESSES

Some characters stick in our minds after we’ve finished a story. Such is the case of Athena Sarah Mawusi Akwete Ocampo, the main character in my Athena’s Journey. I’ve been almost forced by my subconscious to write a second novelette about her. Maybe the Ring of Fire Press is a better fit for her stories than the Grantville Gazette.

If you’ve not encountered it, the RoF Press is a treat to explore. Not all the books in their catalog are to my taste, but several of them I really enjoyed. A few of them are below. Click on each image to learn more.

To read the story I’ve submitted to the Gazette click the following image.

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STORY submitted to 1632’s GRANTVILLE GAZETTE

I’m a huge fan of Eric Flint’s 1632 series of books. If you’ve not yet encountered it, I suggest you check out the first book. To read a sample and buy the book, click this image.

So far the series contains 40+ books and covers the years 1631-1637. It begins when a small city in Virginia in 21st Century America is accidentally sent back in time to Germany in the middle of the Thirty Years’ War. The involuntary emigrants husband their dwindling modern resources to survive. And use their ingenuity to recreate those modern resources to thrive.

The success of the series inspired much fanfic. Some of it was of high quality, good enough to include in an online ebook press called Grantville Gazette. This publishes an anthology every three months and pays writers trade publication rates.

I too committed fanfic: a novella in the 1632 universe titled Athena’s Journey. News of the city from the future would inevitable reach every part of the world. Including West Africa and the port city of El Mina.

Among other ears they reach those of Athena Sarah Mawusi Akwete Ocampo, the three-quarters-white one-quarter-black daughter of a Portuguese merchant. Athena grew up impatient with the European role her father wanted for her and became a legendary warrior. First doubting the stories she hears of the city from the future she comes to half-believe them. And sets out to discover the truth.

To read the story I’ve submitted to the Gazette click the following image.

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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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The ORPHAN on the RED CARPET

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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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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A DAY IN THE OUTBACK – Elfhome short story

The terrific Elfhome series by Wen Spencer is one of my favorites. Each book actually improves on re-reading. Click on a book cover to read its first few chapters & to buy the book. Below is a short story I wrote in the same multiverse.

A Day in the Outback

by

Laer Carroll

Character: elf security guard named Freezing Winter Night on Stone

(click image to see larger view)

Heather Weatherly awoke surprised that she’d been able to fall asleep at all last night. Events today might make or break her dreams of a secure income, something in short supply in Pittsburgh since it had been transported to the planet of the elves almost 30 years ago.

She might also die today.

She raised her voice enough to trigger her house AI. “Hey, Mama Bear, report.”

“Two friendlies waiting outside. Day expected to be bright but cold. Eight mid-level important messages waiting. Shall I start breakfast?”

“Yes. Keva Mocha and toasted bagels.”

“Got it, Boss.”

That fucking cheerful morning voice. For the thousandth time Heather swore she was going to reprogram it.

She made her usual toilette, faster than usual but more careful for all that. It included very subdued but attractive makeup. Her Mama always told her to put on good warpaint before every important endeavor.

She dressed in a long-sleeved flannel shirt soft as a baby’s butt, sturdy jeans with sewn-in light composite leg armor, torso armor, groin protector, all-weather combat boots, and her gunbelt. She double checked the four magazine pockets on the belt, made sure their magazines were fully loaded with armor-piercing bullets, adjusted the angle of her combat and utility knife, and jacked the slide of her Armstrong Special semiauto to ensure it was fully loaded and ready for action. Over it all she slung a composite-armored leather jacket with lots of pockets.

By this time the smell of coffee permeated her house. She double-checked the identity of the “friendlies” waiting outside. As expected, it was the two near-sekasha of the Stone Clan she’d hired from Steelcity Security for a week with an option to extend it to a month. They were Freezing Winter Night on Stone and Baking Summer Day on Stone, a female and a male.

Continue HERE

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JENNIFER LAWRENCE being star struck at Comic Con

Not science, science fiction, or technology related.  But I couldn’t resist linking to adorable Jennifer Lawrence being star struck at Comic Con over Jeff Bridges.

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