Thursday, April 9, 2020

Thoughts on Bernie

For … what feels like years now, whenever I’ve scrolled through Twitter or Facebook I’d come across someone saying something along the lines of “Only Bernie can save us.” And with him dropping out it was “as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror.” Because if he had become President he’d just decree the Bernitopia and Congress would have rubber stamped all his proposals.  You know, just like the Republicans let Obama do as he pleased and the Democrats are now letting Trump do whatever he wants, they would have just let Bernie do whatever.

Oh wait, that isn’t how the system works, in theory or practice.  If Bernie had been elected President, the Republicans would have treated him exactly the way they treated Obama.  And the Democratic Establishment would … probably go along with Bernie on some things but try to do their own thing as much as possible.  So a Bernie Presidency would have accomplished some things, but it wouldn’t have brought about the Bernitopia so many of his followers claimed.

Now if there were four or five other Bernie-type Senators and thirty or so Bernie-type Representatives, not a governing block but a significant group that the Democrats would have to woo to get stuff passed, then a Bernie Presidency would have got more done.  Thanks to all the deals and compromises needed to pass laws.  And that’s why I always figured working to get more Bernie-types in Congress was a better goal than a Bernie Presidency.

It’s the same with third parties.  I think only having two major parties causes many of the problems we face in the country because instead of finding a common ground and just going forward we lurch from one governing ideology to another every few years.  I would love if we had a third major party, but I probably wouldn’t vote for a Party X Presidential candidate until they built up a noticeable base in Congress.  (Of course, this is my current feelings.  I did vote for Nader in 2000 as a protest vote because I didn’t care for either Gore or Bush.  But I live in Pennsylvania which still went for Gore, so it’s not my fault.)

Now, is Biden the best candidate?  Fuck no.  Will he be a fantastic President?  Unlikely.  But even if he becomes the Twenty First Century version of William Harrison, Franklin Harding, or John Tyler (one of those wasn’t a President, but do you know which one?) he’d still be better than the dumpster fire currently in the Oval Office.  America wasn’t in the best health to begin with, but four years of Trump has seriously fucked us up.  Will four years of Biden magically cure us?  Fuck no.  But there’s hope we can stop some of the bleeding.  And as recent events have shown, just getting to the point where things aren’t getting worse is difficult.  It doesn’t mean the job is done, but just turning around to look in the right direction would be a major accomplishment.

So just like you don’t want to stay home for weeks on end, but it needs done to stop things from getting worse, come November, you Bernie supporters may have to vote for Biden.  But you can spend this time looking for Bernie-type people you can start working to get on ballots across the country for 2022.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Coronavirus sale II!

So you’re still stuck at home, trying to make masks out of hoarded TP, you’ve binged everything on Netflix, and you’ve read everything on your Kindle, but you’re trying to save your money since you don’t know when you’ll go back to work so you’re not downloading anything new.  Well, here’s your chance to get six ebooks for free.  Between Monday April 6 and Friday April 10, you’ll be able to download these six of my ebooks for the price of a few clicks. 

Everybody complains about politics, but does anyone do anything about it? My attempt to do something about it is to collect forty of my short stories with a political element into this anthology. The stories are either politically neutral or equally condemning of the national parties. Instead of trying to sway you to one ideology or another, my goal is to just get people thinking about politics in the hopes a rose might grow out of all the political manure.

Over the years, I’ve posted several short stories on websites that later – for one reason or another – died. While the corpses of some of these sites are still around where you can read the stories, many have vanished from the internet. And since there are few sites that will publish such previously published works, the only way you could read them was if I self-published them in a collection.

In addition to such “lost” stories, I’ve included some new stories that – for one reason or another – I feel I’d have a hard time finding someone to publish them. So “Seventh Story Stockpile” basically contains stories I didn’t know what to do with. But now I can move on to other projects.

On The Day, for reasons unknown, people began changing. They went to sleep as their old selves and woke in their beds in different bodies: bodies that had belonged to other people. And each time they fall asleep, they wake in a new body. Set months later, “The Only Certainty” follows Derrick Gorton on an average day in this new world as he deals with food shortages, the semi-collapse of society, and how to finish his latest novel.

Partway to a new colony world, board member Geoffrey Ames is woken from hibernation by the caretaking crew of the Lucian. They require him to look into the matter of their fellow crewman Morgan Heller. Morgan’s claims – such as being over 1500 years old – would normally land him in the psychiatric ward, except he can back up some of his other claims.

“Rise” is a standalone story set in my Human Republic Universe. The story follows the events after the tragic deaths of the colonists on a small colony in a distant star system.

Over the last few years a lot of people have caught Mars fever. It seems a week doesn’t go by without a report of some new group wanting to send people to Mars, or some big name in the industry talking about why we have to go to Mars, or articles talking about the glorious future humanity will have on Mars. All of this worries me. In my opinion, a Mars base is currently not sustainable because there’s no way for it to make money. A few missions may fly doing extraordinary science, but if it’s then cancelled for cost the whole Mars Project may just be seen as an expensive stunt.

Fortunately, there are other places in the solar system besides Mars. While bases on the moon and amongst the asteroids won’t be as inspirational as one on Mars, they will have opportunities for businesses to make goods and services as well as profits, meaning less chance of them being outright cancelled. This will make life better on Earth and secure a firm foothold in space for humanity. The essays in “The Moon Before Mars: Why returning to the moon makes more sense than rushing off to Mars” allow me to describe my ideas on what can be accomplished on the moon and with the asteroids, and why Mars isn’t the destiny of humanity its cheerleaders make it out to be.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Coronavirus sale!

So you’ve been stuck at home for a week or so and you’ve burned through all your Kindle ebooks.  What do you do?  Why, you download more, of course.  To help you out, from Monday March 23 through Friday March 27, the following six of my ebooks will be free to download.  That’s over one hundred short stories for the price of a few clicks. 

A Man of Few Words is a collection of fifty of my flash fiction stories. What would really happen if a “T-Rex on steroids” attacked a city? Why do science fiction writers make the best lovers? How does a company get to Second Base with VIPs? I explore these questions and more using less than 1000 words and in various genres from humor to horror and general fiction to science fiction.

The All-You-Can-Read Buffet is a collection of forty stories covering various genres and themes ranging from six to over 4,200 words in length. Some I began writing well over a decade ago, while others were written especially for this collection. All together, they are a buffet of my writing. As such, I encourage you to read as much as you want. Go back for seconds, thirds, fourths even. I won’t mind if you skip over the stuff you don’t like, but, to quote your mother, “How do you know you don’t like it? Have you tried it?”

“Brain for Rent and other stories” is a collection of five of my short scifi stories to give a sampling of my writing. The collection includes: “Brain for Rent” about a ne’re-do-well failed writer with a conceptual implant who discusses his work with a young woman thinking of getting an implant herself. “The Demonstration” is about a different young woman wanting to show off her latest body modification. “Self Imprisonment” offers one solution of safe keeping the backup copy of yourself. “The Best Job Ever” is about a necessary – yet unpleasant – human/alien interaction. And the collection ends with “Why Stay?” which explains why, after years of fighting the humans, the robots just deactivate.

Hopefully, in the not too distant future humans will return to the moon. We will build bases and colonies, make farms and factories, and live, love and learn. “A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories” contains five of my short stories that are all set upon the moon. They give the tiniest glimpse of the possibilities awaiting us there.

Like most people, Jason Fisher wanted to make the world a better place, but he doubted he would ever have the chance to make much of a mark. Then a “woman” came to him, asking his help to save humanity by threatening it.

As a science fiction writer, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how technology will change the way we live. I’ve come up with these ten short essays about science fictional elements that will – almost certainly – one day become science fact as a way for people to start coming to terms with them. Because I’ve spent time thinking about clones and AIs, I feel I’ll be okay when they do finally show up whereas most people will probably freak out. I hope these essays will get people to start thinking about the future because, no matter what we do, the future is coming.