Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Register to vote

Here in the US, the 2018 Election will be a big deal.  Either Congress will remain controlled by Republicans or it will – totally or in part – switch over to the Democrats.  Whatever the result is will have major effects on the country. 

To be part of this election, you have to be registered to vote.  Now there are registration drives every election year – possibly even more this year – but why wait until closer to November 6?  If you’re just turning eighteen, or never bothered to register before, or are unsure if you’re registered, do it now and beat the rush.  There are places like RegistertoVote.org and the League of Women Voters that can help you register.  Or, if you’re uneasy using a third party website, you can also use your state website, which is usually your state name.gov.

I’m sure the majority of people would say that there is substantial room for improvement in the politics of this country.  To get any improvement, the people need to vote.  To vote, you need to be registered.  I know, it’s so much easier to just bitch about things online than to take the most basic of steps to fix things, but who ever said being an adult was easy?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Year End Ebook Sale!

From now until January 1, you can grab five of my ebooks for free!  The books in question are Political Pies, “The Future is Coming,” “The Most Powerful Man in the World and other stories,” “Lonely Phoenix,” and “Relics.” If you’re looking for short stories, science fiction, and essays about future technology, I have you covered.

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 my Political Pies anthology. My 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.

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.

The Most Powerful Man in the World and other stories” is a collection of five, short, scifi stories to provide a sample of my writing.

A being from the distant future with almost unlimited powers comes back to help Ian Steele make the world a better place in “The Most Powerful Man in the World.” One bookstore customer has an entirely different reason for wanting books in “Black Market Books.” “Motherhood” tells the story of Thomas Gillespie, the surrogate mother for a baby AI. “Storyteller” is about an author thinking his book into existence. And “Deadworld” is about the alien world humans are reborn on – in alien bodies – after we die.

In “Lonely Phoenix,” board member Geoffrey Ames is woken from hibernation by the caretaking crew of the Lucian partway to a new colony world. 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.

This work contains some profanity and sexual situations. It is intended for mature audiences only.

A plague that kills men has devastated the world’s population. Only a few thousand boys and men were able to be quarantined. But Mike Shay is the only man known to have a natural immunity to the plague. Therefore, he is practically the only man in a world of women. He spends his days reading, playing video games, and making the occasional sperm donation. Then Dr. Veronica Barrett shows up, disrupting what passes for his life. She says she’s there to investigate his “mental wellbeing,” but is there more to her visit?

Instead of the normal, adolescent, heterosexual male fantasy of being the only guy on a planet of women, “Relics” tries to give a more realistic view of Mike’s life.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Ideas for Episode IX

Given how things ended in The Last Jedi and the death of Carrie Fisher, here is my idea of how Episode IX will start.  I don’t really have an idea on how it would end, but it doesn’t really matter since it’s unlikely they’ll do anything like this.

Anyway, I’d say Episode IX will be set at most two years after The Last Jedi.  Rose and Finn will probably have a baby, maybe with another on the way.  The Resistance just has a handful of transports and fighters and are probably hidden out in some asteroid field.  (I’d love to see the remnants of Alderaan, but they probably wouldn’t do that.)  Poe will be second-in-command, after Leia.  Leia will be off meeting with a group somewhere trying to get them to join.  There will probably be a couple staticky transmission on her progress.  Possibly during one she’ll be talking and then there will be background explosions and someone shouting, “They’ve found us.” She’ll look at Poe and say, “May the Force-” and then the transmission will end.  I know, I know, killing Leia off-screen in a transmission will offend people.  But killing her off between the movies, saying that she’s retired and no longer part of the Resistance, saying that she’s off on some mission which we never see, hiring a new actress, hiring a new actress but CGIng Fisher’s face onto them … whatever is done will offend someone.  Also, it would probably make sense that Chewie would be flying Leia around in the Millennium Falcon, maybe with C-3PO, but killing them all off-screen would be too much.  Anyway, fearing they may have been discovered, the Resistance moves on. 

Meanwhile in the First Order, Hux is having a ball reforming the Empire and crushing any dissent.  But while Hux needs to take a cold shower whenever reading they massacred 10,000 civilians on some planet, Kylo is bored with the day to day tyranny.  That’s why I said it would probably be no more than two years because that’s probably how long before Hux tries something stupid with Kylo and is killed.  Kylo is focused on his White Bantha, Rey.

Rey isn’t with the rest of the Resistance.  She is probably out spreading the message of the Force is for everyone.  At first I thought she might be going around with Chewie in the Falcon, but she probably realizes that the Resistance needs it more than she does.  This might lead to some humor over whether or not Chewie will let Poe fly the Falcon.  Rey travels the galaxy by hopping freighters, maybe earning her passage as a mechanic.  Never knowing where she’ll end up, she lands on a planet and goes out and talks to the people. 

She ends up back on Jakku.  She probably goes back to her old home, only to find someone else is living there.  Maybe she goes off to some hidden cave and recovers a box of little treasures she had hidden years before.  She probably has a long discussion with Force Luke.  And then her old boss sees her and calls in the First Order.

So that’s my idea of the setup.  How it ends, I don’t know.  Rey will confront Kylo, but it won’t be the simple, She kills him, the end.  It will probably be some Forcy-Worcy stuff.  As to the First Order, really the best way to defeat it would be if the people of the galaxy rose up to do it.  But I have no idea how they could set that up.  Rey talking to the people would be part of it, but there’s no social media for the Resistance to spread their message.  Instead they’ll probably just do the Resistance – somehow – gets a small fleet of warships and by the skin of their teeth they take out the First Order fleet and the whole galaxy celebrates.