Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Coast to Coast AM & Edgar Cayce by Stephanie Burkhart



Who doesn't enjoy a good talk radio show? Here in LA I find my dial tuned into "KFI." Driving home at 6:30 am I often get an earful of the "Bill Handel Show." What I love about Bill is how he's also a straight shooter and I appreciate that. There's another show on KFI that I enjoy: Coast to Coast AM.

If you're a Coast to Coast AM fan give a shout out!

I started listening back in 2005/2006 when I was on the late shift. It airs from 10:05 pm to 2 am PST and the main host these days is George Noory.

The show covers the unusual stuff – near death experiences, climate change, quantum physics, reincarnation, hauntings, science fiction literature, extraterrestrials and much more. Being a paranormal writer, the show feeds my creative "beast."

I love George Noory. No matter the topic, he gives it an authentic voice and allows the listeners decide for themselves.

If you're a paranormal lover, Coast to Coast is the show for you. I'd never heard of Edgar Cayce until I tuned in.

Edgar Cayce in 1910

Cayce was born in 1877 and became an American psychic. While in a trance, he was known to help those who were sick, but he also talked about Atlantis, reincarnation and the Akashic records.  To get into a trance-like state, he'd lie on his back, close his eyes and fold his hands over his stomach.  As a little boy, he often displayed psychic abilities and played with imaginary friends.

Cayce had an 8th grade education. He was also a member of the Disciples of Christ, teaching Sunday School and he read the Bible once a year.

In 1900, he lost his speech due to a laryngitis. A traveling hypnotist offered to cure him. Cayce's voice returned while in a trance, but was not present when he was awake. Cayce's work under hypnosis returned his voice and unlocked his ability to heal others while in a trance.

Cayce found much satisfaction helping to heal others. However, when in a trance, Cayce often spoke of controversial topics like reincarnation, which was in conflict with his religious beliefs. Approximately over 14,000 records of his are available, but between 7,000-8,000 readings are missing. After 1923, Cayce's readings were all recorded by a secretary. He died in Jan 1945.

I've just briefly touched on Cayce's life and accomplishments, but his extraordinary work is inspiration to my paranormal bones.

Feedback: Don't forget to give a shout out if you're a Coast to Coast AM fan!

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD and an award winning author. Her novel, "The Wolf's Torment," won GOLD in the 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest in Supernatural: Fiction.

REVIEWS:
Pen & Muse: "A complete werewolf story through and through, Burkhart does it again with an amazing cast of characters, entertaining dialogue and plot."

Long and Short, 4.5 Stars: Nominated for Long & Short's Book of the Week, NOV 2011. The Wolf’s Torment is certainly more than a story about a werewolf. There is quite a bit of depth in this multifaceted story of a family’s struggle with life, love and loss.

Reader's Favorites, 5 Stars: "The Wolf’s Torment has it all, witches, werewolves, a vampire, princess and prince. This is paranormal romance at its finest.



BUY LINKS:

AMAZON KINDLE: http://www.amazon.com/Moldavian-Moon-Book-One-ebook/dp/B004YTI3FM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1316985604&sr=1-1

BARNES & NOOK NOOK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moldavian-moon-book-one-stephanie-burkhart/1031031928?ean=2940012459787&itm=2&usri=stephanie%2bburkhart

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PUBLISHER'S LINK: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-163/Stephanie-Burkhart-Moldavian-Moon/Detail.bok

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fixing what you lost

Science and technology are working to bring solutions to those who lose limbs, or are at risk of limb amputation.
Yes, solutions, as in plural.
Techies have continued to make advancements in prosthetics while biomedical engineers are advancing ways to regrow bone or bone-like substances.
Credit: The Lancet TV
In the prosthetics world, neurologists and engineers have created a robotic arm that connects to your neural (electrical) network through a brain-machine interface. Yes, right now the hand on the arm does kind of remind one of a Daleks', but it's a start. Now that the mechanics work, it's only a matter of time before they pretty it up and model it as a human limb.

Credit: Aaron Goodman

On the other hand - har, har - biological engineers have continued their progress to regrow bone, and bone-like substances, to heal and recreate lost limbs or sections of bone. I first saw this in 2007 when scientists made a breakthrough on growing bone from stem cells. As late as 2010, scientists were able to regrow a whole section of a mammal's leg.
It's such a wonder to live in the day and age, right on the birth of such medical breakthroughs. Imagine how these technologies will help not only accident victims, bone disease sufferers, but our war veterans.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Merry Christmas from Jmo



So, with three releases for the month of December, I should be blogging about those. Notice I said should. But, even though my publisher, Gail close your eyes, would probably love for me to, I'm not. It's a week before Christmas and that's calling out to me.

I'm weird. Most people see Thanksgiving as the time for giving thanks. I do. But, Christmas feels even better to me as a time for giving thanks. If you wondering why, I think I'll answer that question later on in this blog.

Let me get right on that. My first thanks goes to God for graciously letting me make it through another year. Sure, it wasn't the easiest of years at times but I always knew He was with me. Okay basically this is all thanks to Him. Because, where would I be without Him. Thanks for Jesus, my Lord and Savior. Thanks for the talents I use at times to the best of my abilities. I goof off so I can't honestly say I'm on that all the time.

Thanks for the smart, beautiful and talented women that gladly jumped on board with this blog a year ago. I am truly blessed to be in such amazing company. Thanks to all the friends who make up my support group. They are way too many to name, but I'm going to name a few because without them I doubt you'd get a single word out of me. Morgan O, Susan, Debbie, Diana, Gail, and most importantly my wife Jenn. True, she's my wife, but she's also my best friend. Thanks for my new friends that God placed so timely into my life. Paisley and Jordan, you know who you are - many smoochies. Lastly, in this paragraph, thanks for Desert Breeze Publishing for their constant belief and support in me. Thank God, I found you.

Thanks for my family who never cease to show me love and gave me the upbringing to appreciate that without God, I wouldn't be where I am today or who I am today for that matter. Thanks for those friends who've stuck with me since day one. You are so amazing that this world can't contain my love for you.

Thanks for the strength You give me when I've lost my way and quite frankly didn't think I could make it. You are my strength and forever will be. Thanks for my church family, who are always there with a handshake or a hug. Let me tell you, you have never been hugged until you've been hugged by a church lady. It's like being hugged by pure love. Trust me on that.

I'm sure I've missed something or someone but that's the way of these things. Oh wait! I remember now. Thanks for the readers out there who've plopped down their hard earned money to escape into my worlds. Without them, I truly wouldn't be here thanking anyone. You guys are the best in the world. May you all be as truly blessed as I am in the coming year.

Lastly, I guess I should mention the books I've got coming your way. Okay Gail you can uncover your eyes now.

First up, the second book in my Amor Immorati trilogy, Immortally Damned, came out December 11th.  You can pick it up now at Desert Breeze Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble. Oh you know where to shop. Secondly, Love to Stake Another Day is now available in print. Wahoo! Lastly, in a few short days, Claus… I Love You, my Christmas short, is out. Great fun story to really put you in the holiday mood.

Before I trot off to write, I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year. May these coming days be filled with joy, love, happiness, and most of all, great books.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas in Russia By: Stephanie Burkhart




Growing up, I always considered myself a bit of a history buff, so I took all the history classes high school had to offer. My favorite? Russian History.

Heck, I still have my Russian History book from that class 27 years later. You couldn't pay me to throw it out.

I can't begin to explain how deeply the story of Nicholas II and his family rocked me, but it did. It ripped at my heart that his son, Alexi, suffered from hemophilia and that his four beautiful daughters were assassinated. My Russian history class kindled a love for Russia that even I don't understand, but I embrace.  I was so moved by Alexi's story, I began donating blood at the age of 17.  I didn't understand my "drive" to do that, but I accepted it early on.  (Sadly, I can no longer donate and it really makes me mad. I was stationed in Germany in 1996 when England had an outbreak of Mad Cow Disease. Because of this, I'm automatically disqualified from giving blood.)

If you're a Coast to Coast AM listener and give merit to reincarnation, then the best way I can explain my passion for Nicholas' story is that it a strong echo of a past life lived.

According to legend, St. Andrew came to Kiev during his travels in preaching Jesus' message. With the Byzantine Empire on its doorstop, Russia adopted Orthodoxy as its faith. The Russian people believe in Jesus Christ and Mary. Beautiful monasteries began to develop in the 10th Century, providing a place for spiritual worship and major centers of education.

In the 11th Century, Russian Prince Vladimir traveled to Constantinople and was baptized. He heard stories of miracles performed by St. Nicholas of Myra and when he returned to Russia, he retold the stories. St. Nicholas became very popular in Russia.

Prior to the Russian Revolution in 1917, Russia celebrated Christmas on 25 DEC with gifts, trees, and St. Nicholas. After the Soviets took over, they moved the holiday celebration to New Year's Eve. St. Nicholas became Grandfather Frost.

With the fall of Communism, Christmas is celebrated again in Russia, but not to the extend it once had. Also, the main date is now 7 JAN as there's a difference in the western/eastern Orthodox calendar.

On Christmas Eve, it's custom to fast before mass. The meal is meatless and kutya, a porridge made of wheat, honey, and poppy seeds, is part of he main meal meant to symbolize happiness, hope, and success.

Feedback: I'd love to hear about Christmas around the world. If you have a second, feel free to share customs and traditions from places you've visited or lived. What are your favorite traditions? Do you have a favorite food you like to cook?

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. Her Christmas story, The Faberge Secret is on sale on Amazon and on other Internet stores.
In this excerpt, Dimitri shares what his Christmas is like with Elise.

Enjoy!
Steph

"Why do you celebrate on January seventh?"

"Orthodoxy follows the Julian calendar. We're several days behind the Gregorian one."

"Ah. So... do you mind if I ask how you celebrate? I mean, do you have Christmas trees?
Lights?"

Dimitri chuckled. "Well, during the Soviet years, we did not officially celebrate. That
was hard for my parents. In 1992, the government allowed open celebrations of Christmas. My sister and I are still trying to find our traditions."

"You have a sister?"

"Elena. She's a news anchor for a TV station in St. Petersburg. We both live in apartments, so we go to the family's estate on Nevsky Prospect in Dolchina for Christmas."

"What about your parents?"

"My father has passed, and my mother is old -- we have her in a nursing home. They take good care of her. She joins us at Dolchina for the holidays."

"That's thoughtful."

"Elena and I try hard to spend time with her, but our schedules are busy."

"Does anyone else join you?"

"My cousin, Alexi, on occasion -- if he doesn't have to work."

"What does he do?"

"He's a detective for the St. Petersburg police."

"My brother is a police officer, too."

"For your city? Brattleboro?"

"Yes."

"I Googled it on my phone after you left. It's a small town about two hours away, on the
New Hampshire-Massachusetts border." "I'm honored."

"I must admit, Elise, I enjoyed our accidental meeting."

Elise's cheeks prickled at the compliment. Uncomfortably warm, she glanced out the window.

Dimitri reached out and curved his fingers around her chin. "I mean it, Elise. You are beautiful." His eyes smoldered with desire.

"Thank you."

Slowly, he withdrew his slender, yet masculine fingers from her face. "Last year, Elena, Mama, and Alexi celebrated at Dolchina with me. We shared an evening meal of kutya -- a porridge made from grains, honey, and poppy seeds -- on the sixth. Mama uses a white tablecloth on our table. She says it is a symbol of Christ's poverty. Then we place a white candle on the table to remind us that Christ is the light of the world. The meal itself is a full ritual."

"Tell me more."

"Since I am the head of the family, I usually lead us in the Lord's Prayer. My mother blesses everyone on the forehead with honey, making the Sign of the Cross. We eat bread called 'pagach', and dip it in honey and garlic. After we are done, we attend midnight mass."

The waiter returned with their meal.

XXX

5 Stars, Reader's Favorites
Fabulously written, the story combines elements of mystery, action, love, and tender family moments all at the right places, making a perfect fit. If you want a good story combining history, crime, and passion, "The Faberge Secret" is the book for you.


BLURB: When Elise finds a rare Faberge Egg, can Dimitri keep her safe from her rival?


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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Great Genetic Divide

Genetic engineering is one of the staples of science fiction, along with hyper drives, smarty-pants aliens and heroic space captains. Oh, and don't forget the evil villain who wants to rule the civilized galaxy. (Though, personally, I've never understood why. Way too much responsibility to me.)

Now, in the far future people can genetically engineer their children in vitro to their exact wishes (as the parents did in my Duty and Devotion SFR). In many other SF stories it can be done after birth, such as James Patterson's Maximum Ride series.

In reality, genetic engineering is far from either of these realities. Don't get me wrong, there are some pretty cool things going on. I mean scientists are engineering bacteria to grow in stripes.  They can even genetically alter fruit flies to smell light. Yes, light! (I know...totally cool.)

But, when it comes down to it, bacteria is, well, just bacteria. And fruit flies are just fruit flies altered in their larvae stage. Sometimes it's so easy to get impatient and want to see what humanity will do with an advancement on that scale...

And then I think back to this short story I read in an Isaac Asimov magazine edition years ago, where humans went to the absurd. This young man's mother had altered herself into a house, which he lived in. His friends had altered their heads or arms or torsos into animals.

I imagine that television series "Taboo" would get some very interesting guest appearances.

With the way plastic surgery, piercing and tattoo art has evolved in society, how well do you think genetic expressionism will take in our future culture?

In my latest release, The Case of the Senshi Pearl, Quantum Agent Raina Tanuki goes to a planet where one human group had been genetically blended with various fish species to become a sort of mermaid society. The land and ocean races segregated and grew to hate each other.

Over the course of the story the two cultures ,use learn to work together and overcome their prejudice and racism to save their planet.

EXCERPT
"Well, hello again, little one." Emperor Quay nodded from the water tank, where he stood with several guards and an additional person. It was a man this time. The emperor gestured to him. "This is my son Yuvaraja, Prince of Sirenian and successor to the throne."

Prince Yuvaraja could've been a younger version of his father. He had blue skin which accentuated the muscles on his bare torso and blended well into his fin, which started at his lower hip with a darker blue. It darkened to a purple with streaks of bold green and red along the sides from his hip to his fin tip. Bright copper-colored eyes danced as he smiled, first at his guard detail and then at her. Movement caused his dark rusty mane to stir in the open air.

The prince extended a hand out of the water, the arm immediately drying out. "Hello, Agent Tanuki. I am honored to be your guide among the Sirenian lands."

"Thank you, Prince Yuvaraja."

"Please call me Yuvaraja or even Yuva, as my friends do."

"Alright, then Yuvaraja." Raina wasn't entirely comfortable dealing with the heir to the Sirenian throne so informally, but neither did she want to offend them.

Kane must be miffed at their willingness to accept my help in an investigation so critical to the planetary affairs. Then Raina turned and addressed the emperor. "As I said yesterday, Your Majesty, I am able to go into the Sirenian waters, and was selected as your case agent for this particular talent. I will need a sample of Sirenian DNA to accomplish this."

"What? Why?" The emperor's senior guard asked as his men pulled rank to block the Royals. The water sloshed over the rim onto the marble floor as they moved.

Raina stayed patient. This was on par with previous discussions during other cases where she stood in as assistant resource to the main agent. "My body needs to register the species DNA it will be transforming into. I can't just change based on sight, sound, or touch. It must be introduced into my blood or fluid stream."

The main guard shook his head and looked at the emperor, ignoring the smirks from his men. "Emperor Quay, I am not comfortable with this... this demon, taking your bodily fluids."

Raina fought to keep from flinching at the guards insult, and was barely able to. Demon. She hated the term. It was an unwelcome reminder to of past and all the bitter hatred she'd felt at the hands of her own people.

"I don't need his specifically." Her voice had an even tone to it. "It doesn't matter whose. I can use yours if it makes you more comfortable." She wanted to leave it at that, but couldn't. "I do not like being referred to as a demon, which I'm not."

PURCHASE LINKS
All Romance, Amazon, B&N, Books on Board

Monday, December 3, 2012

Jmo is back with a little Immortally under his belt.



So, where was I for a whole month? Sure, I should be ashamed that without a word, I just slipped off the grid, but I had my reasons. What were they, you might be asking yourself while stirring that pot of tar and fluffing a sizable bag of feathers. Well, it's like this. I was finishing a book. Editing a book. Editing another book, and finally editing the first book for a second time. Oh, and I started writing a couple books. As you can see, I didn't disappear to just be disappearing. I had my reasons. That said, let's cut to the chase.

After three years of planning, one year of writing, I have produced a book that fulfills every desire I ever had when I became a writer. That isn't to say, I won't be repeating this statement in the near future, because growth is what every author strives for. Immortally Damned, the one I was just talking about, is the next step on that growth ladder for me. Feel free to make a mark on the door jamb. I know I did.

I could probably talk your ears off about this book, but for once I think I'm going to let my words do my talking for me. So, sit back and enjoy a taste of my latest work, Immortally Damned. Just to warn you, there's a little harsh language in this excerpt.


Amor Immorati
Book Two
Immortally Damned
By
J. Morgan
From
Deserting Breeze Publishing
December 11th

Caern swore to never return to New Orleans, his death warrant making the choice easy. Well, easy until his past returns to smack him around. Now, he has to return to the one place where death isn't a possibility, it's a guarantee. And only a matter of time. Searching to find a murderer out to kill the grandchild he never thought to meet, he finds himself falling into a hell he just might not be able to crawl free of. His only hope lies in Detective Eliza Marrone. Falling for her isn't in the cards, but his heart tells him it might be the only thing he can't escape. Zombies, old lovers and psychopathic vampire clergy, yeah those are things he can deal with. True love on the other hand is the one thing he's always avoided. This time there's no way out. It might get him killed, or end up saving his wretched soul.


Excerpt

"Long time, no see, Monk."

"Tempest," Caern growled from deep inside his throat.

He couldn't believe the woman had the nerve to stride into his bar like she owned it. Then again, full bloods never changed, and after nearly seventy years the slut hadn't changed one bit. With her raven hair hanging past her full hips, ivory unblemished skin, breasts that made grown men weep, and lips that promised kisses of more than a friendly nature, Caern could see how a man could be fooled to thinking he'd found the answer to his every dream. Too bad he knew the damaged goods lurking underneath that wet dream come to life. The only thing he didn't know was what the whore was doing here. He didn't spare the muscle crowding the doorway behind her a second glance. They were less than a decade old to the blood. No, the woman was the dangerous one. He had painful memories to back that fact up.

"What a delightful little hovel you have here, Monk." She ran a fingertip over a table cluttered with empties. "I never pictured you as the barkeep type, but half-bloods are fickle creatures. Their human sides always making them think they're normal."

"Is there a point to this visit, or did you just come here to make a beautiful corpse?" Caern's hand twisted in a fist, gripping the weapon he didn't have.

He wished he was close enough to the pool table so he could make that come true. The table was in the back room, along with the sticks. Closest thing to a stake on hand. He cursed himself for not planning for this. Being with Chase had lulled him into a false sense of security. If he didn't play this just right, he'd be too dead to bitch his partner out over that fact. Tempest was three hundred years of pure vampire. When they got that old, their power grew to levels directly proportional to their insanity. Only the strongest willed of them survived with their minds intact. Tempest wasn't one of those.

He and Raiz could handle her and her goons easily, but Caern wanted to find out what she wanted. More importantly, what Katyarina wanted? Tempest didn't crawl out of bed without her mistress' say so. For Katya to send the rabid bitch after him, it had to be pretty damned important, otherwise he'd already be dead and he would have never sensed her outside. That subtle message told him the shit was about to hit the fan.

Raiz moved up behind him. The heat rolling off the were-bear scorched his back. Yeah, his bud was definitely ramped up for some action. Caern guessed taking out the good old boys hadn't satisfied him. Not that Caern could blame him. Their kind lived for violence, no matter how civilized they looked on the outside. Well, as civilized as Caern looked on the outside. Raiz, on the other hand, was the poster boy for mindless violence.

"Dear sweet Caern. Did you really think I'd come here without a free passage." Tempest reached into the pocket of the flowing green sundress that barely concealed what the devil gave her. Caern tensed as she pulled her hand free and tossed a bloody rag at his feet. "There that should satisfy you."

Even without bending down, Caern recognized Katya's scent. Kicking the rag away, he tried not to focus on the implication of what that meant. "Then rules are in play. You have five minutes to get your business done before I forget the pacts that keep me from killing you."

She sucked on her finger. "It's not my business. I thought the széntz adzabȩ would have been explanation enough. The queen has need of your unique services."

"You can tell your queen I kindly refuse her sacred call." If he had had a hundred years to obsess over the might have beens, he might have actually jumped like a lapdog to run to Katya's beck and call. Too bad he had two good reasons to say no, or that might have happened anyway.

"Surely you're not letting something like a death sentence stop you from obeying a command from your liege?" Tempest snorted, like he'd let her goad him into losing his mind.

"I don't have a queen. In case old age has addled your brain, Katyarina tossed me from the blood. She doesn't have a hold on me anymore." Caern straightened his back. "So you can catch the next plane to New Orleans or flap your ass cheeks and fly back for all I care. I'm done listening."

He motioned for Raiz to follow him back to the bar. Turning his back on the bitch might not have been the best idea he ever had, but he'd be damned even more than he already was if he'd show her an ounce of give-a-damn. Besides, if she tried something, he had a twelve foot were-bear that had his back. Let the blood whore top that.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Dark Side


It's late now, almost midnight and I've been looking through my PRETTY MEN board over at Pinterest. Why? For a quick, cheap thrill I guess. But I noticed something I'd always kind of thought to myself and now have a little bit of proof due to the pinned pics of pretty men.
For some reason, I'm drawn to dark men. Dark hair, dark eyes, dark skin, all do it for me. Of course there are those blondies with blues that NO ONE can resist and I can't and won't turn a blind eye to but most of the dudes on my board favor the dark side. I'm wondering if it's anything related to the opposites attract theory. When I was a child I had white-blonde hair and green eyes and pale skin to match. Basically the only thing that's changed is my hair color which grew from blonde to auburn to brown to black both with and without the assistance of hair coloring. Still the eyes and the skin remain and there's still that dark attraction for me. You'd think I'd be blazing my way over to those blondies like a comet than screaming and running away but it ain't so in my case.

For the sake of a little psychology, I think a part of the attraction harks back to a time when dark men were both threatening and powerful (or at least perceived to be) and lighter guys were more cerebral. I have fallen for a few cerebs myself, I can't lie here. But there's that sense of danger, of power, physical, emotional and mental that I attach to dark dudes.
While we're contemplating attraction theories, it seems to go the opposite way as well. A lot of dark guys and girls favor the blondes. But then, that's hard to figure into the equation: blonde hair has been prized highly in numerous civilizations for numerous millennia, especially for women. Major sexual attraction goes without saying there. And inexplicably there are those of the same coloring of hair and eyes who like each other
I also swing between pretty—literally pretty—men's faces and those who can't be categorized as pretty at all but have some type of underlying threatening animalistic allure (The Lure of the Animal: The Khavorka! Seinfeld) and wild power whether they keep it distilled or let it roar out of control. And most of those guys are dark. (The subject of cut bodies is another blog post altogether.)
I've even started putting dark pretties in my books. Let me amend that. I've always put dark pretties in my books. Gavin McAllister in Future Imperfect, though British had my requisite dark hair and…well grey eyes…hey I was close.
What kind of men (or women for those writer guys out there) are you attracted to? Do you fancy a blonde or a brunette? What about those crazy red-heads? And eyes—the ultimate turn-on—blue? Black? Chocolate? Grey, green, hazel? Or does it even matter to you? Are you like me with a pattern of attraction or randomly magnetized to pretties of all coloring?


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Out-of-This-World Halloween!


In the spirit of Halloween, literally, I thought I'd talk about something a little…different. Like how Halloween might be celebrated on other planets. Talk about weird science! In my strange mind I kind of see it in the same vein (no paranormal pun intended) as The Ugly Bug Ball by Burl Ives:

Come on let's crawl
Gotta crawl, gotta crawl,
To the ugly bug ball
To the ball, to the ball
And a happy time we'll have there
One and all!
At the ugly bug ball!

I can imagine an interstellar station hanging in some galaxy hosting an inter-species gala on October 31, 2177 or whatever date it is on their calendars. I can also imagine some truly unusual guests at that party too. Hmm, the question is what the heck do they dress up as? I mean, they already look rather creepy in their skins. So what to do? Maybe they could all dress up as each other, as much as their anatomy allows or perhaps they could dress up as humans, though we all pretty much look the same except for the details like eyes, hair, etc. Or what if they're the sentient intellectual types, like intergalactic professors dressing up as the non-sentient "bugs" if you will, that they inspect with such intensity? Hey what if they made up something? I'm guessing they could come up with some really, really weird costumes!

Here's to hoping they can communicate well with others—other species that is—I'd hate to foot the bill for that many interpreters but I'm also hoping that by 2177 we'd all have figured out how to shoot the solar breeze. Can you imagine the buzz of "voices" as species gather in the ballroom waiting for the music to begin? Music? What the nebula does that mean for all these party goers? More importantly, who the hell could DJ this shindig? Oh, you want live entertainment? How about the band from the Cantina in Star Wars? Personally, I'm hoping Katy Perry shows up to belt out "E.T."

And then there's the requisite open bar (and I do mean open): tanks of various fluids, gases, who knows what else all either shaken not stirred via tubes and vials or straight up on the rocks (moon). Can you imagine how some of these beings behave when drunk? I don't even want to think about whom wakes up with who or what in the morning…

I was going to write a short story based on this premise/post specifically for The Writer Limits but my brain is fried and I'm trying to scrape off the crust…maybe next year…

Excuse me right now I'm going to get another bottle of Mars Red to toast the Gala(ctic) Party!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Space Cowboy

Oh, I love me a good space cowboy. I know for sure that when we do finally get out there into the stars, the cowboys will be some of the first pioneers to buy a ticket. They'll push the boundaries of the cosmic plains and blaze the path for civilization to follow.

I've never seen space or alien planets as a sanitary, scientific place. Nope, it's always been rugged and wild lands waiting to be explored and conquered.

My interest was piqued first when I read the short story, The "Tale of the Adopted Daughter" included in Robert Heinlein's "Time Enough for Love". Then there was, of course, "Santiago: A Myth of the Far Future" by Mike Resnick.

(If I remember right, this came out a couple years after Star Wars and my Han Solo crush.)

Actually, most Mike Resnick novels have a distinct western feel to it if you're looking for some good reads.

For the final installment in The Telomere Trilogy, "End of Eternity", I knew I had to insert a crusty old space cowboy. Hence, Lane Rafferty, from the desert city of Ballarat on the planet of Inyo.

And Lane has a grudge to settle with the immortal space captain, Noah Bonney. He tracks her across two galaxies just to get it.

EXCERPT:
The old door across his office slammed shut. From below his black, curved brimmed hat Laken Rafferty lifted his head enough to see who'd entered. Little Vick, the mousy small man, squirmed and wrung his hands. Rafferty sighed, kicked his crossed feet off the desk, and tipped his hat back.

"What you want? I'm busy." Rafferty sneered as the dim idiot looked on, confused. "I was joking, you jackass."

"Oh," Little Vick managed a weak smile, "yeah."

After a moment of silence, Rafferty narrowed his eyes to glare at him. Little Vick jumped as if electrocuted and stumbled forward closer to the desk, the sand from his boots grinded against the wood floor.

"Message in from Reilly, sir." Little Vick tapped on the desk cube and an old, old image popped up. "She's on her way into the region, sir. To this system to be exact."

Rafferty stood, placed his fists on the desk, and bent forward. "She's in the region? You sure?" Vick's head bobbed up and down in eagerness. "Silver Fish... interesting."

"Passin' through is more like it. Hoppin' from Space Leap 589 to Space Leap 425. More interesting, she has her daughter with her. Recently confirmed as one to."

Rafferty's body jerked in shock. "His and hers?"

"Yup. Reilly himself notified they raided one of his sites about a week or so ago and are now headin' this direction."

Rafferty didn't like Reilly, but an ends to a means was an end to a means. No matter the devils you had to play with to get there.

"But..." Vick wavered and then added with a quiver in his voice, "They in league with the Demons of Asatru, sir." He shivered and touched his chest before pointing to the sky with a prayer. "The demons will be meeting them at Space Leap 589 to deliver somethin', from what I understand."

Rafferty wouldn't go into battle with the demons, knew no one who would. It didn't mean he couldn't wait 'em out... way clear of the delivery. Quite a distance, a good five rotations from space leap to space leap. "Get on it and prep two mid-size vessels ordered from Gatro. Set up my Bat Ray and tell Reilly I'm headed out. I'll fly solo to meet the vessels."

*     *     *     *     *     *

Well, I hope you liked the excerpt. Sometime in the future I'll do a full length novel set completely in the space western subgenre.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My Top 5 Sci-Fi Ships



I actually did a little research on this—very little. Well okay to be honest almost none other than checking out The Top 75 Sci-Fi ships on Den of Geek's 2009 list. Was I shocked and surprised! Out of 75 science fiction ships Boba Fett's Slave (I II, or IV) was nowhere to be found! "Insulting!" as Richard Riddick would say, lol! But that's further down a few paragraphs. There are a lot of favorite science fiction ship lists, so many in fact that I feel compelled as well as entitled to list my top five (or ten, depending on when I get to the end of this post). As usual I wandered off the beaten path at times but I have reason for that deviance and I do list a few of the obvious ones. Let's start backward with the aforementioned Slave in any or all incarnations.
#5: Boba Fett's Slave:  This is not a cool ship by any means and that's probably why it's not on major lists. Why do I love it then? I don't. I always loved BF's character so intense (and sexy to me—but then I'm a sucker for bad boys) in just those few scenes in Star Wars IV (A New Hope) that when I got a glimpse of that hideous thing he flew that reminded me of a repulsive elephant head I almost puked. How how could such a cool character pilot something so…yucky? Well, I wasn't pleased with the casting of Temuera Derek Morrison as Boba/Jango Fett in later films either—I liked him—he just wasn't…bad enough for me. But back to the Slave: it was functional if not pretty and it flew funny too—standing vertically as it shot through light speed. I always got the feeling Boba was standing up. Feets don't fail me now.
#4: Voyage To the Bottom of the Sea: The Seaview nuclear sub and its mini/flying subs. Myself being a water sign, of course underwater sci-fi hypnotized me. I never saw the film (too young) but I watched the television show which helped feed nuclear terror of the Cold War into children like me. The Seaview was the oceanic mother ship run on nuclear power and vaguely phallic in design. The show worked a little differently than usual by dealing with aliens, mermaids, and thwarting terrorist attacks in an underwater setting. But the coolest thing was that mini/flying sub. Oh yeah and that windshield on the Seaview that may have pre-dated Star Trek.
#3: Battlestar Galactica: from the original series. Not a giant fan of the series, it began with a tremendous potential but then many times descended into foolishness. But for Cripe's sake, the ship had a CASINO at one point! For me, that clever idea was possibly the most realistic aspect—think about it: humans need recreational activities and an interstellar Las Vegas kicked the ass of every other recreational activity on board any ship except those in international waters. Excuse me, I hear ducats dropping into someone's SpaceSlots basket…

#2: Millennium Falcon: Oh come on. Sure it had the most fun ever swiveling gunner seats and cannons with those ultra cool bay windshields, but it was also a little rickety. Okay, a lot rickety just like the research I did for this post. The difference is the Falcon was supposed to be rickety. It's been though sci-fi hell and back and it's like the ultimate Mustang Cobra Shelby of deep space. Even I got a little nervous when it showed the interior. One of the neat and logical things the Falcon had were those floor panels they hid beneath when the Storm Troopers scanned the ship. It made sense since the Falcon's main job was hauling illegal materials for galactic cartels (read: Jabba the Hut). Of course those Storm Trooper scans SHOULD have caught life forms so I listed it as #2.  Plus, it looked uneven to me with the cockpit to the side instead of under, above or front center of the ship and that unsettled and disoriented me more than a tad. Kinda' like when I went on my first road trip in Great Britain…

And last but probably least:

Ta Da Da Da!

#1: Chronicles of Riddick: Toomb's first ship: Whatever the hell they called it.  It was pointy, bouncy and possessed a super cool First Aid transfusion kit! That last was one of my sci-fi dreams. Plus the idea of riding shotgun in a dangling gunnery nest blasting gats just blows away my nano-matrix!

I know this list is completely void of technologically impressive design wonders but it isn't always about stiff scientific theory. Sometimes it's just about good old alien Bling!  

P.I. Barrington