Publication News!

After writing creatively for two years, I’m happy to have my first blog with the title Publication News. My short story, The Re-creation of Sahmik Ghee, will appear in the 2020 RMFW Wild Anthology. If you just can’t wait a year for the fall 2020 publication date, read through to the end of this blog for an excerpt.

How Can We Reach the Stars?

Starship Enterprise

Credit: Free Images Live.

The Start Trek warp drive is one step closer to becoming science fact.

With enough energy, it’s theoretically possible to shrink space in front of a spacecraft and expand space behind it. We’ll make it to the exoplanets yet! In the meantime, read on to find out how to save the one planet we’ve already got.

Stop a War – Plant a Tree

I’ve been working on a short piece in which a future United States economy is ravaged by climate change. The agriculture industry is particularly vulnerable, and growers across the United States are scrambling to keep pace with changes in growing season, new pests, and unpredictable weather.

Spoiler alert. My story ends with United States of the future employing time travel to declare war on United States of today. After all, our climate change inaction today can only be seen as hostile towards our future citizens. So, if you’d like to avoid a war with the future, plant as many trees as possible.

Brain Organoids

The human brain

Credit: Free Images Live.

If you’re a one of my few but faithful regular blog readers, then you’re already aware of my abnormal obsession with the human brain. There’s something fascinating about an organ that allows us to think but has nonetheless remained one of the least understood organs in the human body. Plus, look at them. Brains are just plain creepy.

Now scientists are creating miniature brains in the lab, where they’re already producing measurable brain waves. The tiny globs of neural tissue provide scientists with avenues for experimentation and drug testing. These aren’t actual brains, they are merely clumps of neurons that replicate and interconnect with dendrites.

That’s no fun. I’d much rather use this as fodder for science fiction. Is some mad scientist determined to create artificial life? Ho-hum. C’mon, Paul. You can do better. Okay, okay. Scientists implant brain organoids into stroke victims only to discover the patients are under the control of a new hive life form. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

What I’m Reading

I have a subscription to Fantasy and Science Fiction and read most of it.

I recently completed these books.

  • Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. Yep, another chic book to help me develop believable female characters.

  • The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein. I read this 1951 classic in high school. It’s still enjoyable.

  • Rosewater by Tade Thompson, winner of the Arthur C. Clarke prize.

  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy, a chilling Pulitzer winner.

  • The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929–1964, edited by Robert Silverberg

  • When Quiet Comes to Call by Kendra Merritt, a short Kindle eBook by a member of my critique group.

I’m currently reading these books.

  • How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis by Bryan Cohen

  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

My reading list continues to grow unrestrained.

  • The Age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil

  • Exhalation by Ted Chiang

  • Face It: A Memoir by Deborah Harry

  • Ultralearning by Scott Young

The Re-creation of Sahmik Ghee

Here’s an excerpt from my short story The Re-creation of Sahmik Ghee, which will be published in the 2020 RMFW Wild Anthology. The book should be available in fall 2020. The story is a science fiction retelling of The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service. The setting is a frozen outpost on a distant planet, where traders hunt snowshades for their crystal fangs.

I entered the Lake Lebarge outfitter’s module with Sahmik Ghee’s little finger in a bio carton.

Fat parka-clad traders waddled in behind me as I kicked snow off my boots. Others bore the genetic mods for arctic work—plump cheeks, big noses, thick body hair—but wires dangled from their ears and they spoke into glasscells. Lake Lebarge was less Alioth Three’s southern frontier town and more of a research station every day. The bars still served good Iapetian whiskey, though. And it was the only place around to reprint your partner.

A green line painted on the floor, barely visible under dirty puddles and scuff marks, led me past racks of provisions, sonic traps, and flamethrowers. I unzipped my parka. Two pendant chains around my fat neck swayed as I walked—one mine, one Sahm’s.

The line stopped at the bioprinting desk. A badge over one large breast identified the technician as Aliss Mae. She had the arctic mods, but she was a desk jockey. She’d never touched the cold grips of a dog sled. I’d seen her before, though, and I knew she did good work.

I stated my business.

“Name of the reprint?” she asked, opening her glasscell.

“Sahmik Ghee, but I called him Sahm.” I spelled it for her.

She paused for a moment and looked up at me. “I know that name. We printed him just a few days ago, I think.”

I nodded. “Right. But we had some trouble.”

“Sorry to hear that.” She turned back to her glasscell. “You got P.O.D.?”

Proof of death.

I set the bio carton on her desk. Sahm’s finger slept inside, packed in dry ice.

That’s all you get. Watch this web page for news as the publication date approaches.

In closing, I ask you all to wish me luck. I’ll be using November to write the rough draft of my first novel. That’s right, I’m participating in my first NaNoWriMo. My project is my DNA editing story Termination Trait. In my next blog, I’ll let you know whether it was time well spent or a total train wreck.

Leave a Reply