The Bad Samaritan now stalking Unbound

A while ago, after finishing my novel A Hostile Takeover, I took on adapting my screenplay ‘The Bad Samaritan’ into my next book project. It turned out to be an ordeal, with convoluted plots ending up driving me insane, but in the end I had myself a completed draft.

All that’s left now is to turn that draft into a finished product. As I painfully learned with my previous book, editing is a long, long process. I could have paid professionals to do this, but I discovered that there are plenty of invaluable tools out there in the technosphere. There was and remains to this day no justification for me or any author for that matter, to spend thousands of dollars on editors when there are tools already out there.

TheNextBigWriter, for example, is a writer’s community offering a decent workshop and feedback platform.

Unbound is another such platform. They are a hybrid between traditional publishing and crowdfunding.  The allows authors to pitch a book idea for consideration (fiction or non-fiction), and once a book pitch is accepted, it is presented to Unbound’s reader community for support and funding. Unbound sets the budget to produce and market the book, and if enough readers contribute to the book’s funding over a period of time and the target is reached, the book is published.

This is where my project has landed, so if anyone would like to take a journey with me down the draft to publish road, feel free to check out the project page.

By pledging your support to this project, you’ll can get to be part of the process, delivering this science fiction story about a cabal of killers to its audience.

https://unbound.com/books/the-bad-samaritan/embed

Terminator Reterminated

terminator-feature-06272015There’s nothing more bewilderingly mind-numbing than watching a science-fiction movie franchise get butchered and killed then brought to life again, re-butchered and murdered once again. It’s sad in a way, because I really love this time-bending, robot monster, chase story. The potential, even without branching away from the hunter and the hunted plot device, is endless. Bewildered? With all this goodwill and talent, and money involved, how the hell could they get it so wrong? This is a major iconic brand. “The Terminator” is embedded in the brains of at least two or three generations of consumers. There is no shortage of creative talent nor money that prevent this story from working its magic, yet the IP owners have achieved nothing else but toss stools of shit at audiences across the globe. Sure, the movie industry wins, artists, technicians and executives got jobs, and the marketing machine scored, but tossing shit at audience’s faces was still the end result.

skynetNow the next time Skynet returns to threaten our future chances are audiences will be a little suspect before handing over money, or even waste time and bandwidth to illegally download it. Skynet will hopefully learn from past mistakes and deliver the killer blow they’ve been trying to throw since it first hatched up the plan to go back in time and kill John Conner. Continue reading “Terminator Reterminated”

The Fleming Paracosm

diamonds are forever with lazenby
Diamonds are Forever if George said yes instead of no.

As we enter a new chapter in the James Bond movie franchise, staunch fans like myself are apprehensive or intensely curious about what direction the franchise will take, and about who will be chosen to play the next 007? The naming of the actor to play the MI6 spy appears to have turned into a cultural festival that runs every decade or so, much like the naming of who will host the next Olympic Games. It’s a media tradition ever since George Lazenby famously turned his back to the franchise.

Continue reading “The Fleming Paracosm”

Panology – an A to Z study guide [Part 1]

With Dan Simmon’s Hyperion Cantos and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series inching closer to television screens, a question resurfaces, a question I’ve been asking ever since first reading these two works of classic science fiction, both of whom have been fighting an eternal battle for the number one spot on my favorites list.

(This is the first of three posts.)

Hyperion-movie

What makes these stories so great?

For me it’s the scope of these novels. It’s how the authors infuse a multitude of scientific disciplines and morph them into the plot. This little project is intended as a study guide for me to use and others if they choose, and aims to list as many topics and fields of study as possible. It’ll be an ongoing process as I probably will miss a few academic disciplines along the way. Continue reading “Panology – an A to Z study guide [Part 1]”

The Fantasy Federation of Europe

lossless-page1-800px-European_Federalist_Flag.tifIt is sad to watch a great nation bludgeon another weaker nation, a supposed ally and friend, into submission and humiliation, especially when both sides are at fault over a debt situation that has spiraled out of control. Yes, Greek voters did take the easy path since the 1970’s. I myself remember arguing against further integration back in the summer of 1991, when I visited the place. Older folk and younger kids, die-hard communists and fascists alike were all for it. I nearly got stabbed when I stated, “One day German tanks will be rolling down the streets of Athens once more…”tanks

Continue reading “The Fantasy Federation of Europe”

First Planet Candidates Discovered by Planet Hunters

It’s not every night you stumble across something on the internet that is as bizarre as being officially acknowledged for helping to find an exoplanet. I enrolled with Planet Hunter years ago (around 2011), and dabbled for fun picking out images that may indicate the presence of a planet orbiting a star. Easy stuff really.KIC10905746

Looks like we found two exoplanets, detected by amateur astronomers using the Planet Hunters’ Zooniverse project.

The first planetary system, KIC 10905746 hosts at least one planet. KIC 10905746 b is a Super-earth planet 2.5 times larger than earth, orbiting the 13th magnitude M-type star, which is located in Cygnus constellation 500 light years away.

The second is KIC 6185331 b, an extrasolar planet, 7.9 times larger than the Earth, orbiting 15th magnitude star KIC 6185331, which is located in Lyra constellation 4784 light years.

Both exoplanets have tight fast orbits around their stars (orbits are 9.88 and 49.8 days respectively) so they’re pretty inhospitable. Hopefully more data would reveal more planets with longer and wider orbits in these systems, because now I have to include these two in a space opera if I get to writing one.

More Info:

KIC 10905746 b

KIC 6185331 b

 

Planet Hunters


We are very, very happy to announce that the first Planet Hunters paper has been submitted to the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, or MNRAS.*

The title page of the paper shows:

If you take a close look at the affiliations, you will see that #16 is called “Planet Hunter.” That’s because this paper reports the discovery of two planet candidates discovered by our volunteers – and naturally, we included those those who were the first people to identify possible transits in the the 9 stars discussed in the paper.  We also include a link to the full list of all Planet Hunters; you can find it here.

So what does the paper actually say? As it’s the first (of hopefully many) papers, we give a brief overview of the Kepler data and the Planet Hunters interface. How did we display the data? What questions did…

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Artificial Sentience

Dell_AI_parody_8447Scientists are anxious these days about the advent of artificial intelligence. They all seem to infer that as soon as one such cyber entity awakens, it’ll deem humanity evolutionary and intellectually inferior and will plot to exterminate its creator.

JudgementdayIt’s baffling to me why science and the media paint these entities as inherently evil. Maybe it’s the unknown factor that easily frightens humans. Not that fear of the unknown has ever stopped humans from venturing into uncharted territory. Look at how science is warning civilisation about the ramifications of terra-forming our planet by dumping so much carbon into the atmosphere. No one seems to give a shit. Humanity would rather cling on to its polluting easy lifestyle and chance it with nature than heed the warnings. Sacrifice our way of life in order to curb climate change? Hell no. So it’s kind of retarded when science and media warn that AI technology will be somehow dangerous to humans. Dangerous or not people don’t care. As long as life gets easier they are prepared to chance it.

Continue reading “Artificial Sentience”

Morlock or Eloi – A choice in evolution.

The debate over climate change is one of those strange human things. In a logical or analytic sense, there really shouldn’t be such an argument. If you see danger up ahead, you would naturally take action to avoid it, right?morlock

Not so simple when dealing with humans.

Let’s take humanity out of equation. Once you do that it doesn’t matter which way the temperature goes on the Earth, or on any other planet. Planets don’t care either way. If you talk to the sun, it’s just pissed off it didn’t achieve black hole status and that it now has to wait another ten or so billion Earth years before it gets another crack at it. Continue reading “Morlock or Eloi – A choice in evolution.”

This Universe Wants To Kill You

DNA-atomic-energy-300x300Why are punters so afraid of nuclear technology? Is it the technology? Is it the nuclear? This is as puzzling to me as modern politics and economics.

It makes no sense. This fear.

We exist in a universe that is constantly creating and destroying. Life is spawned from out of all this violence, and threatened by it. Life has to combat disease, superstorms, earthquakes, meteor impacts, supernovas, gamma ray bursts and that is just the natural world. The human world is even deadlier. Continue reading “This Universe Wants To Kill You”

Mars! One Way

Image

It’s really hard not to facepalm when confronted by headlines stating that 100,000 have signed up for a one-way trip to Mars. A Dutch, non-profit (yes, that’s right, non-profit) company called Mars One is collecting human specimens, and raising six billion dollars, to send these people some 225 million kilometres, one way, to the planet Mars.

They call it colonization. They market it as a “stepping stone in human galactic expansion.”

Yes, that’s right, Galactic.

Even reading interviews with some of the applicants really drives home what insanity dwells in modern people’s minds. Some even suggesting that this is how the discovery of America come about, others considering birthing and raising children on the surface of this new frontier.

Unbelievable.

Continue reading “Mars! One Way”