Episode Six: The Berserker Hypothesis

Episode Six: The Berserker Hypothesis

Could it be that the reason we are confronted by the “Great Silence” is that advanced civilizations are being wiped out? This is the essence of the Berserker Hypothesis, inspired by science fiction, but rooted in scientific theory. It combines the concept of von Neuman Probes, nanotechnology, and the idea that the greatest threat to advanced life is itself!

(Updated) Advice for Aspiring Writers!

(Updated) Advice for Aspiring Writers!

Good morning! There’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time now but never got around to it. And that is, share some tidbits of wisdom that I have learned over the years about writing. Most of these tidbits are things I learned from people who really knew what they were talking about, so I was sure to listen! Some others are just things I concluded along the way.

And wouldn’t you know it, the list has grown to include another important item since I originally scrawled them down. In any case, almost twenty years after I began writing, I’ve managed to condense the most important lessons I’ve learned down to six main tips. Here they are…

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Revitalizing an Old Idea: Thirteenth

Revitalizing an Old Idea: Thirteenth

It came to me when I was in University and eventually grew to become the seed of my very first written work. It was intended to become part of a series called Legacies, and I had big plans for it. I even wrote a few short stories over the years that were part of this fictional universe. However, as years passed and I became more committed to hard science fiction, I fell out of love with the series. Since it was my first effort, I also felt that the writing was amateurish and needed serious polishing.

But the other day, I found myself musing about the seed. It wasn’t a bad idea, and I could still recall the sense of inspiration I felt when plotting it all out. And over the years, the basic concept was still there, always trying to find expression in new form or variation on the old. I can’t help it. There’s just something about ancient migrations, long-lost tribes, and forgotten histories that is so damn intriguing!

And since I’m at a transitional point in my writing – my first trilogy down and an open field in front of me – I’m once again contemplating if this idea has a future. While it’s not exactly hard science-fiction (more space opera), I still think it has the potential to be fun and intriguing.

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Introducing The Martian Dispatches!

Introducing The Martian Dispatches!

At long last, this special project (which I’ve been busy with for many months) has been released. Which means I can finally talk about it! But first, a little preamble…

About a year ago, I joined Mars City Design®, a non-profit innovation and design platform dedicated to merging architecture, design, and the creative industry with the commercial space sector (aka. NewSpace). Since their inception in 2016, they’ve hosted an annual design competition where architects and designers from around the world submit ideas for how humans could live sustainably on Mars someday.

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Science Fiction, Babylon Style!

Science Fiction, Babylon Style!

There are times when ideas come along that just feel inspired. Then there are times when you think, “this is something I really should do because it sounds awesome in concept.” Those are the kind of ideas that you know readers will appreciate, provided you can do them justice! Otherwise, they’ll just sit on the shelf (or your Documents folder) and gather dust. The following list of ideas sort of straddle these two categories.

They came to me while researching ancient Mesopotamian myths that remain a part of our culture today. In fact, many of the myths that are considered to be foundational to western culture trace their roots to the “land between two rivers” (between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers). Here are the ideas I was mulling over after reading up on some ancient myths.

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My First (Real) Five Year Plan

My First (Real) Five Year Plan

The Five Year Plan… chances are, we’ve all heard someone talk about how they have one and hoped that they would be able to achieve all their listed goals by the end of it. While I’m sure most people can’t be bothered to listen to anyone lay out their life plans with anything other than the barest of feigned interest, it does feel like this is something we should all consider.

Somehow, having a plan in place that includes an ultimate goal, concrete steps on how to get there, and a timeline for each step – that just seems like the kind of thing serious people and high-end achievers do, doesn’t it? So I got to thinking a while back that I should start setting goals and a schedule for making them happen, though this would be subject to adjustment along the way.

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Some Good News Before 2020 Ends

Some Good News Before 2020 Ends

The year 2020 has been rather interesting, in a totally messed up kind of way! In fact, it’s already in the running for “worst year ever,” a title previously held by 2016. At the same time though, there have been some developments this year that I’m thankful for. And today, I thought I’d share what some of those were.

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Tenth Review for The Cronian Incident’s Audiobook!

Tenth Review for The Cronian Incident’s Audiobook!

Good news! The Cronian Incident (the audiobook version on Audible) just got its tenth review. And as you can probably tell, this person is real’ positive! I wish I could reach out to them and let them know that the series is no complete, so all the cliffhangers and threads get resolved.

This book is so good!! I enjoyed it immensely. I loved the world, I felt for the main characters. The tech was impressive. The mystery was complete and total. And then that blasted ending. AURGH!!

Politics reign supreme in the new world and them’s that’s got, keeps. The story was incredible! I was so engrossed in the story that I did not see the ending coming. It broke my heart. Thank goodness there is a book two!!

The narration was excellent, in every sense of the word. The main character, Jeremiah Ward, was an ex-intelligence officer, turned con, then private investigator. There was some gruffness and wide-eyed exasperation to Ward learning his new role and figuring out what was going on. The narrator nailed it. There were Russians (natch) and incredibly powerful female characters amongst a host of other voices. The narration made this story real.

I’m glad there is a second book in this series. I need some vindication!”

Writing About the Near-Future

Writing About the Near-Future

Hey again, fellow writers and readers! How is everybody doing? As for me, I’ve spent the past few weeks picking up my life in one place and depositing it in another. Translation: the wife and I recently moved. Yes, we bought our first house and now we’re living in our dream neighborhood. It only took five years!

But now that we’re settled (more or less), I can get back to work on my next two novels. If you recall, I recently finished writing my third novel – the Frost Line Fracture – which is the final installment in the Formist Series. The manuscript is now off to the publisher for edits and revisions!

With that project all but complete, I began wondering what to write next. I was torn between two options, but on the advice of my publisher, I decided to work on both simultaneously. Not long ago, I described one of them (Transverse) in some detail. But it’s been a while since I said anything about the other one – Reciprocity.

So I thought that’s what I would do today. And I thought it would be fun to discuss the social, political and economic context in which the story takes place. It’s the late 2030s in this story, after all. Stuff will be happening!

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Writing No-Go List

Writing No-Go List

Hey folks. For starters, I want to emphasize that the following is an attempt at satire. It was inspired by a skit I recently saw on the Baroness Von Sketch Show (good show, btw!) about a writing class where they are hoping to avoid the usual cliches. It got me thinking about sci-fi cliches, and what I would tell a writing class if I were in charge.

I would love to teach such a class and someday. And so I would consider the following list canon if anyone were to actually look to me for writing advice.

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