Thursday, December 20, 2012

Death's Door, devil's gate...

And, here we are again.  In the wake of America's latest (and sadly, probably not last) senseless mass shooting.

The pattern is familiar:  The prime-time close-ups of trembling, teary-eyed faces, hugs, candles, ribbons, photos and road-side monuments and shrines.  The parade of mourning relatives, the brief national unification in grief, anger and dismay.

And then, of course, the politics.  Throughout the preceding tragedies, the NRA has held firmly to its position on gun access:  "From our cold, dead hands."  And, apparently, over the cold, dead bodies of a growing roster of innocent victims.  Same old argument:  Guns don't kill, people kill.  (Primarily, people with guns, but somehow they always seem to miss the connection.)

Some say it's different this time, that the American people have finally had enough of this madness and are finally ready to follow the example of other countries (Scotland, New Zealand, etc.) who, in the wake of their similar tragedies have imposed stricter gun laws which have significantly reduced violence.  Some say the tide is finally turning towards sanity, and that it is no longer political suicide to stand up for gun control.  Amen.

But, even before the bodies were cold, we were already hearing the familiar voices of the gun crowd through their mock tears.  If the teachers had been armed, they argue, they could have killed the gunman before he killed any children.  I remember when I went to Kindergarten and grade school, they wouldn't even let us play guns in class.  Now, we're supposed to have teachers with holsters on their belts and ammo belts draped across their chests as they write on the blackboard.  Brilliant.  Arm everybody.  Ah, for the days of the old west.  The pearl-handled six-guns glinting in the sun as two men face each other on a dusty street.  Nowadays, substitute Uzi's, assault rifles or laser-scope slide-action automatics for Colt 45's, but same idea.  Every second bar-room scuffle and lunch room argument over sexual territory ending in gunfire.  We're not really that far gone, are we?  Let's hope this tragedy is as much as it takes to bring us out of the Clint Eastwood fantasy world we've been living in and get our leaders to institute effective and lasting gun control.

But, it could just as easily go the other way.  With all the talk this latest tragedy has generated about mental health, we may end up keeping the guns, but instituting Orwellian methods of social mind control.  With our kids already medicated half out of their minds, what's next?  Mandatory mind-altering medication, intensive isolation or shock treatments for every kid who even looks too sad or too quiet for comfort?  (Sound far-fetched?  They used to do that with kids suspected of being homosexual, you know.)

When death comes in a form as horrific as this, it can shake a people off their present course.  Which path they take from there depends on many factors, none simple.  We puzzle and agonize about what kind of dark journey leads a lonely, angry young man to mass destruction.  We should take note of our own dark journey as a society along the way.  How we love our guns.  How we lick our lips and salivate when going to war in some land across the sea most of our kids can't find on a map.  When mass slaughter hits us close to home, whether from foreign would-be martyrs in the sky or suicidal loner nihilists entering class rooms or work places with legally obtained firearms, we are stunned.  We're not used to being hit at home.  Lifetimes separated Pearl harbor and 9/11.  We've grown safe and spoiled with an ocean between us and the old world.  Mass destruction is something we inflict on others; not the reverse.  So many flowers and candles and photos.  But, not one for the thousands of innocents killed by our predator drones.  So many lonely ones among us waiting to channel demons we usually export.

In death's wake, we pause to stop and reflect.  We've been isolated too long as a people, perhaps.  Maybe if we stopped romanticizing violence as a simple way to solve every problem, we wouldn't be tasting explosions of violence among ourselves, erupting like cancerous boils, inflicting harm no external enemy could.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dina Rae's Halo of the Damned

Read my review of Dina Rae's supernatural thriller "Halo of the Damned" at:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Divided we stand?

"Flags" is a science fiction story of racial and religious divisions tearing the fabric of human society apart in the future.  And, how is the present looking?

A long, exhausting and nationally divisive campaign for the leadership of our country is at last over.

Now, what?

As one commentator said within minutes of President Barack Obama being declared the winner:  "We've reached the end of a six billion dollar campaign which changed absolutely nothing."  Essentially true.  The incumbent president is still in office and Congress is still divided.  In all probability, the Republicans will continue, to the best of their ability to logjam the political process, preventing our now twice-elected head of state from governing in any substantive way.  The people have grown weary of political gridlock and so the GOP has promised bipartisanship, but let's face it:  Both the GOP's choice of a candidate, and the sharp split in the popular vote starkly illustrate that the differences between the two parties are just the focal point of a cultural divide for which, in essence, there is no compromise.  As a nation, then, are we like a dysfunctional family, a house divided against itself? this national divide merely a developmental stage, the growing pains of a rapidly evolving and maturing society?

Seeing the polling results playing out on screen, stark blocks of red and blue filling out the map as the hours dragged by toward election's end, it was almost like watching a re-enactment of the civil war, red states and blue defining the geo-cultural divisions of these supposedly united states.  Predictably, the red states, mostly the "bible belt" lands south of the Mason-Dixon went for Romney, while the more "ivy-leauge" northern states went for Obama.  As commentators tallied the votes along class, ethnic and gender lines, it was clear what this race was really about on so many levels, and it wasn't the economy.  As the number of female senators elected was hailed by progressives as a victory and the Hispanic vote going solidly to Obama seemed to illustrate the growing alienation between the GOP and the Hispanic populations in general, the much-touted Republican claim that gender and ethnic issues would be eclipsed by what they call "common-sense" economic concerns was shattered.  Mitt Romney was a candidate for the white, hetero male boys' club that is the face of corporate America.  The only message he or the GOP had to offer was that corporate types have the know-how to fix the economy.  (Conveniently ignoring the fact that they're the ones who broke it to begin with.)  But clearly, loss of hope wasn't enough to swing the people decisively their way.  And, the GOP simply can't make peace with the disenfranchised voting blocks of this country...Hispanics threatened with "self-deportation," women threatened with loss of reproductive freedom and all hope of economic equality, senior citizens threatened with loss of critically needed medical services.  To do so would destroy the core values that define the GOP in our times:  The concept of "traditional" and "normal" America.

What does that mean today?    The party that claims to stand for "traditional values" is having a hard enough time just defining itself.  What is the GOP today?  The party of big business?  The party of thinly-disguised racist yahoos who take to the streets in 18th century rebel costumes instead of white sheets and hoods?  Or, are they simply the childish, stubborn party of "whatever Obama wants, we say "NO"?  One thing's clear:  There's no question where their money comes from...Wall Street.  Big business.  Coal and Oil.  And, that's the kind of power that argues against compromise, the kind of money that may encourage them to just dig in and hold the line and try their damnedest to prevent the economy from recovering for another four years.

So, can anything really change?  Yes.  Because, as history shows, the "traditionalists" (people who simply don't what to give up their own comfortable position in order to let the unjustly disenfranchised work toward their fair share) have the power to slow progress to a crawl, but not to stop it forever.  This election may have demonstrated that America is sharply divided, but also that the face of America is changing.  For the first time, white males are in the minority in the U.S.  For the first time, voters in state elections have affirmed the human rights of our gay and lesbian citizens.  State ballot questions have challenged the "personhood" of corporations.  It's the changing face of America that gave, not simply Obama, but the concept of hope itself a second term in office.

Some have suggested it was really Hurricane Sandy that pulled the election out for Obama.  There may be a grain of truth in that.  But, maybe not just because the voters saw President Obama in the trenches in the disaster zones looking like a commander-in-chief.  Maybe not even because it's so easy to picture a President Mitt Romney triaging rescue efforts in a future super-storm, air-lifting the Wall Street tycoons out of a flooded Manhattan while leaving the workers to drown.  (That's free enterprise, right?)  Maybe...just maybe...the disaster of New York has finally shaken the public out of it's denial about the ultimate consequence of corporate greed, fossil fuels and pollution:  global climate change.  You can only live in denial until your house washes away.  Mayor Bloomberg conceded the reality of climate change.  Meteorologists are warning of the growing threat of super-storms.  Urban planners are even beginning to re-design coastal cities to weather what may be coming our way.

Yes, it's a changing world, a changing American demographic and a changing American mindset.  Divided we are, but perhaps not forever.  As the tide rises, the old edifices of fear and intolerance that have kept the greedy elite in power for so long may finally be starting to erode.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ghosts of Armageddon...

"Meeting" is a story of fractured reality, of impending apocalypse and time askew.  The protagonist finds himself facing two conflicting versions of what is real.  Each seems to be trying to pull him in, to recruit him to its particular cause, and he doesn't know which way to turn or what to believe.

Sound familiar?  It should.  Fitting that election time should coincide closely with the season of All Hallows Eve; a time of masks and illusions when different realities touch.

Each candidate is like a magician practicing the art of misdirection, trying to make his audience look in the right places at the right times to serve the version of reality he's trying to create.  Mitt Romney, for example, is quite the conjurer.  Like a character in science fiction, he presents many alternate versions of the past, many alternate versions of himself.  He's like a temporal shapeshifter who alters the past to suit his own present.  He also "evolves" very quickly, as malleable as smoke in the shifting wind.  (Some of us who hail from the state of Massachusetts can remember a time when he was pro-choice.  Is he now?  I've lost track.)

In the end, it's the audience that really chooses which reality to believe in.  Most people tend to believe in whichever reality makes them happy.  The magician uses that to misdirect us, as we misdirect ourselves.  The ultimate misdirection...the absurd, almost comical 900-lb gorilla in the that everyone has their eyes on the magic show even as an unwelcome visitor named Sandy makes her frightful appearance, leaving a trail of destruction up the east coast.

New York subways flooded.  Desolation and carnage.  A specter of Armageddon?  A glimpse of a future we'd rather not acknowledge?  Neither candidate is willing to discuss or even acknowledge the reality of pollution accelerating global climate change, or the heat waves, firestorms, droughts, floods and super-storms it spawns.  They used to acknowledge it (even Romney.)  But, political pressure movements have used their own illusions to twist public opinion and magically make the spines of political candidates disappear.  To acknowledge the increasingly obvious reality of climate change has become political suicide.  Now, that's the greatest trick of misdirection imaginable; to make half the public disbelieve what their own eyes tell them, even as their homes wash away in this week's flood.

The public expects each president to be a magician, a wizard who can wave a magic wand and bring us jobs and prosperity overnight.  When each president fails to do so, the public embraces the illusions of the next contender in hopes his magic will prove real.  And, even as the one indisputable reality screams outside our windows like a wailing banshee and rips through our walls like a marauding ogre, we still see only what we wish to see.

We believe in the omnipotence of presidents because we can control that reality with our voting ballots.  We refuse to believe in global warming because we fear we can't control it.  But, that's another illusion.  The truth is, we can.  We created it.  We can reduce it, at least to some extent.  Trouble is, it won't be as easy as voting.  It would entail major changes in the way we live, work, drive, etc.  That's why we choke on that reality.  We've just become addicted to easy answers and instant gratification.  Like bags of Halloween candy.  And, that's what shapes our perception of reality.

Eventually, we all have to grow up and stop believing in illusion.  The question is whether we have enough time left.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Susan H. Roddey - Halloween Bash

Fans of horror, sci-fi and all things bizarre --

Susan H. Roddey is hosting a number of fine authors at her blog:

A Haunted Head
Strange Tales From the Darkest Reaches of a Twisted Mind

Stop on by, and add an artful touch of horror and otherwordly adventure to your October!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Selah Janel - Horror Blog

 Fans of bone-chilling Horror...

Check out Selah Janel's blog:

As she spotlights Mocha Memoirs' Dark Mocha Bites series with haunting tales of madness, mystery and terror, delivered with her own dark insight.

'Like a touch of the macabre in this dark October month?  'Wish to follow the inexplicable warping of nightmare and reality intermingled?  Everything from creatures of the night to Jack the Ripper and cosmic horrors unimaginable await!

Stop on bye...and pleasant dreams!

Monday, October 8, 2012


Happy October, Horror Fans...

My latest short horror story "Hellshift", along with other chilling tales of the macabre by other fine writers, is now on sale at Mocha Memoirs Press:

             Preston Chandler is a lonely, overworked corporate office drone on the worst assignment of his life.  In the dark future world of Preston's time, low-level clerks like himself must serve a 1-year shift on a corporate mining colony on a hellish alien planet whose indigenous population has been wiped out by nuclear genocide.
He isn't safe even in his corporate offices, as dismembered human bodies begin turning up.  Preston fears he is losing his mind.  He desperately wants to return to Earth, but is trapped in an escalating nightmare.  Computerized psych-evaluation technology probes his mind with dehumanizing invasiveness.
Preston finally completes his assignment and is looking forward to returning home to Earth at last.  But will his Hellshift ever end?

The thing outside shrieked and howled, throwing its lengthy bulk against the side of the train.  The car rattled and shook.  He gasped, his blood running like ice water through his veins.  He saw it, moving with a hideous rapidity, crawling across the windows, its many clawed extensions wriggling and scraping across the glass like a gigantic centipede.  Preston heard it…felt it as it clambered onto the roof.  He screamed as it began tearing its way through, curved claws bending back the metal, long lashing tentacles snaking their way down in the flickering electric light.

Come share October with us at the Dark Mocha Bites series...If you dare.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Elections, Energy, and the Environment

Those of us concerned with the progress of industrial pollution fueling climate change weren’t too thrilled by the dead silence on the issue from both Governor Romney (no surprise there) and President Obama (yeah, he’s disappointed a lot of people) during the first presidential debate.  But, that’s not to say there’s no difference between the two candidates on that issue.  Or, that the outcome of the presidential election won’t have lasting repercussions for the future of the environment (if it has one.)

Last evening, I attended a debate at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium between hand-picked spokesmen for each candidate specifically on the issue of our national energy policy.  Professor Joseph Aldy, an academic scholar and expert on energy policy and global warming ( stated the case for the Obama administration, while Mr. Orren Cass, Domestic Policy Director for the Romney campaign (
presented the opposing view.  Few surprises on either side.  Some disappointment.  But, the clear contrast between two approaches to our country’s (and the world’s) energy strategy came through loud and clear.

The smell of politics was in the air, even at a college lecture hall (maybe, especially so.)  JOBS, JOBS, JOBS ran through the text of both speakers.  Aldy’s opening statement echoed Obama’s “All of the Above” approach to energy policy, which stressed clean tech like wind and solar (and, the more controversial bio-fuel approach) but left coal and oil on the table.  (Something that’s irked the environmentally conscious, and with good reason, given the warnings of scientists about the escalating danger of CO2 emissions.)

Cass’s opening statement stressed a vision of achieving America’s energy independence through privately funded, market-driven technological innovation in tapping fossil fuel sources domestically.  (In summation:  DRILL, BABY, DRILL.)  Cass also slipped in a claim that such free-market energy frontiersmanship would help to economically support the middle-class (presumably excluding that bothersome 47% of hangers-on.)

In answering questions about what investments each candidate would make toward energy research and development, the Obama side presented a vision of government/private sector cooperation in driving technological innovation, mainly in clean tech, citing the successes of wind power in energy production.  Naturally, the Romney side challenged the statistical figures supporting this.  (Politicians during a campaign are always like sci-fi writers; they create their own self-serving realities.  We try to depend on fact checkers to keep them honest, but with only limited success.  If only matters of scientific debate were left exclusively to scientists!)  Mainly though, Mr. Cass rejected the whole concept of the government “picking winners” by subsidizing selected industries, preferring to put his faith in the blind fortunes of the market place (an odd position from the Republican Party, which has been giving obscenely generous subsidies to the coal and oil industries – in exchange for campaign contributions, of course – for some time.)

From there, the back-and-forth for the most part illustrated the characteristics of both parties we’ve all come to expect, the Obama side compromising (some would say back-pedaling) trying to please everybody with emphasis on domestic oil and natural gas production in addition to renewables, and the Republican side condemning government bureaucracy and excessive regulation, condemning Obama for not drilling enough and trumpeting state-centered free-market approaches to every problem.  GOP in brief:  States Good.  Federal Government Bad.  (Makes you wonder why we bothered with the civil war.)

On the question of whether we should turn Arctic wildlife refuges into Texas oil fields, Mr. Cass was all for it.  “No reason not to.”  (If there’s a hell waiting for these guys, you can be sure it’s filled with polar bears.)  Professor Aldy spoke up for the environment a little, but encouraged other drilling efforts in the Arctic ocean.  (Doesn’t do the polar bears much good if we kill all the fish, though.)

The most striking and heated moment of the  evening (which I think best sums up the real difference between the two sides fighting over our future) came when the previously polite and diplomatic Professor Aldy quite passionately gave vent to his disgust with the Romney side’s opposition to mercury emission standards and the Clean Air Act, dramatically citing  a five-year-old in hospital with mercury poisoning or an elderly person hospitalized with life-threatening respiratory problems because the corporate bottom line took precedent over regard for life.  Mr. Cass of course poo-poo’ed this as propaganda for more government abuse of regulations.

Yes, the Republican approach to energy policy (toward life itself, really) is of course geared toward that 1% that clawed its way to the top of the food chain by being cunning, ruthless and not stopping or slowing to look back at all the little folks they trample on their way to the top.  Or, looking forward to the future generations that will have to inherit the consequences of the damage they do today.  (One envisions a polluted future in which the Earth’s surface in uninhabitable and only the rich can afford to live in air-filtered, sun-shaded domes.  “Breathing is a privilege you earn, you whining twits!  Wanna breathe fresh air?  Get rich!”)  That sentiment always manifests in an uncompromising contempt for government (now, that makes you wonder why we bothered with the revolution) and blind trust in the ability of unbridled individual endeavor to solve every problem (makes you wonder why we even bother to have laws.)  Throughout the debate, Mr. Cass scoffed at the idea of the government having anything at all to do with establishing standards for energy efficiency, in the design of cars or anything else.  “If people could save money on their cars, they’d be doing it already.”  (The notorious American tendency to go for big gas-guzzling autos suggests otherwise.)

So, there you have it.  Lately, I’ve heard a lot of self-declared environmentalists threatening to vote for the un-electable green candidate Jill Stein unless Obama mans up and leads the charge against CO2 emissions, sword held high, rainbow banner flying.  Get real.  In this world, we more often get stuck with the lesser of two evils.  As far as tactics go, it ‘ain’t like it is in the movies with the Rebel Alliance going head-to-head with the Evil Empire.  Obama may have fallen short, but he’s still pushing in the right overall direction.  At least, he’s not driving full ahead over an ecological precipice as the other side surely would.  And, childish protest votes in a close race will just win the election for Romney.

There is simply no comparison.  Either you want to entrust the nation’s future to a sane and reasonable (if flawed) party that actually cares about people, or to one that lives for the rich, lives in the moment, creates its own reality and believes (in defiance of all evidence to the contrary) that the Earth can heal itself and the free market can heal all (just as they apparently believe the female reproductive system can handle those exceedingly rare “legitimate” rapes.)

Your choice, folks:  Live in the moment, or live for the future.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous

Fans of bone-chilling horror...

Do not miss out on Fading Light-- Tim Marquitz's latest horror anthology from Angelic Knight Press.

The sun has failed...and the horrors of Man's darkest nightmares have risen to re-claim the earth...

Read reviews at:

Rebecca Minto reviews "Venus Loop"

Science Fiction Fans --

Read Rebecca Minto's review of my Sci-Fi adventure novella "Venus Loop":

Monday, July 30, 2012

Guest Blogging at S.J. Drum

I'm guest blogging at author S.J. Drum's extraordinary blog.  Come join in the fun!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Digging a Comfortable Grave

Hot enough for ya?  'Should be, with record-breaking heat waves crossing the country.  All this in the wake of still more wild fires devastating lands and lives, heavy rains and floods disrupting and destroying still more communities, and tornadoes making their deadly presence felt.  Crops are withering in the heat, and we're told sea life may be in danger due to ocean warming and acidification.  All of which may add up to soaring food prices.  No surprise, really; climatologists predicted all these things would come to pass decades ago, due in large part to industrial pollution contributing to global warming.

As the problem grows increasingly harder to ignore, the news media are beginning--just beginning, at long last--to address these trends.  But perhaps too little, too late.  Over the soothing hum of their air conditioners, the public continues to live in the sweet land of denial.  As with so many other issues in the U.S., science tends to take a back seat to politics.  Denying the manifest reality of climate change has become an ideological creed in itself.

 But, it's not just social and economic conservatives who choose to ignore the mounting scientific and daily evidence.  People who call themselves progressive are living in denial land as well.  I recently attended a training session for people who wanted to canvass for progressive political candidates.  When discussing critical issues to address with voters, these aspiring activists shied away from addressing climate change, saying the "science was unsettled."  When will it be settled?  When the death toll from heat exhaustion reaches national emergency levels?  When New York City ends up like New Orleans?

Curious.  Skepticism is one thing.  But, why would so many people refuse even to consider the possibility that 97% of the world's climatologists might just possibly be right and that the melting glaciers, rising sea levels, storms and droughts wreaking havoc across the globe might be more than mere coincidence?  After all...none of us go through life expecting to fall down an elevator shaft or get run over by a drunk driver, but we still take out life insurance, because it's the sensible thing to do.  We want those we leave behind to be provided for if the worst should happen.  We care about our kids because they are the future; our bloodlines reaching beyond our lifetimes.  So, most normal people have always worked hard and taken the necessary precautions, even against the remotest of threats, so that our children will have better lives than they did.  But now, it seems, we don't care enough to consider what kind of world the next generation will inherit.

Maybe people feel the problem is just too big to take on, so they dig themselves a comfortable grave and lie in it, leaving the next generation to fend for itself.  We've stopped thinking about the future.  We've stopped caring about tomorrow, it seems, as we march like lemmings into the rising sea.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dusty Pages - Interview

Vampire Fans --

Sonnet O'Dell interviews me tonight on her fine blog Dusty Pages -- Regarding my vampire novelette "Desert Flower" (now available at Eternal Press and

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Vampire Review

Fans of night-stalking vampire horror...
Check out my guest blog at Tami Jackson's Vampire Review:

And, check out my vampire fiction at

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mocha Memoirs -- Hot, steamy fiction!

Mocha Memoirs, publisher of unusual and quality science fiction and fantasy, is celebrating its 2-year anniversary with 31 days of steamy romantic and erotic fiction!  (Pass the ice water!)

Short stories by the MM authors will be on sale at the Mocha Memoirs site for $1.00 apiece! The first story in the series is already up !

My short story "Along Came a Spider" will be up July 5th!

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

SF novel: Dissent -- At Phase 5 Publishing


The latest installment of my science fiction novel "Dissent" - Book I in the Nexus series -- is now available at Phase 5 Monthly Review.

Picture an all-female galactic society of the distant future…
future worlds of beautiful floating cities and graceful winged femes, orbiting space colonies and underwater cities…
Two women from two estranged worlds…
Their passionate, forbidden love takes them on a long and perilous journey through interstellar war, power politics, and a desperate effort to save an ecologically dying planet…

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Spotlight on Suburban Vampire

Fans of vampire fiction...

My latest vampire novelette Desert Flower is now being spotlighted on Suburban Vampire:

--A great blog for lovers of the denizens of the night!  Stop on by and join the discussion!

“Desert Flower” is available at:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New Science Fiction - LONG HAUL

Fans of Science Fiction action/adventure --

Check out this off-beat sci-fi action thriller from Mocha Memoirs Press:


In the near future, physicists have stumbled on a way to channel dark energy, making it possible to instantaneously travel anywhere in the world by passing through parallel universes as they intersect with our continuum at given points in time and space. Daredevil truck drivers like the protagonist, Garth Jenkins and his trucking partner Sally Drake, earn hazardous duty pay by trucking cargo through perilous alternate universes often infested with deadly alien predators. Garth and Sally are offered a mysterious and possibly illegal contract to deliver some unknown cargo to unknown buyers in another universe. En route to the transdimensional drop-off point, their truck is hijacked by Keira Takahashi, a beautiful and radical young college student who claims they are carrying a nuclear device and are being used by evil alien forces intent on destroying another universe. At first, Garth and Sally dismiss the young woman’s story as madness, until hostile aliens in undead human bodies make an attempt on her life. Finding themselves on the run and not knowing whom they can trust, Garth and Sally embark on a crooked road through dangerous alien universes and remote time periods, with the fate of a cosmos at stake!

Picture trucking action like Canonball Run and Convoy on a COSMIC scale!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Creeping Reality -- Climate Change

Buy Links:


"Venus Loop" is a science fiction novella depicting how climate change spawned by industrial pollution destroyed a civilization on the planet Venus long ago.  Such sci-fi visions of ecological catastrophe are nothing new, of course.  Percival Lowell's vision of the planet Mars as a dying world ravaged by drought and rung by irrigation canals inspired a generation of science fiction writers, such as Edgar Rice Burroughs.

But, as it so often does, reality seems to be catching up with science fiction. As real-life climate change continues to intensify right here on Earth, the state of Texas is facing record-breaking stretches of scorching temperatures.  (And, its not even summer, yet!)  In addition to the disastrous wildfires Texas has suffered, this heat wave is also causing devastating drought.  Water shortages in the Lonestar state are forcing its people to drastically re-examine their water use and conservation policies.  In an eerie shade of Lowell and Burroughs, the town of Robert Lee, TX is now building a 12-mile water pipeline to convey water from the neighboring town of Bronte.  See story:

Will massive trans-continental canals such as Lowell imagined on Mars one day become the new reality on Earth?Even now, water shortages in Texas are beginning to spawn disputes between the farmers, residents and tourists in the state.  It's not hard to envision a whole new kind of Texan range war over water rights in the not-too-distant future.

The Public Broadcasting System (PBS) has recently been covering the widespread effects of climate change, (see above links) including rising sea levels which threaten coastal habitation in several countries, including the United States.  Such coverage is a good sign, since the American news media have been remiss in covering this vital issue.  Despite such ecological disasters, and the consistent warnings of the world's leading climatologists, the American public remains widely skeptical about climate change, choosing to believe in the pseudo-scientific (and completely unsupported) fantasy that climate change is nothing more than a naturally recurring cycle that will run its course as it supposedly has in the past.  The public did briefly grasp the enormity of the climate change emergency, but that was before the economy tanked, leaving people more concerned with the immediate problem of how to find jobs, than with the larger concern of what kind of world their children might inherit.  Now, with fuel prices rising, dire circumstances like those in Texas hitting home, and public disfavor toward corporate America still simmering, perhaps the public will finally begin to support common-sense legislation that would reduce carbon output by taxing companies that pollute and giving the money back to the energy consumers, and by financially rewarding companies that advance non-polluting forms of alternative energy.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Vampire Fiction - Desert Flower of vampire fiction and creatures of the night...

Check out "Desert Flower," my latest vampire novelette from Eternal Press:

A lost dream, a desperate hope...lost innocence, and a horror black as night.

A young girl's innocence is ripped from her when she is turned against her will into a vampire. Hunted and alone, Fleurette longs for escape from her hellish existence of eternal night,blood-letting and carnage.

In war-torn Afghanistan, another young girl, Ruhee has been cast into another kind of dark bondage as a child bride. Raped, tormented and suffering, she longs for escape. These two lost souls find a strange but pure form of sisterly love together as they survive side-by-side in a world gone mad. Ruhee must grow up amid war and turmoil.

As if American predator drones and the deadly raids of the Taliban were not bad enough, she must keep her "sister"'s dark secret, while merciless vampire hunters lurk in the shadows.

When Ruhee comes of age and finds an unlikely but pure love with a brave but deeply troubled_young Taliban soldier named Batal, Ruhee finds herself trapped between light and darkness. Her heart is torn in two, and she must make an impossible choice between love and immortality, as her young life teeters on the brink of hell.


Fleurette started, her head snapping up from the throat of the mountain bandit she’d just killed, his blood still warm as it dripped from her lips. She sensed something riding on the cold desert wind. A lonely spirit, reaching out in pain and longing. Not like a roaming ghost, but alive. And, close. An innocence that touched her heart, pure as a flower growing alone in the desert. The moonlight washed silver across the sand and the rocks. The shadow of the lonely soul in pain reached out, beckoning from the village nearby. Inviting her. She spread herself upon the night wind and followed…

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Great Buys at

Fans of Science Fiction and Paranormal Fiction:  Check out these great buys:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Cheaper Way to Save the Planet

Venus Loop (now available at Lillibridge Press: is a science fiction novella which tells the hypothetical tale of how a civilization on the planet Venus destroyed itself through industrial pollution resulting in global warming.  If present alarming trends in carbon emissions here on Earth are not curtailed soon, a similar fate may loom ahead for us in the real world.  Recent violent tornadoes sweeping a path of devastation across the southern United States are but the latest in a series of record-breaking storms, floods and droughts that are the harbingers of an escalating climate change disaster that has already changed our world and could someday destroy it.

Recent United Nations reports indicate industrial carbon emissions are at an all-time high.  But, many people still wonder what any of us can do to take on such a vast and far-reaching problem.  Well, there might be a surprisingly simple way to start:  Tax the use of fossil fuels.

 Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA) has introduced the Save Our Climate Act (H.R. 3242.)This legislation would levy a carbon tax on fossil fuels.  See:

Congressman Stark is to be congratulated for taking so bold and direct an approach to so critical a problem.  

The controversial cap-and-trade approach to reducing carbon emissions has been only moderately successful in Europe and is essentially at the mercy of market volatility.  But, a direct tax on fossil fuels which would cut money out of the profits of big coal and oil companies and give them back to the American energy consumers for a change, is a far simpler, more direct and more reliable way to push our economy toward clean energy development and away from our dangerous and costly dependence on foreign oil.  If implemented, the Save Our Climate Act would, over the course of decades, reduce our country's carbon emissions dramatically, stabilizing our climate and environment with no harm to our economy.  The revenue resulting from such a tax would be enormous.  And, it  would be paid in a dividend to individual consumers, helping them to meet increased fuel and energy prices.  In short, the rich would get poorer and the poor richer for once, we wouldn't have to keep wasting precious lives and resources on wars over middle-eastern oil, and the ecological future of this planet would be secured for future generations.

Clean, renewable energy is definitely the future of this planet.  Studies have shown that wind-driven energy alone generates far more jobs than the coal-fired plants that dominate so much of our energy market now.  Mainland China is rapidly innovating toward the development of clean, renewable energy sources.  At this rate, China could become a global leader in the energy production of the future.  If the U.S. is not to be left behind in the dangerously antiquated world of fossil fuels, then let us revive the spirit of American competition through ingenuity and scientific innovation by gearing our economy toward safer, cleaner forms of lasting energy.  The technology is already largely within reach. If new technologies need to be developed, so much the better; America is at its best and employs the most people when we forge ahead into new realms of technological innovation.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Venus Loop at Lillibridge

Hey, Science Fiction fans --

Care to visit the planet Venus in a time period 400 million years ago?

A world of bizarre intelligent life forms, alien civilizations,  telepaths, time travel and robots?

Check out my latest SF novella Venus Loop, now available at Lillibridge Press:

Lillibridge Press, for excellent and unusual reading matter -- Science Fiction and far more!