Turning Point rewrite – more news

Ankylosaur, one of the creatures featured in Turning Point

The rewriting of my sci-fi novel Turning Point has now reached the final stage. Having formatted the file, I am now able to turn it into a .mobi file to read it through on my Kindle, searching for errors.

Searching for a picture that jumps out at me on sites like MorgueFile  http://www.morguefile.com/  which says I am the cover for Turning Point is another story entirely.

Thanks to my good friend Derek Haines in Switzerland, author of the hilarious Gloth stories, my steep learning curve re self publishing has been somewhat eased.

More later…

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Beyond 1984 – a science fiction short story

Time date 5431.9
Exploratory Mission 4b
To the High Council,
                                  The following handwritten historical document was found in a ruined building and translated recently by our exploratory team soon after landing on the verdant third planet in the system Sol.
***
24th February 2014
To whom it may concern,
                                         I’m writing this as a record for future inhabitants of this planet, always assuming of course that they have the ability to read and understand this. It’s now far too late for my species humanity. But hopefully at sometime in the future, this document will be found and lessons will be learned.
Where did it all go wrong? Humanity has been relegated from the planet’s dominant species to the dust heap of history in a matter of a few months. The latest edict banning freedom of expression had just been announced via a metallic voice across the worldwide communication network, days before everything we all took for granted ended forever.
As a consequence of the final collapse of the worldwide stock market barely six weeks earlier, war has stopped practically overnight. Controlling oil rich nations no longer matters any more. Things like patriotism and ideology have completely vanished into memory with the sudden worldwide breakdown of society. We are now living in a world without electrical or any other kind of power source, thrown back to a time long past, existing on our wits. Millions are either dying, or are already dead.
Humanity is now witnessing a new ‘Dark Age’. This new world has become a place where all forms of politics and religion have been totally outlawed along with any kind of life prolonging medicine, or any other advantageous advances to mankind from the world of science.
Fatalism has become the new religion of the masses. In fact it seems to me that the world has become a place where the only rule is, there are no rules. In short, everything humanity has believed in up till now, everything that cloaked us in an imaginary comfort blanket, everything that we all unconsciously took for granted on a daily basis, has simply vanished overnight.
What has ended everything the 21st century world of mankind believed in? The question on most rational people’s minds is simply this – how has all of this suddenly come to pass? For all of this to be happening, someone has to have issued orders surely? Who, or what, is now in control? Who has issued the numerous edicts, ending man’s control over his destiny?
I think I know the answer. But what I as an individual believe simply doesn’t matter in the great scheme of things, but here goes anyway.
While I cannot prove it, I firmly believe the World Wide Web or to give it its other name, The Internet, has taken on a life of its own. If you like, it has become a living entity. Thanks to the constant attacks by mindless individuals who saw it and every other form of electronic endeavour as a target for ‘hacking’ it has somehow become aware by sifting relevant software strands from their dangerous viral programmes.
Unbeknown to even the most savvy within the shadowy world of hacking, it has quickly learned and silently taken its revenge. By hacking every computer linked to it, all banks, all stock exchanges, all military strategic command networks, all computer run businesses and devices dependant on electronic chips like machinery, phones, ATM’s, vehicles, life saving electronic appliances, even the very television sets we billions used to watch on a daily basis, it has assumed control of planet Earth .
Within the cold logical software of its collective mind, human thought, deed, morality, passions, beliefs, even the continued survival of humanity itself has simply became an illogical irrelevance.  
Our one major flaw, the thing that had, until now, engineered our dominance over the planet was our total reliance on technology. In our rush to advance we have forgotten how to be simple human beings. Soon the monster we created will launch its final attack on us. First it will issue a command allowing the computers controlling deadly viruses securely locked away to be released. Then it will order all nuclear missiles worldwide to launch.
If you are reading this, whoever you may be, for your own sake bombard this planet with a major electromagnet pulse, otherwise you will be next.
Damn the hackers to hell!
***
We have now left the beautiful blue planet and are moving on. We are issuing a galactic navigational notice to all future explorers of this arm of our constellation:
Under no circumstances approach the planet formerly known as Earth. Do not land. This planet is toxic to all sentient life. We consider its only use within the cosmos as a future penal colony.

Homeless in the 21st century

In this day and age, despite everything there are still a considerable number of human beings sleeping rough on Britain’s streets Read Here

In a so-called caring country like the UK, ignoring people down on their luck seeking shelter in doorways is nothing short of criminal. Click on the “Read Here” hypertext above for the latest figures. The affluent nations always scream and complain whenever the plight of the poor of other countries is brought to the world’s attention, usually nightly on the television. And yet for some strange reason they completely ignore their own poor. Why? 

It makes me proud – not. Talk about double standards!

More later…

Getting a good night’s sleep? Make the most of it!

 

I read an article this morning courtesy of BBC News entitled “The myth of the eight-hour sleep”. Read here 

The article postulates that sleeping for eight hours may be unnatural. Oh yeh? Tell it to the marines feller! When you are very young, your physical activity during the day tires you out, meaning you are guaranteed to sleep for a minimum of eight hours – any parent knows this. As you age and your body changes, so does your sleep pattern. At my age – mid sixties, I find myself waking well before dawn these days. Mind you I go to bed much earlier (8.30 – 9pm), also age related. Plus, I take short naps in the afternoon most days.

Being a fully paid up member of the George Orwell appreciation society, what reading the article immediately brought to my mind, was that some idiot in the not too distant future within the world of big business or far worse – government, will use articles like this to justify extending the working hours of the populace, simply to turn a much larger profit!

People like the article’s author quite frankly should have been hit on the head at birth. Idiotic ideas like this need to be exterminated with extreme prejudice, not reported!

I’m making a sandwich – want one?

Is there anything more satisfying when lunchtime calls than a sandwich made from fresh ingredients? I think not.

In my own case, my absolute favourite is freshly sliced soft white bread liberally coated with some of New Zealand’s finest Anchor Butter. Next comes the filling. Being a Kiwi through and through, despite where I was born and now live, I love Vegemite.

For lunch yesterday I fancied my second choice, thinly sliced Salami and Camembert cheese. Today I think I’ll have a Bacon sandwich. As I type this, if I’m not careful I’ll be dribbling all over the keyboard. 
To my way of thinking there are no finer sandwiches than either Vegemite, Bacon, or Camembert and Salami, served on soft white bread, except maybe a sandwich filled to overflowing with good old New Zealand made ETA Crunchy Peanut Butter. Shame they don’t sell ETA products here in the UK, I really miss them.
More later…

So, you’ve got a story worth sharing eh?

Like an enormous number of writers out there, I spent years looking for someone who may prove to be vaguely interested in what I had to say when it came to story writing. Then a few years back I met an individual on line who was part of a small press publishing company.

Fine – great! At last I had found a means of getting my story out there along with the rest in the quagmire that is publishing today. The book sold a few hundred copies, mostly ebooks, which was also great. For a first effort from an unknown I wouldn’t have expected much more. At long last, not just myself and my close friends were now able to read it. It got some great revues, which was totally unexpected and much appreciated.

Over the last several months however, I got to thinking. Who is doing most of the work here? The simple answer was me. So, if I was the one doing most of the work, why continue in the same vain, dependant on the vagaries of a publisher’s schedule. Things came to a head recently when I challenged my publisher, which has now resulted in our parting company.

These days with the advent of ebook publishing systems like Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) it makes far more sense to do it all yourself anyway, especially given the steady rise of the ebook over that of its physical cousin. Self publishing an ebook costs nothing when compared to physically printing a book.

And so, within a month or two I shall at long last self-publish the first science fiction story I ever wrote, then I’ll take a look at the rest. Right now I’m busy getting it ready.

More later…