Because I still can’t get motivated to write, and, as I’m re-reading H.G Wells’ War of the Worlds, hoping to become inspired, I’ve got this music from the best ever version of the story ever made playing in the background. 😉
Because I still can’t get motivated to write, and, as I’m re-reading H.G Wells’ War of the Worlds, hoping to become inspired, I’ve got this music from the best ever version of the story ever made playing in the background. 😉
Damn right! But not according to the movie and television industries.
With two exceptions – 2001 and 2010 A Space Odyssey – every other science fiction film or television series that has come out of America simply defies credulity. The fact that the films in question didn’t become just another pair of highly fanciful and therefore totally nonsensicle entertainments, is all down to Stanley Kubrick’s deep respect for Arthur C. Clark. After all, Arthur wrote the book on which the films are based, as well as co-writing the scripts with Stanley.
Like Arthur, I am a traditionalist. By that I mean that as a science fiction writer, every story I write has to be based in reality. Blame my father for introducing me to him and two other top science fiction writers of the twentieth century, Isaac Asimov and John Wyndham, at a young age. All three authors took great pains to make sure that their stories were believable, based on their scientific backgrounds.
While I’m no scientist, I did work in the School of Science at the University of Waikato in New Zealand for a quarter of a century, rubbing shoulders with chemists, physicists, biologists, earth scientists and many fine artisans like tool and die makers, glassblowers, photographers, cartographers etc, etc. So in my own small way, I try to adopt the same approach to writing science fiction that Arthur, Isaac and John took. It’s called research, and getting your facts straight if you were wondering…
Click on the cover to go to The Guardian on Amazon.com
Take the above scifi novella as an example of what I’m talking about. There are no weird and wonderful creatures to be found anywhere in its pages. Only believable characters. As for how they get to and from the Earth, there are no starships as in Star Trek. Only totally feasable computer controlled solar wind powered cargo transporters. The same can be said for the weapons they use. Each one actually exists in the US military today, even though at the time of writing The Guardian they were still in development. Even the two alien females and the guardian itself are totally believable. If you want to get a sense of what I’m on about, maybe you should get your own copy and read it for yourselves.
I seriously doubt The Guardian will ever make it to the plasma or silver screen. Why? just take a look at what is considered to be watchable science fiction these days. It seems to me that every so-called scifi film, and television series made on either side of the pond, is aimed at a collective audience with the combined mental age of a bunch of retarded slugs!!!
I wrote another totally believable Science Fiction tale a couple of years ago. Click on the cover below to go to it on Amazon.com.
Evelyn Waugh – Born October 28, 1903. Died April 10, 1966
I was listening to an old radio interview with the English writer Evelyn Waugh a couple of nights back on BBC Radio 4 extra, first recorded in the nineteen fifties. He is probably best known for the iconic television series Brideshead Revisited. Towards the end of the interview he was asked if writing got any easier as he grew older. I thoroughly agreed with him when he said, “No. The older I get, the harder it is to write.”
While I’m no Eveylyn Waugh by any stretch of the imagination, the older I get the more I go through the same thing he did. Does it mean I’ve come to a grinding halt? No. Perhaps I have run out of ideas? No. Maybe I’m bored with it? No. Could it be that I’m suffering from procrastination? No.
What it does mean however is that with eleven books of mine out there in reader-land for you to be getting on with, I am in no hurry to begin the twelfth. Like all other serious writers, I strive to improve with each new book. I used to write for between 8-12 hours per day. It may come as a surprise but writers don’t just write. Like you, we have a life. Daily word counts no longer matter to me the way they did twenty-two years ago. What does is the way I construct the words and their relevance to the story as a whole. Plus, unless I’m in the mood to write, it simply doesn’t happen.
With each chapter, each paragraph, each sentence I write, they no longer flow freely. Instead I spend a lot of time thinking about what I want to say. More importantly, how I want to go about it. The fact that I haven’t written another word apart from here on my blog since last year, is neither here nor there. When the mood takes me, I’ll get back to it. But not before.
With science fiction being my first love, I found and posted a quote from Ray Bradbury on my Face Book page a while ago. Here it is:
My sentiments exactly Ray. I couldn’t have said it better myself…
PS -here is a possible idea for another science fiction tale i’m considering at the moment. Whether or not I use it is yet to be decided!
It began with the assertions made by the world’s climatologists that man is responsible for climate change. It ended when mother nature proved them wrong…
…who read my science fiction space opera Onet’s Tale, the sequel to Turning Point, the science fiction story I wrote in 1995? Not many of you I suspect since after falling out with me, the publisher pulled it off the market!
A few days ago I was looking for some of my unused saved material for my fantasy anthology Goblin Tales, which I am currently re-working. In amongst everything stored in the sideboard I came across my original MS for the story in question under its original title – The Berserker Saga, saved on a CD. Before you ask, I wrote it while on a trip back to New Zealand in 2003. Needless to say I spent many months more than I intended back in Nzed while I wrote it. It all came to an abrupt halt when my then laptop objected to having coffee spilt all over it. Thank god for the CD!
After returning here to the UK it would be seven years before I was in the position to offer it for consideration to a publisher, let alone afford a replacement laptop. As it was, it was available on Amazon for barely six months back in 2010…
So, once I have finished re-working Goblin Tales, I’ll be tackling The Berserker Saga once again, minus all the nonsense the publisher insisted must be added, such as his curriculum vitae of the characters, just because he couldn’t remember who is who, plus his adding his and his then business partner’s names to the by line. The latter being the reason we fell out!!!
The more astute among you will have read it chapter by chapter already, since I published it here on my blog over many weeks last year. As its 102, 518 words in length on 196 A4 pages, which equates to a little over 324 pages for both the ebook and print versions, I fully expect it to occupy me for most of next year (2018).
In 2012, I published the very first book I ever wrote, back in 1995 – Turning Point. Out of it came my science fiction space opera Onet’s Tale. While TP was largely met with scorn and derision by the total connards of the US, not everyone hated it. Since the rules were changed by Amazon, no-one buys it any more. They merely wait until they can get their grubby paws on a free copy.
Once again last month I offered it for free. Guess what, it’s being read again. This time here in the UK! With 209 free copies taken this time round, and one copy actually bought, the number of pages read works out at 368. Divide that number by 168, the number of pages in the book, and you arrive at 2.19 books read. A pitiful amount I grant you. But at least two and a bit people are reading it…
Here are the UK reviews:
I have been brought up on the legend of Mu and Atlantis, the secrets of the Giza Pyramid, universes that exist and contain intelligent life, planetary travel etc. It was therefore easy to appreciate the breadth of vision of Turning Point, a fable and a science fiction novella by Jack Eason. The story is based on the legend that planet earth had been seeded by intelligent life from other planets and universes. So we have here an alien race of people known as the Drana, and a subordinate race they seeded known as the Khaz, to rule over our ancestors, and who still control our very existence by manipulating our governments (the cartel who call the shots on earth?).
We have here an explanation for ancient secrets like the electromagnetic grid which surround the earth, the reason for the pyramids, the seeding of the earth, the limited use of our minds capacity. We have here remnants of a peaceful people known as Nephile (Mu) who want to contain the Khaz and the secret designs of Drana to return to earth and form armies and slaves to conquer and colonize other planets. But they find that they are incapable of performing that task, without the supporting DNA of earthlings who have acclimatized themselves to the pollution and life on earth. This can only be accomplished by choosing earthlings who is more conducive to their needs (traces of Shambhala here).
Enter Tom, a man on a holiday in New Zealand, who does not know that he is being watched and manipulated, so that he finds the entrance to their homeland.
You will be enthralled by this story as I was, and appreciate the deeply researched book, the scientific mind of Jack and a possible explanation for the seeding of man on planet earth, and other scientific folklore.
I highly recommend Jack’s book, Turning Point. It will a turning point in your life, from the mumbo-jumbo that is today passed off as science fiction.
If you’re a classic sci-fi fan, you’ll love Jack Eason’s Turning Point. This prequel to his epic novel, Onet’s Tale (see my review here:[…]) tells the story of how alien life influenced Earth’s history and sparked a battle of universal proportions.
Reminiscent of Doyle’s “The Lost World”, the main character, Tom, stumbles onto a hidden realm in the heart of New Zealand. Within the prehistoric surroundings, lies a very advanced alien race, the Nephile. These angelic-like beings have hidden from their mortal enemies, the Drana and their cohorts, the sleazy little Khaz, who seek to enslave anyone they can. They enlist Tom to help with their mission to overcome the impending Drana invasion. The resulting struggles occur worldwide, resulting in a catastrophic war.
Along the way, Tom falls in love with a beautiful Nephile named Auset. This development, being the romance-a-holic I am, was my favorite part of the whole story. Their love and struggles here spawn the events that lead to Onet’s Tale.
The only things I would have liked more of were some deeper characterization and dialogue. Otherwise, it was easy to be swept away into this epic and deadly story. I recommend this, and Onet’s Tale, for any readers of classic sci-fi. Go grab a copy today!
Take one adventure story, give it a sci fi twist and add world war three. Mix in some answers to historical myths and legends and you have Turning Point. Take a journey with our hero Tom as he crosses the world rallying support to overthrow the evil aliens, you won’t regret it.
I highly recommend this book for all lovers of a good adventure story and if you like sci fi, you’ll find it realistic and entertaining.
In a world full of authors, it’s a delight to know there are still those few who can tell epic tales. Turning Point by Jack Eason fits this bill completely. Set in New Zealand, the tale unfolds of how a likeable young man,Tom, stumbles upon a secret that will change not only his life, but of all humanity. Starting with his discovery of the Nephiles, which then leads him to the dangers posed by the Drana and Khaz, he joins in the fight for survival.
It’s a tale on a grand cosmic scale and so well told, the characters leap from the page at you. A highly recommended read for those who love science fiction and classic adventure tales.
There was a time when mankind’s only means of exploring the Universe either meant sending unmanned probes to various locations across our solar system, or exploring beyond its borders using powerful telescopes parked in stationary orbit above the Earth, as well as the hundreds of observatories dotted across the planet. That all changed in the twenty-second century when fusion powered propulsion became a reality, along with a way of keeping a human being alive for the duration of any flight farther than the inner limits of our solar system.
The mission commander took one last look at the beautiful blue planet he and the crew called home as the ship prepared to leave Earth orbit. Now was the time for its crew to enter their stasis units. “If there are any problems at all Céleste, please don’t hesitate to wake me.”
“Understood David,” was the reply that echoed all around him.
Not only the ship but its small crew and the mission itself were in the care of the ship’s state of the art artificial intelligence. For the several decades it would take to achieve their goal, she was in complete control whenever the crew were held in stasis. Once she had ensured he and the rest of the human crew were in a safe state of suspended animation, she uploaded the complicated course with its numerous way points into the ship’s computer. Each waypoint must be reached in a specific order for them to ultimately arrive at the mission’s destination – the exoplanet designated Beaumont 61, located at the absolute outer extremity of the Orion Spur, the same spiral arm in which our own solar system is situated, part of the galaxy we know as the Milky Way.
Launch day had finally arrived. The ship was given the name Apkallu, the collective term for the pantheon of gods worshipped by the ancient Sumerians and Akkadians, thousands of years earlier in man’s chequered history. Until Apkallu arrived at the first waypoint, all of the technology and materials used, together with the method of its construction would remain unproven.
Apkallu’s crew consists of the twenty-eight year old mission commander, David O’Leary, who had gained a first in deep field astronomy at University College Dublin. The next crew member is the totally bewitching twenty-five year old Flávia Blanco with two Bachelor of Arts degrees to her name, one in plate tectonics and the other in geomorphology. Given her privileged background, whether or not she actually earned them was another matter entirely. Only time would tell. The third member of the crew is the forty year old self-taught Belgian electronics genius Lukas Gossens. His other talent as a gifted amateur chef negated any need to recruit anyone for the post. The fourth member of the crew is the diminutive thirty-five year old Japanese bio-scientist, Rieko Mori. She earned her two honours degrees, the first in horticulture and the other in exobiology, from Osaka University. Lastly, at fifty-six, the extremely dour doctor, Andreas Georgiadis had graduated thirty years earlier from The School of Medicine at the University of Thessaloniki in Greece. He had been chosen from a list of thousands of highly qualified doctors from across the planet. His field experience with Médecins Sans Frontières in various hotspots, particularly in the Middle East where civil war fuelled by religious intolerance and control over the area’s vast oil deposits still persisted in the twenty-second century, was the deciding factor for his inclusion as part of the crew.
Apkallu’s artificial intelligence was christened Céleste by the youthful team of highly gifted bio-electronic software graduates responsible for her creation. The ship’s Fusion reactor was designed and developed by a team of lateral thinking nuclear engineers from China, Korea, Germany and Japan. Lastly, the crew’s individual stasis units were conceived, designed and constructed in India. On reaching the first waypoint situated at the closest position possible to the Andromeda galaxy still within the spiral arm, Cèleste would wake the crew.
She engaged the Fusion powered propulsion system, gradually building up its output to a nominal thirty percent to achieve maximum sub light speed. Even though in theory it was capable of propelling Apkallu at the speed of light, given that it was still untried technology, whether or not it was safe to do so was considered a risk too far by its designers. They believed it was far better to err on the side of caution, unless Apkallu’s crew found the need to use its theoretical maximum speed to extract themselves and the ship from some as yet unforeseen circumstance.
Apkallu finally arrived at the first waypoint, five years after leaving Earth orbit. How their bodies would react to being in stasis for an extended period of time was yet another unknown. Céleste had constantly monitored each one of them for any sign of medical problems throughout the entire time it took to get here, paying particular attention to David for reasons which will soon become apparent. Before they could go about their duties, Andreas would have to give each one of them a full medical after first checking himself over.
“David, how do you feel?” she asked with a tinge of concern for him in her voice.
“Lethargic,” he groggily replied, trying with some difficulty to shake off the effects of his unnaturally long period of sleep. “God I’m hungry. I need proper food, not substitutes. How is everyone else?” he asked while he unplugged himself from the unit’s intravenous system that had supplied him with nutrients essential to his wellbeing.
“I’ll check for you.”
“Thank you. While you’re at it can you please ask them all to assemble in the observation lounge, once they’ve been given the all clear by Andreas?”
“Of course David, it will be my pleasure.”
While the crew were slowly recovering from the effects of years of physical inactivity, they took in the magical sight of our sister galaxy, Andromeda, floating in the star filled cosmos beyond the lounge’s vista windows. “Ok people,” David began. “While we all recover from our first taste of being in stasis we’ll remain here for a few days. Once we’re back to normal, we have a couple of tasks to perform before we head for the next waypoint. By that I mean we will be placing the first of a series of listening stations and optical observatories here. In the meantime get as much rest as you possibly can. Always providing of course that the good doctor here is not too insistent upon all of us taking part in some kind of punishing fitness regime he has dreamt up that is.” His last comment drew smiles and laughter from everyone with the exception of Andreas who failed to appreciate David’s joke at his expense. “That’s it for now. Lukas what’s on the menu, I don’t know about the rest of you but I need real food, not those damned stasis unit nutrients?”
“If Flávia and Rieko will consent to give me a hand I’ll rustle up something in a half hour or so,” the Belgian replied as his own belly began grumbling. With that David left to head to his private quarters for the first time in the mission.
Even before she spoke, David’s sixth sense told him that Céleste was about to say something. “David, may I have a word please?”
“Of course you can. What is it?” Even though she was nothing more than a disembodied presence to her human crew mates, her creators had given her voice a delightfully seductive French accent, which he found extremely pleasing to the ear.
“I’m curious about something. Can you tell me what is it that attracts a man to a woman?”
David was completely caught off guard by her question. “Well, I can only speak for myself. For me it’s a mixture of her intelligence, personality, attitude and looks, combined with how relaxed she feels in my presence. Take Flávia for example. Her mix of Amazonian Indian and Portuguese ancestry has manifested itself in a typical example of South American womanhood. Unfortunately, she appears to exhibit all the signs of becoming a total pain in the backside at some point in the future given her petulant manner and the arrogant way she reacts towards other women like Rieko. I put that down to the fact that she is the only child of very rich parents, and therefore was, and probably still is, spoilt. It strikes me that she is the kind of shallow creature who uses her looks to get her own way. It would not surprise me in the least if her parents had secured her degrees in return for a large donation to the university she attended. We’ll see if she actually did earn them when we arrive at Beaumont 61 when she is called upon to do what she was hired for. Until then I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt on that score.
Rieko on the other hand couldn’t be more different. While she is also extremely pleasing to the male eye, she gives the impression of having been brought up in the traditional Japanese manner. Which means that like all of her countrywomen, she was taught from birth how to entrance anyone she meets by the way she exudes femininity, gentleness, intelligence, grace and charm, while rarely speaking unless spoken to. I hope that helps to answer your question?”
“Yes – thank you. May I ask you other questions when they occur to me?”
“Of course; is there anything else you want to know at the moment?”
“Yes there was one other thing, forgive me for asking but who is that in the image on your bedside table?”
David picked up the framed photograph with a faraway look in his eyes. “I never knew her name. But that didn’t stop me falling in love with her in my teens when I first came across her photograph on the Internet. It’s the only personal possession I brought with me. Quite honestly Céleste, I couldn’t bear to be parted with it. I really wish I could have met her…”
“I’m sorry for prying. I thought she might be your fiancée.”
“Sadly no, as far as I can make out she lived at some time during the twenty-first century,” he replied, with a sad expression on his unshaven face and the merest hint of a tear beginning to well up in his eyes, which affected Céleste to the point where she dearly wished that she had a physical presence so that she could comfort him. “Is there anything else you wish to ask me?”
“Not at the moment David. Thank you.”
“Then it’s time to take a familiarisation tour of Apkallu. Would you care to join me?”
“You forget, wherever you are in the ship I’m always by your side David,” she quietly reminded him.
Over the next seven days he and the rest of the crew explored their giant new home. Rieko was in the scientist’s equivalent of seventh heaven as she wandered around her brand new laboratory and its adjoining seed banks and cryogenic storage lockers. Situated next to the laboratory, she found a state of the art hydroponics unit. Beyond that, a hothouse containing compost rich beds lit and heated with overhead UV sunlamps.
Andreas closely inspected Apkallu’s medical department, paying particular attention to the operating theatre and the recovery ward, plus the airtight contagion unit, necessary should anything hazardous to their health be contracted by any of the crew once they arrived at Beaumont 61.
For his part, David thoroughly familiarised himself with the ship’s on-board astronomical observatory on the upper deck and its adjoining workshop.
On the other hand, Flávia had to force herself to briefly enter her assigned workspace. When she saw its drab décor and utilitarian furnishings, she wrinkled her nose in utter disgust. Closing the door behind her she returned to the comfortable loungers in the observation lounge to daydream like a lovesick schoolgirl about being in David’s arms, having decided she wanted him.
As well as being the one responsible for Apkallu’s complicated electronics, Lukas was charged with maintaining its Fusion reactor, which powered literally every piece of equipment aboard from the propulsion system through to the cracking unit designed to create fresh water and a breathable oxygen rich atmosphere, plus the ship’s composting system that ingested all organic waste. In the latter’s case instead of the end product being jettisoned into space, it was to be used in Rieko’s hothouse as a source of fertilizer. Had his workshop been based on Earth, undoubtedly it would be the envy of literally every electronics and mechanical engineer across the entire planet.
On the last day of their stay at the first waypoint, Céleste and the rest of the crew watched as David piloted one of Apkallu’s shuttles, capable of reaching the surface of Beaumont 61 without burning up in its atmosphere, to a position approximately half a mile away to enable Flávia and himself to launch its payloads. No one was surprised in the least when she volunteered to help him. What she felt for him was blindingly obvious by the way she always sighed whenever anyone mentioned his name, or when he entered any area where she also happened to be at the time, the way she looked at him with a burning sexual hunger in her eyes, leaving the casual observer in no doubt whatsoever as to her physical intentions where he was concerned. No one had the heart to tell her that he simply couldn’t stand her. But because she had begged to be allowed to assist him, he took it as a golden opportunity for her to actually do some work for a change instead of merely lazing around.
The first of the telescope arrays with its mix of optical and infrared telescopes, each fitted with its own camera, was placed in position. While he left her to follow his instructions to the letter on how to check that it was fully functional, while at the same time paying particular attention to the links between the array’s cameras and their sender units, he flew the shuttle to the other side of Apkallu to set up the first listening post. In effect it was nothing more than a series of radio dishes and antenna, each specifically tuned to a preselected frequency that fed their individual signals to a powerful transmitter aimed at Earth. Having satisfied himself that it too was fully functional, he picked up Flávia before returning to Apkallu’s main shuttle bay.
Once back on board they joined the rest of the crew for their last meal together at the first waypoint. Three hours later while they once again slept in their individual stasis units, Céleste engaged Apkallu’s propulsion system. Satisfied that all was well, she could now devote all her energies to a research and development task she deemed to be of the greatest importance from her point of view. This leg of the journey would take fifteen years. More than enough time for what she had in mind.