Sunday, September 25, 2011

Crewkin an Epic Award Finalist

Crewkin is on the finalist list for the
Epic Award's best science fiction ebook.

Update: EPIC closed in 2018.

Where Science Fiction is Born

Our times and the world are rife with topics that boggle the mind and spur imagination. It’s not only the social and cultural customs and mores clashing as the planet effectively shrinks and the population grows. Science looms. Religions react. People wonder.

In August IBM announced the first computer chip made from DNA. Doesn’t a principle of life being used in a computer create all types of images in your mind?

Now, clearly, IBM is interested in improving computers: “The company is researching ways in which DNA can arrange itself into patterns on the surface of a chip, and then act as a kind of scaffolding on to which millions of tiny carbon nanotubes and nanoparticles are deposited. That network of nanotubes and nanoparticles could act as the wires and transistors on future computer chips,” (same PC World article by Agam Shah, IDG News ). Still, my imagination springs from the terror of machine images found in Terminator to humans with wondrous mental capacities, and in both cases all the steps from here to there. My reality marvels at the concept of an even smaller more powerful computer.

Every industry, every nation, organization, and individual, is always impacted by their acceptance or rejection of new technology; and these discoveries always give birth to even more imaginative ideas and devices -- and to public paranoia, or sometimes to justified condemnation. We never seem to know the repercussions until they have developed, even when warned by speculative writers. Just remind the government not to close the patent office when they might think everything possible has been invented—humanity’s creativity isn’t done yet. Which, of course, only leads to more speculative fiction, but it is interesting, isn't it? Trip to Mars, anyone?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Memoriam to Wendy and a Media Conviction

I love detective stories and find the real-life programs an irresistible draw. They say fiction can't be as bizarre as fact, and I often believe that.

Last night I couldn't sleep, so I turned on the TV. Two hundred plus channels and there were only movies I've seen at least three times each, reruns of programs I didn't like when they were new, and The Investigators.

On the show, Chuck Chambers at the behest of the husband investigated the murder of the man's wife in Florida. Okay. Good fodder for if I ever want to write a murder mystery. And then something I never expected happened. They mentioned the man and woman's names. I knew the victim. That changed everything.

Now, a few years ago my brother told me about Wendy's murder and that her husband Ed had been convicted. Seeing this information presented as a TV show rocked me, and not in a good way.  I did not know the details of what happened. So I listened with my media doubt alert on high.

Reading this, I hope you know not everything you hear is true, and that there are often multiple versions of true. The investigator raised doubt about the husband's conviction. What I heard and saw was one version of the truth. But an incontrovertible fact remained that Wendy was murdered.

I know others who have had acquaintances and loved ones murdered. It is a sad commentary on humanity and a strong comment on our culture that we use their tragic stories for entertainment. I hear you--guilty as charged.

So here is my testimony to Wendy. I graduated from high school with her. I can't say we were best friends, but perhaps good acquaintance-type friends. She was a lovely girl with a beautiful smile that lit up her eyes. Wendy was friendly and had a contagious laugh. There was often a spark of mischief in her eyes, but kindness lingered there, too.

Like so many others, I lost touch with even my closest high school friends. Some of my classmates, I must admit to my shame, I barely remember. I remembered Wendy. I just had no inkling of what happened in her life after graduation. Times change. People change. I hope I am a better person now. I'm sorry murder cut Wendy's life short. No one deserves that. I wish her peace in her afterlife, and I hope those who loved her found peace, too.