See more of Elias Castillo, Bountyhunter, Steam Engineer and professional Sky Pirate over at www.vonsinger.com
like rain, it falls
be the wisdom
that your loneliness is illusion
and the peace inside of you
is all that you need.
Anyway, I'm glad I did.
I used to think that if a book got on the New York Times bestseller list, it would probably suck. I'm proud to admit that I was wrong, at least in this case. As a thriller, this book rocked. It was awesome, well written, strong, firmly grounded in a way that gave me (as the reader) firm footing to collapse headfirst into the craziness that ensues and just utterly changes the main character's life. And the ending-- man. Now there is a bit of literature that really sticks to your ribs. It's almost six hundred pages, but trust me, you won't be able to put it down.
Get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Company-Man-Joseph-Finder/dp/0312939426/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279244779&sr=8-1
The Glass Wall (Algiz)
touch the glass wall.
see the ease with which the hand
closes on riches
but for the wall.
the way the hand comes up against glass
over and over again.
That is the wall.
that now is the time to shatter the wall,
to move beyond the glass and into the field
to plant grain, harvest the fruit of labors
and forget the glass, the frustration.
break down the wall
shatter it with the force of time and words
and plunge hands into the cool earth.
- - -
E.S. Wynn knows that the sleeper is ready to awaken.
Tomorrow, (Saturday, August 28th) at McBean Park in Lincoln! (Just off highway 193 !)
Park in the lot and look for the sign(s) that indicate where the class(es) you are attending are.
Each class is only $10 at the door (or pay $50 for the whole day!)
E.S. Wynn is the author of fifteen books (Pink Carbide trilogy, The Cygnus War series in print, Beyond Oblivion and a Modern Creative Writer's Workbook) the chief editor of three daily literary fiction magazines (Weirdyear, Daily Love and Yesteryear Fiction) designer and voice actor for all 10 discs of the Meditations for the Soul series, as well as the owner of Thunderune Publishing. You can find out more about him at www.eswynn.com
Finding The Inner Sanctum of Your Mind:
There is a place within everyone where serenity and peace of mind are always available, a place where the worries and troubles of the world melt away or are brought into proper perspective as obstacles that are always smaller than they seem. It is a sacred place, but many people have forgotten the way-- In this class, I will show you that path and that place through a journey of guided meditation.
Easy Morning Poetry Workshop
This easy-going poetry workshop is all about creative expression. Come and put pen to paper with us for the sake of art and learn how to free the poetry within you that’s just itching to get out. Bring something to write with and something to write on!
Discovering Your Personal Muse:
Where does inspiration come from? Many people as far back as the ancient Greeks believe that each person has their own personal muse, a spirit or entity that grants inspiration to those who know how to listen. In this class, you will learn to reach out and contact your own personal muse, to hear them, and learn to draw inspiration from them! This is a guided meditation.
Working Past Writer’s Block:
Writer’s block: we’ve all experienced it to some degree at some point in our lives, and as a writer it can be a crippling experience. In this workshop I will teach you how to overcome your writer’s block and open the valves on your creativity– whenever you want! Bring something to write with and something to write on because we’re going to get creative!
Finding Your Spirit Guide:
Many cultures believe that everyone has their own spirit guide that helps them find the right path on the road of life. In this class, you'll be led through a guided meditation to find your own spirit guide, and learn how to contact them and speak with them in times of need.
Art In The Digital Age: Taking Your Writing/Music/Film/Art To The Next Level
What’s the biggest obstacle between a starving artist and a successful one? Coverage! In this workshop I will teach you to take your chosen art form, no matter what it is, to the next level with a ton of marketing techniques that are sure to get you noticed! Bring something to write with and something to write on, because you won’t want to miss a moment of this class.
Okay, so it's a little different storywise from Deus Ex, but not by much. What's even more awesome is that, while Deus Ex was deep and full of some rocking secrets and lore, Echelon has just that much more to enjoy-- and its a book! (Some might consider the lack of interactivity to be a con as opposed to a pro.) It also has some definitively James Bond type action in it (as well as a woman who is almost a Bond girl) and a lot of gray goo (nanotechnology.) As far as post-cyberpunk sci-fi lit goes, Echelon is probably one of the better pieces, and it even has a sequel! As for my rating-- Five out of five. Good, strong, easy to read and capable of hooking you. Solid. Well done, Josh.
Get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Echelon-Josh-Conviser/dp/0345485025/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279250303&sr=8-2-spell
What’s the biggest obstacle between a starving artist and a successful one? Coverage! In this audiobook class, I will teach you to take your chosen art form, no matter what it is, to the next level with a ton of marketing techniques that are sure to get you noticed!
Want more? Check out www.writingwithwynn.com
I wasn't really disappointed, per se, but I wasn't exactly impressed all that much either. Haldeman is a competent storyteller and he does well in smaller works (like the short story,) but nothing I read of his ever really seems to stand up to the greatness of Forever War. There are a lot of great pieces here that give fun and interesting visions of the future, (and its better than some of the anthologies I've read of other writers,) but I guess I was just left wanting more. an almost reluctant four out of five stars.
Get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Separate-War-Other-Stories/dp/0441015174/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279234929&sr=8-8
11 Week Live Online Art and Writing Marketing Series: (Starts: Monday, August 30th at 7PM.) Sessions every Monday at 7PM. Read more. . .
11 Week Live Online Creative Writing Survey Workshop Series (Starts: Tuesday, August 31st at 7PM.) Sessions every Tuesday at 7PM. Read more. . .
11 Week Live Online Guided Meditation Series (Starts: Wednesday, September 1st at 7PM.) Sessions every Wednesday at 8PM. Read more. . .
11 Week Genre Writing Workshop Series: (Starts: Thursday, September 2nd at 7PM.) Sessions every Thursday at 7PM. Read more. . .
- - -
But then I started reading it. . .
They don’t even really have a name for what I write anymore. They used to call it Science Fiction, extrapolating a future of rocket ships and rayguns, but now they just call it Retro. It’s all steampunk, alternate reality, Flash Gordon serials and hish hash that gets it wrong more often than right. Some people still read it out of a certain juvenile need to escape, others out of a hazy nostalgia, but in the end the readers still dwindle. Of all the fiction genres, only Fantasy holds its own now, and then only barely, struggling from one Lord of the Rings clone to another since the whole mass of golden age masters fell into the public domain. Slice of life fiction, non-genre, everyday edge-of-romance fiction still festers in the public consciousness too, but its not the same. There’s just not a lot to write about anymore.
Technology has made everyone happy. We all wake up when we want to in the morning, which is to say we all wake up at seven AM, rested and refreshed, thanks to gene treatments offered under the flag of fashion medicine. It’s all one-shot these days, manufactured in your home under a single-use license that deletes itself after your ‘printer faxes one up. Anything you want, safe and easy, government approved and guaranteed to take effect while you sleep– that’s how it works. Anything you don’t like about yourself, your hair color, your eye color, your gender, your sexual preference, your depression, your insomnia, your skin texture, your age– these are all mutable. Just buy the license for whatever characteristic of the human condition you want to embody and slap the dime-sized patch onto your shoulder before you sleep. Wake up a man, a woman, elderly, pre-pubescent, totally reskinned and remapped like a character in a videogame. Most people stick with the twenty-something look they were born with, but there have always been those who follow fashion trends, no matter how bizarre.
Being a writer of Retro, I’ve always been a little outside the trends. Once or twice I’ve dialed up a new eye color, bought a license for a Star Trek-inspired body for the occasional Con in Tokyo, New York or Dubai, but on the whole I stick with the sixty-going-on-seventy look I’ve always felt looked properly distinguished when I first reached it by course of nature about three centuries ago. It’s a fashion choice that’s seen as, well, appropriately retro. It’s the presence I choose to represent the entity which is me, on the inside.
When I wake up in the morning, I feel good, clean, happy. Molecule-sized nanomachines have been sterilizing my skin and everything else in the apartment during the night, so there’s nothing to do. Breakfast isn’t hot or waiting for me, but as soon as I purchase the license for whatever my stomach is craving, it will be. My bed memory-folds itself back into neatness once I get up, and sensors in the wall detect my archaic thirst for coffee. Another piece of fashion medicine integrated into my genetic code gives me a shot of eye-opener, triggers the satisfied sensation that used to come after a relaxing morning lounging around on the couch, gently nursing a mug of the black stuff. I stretch, crack my sixty-year-analog back and stump into the livingroom.
You can’t really help taking food for granted anymore. You just think what you want and the 3D printer that is both your kitchen, your workshop and your store projects a selection of licenses you can purchase with a discount based on the number of whatever it is you want to manufacture. Mentally, I choose a single use contract for a Fiji green apple, three strips of bacon, two slices of french toast (Denny’s brand) agree to the terms, the safety disclaimers and all the rest. The cost of the licenses involved are automatically deducted from my government-maintained account as the ‘printer comes alive, assembles the breakfast from cartridges the computer is happy to remind me are only half full. When they empty sometime in the next ten years, I’ll call the manufacturer and within fifteen minutes a machine will step through this block’s public quantum chute to clip the new ones in for me. It’s all government funded– no one goes hungry anymore unless it’s by choice.
I think of myself as a writer, but that’s just my brain’s archaic way of dealing with how much the world has changed in the last three centuries. There aren’t really any jobs anymore, not in the traditional sense. Everything is done by machines now. Centuries ago I was a teacher, but with extrapolative, interactive, holographic teaching environments provided through games that people actually want to play, nobody teaches anymore. Money comes from the government in the form of an allowance that is more comforting than useful. You automatically get a comfortable budget to work with each week, but the government is always happy to kick down a little extra virtual dough if you have a new project you want to work on. Design something new: music, a game, a novel, a piece of poetry, and if people buy the license to manufacture it, you get a few digital brownie points on your account. It’s archaic and everybody knows it, but it satisfies a need that fashion medicine can’t yet– a sense of difficulty, of acquisition bound by limitation. It’s a system of money analog– the only thing you can buy with your points are the licenses that others have designed, art to be ‘printed, music, movies, fashion medicine, anything anyone else has dreamed up that you might have the impulse to own or enjoy and which hasn’t passed into the public domain. Everything is legal in one sense or another now, so there are no shady dealings, no division between wealthy and poor, only numbers that reflect how much you’ve contributed to the culture in the interest of keeping it alive in a virtual eden.
In the end, anything you ‘print up, anything physical and non-digital that is, breaks or gets old. Our living spaces accommodate this with recyclers that break whatever they’re fed down to a molecular goop that the system uses to top off the cartridges in the ‘printer. The balance in your account goes up too, meaning you literally make money while you’re sitting on the toilet. The licenses for everything created are preserved in the system, so no matter what you recycle, you can always ‘print a new one up again if you find yourself missing it.
Breeding was outlawed centuries ago too. Don’t get me wrong, people still have sex, whether it’s with projections, robots, flesh clones or each other. Sure, there’s fashion medicine that aesthetics pick up or provide licenses for which remove all sexual drive and characteristics from the body, but even that is only a fad, a momentary trend that most of humanity chooses not to embrace. Accidental pregnancies don’t happen. Everyone is sterilized at birth, and the genes responsible for baby-itis and the ticking clock are switched off in the process. Our population is kept at an optimally manageable level based on a simple calculation of the amount of habitable space humanity acquires as new quantum chutes are placed on newly terraformed worlds against resource and facility availability. People still die by choice or by accident, but on the whole, eternal life in an ocean of possible ways and places of existing is a welcome vista that the mainstream chooses to embrace. Humanity spreads into the stars to insure itself against catastrophe, no matter how unlikely such occurrences become, as well as to increase the function of society as a whole, the formulation of culture within the greater brain in which each individual is like a neuron. New children are recombined from a database of stock DNA and people who want to volunteer to be parents are put on a list to receive these children at an embryonic stage. Pregnancy is optional, as is birth by localized quantum entanglement. There are no stillbirths, nobody dies in childbirth anymore, and children are raised by stay-at-home parents, a village of welcoming friends who are always only minutes away by quantum chute, no matter how far out in the universe they are, and an armada of digital and robotic constructs that teach children everything they need to know to become well rounded individuals within a society of artists, explorers and thinkers. Raw expression is the order of the day, the advancement of culture in new and strange directions. It’s the only thing we like to think that our machines can’t do.
In a sense, we have become like gods. We create in our minds the things that we desire and the machines make them for us, allow us to share them with a sprawling universe of humanity. The machines are the mechanical extensions of our bodies; they will never revolt, never turn on us. They are the way we interact with the universe without interacting with it directly, the body to our brain, and time is a meaningless expanse in which we create new things, hand-in-hand with all that we have created before. We have found ultimate freedom in a system of ultimate regulation.
Don't get me wrong-- I think Rudy Rucker has some charm when it comes to his writing, but some of the things that come out of his brain swing by and slam you right out of left field. On the whole, this piece was good, impressive in its own right, and very, very weird, even if it did drag a little in places. The biggest detractor to the awesomeness of this book is probably also its most impressive attribute-- its intelligence, the way that it steeps the reader thoroughly in the Virginia of 1836 to set the tone. Too bad almost half of the book is set-up and only the second half is the actual journey through the hollow earth.
But don't let that detract you from picking up a copy. Rucker's work is interesting and definitely worth a read. Fans of Steampunk will find some interest in this piece, but don't expect any industrial-techno-retro marvels. This one is straight up 1830's.
All in all, four stars out of five.
Get your copy here
That's pretty much this book in a nutshell.
It's interesting, deep, well constructed and hard to put down, but it is also very strange. Like Catcher in the Rye, I think this one is wholly about the message contained within it, almost as if the story would really be about nothing at all if it wasn't for the very important and very pointed message pinned to the pages. If you haven't read it, I definitely recommend it. It's one of those books that should probably be required in high school but likely never will be because its obscure and the main character is a giant, telepathic gorilla telling the reader to slow down and not be so darn productive. All in all, I give it just over four stars out of five because it is strong, even if it's bizarre.
Get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Ishmael-Adventure-Spirit-Daniel-Quinn/dp/0553375407/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279250314&sr=8-1
Especially if you're sick and sunburned (I was) and the symptoms for exposure to the toxins approach what you're feeling pretty closely.
Other than that, I thoroughly loved this book. I'd never read an "eco-thriller" before, but I was definitely impressed by this one. It's like James Bond had a kid with Macguyver and that kid became a professional eco-terrorist, hunted by the government and everything. At the very least, it's definitely worth a read for the action. At the most, you'll love Stephenson's solid style, powerful story and fair approach to environmental issues. Five out of five stars.
Get your copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Zodiac-Neal-Stephenson/dp/0802143156/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1279236986&sr=1-1
This is the complete first half of author E.S. Wynn's Internationally acclaimed breakout novel: Pink Carbide. (To order the full novel or any of its sequels, visit www.thunderune.com)
It is 2162.
In the dark underworld of Los Angeles, Cylea is targeted by unknown forces within the shadowy depths of global corporate government. Safety is scarce and running is the rule, but each brush with death builds new layers of strength within her, yielding new clues and new mysteries as she fights to uncover a deep-rooted secret unlike any other in the history of the human race, centered around the last person she'd ever expect.
Thunderune Publishing is offering free copies of PINK CARBIDE! The first ten people to correctly answer the question below will win (and be emailed) their free copy of the first book in this awesome sci-fi thriller series!
Who originally coined the term: Cyberpunk?
Submit your answers to the boss at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pink Carbide on Amazon
Okay, so it was better than Bio Rescue, and the ending was pretty killer (especially the way Viehl ties it into her awesome Stardoc series) but it could have been less klingonesque and more. . . I don't know, anything other than Star Trek. Viehl has a strong writing style, and her work has that same open, awesome, memorable vibe that Star Trek: The Next Generation does (literally the same vibe) without any of the camp or cheese that you get from Trek adaptations and bad episodes. If Trek was a dull blade, Viehl's works would be the razor-edged analog.
All the same, Blade Dancer is fast-paced and powerful. The storyline is strong for a sci-fi leaning romance paperback, but not as good as say, Shockball (one of the Stardoc novels.) Regardless, it pushes into a four stars out of five by a nose (or the tip of a blade, as it were. Go out there and get it.
Get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Blade-Dancer-S-L-Viehl/dp/B0002Y13DW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1279241751&sr=1-1
It's rare that I get so into a book that I read it in a day, but dang. This one most definitely got me. A solid five out of five stars with the motivation to push into a sixth star, if only the scale had one.
Get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Looking-Glass-James-R-Strickland/dp/0979588901/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279241744&sr=8-2
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