My Earth, All Mine

“Happy Holidays?”  Had enough merriment and good cheer? Tired of  “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year?” Too much generosity and good cheer for you? How about some doom and gloom? This is the time when loners feel their lonesome the most. Give them a little love.

So there’s loners and there’s LONERS. What if you were in the latter group and you didn’t want to be just left alone in your cabin in the woods or your little apartment in the city. You wanted to be the only human on Earth. How would you go about it?earthmine

You’d want to consult with Gaia first. I’m sure she’d be glad to be rid of the human pests, but you wouldn’t want to piss her off by screwing with her plans for us, would you?

I’m not talking about evil super villains who want to have all the money and rule the world.  They need people to lord it over. The same with religious fanatics. They need people to listen to them preach doom and gloom, fire and brimstone, and you’d better have sex with me or God’s going to be mad at you. And political despots. They need somebody to enslave, harangue, and be paranoid about. Without people they’re just crazy dudes ranting at themselves.

The main problem of eliminating humans from the planet is getting rid of them without killing yourself. What good is having a planet of your own if you’re too dead to enjoy it? Inciting a nuclear war probably isn’t so easy now days. And if you could, say, obtain the launch codes for all the missiles in the US or Russia and set them all off and create a full on nuclear winter killing most everything that lives, that doesn’t sound very agreeable. If you’re going to be alone, having warm, secluded beaches or pleasant woodland walks would be a necessity. Whether 8 billion people crowd the planet or none, what difference would it make if you’re shut in your bomb shelter for the next 1000 years?

Mosquitoes are your friends. They inhabit all the earth except Antarctica. They infect hundreds of millionsmosie1 and kill millions every year. All you’d have to do is cook up a big batch of a human specific virus or bacteria, infect  a few million mosquito eggs, and distribute them around some of the busiest airports. Within days of hatching, your personal little pandemic would have spread throughout the world. Then, all you’d have to do is sit back with your beach towel and umbrella in hand and wait for the beach to clear out. Assuming you thought to immunize yourself against your private plague.

Or, you might want to learn how to sail before hand. Once you let the little monsters loose a long cruise into the ocean while the sun, bacteria, insects, and animals dispose of the dead would be nice. If you’re smart, and watched too many horror movies, you made sure that the dead stayed dead.  It wouldn’t do to come back to shore and bezombieblog2 greeted by a few billion hungry Zombies. That could be just as bothersome as a few billion regular folks. Vampires could be a problem. There’re already dead and they’d be really hungry. Better stock up on holy water, silver bullets and learn how to use a svampblogword.

Of course, with humans gone the world will start fixing all the damage we’ve done to it. This includes the return of wildlife. I imagine Bigfoot will sigh with relief not to have all those little humans stalking him with cameras. With small wildlife expansion comes the revival of the big predators; bears, big cats, wolves and the like. So, while you relax on that empty beach best keep an eye out. Those big cats only respect you for your food value, not your desire for solitude.catsblog4 wolfcatsblog2

IDEAS

What If? there really was (there probably is, tucked away in some government vault)  a virus/ bacteria that was capable of wiping humans from the planet? Then some group in a simple steal it/ransom it operation successfully steals it. But, just before they were to get their millions, one of their own, a stealth religious fanatic, steals it from them for his own highly misguided, God, Jesus, Mary Magdalene-told-me-to- do-it  cleanse the earth scheme. Suddenly the bad guys and the good guys have to work together to save all of humanity. Of course the good guy leader is an attractive woman, and the second in command bad guy is an attractive man (or vice versa) and they have to work together, close together.

What If? somebody did wipe humanity from the planet and  was enjoying their solitude when he/she came across a group of aliens intent on taking over the Earth. Well, he went to a lot of trouble to depopulate the world so now he has to fight the aliens for the planet.  He wins and once again enjoys his solitude when a group of astronauts who have been on a long space journey returns. Our single inhabitant sighs, “Can’t a guy get a little peace and quiet on his private beach?” A series for sure.beach2

What If? you were in a group of astronauts returning from a long mission and you found the only survivor of the Great Plague that wiped out humanity. You fight him at first, but he/she kidnaps one of your people and finally decides you can stay. But, the nasty bug is still around and the only way you will survive is if he gives you the vaccine, but it’s across the country and you may or may not have time to get there. Who will survive the journey? Surely not Adam and Eve – that would be too cheesy.

So, whether you’re a loner alone or a loner in a crowd find a bit of Christmas spirit and don’t vanish humanity, at least until after New Years.

Check out and share my first attempt at a book trailer for my story Heartbreak – http://youtu.be/NNLTJNUgYHs

My website (such as it is) with information on my books and stories is: http://dcburtonwriting.wordpress.com

Feel free to comment and Please share.

dcburtonjr@gmail.com

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Vamps in Space!

First, a shameless plug… hustle… ah, notice of importance. My novel Hell Cop is now available in print from Amazon.

I’ve been thinking lately (always good to try something new) about what happens to vampires in space. Why am I thinking about that, you ask. And you should ask, because who the hell thinks, or cares, about the physiological effects of space on vampires? Except for Vampires and those who want to round them up, send them up and Good-fracking-bye paleface bloodsuckers.

It all began a long time ago, but never mind that. What matters is that I recently sent off the sequel to my novel Blood Justice — tentatively titled Blood on the Water.  So, fool, glutton for punishment, and/or masochist that I am, I’m already thinking about the next book in the series. There has to be a next book because two isn’t a series — it’s a couple of books looking for a third for gin rummy, a night of kinky pleasure, or maybe just a chaperon. I already have an idea for that all important third; but what about the next and next and next? If you keep going far enough you have to go up to space or down to Hell.

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Hell — been there — the Hell Cop almost series (2 1/4 and counting) — and plan to go again, but vamps have to go up. So what are the rules up there? Think a space station, inside and out, no suit.

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No air – No problem. Vampires don’t need to breathe, except to talk. Though if one got shoved out an airlock they could beat on the door all they wanted but would certainly prove the truth of the  phrase – “In space, nobody can hear you scream.” (Thank you, James Cameron)

spacepic2Vacuum – Problem, sort of. Explosive decompression will do to vamps what it did to all those mortals in all those B Sci-Fi movies when their helmets got cracked – Phump, all nasty inside the faceplate. However, slow decompression they can handle, though not without a lot of grimacing and uncomfortableness  in the nether regions. Their quick healing can counteract all that cell and gas (yes they have gas, too) expansion.

Cold –  Even the toughest already dead vampire will be a stone-cold vamp way before getting close to absolute zero (0° K, 273.15°c,459.67° F) By -50°c, they’re getting creaky. By -100° C they’re barely able to move. Below that for any  time and they’re likely to be stone dead and not coming back a third time. Even vampire healing can only go so far. Although that might depend on whether they’re a good guy or bad guy and the state of alien technology . (See below)

Heat — For you, much time over 115° and you’re done. Vampires, 130-140° and their super repair faculty can’t keep up with the damage.  From vamp to mummy real quick.mummies1

Sun — Big Problem. We (unless you’re a hard core Buffy buff) all know that a Vampire has a maximum 30 minutes in the sun until they’re ash and dust. At 15 minutes they are praying for the immolation agony to be over. That’s on Earth where they get some shielding from the atmosphere. In space — 15 minutes max and they’re dust in the solar wind. No repairs. No redos.

spacesuit1With a proper space suit (a mortal one will do) they would be good to go for a long time. That sounds good until you get kicked out an air lock and are flung out into space to drift to the next star. You’d get mighty lonely floating out there for years, ravaged by a Blood Hunger that can never be fulfilled.

IDEAS

What if a vampire was ejected, intentionally or accidentally, into space for decades or years or even a really long time and was picked up by some aliens and rejuvenated, reconstituted, reanimated, revived, or whatever. What would they think? What would he or she think? What if the aliens were at war with some nasty invaders — like humans? Who would the vamp fight for? What would humans be/look like by that time? Would the long lost vampire finally find romance in an alien war?

What if  a vampire was a security chief on a huge Ark ship on the way to ____? He would have to solve murders, find stolen goods, locate missing people (whether they wanted to be missing or not) in a sort of Hardboiled/Spock/Sherlock H. kind of way. But who would be Watson?

What if the Earth was invaded by aliens and they were winning. There was one last escape ship ready to go with lots of important people — scientists, engineers, women, children on board. No vampires allowed – they’re being blamed for the invasion. The last group (the ones who know how to run the ship and where to go once they get away) race toward the ship. A group of vamps want to escape, too, and they know that one of the last group is an agent for the aliens. Would they be able to stop him/her from boarding? Of course not. So, how do they get onboard and find the spy before the Ark ship is blown up or captured, the humans enslaved, tortured or eaten? Whew!

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Makes me hungry just thinking about it. And thinking about eating, unlike zombies, not all vampires are bad. And you don’t have to be an immortal dead to read about some. Go HERE at vamp speed, not zombie speed, and check it out. In the UK go HERE.

Pleasant dreams.

“Repent, Harlequin!”

–said the Ticktockman. That’s Harlan Ellison’s classic story, “Repent  Harlequin,” said the Ticktockman, in case you missed it somewhere between  1965harliquin2 and now. Not to spoil it (how many of you are going to actually read the story, if you haven’t already) but the reason Harlequin was called to repent was because he caused the schedule to be off by six minutes. And that threw off another schedule, and another, and another, causing chaos in all the world’s schedules. No wonder the Ticktockman was pissed. Six minutes off? Oh, the horror. But nothing should be scheduled that close.

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If the Ticktockman,who was in charge of the world’s TIME, was going to be so anal about six minutes, he should grab a brew, put his feet up, and chill, baby.  Nothing needs its corsets pulled that tight.  Failing to chill, he should be able to stop time and  fix it.

I’m sure TTman would know this, but what actually happens if you stop time? Does everything, meaning EVERYTHING, except you (otherwise what would be the point) stop? Do you have to weave your way around frozen people, cars, bicycles, and dogs as you go about your business of robbing banks, bankrob1 doing research for that report you had a few too many happy hour drinks to do last night, wander through a NFL team cheerleader’s (or players if you swing that way)  locker room, or perform those experiments that would get you locked up if the universe wasn’t frozen. And if it’s frozen, how would you interact with it. Would water flow, electricity spark, the air itself move? Those things move through time. It takes time for a drop of water to move from the faucet into a glass so you can drink it. If all time is standing still, that can’t happen and you’d better have had a two liter bottle of Mountain Dew in your hand when you flipped the switch. And maybe a large SCUBA tank on your back, too. (See below for a possible solution)

If you touched somebody (hey, you there, mind out of the gutter) would they be hard like a statue or soft like a real person? Could you move them, say out of harm’s way? If you could move them, would they stay where you put them when time started again? Would saving them screw up the future, or fix it?

That all seems much to complicated, forget stopping time, how about going back in time to fix those six minutes. Being an obssesive TTman you go back a week to try to stop the Harlequin from his dasterly deed. So what’s it like when you jump back there? Do you appear like a ghost, moving about but not affecting anything, not noticed by anybody (remember, no locker rooms)

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but able to see all? Or do you pop into existence, just another Joe or Jane Doe among the masses. Except now you’re in Paradox Land. There’s two of you where there should be one, breathing extra air, drinking extra water. What happens if your new twin sees you? What if you touch? Do you, the interloper explode, fade away, pass right through, get sent back to your own time (and stay there you evil doppelgänger)?

Whatever happens, just by being there, you’ve created a new time line, different from your original time line. Say you find your six minutes, reset the clock, realign your precious schedule and it’s time to go home. But, now you are in a separate time line, one that you’ve affected, one that would not exist except for you. So, if you flip the switch, push the button, click your heels to go home, where do you go?

Because you’ve been gone for two hours, your original time line (TL) has changed and is now a different TL. The TL you’re in is the one where all is right timewise, to you. Your original has moved on without you and is still missing six minutes. If you stay where you are, there’s the doppelgänger problem, and, being the obsessive power-hungry Ticktockman that you are, how is that going to play out with your twin TTman? And, if you flip, push, click and leave there you might go back to a third TL where you were gone, and came back – but would the six minutes be there when you got back?

Who knows? Who cares? It’s all too complicated so all you Ticktock men and women  –  take a toke or three, eat a pizza, eat the six minutes, and take a time out, man.

IDEAS

What if you went back in time and everything and body was frozen, except you and anything inside a ten foot diameter bubble around you?bubble3 People inside with you could walk with you, after you answer their, “What the hell is going on and who the hell are you?” questions and they don’t punch you out.  This could be a pain in the ass, especially if you walked too close to moving car. But it would be good if you went back to save somebody from some nastiness. Or were planning on robbing a bank with an accomplice, assuming that accomplice was reliable.                                                 bankrob4               What would happen if you died in the bubble? Would it disappear – you’d be dead in the future so couldn’t come back to be killed in the past, so ….. ? Could it be hijacked? Would the hijacker be able to go back to  the future where he’s never been? Would he have to choose between staying in the bubble (a sort of weird existence) or stepping out and freezing with everyone else? Or would those outside be experiencing a regular life and only from inside the bubble do they seem to not move? Or… or… or…? Time out!

What if instead of going back in time you went back in place. I wrote a  screenplay called Time For Love where a woman invented a way to jump through space back to the position where the Earth was four years ago. She ended up going back 30 years where she met herself as a kid. They were afraid to touch fearing the adult would be zapped back to her time. But was that right? She went back in space, not time. She physically went back, in some beam me up metaphysical disassemble reassemble way. How would going back that way affect the future? You’re going from a fixed future to a fixed past, it shouldn’t affect the future that’s already happened. So, would there be two Earth’s? Or… or… or…?  Paradox time out!                                                   (if you’re interested in my screenplay, drop me a comment)

What if you were 40 and went 30 years back in time and suddenly you were you at 10 years old, knowing what you know now. Ah, the possibilities.

Whenever you go, no matter how you get there, time marches on so enjoy it while you got it. Be the Harlequin, not the Ticktockman.

Solitary Man

In my new novel Ancient Mariners, one of two main characters is a solitary man. For five years he has lived and sailed on his sailboat, wandering, compelled by guilt and grief to live a solitary life. There are a lot of Solitary Men and Women out there, some by choice some by chance. Some by both.

By chance, because of some real or imagined childhood trauma, you might be paranoid and be absolutely sure that the sweet old lady in 3B is cooking Meth in her apartment and everyone in the building is her customer and they are all just waiting for you to let your guard down so they can steal all your hoarded newspapers you’ve been carefully collecting in your living room since 1992 when someone who used to be a friend told you there were secret messages from God in the daily jumble puzzle. So you live a solitary life because  you know they are all unworthy of God’s message, even if you can’t quite figure them out yourself.

Or, you’re already a Methhead and are trying to stay straight and the only way you can do that is to keep all those freaking druggies (ie. everyone) the fuck away!

Or, you’re sick to death of all the bullshit from family, job, government, and that snotty neighbor two houses down who knows everything about everything, which is okay but he/she just won’t SHUT THE HELL UP about it. So you find a cabin in the woods, mountains, desert, foreign country, or sailboat and live alone and love it. Because it’s QUIET.

Not all who live alone like living a Solitary life. Suppose you’re shy, conversationally inept and socially challenged (Or are they the same?) But not scared or fearful. You’d rather run into a dark alley to answer a cry for help followed by gunshots than take one step away from the corner of a cocktail party you were inadvertently invited to because somebody thought you were friends with that hottie from work you happened to be standing beside (well, standing behind,) and start a conversation with… anybody. Is there any more solitary life than to be surrounded by people having a good time while they totally ignore you?

Even if you aren’t challenged by the social graces you may prefer a solitary life. You might be too smart for your own good. Any conversation at any party,  event, dinner, family gathering, or meeting is inane, plebian, and of so little consequence you can actually feel the words go in one ear and out the other leaving a trail of dead neurons and blasted synapses while making your eyeballs roll up, pleading to God or whoever to strike you down on the spot if you hear one more reference to crabgrass or “Did you see (insert any reality show here) last night?” You’re much more comfortable alone in your study, “Nadia, no interruptions for the next week, please!” reading books written by dead people because no live people have written any books worthy of your esteemed, and possibly imagined, intellectual attention. The solitary life for you. Who’d have you, anyway?

Then there are the ones like Silas in my book so consumed with guilt, deserved or not, that they are compelled to live alone as punishment for the hurt they inflicted on others, intentionally or not. The ones with secrets – personal, criminal, governmental – who feel the only way to keep those secrets, and save humanity or at least the one they love from afar – is to live apart from anyone they might be tempted to tell them to.  The ones who’ve seen and understand the worst of the basic human condition and just don’t want to interact with them anymore. The ones with a challenge, like walking to the South Pole, alone, or climbing a mountain, alone, or sailing around the world, alone, where it’s their strength, their will, their brains that determine success  or failure. All the glory, all the blame.

No matter why you live a solitary life, voluntary or involuntary, there’s someone out there who despite your resistance, gets you, cares about you and whether intentionally or not will bring you into a socially acceptable congregation of two, alone together.

IDEAS

What If? you were hearing voices, not a voice, not a few voices, all of them. You’d think you were crazy as would most other people you were foolish enough to tell. Then you discover that solitude quiets the voices so you live in a cabin in the woods (don’t forget the pristine lake) as Solitary Men/Women do. Then the voices return, but they’re alien voices and you understand them and out of the jumble in your head you realize they are preparing to conquer Earth. At some point someone comes into your solitary life. A boy or girl, lost or running away. Maybe an older man or woman, lost or running away. They think you’re crazy, but you’ve bonded, connected (insert steamy sex scene here) and now they can hear the voices, too. Your mission, if you decide you give a damn, is go out in the world and using your power and sidekick, save it.

What If? you were sailing single-handed in the middle of the ocean at night, watching the blazing lights of a cruise ship speed over the horizon. You hear a cry for help. You’re not crazy or stupid so you’re quick to figure out what’s happened. Oh shit. For a few seconds you consider continuing on your placid way, but you know you won’t. You follow the voice to a woman, or man, in the water, under imminent shark attack. Eventually she tells you that she was thrown overboard by persons unknown. Murdered. Why? Don’t know. All you want to do is drop her at the nearest port and sail on. But you know you won’t because you want to know, WHY?

What If? you were trapped in Limbo, floating alone in the timeless darkness, trapped by an evil Sorcerer (or, of course, Sorceress) for meddling in his affairs. But for a long time (hours, weeks, years) you’ve been moving toward a spot of light. Suddenly the spot rushes up and dumps you out into a vast desolate, grassy, sparsely treed, rocky, gouged, mountain bordered, rugged plain. You are alone.  You head for some high hills to see what can be seen. A person runs over the crest, yells at you to run. Behind him come semi-human creatures – hunters. You follow the prey to a tight copse of trees at the end of a deep ravine. You fight the hunters, win, at the cost of the prey’s life. Before he dies he tells you to get to the cave, grotto, hut, altar, mansion, palace and you will be safe.  Ever the Solitary Man, you make your way across the deadly landscape fighting or eluding the ever more deadly hunters and other hungry beasts to your ultimate goal, the _____ of ______, and the second book of the series.

Even though you might be imbedded with the social media in-crowd, give a thought and a hand to those solitary boys and girls, men and women, who stare out from the corners of life’s cocktail party.

Please click here to go to the Ancient Mariners’ page for a short excerpt and links to where it can be downloaded.

3 a.m. light in the window

Okay, so you’re driving from here to there and it’s 3 a.m.  You’re cruising at 70 mph past a small town you never heard of and have no idea why it’s where it is. It’s the kind of town the phrase, Roll up the sidewalks at 9 p.m., was made for. It’s all dark but for scattered streetlights. You barely know it’s there until you spot a lighted second story window. With nothing on the radio but way past their prime Oldies, Country music, or some talk show host whose only agenda is to make spurious accusations with the intent of dissing someone in power, (you know who I mean) you wonder, Who the hell is up at 3am? And why?

Could it be as simple as a parent up with a child sick with a common cold, or maybe the kid discovered the Halloween candy his/her parents hid six months ago and decided to make up for months of lost candy time in one day? Maybe it’s not so simple. The child is dying and the parent is sitting up desperately trying to thinking of a way to save the kid. And to keep yourself awake as you blithely motor by, you wonder, “What would I do to save my child?”

Of course you’d take a second job, (if you could find one) or a second mortgage, (if you could find one) or set up a website to solicit donations. Who wouldn’t? But what if money wasn’t the problem? How far would you go off the grid, out of the box? If that old cliché’ A Deal with the Devil was a viable option, would you? There are other possible deal options. A lesser demon trying to gain some sort of street cred by recruiting humans to his/her/its thrall. Aliens who need humans to carry out some ambiguous (to you) plan. A sorcerer or witch with an agenda. (see below)

If the only way to keep your child with you was to have him or her changed into a vampire, would you? Did you see the movie Let the right one in? Think carefully. Maybe it’s a vampire kid who’s sick. He got hold of some tainted blood from a drunk methhead and it was screwing up his natural vamp immunity, and his mother is up practicing her Just say no to drugged up humans speech. Or maybe change the child into a werewolf? At least he/she could go out during the day.

That 3 a.m. lighted window could be as simple as a wife waiting up for her husband whose plane was late. The question of whether or not she has a gun beside her to blow that philandering bastard away when he walks into the bedroom is a question that will have to wait for the early morning news from the police blotter to answer.

And by the way, why are you driving past that window at 3 a.m?

IDEAS

See above.

What if it was a sorcerer or witch that made your kid sick then conveniently made himself (I’ll go with sorcerer, but witches can have the same magical problems) available to cure him/her. Cures like that of course don’t come free. Where’s the story in that?  At some future date he will need your help. Of course you agree. It’s your kid and he’s not the Devil, after all. He calls. You go. He wants you to kill somebody. And he’s scared. You try and cry for another deal. No new deal. You allow him to convince you that the woman he wants dead is an evil, scheming, murdering bitch, so to keep your kid well, you agree.  Besides, you got royally screwed over 15 years ago by your BFF/evil, scheming bitch and the thought of bashing in the head of an evil, scheming, murdering bitch has a certain appeal. So, putting aside any flashes of rational thought and downing a couple of whisky neats, you go see this monster all dressed up as a hot babe and…. This is where you have to decide whether you’re going to take the high road or the low road, the road less taken, the sorcerer’s  way or the highway. And that will determine what exciting, dramatic, humorous, emotional journey comes next.

What if there’s a lonely person in that room who’s tearily writing a suicide note, though she’s convinced nobody will ever read it, or care if they do. The window is beside her. It looks out on a cold lonely landscape just like the one she has inside her. Then she sees a car drive by, the first in hours. And for a moment her despair lifts, there is someone else in the world. She presses her face to the window  and her eyes follow you in that car as you turn off to stop at an all night diner, though you weren’t planning to. Suddenly, filled with a strange purpose, the woman dashes out of the room,  races down the steps, jumps in her car and speeds to the diner where she parks next to your car.  Inside, she sits at the counter next to the only customer, you. It takes a while, but, beginning with a simple smile and a “Hi,” a conversation begins. Where it ends is up to you.

What if two lovers are in the room? They keep the light on so they can always see each other. In a tangle of sheets they lay panting, not a care in the world, just basking in  the afterglow. A car drives up. Someone gets out, enters, climbs the steps to the room. This person has a gun. Neither the lover in the bed nor the lover hiding behind the door have a gun. Yet, the car is found two days later in the all-nite diner’s parking lot. It’s owner is nowhere to be found. At least for a week or a month or a year or….

What if you are in that room? Why, good or bad, would you be up at 3a.m?

Whoever is in that lonely room, thanks to Jazz Tales streaming on KUVO 89.3 in Denver www.kuvo.org –  Sunday nights at 10p.m. Mountain Time – Weird Nightmares episode. Check it out.

Please watch out for my new adult, young adult e-novel, Ancient Mariners. It should be available by end of August.

Oh Great Immortal One

Immortality, most people want it. None get it. I’m talking bodywise not publicitywise. Assuming you could have immortality, what kind would you want?

God-like immortality may be your choice. You can not die, period. Blown to smithereens, eaten by  sharks, burned to a crisp, eating the barrel of that handgun you keep next to your bed, you will survive intact. You will not die, ever, whether you want to or not. No take-backs, no do-overs, no escape clauses, no secret backdoor exits. Immortal forever. Only you, no one else. How lonely would you get? Could you handle that?

Vampire-like immortality may be more you. Gunshots, sword thrusts, diseases, long falls mean nothing to you. Shake them off and keep on keeping on.  You don’t get to bite people and share your long life, though. Again, you’ll suffer or enjoy your immortality alone. But, vampires can die and so could you. Your body injured, but intact, you’re golden. Your body destroyed, so is your life. C’est la vie.

Basic immortality is most likely to be available to you from other than supernatural forces. You won’t  age, that’s what most people want from immortality anyway. Most diseases won’t kill you. Injuries will heal quickly.  You’ll be healthy and energetic, ready for that great adventure you always wanted to take. But, your life  will be  vulnerable to natural causes, swords, bullets, buses, a car crash, a statuette ( the one you received for being such an upstanding citizen)  up side the head when your spouse catches you cheating. Or,will you become afraid to risk going outside because any simple accident might take away your gift of long life? You  might become a bit obsessive about it. But what happens when you find out that most accidents occur at home? What’s a paranoid obsessive compulsive agoraphobic to do? Or, you might believe a bit too much in what your immortality covers, go out and risk a little too much and kill yourself. A waste of a perfectly good long life. Moderation should be your watchword if the opportunity presents itself.

Immortality for you is one thing. But what if everybody could be immortal? How would that affect the social structure of the world? If nobody dies and babies keep being born, where will all those people go? How long until the demand outstrips the  resources? (Immortality aside, how close are we to that scenario now?) Would you want to live forever and never be able to eat? Would immortal Zombiefied cannibals roam the land searching for other immortal Zombiefied cannibals? Wither goest society, humanity and table manners then? On the other hand, what if the price for immortality was infertility? How would that play out?

If everybody was immortal, what would happen to human evolution? Would those who lived long enough evolve into pure thought or energy with no use for their bodies? Or would they become a collective mind working on the problem of how to commit mass suicide? The centuries and millenia might wear on a person after a while.

The bottom line, check the fine print before you take that pill or sign that parchment in blood.

IDEAS

What if, knowing what you know now, you were suddenly at  your 21st birthday and you were given a pill that would give you immortality (you pick the level). You could take the pill any time during your life and you would not age from that point. At what age would you take it –  considering family, friends, career, lovers and that you could not have kids afterwards? Are you sure? What if you didn’t know what you know now? Do you think your answer would change?

What if , starting from right NOW, you were full on God level immortal? What would you do? Nothing? Everything? Who would you tell? Would you help the world, or take advantage of it? How long do you think before you began hoping for death?

What if you fell in love? Then you found out your new love was immortal and you would grow old and die while they stayed the same. But this person loved you madly. They had spent decades, centuries trying to make the ones they loved immortal, too. With no luck. But what about going the other way? They love you so much they want to give up their long life to live and die with you. Taking on this journey with them, where would you go to find the key to their mortality? Some secret sanctuary in the mountains,  the end of an underground (underworld?) labyrinth, into space, maybe to (beyond?) a black hole’s event horizon, or track down a particular individual and using the power of your love  convince him/her to relieve them of  their immortality? Ahh, romance.

What if you spent your whole life searching for the fountain of youth, thinking it would make you young again, only to find it as an old man or woman, crippled, helpless in a wheelchair.  Maybe you had an assistant who told you to not drink until he’d translated an inscription on the fountain. But you couldn’t wait and drank, just before the assistant told you that the fountain would give you immortality, but not youth or health, and then he drank and walked away because you were such a driven bastard to work for.  Ahh irony.

What if  you were immortal. Do you think that eventually you could own the world?

“Live long and prosper.” Speaking of prosper, are you saving you dimes and quarters for a copy or six of Blood Justice in October?

Space is the Place 1

Space,  the final frontier and all that jazz.  I’m talking outer space here, though the inner space, and workings,  of the human brain are as, or more, complex than getting out into outer space. And likely to get more complex (read fucked up) once we get out there and experience the unique problems and minor  challenges, like vast distances, no air, and new species, waiting for us.

But first, assuming the political enlightenment to work together for mankind, (I know, Science Fiction at its most unbelievable) we have to get up there.  I like the Space Elevator idea. A tether from the equator to a Station in geosynchronous orbit balanced by a counterweight at the far end. You step in at the Earth end, push the Lobby  button and zip, there you are in space. Get your transfer punched and board the shuttle bus to the Moon. The tether would have to be pretty strong, probably made of Jupitureon Cloud Spider silk mixed in with Kevlar and  Bucky Balls all wrapped up with duct tape.  I’ve mentioned this before, but Diet Smith had it all figured out back in the 50s with his transports propelled by magnetic fields. Maybe we’ll have robot Scotties. You step on a pad, say the magic words, “Beam me up, Scotty,” and he will.

Magic might work.  Might be a well-paying gig to be a Transport Sorcerer. They might cast a protective spell on you, using eye of Martian Newt,  hair of Uranian dog, and crushed petals from the sunny side of a Venusian equatorial *^#@$^& flower.  A few indecipherable words and zip, you’re in space. Hopefully the Sorcerer didn’t drink too much of his own brew the night before. You want to materialize on a space station or ship, not, you know, anywhere else.

Once you’re in Space it’s a long way to ANYWHERE.  There are plenty of ways to get around. The old reliable FTL, Wormholes, Jumping across folded space, Jumping through Dimensional Space, Hyperspace, Powered by rare Crystals found only on a single uncharted planet owned by a greedy, power-mad Industrialist, or Colony Sleeper ships, among others. I have an idea about those later. Don’t forget those magnetic fields.

Magic might be your ticket to a bright future. Take a certified Online class and in only a few short months you could make good money as a Sorcerer Power Engineer, if you were strong enough to command the power of the universe to scoot your ship through space.  Of course that wouldn’t do any good without a Sorcerer (or Witch) Navigator to scry for your position and final (?) destination. See the class schedule on our website.

Speaking of final destinations, there are lots of ways to die in space. But with all that vastness, there’s plenty of room for weirdness. Sure, plenty of death will be plain old Death, unfortunately, not always pleasant. We’ll have to live with it.  Surely, other types of Death, and Life, will be found, both horrifying and enlightening, action packed or boring, tragic or happy.

IDEAS

What if instead of packing a zillion people into a colony sleeper ship en route to Planet Delta 6 and hoping they all slept in their pods through the ____ year journey and that the computers actually woke them up like they planned, they had vampires as caretakers.  They’d be awake all the time to take care of the minor maintenance  problems that would inevitably pop up. They could sample  cups of blood from each colonist to survive. Maybe Master Blood blenders would emerge, producing prize-winning vintages. Maybe a vampire or two would become jealous and murder one of the colonists who provided a unique blood type. Would the vampires waken a human detective to solve the crime with a hot vampire (male or female) assistant?

What if you woke up in a non-vampire attended Colony Ship and you couldn’t wake up any other sleeper? You’d definitely be a candidate for the Lonely Hearts Club.  OR, what if the only person you could wake up to help fix the looming disaster threatening not only the colonist’s  lives but the very survival of all mankind, was an unrepentant serial killer you had helped capture. Anybody know where Hannibal Lecter is?

What if in order to anchor the Space Elevator you had to dig so deep you inadvertently broke into a  passage to Hell, and didn’t know it? But the Demons did?  Would they inhabit the elevator? Use it to commandeer the Space Station? For what purpose? Would it take Magic or Science to take back the Station? Maybe the Station is damaged and can’t hold air so the humans make a deal with the demons, vampires or aliens to run the place for us.

What If you lived on a huge Space Station. Like any place there are the people who live in the upper neighborhoods and the ones who drop out for one reason or another and live in the lower rent regions. What if someone up there lost something valuable, station survival related, or incriminating, and somehow it ended up down where you live. And you found it. And then the one who lost it comes looking. And then others who would like/need to find it first came looking. What would you do? Who would you give it to? Or would you use it for your own nefarious/ virtuous ends? A rent free apartment with a view, save a loved one, justice, revenge?

No matter where you go, beyond Earth, beyond the Galaxy, past the Rim or the edge of the known/unknown Universe, there’ll always be heroes and villans and people to tell their stories. I’m going there now.