About Writers, book promotion, Stories, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

The Quantum Soul

What do you get when you ask science fiction authors to write short stories that answer the question, “What is life?”

Victor Acquista, in Soul Mates, wonders if adding back what a dying person loses will reanimate the corpse.
In New Year, GD Deckard wants to know where are we when we’re not alive?

Claire Buss, in Patient Data, explores what might happen if medical robots know a patient is alive or dead only after the fact. CB Droege imagines what freed ‘bots do, once freed, in The Dream Miner’s Drill. In Rob Edwards, Shepherd of Memory, an Alien encounter changes a man but he can’t remember in what way he is now different. Darran Handshaw’s engineer finds a girl in an Ancient pod in The Machine in the Mountain. If you assume all intelligent life forms are animal, Brent A. Harris’ The Trees of Trappist will delight you. For that matter, “Are we alive or are we the A.I.?” is the question in Greg Krojac’s Pixels. And when we do meet an alien intelligence, linguistics just might be the most crucial skill we have, as it is in Leo McBride, Second Contact.

Learn what an autobot might think about in his dying moments in Jeanette O’Hagan, Project Chameleon. Probe other’s dreams in Lyra Shanti’s The Endymion Device. Enjoy ways strange can be wondrous in E.M. Swifthook’s Wondrous Strange.

Cindy Tomamichel has Sci-Fi fun When Words Are Not Enough. “Are created people, people?” may be answered by Ricardo Victoria in What Measure is a Homunculus? And why not create a “people” to travel the light years through space for us, as Jim Webster does in Aether Technician.

What do you get when you ask science fiction authors to write short stories that answer the question, “What is life?”
You get the SciFi Roundtable’s Anthology, The Quantum Soul.

Released today on Amazon.

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About Writers, book promotion, Uncategorized

Member Spotlight on Curtis Bausse

BiopicCurtis Bausse grew up in Wales, was educated in England and has spent most of his life in France. When the restaurant-café-theatre he ran there got demolished, he had to find something to do so became a university lecturer, specializing in Second Language Acquisition. After spending two years in France’s recently acquired 101st department, Mayotte in the Indian Ocean, he has returned to Provence, where he devotes his time to writing.

One Green Bottle, set in Provence, is the first in a series of Magali Rousseau mystery stories. Its sequel, Perfume Island, set in Mayotte against a backdrop of illegal immigration from nearby Comoros, will be released in November 2017.

https://curtisbaussebooks.com/

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Welcome New Member Victor Aquista

“Not all those who wander are lost…”
~JRR Tolkein

Victor AcquistaDr. Victor Acquista has become a successful international author and speaker following careers as a primary-care physician and medical executive. He previously helped to co-found The Collaborative for Community Health, a non-profit, is a founding member of Rivervalley Market, a food co-op, and authored a syndicated Health and Wellness column. He is known for “writing to raise consciousness”.

His non-fiction and his workshops focus on personal growth and transformation, especially as pertains to health and wellness. His fiction includes social messaging intended to get the reader engaged in thought provoking themes.

Dr. Acquista has a longstanding interest in consciousness studies, is a student of Integral Theory, and strives to do his part to make our planet a wee bit better. He lives with his wife in Florida. He is a member of the Authors Guild, Writers Co-op, and is a Knight of the Sci-Fi Roundtable.
 – http://www.victoracquista.com/

Sentient
by Victor Acquista

Survivors from an almost absolute genocide flee through space/time to make an attempt at propagating their species. The architects of their race’s destruction realize that their mission was incomplete. The resulting conflict will be waged on our home planet where a troubled physicist, his young neighbor, and an artificial intelligence may prove to be key in deciding the outcome.

Welcome to the Writers Co-op, Victor!

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Camping In After Irma

+++the sublime delight in opening the front door and entering the eye of a hurricane

As the sun rose in a blue sky the day after, I lit the Coleman stove, perked a pot of coffee, fried some bacon and eggs and after breakfast, I set up the chess set. (Maybe an interested neighbor will wander by.) Then I started recording observations to pass on.

IRMA
I live in a condominium. The building’s solid construction allowed my lady and I to watch in safety as the winds struck a row of trees on the far side of the golf course behind us. The trees were lined up in a que towards the wind. The first tree was ripped out of the ground, roots up. That exposed the next tree in line to the same fate. And so on. A dozen large trees fell like dominoes. There were more fallen trees and flooding and a couple of downed power lines. The storm left us without electricity and made the roads impassable. We had no phones, Internet, social media, TV, refrigeration or air conditioning. Cut off from the larger, modern world, we did what people used to do. We went outside and met our neighbors.

NEIGHBORS
Amazing how people shareing a disaster drop all pretence. Whatever you need, if someone has extra they give it to you; whatever someone needs, if you have extra, you give it to them. It’s the only game in town.

ACTIVITIES & EVENTS
We shook off the shock and the stress. All the energy that had carried us through, the excitement of dashing outside to move our cars as the carport peeled away, the sublime delight in opening the front door and entering the eye of a hurricane, the surprising realization that it was over when it was over; all that energy, excitement and wonder drained. We were left to deal with the outcome.

We cleared away debris. And we made sure everyone was OKAY and had what they needed. Somebody set up a generator that powered three refrigerators. We plugged in a power-strip for people to use to charge their cell phones. 🙂 That inspired supplication of the cellular gods. For days, people walked haltingly about, arms outstretched to the sky, praying for a signal.

That evening, we set up a BBQ Grill and cooked everything we knew would spoil if we didn’t eat it. The grand event of the day after was a pig-out.

REPURPOSING
We drug a bathtub out onto the golf course to use as a watering trough for the cattle, oh. Wait. That’s from my novel, The Phoenix Diary. nm.

LIFE CHANGES
Want to know what your day will be like? Look at the sky. Concerned how someone close to you is doing? Walk over to them and ask. Bored? Go do something useful for someone else. Tired? Take a nap. Feeling sociable? Look for someone who’s bored.
Think camping out with other people. That’s life at our house.

BACK TO THE FUTURE
The power just came back on, Sunday evening, a full week after the hurricane.  So, I’m posting this as Monday’s blog for the Writers Co-op. As for the emergency crews who work  in sweltering heat to restore power, well, what can you say? They are incredible men and women, a cut above the rest of us and we are very lucky to have them.

INFORMATION AIN’T ENOUGH
Note: The decision to ride out a major storm isn’t made based on information alone. The decision requires independent judgement. That’s what we have to do when too many unknowns remain after the facts are considered, make a judgement call. Too bad judgement is not taught in schools. But then, that would teach kids to be independent and people would become hard to control. Can’t have that.

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Hurricane Irma, Muse of the Moment

Well, my lady and I survived the pre-hurricane madness, long gas lines, depleted grocery stores, near-apoplectic news readers 🙂
Now, we’re hunkering down in Naples, Florida amidst enough supplies to restart civilization, got good books for when the power goes out & we have friendly, helpful neighbors. We may be better off now than before Irma appeared.

We’ll huddle in a candle-lit interior room away from windows with the cat & inevitable litter box while Irma blows past Sunday. Later, there’ll be no power. (Been here, done it) That’s when the neighbors will come out because without A/C, why not? People sharing a disaster are not shy. We all know exactly what’s on the other’s mind. “Good to see you. Are you OK? Need anything? Wow, look at this mess.”

Now is a time to observe human nature. The place will get cleaned up, people will return to their individual lives. But for the moment, we can relate to our neighbors, family and friends on a level of shared concern. It’s a teaching moment for writers.

In your own life, what event has been a teaching moment?

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Eternal Themes

Especially in a world where forces pit group against group, universal themes appeal because we all share certain experiences: Birth and death, certainly; hopefully love, probably sex, maybe crime & revenge and possibly war. We also share basic needs and common feelings. These are universal for all people in all cultures and allow a story to appeal to a wider audience.

Common themes also help a writer to better understand what they’re writing about, even things lost to historical obscurity. I remember researching Enheduanna, the first named author, and learning that she was known as the Goddess of the Reeds. This made sense for a Sumerian goddess. Reeds in the Euphrates Valley had to be as culturally important as reeds in the Nile Valley and thus a god dedicated to them was understandable. But wait, no, further research revealed the lady earned her title in a most common way. It seems the reeds were a natural trysting place for young lovers in her time & yup, Enheduanna had earned that title long before Sargon The Great elevated her to chief priestess. Interestingly, a line from one of Enheduanna poems is, “How she carried beauty like the rising moonlight.” Compare that line to Byron’s, “She walked in beauty like the night.” Common themes are timeless.

Writers don’t need to be told what these truths mean for our characters – it’s our job to create that meaning. But we may differ on what themes are eternal and which are important to us.

What eternal themes occur in your writing?

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Here A.I. Comes, The Artificial Part, Anyway

Enjoying science fiction sometimes allows you to watch the future arrive. Artificial intelligence will soon happen. Robots have begun to replace human workers and they will assume roles as autonomous decision makers. Legal rights and protections between us and them will have to be worked out. We are about to decide who “us” is.

Yesterday, Mika Koverola posted on the Facebook group, SciFi Fandom,
“I’m conducting research into the connection between ‘science fiction hobbyism’ and people’s attitudes towards robots as a part of my PhD at Helsinki University. …. Please take my Science Fiction and Robots survey (https://tinyurl.com/SciFiRobots) and help science by spending approximately 45 minutes telling about your views on science fiction, robotics and ethical choices.”

A survey on how I feel about A.I. robots? Help science? How could I say no?
Mika’s questions explored my feelings towards A.I robots. How much do I trust companies that make them? Who do I think is responsible if they harm humans? Will it distress me if they make medical decisions contrary to the wishes of the patient? What are my reactions to people having sex with robots? The usual.

It struck me that if we give robots the right to tell us what to do, we surrender control to whoever controls the robots. Of course, the only way we would give rights to robots is if we assume A.I. is like us. When people talk about “true” A.I., the underlying assumption is that artificial intelligence confers personhood. Put another way, intelligence, even if artificial, is assumed to equal humanity.

Really? Is intelligence really our criteria for who we are? Or is it an awareness of something and we are that something?

What do you think we are?

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