Short Story: Seat 14c Competition “A New Start…”

So the competition has ended (http;//seat14c.com) and I had fun making up the story. Reluctantly didn’t win but that is okay. So since the competition is over and I get my story back, here it is.

A New Start…

“Whoa” I said when we hit the last of the turbulence. The lightning was terrible, the entire cabin was lit up and people were yelling. The last thirty minutes was pretty bad, enough to shake the nerves. Luckily, things were calming down.

I looked around the business class area and noticed the others were settling back in as well. Seasoned travelers we are. A few tightening of the seat belts but for the most part crew and passengers were getting back to our normal routine.

The further we continued pass the storm the brighter things got. The sun was trying to fight through the clouds to show a beautiful dawn sky ahead of us. The wave tops below sparkled like tiny diamonds in a sea of golden azure. It was a calm view to see after the last 30 minutes. The last hour would prove to be very relaxing and then San Francisco.

I couldn’t wait to see my granddaughter again. Such cute cheeks and an irresistibly impish smile. My daughter’s daughter definitely. Lots of spoiling and hugs.

Wait, what is that?

In the distance, a large ship was following the receding storm and there was a massive structure on the top of it. It looked like a large funnel. It couldn’t be that heavy or it would have capsized the ship, I imagine. I wonder what that is for, while pulling out my phone to snap a picture of it.

Never seen a ship like that before. Would need to research a little to see what it does. I continued to stare out the window enjoying the view when another weird scene sailed below. A weird blimp was flying over a ship. The blimp had large propellers on the top of it and looked to be matching the speed of the ship. I watched them for a while and yes, they were moving as one. I snapped a picture of that too. What a weird day this was shaping up to be.

The landing announcement came over the speakers and the crew started preparing for landing. I looked ahead and saw more blimps over ships and then San Francisco. Something was weird, the skyline did not seem the same. Yes it has been a while since I have been back to the US but this really looked different.

And what is up with the blimps?!

There were more blimps over the city, with the large propellers. I did not understand this, the US was not that into green energy last I heard. Grant it California was one of the leaders in the states, but this?

More pictures snapped.

As we got closer to the airport, the more things looked out of place. Something was definitely not right. More people around me were questioning the strangeness of the situation.

A passenger in 12C said rather loudly, “I just left here two days ago and this ain’t right.” Others joined in saying how long they have been gone and agreeing on the strangeness. The cabin attendants looked on helplessly.

Soon the Captain made an announcement. “This is the Captain speaking. Folks, something is going on and I am not sure what but we will be landing soon and can get answers then. Please be patient and prepare for landing.”

The landing was uneventful, but where we were landing was anything but uninteresting. The other planes were sharper, defined. Faster looking. Truly massive buildings dotted the skyline with too many flying craft wending through the buildings. That was weird, a few helicopters I can understand but planes or I guess they were planes?

And those blimps, everywhere.

Taxing to the terminal, when an army of drones came out and surrounded our plane. Everyone was commenting on this. Wondering what this meant and was it dangerous to have these craft so near to the plane. There were so many they were doing a good job of blocking the view around us. I suspected that was part of the job of these things. Looking forward, I did not see many of them around the cockpit area. Further confirming what I thought.

We parked away from the strange terminal. Some vehicles came up to the plane and the drones were still obscuring the view around us. Something was definitely strange. One vehicle, a truck with docking stairs, pulled up to the forward door. A large bus pulled up to the base of the stairs and a few men got out. They were wearing some strange uniforms that I could not identify.

The buzz from around me got louder with some of the people, on the other side of the plane, coming over to see through my window.

“Ever seen uniforms like that before?” asked the lady that was leaning over me to get a look. We both turned as the cabin attendant closed the curtain to the First Class zone. I believe they were going to open the door and let on some of the strangely dressed men.

“No, I was just thinking about how strange that is. Well this whole thing is pretty strange. Drones and all.” I absently said while continuing to stare at the curtain, in the vain hope to see through it to what was happening up front.

“I know, right?” she replied.

An announcement. “This is the Captain speaking. Please return to your seats. An immigration officer would like to address us.” I could be imagining things, but the Captain’s voice sounded stressed.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I am Lieutenant Anderson.” The cabin quieted as all strained to listen. A cabin attendant opened the curtain and a few more uniformed men walked down the aisle to the other parts of the cabin. One stood near my position with a smile on his face. “This might be difficult to grasp but today is August 25th, Twenty Thirty Seven.” He paused as stunned silence filled the cabin. A child was crying in the back.

He continued. “For the last few years we have had planes arriving from the past. There is a wormhole anomaly that has passed planes into the future. You are the third such plane to arrive. My men and I are part of the Past People Immigration Unit. We will help you adjust to your new circumstances.”

The cabin erupted in cries of alarm, disbelief and horror. The uniformed men tried to calm everyone, including the cabin attendants and answer questions at the same time. They failed miserably to calm anyone or answer questions.

I sat there starring between the man, the crowd that was surrounding him, wanting answers and looking out the window. The drones were moving away. It was a beautiful day. The skyline made more sense now. The blimps, well kinda, but if the future, then I guess it could make more sense.

I continue to look out the window and ignore the chaos around me. Being an optimist and recently divorced, well twenty years ago recent, I figure I have a whole new world to look forward too.

I think of my, now not so little, grand-daughter, Mika. She would be around 22 years old now. My children, I wonder where they are and what has become of them. Even my ex-wife. How is she? Friends, my girlfriend, co-workers, etc. What has become of everyone?

Actually I feel pretty upbeat. Blimps and drones, the skies and waters looked clearer on our approach. Maybe the world got its act together.

“Sir, could you come with us? It is time to leave the plane. Are you okay?” My random thoughts of the adventure interrupted.

“Okay?” I laugh and he looks concerned. “I think this will be an interesting adventure.”

He smiles as he realizes I was not losing it. “If you would be so kind sir, let’s get you on that adventure.” He looks down at his tablet like device. “In fact sir, I am authorized to tell you, your family is waiting for you.”

Okay that floored me. I started to sit back down. Shocked. There goes the fantasy of knocking on my daughter’s door and asking where is dinner. “My family?” I whisper.

Now looking pretty concerned. “Yes Mr. Gordon. Your children are all here waiting for you. With their families.” He smiles as I start to break out in a silly grin.

“Families? But how?”

“How did we know and get them here in time?” He smiles as he helps me up. Not that I am that old just a little, well shocked still. “The wormhole acts up a few days before it actually passes a plane out. There are 6 other missing aircraft over the last twenty years. ANA has kept a record of where all family members are so they could contact them as soon as we ID the plane.” Again looking at the tablet. “Your daughter Cathy and family were living in Japan. Your daughter, Nina and family were living in Iowa and your son, John and family were living in Spain. They all arrived within the last hour. Including a few of your nieces and nephews. Others will arrive in the next 12 hours or so.”

“Cathy lived in Japan? How could she get here ahead of us?”

“Sir, a trans-Pacific flight only takes two hours. When the wormhole started acting up, ANA moved her and family to a hotel near Narita airport in case this was your flight. We feel it is important for family to help re-introduce you.”

“Wow. I am not sure what to say.” Still walking in a daze but starting to register my surroundings. There were many more of the Past People Immigration Unit uniformed members onboard. They were starting to go one to one with the passengers and crew. Most of us were walking dazed.

I looked at him. “I am sorry sir, could I have your name? You have been very kind to help me and I want to make sure you get recognized.”

He smiled. “Thank you Mr. Gordon. I am Staff Sergeant Hardon. My father was a friend of yours. A business associate, in fact.”

“Jack? Jack Hardon is your father?”

“Yes sir. He says hello too. I told him your flight reappeared.”

The import of all this hit me again. “Wow, how is he?” I barely whispered.

He smiled and gave me a minute. “He is fine sir. In fact, because of you and your business, we made out pretty well.” I gave him a quizzical look. He continued, “Your flight’s disappearance pretty much guaranteed the movie was a hit. So many people came to see what was already being billed as an epic movie. Your company used that to help hire other writers to continue after you. “

I didn’t quite understand how that worked but let it go for now. So many questions, so many people I wanted to know about. I was starting to feel overwhelmed. I think he noticed that.

“Mr. Gordon, let’s get you off the plane and processed. Your family is waiting for you and I am sure you have tons of questions.”

We got on the bus and went to a terminal off the main terminal. Guess they wanted to keep us separate. I asked him about that.

“Oh. Yes this is a special terminal built for returnees. We realized after the first two returned planes that all were still coming to San Francisco. It’s pretty nice and comfortable. You will see.”

And I did.

It was a pretty luxurious terminal. Looked like a massive first class lounge or hotel lobby. We each had a private room to relax in. Staff Sgt Hardor stayed with me. Then I remembered. “Staff, what is up with the blimps and such.” I showed him my pictures I took.

“Oh, well, after you disappeared, we had some pretty crazy times. People were freaked out but then we started to come together. Not sure when exactly but people started to realize that we had come to a dangerous place and needed to step back.”

He handed me a steaming cup of coffee. It smelled incredible.

“We started to realize that we needed to get away from oil and needed to start working together. The blimps are mostly flying warehouses. They deliver orders to the ground stations via drones. It’s a pretty complex system. Supposed to alleviate congestion and speed deliveries.”

I showed him the picture of the blimp over the ship. “Oh that, well that is a new power source. We realized that ships were some of the worst polluters out there and this helps them reduce their fuel usage.”

“How do they do that?”

“The blimps, like the flying warehouses use wind power turbines to power them. With the ships they create electrical power to power the ships. Usually they only do that far away from shore. Mostly for when the ships cross the ocean, they have a blimp hooked up to them to power them. It’s really pretty good. Fuel usage is reduced to almost 30% of what it used to be.”

“Okay I can see that. Good idea. What about this one.” I showed him the ship with the large structure on top of it.

“Ah, those are rain harvesters. We were running out of water and realized that desalinization was causing the oceans to become saltier in the areas where the plants were. These ships follow storms at sea and capture rain before it hits the ocean. They then link up with the power blimps and go to ports where the water is needed.”

Okay I was shocked. That was very interesting and I could see how that would work. “Do they produce enough water to make a difference?”

“Yes there are hundreds of them plying the oceans harvesting rain.”

“I see.” Okay, one more. “What are all those flying craft flying around the cities. They aren’t the drones for the flying warehouses are they?”

“Oh, no. They are air taxis. You have probably noticed the buildings are really tall right? Well they were created to help service the upper floors. Now we have buildings over 200 stories, so to go to ground level takes a while. These air taxis stop at portals in all the tall buildings and take people from each building to the ground level or to the suburbs. Pretty ingenious, right?”

“Truly amazing, Staff.” I start laughing. “I think I am going to love this place. When can I see my family?”

“Right after we give you a physical, sign some forms and give you your nanite shots.”

“Nanite shots? What is that?” Okay I was a little apprehensive about this.

“Everyone gets them now. We discovered a way to create nanites that help protect us against disease. They do not protect against everything but cancer is a thing of the past as are other diseases. These little guys go through your body and destroy the viruses and stuff when they find them. Had them about 6 years now.”

“And this is safe?” Still worried about having little robots running around my body. “Who controls them?”

“Well, the basic variety lasts a few months and only go after certain virus or cancer cells. When we have certain illnesses, we can try to give more directed nanites.” Perfectly safe and everyone pretty much has them nowadays.

Well he was Jack’s kid, so he probably was telling the truth. Well, you only live once and I wouldn’t mind not getting cancer and such. “Why not, lead me on Staff.”

Later, they put me in this nice waiting room. Had a nice view of the bay and some very comfortable couches. They kinda molded themselves to the body. I was pretty tired even with the little nanite buggers scrubbing my bloodstream of CO2 and other bad things.

Returning my gaze back to the cup of coffee in hand, I thought I was gonna like this place and time. Twenty years in the future and I am the same age. A celebrity in a sense. This could be fun.

A knock at the door. Staff Sergeant Hardor stuck his head in. With a widening grin, “Got some company for you Jim.”

I stood up and there they were. My kids walked in. I knew they were older and even was able to see pictures of them but still wasn’t prepared for the real thing. I couldn’t move but just sat there starring at them.

Cathy moved first and ran up for a hug. “Daddy.” John and Nina were right behind her. Their families bringing up the rear. Hugs, kisses and crying were flowing easily. I looked over and most of the kids were hanging back. They were all teenagers or older but looked unsure of what to do. I couldn’t blame them.

Smiling at my kids. “You all look great.” I got out between tears. Another round of laughing, tears and comments about how fat I looked. I was hugably large, not fat.

Looking over at my grand kids, I made eye contact with Mika. A beautiful young lady that looked like her mother when she was that age. Smiling, “Mika, you don’t remember me do you?”

She was sniffling back tears, “Baka,” The Japanese word for silly. “I was only two then.” She then came to me for a great big hug. I was content.

My kids introduced their spouses and my other grand kids. Beautiful children, they were. It was all too much. I learned that their mother had passed away a few years ago and my parents and brothers too. Their kids were here with their families too.

I turned to the window for a minute to compose myself. It really was an overwhelming turn of events. Looking outside, the scene was calming. My family gave me a minute. I was about to turn around when I zeroed in on one of the blimps.

“Blimps?” I quietly said.

“Whats that pops?” John asked, as he came up and clapped me on the back. He was now physically around ten years younger than me. They all were. It was pretty weird but funny at the same time.

“I still can’t believe the blimps.”

He looked out the window to the blimp that I was looking at. “Ya, they are pretty standard now a days. Pretty convenient. Most deliveries occur in an hour or less.”

“Via drone?” I asked.

“Yes, most housing complexes have an internal delivery system so the drones deliver to those and then the internal system takes it the rest of the way.”

Nina looked at me, hits me in the stomach and then hugs me. “You skip twenty years and the only thing you can think about is blimps?”

Cathy and Mika were also hovering around. Cathy said, “Ya I know, right?”

“Hey I just found myself twenty years in the future with kids almost as old as I am. I am entitled to a little fixation.”

I continued looking out the window.

Mika moves up and takes my arm and puts it around her. Looking up at me with a little concern. “Grandpa, are you sure you will be okay?”

I hug her hard and kiss her forehead. “Of course honey.”

Cathy smiles. “What do you think you want to do once you settle in, daddy?”

One of the young nephews jumps in, “Ya, you’re rich.”

I turn and smile at all of them. “Live.”

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WIP: Response from Launch Pad Competition

So I finally got a response to my entry. Needless to say, I did not place, but I am happy with the Notes I received. I submitted excerpts from my book and that seemed to be a bad thing. They said show them the action but I guess it was not to mean, literally, show action scenes only. Lesson learned!

I tried to streamline the novel to read more like a screen play but they said they want more background in the novel. Fair enough.

Lots of work to do. I have the background but need to figure out how to flesh out the story again but not weigh down the story’s flow.

I think what I will do is return to the first novel and rewrite it with these notes in mind. Then I will write the Pilot screenplay and outline the rest of the novel for a season one of the trilogy. Will try both Hollywood and book publishers again once that is done.

Here are the Notes they sent.  Hopefully it can help someone by showing things that industry folks look for. I can definitely see the benefit of going to school for this, but for some of us older folks, that is not practical.

I would love to hear what you feel these notes meant. Doesn’t hurt having a second opinion.

FeedbackNotes

The samples provided are excerpts or vignettes rather than a full 50 pages of straight text in the order of the story’s progressions so it’s difficult to get a good idea of the overall arc of the story and its timeline. A whole world is introduced in this story yet I don’t know what it looks like, the kind of time period the people are living in, the kind of technology they have available, etc. Unfortunately the sample lacks that set-up that establishes the world in which “Empires Fall” takes place.

As far as the excerpts are concerned, they contain intriguing scenarios and introduce compelling story arcs and characters, however often gloss over backstory which is necessary to build a foundation. For instance, in the first excerpt, “Arctic Icepack,” we’re told briefly that “Indrajit is a God anointed hero.” As well as that his comrade Zhenjin witnessed his anointing. However, this is glossed over in just three sentences. Perhaps there is more in an excerpt not included here, but the brief mention in the current scenario when the audience is already invested in Indrajit’s observation and attack on the researchers is distracting.

If more detail is not going to be provided to explain this here, its inclusion is confusing. It’s one thing to refer to Indrajit by a nickname, but wholly another to almost provide an explanation of the name which falls short.

Due to the structure of the sample, the time line of “EmpiresFall” is unclear, as are the main themes, tone, and the primary focus of the story. And due to the lack of detail, the excerpts come across as summaries of a larger story than as small pieces taken from an existing manuscript. Where is the detailed history of these two societies?Why are they at war, what are they fighting about?

Further, since we know so little about them/who they are, it’s difficult to invest in or care about what’s happening in the lives of the characters. For material to be capable of adaptation, especially from novel to film, there needs to exist a steady, broad foundation. Is the world of “Empires Fall” enticing and compelling? Are there characters that can carry such a weighty story?

As of now, the manuscript doesn’t offer a visually enticing presentation of this world (visual being the keyword, as film is a visual medium. Will “Empires Fall” translate to the screen?) nor does it offer a clear interpretation of the characters. How can this be improved? Include detail–focus on the description of the scenario (where are the characters, what does the scene look like how did they get there, what are their motivations, etc.) A narrative will almost always contain more than what is needed for the adaptation – the content of the film script has to come from some where. The back story of a narrative informs that script. “Empires Fall” also seems to get its inspiration from existing genre shows such as “Game of Thrones” which shows in some of the dialogue (e.g. Tilor’s name for Lena, “sun and moon” and the emphatic “by the gods” statements). While it’s perfectly fine to be inspired by existing content, be sure to give “Empires Fall” your own voice and flavor.

In other news…

With the submission of my entry into the Launching Pad competition, that could have Hollywood and book publishers seeing my story, I have been waging an illogical war in my head. Should I prepare a synopsis of my other books or continue writing the books?

Being optimistic is definitely a necessary trait for what I want to do when I grow up but even I wonder if I am getting too far ahead of myself. I am happy to have put together an entry that I am rather pleased with submitting. I also ordered notes be sent back about my submission. Hopefully, quality notes that I can use to help me better my books and future entries.

The crux of the issue is, if I do have a lot of interest in my story, will they want a presentation of the full story (submitted book one synopsis) and how quickly will they want it.

Murphy’s Law is in total play here!  For those that might not be really familiar with this abhorrent law of nature, it basically means ‘what you least want to happen will happen.’

So if I do not prepare synopsis’ of books two and three and maybe a seasonal story arc for season one of a possible series, suicidal mania will prevail. They will love my story and be really excited but will want to move quickly and will need me to submit yesterday with no promise of payment.

You see the problem right? Being one of many that has that silly obligation called “A day job and bills to pay.” I can not just bar myself in a dark room and type until my fingers bleed. Bills and food be damned.

So write the synopsis’ right?

Well that leads me to the next level of my self-made hell. If I spend a lot of time working on that and nothing happens on the Hollywood front, I have taken away time from working on book two which I am a little more than half way through.  I imagine a book publisher would like to see the books finished, since they are interested in that kinda thing.

Yes, probably not a big problem when compared to so many other curve balls that life can throw our way. But in my totally optimistic frame of mind, I would love this to be a new career and this year to be start of that career.  So need to prepare but which one should I prepare for?

“It’s messing with my zen.”

 

 

Seat 14c Short Story Competition

http://seat14c.com/

Another competition to try for, especially since this one is free to enter. My luck, I have a hell of a time trying to load the website. The competition is sponsored by X-prize and ANA (All Nippon Airways). The premise is you are on ANA Flight 8 from Tokyo to San Francisco and your plane flies through a wormhole that sends you 20 years into the future.  Yup 2037.

You need to write a short story (between 2000-4000 word) about what you see there. They are asking for positive stories, so no post apocalyptic worlds. First person perspective too.

Here is the first part of my story.  I would be interested in what you think.  Draft version, so happy to hear how I screwed it up but would love for that to be gently done.

 

“Whoa” I said when the plane hit the turbulence. The lightning was terrible, the entire cabin was lit up and people were yelling. It wasn’t really that bad of turbulence, but enough to shake the nerves.

I looked around the business class seats and noticed the others were settling back in as well. Seasoned travelers we are. A few tightening of the seat belts but for the most part crew and passengers were getting back to normal.

The sun was trying to fight through the clouds to show a beautiful dawn sky ahead of us. The wave tops below sparkled like tiny diamonds in a sea of golden azure. It was a calm view to see after the last 30 minutes of the trip.  The last hour would prove to be very relaxing and then San Francisco.

I couldn’t wait to see my granddaughter again. Such cute cheeks and an irresistibly impish smile. My daughter’s daughter definitely. Lots of spoiling and hugs.

Wait, what is that?

In the distance a large ship was following the receding storm and there was a massive structure on the top of it. It looked like a large funnel. It couldn’t be that heavy or it would have capsized the ship, I imagine.  I wonder what that is for, I thought, pulling out my phone to snap a picture of it.

Never seen a ship like that before. Would need to research a little to see what it does. I continued to stare out the window enjoying the view when another weird scene sailed below. A weird blimp was flying over a ship. The blimp had large propellers on the top of it and looked to be matching the speed of the ship. I watched them for a while and yes, they were moving as one. I snapped a picture of that too.  What a weird day this was shaping up to be.

The landing announcement came over the speakers and the crew started preparing for landing. I looked ahead and saw more blimps over ships and then San Francisco. Something was weird, the skyline did not seem them same. Yes it has been a while since I have been back to the US but this really looked different.

What is up with the blimps?!

There were more blimps over the city, with the large propellers. I did not understand this, the US was not that into green energy last I heard. Grant it California was one of the leaders in the states but this?

More pictures snapped.

As we got closer to the airport, the more things looked out of place. Something was definitely not right. More people around me were questioning the strangeness of the situation.

A passenger in 12C said rather loudly, “I just left here two days ago and this ain’t right.” Others joined in saying how long they have been gone and agreeing on the strangeness. The cabin attendants looked on helplessly.

The Captain made an announcement. “This is the Captain speaking. Folks, something is going on and I am not sure what but we will be landing soon and can get answers then. Please be patient and prepare for landing.”

The landing was uneventful, but where we were landing was anything but uninteresting. The other planes were sharper, defined. Faster looking. Truly massive buildings dotted the skyline with too many flying craft wending through the buildings. That was weird, a few helicopters I can understand but planes or I guess they were planes?  

And those blimps, everywhere………………..

Launch Pad Manuscript Competition.

So getting down to the wire for the final entry. Missed my deadline for the previous submission deadline because I was not happy with the synopsis. I feel better about this one and thought I would ask all for thoughts on how it sounds.

Some notes on the format.  First time a major character is mentioned, the name is all in caps,  JIM. Afterwards it would be normal, Jim.

Also this synopsis is to be one page only. Reluctantly, I have used exactly one page so adding more material is not possible unless I remove stuff.  I will include 48 other pages of passages from the book. The goal is to get them excited enough with the synopsis to read the rest of the submission.

The passages from the book are sequential but not a complete progression through the story. I decided to take passages that hopefully would show the action of the story.

Lastly, I do identify this as book one of a trilogy.  So hopefully that will help.

Thoughts?

 

Empires Fall Synopsis

For 30,000 years, Atlantis grew from small city to global empire. Poseidon blessed them with the secret of Aether, which powers their advanced technologies. First coming as friends and teachers, many considered them as gods. Soon they started to believe they were gods and friendship turned to lordship.

An alliance grew to stand against them, led by the Empire of Rama. The Gods of the alliance favored their followers with heroes of great might to combat the technologies of Atlantis.

For 10 years war has raged across the Ice Age world. In the last year, Atlantis turns to Aether weapons of immense destructiveness.

RISOR, a vailixi squadron commander, finds himself fighting the enemy and JANA, his political rival. Her animosity peaks as he questions the wisdom of her leading a WMD strike against the Rama Empire home cities. This led to the Rama Empire retaliating.

With cities being destroyed, Rama’s capacity for war diminishes. A last ditch effort by Rama sends, INDRAJIT, a hero of Rama, to the Arctic ice packs. His mission is to breach the ice walls, in the hope the flood waters would doom Atlantis.

Woken in the middle of the night, Risor and the citizens of Altai flee for their lives. The floods inundate the coastal areas of the world, ruining Atlantis and most of their colonies.

Atlantis demands a recall of most military forces to strike back. An act that would leave most colonies defenseless. Many colonies refuse the order and rebel. SHANDAR, another squadron commander, leads his people in open revolt against Atlantis. While Risor’s people decide to abandon their city and hide. In the end, they both realize they can not openly fight their former masters.

ROGAT, an infantry officer, takes charge of a group of survivors, abandoned by Atlantis and chased by the enemy. They are chased to a mountain stronghold, where they are trapped.

With the empire in chaos, LENA, the girlfriend of Risor’s lieutenant, has her colony attacked by Greek raiders. She is taken as a slave. After rebuffing the Greek leader many times, he gives her to a cruel ally. She is spared being raped or worse by an attacking Atlantean force.

Jana is sent to Altai and discovers that Risor’s people have fled. Her forces quickly find Risor and in the climatic battle, Risor’s people bring down her vailixi. She realizes it is him but is unable to do anything. His people escape and while Jana rages impotently, her master recalls her to Atlantis for a new operation.

Competition Time!

There are those that say, keep your projects (books, scripts, etc…) secret because you might fail. Then there are those that say announcing it will help push you to complete it because of the fear of failure.  I like the second way.

A writing competition is being sponsored by Launch Pad by the Tracking Board that is bringing together book and movie houses to review entries. Luckily, you do not need a complete novel to enter. Even more luckily for me, I have a pretty complete novel to enter.

So, I need to come up with a name for the trilogy, select 50 pages of text, from the novel, as the entry submission and put together a one page summary, novel and possibly trilogy. All before the 30th of June. Will find out if I was lucky by mid September.

So if you ever wanted to write a book or have one in the works or completed, check out the link. Wish me luck!

New Idea: Fight of Ages

While I work on my epic adventure story about the downfall of Atlantis, I have recently started loving the epic music of Two Steps From Hell. I like to write to it, which is really cool when I am doing an action scene.

It also struck me as Cirque du Soleil-ish in their shows. In fact, the game play videos that the link above is mated to started to give me ideas.

Imagine.

The venue is a enclosed stadium, with three quarters of the seating available. The stage is the field below that backs up to a mountain that encompasses the last quarter of the stadium.

Up and way in the back of the mountain is an orchestra and band blaring out epic songs that are piped through the stadiums speakers. The seats occasionally vibrate to the beat of the music.

Closer to the crowds, high over head are singers belting out the vocals of the songs. Angelic voices that tear at the heart or stir the emotions to the action below.

A massive fight scene develops on the stage or stadium field. Some participants are doing aerial jumps over their opponents. The stadium is darkened and parts of the action are highlighted with spot lights while others fade out to near darkness. In the back are the heroes, yet to enter the fray.

They carry on a conversation that the audience can hear through speakers near their ears.

Suddenly the stadium’s speaker blast a monstrous roar. Clouds of smoke start to bellow above the field of battle and a massive laser-drawn winged dragon appears above the battle. It beats it’s wings and the audience feels the wind stir around their faces.

The dragon looks at the heroes and talks to them via the chair speaker. It threatens to incinerate the audience. The dragon turns to the audience and inhales. One of the heroes knows magic and casts a large shield over the audience. The dragon’s fire blast rolls over the audience, as heated wind, hitting their faces with chairs shaking. A large laser light display acts as the shield blocking the majority of the fire.

This angers the dragon that then turns his attention on the battle below. A blast on the field furthest from the mountain causes another wave of heat to hit the audience. Fire engulfs the combatants. The combatants have disappeared, when the audience can see again, vaporized by the dragon fire’s intense heat.

The main hero yells No! and starts to run up the mountain towards the audience. The dragon turns to look at him and starts to inhale for another blast. The warrior leaps into the air. With his massive sword first, he is as an arrow, aimed to the heart of the dragon.

The dragon blasts flow around the hero, protected by his magic. The warrior pierces the dragon in a massive explosion of laser, light and pyrotechnics. The blast encompasses the audience with wind and a rumbling of the chairs. All of the combatants are floored from the destruction of the dragon.

 

So a theater production that takes Cirque du Soleil + Final Fantasy, to the music of Two Steps From Hell, sprinkle laser lights and active chairs (like Disney’s A Bug’s Life chairs).

I figure a two hour show with an intermission. Probably five different stories tied together via a few similarities like Final Fantasy does between stories. Something that can work on the same stage props (mostly the same). Acrobatic fight scenes with an overhead system that allows characters to do massive jumps over their opponents in the fights.  Like the games or fantastic martial art type movie scenes.

Use the active chairs when something happens on stage. This would allow for giving the audience an experience beyond just watching the action on the stage. For example, a blast of fire washes over the audience (a small blast of hot air directed to the face of the seated audience) or chairs that rock back when a particular event occurs on the stage.

Also the actors voices could be projected through speakers in the chairs. This would allows the “din” of the battle, the music of the orchestra/band/vocals to be projected differently. Maybe these would come from the stadium/theaters speakers while the main characters would speak in the voices that best projects the emotions of the part (maybe pre-recorded).

Yes I love to dream.

From the Web: Another Explanation of Fermi’s Paradox that sounds wrong to me.

Happy New Year.  My first post of 2017!  Here’s to hoping for a good year.

As I usually do when I want to write my novels, I stare at my computer until I get the urge to write or look at Facebook or something.  This morning, Facebook won out.  I found a post about Brian Cox explanation of Fermi’s Paradox.  Another article talking about how all aliens must destroy themselves before they break free of their home planet.

I have addressed how I feel this is wrong in this previous post, so I will not dwell on those reasons here. Of course; I, like them, have no clue whether aliens exist or not. We have no substantiated proof either way, yet.  It is all conjecture.  But what fun this is!

To me, these arguments for self-destruction is superimposing our behavior on any alien race that might exist. While I believe this is a very possible outcome for the human race.  I do not believe that means all intelligent races will do the same.

Look at other examples on Earth. Bees for example.  How do they expand? Do they grab every possible hive location as soon as possible?  Do they constantly war with themselves? They do have their cold-blooded aspects but not like us. Bees expand, or swarm, when they have grown large enough that they can not “smell” the queen. When a hive is so large that the queen’s pheromones can not reach all members in the hive, those members not ‘under her spell’ make a new queen. When she is born, the old queen flies off with a portion of the workers.

A hive grows larger because it has produced enough food to allow the colony to successfully grow.  So instead of producing swarms that go out and just find land, they do it when they are over populated.  Could an alien race act like this?  Why not?

Another example could be the big cats or wolves. Normally they also do not go out and grab all they can grab. They keep their territory unless resources are scarce.

Why would aliens not have a similar behavior? Why would we think that aliens would make their main goal of exploration of everything?  Why wouldn’t they just explore their immediate surroundings, find a few places and settle in for a while to develop these resources.

Within 10 light years of Sol (our solar system) there are 15 known stellar objects (stars and red/brown dwarf stars). These are the ones we know of.  The last being discovered in 2014, with a few more found since 2010. This leads me to believe there might be at least double this number in this space.  If there are 30 systems in this small space, that is a lot of exploration for us to undertake.  Each one requiring a mission to be set up, speed up and slow down of the craft on the way, communications between the stars, etc..  That is a lot of resources.  And we still have problems on earth that are priorities.

Within 100 light years of Sol, there are over 500 known G type stars (ones we can see as a twinkle of light in the night’s sky).  In the 10 light year range, only 2 of them are G type. So if we take a similar ratio of dwarf stars to G types, in 100 light years range there might be 2500 stars.  Include even fainter ones, like we are discovering still in 10 light year range, and that might be 5000 or more.  Again think of all the trip planning and particulars of the trip to get to all of them.

Humans seem to have the wanderlust that makes them always go over the horizon. That doesn’t seem to be a trait of most of our fellow species of Earth. Why would aliens act more like us and not more like one of the other species of Earth?

Additionally, there are so many resources in this solar system, why would we need to go elsewhere? Yes for humans, its wanderlust.  If the species was not prone to wanderlust, when would they need to move?  When they have exhausted the resources of a solar system?  How long would it take for us to mine out this system?  It has been 5000 years of recorded time and we still have not mined out the resources of Earth. What about the moon? asteroids? Mars? Jupiter and her moons? etc…

If a race takes 1000 years to exhaust the resources of an entire star system and thus requiring the aliens to move on.  It would take this race 30,000 years to exhaust the 10 light year range from Sol.  With the Milky Way galaxy being 100,000 light years wide, it would take this race 30 million years to strip a 10 light year wide strip from one end to the other.

To do this for a 1000 light year wide strip, it would take 3 billion years. That would still leave the vast majority of the galaxy untouched and that is a quarter the age of the galaxy. So even if we had a locust acting race out there, chances are, the galaxy is just too big to swallow.

Have a Happy New Year!