Tag: SCIENCE FICTION

Diary Entries During Writing of The Hole Inside the Earth

Introduction – 1 February, 2019
I don’t know when I first conceived of The Hole Inside the Earth, but the idea to write something that spanned the whole of man’s existence from early times to the far future has been around for a long time. I think I first started writing Green and then the other colours in the Autumn of 2015 and I remember needing one more thread as I only had 6, so I started Indigo on a very cold day in Jan or early Feb 2016. Until now, I often thought I would abandon it. In fact, in the early days, it was just an experiment, and I don’t think I or anybody else thought I would finish it. But now I am through the worst. There have been times over the last year when I just had to make a huge effort to keep going and I think it affected me physically. I only started this diary in 2019, but then again, it’s the first time I felt that I could see light at the end of the tunnel.
nb: HITE is my acronym for The Hole Inside the Earth.

2 February, 2019
I finished Indigo 9 in the afternoon. I realise that actually I am a bit afraid of HITE, because it is such a huge undertaking. It may well be my last, major project. I am thinking of having Chaka become corrupt because of the allure of the splinter of blue wood in Drul’a’s pouch. I am also thinking about having Omacron fall in the river at the top of the Altar mountain and somehow float down through an underground stream and come out in the Caves of the Orange Giant.
One last thought on fear; I feel that there is tremendous fear in the world right now. The fear seems to be of global recession, but I think this is tied to the changing political climate. I feel we are slowly moving to the left, and perhaps people on the right fear this and put up a struggle. Anyway, there is tremendous fear around, possibly exacerbated by fear of technological progress too.

3 February, 2019
I slept well last night, but I had an amusing dream. I was competing with another guy to descend this mountain first. It involved bob-sleighs, skis and eventually running and falling. I fell down this sheer cliff and into a complex set of concrete tunnels, like a bunker, surrounded by a river. The water flowed into the tunnels and carried me down and down, round lots of bends until I passed a small opening, inside which a man was writing at a desk.
I said, “Where the Hell am I?”
He replied, “I guess you were on holiday and got lost.”
I replied, “Holiday? Who said anything about a holiday!”
LOL
Still bloody cold. About 19 degrees in here, about 0 outside. Will put heating on soon.

I wanted to start Violet 9, but didn’t really have any ideas so sat in bed most of the afternoon, thinking about it (it was a Sunday, so who cares?)
I finished the evening watching Triple Cross with Christopher Plummer (who I don’t really like as an actor and the film is shit, but I kind of enjoyed it, because I didn’t have to concentrate and could think about problems, and then I spent an hour more thinking. I feel like I have lost my mojo in the last week or so. I seem to get edgy at dusk, more than usual, which I can only put down to paranoia or lack of confidence (same thing?).

16 February, 2019
So busy today! Jadson is near the end of designing the cover for HITE, and I really want to get it out in a newsletter, so that I can get feedback from fans before we finalise it. I also want to get it up on Instagram, so that others can see it. Stopped listening to Led Zeppelin, because I don’t want to get bored of the albums.

13 March, 2019
Yet another day of slogging. Editing is really getting me down and making it even harder to write HITE. But I worked out last night that if I can write 1000 words per day, I will finish HITE before end of this year. I will aim for this.

11 April, 2019
Have had almost constant back pain/stiffness on right side of hip for last month. I have had this before during stress, usually from women, but it usually goes quite quickly. This is really hanging around. No idea what’s causing it. . Maybe the back pain is the constant pressure of coming up with ideas. I write 1000 words every day. Its not a lot, but to keep coming up with fresh ideas is hard.

14 April, 2019
My back/hip is really bad now. I can barely walk and find it hard to sleep. The pain is a constant dull ache, turning into sharp pain when I move.

17 April, 2019
I was feeling too ill to enter anything today. I went for a walk, and struggled for much of the distance. Wrote last section of Blue, Chapter 10 before taking a break from writing.

[I took a break from writing]

25 April, 2019
Worked out much of the final climax of HITE. Hurt by head a bit then! But hurt my leg a lot more at night.

8 May, 2019
Started Green, Chapter 11. Leg improving but still a bit stiff. It’s frustrating me that I can’t use the bike or do sit-ups, but there’s no point trying until I can walk freely.

10 May, 2019
Wrote a battle scene in Green, Chapter 11, which flowed nicely, but I felt shit after. I had to spend all evening trying to convince myself (against a bad headache) that I want to write about this war, because Tantor simply would launch such a war to save himself and his ideas. Sometimes, war happens.

12 June, 2019
Wrote the death of Zang scene, which is about the most depressing I have ever written.

12 July, 2019
Had an easy day, because I chose to only write 600 words to compensate for the previous day. Felt a bit better. I am on to I12 now.

11 July, 2019
Nearly went crazy trying to get all the elements of the story to fit yesterday. Sorry to say I felt worse after, despite hours of trying to sort my head out. It’s like they say – I needed to sit in a darkened room for a while, but somebody kept flicking the light on and off.

1 August, 2019
Wrote the deployment part of main battle. Very exciting!

2 September, 2019
Wrote end of Yellow!

24 September, 2019
Started Blue, Chapter 14 – the last chapter! Lakan selling Nim’a’s meat.

29 September, 2019
Finished the main volumes! Wow! Now I just have to write the concluding volume: The Sea of Lost Intentions.

26 October, 2019
I finished HITE. I have some editing to do, but perhaps I will be able to write about other things here soon.

27 October, 2019
Working now on publishing the last parts of HITE, including the Appendices

28 October, 2019
It feels strange not be writing or editing. I published right up to Volume 14 yesterday and today I will start registering volumes with the British Library

31 October, 2019
Thought a bit about The Orange Tree [which I had put aside since 2017] and prepared 1 December mailshot.

Note from author: I will upload more content from my diary if there’s enough interest.

Grail of the Secret Sun

Only the Vampire Priests understand the Blood Moon Prophecy: “A drop of His blood fills the cup and brings the Blood Moon Dawn.”

“Lots of cool action and drew me well in.” – AHF Magazine.

The Hole Inside the Earth trailer on YouTube

Introduction

I once asked Omacron what time seemed like for one who had survived for so long in a tumultuous world.
“Time is meaningless,” he said.
“Then, what does have meaning?” I asked.
“Memory.”
This, then, is the story, as recalled by me and those Rememberers, few in number, who survived the last war on Earth.  I wasn’t there at the beginning, but I am here now in the tale that continues.

A cup wrought at Earth’s birth, the Holy Grail is brought to Atlantis but lost.

Take a sneak preview of a map of Atalan T’ea Llantu here

Continue reading “Grail of the Secret Sun”

Coming Soon! RIP – the greatest story adventure!

RIPSubscriptions will soon start for RIP – a scifi, paranormal and  alternative history adventure in the online magazine format.

There is a RIP in the fabric of time space which allows two spirits, joined by the dream of a world that might break out of a cycle of progress and destruction, to seek each other out, again and again. Omah is a man with a key, but he knows not what it will open. Bri is an empath of outstanding ability. Together they will find a way to open up the RIP and find man’s destiny.

Subscriptions will be for $0.99 for 2 chapters per month (RIP Prime), or $0.49 for one chapter per month (RIP Stream 1 or 2), of a story that will build into seven novels of up to a million words and take years to complete.

You will be able to get all chapters or choose your genres from two streams:

Stream 1: Mostly Alternative History and War thriller, with some Romance

Stream 2: Mostly Science Fiction and Romance, with some Alternative History

The first two chapters will be FREE! And you will get one month free after you subscribe and a further month’s trial subscription after that.

Be the first to hear of the start of this new story by subscribing to the Lazlo newsletter:

http://eepurl.com/K9r8P

 

New Book trailer for Free scifi ebook Running (The Alien in the Mirror)

Running (The Alien in the Mirror is the FREE prequel to the Iron Series.

You can get Running (The Alien in the Mirror) FREE on Amazon: http://bit.ly/glrunning
Smashwords (DRM-Free): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/517897
It’s also available on Google Play, iTunes, Scribd, and many other book websites.

Watch this space on Friday for a BIG announcement.

I hope you like my new video. Let me know what you think.

Continue reading “New Book trailer for Free scifi ebook Running (The Alien in the Mirror)”

Science Fiction book – Too Bright the Sun, Caption Competition

Just a reminder: Love Blade Runner? Download the 5★ Science Fiction novel FREE NOW on Amazon until 7 May: http://bit.ly/102Xt92. It’s currently #845 in Amazon Free kindles and #10 in Science Fiction (see screen grab below). If you don’t have one already, make sure you download a copy!

Toobrightrank040514

Too Bright the Sun is now in the goodread lists: Best Military Science Fiction Books (listed #65) Can’t Wait Sci-Fi/Fantasy of 2014 (#96) and Best Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction so if you have time, please vote for it here: https://www.goodreads.com/list/book/17664602 by clicking on the list name at bottom of page and then clicking on the ‘vote’ button beside the book title!

Competition
I am soon to release World Like Dust, the next part of the Iron Series. In this episode, the Stamford Torus space station, J5 (looking something like the illustration below) has to leave the Solar System under it’s own power as a final refuge of mankind. I think it should have a new name for this voyage so I want you to choose one. All you have to do is download a FREE copy of Too Bright the Sun, comment here AND share a Facebook post or a Twitter tweet to win the prize of a free copy of Worlds Like Dust. It will be published as two, novel length books so it is a prize worth winning! in addition, your name will be used in the published book and you will also get an acknowledgement at the beginning of the book.

Don’t forget, the main difference between the station in this image and J5 is that J5 has a half-scale replica of the Golden Gate Bridge over a half-scale river, where Jake Nanden spent much of his youth.

I look forward to hearing your ideas! Good luck!

Caption competition - name this station
Name this space station

Science Fiction eBook – Too Bright the Sun – is FREE this weekend!

Love Blade Runner? Download the 5★ Science Fiction novel FREE on Amazon from Saturday 3 May until Wednesday 7 May: http://bit.ly/102Xt92. If you don’t have one already, make sure you download a copy!

Too Bright the Sun is now in the goodread lists: Can’t Wait Sci-Fi/Fantasy of 2014 and Best Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction so if you have time, please vote for it here: https://www.goodreads.com/list/book/17664602 by clicking on the list name at bottom of page and then clicking on the ‘vote’ button beside the book title!

BookCoverPreviewToo Bright the Sun: “Engaging” “Thought provoking” “A good sci-fi battle romp” “The writing style is unusual”
This book has been compared with the work of Phillip K Dick, who wrote Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the book that became the film Blade Runner.

You will find a link to my main page about Too Bright the Sun in the menu at the top of this blog.

Below is an excerpt from the book, below that my thoughts on writing the book and at the bottom is a link to an interview with the main character, Jake Nanden:

Excerpt
When the Sun was almost touching the horizon of Mars, my father said, “Now Jake! Lift up your filter.”
With difficulty, because my fingers were so small, I lifted the outer U.V. filter and gasped. The white disk of the sun almost burned a hole in my head. Its white was so intense it was almost blue and the blue became a corona as my eyes quickly looked up and away from it. The corona gradually faded into a riot of colour that filled the rest of my vision. The purples and oranges were deeper than those in a bowl of the freshest and most tangy grapes and peaches. For a moment I almost lost my balance and felt myself falling forward into a forever-sea of spectral light. We stood on the edge of time – until the Sun had completely disappeared below the horizon and then, eventually, my dad sighed and said, “Let’s go.”

The last part of the trilogy- Iron III: Worlds Like Dust will be published in summer 2014.

Why I wrote Too Bright the Sun
I have always loved sci-fi but at the time I wrote this, I was under a lot of pressure in my day job and going through a dark patch. I have long had a soft-spot for noir films so I decided to write a noir-sci-fi novel. I also love Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke and Phillip K Dick – particularly Blade Runner, all for their quirky stories but deep-rooted scientific authenticity. The result is Too Bright the Sun, which I am very proud of. Ultimately, I think it is a very beautiful story of one replicant struggle for identity and the surprising outcome.

If you love character-driven sci-fi, you will love the twist at the end.

Interview with Jake Nanden
https://lazloferran.com/toobrightthesun/interview-with-jake-nanden

Finally, here is the Ischian – alien – Clover Leaf laser rifle from Too Bright the Sun

Alien_laser

If you don’t have one already, make sure you download a copy! http://bit.ly/102Xt92.

Secret Codes; Should I use them?

This week: Secret Codes; should I use them? FREE eBook and a Sneak Preview.

It’s been a very busy week. My first newsletter went out on Sunday so today’s blog will be quite a short one.

===== FREE NOW!!! ==========
Share: Occult thriller- Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate is still free until tomorrow at 8am BST. http://bit.ly/15R1xOL “Wild ride” “Exciting read” “Rich, complex” “Well plotted”

“Am I? Beautiful?” She turned her face towards me and I longed to kiss it but I couldn’t.

Download the free Kindle apps here: http://www.amzn.to/13aluuF

Secret Codes; should I use them?
My occult thriller Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate was first published with Secret Codes at the beginning of each chapter. This was a whim of mine but I quickly discovered that the codes helped me to market the book. I noticed that the Jokes and Riddles category on Amazon.com only had 200 books in it. Therefore, as long as I sold a few copies I would be guaranteed to be in the top 100 for that category. Figuring that it was better, at that stage of my career, to be a big fish in a small pond, I directed a lot of effort to reaching the top of this category. I achieved it several times and managed to shift up to 3 books per day. But that was the ceiling. I could sell no faster.

I had to take the step to be a small fish in one of the bigger ponds. Also, several author friends told me that the codes seemed impossible to decipher and were too jokey anyway.
“Adults won’t take your books seriously.”
I want to be taken seriously, so the third edition was published after a complete re-edit, and with the codes removed. I didn’t sell a copy for over a month! I was was worried. I unpublished this edition and republished the second edition (with Codes) and I still didn’t sell a single copy in two weeks.

Then I had the kindle free promotion, it’s still going in fact (get your copy here: http://bit.ly/15R1xOL Download the free Kindle apps here: http://www.amzn.to/13aluuF). Download figures have been very disappointing. Unlike many writers, I am not going to hide the truth; so far only about 200 copies have been dowloaded. This compares with 2500 last September!

Now this may be simply that the market is slow at the moment or because people are just bored with my book. Or it could just be that actually people miss my codes. I just don’t know.

If you have any opinion at all, please comment below. I would love to hear your views.

Sneak Preview
This week, it is from the forthcoming release of the final part of the Iron science fictions series; Worlds like Dust. I am on my second full edit and there have been some significant changes. This part described the escape of some grunts from a damaged MCS (if you don’t know what that is, read Iron I: Too Bright the Sun).

Worlds like Dust
Copyright © 2011 by Lazlo Ferran
All Rights Reserved

Lieutenant Hani Deitner thanks his God, Mech, that he hadn’t been in the two PODs on the outer side of the MCS. Having needed to negotiate their way around the MCS, they were caught in the explosion. He could see no sign of them through his tiny portion of the viewing port.
“How far to go?” he asked the pilot, trying to sound calm. He felt his teeth start to chatter.
“One hundred and twenty yards … sir!”
‘We’ll never make it!’ Deitner thought.
“Good,” he said. “Is the other POD still with us?”
“Err. Yes, but drifting, Sir, I can see something flashing in one of the Station’s ports!”
“Let me look. Move soldier!” Deitner pushed two grunts aside to get to the main port, what you might call a windscreen. He stared at the bright white light.
“Flashing irregularly,” he said, thinking out loud. “Code mebbe … Anybody know any standard codes? Lieutenant Pfenigshaven, can you take a look?”
Bodies jostled and rearranged themselves while Pfeninghaven struggled to the port.
“Oh yeah! It’s Morse code. Learned it once. Shit! Never thought I might use it. This is real old school … Wait. It says, ‘Go to Rear Dock … five,’ I think. ‘Do not acknowledge. Ischians on board,’”
“You think …?”
“Yeah. Dock 5. That’s over there!” She pointed to the rear of the slowly spinning S.4.
“Let’s go there!” said Deitner, almost shouting. He was gripping the base of the pilot’s stool as if it were his own life, ebbing away. “Why the hell aren’t they shooting at us?”
“Sir! The power must have gone out on the cruiser. Look!”
“Okay. We may only have this one chance. How much more juice?”
“None! We’re coasting! Shall I detach the tether?”
“What? Er. Wait …” Deitner looked out of a rear port, to where he could see the other POD. Pfenigshaven’s face joined his and they both nodded. “No.” Three hundred meters of tether trailed behind the POD. The tail-end has been torn off in the explosion, sending the POD off course, but the pilot had been able to correct. The other POD hadn’t been so lucky. Already out of fuel, they were now drifting away from Dock 5 on an oblique course. “They might just have a chance … Get me the other POD.” He spoke into the transmitter microphone. “POD 4 to POD 3. EVA now! All of you. In about thirty seconds the end of our tether will reach you. After that, it will be too late! If one of you can grab it …”
“But sir! It’s …”
“I know! I know! It’s a risk we have to take!”

How does Jake Nanden, replicant from Too Bright the Sun, interview?

There is an interview with Jake Nanden from the Iron Series here today:

http://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/character-interview-number-seven-jake-nanden-sci-fi/

If you want to read more about Jake Nanden, read the page for Too Bright the Sun or its sequel, Unknown Place, Unknown Universe.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the Newsletter for Chapter One of Too Bright the Sun for FREE!

What is the most effective way to promote a Sci-Fi book launch?

This week: What is the most effective way to promote a Sci-Fi book launch? Also Lazlo Friend Newsletter, Hinduism and HAL 9000

What is the most effective way to promote a Sci-Fi book launch?

Two beta readers have now completed Iron III: Worlds like dust and it is getting nearer to publication. Science Fiction books are always hard to promote: sci-fi simply doesn’t get the attention of other genres, which is a shame, because it allows you to develop characters and explore elements of human nature in ways that no other genre allows. So I am faced with the problem: how do I promote this book?

In both Book I and Book III of the iron series there are video blogs recorded by some of the main characters; the corporation that supplies arms to the USAC army does so in exchange for sole rights to these video blogs recorded only by officers. The viewers are civilians looking for kicks. It occurred to me that since these blogs are done into a small camera (much like a web-cam today) anyway, they would be really fun and easy to shoot for real.

During one of the free promos for Too Bright the Sun, I met up with Dominic Kay – a British actor who has acted in Hollyoaks and happens to look exactly like my personal image of Jake Nanden. I asked him if he would be willing to shoot a Promo Video for the publication of the third and final part of the Iron Series: World Like Dust, and there is a slim chance he will do it – with a full professional camera crew. It won’t be free for me but I am hoping that it will be a nice way to introduce the final episode in what has become a fairly epic story. The scene choice is the three below (at a push Dominic could pass as Hani Deitner – a character in World Like Dust):

Jake Nanden in Iron I

There are two possible scenes for Jake (the star of the show and only character in all three books).

1. This is midway through the book when he is hastily promoted to replace a dead officer:

I glanced at the piles of crates in the corner of the office marked ‘Roanald’. They had been left for me to go through but I couldn’t face them now. The only crate I was interested in was marked, ‘Nanden’. I flipped the catches and peered inside. It contained the only personal possessions of mine to be retrieved from the CMS which was blown up by the IM. I smiled and reached inside. “Marcus!” I lifted out the crushed pot with a pile of dry soil held to the clay shards by the roots of the miniature sunflower. I couldn’t believe he was still alive and I was grateful some grunt somewhere had even bothered to crate it. The sunflower looked almost dead and was bent right over like a crippled old man. I went to the n-gen and ordered four glasses of water and a large bowl. I replanted the flower in the bowl and poured on all the water before setting it on my desk. I would need a UV light but I could organise that in the morning. I turned on the comms unit and recorded my last company commander message for Amtel.
“Record. Today I’ve taken up my new position as Acting Lieutenant Colonel. I cannot tell you where I’m stationed now or what my new mission will be but I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who’ve followed me over the years and I hope you find another commander to follow. Thanks. Over and out! End record. Terminal on.”

2. This scene is filmed on a space-liner (as in 2001 A Space Odyssey) but you could do it so your face fills the camera or perhaps it could be in a booth on the ship.

(This is Jake talking in first person)
I was tired when I woke in my recliner four days in, on the flight to Mars, but I wanted to send a quick message to Jena. I had thought several times over the last few days of sending one to Katie, but the business with Jena was unfinished and it seemed faithless to abandon it. It was easier to send a message rather than record video or set up a vid meeting. I groggily put on my headband and pressed ‘On’.
“Record: message to Jena Ω. Hi Jena. I spent four days with Mum and Justine… I woke up the other day having had an argument with myself. At least it seemed like it… There is part of me I’m just not… connected with. I cannot remember its voice or words. It is something unknown to me… and it disturbs me. At the same time I am curious about it. I wanted you to know… Thinking about u. Jake. End record.”
Then I sent a brief one to Katie. “Record: message to Katie. Hi space boogle. Just spent four days on J5. Going back now to J4. Got promoted to L. Colonel. Cool eh? See u soon. J. End record.”

Hani Deitner in Iron III

The first bit is background leading up to the recording – the video blog bit is obvious.

Lieutenant Hani Deitner returned with his detail to the Operations Room after just over one hour. They had not been able to take the truck far, and he was exhausted. But every last soldier still able to shoot a laser, now knew what he was doing, and to be at the Hanger in 5 hours.
“Reporting, Colonel: all remaining forces now instructed for retreat!”
“Good work, Lieutenant. Now, you better get a few hours’ sleep. I am gonna need you fully alert for our exit. Oh, and one other thing. I am going to put you in charge of a squad. That means you now have to record your activities for the Amtel blog?”
“Yes, Ma’am! But I thought it had been closed down. Surely there’s no subscribers left?”
“That’s probably true. Today’s will be the last possible entry. The transmitter in the MCS wouldn’t reach the Moon or any other likely remaining allies even in peacetime. But with the Ischians blocking transmissions there’s no hope. This will the only chance for us all to record our last wills and testaments. Even the privates have borrowed sets from commanders to leave theirs. Use the third room on the right. It’s Pfeninghaven’s. Record you message and get some sleep.”
“Yes, sir. Sir?”
“What is it?”
“I had an idea.”
“Go on. I need any ideas I can get.”
“I saw this film, once – a nature film, about a bird which pretended its wing was broken, to avoid predators. What I was thinking was that we should deliberately damage the MCS. Take of one of the POD s and make it look like it’s been torn off. Then rig the side of the Hanger to blow out. We then slip out quietly, looking like the MCS has fallen out. If we drift for a while, the Ischians may assume it’s just a wreck.”
“Hm. I don’t like the thought of losing a POD. But something like that … I will get the engineers on to it. Nice idea Deitner. Sleep well.”
Climbing over debris, and negotiating the corridor to the Senior Staff quarters, Hani Deitner found door 3 and sealed himself inside. He wearily pulled on the Trion head-band and said, “Record. Hm. This is the log of Lieutenant Hani Deitner June 3, 2136.”
He sat looking at the small screen blankly for a few moments. His dark brown hair, stubble and goatee made him look like a criminal. Goatees were forbidden in USAC regulations, but since the alien attack, the book had been thrown away and discipline had become secondary to survival. One of his fellow Corporals was the first to try a goatee and had persuaded Deitner to try it.
He tried his first words. “Hello subscribers – on Earth, Mars, the Moon, or wherever you may be now. That is… if any of you are left alive. I don’t know what to say. I’ve never done one of these before!” He laughed nervously. “I don’t have parents, or relatives – what replicant does? I had some time with a foster family in New Brooklyn – on the bad side of the Moon dome! Anyway, I doubt they remember me much now. The USAC is my family now. But I joined late. Ran with the mob in Lunar City; stealing hoverbikes, cars, shoplifting – the usual. USAC made me. I don’t have anything to leave – I had a collection of lager cans, but my bunk was blown to pieces by the Ischian Dogs – should I say that? Oh well, seems a bit late for … protocol. This is going to be a fight to the death. Probably the end for us. Let’s see. I think that’s it. Oh, and if anybody knows me, I got promoted to Lieutenant!” He grinned like a stupid kid. Then he said, “End recording.”

The final step will be to stick it on YouTube and see what happens. By the way, get ready to share this video with all your friends when it gets made.

So, that is my idea for a promo campaign, what would be yours? let me know your ideas. I really want to hear them so please comment below. If I like your suggestion enough, there may be a prize in return.

 

Lazlo Friend Newsletter

As you will have seen in my previous  post, there will now be a Lazlo Friend Newsletter every three months. Please subscribe: you will receive publication dates in advance, news of Freebies and Competitions. There is a permanent link to the Newsletter in the menu at the top of this blog.

 

Hinduism and HAL 9000

A friend of mine is a Hindu. The Hindu religion never ceases to amaze me. If you haven’t already seen it, you should think about watching the Mhabharat. There is a short British version but a much longer one  on youtube so you will need plenty of time. We were watching 2001: A Space Odyssey the other day and of course the scene where HAL is turned off was as impressive as ever. I have never sympathised with HAL. He had already killed. My friend didn’t. Surely only a Hindu would say, “He didn’t deserve to die. They were cruel to him.” The Hindu religion holds all life, and all consciousness in such a high esteem: no other religion could engender this kind of attitude. Only my opinion. Please let me know what you think.

Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year.

This week’s Blog – Mars Attacks!

Hot off the Press!

Hot of the press replaces previous ‘Excerpts’. It will be excerpts that I have just written; little tasters of what I am up to, but not too much. I think I can just about manage this final one from Iron III: Worlds Like Dust.

Worlds Like Dust

Copyright © 2011 by Lazlo Ferran

All right Reserved

“Good thinking, Caron. However that still doesn’t help much. I don’t think any of us would get far … wearing a suit outside the port is gonna look pretty strange … And I don’t even speak Ischian!” After half hour deliberating they still had no decent plan. “Anyways, I am gonna get some kip. Bryant, you are on watch. Wake me in one hour. I’ll sleep on it!”

When they drifted cautiously into Dock 422 in Mars Space Port, they still had no plan beyond the inchoate one suggested by Caron.

Built in the late 21st Century Mars Space Port, also known as Port Brutus, named after the first man to set foot on Mars, was still very impressive. Built from the then-cheap black seribdenum alloy, the matt surfaces on the ten mile long aisles and shorter piers appeared blacker than black. Only the twinkling pot lights highlighted its profiles and gave an almost sickening perspective to it.

Ischian cruisers were larger than human ones and the docks could barely hold them so McNeill had to use every bit of skill to dock without damaging the ship. They knew they would be scrutinized, and probably reported if they made an error. They didn’t need the attention. McNeil was sweating when the cruiser finally came to rest and the docking clamps juddered into position. Osei, in the Ischian suit, used a translator to respond by keyboard to the Port’s new controller while keeping the others off the comms viewing screen. A stern looking Ischian Commander demanded an explanation several times for the suit and the lack of vocal communication.

‘Were involved in a skirmish with a stolen cruiser, Commander,’ Osei typed. ‘In Earth’s vicinity. We sustained damage to our recyclers and comms equipment.’

“But I can see no sign of damage to your ship, Captain!”

‘They had Ischian cruiser, Commander. That means they had disrupter. They may be poor shots but they were lucky.’

“Yes, I know. We have been told a confirmed damaged cruiser is possibly heading this way. I presume that was the skirmish you were involved with?”

‘Yes.’

“I see. You need a Repair Crew? I can’t spare one until tomorrow …”
‘We barely made it here, sir. Need to contact our Commander and request a brief for a new mission.’

“Hm. Your unit is near the Earth’s Moon, subduing Rebels, I believe. He won’t have time for that. What’s his name? I might be able to get a message through …”

“Wait. Our old Commander was killed yesterday. We have a new one but I forgot the name.” Osei broke the link. “Quick! Somebody get me a name … From the logs; from a bunk; the suits … I don’t care!” There was chaos as the three grunts turned the deck upside down. Caron found a tag in one of the suits.

“Kreikos …? Something like that, I think. My Ischian’s not so good …”

Osei reconnected with the Dock Control. ‘Kreikos,’ he typed in.

“Right.” I’ll get in touch. You report to me directly you get port-side. Understood?”

‘Yes, sir.’

***

Other News

It looks like editing on The Journals Of Raymond Brooks, Second Edition is complete so I look forward to seeing that published on Amazon soon. The new cover of Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate seems to be working for me; I have sold 11 copies in the first week. I really hope to finish Worlds Like Dust in the next two weeks so that I can move on to stories which have languished too long in a half finished state. I am also starting work with Omri Koresh on the new cover for Ordo Lupus II: The Devil’s Own Dice, so look for that in August or September.

Elsewhere

Just a quick word about the Shopper Discount Scam. A close friend of mine was angry to find they had been paying £10 per month to a company they had never heard of the other day. It turns out that thousands of people have been caught by the same scam: you pay for something on a reputable website like Argos.co.uk or Prontaprint.co.uk and unwitting find yourself becoming a member of the shopper discount service. They do offer a voucher for £15 (or something like that) off your next purchase but proceed to debit your credit card account by £10 per month indefinitely. it is quite difficult to stop them and neither the banks nor the website companies (ie Argos) seem interested in helping you. It does smell  badly of bad practice at the least and I am amazed something like this is allowed to go on in the consumer-conscious 21st Century.