More than a novel: We’re Building an Interactive Online Park

UntitledI noted earlier that we’re building Pac-Fish.com as an interactive experience for the Flotilla universe.  But what does that mean, really?

I just read this about the new Avatar interactive experience at Disneyland and thought “yep … it’s like that.” I don’t have Disney’s budget, obviously, but Pac-Fish.com lets you interact with Flotilla characters in real time and not only can you talk with them, you can be them!  I love interactive universes like what you see at the Ren Faire or Disneyland and this is my way of creating something for everyone to play with.  I hope you’ll join me in doing so. Continue reading

Professional Storytelling: Why Stephen King Had to Write ‘A Good Marriage’

This is an open letter to Kerri Rawson, the daughter of BTK serial killer Dennis Rader.

My dear Ms. Rawson –

I could not help but be very moved by your comments in this Kansas.com article from last year.  I apologize for the lateness of this response but I felt moved to respond as soon as I saw it … such are the vagaries of the Facebook newsfeed algorithm.  I cannot imagine the pain and suffering both you and your family have experienced.

I’m aware that your family’s experiences were the basis for Stephen King’s story ‘A Good Marriage.’  Let me be clear: My heart breaks for you and your family – no one should endure or even comprehend the horror you have experienced.  I’m a dad with a child and the details of your misery make me weep for everyone who was a victim, including you, of this terrible adversity.   Please be convinced that my intention in writing this is to reach out in kindness, only. Continue reading

In Loving Memory – Leonard Simon Nimoy (1931-2015)

That Hurts - RIP Leonard Simon Nimoy (1931-2015)

Like many of you, I am in shock and mourning for the passing of a titan.  Mr. Leonard Nimoy wasn’t just an actor – he was a great man and he both taught us and touched us in many ways.  Science fiction has the ability to challenge us to aspire to be better people.  People like Nimoy embodied those principles in his own way – you never heard a bad word spoken about the guy.  I know that sounds basic but in this day and age of tell-all, bombshells dropped and secrets revealed, you only heard about him because of the way he made life better for those around him.  You can only pull off a trick like that if that’s who you really were in real life.  That’s a man.  That is a legacy.

I have no more profound words than these.  I will leave them here without comment.

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A Terminal Cancer Patient Will Make You Rethink Your Life

Apologies for the click-bait title but I just saw this post over on Reddit and I had to talk about it.  It’s one thing to say that you’re motivated because you want to get your life together, or you want to be a better person for your loved ones.  It’s entirely different to say that you should be motivated because your life is ending soon and you want to make every precious second of it mean something.

A Terminal Cancer Patient Will Make You Rethink Your LifeI am only 24 years old, yet I have actually already chosen my last tie. It’s the one that I will wear on my funeral a few months from now. It may not match my suit, but I think it’s perfect for the occasion.

 

The cancer diagnosis came too late to give me at least a tenuous hope for a long life, but I realized that the most important thing about death is to ensure that you leave this world a little better than it was before you existed with your contributions . The way I’ve lived my life so far, my existence or more precisely the loss of it, will not matter because I have lived without doing anything impactful.

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Iron Mountain: The Real Technology in Our Sci-Fi

Iron Mountain: The Real Technology in Our Sci-FiWhy does it matter that real technology is in a story?  Simple – it’s called science fiction for a reason.  If it didn’t have some element of reality, of real stuff that could happen, it’d just be fiction.  Science fiction, though, is getting more and more blurred about what is real or not, so when you talk about actual science in your sci-fi, they call that ‘hard sci-fi.’

With me so far?  Good.  As mentioned before, Iron Mountain is a hard sci-fi series.  That means we talk about real science and technology among the action and adventure.  So let me take a minute to tell you a little more about the real technology of Iron Mountain!  In Chapter 2, I talk about the LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device) and it is a technology that the military has been working on for a few years now.  When I first read about it, I was fascinated by the tech and I decided to find a way to get it into Iron Mountain. Continue reading