David M. Kelly

Science Fiction Writer

This week in science history is one huge conspiracy.

Edison1jpg1880 – It all began with Thomas Edison who, having stolen alien Strykkx technology,  needed a diversion to hide the origin of his “discoveries” and the crazy events at Menlo Park. Edison was inspired to create and fund “Science” magazine which began publication this week one-hundred and thirty-five years ago; with articles used to drip-feed information about his “inventions” to the public
TeslaDeathRay1908 – A “meteor explosion” in Siberia flattened  trees in a 65-kilometer radius and knocked people unconscious at that distance. The explosion was actually caused when Nikola Tesla‘s death ray was deployed to destroy an attacking Strykkx spaceship in the first alien invasion attempt.
1tesla-ufo909 – Thomas Edison began commercially manufacturing the type “A” type alkaline storage batteries. The battery construction was part of the technology Edison stole from the debris of the Strykkx ship destroyed over Tunguska the previous year.
1229189255_roswell-crash-twilightzone1947 – In Roswell, NM.  the U.S. Army Air Force insisted a crashed object was a weather balloon, but eyewitness accounts led to speculation that it was a Strykkx spacecraft forming part of the second alien invasion attempt.
T6crew5001982 – Soyuz T-6 returned to Earth. The crew’s (Vladimir Dzhanibekov, Aleksandr Ivanchenkov and Jean-Loup Chrétien) primary mission was to attempt to identify and locate the Strykkx homebase.
larry_walters1982 – “Lawnchair” Larry Walters took off in his homemade airship that consisted of a lawn chair with 45 helium-filled weather balloons. It was the first civilian attempt to contact the Strykkx invaders and many have speculated that Larry was in fact a Strykkx spy attempting to escape.
CFC-UFO11989 – The Montreal Protocol, an international treaty, went into effect. It limited the production of ozone-destroying chemicals and was considered an “olive branch” to the Strykkx as the chemicals rendered Earth’s atmosphere toxic to them.
Atlantis-Mir1995 – The shuttle Atlantis and the Russian space station Mir docked for the first time, forming the largest man-made satellite to orbit the Earth. Atlantis carried a docking module and equipment required to track the Strykkx as they arrived and departed from Earth.
Pathfinder1997 – The Mars Pathfinder, an unmanned spacecraft, landed on Mars. A rover named Sojourner was deployed to gather data about the surface of the planet in the mistaken belief that the Strykkx came from Mars.
Cassini-probe2004 – The Cassini spacecraft entered Saturn‘s orbit to provide continuous surveillance of the Strykkx bases on Saturn’s moons, Titan and Rhea. In retaliation, the Strykkx launch asteroid 4179 Toutatis, which barely misses the Earth three months later.

 

Grim Reaper1834 – Cyrus McCormick patented the first practical mechanical reaper for farming. His invention allowed farmers to more than double their crop size. The invention freed up the Grim Reaper to develop his movie and television career.
Spock-Ears1844 – Charles Goodyear was granted a U.S. patent for the invention of vulcanized rubber. This remarkable discovery was later used extensively for making pointy alien ears…
alan-turing1912 – Alan Turing was born. Turing was a pioneer in computer science and a mathematician who played a pivotal role in breaking the German enigma codes. He is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. Unfortunately the British establishment of the time displayed no intelligence, natural or artificial, convicted him for homosexual acts, chemically castrated him and persecuted him until he committed suicide.
Broadwick-Georgia-Tiny1913Georgia Broadwick became the first woman to jump from an airplane. Contemporary accounts report that she had complained several times of the intense body odor of the passenger sitting next to her.
cap-video1929 – Scientists at Bell Laboratories in New York revealed a system for transmitting television pictures. Now you know who to blame for reality TV, two year pre-election broadcasts and endless streams of advertising. Exactly twenty years later it brought the world “Captain Video and His Video Rangers” – the first science-fiction series to be shown on American television.
f5e6856c67fb084d995491e77c6ad2141954 – The American Cancer Society reported significantly higher death rates among cigarette smokers than among non-smokers. On the plus side, smoking is known to prevent alien abduction…
40791954 – The world’s first atomic power station opened at Obninsk, near Moscow. Ten years later Russia’s first super-hero, the Crimson Dynamo (Anton Vanko), first appeared… just sayin’
Mass-Effect-Normandy1978James Christy and Robert Harrington discovered Pluto’s moon, Charon. Unlike other moons Charon is a solid chunk of ice that contains a spacetime relay allowing travel to other worlds. :-)
o-JAMES-BOND-SPECTRE-5701997 – The Russian space station Mir was hit by an unmanned cargo vessel. Much of the power supply was knocked out and the station’s Spektr module was severely damaged. The British Government strongly denied that Agent 007 had any involvement in the incident.
Metro2000 – U.S. and British researchers announced that they had completed a rough draft of the Human Genome. This map defines the genetic makeup of human beings and took ten years to complete. Many have compared this to a map of London’s Underground rail network, though observers have stated that the Human Genome is far easier to understand.

Yep, I’m finally into the last stages of getting my story collection out! The words are all written, the cover is designed, the parchment has been soaked in swamp water overnight while the moon was full, and all of the other zillion and one details that go on behind the scenes are almost set to go. And I have a release date too! Mark this in your diaries:

July 28th

I need to organize some advanced reader review people to send copies to ahead of the release and also need to set out the print formatting (yes, it’s going to be available in print too!) but that’s essentially it.

So, if you want to get your eyes on this ahead of the release and are willing to spend a few minutes writing a review  after reading just let me know. I’ll email you an electronic version of the book to you and you’ll be able to leave reviews on Goodreads shortly.

Please note the number of review copies is limited. So it’s first come, first served.

Thanks for your help!

Since releasing my short stories as ebooks I’ve been approached several times (mostly through Goodreads) to have a review written for my books in exchange for cash.

Reviews are the lifeblood of an i independent author. With sales literally hanging in the balance over them, in the online world potential buyers rely on reviews and ratings from other people to decide whether to buy a book or not. So they’re critical to the success of a book.

You might not know this but many “reviews” are in fact simply paid for, by the publisher or producers of a piece of work. For example the often vaunted Kirkus book reviews cost authors over $400 (over $500 if you want the “express” service). Many people probably look at the movie ratings and reviews on the IMDB website, not realizing that movie companies pay people in large numbers to rate and review the releases positively.

This sort of thing has been going on for years of course, from the record companies that buy thousands of their own records to game the charts to Doctors paid by extremely rich pharmaceutical companies to give positive test results for (or even prescribe!) specific drugs.

So as a writer what do you do? If you stick to the “moral  high-ground” and refuse to pay for reviews you run the very real risk of not being read. If you go the “pragmatic” route and accept that “everyone’s doing it, so I may as well” then you’re throwing out your morals with the bathwater.

Salvor Hardin once said “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.” – unfortunately in this case for the reviewers (who undoubtedly make a fair amount of money at this game) my sense of morals tells me not to pay for a review. Ever.

(This post was originally posted on K. Caffee’s website – thanks Kathryn!)

 

 

Eratosthenes240 BCEratosthenes of Cyrene, a Greek mathematician, geographer and astronomer estimated the circumference of the Earth using two sticks and also proved the world was not flat. 2158 years later the Boy Scouts of America would rub the very same two sticks together to produce fire.
images.duckduckgo.com1950Dr. Richard H. Lawler carried out the first kidney transplant in a 45-minute operation, starting the fashion for harvesting human organs.
univac-195111951 – the world’s first commercial computer, Univac 1 was unveiled in Washington, DC. Univac was created for the U.S. Census Bureau and provided sets for SF movies for the next forty years 😉
the-nautilus1952 – The USS Nautilus was dedicated. It was the first nuclear powered submarine. It traveled twenty thousand leagues under the sea,  passed under the north polar icecap and was first commanded by Captain Nemo. :)
WomenInSpace1963Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space on the Russian Vostok 6 spacecraft. Exactly twenty years later, Dr. Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. Crews on both missions reported the ladies to be “distractingly sexy”…
MarsVenus1967Mariner 5 was launched from Cape Kennedy, FL. It flew to Venus unlike its predecessor which flew to Mars. From this we can deduce that Mariner 4 was male and Mariner 5, female.
cartoon-rocket-292496011981 – The European Space Agency launched two satellites into orbit from French Guiana proving that anything the U.S. can do, Europe can do thirty years later…
Duh1987 – U.S. Supreme Court overturns Louisiana creationism act stating that it unconstitutionally endorsed religion.
sno62001Solar Neutrino Count. The result of experiments confirming theoretically predicted solar neutrino counts was announced by a team of Canadian, American and British scientists led by Arthur McDonald at the Solar Neutrino Observatory in Sudbury, Ontario. McDonald stated that the result was “not a SNO job and we hope it will entice people like the fantastic SF author, David M. Kelly, to come and live here.”
SpaceShipOne2004SpaceShipOne, the first privately funded spaceflight. launched, piloted by Mike Melvill. The ship was  built by Paul Allen (Co-founder of Microsoft) and designed by Burt Rutan. Twelve minutes into the flight Melvill reported he had a blue-screen-of-death and had to reboot.
WereNack2009 – NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/LCROSS probes were launched; the first American lunar mission since 1998.
jdcassini1625 – GTiovanni Domenico Cassini was born in Italy. Cassini discovered four of Saturn’s moons and also the division in its rings (later named in his honor). He also determined the rotation rates for Mars and Jupiter, as well as being the first to determine the distance to Mars and, by extension, the scale of the solar system. To celebrate he ordered a special wig the size of Saturn. :-)
MCurie1903 – Professors Marie and Pierre Curie published a paper announcing the discovery of Polonium. It was named after Marie’s homeland, Poland, to raise awareness of the plight of that country which was at the time partitioned by Russia, Germany and Austro-Hungary. Marie was not impressed when he husband suggested the new ele,emt might be a cure for her headaches :-)
supernova1918Nova Aquilae (V603 Aquilae) was discovered. It was the brightest nova since Kepler’s nova in 1604, and the brightest recorded during the era of the telescope. The world is so stunned by the discovery that World War One ends…
gemini-41965 Gemini 4 completes 62 orbits, making it at the time the longest orbiting U.S. space mission and featured the first U.S. space walk. It also inspired smogs by both David Bowie and Elton John (but only one was any good…)
Venus - Goddess of Love F3LR1967 – The USSR launched the Venera 4 space probe, the first to directly analyze the atmosphere of another planet (Venus). Eight years later, Venera 9 was also launched. This was the first spacecraft to orbit Venus and carried a lander that was the first to return pictures from the surface of another planet. Men have been exploring Venus ever since… :-)
1ST5983 – U.S. space probe Pioneer 10 crossed the orbit of Neptune and became the first spacecraft to leave the solar system. Pioneer 10 was the first space craft to pass through the asteroid belt, the first to provide close images Jupiter and the first to achieve solar escape velocity. The probe carried a message of peace to the universe and later passed into Klingon territory, where it was destroyed by a Bird-of-Prey…
1993 – A team, led by Dr. George Poinar, Jr, announced they had successfully extracted genetic material from an insect that lived in the age of dinosaurs. The announcement came the day before the release of the movie “Jurassic Park“. DNA doesn’t look very interesting so I used a dinosaur…
606375x4802002Kevin Warwick as part of “Project Cyborg” carried out the first direct electronic communication experiment between the nervous systems of two humans. The second participant was his wife. Now he has no excuse to say he doesn’t understand how his wife is feeling.

2011 – In Sweden, the first artificial organ transplant was performed. During the operation an artificial windpipe coated with stem cells was implanted in to a patient suffering from cancer of the trachea. I think we know how this all ends…

2012 – A chemical compound known as NOTT-202, was created. The compound has a framework structure like an “organic metal” sponge and can absorb and retain carbon dioxide.

The last week has been a busy one for many reasons, but one of the most enjoyable of these is that we finally had our screen room built on the deck.

Northern Ontario is bug heaven with blackfly season transitioning through to mosquito season through to horseflies in a seamless transition.. There’s usually a period of around two weeks in early Spring where we get good weather and not too many bugs and after that we’re eaten alive all the way until fall(autumn).

We bought a screen room kit a while ago that was great while it worked, but was a pain because it needed putting up and taking down at the beginning and end of the year. As it was a fairly cheap kit (I say cheap but it still cost $1500!) it soon started to wear from the constant screwing/unscrewing and wasn’t going to last much longer.

I knew roughly what I wanted and even started doing some very rough (and naive!) 3d modelling of what I had in mind. I felt the construction wouldn’t be too hard, but with my foot still not healed there was no way I could have carried out the work.

Luckily for us we’d connected with a very good contractor when we were planning our garage build and Mike from Aries Construction was happy to help us bring our screen room ideas to life.Mike is great to work with and highly experienced so able to take on all sizes of job, and I’d highly recommend him to anyone looking for a contractor.

So here it is, now finished. It’s an airy 8×16 with a tinted transparent roof that blocks UV but doesn’t shadow the natural light entering the kitchen.

We really wanted something that would stay up all year round and we knew we’d get a lot of use out of it in the summer. For me it will be the perfect summer writer’s garret. I can sit out there any time it’s warm enough with my laptop and not worry about bugs or even rain while I hammer out my daily word counts. On an evening it will be perfect for enjoying a glass of wine or a beer in the warm evening sun while enjoying a good read!

Perfect!

Where’s your favorite summer spot for writing or reading?

screenroom1screenroom2 screenroom3

 

A slightly twisted look at this week’s scientific events, featuring a lot of space related topics and it might all be just a hologram!

Dennis_Gabor1900Dennis Gabor was born. Gabor was a Hungarian electrical engineer and physicist who invented holography. He is quoted as saying “The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented.”. Without him Quark’s bar would be a lot less interesting!
Conrad1930Pete Conrad was born. Everyone’s heard of Neil and Buzz; Pete not so much, despite being awarded a Congressional Space Medal of Honor. Conrad was the third astronaut to walk on the moon and commanded the first manned Skylab mission to repair launch damage to the station.
BillSwan1931Bill Swan, aviation pioneer, made the first rocket-powered glider flight above  Atlantic City, NJ. The glider was lifted into the air by balloon before being released and flown using the rockets. He was later turned down for a starring role in “The Jetsons”…

07_David Scott Lua1932David Randolph Scott was born. Scott is an engineer, test pilot and astronaut who flew on the Apollo 15 mission and became the seventh person to walk on the moon. His brother starred in a lot of Westerns…

Edward-H-White1965 – Astronaut Edward H. White became the first American to do a “walk in space” from the second manned Gemini mission. So it’s thanks to him that George Clooney is still floating around in space. White was also the first to control his movement using a hand-held maneuvering unit. (Which is kind of why Sandra isn’t still with George!).
surveyor_beach1966Surveyor 1, became the first U.S. space probe to soft land on the Moon in the “Ocean Of storms” and send back photographs of the surface. It also provided vital information about the surface to help the future moon landings.
MJS Khorana_OBIT1970 – A team led by Biochemist Har Gobind Khorana announced that they had assembled the first artificial gene from synthetic chemical components. This led to the development of the BrundleFly in 1986…
aids_virusAIDS_Red_Ribbon_image1981 – The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced five men were suffering from a rare type of pneumonia. The disease was only found in patients with weakened immune systems and these were the first cases recognized as AIDS. A sad note to end on, but let’s be grateful for the developments in treating and controlling this disease since then.

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Dead Reckoning Click for excerpt

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