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Verne, Asimov, Clark, …

And me.  Yeah, I wish.  I am not worthy to tie the shoes… but inventions came from their stories.  And I bet their stories came from their inventions: pieces of imagination that joined the fantastic with the usual.  For Jules Verne, it was the nuclear submarine.  For Isaac Asimov, it was psychohistory, and Arthur C. Clark had a plethora of ideas that are being developed as feasible to this day.  No Hero’s Journey.  No big outline.  Just an invention that needed a story.

We have nuclear powered submarines today.  Asimov’s Psychohistory is being used, as “psychohistory”, by various organizations to predict the future of society.  Of course, Asimov’s imaginative definition required rooms-full of advanced equations to make precise predictions of what galactic governments would do.  It still is an invention though–and one that spurs contemplation and study in itself.  Such is the staple for nerds like me.  Then there is Arthur C. Clark’s idea of launching molten iron through space to thwart defense geared for energy blasts, by using what we are now developing as a “rail gun”  …Or his “space elevator” which is tantalizingly close to reality.

Joe Anonymous  begins with a description of “The Mind”. The Mind is actually a world-wide grid of compromised computers (already such a thing if you look up SETI or LIGO). The story is not about The Mind so much as about a social-media inept overly-cautious luddite (based on me again) who becomes the focus of this Mind. The Mind is an invention though. It is in the background but controls the whole thing (hence the puppet strings on the world). There is nothing more powerful than an anonymous nitwit that can be used to join the virtual world with the real.

Vertex Rider is a story built around the development of the Parabolic Portal. Now that is an invention that will stay firmly rooted in fantasy. But it is still an invention that needed a story. The Parabolic Portal, in a nutshell, is a device that transfers matter through the zeroeth dimension to anywhere within the bounds of the parabola—which can be millions of miles. It does this in a split second. Actually, 1.64 x 10 to the -26 power of a second. But there is a side affect—a rather obvious one actually. Obvious or not, it takes the team of scientists by surprise because of the mathematician’s tendency to throw out imaginary numbers. The object lesson throughout is to stop calling things impossible.

Planet Quest… well, that’s the same invention but in spades. Turn a billion mile range to well over a hundred light years and you go from the solar system to the stars. The goal, for now, is the Orion Nebula, via multiple hops from planet to planet. There are distractions that make the adventure.

These are the three that I have out on Amazon right now.  I plan on excerpts, news, and blatant promotions in the near future.  Thank you for reading this far.

— John Beavers (and his pen)

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Perpetual WIP: SAGML

The full moon hanging directly overhead lights the dirt and gravel road that you are standing on. It colors everything around you in shades of blue-gray. The road dwindles to a nearby small clearing to the north and stretches to the south until it bends beyond thick evergreen trees about a hundred feet away. The forest skirts the west side of the road and it seems that you detect the slightest hint of movement in the darkness through the trees.

You’re standing in the middle of the road before a wrought iron gate. The gate is the only way past a nine-foot high brick wall which extends as far as can be seen, up and down the east side of the road. The right gate door is pushed open and hanging by only the lower hinge, as if it was violently slammed open years ago. The ground all around is littered with dead weeds. You see a gravel path beyond the gate, leading to a wide dilapidated porch with wooden columns. The porch belongs to a huge, dark, and ancient mansion.

There is a rolled up sheet of parchment sealed with wax lying on the ground.

 

That’s it. That’s all you get. There’s a prompt of some sort, waiting for your input. What do you input? “You” is what the story is about. What do you do? The story is presented to you by a computer program. Anyone playing an RPG such as Zelda or WOW explores humongous worlds breaking things, killing people and things, and collecting stuff. THAT is *kind of* the same thing here – just with words. You don’t move around with arrows and mouse moves. You “use your words” (as we would tell a toddler who grunts and grabs).

 

Notice that there were directions hinted at. Reading it again, you see that if you “go west”, you walk into a forest; “go east” you walk through an open gate; “go north” or “go south” and you will be further up or down a road. Exciting huh?

 

Yes, I’m being a bit flippant about that “exciting” part. But add this: “pick up scroll” (it says “rolled up sheet of parchment” but the program knows what you mean). “climb fence”, “climb tree”. Try everything. The fun part is that the program may understand you and you may end up with a sealed scroll in your hand or you may be on top of a fence. If you “break the seal” (after picking it up) there may be something very important to read. It may blow up in your face. Anyway, you get the picture. It’s an RPG with words. (I forgot to mention – RPG means Role-Playing Games, for those who thought I was talking about playing with rocket grenades or old IBM minicomputer languages.)

 

The SAGML book will be a set of rules and examples of how to manipulate general objects. YOU make up the objects and how they interface with “rooms” and other objects. It can be quite complex since you, the programmer, make up every aspect. Here’s an example: You can light a match. That takes two objects, an unlit match and a lit match. You can light a fuse – that takes a lit match touching an unlit fuse which lights and TRANSITIONS to a sputtering fuse leading to a stack of dynamite, which TRANSITIONS (via a loud explosion) to a black smear but spawns a gaping hole in the wall (thus there are two more objects – a wall and a wall with a gaping hole in it). Whew. That was a lot of work but the player experiences something that YOU wrote.

 

How do you do this, you ask (if you’ve read this far). Well… it’ll take a book to tell you.

 

My First “Published” Words

Hey, I finally got published! Not uploading my stuff to Amazon or GoodReads, but sending it to a web-mag slush pile.

It went in late, though. When the time came to look for it, it didn’t show. That was a bit of a telling point for me to maybe scrap this whole idea of writing. Instead of sending a note like, “Where is it?” I just kicked a can and walked off to give quality time to my real job. My real job does deserve it.

Anyway, I just got the note from David Gregory that my 500-word short surfaced, so woo hoo, I’m on my way to… I don’t know — probably continuing to give quality time to my real job. But the dream goes on…

Hoop! There It Is!

thereitis

This is a KDP free promotion. For Kindle Select entries (meaning I am only on KDP at the 70% option), I can put it up for free up to 5 days. I picked three to see if it will help the flat-line report at all.  The pictures from the previous posts, along with the pathetic little apology, were shamelessly splattered on my Facebook wall.

Not only that, I added it to the Absolute Write Water Cooler forum. We’ll see what happens. I think the problem is that the world doesn’t agonize about how well I am doing on self publishing as I do. Now, that’s just weird. What’s with this world?

If nothing happens… That’s OKAY! I’ve got this non-fiction WIP that is going traditional by hook or crook!

My Confession

The previous posts about the GREAT FREE PROMOTION OF JOE ANONYMOUS was WRONG.  I made pretty pictures that was WRONG.  Pardon me while I compose myself…

*sniff*

Okay.  The FREE PROMOTION of JOE ANONYMOUS is for 5/6/16 thru 5/8/16, NOT starting 5/5.  I danced around telling everyone LIES.

LIES. LIES. LIES!  *blubber* I didn’t mean to though.

For those reading this, please accept my apologies and don’t think I put the same inane attention to detail in the book itself.