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Issue Number : 18 - Back in the USA, Releases & Work in Progress, Bulletin Board
Back in the USA, Releases & Work in Progress, Bulletin Board
Issue #18 - July 15, 2003
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BACK IN THE USA
I made it back to Florida for the Fourth of July holiday, when all three of the boys were back together in Pensacola. Joe, the youngest still lives there, but has now gotten his own place, while Mike, the Marine, got a week's leave from his base at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and Alex came up from Sarasota, where he's forsaken the joys of corporate life to work with an inventor/entrepreneur on robotics. All their old friends were there too, of course, and despite the grumbling I've been known to lapse into on occasion in times gone by, it was nice to have the house alive with youngsters again.
I also rented a van to ferry my stock of titles accumulated over twenty-plus years to youngest daughter, Tina, in California, who will be taking care of the physical order processing when Alex gets the ordering page added to the Web site, that it seems I've been promising for a hundred years or thereabouts. (It's actually working fine; just needs linking to the online site now.) Tina and her husband, Gordon, have bought a place in a little-known mountain community called Frazier Park, about 40 miles north of Los Angeles--past Pyramid Lake, that reminds us a lot of the country around Sonora where we lived in the 80s, in the Sierra Nevada foothills about 3 hours drive inland from San Francisco. They estimate 2 to 3 years to fix it up and remodel the place the way they want, but in that kind of area the neighbors stop by to introduce themselves and ask if they can help. In the meantime, grandson Mark had the best of both worlds, spending the week in the city in Venice, and weekends going up to the mountains with friends to go dirt-biking or whatever. My total drive was Pensacola, FL-Tulsa, OK-Flagstaff,AZ-Los Angeles, CA-Phoenix, AZ-El Paso, TX, Dallas TX (always one whole day crossing Texas), and back to Pensacola. As a consequence I've become a total convert to three things American: cruise control, air-conditioned vehicles, and bottled, peach-flavored, iced tea.
The latest project I'm contemplating in Ireland is the restoration and extension of a derelict farm cottage I came across about 12 miles outside Sligo on the northwest coast, where I currently have a flat above a pizza parlor in the center of town. It's on an acre of hilly land with a stream running by, at the foot of a small mountain called Knocknashee, which in Irish means "Hill of the Fairies." Not certain yet as to if I'll be going ahead. I'm currently awaiting a report on the condition of the existing structure.
RELEASES & WORK IN PROGRESS
The Anguished Dawn, sequel to Cradle of Saturn, was released as a June hardback from Baen Books, coinciding with a signed, leather-bound limited edition from Easton Press. Landen Keene returns with the first Kronian mission back to devastated Earth, intended as the first step in founding a new civilization based on Kronian values. But of course, not everyone sees a benefit in that, and things don't go as smoothly as planned.
As for the backlist, following the Baen Books rerelease of The Genesis Machine in February 2003, we have The Immortality Option, sequel to Code of the Lifemaker, scheduled for release in October. There are also updates on some short story releases, details on the What's New Page at jamesphogan.com.
TRUTH UNDER TYRRANY
The main news, however, that most reader inquiries have been about, is that the nonfiction book Truth Under Tyranny now has a tentative release date of June, 2004. Although some might think this a long time, there's a sizeable collection of illustrations to be processed, an Index to be compiled--and it's hardly as if the folks at Baen are sitting around with empty desks waiting for things to do. From the comments I've received from people who have read the draft, most people should find it worth the wait. This brings together as a collection essays on areas of science I've come across over the years that strike me as taking on more the trappings of intolerant religion defending dogma and putting down heresy, rather than being ready to accept inconvenient evidence and follow where the facts seem to lead in the open way that science ought to be. A list of contents, along with more background information and a selection of Samples, is given on the new Title Page just added to the web site.
It's been a hectic year, with the result that activity on the Bulletin Board has perhaps been a bit lighter than at some other times. Nevertheless, some of the topics posted since the last mailing have been:
- The Columbia accident, putting into perspective just how much of an achievement the space program was despite the setbacks, and pointing out a little-known fact pointing once again, as with the Challenger 17 years previously, to over-zealous EPA crusading as the possible culprit.
- A reader's perplexity over the card puzzle in Martian Knightlife
- My perplexity over reports that the rest of the world are reading concerning the Middle East war and related events, that those relying exclusively on US mass media sources apparently are not.
- A UK group's awards for the world's most stupid security measures
- Skeptical view of the SARS hysteria
James P. Hogan