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Issue Number : 43 - Moon Flower, Bookstore Shipping Options, Amazon & Baen e-Book Links, Heretics Books, and Bulletin Board
When the last mail letter turns out to have been sent something like three months ago, and was a short one at that, it's generally a good indication of an author reaching the latter stages of a new book. Anything short of the house catching fire or a tactical nuclear strike on the neighborhood tends to be put on hold.
Moon Flower is now finished, weighing in at 110,000 words, and was sent off via FedEx to Baen Books a few days ago. In the hope of whetting some appetites, here's a draft of the dustjacket copy:
"Something strange is happening on the planet Cyrene, which is in the early phases of being 'developed' by the mammoth Interworld Restructuring Corporation. Terrans from the base there have been disappearing. Myles Callen, a ruthlessly efficient "Facilitator," is sent to investigate. Also with the mission is Marc Shearer, a young, idealistic quantum physicist, disillusioned with the world, who is on his way to join a former colleague, Evan Wade. On arrival he finds that Wade too has vanished and doesn't want to be found by the Terran authorities. Wade has arranged contact via the Cyreneans, however, and accompanied by two companions that he has befriended, Shearer embarks on a journey to an undisclosed destination.
Cyrene is at a level comparable to that of 18th century Europe, and in many ways shows the simplicity and appeal of that era. But more importantly, Cyrenean society is based on such values as trust, fairness, goodwill, and integrity, getting right at an early stage so many of the fundamentals that Earth, for whatever reason, got wrong. It seems to stem from their extraordinary ability to see through dishonesty and know intuitively their longerterm better interests. The advanced culture that they are moving toward promises to be very different. It becomes clear why so many Terrans have deserted.
Wade has traced the reason to an amazing quantum effect that manifests itself in a peculiar form of Cyrenean plant life. But he has also been organizing the Cyreneans to resist Earth's planned imposition of economic servitude, and Callen, acting for Interworld, succeeds in tracking him down. Shearer, Wade, and the core of the Terran opposition are apprehended and dispatched back to Earth. But the strange influence that Cyrene exerts on all who go there is pervasive. Shearer and Callen not only end up becoming unlikely allies to take control of their own lives and secure the future of Cyrene, but through a quirk of events, bring Earth the hope of enjoying a whole new beginning also."
Publication date will be posted on the News page of the web site when available.
BOOKSTORE SHIPPING OPTIONS
In the January 19 Newsletter, I related the story of a reader in Massachusetts who sent me his collection of Hogan books to be signed, and the circus I got into when it came to returning them, as a result of what I termed the Irish Post Office's "infinite idiocy" in discontinuing all surface mail. I spoke to soon. As of about a week ago, the U.S. Postal Service has done the same thing. And sneakily too--none of the people over there that I contacted had heard of any announcement to that effect, and the USPS web site was conspicuously devoid of any mention. And the effect there seems even more drastic. For again as I described in the January letter, with some digging around I stumbled on an exception in the form of a reduced rate for books that the Irish Post Office had been doing its best to hide, whereas there seems to be no such provision in the USPS policy.
This will impact the ManyWorlds catalog of the web site Bookstore, which daughter Tina manages from California--a lot of her orders over the years have come from overseas, at the surface rate. Apparently amazon.com and their associates have used surface mail heavily in the past too, so what their new practice will be I don't know.
Hence, the surface mail option has had to be withdrawn. Sheryl and I will be leaving on Wednesday, May 23 for a visit to the U.S. until the second week in June--details on the News page--and one of the things I'll be looking into when we get back will be available alternatives. So more on that anon. Suggestions welcome.
The world seems to have changed a lot since times gone by, when people seemed to take a pride in the organizations they worked for and the quality of the service they provided. When I was a boy growing up in London in the 1940s and early 1950s, we had two mail deliveries a day, and one on Saturday mornings. A letter posted before 3:00 P.M. from and to an address in the Greater London area would arrive the same day. When I lived in Dun Laoghaire (pronounced "Leary"), a port south of Dublin, in the late 1980s, I checked the old Victorian post schedules out of curiosity and discovered that in those days they could get a letter from Dublin to London faster than it takes today.
The last time I took a train from Dublin to Ballymote (nearest station to where I live in Leitrim County), I ended up riding free because all my efforts to buy a ticket were defeated. On arriving at Connolly Station to catch the 8:00 A.M. to Sligo, I found the ticket office closed, two of the automatic machines (which I detest) out of order, and the remainder clogged by lines that I wasn't going to get through in the time I had. Not to worry--we'll buy at ticket from the man who walks through the train checking tickets and selling them to people who don't have one. (Some stations here, like Collooney, don't have a ticket office.) But it was Sunday morning and the train wasn't carrying such a person. Okay, we'll pay at Ballymote when we get off. Ticket office closed; nobody around. An old-timer that I talked to, who lives in Ballymote, told me that when he was young, his folks would send a live goose on the train-boat-train to relatives in London for Christmas, which would arrive the next day in fine shape.
A few years ago, a friend in Florida sent a VHS tape that took 18 months to be delivered in Ireland. When it finally arrived, it did so embalmed in soggy wrappings smelling of seaweed, contained in a plastic bag. With it was an apologetic letter from the Irish Post Office explaining that it had been on a mail boat that sank. But at least their determination and doggedness in going down after it left me impressed. These days you don't even get a surface-mail service. The curious thing was that it had been mailed by Air.
Even more surprising, the tape played flawlessly first time. I did think of approaching the manufacturers with the story as a possible advertising line, but never got around to it.
AMAZON & BAEN e-BOOK LINKS
To make the range of options more comprehensive, we've added amazon.com and amazon.co.uk links in the web site Bookstore for editions of JPH titles not currently available at ManyWorlds. Also, we have added appropriate links for available downloadable Baen e-Book editions. (Go to web site Bibliography/Novels) page and click on desired title.)
Some interesting additions to the Heretics titles. (See the complete list)
Cyclical Catastrophe, by Georgia Balbin. A fascinating interpretation of ancient mythology, religion, and art as records of celestial changes and pole shifts. Described in Bulletin Board posting Wandering Stars
Thunderbolts of the Gods by David Talbott & Wallace Thornhill. Comprehensive introduction to Electric Universe theories and connection to ancient records.
The Electric Sky, by Donald E. Scott. Down-to-basics presentation of Electric Universe ideas, contrasting the pragmatism and realism of Scott, a professor of Electrical Engineering, with the esoteric, untestable inventions deduced from mathematical abstractions that form the basis of conventional cosmology. Described in Bulletin Board postings Plasma Cosmology and Electric Sun?
Under-Exposed, by Ed Hiserodt. Ionizing radiation and the phenomenon of hormesis, whereby low levels seem to be not only harmless but actually good for you.
Creating the New Age, by Theodore Rockwell. Stories and personalities from wartime nuclear research and the early years of the nuclear industry. Bulletin Board post Gigawatts Galore. (Interestingly, an anagram of Al Gore, the significance of which, for the moment, escapes me.)
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (and Environmentalism), by Christopher C. Horner. The shoddy science reviewed from the perspective of the underlying ideology and sordid politics.
Useless Arithmetic, by by Orrin H. Pilkey & Linda PilkeyJarvis. The perils of placing blind trust in mathematical climatic models.
In addition to those mentioned above, recent postings include:
- Articles by writers on the political left and political right, both agreeing that the science is fraudulent
- How the basic foodstuff of all life is now officially declared a pollutant
- Journal dedicated to marginal scientific issues
- Online edition of Carl Zappfe's classical monograph questioning Relativity
- Revised proof of Bell's Theorem by my good friend, Nick Herbert.
Thanks again to all for your ongoing interest.