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Issue Number : 57 - New novel released; reissues of Code of Lifemaker and sequel; Bug Park review; electric comets; Bulletin Board posts; Heretics books; hard labor on the Farm
TO: JAMES P. HOGAN MAILING LIST -- May 25, 2010
MAY RELEASE OF NEW NOVEL
Migration, which many have been awaiting and inquiring about, was released
as a May hardcover by Baen Books. We're back in the space environment with this one. The pieces are coming together again
after the old world finally destroyed itself, and it is already evident to some that that nothing in human nature has changed
and the same pattern is being set that will eventually repeat the calamity all over again. A progressive element from an
advanced region of the highly diversified culture that has come into being sets out in a generation ship to found their own
kind of world away from it all in another star system. This generation ship, however, has the capacity to turn into "ships"
as the voyage progresses, transforming itself into a formation of worlds-in-miniature that allow the inevitable misfits,
dissidents, political theorists, social idealists, and others, to give expression to their differing views on how societies
ought to live. There's plenty, too, for readers who like robots, including a runaway that gets religion and joins a sect
devoted to resurrectingh the cult of Sacred Dollar, which from reconstructions of fragmentary records was worshipped
universally across the old world and commanded a power that overwhelmed nations and empires. See the preceding link for a
summary, sample chapters, and background on how the book came to be written.
CODE OF THE LIFEMAKER and IMMORTALITY OPTION REISSUES
Phoenix Pick, an imprint of Arc Manor Books devoted
to keeping the science fiction backlist alive, have released reissues of this two-book set featuring a bizzarely inverted
world of sapient robots inhabiting a naturally evolving machine biosphere, who raise offspring assembled in factories and
grow their houses and other artifacts organically. Paperback print and downloadable e-book editions are available, the latter
including an amazon Kindle version. Many readers have inquired about our intentions to offer Kindle versions of books,
and we expect these two to be the first of many such announcements.
BUG PARK -- NICE REVIEW
"In this awesome novel, inventors Eric and Vanessa Heber develop a new kind of telepresence--direct neural coupling--which
shuts down your usual senses and connects them to neural feedback from robots, known as Mecs."
--From an online review at io9.com: "10 Best Robot Bodies To Jack Your Brain Into." Full article here
COMETS & SUCH
I don't know if it's an omen of anything, but comets seem to have been passing through my skies of late. In April I had
another essay on the Electric Universe published in the Lew
Rockwell Column, this time focussing on comets and entitled "Glowing in the Plasma." Far from confirming the conventional
"dirty snowball" model of comets, the series of recent close encounter spaces missions returned findings at odds with just
about every one of its predictions, leaving the mainstream camp more puzzled and in disarray than ever. The article at LRC
discusses how the observations are more simply and comprehensively explained by interpreting comets as essentially electrical
bodies interacting with the solar plasmasphere.
Roughly coincidentally, the Thunderbolts Project people released the latest volume, Comet, in the Universe Electric series of e-books.
This is the international group whose organizers have been urging me for some time to produce a popular-level book-length
coverage of the subject. It has been something of an uphill struggle because the first reaction of most mainstream publishers
when confronted by a challenge to what's generally considered a rock-solid branch of established science will be to consult
accredited professionals in the field for an opinion, and present-day astronomy and cosmology refuses to acknowledge the role
of electricity in explaining observations. However, my agent Eleanor Wood has now received a good offer from an imprint of
the Macmillan group and is wallowing through the gory details of the contract, which she tells me is horrendous. So,
hopefully, more news on that when those aspects are settled.
As always, new postings on the Bulletin Board are listed on the Home Page. The crop since the last Newsletter includes pieces
- The irrationality and sheer mendacity of the EPA's decision to rule
carbon doxide--the basis of all life--a pollutant, and the gag order placed on an EPA
employee who objected to the dishonest science involved
- Why the scares about global-warming-induced rises in sea levels fade into
insignificance when put into historical perspective
- How human recklessness is endangering the planet by Anthropogenic Continental
- Some ingenious anagrams for lovers of word games
- A tribute to the historical revisionist Ernst Zundel on his release from Manneheim
jail in Germany. In view of the support I've expressed for revisionists over the years, and my opposition to the shameful
laws that make it a criminal offense in many European countries to question the version of history that government deems to
be true, people sometimes ask me if I'm a "Holocaust Denier." Almost invariably it turns out that, when pressed, they don't
know what they mean by the term. It's simply an emotional reaction that they've been programmed with. But if it means
believing that people should be free to question, produce and debate evidence, and pursue truth without fear of official persecution,
then I suppose I am. Who wouldn't be, and for what reason?
A couple of new titles added:
- The Hockey Stick Illusion by Andrew Montford. A blow-by-blow exposure
of fraud and deception passed off as science
- Debunking 9/11 Debunking by David Ray Griffin. A systematic
unraveling of attempts to discredit the skeptics' case
LIFE ON THE FARM
Since I gave up the residence I had in the U.S. and took to renovating and extending a farm cottage in rural western Ireland,
this is one of the topics that people seem intrigued by and want to hear the most about. Maybe they're sounding out options
for their own escape from the joys of the corporate-driven rat race one day. The locals here don't always see things that
way. "Did I hear you right?" is a question I'm often asked, usually in one of the pubs down in Dromahair village. "You gave
up a town house in Florida to come and live here?"
"I did," I reply.
"So, are you mad?"
"Not at all. In fact I'd say it was one of the few sensible things that I've done in life."
The latest tale relates how I set out innocently enough on a modest project of laying some ground drains in a soggy area
of the front lawns and ended up performing several weeks of hard labor that would make a penal colony look like a rest camp.
Full story here
Another aspect of the farm that seems to fascinate people is the "Zeppelin Shed" that I've referred to on numerous
occasions, a three-section steel structure comprising a hay barn that we use for parking two cars, hanging laundry, and
storing a full winter's supply of turf and logs; a central workshop area enclosed by two steel doors each seven feet wide;
and thirdly a general storage section. I'm constantly being asked for a picture of it. Well, the work we've been doing on the
web site Bookstore seems to be almost complete, and one of the next things on the list is to add a picture gallery section.
I'd have to say that the Z. Shed is about the single most useful asset of the place. And yet the realtor who handled the sale
told us that a number of couples walked away on just that account, because they thought it was unsightly. Well, if one just
wants to sit in a furniture showroom and watch TV, that might be the case, I guess. We've never owned one. And with the
endless list of things to be done in a place like this, there probably wouldn't be time to turn it on anyway. And on top of
that is the fact that writers virtually never stop working. Everything is potentially research because "I might need to know
it for a book one day," and hardly a thought passes without some relevance to a possible story suggesting itself. Back when I
lived in California, I got a visit from a state tax official questioning some of the expense items that I'd claimed. I
actually won the case over those, but while the opportunity was there I put it to him that since I was a novelist and
novelists write about life, everything we do is research. Therefore everything I spend ought to be a deductible. He wouldn't
buy that one, however, which maybe had something to do with the decision to move to Ireland.
Anyway, that's it for now. With thanks again to all