Nov 28, 2011


The question of what are transhumans came up when I reported Syfy developing a new show set in space ... yes, actual science fiction. Astounding enough, yes, but not the topic of this post.

I've been watching Odyssey 5 -- which I'll talk about more on Friday on the website -- and there was an episode on transhumanism.

It has to do with the belief that humans can transcend using technology. The belief is technology can help us evolve to something greater, using technology to eliminate aging, physical disabilities and improve individual lives.

From Wikipedia: Transhumanists believe it is imperative for humans to strive for progress and improvement of the human condition. That it is possible and desirable for humanity to enter a transhuman phase of existence, in which humans are in control of their own evolution. In such a phase, natural evolution would be replaced with deliberate change.

So, imagine then that a sci-fi show having transhumans, would be humans enhanced and improved by technology, therefore, pulling in the subgenre of cyberpunk. Although cyberpunk does not necessarily 'improve' us [think borgs], transhumanism does. So, that's it's distinction.

Some prominent examples of transhumans are:

Darth Vader


The Replicants in Blade Runner

Bionic Man & Woman

Leda in Semper Audacia
(I wrote about one and didn't even know it)

Grace in Small Graces

Side note: Posts on this blog will now appear on Mondays and Thursdays. Will be posting Tuesdays and Fridays on the website:

And an announcement from Wendy Ewurum of Fabulosity Reads launching a new book site:

Fabulosity Galore is an online book store and blog created and run by Wendy G. Ewurum, author of Fabulosity Reads (a book review blog).

Fabulosity Galore is affiliated to a number of booksellers, and Kalahari included. It's a  quest to find the best book and accessories deals. It will also make the best effort to prominently feature books which have been reviewed by at Fabulosity Reads. Fabulosity Galore strives to support our writer friends and favourite books in their endeavour to promote and sell their books. Readers are more than welcome to submit their bookish requests and comments to us. And last but not least writers  we also welcome news from writers about any promotional activities concerning works/books.

So, now we know what transhumans are, realize we even know a few, in some cases realize we created a few. Have any thoughts on the transhumanist movement? In reality or sci-fi?

Nov 23, 2011

The Pilgrims were Aliens

The Pilgrims were aliens who brought to us the alien technology of stuffing. I saw it on an episode of South Park while Stan, Kyle and the boys were watching the History Channel. They even had photographic evidence. Therefore, it must be true.

I'm very thankful for each and every one of you.

Happy Thanksgiving! See you next week.

Nov 21, 2011

Weird Tales of Pine Mountain

The bottom of Pine Mountain, where the observatory is, was the sight of several cattle mutilations in 2000. There were reports of strange lights in the sky in Millican Valley. One of the mutilated bulls was found in a tree.

I've heard reports of strange lights on that road from others -- encased in a bright light. I had my own encounter with lights the first summer I worked up at the observatory. I thought it was another car, but the lights traveled at strange and inconsistent speeds. At several points I thought they were going to pass me, so I slowed up. Only there was no noise and no brightening, and when I turned around, there was nothing behind me. The second incident, I realized the lights were vertical and not horizontal. They'd start off far behind me, then zoom up as if traveling several hundred miles per hour. I called them an UMO [unidentified moving object] as they didn't appear to be flying.

Every night I've returned from the observatory since, I've looked for those lights. I've never seen them again though. Disappointing as this time I'd investigate more. I'm just so curious. What were they?

Yes, I'm always on the look out for weird, but I'm not prone to seeing things. I've been wanting to see a cougar for 4 years and haven't. Bet they've seen me though [so, I tease one of the other volunteers that the lions are in the bushes watching us]. Sure, I've made up stories about yetis for the guests, but I've never seen one. Which brings us to another weird tale. The Pine Mountain is part of the Deschutes National Forest, which is known for Bigfoot sightings. Cool.

Maybe the lights were Yeti with mopeds. Shrug. ??

So on with the cattle mutilations. One of the new volunteers worked for a national park in Arizona, and told me how he was called in to investigate a cattle mutilation down there. He said it was really strange as there were no tracks near the carcass. He said just the udder was missing and the wound appeard as if it had been cut out. There were no tears or teeth marks, just a precise hole. He said no animal had done that. There was also very little blood which is a characteristic of all reported mutilations.

Since reports in Millican Valley noted strange lights, I wonder how the two are related. But like all great mysteries, I'd hate for it to be solved and to really know. I doubt the reality is as spectacular as what can be imagined. The imagining is where all the fun is for me.

Millican Valley coming down off Horsehead Ridge

Looking East in Millican Valley. A couple of antelope add to the scene.

Looking West from Millican Valley. The Cascades in the distance.

The gangsta cows of Millican Valley
 What mysteries do you like to think about?

PS, I have a guest post on The Capillary where I talk about physical limitations.

Nov 18, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

Talked about The Dark Tower and Game of Thrones this week at M. Pax.

Finally saw the final Harry Potter movie last weekend. We're DVD kind of people in this household, so I'm a bit behind the curve with movies most times.

With that said, Deathly Hallows Part II was a nice conclusion to the series. I felt it could have used a bit more edge and grit. It was very good, but I was wanting a bit more spectacular.

I think I need to read the last book, because I feel as if I missed something about Snape. Probably glossed over in the film in the interests of time and drama, it seemed as if that part needed more time and attention than it got. It left questions reeling in my head. The answers I seek are probably in the book. Right? Those of you who've read it, are they?

My TBR pile is huge - both book books and ebooks. I still haven't finished Perdido Street Station and feel enormously guilty about that. Been reading a lot of ebooks though, which is noted on my website this week - - also talked about The Gunslinger series this week. I'm dying to get to Tanya Huff's new book in the Confederation series. OK, I'm anxious to get to all of the books in my growing stack.

Have a great weekend everybody.

Nov 16, 2011

Jessica Bell's String Bridge

String Bridge is an emotionally provocative story about a family dealing with the fallout of decisions made. Sometimes it’s as sweet as a ballad, strumming on harmonies of the golden moments. Sometimes the emotions are raw and sour, hitting off-notes

Melody Hill struggles with a decision she made to give up music. The decision is made before the story begins, and the tale begins with the aftermath. She and her husband Alex struggle with individuality against the fabric of family.

When Alex and Melody gave in to being a family, seemed to me, the music of their lives became the most harmonious.

It’s a great read, and I’d highly recommend it.

Here’s the official blurb:

Greek cuisine, smog and domestic drudgery was not the life Australian musician, Melody, was expecting when she married a Greek music promoter and settled in Athens, Greece. Keen to play in her new shoes, though, Melody trades her guitar for a ‘proper' career and her music for motherhood. That is, until she can bear it no longer and plots a return to the stage—and the person she used to be. However, the obstacles she faces along the way are nothing compared to the tragedy that awaits ....

ebook available from:

For links to the paperback and accompanying cd, see Jessica’s website:  She blogs at The Alliterative Allomorph.

Jessica is an amazing talent. I wish her all success.

Want to talk about what influences your creativity? I'm blogging about that over at my friend, Stuart Nagler's blog today. Something about people with eyes in the backs of their heads. Ooo!

Nov 14, 2011

Outer Space! Really?

Syfy announced plans for a new drama set in ... OUTER SPACE! Seriously? The Syfy channel is going to make a science ficiion show? I'm speechless, and trying not to get my hopes up too much.

As reported on Gateworld:

Robert Hewitt Wolfe, who worked on Star Trek: DS9 before shepharding Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, is developing a currently untitled series from Universal Cable Productions, set on the Starship Defender.  “After decades of war, the newly formed Unity Democracy orders a volatile mix of humans and trans-humans to lead the Starship Defender on an expedition in search of lost worlds requiring law and order,” says Syfy.

I'm wondering what they mean by transhumans. Ghosts in space? Animal-human hybrids?

At any rate, just because they're thinking about doing this show doesn't mean it'll ever even make it to the pilot phase. So, I'll try and forget about it until it happens, and hope someone creates a science fiction internet channel with plenty of spaceships and aliens and planets and stars.

With that said, they're also developing two new dramas that seem to use ghosts. Um, Syfy, you don't need any more ghosts on your channel.

Nov 11, 2011

NASA's Journey Over Vesta

NASA's Journey Above Vesta

Asteroid Vesta as seen by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft.

In case you haven't seen yet, here's what scientists saw of the asteroid passing so close by this week -- this is a different asteroid. So, yes, asteroidmania on Wistful Nebulae today:

Talking about Battle: Los Angeles today on the website:

Nov 9, 2011

Flying Alien People

I'm at Jon Mac's Mythik Imagination today, contributing to his Weird Wednesday feature. I adore weird. Such stories fuel my imagination and spark me up with inspiration.

If you want to hear about my latest stargazing adventure, visit: My fellow star guides and I met up at PMO last Tuesday night (November 1).

And, I'm talking about blogging at Savvy Self-Publishing.

Yes, another busy blogging week.

Nov 7, 2011

At Nicki Elsons

I'm over at Nicki Elson's Not So Deep Thoughts today.

If you haven't read Nicki's Three Daves yet, it's awesome.

I'm also interviewed about Semper Audacia at Maria Violante's. Want to know where the title came from? The idea of the suit? The ghosts?

This being November thing is tripping me out. October really flew by. My best to all of you participating in NaNo.

Nov 4, 2011

Twists and Turns

Wendy Ewurum was kind enough to invite me over to Fabulosity Reads for a guest post. I'm talking about twists and turns and the unexpected.

Here's an astronomy tidbit:

Asteroid 2005 YU55

Scientists will be tracking an asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier as it flies by Earth on Nov. 8, 2011.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Nov 2, 2011

Some Folks Will Love What You Do

I'm going to keep this short. Here's one simple truth I've learned since beginning my publishing journey:

Some people will love what you do

And if you care to pay attention, their enthusiasm will see you through everything else and give your confidence a nice jolt in the arm. When we're starting out, we really need that.

Thanks to all of you who have given me a nice jolt in the arm. It keeps me going. I do my best to return the favor. Not only are you fabulous people, there's a lot of amazing talent out there. I've read so many great books and stories recently, all by folks I know out there in bloggyland. Very well done, you guys. Bravo!

IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. Thank you, Alex. 

Nov 1, 2011

Inventing the Future: Technology

I'm hosting the lovely Susan Kaye Quinn today. Her book, Open Minds releases today. I was fortunate to bump into her recently in cyberland. Besides a great trilogy, she writes a great blog and is a great person.

Inventing the Future: Technology

by Susan Kaye Quinn, author of Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy)

Sometimes I’m asked if I use my engineering background (Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, worked for NASA, studied global warming) in my stories. The answer is, of course, YES! But I also use my background as a wife and mother, bike rider and cake baker. I think writers put bits of themselves in their stories—it’s hard not to. But my techie background does come in handy when dreaming up gadgets and technology for the future.

In my paranormal/SF teen novel Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy), I fast forwarded the world nearly a hundred years, to give time for the evolution of mindreading (and mindjacking) to occur. But the world didn’t stand still in that time. We certainly wouldn’t have the same cars or computers or phones, but how can you know what the future will look like?

Sometimes I can barely figure out what tomorrow will bring.

I started out looking at the past. What had changed in the last 100 years? What did the world look like in the 1910’s? I could expect similarly large changes to happen going forward (probably more so). In the 1910’s, refrigerators were invented and Ford christened their moving assembly lines. We had tanks and machine guns that required 4-6 people to run them. We fought a war with U-boats (submarines) and aeroplanes (airplanes). Much was different, but much was the same.
I tried to keep a different but same flavor in the future world of Open Minds.

I envisioned phones would still be around—they’re handy—but they would get exponentially cooler. With the world becoming filled with mindreaders, I pictured an exodus of people from crowded cities for the suburbs and countryside, where they could spread out and escape each other’s thoughts. Range (thought-wave-range) ordinances would spring up to enforce the separation that would keep society civil. A sprawling metropolis of well-spaced dwellings would require extensive public transportation, something that could be reasonably accomplished in a hundred year time span.

The engineering came in handy for dreaming up taxicabs with programmable autopaths and mindware interfaces. But I feel like I’m running out of room as the world catches up with the e-readers I put into the story just two years ago! The risk of science fiction is always that science fact will show you up.

I’m currently writing Closed Hearts (Book Two of the Mindjack Trilogy) and having more fun with gadgets and technology. If you’ve read Open Minds, you know the changes are just beginning, and some of those Book Two changes will be in the technology as well. Time to study up on my neuroscience …

See more guest posts about Open Minds at the Virtual Launch Party!

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.
Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.

Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy) by Susan Kaye Quinn is available in e-book (Amazon US (also UK, France and Germany), Barnes & Noble, Smashwords) and print (Amazon, Createspace, also autographed copies available from the author).

Susan Kaye Quinn is giving away an Open Books/Open Minds t-shirt, mug, and some fun wristbands to celebrate the Virtual Launch Party of Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy)! (Check out the prizes here.)

Three ways to enter (you can have multiple entries):
1)      Leave a comment here or at the Virtual Launch Party post
2)      Tweet (with tag #keepingOPENMINDS)
Example: When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep. #keepingOPENMINDS @susankayequinn #SF #YA avail NOW
Example: Celebrate the launch of OPEN MINDS by @susankayequinn #keepingOPENMINDS #SciFi #paranormal #YA avail NOW

3)     Facebook (tag @AuthorSusanKayeQuinn)
Example: Celebrate the launch of paranormal/SF novel OPEN MINDS by @AuthorSusanKayeQuinn for a chance to win Open Books/Open Minds prizes!


Bonus: Me and Kai Strand last Thursday at our local writers meeting with Susan's Open Minds on Kai's Kindle.