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Originally reported by The Sun, Researches picked up an alien sound while their hydrophone was over the Mariana Trench. Although whale like in nature, it does not quite fit the patterns of what researchers already know. To listen to this sound, Click here. Initially, they thought it might be a mating call from whales, but they are thrown off by hearing this sound year round.
There was a follow-up piece on Wired,
which seems to indicate it is a Baleen Whale…. but the article does end with… “more data needed….. ”
It does make for good Sci-Fi, especially now that I have been working on a treatment called HUM, which is about an alien life-form that was attracted to Earth by its sound. Yes, yes, I know… sound does not travel through space… but other signals do and who is to say what wavelengths aliens can hear.
This will happen in my lifetime and it will be the most monumental technical achievement of mankind. I am looking forward to this series stating November 14th on The NatGeo Channel.
It’s going to happen within the first two weeks in November, Phragmites will release their seeds on a day like this. Look for blue skies, steel-bottomed clouds, high gusts and it will feel like it could snow. But don’t be fooled, they are not the first flurries of the season. My prediction is November 15th.
For the first time in years, I will miss this spectacular event in the NE, US, so I need your eyes and camera phones on this one. When you see them, take pictures and post them here. Do not get any on you–you now know the consequence.
Good luck all and stay safe…
My guess is that every writer of sci-fi has his or her special picking fields for ideas. One that I often go to is, ZME Science with their tag line: not exactly rocket science. I love this site for the richness of articles that cover everything from social to biological to astronomical and every thing between. There are so many great ideas out on the Internet to seed the mind of a sci-fi writer.
Here is an example and one that is quite interesting and quite resourceful on the part of the researchers; why make the machine that spins the thread, when it already exits. My hat is off to Yingying Zhang and her colleagues at Tsinghua University on this one.
So it got me thinking. I will use this concept in one of my works in progress titled, HUM
It’s about a former nuclear physicist who was fired from the Los Alamos Labs and is now on a federal watch list. He appeases a local barfly by following him to a cave where the barfly claims to have discovered a new species of bat. But what the barfly has discovered is not from Earth, setting the physicist on a crazy plan to save the planet from a hostile alien invasion, a plan no one is willing to listen to and one that will surely get him killed by the FBI, if he’s lucky…. for dying at the hands of the aliens would be ever lasting.
As hideous as I have already imagined my aliens, adding in the concept that they now have access to new materials has spurred my imagination to make my aliens even more horrifying.
END OF DAYS SERIES: Mylar
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Geri!.. Don’t do that. It will be political suicide and end your career. It’s not that bad—”
“NOT THAT BAD! Are you kidding me, Dave? You need to pull the plug on this! We’re talking about the end of days here. They have no clue what they are about to do… All the data… All the research I’ve conducted points to the fact that this experiment will be a run-away process–”
“Just listen to me, Geri. I’ve read the data and it’s….” he said coming to a halt.
“It’s what… Dave? Inconclusive? Is that what you want to say to me? I can understand these button pushers up here not taking me seriously…” she said with a snort, catching the irony of the situation. “But you Dave! You of all people…” and she stopped, a pointless end to it.
He could hear the sadness in her voice as much as the pain felt in his heart for what he was about to say to her.
“Yes… It’s inconclusive,” he said from the hammock in his backyard. There was silence on his connection to Geri who was orbiting 250 KM above him. His phone was resting along his shoulder as he looked up through the tree branches at the sky, so blue and crisp on this Indian summer day that he never wanted it to end.
“It’s inconclusive because no one has ever lived through the consequences to make the data conclusive. I’m sure this same scenario was played out on Mars eons ago…. There’s your conclusive evidence, Dave. All you need to do is look at Mars. It’s scorched.”
“Geri…. I promise… nothing is going to happen. I know you’re the smartest person on this project and everyone on the team up there has read your report and they feel the same way as I do. Trust us on this. I’m sure some folks on the Trinity Project in ’45, including Oppenheimer himself, must have had some worry in the back of their mind that what they were about to do could end the world. But it didn’t happen. They trusted their research.
“It’s not the same, Dave. They weren’t trying to open a wormhole with a so called controlled singularity.” He could hear the mock in her voice. “And it’s my research we’re talking about here!”
“You’re right, Geri. It’s not the same thing, but it is the same level of research and much more. We’re not calculating these models with slide rules; we’re using quantum computers on this, Geri. We’re about to make a gigantic leap for humanity and you will stand among history’s greatest scientists that has ever lived.”
There was more silence between them.
“Geri? You still there?”
“Then we’re good on this?”
“Dave…” she said ignoring his question.
“I want to thank you for everything you’ve done for me—”
“No need to thank—”
“Just hear me out, Dave,” she was running short on time. “Don’t talk. I would never have had this opportunity without you in my life. I would never have had the chance for this opportunity had it not been for you on that cold morning, seeing me in the shadows outside, Alley Bakes, as you strolled by with that bag in your hands.” She let out a saddened laugh. “I don’t even know how you picked me out from under that cardboard box…. and now that I look out from the portal of my bay, I can see all of New England below without a cloud in the sky there. I bet you’re out on the hammock, aren’t you?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Good.” she said.
“I look forward to seeing you upon your return,” and he held up his wrist to see the counter ticking down. “T minus 1 minute, Geri. How come you’re not with the team?”
“No view there and I wanted to see Perkins Cove for the last time. Dave, It should be beautiful. You’ll see a bright flash and although you won’t see the X-ray projecta, it will bore a silent hole through the atmosphere creating a brilliant circular rainbow… a halo around a spot of emptiness…. I’ll have been gone by then and you will have about a minute to reflect on the life this world has had. Nothing lasts forever.”
“Geri… come on.. don’t think that way,” he said with a chuckle in his voice. “I thought we were good on this one?”
“Geri….” but he stopped short when a flash blinded him from above and he turned his head to shield his eyes. When the overload on his retinas began to clear he looked up and could see the partial circular rainbow through the branches and got up from the hammock and moved out into the clearing of his patio along the cove. The sun was low in the sky behind him, but above, at the center of the rainbow he could make out a black dot. He stood there, looking up until he felt the skin on his arms begin to crawl and the hairs on his forearms were curling into ash and drifting away. His eyes sparkled, but this time like melting Mylar, and everything went dark. His heartbeat was pounding in his chest and he could hear the blood boiling behind his ears as he dropped onto the pavers and pooled there as bird after bird thudded to the ground around him with the sound of flesh and earth sizzling before a shockwave of dark fire swept over.
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13.8 billion years ago, at the onset of the Bing-Bang, primordial micro black holes the size of the period at the end of this sentence, may have formed. Assuming that is true, then they are like cosmic bullets boring a hole through the fabric of time, passing through anything and everything in their path. It’s a game of Galactic Roulette.
The original article can be found here: Miniature black holes may be hitting Earth once every 1,000 years
But stop, here. This is where it turns into Science Fiction. So as a writer of Sci-Fi, I look for articles like this and think about how to form a storyline from it and came up with a few possibilities.
- Now or Never: The new doomsday weapon that no one has ever used and the protagonists/antagonists are locked in a political battle at a time when they actually need to use one. I will leave the outcome to you.
- B train: Luke Killian was on his way to work, traveling downtown on the B Train in NYC when a micro black hole rode the track, taking the car and his fellow passengers with him. Where they were dropped off I will leave it up to you.
- Whirl: (Hands off everyone…. this one I’m keeping for my own) A stubborn, slow-moving micro-black hole gets lodged in the ocean, just off of Atlantic City. A permanent whirlpool becomes an attraction and business opportunity for those with foresight that not even the Donald thought of. Blinded by greed, the consequences were not taken into account… the whirlpool is moving slowly toward shore.
- Flush: Escaping from a maximum security colony on Xylon, through a micro black hole, the alien was deposited on Earth.
Now get writing everyone…….
When I left Corporate America to become a writer, I had received some excellent advice from a partner at the firm I was employed by. He had shared with me his most guarded resource for good writing, one that he kept closely by his side, one that he often referred to while writing a legal brief – Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses, by Mark Twain.
Upon leaving his corner office that day, he warned me. “Download it. Read it on your commute,” he said with a thin smile. “But be warned,” he added, “you will laugh out loud.”
He was right on both accounts. This is a brilliant piece of writing. Not only is this laugh out loud reading, it delivers so many important rules for a writer to follow. One of my favorite things to do is pump this piece through the persona of my IVONA text-to-speech engine, Amy–in her stoic British accent–who gets me to laugh while serving as my muse.
Below is an excerpt from Mark Twain’s observations of Fenimore Cooper’s work.
“There are nineteen rules governing literary art in domain of romantic fiction — some say twenty-two. In “Deerslayer,” Cooper violated eighteen of them. These eighteen require:”
Here is my favorite from that list:
10. They require that the author shall make the reader feel a deep interest in the personages of his tale and in their fate; and that he shall make the reader love the good people in the tale and hate the bad ones. But the reader of the “Deerslayer” tale dislikes the good people in it, is indifferent to the others, and wishes they would all get drowned together.
As a writer of near SciFi, it’s always a great feeling to have written a work and then see a related article sometime after publication. This is what I had in mind when writing, November Seed, except my alien seed a little sexier.
This was originally entered as a sci-fi Friday competition on Wattpad. It had to be no more than 1500 words and the lead in was this: A dating site inadvertently paired up androids with humans, and we had to take it from there. Needless to say, I did not even platform under the honorable mention section… LOL, but that did not stop me from writing, in my style.
A Note about the title. This was a play on a couple of things. The term, 23 Skidoo, came about from 20th century slang originating in the Flatiron District in NYC, specifically 23rd street. With the combination of building design (flat Irons) and how the avenues and streets intersect, it created some interesting wind patterns. During lunch hours, when the women workforce would be out on the streets under the scrutiny of the construction workers and their cat calls, guys would wait for the women knowing the winds can gust quickly, hiking up their skirts. The cops would come along and say to them, ‘come’on… Skidoo.’
Secondly, this is a dedication to friends and my in-laws, Maurice & Harriet Holt (God rest their souls) and to the wonderful times we had and still have in LBI NJ, where the place to be is 22nd street. I wanted to call this work 22 Skidoo, but realized only a few would be in on the play of title and I would have most likely received a lot of feedback correcting me with 23 skidoo…. so there you have it. Enjoy.
The guy smelled like urine and sunscreen. Oddly, the combination wasn’t unpleasant.
“Alexa. Note to self. Urine and sunscreen.”
“Urine and sunscreen saved to self,” repeated Alexa. Alexa was his internal symbiont. All androids these days had one.
He scrunched the pockets on the guy’s fly-fishing vest, but pocket after pocket seemed filled with every possession the guy ever owned.
“This is going to take a while,” he said to no one and rolled him onto his side so he could turn out the collar and see the label. “Alexa, add Simms vest to my shopping list.”
“Simms vest added to your shopping list.” she repeated.
He continued to search and moved onto the cargo pants. “Shit… more F’ing pockets… I can sure pick’em.” Finally he found what he was looking for and popped the double snaps to fish out a wallet, worn and scratched along the edges and bound with a crucifix and tie wraps.
“Christ,” he said, then caught his pun and started to laugh. The sun would be rising over the ocean any minute and he was running out of time. Reaching under his shirt sleeve he removed the arcKnife strapped to his tricep and hot cut through the tie wraps leaving singe marks along the leather. He fished out the guy’s plexi and inserted it into his reader.
“Benny Larson,” he said. “You look like a Benny,” he added and laughed at his own pun of how the island locals called their day trippers, bennies; a term that originated from the letters of the train stations on the Jersey Shore line: (B)ayonne, (E)lizabeth , (N)ewark & (N)ew (Y)ork. The locals, as much as they needed the seasonal revenue, felt the bennies messed up everything between Memorial day and Labor day: He loved puns. Puns were a sign of intelligence and therefore… he was intelligent.
The corpse in the dunes beside him had a face frozen in time. Eyes and mouth opened with a look of surprise. He noted the coagulation of blood on the sand; it looked like a raspberry snow cone had been dropped there.
“Alexa, note to self. Blood on sand. Snow cone.”
“Blood on sand. Snow cone saved to self.” echoed Alexa.
Rolling him onto his back, he pat Benny Larson on the chest like he was saying goodbye to an old friend. “Travel well, amigo.” He stood and brushed the sand from his knees and looked out over the ocean, raising his hand to shield his eyes from the bulk of the sun’s rays. Stepping gingerly alongside the drag marks and footsteps leading back to the beach, he was careful not to step on the dune grasses. The posted signs indicated the dunes were off-limits to people and pets and the grasses were a protected species. Violators would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. He protected things, that’s what he did, and now he would protect dune grasses.
The night’s rain had formed a thin coffee-colored crust on the sand, making it easy for him to follow the footsteps that exposed the white grains below. They led him south along the beach toward 23rd street where a foot path lined with dune fence trailed out toward the road. He passed a bench at the bottom of the path inscribed with, In Memory of Harriet and Maurice Holt, and stopped to empty the sand from his topsiders when a yellow Lab puppy, whose feet were as large as spatulas, came bounding toward him.
“Come on boy… oooh what a good doggie.” he called out and watched the puppy pick up speed with its tongue and tail wagging, almost knocking him off the edge of the bench when it collided. He held the puppy’s ears between his thumb and forefingers to keep it from jumping and smoothed its brows until it settled down. Looking up over his shoulder, he could see the dog’s owner, his date, rising over the crest of the path. She was right on cue and wearing a wide-brimmed straw hat and dark glasses that were a little too large for her face. She was athletic, shapely and carrying a surfboard under her arm. Her neoprene silky was flowered and wrapped down to her naval but still well above the bikini bottom.
“Roxy…. come’ear gal.” she called out.
Roxy had been under his spell, letting out a groan with each soothing stroke until he stood, leaving Roxy motionless and in denial the smoothing had ended.
“Roxy!” she called out a bit more commanding. Roxy’s front paws dug into the sand and she let out a bark to continue.
“Rox-eeee!” she repeated. “Don’t you even think about it!”
“Roxy loves people,” she said approaching him. There was no embarrassment in her voice. “I hope you like dogs,” she added.
He looked down at Roxy who was now on her back and sweeping out a dog’s version of a snow angel.
“I don’t know. I’ve never had one.” He was looking down, amused by Roxy’s antics.
She had been studying his features, his hair was dusty brown and tight against his scalp. He looked just like his profile image–a rarity these days on dating sites. At least he had that going for him.
He sensed her stare and looked directly into her glasses. He liked to look into a human’s eyes. The eyes told him everything about a person. He guessed she was in her late 30’s or early 40’s. No one younger cared about protecting their skin.
“I love a west wind in the morning,” she said a bit unnerved by his focus and brushed the dark hair away from her face and turned her attention to the water behind him. “I knew last night’s storm would kick up some swell.”
He turned to see where she was looking. The off shore breeze added a finish to the water, like hammered brass, and the crests of the waves were transparent with the sun behind them as they peeled left along the outer shoals.
He knew nothing of the surf or surfing. “Are those good waves?”
She let out a slight, huh? “You’re not up here checking out the surf, are you?” she asked. “Where’s your board?”
“No. I don’t do the ocean. Too many things larger than me that I can’t see coming.”
He was taller than average and looked like he could handle anything life could throw at him. “Toeachisown,” she said as a single word and began to walk around him. So much for this date.
“What was that?” he said abruptly and raised his arm slightly to halt her.
“What?” she replied and little on guard. He looked taut as a bow.
“What you just said…in Italian… that thing you just said.”
She was confused and dropped the tail of her board into the sand. Roxy caught the subtle tension and came to her side, staring keenly into his eyes.
“Italian?” she questioned.
“Yes… I heard that somewhere but could never find its meaning. I never knew what it meant. Repeat what you just said.
She reached up and pushed her glasses down her nose. Her grey eyes were striking. “I have no idea what you are talking about.”
He dropped his arm to his side when he noticed Roxy’s widened stance and jowls releasing puffs of silent barks. “Seriously,” he said softly. “Repeat the last words you said to me.”
“Toeachisown?” she guessed.
“Yes! That’s it. What does that mean?”
She looked to her sides thinking she was being punked. “Are you serious?”
“Yes… what does that mean, toeachizone,” he tried to repeat with an Italian accent.
She started to laugh. It was clear to her now. “To… each… his… own….” she pronounced clearly.
His look of excitement turned to surprise then borderline horror. He burst out laughing, repeating the phrase over and over. “To… Each… His… Own… toeachhisown… toeachizone… Oh my… for the last five years, I thought it was some Italian phrase.” He was bent over, palms resting on his knees, shaking his head. Then he stood up straight. “Thank you.”
“Ahhh… You’re welcome.” she said pushing her glasses back into position. “Really.. you’ve never heard that phrase?” she asked doubting him.
“Obviously I have heard it over and over, but never made the connection.” He laughed again… “toeachizone.”
His weirdness began to weigh on her and she tucked the board back under her arm and continued around him. “Come on Roxy.” Roxy rolled over and onto her feet, then after a good shake, zigzagged with her nose along the sand. “It was nice meeting you,” she added with a quick smile and followed Roxy toward the water.
He turned to look at her. The stripes of her bikini formed a heart shape along her bottom. He called out, “Hey… One more thing.”
She turned without stopping.
“If you’re heading north as far as 13th street, you might want to keep Roxy away from the dunes. There’s a dead body up there.”
That stopped her.
He turned and walked up the path to where the wooden walkway began, trying not to add any more sand in his shoes.
“Alexa, note to self. 23rd street, dog, bikini.”
“23rd street, dog, bikini added to self” she repeated.