Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Work

I've been recently inspired to re-do a lot of Book One. A lot of stuff I'll keep, a lot of stuff I'll just ditch outright, and a lot of stuff I'll add...especially back-story (which Book One was lacking).

Here's a sample of what I've recently done:

It seemed like it had only been yesterday that he drove up this winding dirt road with his father. But that had been many years ago. He looked up the slope of the hill, through the trees, to the log building in the distance. A chill crept down his spine. Could this be the first real sign of progress? Would he get lucky today?

He drove up to the diminutive parking lot and stopped his car. As he got out, he looked around. There was a booth nearby that wasn't there when he visited in the 80's. The sign posted on it indicated that he was to pay his entry fee there. He walked up to the booth and looked through the open window. An older lady sat inside. She looked up.

"Welcome to Orgonon. Are you here to just visit, or did you want the tour?"

"Um…just visit for now," Henry replied. "I might get the tour later."

"All right. Have you ever been here before?"

"Ages ago. I was just a kid."

"Oh," she said with a smile. "Well, then, welcome back." She grabbed a brochure off of a stack and handed it to Henry. "There's a list of tour times in there…" She pointed to a schedule in the upper right corner. "and a map of the premises. You can pretty much go wherever you want, but don't disturb Patrick."

"Huh?" Henry looked at the lady with some confusion.

"He used to work with William Washington, ages ago. Mr. Washington passed on some time ago, but old Pat, for some reason, won't quit. He's easily over a hundred, and he's been here all summer, for the most part. He just sits over there…" She gestured towards a path. "…And does nothing. I swear, I don't know why. Walks up the road in the morning…walks down the road at night. Strangest damn thing. Never talks to anyone, either. Don't think he has, really, for twenty years."

"Twenty years? He's been doing this for twenty years?"

"Nah, darlin'. He's only been making this daily trek this summer. Started doing it around the end of May, not too long after we opened up for the season."

Henry had the oddest sensation at the back of his mind. "Maybe he's waiting for someone."

The woman shrugged. "Maybe. Don't know who. His family's either dead or moved away. None of his old colleagues are still alive."

"And he talks to nobody?"

"Nope. People have tried. He just sits on the bench, looking out over the mountains. You're welcome to try, but don't expect much of a response."

Henry nodded to the older lady, paid the fee and thanked her. He then walked straightaway to the path.

The footpath was just wide enough for a person to walk down, and still be brushed upon by the fir fronds. The air was cool and quiet. It was already mid-afternoon. The trip from Orton to Rangeley took longer than he had remembered. It had been about twenty years, so time must have skewed his recollection.

After walking through the thicket for a few minutes, it opened up to a small clearing. The clearing overlooked the mountains to the west. In the clearing was a huge old device that Henry remembered from his childhood. It supposedly controlled the weather once. Henry could see why the government would want to suppress that kind of technology. They probably figured real havoc could be wreaked with that kind of device. Supposedly, it once worked, but the government forced the institute to dismantle part of it and fill it with grout.

Next to the weather device was a bench, and on the bench sat a very old man. He sat, hunched over, and stared blankly into the distance. He wore brown pants and a tan shirt, as wrinkled as his skin. A few wisps of white hair floated in the breeze. His glasses were thick-rimmed and black. The man never so much as acknowledged Henry's arrival.

Henry stood there, fixated on the elderly man, for a good half-minute. Then, to not appear rude, Henry walked up and introduced himself. "Hello, sir…my name is Henry Gusman."

The old man didn't even so much as give Henry a glance.

"Uhm…" Henry dug a toe in the dirt and looked around. "…Beautiful afternoon, eh?"


Henry cleared his throat. This was getting uncomfortable. "I hear you come here often? I used to visit here…many years ago."

The man said nothing. The man didn't even twitch in acknowledgment. For all Henry knew, this could be a very life-like statue. Only the shallow breathing gave away that the man was even alive.

"Uh…I'm really sorry to have bothered you. I'm not sure why I did. Please excuse me." Feeling disappointed, he turned to head back down the path. Perhaps there would be more clues within the institute? But if all the knowledge of the technology he was seeking was long ago confiscated, he wouldn't find too much within the building.

"Wait…" A voice croaked from behind him. Henry stopped dead in his tracks and slowly turned around. The old man was now looking intently at Henry.


"Call me Pat," he replied. His voice was barely more than a hoarse whisper.

"Nice to meet you, Pat," Henry said as he walked back up to the old man.

"Likewise." Pat grunted. "I suspect the lady in the booth told you quite a yarn about me."

"A bit. Said you've been visiting the institute all summer."

"Yup. Felt compelled. Guess it's coz I'm on my way out. Gonna be pushin' up daisies soon." Pat grunted again. "One hundred four years old, this past July."

"Wow. Congratulations. May I?" Henry gestured at an empty spot on the bench.


Henry took a seat next to Pat.

"Sorry if I was so aloof…never really felt the need to talk much, I guess."

"It's all right," Henry responded.

"Every day I've come up here, unless the weather was really bad. Bring my lunch. Sat and ate and looked out over the valley. It's quite beautiful here. Nothing like New Jersey…"

Henry nodded. "Born and raised in Maine. I've only left the state for work or for the military."

Pat shifted his posture, and for a moment, Henry thought he saw a look of disgust on his face. "Sorry, don't mind me. Not much of one for government types. If you've been here before, I'm sure you know why."

"I do. And I find it unfair what the government did to Mr. Reich and his work."

"Mmm." Pat grunted again. The two sat in silence for a while. The silence was on the verge of becoming uncomfortable when Pat said, "I guess you're as good a guy as any. And I am on my way out as it is…" He turned slowly to the brown bag next to him. Henry figured he was going to share his lunch with him, until Pat pulled out a neatly folded bundle of papers. With a shaking arm, he handed them to Henry.

Henry swallowed and took the papers from him. He opened them up.

"There's some newer stuff in there…after everything happened," Pat explained.

I guess, Henry thought to himself. The diagrams and text were remarkably familiar. One part caught his eye almost immediately: small version of the AG synchrotron generator will reverse polarity of normal helium electrons. The one to one ratio of normal helium electrons to the antimatter form of helium electrons (positrons) will cause a high-powered explosion resulting in vast amounts of energy…

Henry swallowed again. Hard. He looked at the old man, who was staring right back at him. "I hope you can use it," Pat said with a little more timbre in his voice. Pat then sighed and turned back to the view of the mountains.

" you," Henry managed to stammer out.

Pat shrugged, and sighed again.

The two sat in silence for a little while, then Henry asked, "Do you mind if I stay here for a little while longer?"

Pat shrugged again. "It's good to have the company," he croaked.

They sat and watched the sun sink ever lower in the sky in silence for what seemed like hours. Henry's mind was reeling. After three months of fret and worry, he finally had the technology in his hands. He thought about the papers in his hands briefly, and noticed he was clutching the papers very tightly. Henry glanced at his watch, and saw that it was getting close to six in the evening.

"Well, Pat…I should get going. Thank you again. You have no idea what this means to me."

Pat remained silent. Henry looked at the old man, figuring he must have gone back into his silent vigil, but then noticed his eyes were closed. Feeling a bit of a creep going up his spine, he then noticed that the man wasn't even breathing. Henry quickly checked Pat for a pulse, and slowly withdrew when he felt none.

I guess he was waiting for me, Henry thought, as his body suddenly became covered in goose bumps. "I don't know if you can really hear me or not," Henry said lowly, "but I really am thankful for this. Bless you, sir."

With that, Henry turned to head down the path and tell the booth attendant that Pat needed attention.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Download the Book

Voyage to Xanadu: The whole shebang

A while back I set it up so that people can just download all of Book 1 instead of waiting for me to post the next installment. So, this is here just as a reminder. Book 2 is also available for download.

Pay no attention to the above lines. Links go nowhere, for the following reasons:

1. The files no longer exist on
2. I'm rewriting everything anyway

So...just sit tight and I'll get new material out soon enough (probably in another 14 years at this rate, LOL).

Saturday, February 04, 2006

New listing

I just added my site to As a courtesy, I'm linking back to them. They seem to be a very comprehensive site on various sci-fi and fantasy topics (books, publishers, fan fiction, etc), so it's worth a look.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


I realized I never put up a FAQ for this page. So here it is. It may not be complete, but I'll endeavor to put your questions on this list if they become ... well, frequently asked.

What is the purpose of this page?

This page's purpose is to publicize my relatively recently published book. I also throw in news relating to my book.

What is your book about?

It is a science fiction novel of 313 pages, paperback. It is the first part of a series--or, at least, intended to be the first part of a series. The story is about a man named Henry who has always had an inexplicable desire to go into space. He is eventually given the technology to build a space vessel that can travel faster than light. He gathers together some friends (and their families) to make this journey; but, due to an accident during an experiment, attracts the attention of the government. He and his people now have to avoid capture and make it off of Earth.

Just how far-fetched are the concepts in your book?

The actual interstellar drive is loosely based off of a theory of Alcubierre. It is very similar to the famous "warp drive" from Star Trek (tm). When I came upon some papers done on Alcubierre, I scrapped a previous idea for an interstellar drive in favor of this one, as it was the easiest to explain.

The GEOCOM might actually be more far-fetched than the interstellar drive. There are theories for faster-than-light (FTL) travel. I don't personally know of any way to make a hologram in thin air, without the aid of some other medium. However, its abilities to scan for life and necessary elements to support life are not so far-fetched. Many of these abilites are used by NASA right now; for example, the ability to detect methane on Mars, which made NASA physicists suspect microbial life might still exist on Mars.

Outside of that, everything else is made out of either existing or legacy technology.

UPDATE: About the GEOCOM being far-fetched? Apparently, I was wrong.

Do you really expect to make any money off of this book?


Oh, really?

Yes, really. I don't expect to make a fortune. I personally won't be heartbroken if I don't make loads of money from my book. My biggest desire is to have as many people share this vision as possible. Hence, why I also created this web page.

But seriously. This book apparently costs $25, and I don't know you. Why should I buy it?

Well, that is up to you. There are excerpts on this blog; and there is also the work-in-progress found here. I am slowly but surely putting the entire book here so you can read it and decide for yourself. I've had a lot of people read my personal copy and they all loved it, for what that's worth.

How many books do you plan on having in this "series?"

This, believe it or not, is going to be a somewhat complicated answer. There is one book, complete and available for purchase (of course). There are also three other books in the series, plus another book that breaks from the main timeline, that I am done writing and are in different stages of touching-up. A fifth book in the series is about 10% completed. And, there are approximately two prequels (maybe only one...maybe as many as three...) planned that have nothing to do with Henry ...well, initially.

The "parallel" book, tentatively named Altair, breaks from the main Voyage timeline near the end of the first book, and rejoins the timeline in the third book. The prequels start around 1890 or so (yes, 1890) and join the timeline in book two.

Like I said, "complicated" answer.

What is the inspiration behind this book?

I give some detail behind the inspiration here, near the bottom of the page. I will quote it here for you:

The "dream" in the Prologue is based loosely on a dream I actually had when I was about four years old. I personally don't remember much of the dream, but my father does. It does involve a glowing being, outside our old house in Hancock, ME; and it involves the world being engulfed in flames. Please note that I was not brought up in a religious household, nor had ever been to church or Sunday school at this point. However, all of this information is second-hand through my father. I did, however, have two dreams that I can remember that involved said "glowing being": it was twilight and I was by a stream when the being came through the woods. However, all I remember was the being telling me to not be afraid. That's it. Finis. No flying off into space, no flaming Earth, nothing. So make of it what you will.

Are you crazy??


Yes, you are.

No, I'm not.

Yes! You are!

No! I'm not!

Are, too!



You shut up.

No, you shut up!

No, YOU shut up!!


But seriously. I'm as sane as the next guy.


Shut UP!!!

Dude! Sweet! (Voyage to Xanadu - Solar Flare: Science Fiction News)

Voyage to Xanadu - Solar Flare: Science Fiction News

Solar Flare, in direct response to approving and posting my ad, did a quick little blurb on this site and my book. Way cool! Check out the link; and check out the rest of the site. Happy, happy!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

This is some strange kind of advertisin'...

Some people may be asking, "well, you put up an ad for your book...why didn't this lead to where you sell your book?" I feel that you should be given the opportunity to see some history, and maybe read some excerpts, before you go and buy the book. If you want to buy it RIGHT NOW, there's a link on the right side of the screen.


I definitely encourage it. However, you can also read this page and see some of my own "press releases" (as it were) about the book, or follow the *other* link on the left to a free version of my book (still a work in progress).

So I hope that answers at least some of your questions.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Selling out

AdBrite - The Internet's Ad Marketplace

Waiter Rant started using AdBrite so he could make a few extra bucks on the side for all his blogging work. It got me to thinking.

I took out some ad space using AdBrite, purchasing it on Waiter Rant (just because I love his writing so much). With that being said, and if you've found this place by clicking through the ad there (if he accepted the ad, I don't know as of the time I'm writing this), there are four things you can choose to do now that you're here.

As you read through this blog, you'll realize this is my feeble attempt at publicizing my recently "published" novel (the "quotes" are there for a some articles below). Therefore you can:

1. Purchase a copy of my book. I've linked to Barnes and Noble, as they have a discount club card that can save you 10% from the cover price. Since PublishAmerica (which has received a large amount of bad press, most of it--as I've discovered--unwarranted) in their infinite wisdom charges $25 for the book, and I (as a couple other respondents) don't see the logic in a person paying that much for an unknown author's first work, I figured $2.50 off would make the buy more enticing. PLEASE NOTE that, as I've said (read the articles below for more), PA has received a lot of bad press, you may decide you don't want to give your money to PA by buying my book. That's fine. You can do the next suggestion:

2. Get it for free. I'll admit, I've been slacking on putting my book on this separate blog; but it will get done in time. Maybe. In addition to this suggestion, you can also do the next suggestion:

3. Donate some cash. On the "freexanadu" blog (link above), there's a "PayPal Donate" button. Send me some dough$$! If you give me your email with the donation, I'll send you a complete copy of my book (non-published, in Microsoft Word format). I don't know how much of a demand I'll get via email, so if you don't get anything after a while, just know I'm working on it. Or, you can just contact me and get it cheap as free, but I'd prefer a little $$ for all my hard work. *wink*

4. Move on. Maybe sci-fi doesn't interest you. Maybe you HAVE heard of me before and know what a big jerk I am. I don't know. But you can always not read my work. That's fine with me. ... NO IT'S NOT! WAAAH! Ahem. Anyway.

Those are your four options. I also linked to AdBrite, just because.

Happy reading!