Friday, July 10, 2020

Series Picks!



Books:(EPISODE 1)

This has everything you want from a Barsoom Type Adventure with even more sci fi underpinnings.  If you want to escape from the toil and grit of the mundane? Go for this. I pretty much recommend reading his whole library, in fact, do that for all of these.



This is pure escapism for me that isn't bogged down in pages of tech details like later Harrington Books. It has characters you can root for on all sides. I'd put this next to Galaxy's Edge any day of the week. I can only hope that people will catch on to all of this.

Granted, I still love Harrington but the tech bowl got bogged down like WoT over detailing of everything.


Has just the right amount of narration vs detail. Basically: What would happen if the Protagonist could alter his Golden Path. Where so many books go the deconstruction route, this goes for reconstruction in interesting ways. It kinda feels like Don Quixote in a way. It has a whole lot of mystery (Cosmic Level) that pulls me in.




 

A List of Elements!



In so much sci fi nowadays, with its heavy dystopia bent:

  • We are all alone, no one else will save us so we have to save ourselves.
  • Everyone is shitty so why are we worth saving
  • Paranormal Erotica posing as Post Apoc/Sci fi/Space Opera, ect. The list is endless. Some are even Dystopia ROMANCE! Pass.
  • Alpha vs Everyone Love Triangles
Its stupidly easy to trip over someone wanting to be the NEXT TWILIGHT! THE NEXT DIVERGENT! THE NEXT SO ON!!!!

I can out grim dark! Blah blah blah!

Its why even though I liked the music and some other elements of the reboot BSG, it still lost its soul, what made the Original shine to my eyes. With everyone trying to be the new "Grittiest thing evar!" the overall landscape has become diluted.

Its also why I am going for a more happy go lucky cornball maneuver with my series. Not in it for the money, if I was, Id be writing (THOTS!: A SUPERNATURAL PARANORMAL ROMANCE LIT RPG HAREM FEST!) Because that's all I see in the top 100, taking up a good solid 60-70 books within every genre.

Sometimes, if I just sit and clear my mind I think:

At the end of the day, is it worth it? Every time I answer: Yes, keep going. Just because its not on the overall "BIG KICK" menu on amazon doesn't mean people don't want it.

Like I was illustrating today on the twitters, readers are looking for things to read but the output and preferences are buried under shoddy coding and those who want to barf out whatever to make some sort of money on whatever is "trending" for the moment.

So it leads to over saturation. Which in turn buries things readers want to find in endless muck of Floating Ab books. For me, this whole cycle breeds contempt towards genres that avalanche other genres out of the way. Yes, romance and sex sells. Even shitty IKEA level Erotica. Since Anita Blake is still on the shelves it proves that even trash like that lingers.

I don't think the sponsored stuff helps much because amazon keeps recommending the same 200 or so books over and over to me. OH YOU LIKE EMBER WAR! (Same list of people stuck in the pigeon hole sponsor recommendations.)

They very rarely get this right. Following writers helps inform you of new releases but doesn't help as much with finding more new writers to enjoy. Maybe more indie press needs to band together like some of the comics indie people. For the programmers out there, would it be fairly straightforward for Amazon to add more genre categories to lighten the mess?

I think I'll start making more book banners for twitter. To cycle through series I've had fun with.

My mind is so closed off to 99% of the "romance" genre because the darn thing is carpet bombing everyone else into paste. You can't go anywhere without bumping into it. PulpRev is a good start.

Lingering Questions:

  • Do people really love internal navel gazing that much? The mundane?
  • Is grit really that much more interesting overall?
  • Is the Harem genre the Harlequin Romances for men?
  • Why more dystopias upon dystopias? Is that really more interesting overall?



Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Uplift Protocol: Issue 21


Issue 21: Old Wounds



            I ran a search with my credentials after the show aired. I found a way for Anna to get clearance to go back onto Camp Osiris as an FBI consultant. I think I'll keep that little connection on the back burner. People might not believe me within the general population sphere but those who do, I will twist to my purpose. Every avalanche begins with a crack of pebbles.-Hilary Brookes.

            I still replay that vid in my memory. The anguish in Jacob’s voice. Sometimes I doubted myself as a mother. Considering Eliza’s birth. What I didn’t realize at the time: Zachary’s feelings were being transmitted to me via the umbilical cord. I know now that Eliza put some empath shields up for him but he still knew something was wrong at the Blue Saucer. He could feel the corruption.-J’ino Ayeer. 

I remember flying all over the place when mom showed up. The contractions had already started and all I could pick up from Zachary was absolute terror. The blood dripping from my nose as we approached the Blue Saucer.  Apple took a chance that day, it nearly scrambled my brain for good but I’d put everything on the line to keep them safe. It was because of this incident that I never developed any matter manipulation. That track forever cut off. No matter. As long as I can fly my ship, nothing in this galaxy can stop me.-Sleeping in Starlight, a memoir of the 22nd century.

Camp Osiris, Murphy Household
USA (Commonwealth of Texas)
February 9th, 2096

I could hear the conversation before I even stepped anywhere near the threshold. Anna’s churlish tone grated on my senses. I could only imagine how much this upset my mother and in her condition, I didn’t want anyone disturbing my soon to be baby brother either. I quickened my pace. Lorain let out a startled squeak as I picked her up and broke out into the best “normal” run that I could generate without raising too many eyebrows. Lorain took one look at my face and realized just how dire the situation was. She blanched. Gave out a nervous bark of laughter. “That bad Cornfed?”  I tried to muster a response. She reached out and gave my shoulder a reassuring squeeze. In an instant, she went from concerned friend to battlefield medic, expecting the worst.
My childhood home was just ahead, standard two-story domicile for a base like this. Its gray and brown coloration just as I remembered it. The white door just as picturesque as anything out of a modern-day catalog.
 That door to my childhood home slammed open as obscenities followed by pewter dishes flew out of the threshold. Two MPs exited the house with Anna secured by each arm. Her red lipstick was smudged while my two half-siblings looked on.
            Anna, the one key factor in everyone’s lives that made things go haywire. She sneered at me. Then bellowed, “OH LOOK! THE GOLDEN CHILD!” Her voice was slurred. I winced as one of her shoe heels dig into an MPs boot. He wasn’t amused at all. They dumped her into the back of the vehicle, showing a fair amount of restraint considering the situation.
Samantha looked mortified. Her normal raven hair was in disarray. Navy blue pantsuit all out of sorts. Her hands wrapped around Jacob’s forearm. For his part, my brother looked about as stoic as dad would. His face changed when he saw me. A mixture of anger and guilt radiated off him. But underneath it all: Acceptance. If you put him side by side with dad, you’d think they’d be twins. Except Jacob was supporting a very immaculate beard. My grandmother, Eleanore Murphy exploded out of the doorway, armed to the hilt with more dishes. Like a certain lovely doctor I knew, if looks could kill, grandma would be winning the gold right now. She didn’t have to say a word. I conveniently blocked her path. Lorain walked over to Jacob and Samatha, murmuring something. Out of respect, I clamped down on my super hearing. Right now, the only thing that mattered was the very irate matriarch in front of me.
“Gran, I think those dishes have seen enough action today.” I pitched my voice low enough so that only she could hear it. The blazing anger slowly ebbed from her body. She looked up at me. Her fingers loosened and I caught the remaining ammunition. Lorain came over and lead her over to Jacob and Sam. I hurried into the house. Senses stretched out. Finding mom in the back portion of the house. Her breathing was still erratic and I was there in a flash. I set the remaining dishes on the master bed.
 “Momma?” She turned, her face still wet with tears. I lifted her, taking special care to provide proper support for her back. “Zach’s ok. He’s sleeping through all of this.” I used my vision to triple check, his thumb was firmly planted in his mouth, eyes half-closed. His heartbeat was fast but not abnormal.
Voice still clogged with tears, “How did that woman get on the base? We opened the door expecting Thomas or Abraham but it was her instead.” She shuddered as I sat down on the bed. I didn’t say anything for a while, just holding her as the emotional windstorm passed, rocking her until I heard her breathing even out. She was lightly dozing when the door opened and grandma peeked in. I motioned silently and she tiptoed in. 

*****
                Eleanore wrapped her arm around her granddaughter. Taking care not to wake Jennifer. At this point, her daughter in law was close to bursting. The roses in the room turned a darker red as they fed off her demi powers. Eventually, she whispered, “Thomas should be home in an hour or so. Some FBI moron put that woman on a visitor list. He revoked it.” Eliza frowned at that. Her eyes were troubled. “Wonder if it's related to that caller on the show? I know some dismiss conspiracy stuff but it wouldn’t shock me. Considering my other line of work.”  
            The elder Murphy considered this. Her whole mind turning. “Well, I’ll get something going. Someone has to keep all you young ones fed.” Eliza shot a half-smile at her grandmother, “You’re still pretty young too gran-gran. You and grandpa still have a few centuries left.” She stuck her tongue out. Eleanor planted a peck on the cheek of her grandkid, “You are far too incorrigible for your own good.”

*****
                The rest of the night went as normal. Dad, Grandpa, and Jacob retired to the Murphy mancave. I stuck around until NASA made an alert for some incoming meteors to some zero-g labs. On the plus side, they had some more titanium within. Doc stayed with mom to monitor Zach. I kept one ear on home as my fists turned the various space rocks into manageable elements. The Emerald K-9 chased after some fragments, fiding a particularly big one with some platinum in it. Most dogs would love a day on the beach. Cooper loved to charge headfirst into the void and play with stars themselves. His mind voice beckoned me over, <<Star! Look at this! HORUS! What is this?!?!>>
            Horus phased in next to the german shepherd as he pranced around his discovery. I could see his red iris expanding as he recorded whatever lay within the meteorite. Within the craggy surface was a statue or figurine of some sort. I pried it out gently. Melting the material around it until it came free. How odd, it had two right arms and one left. I had no idea what kind of language was imprinted upon it so I summoned the Jupiter Rising over. Cloaked as always. Couldn’t have people connecting me with my civilian ID. Placing the treasure in quarantine. Just standard procedure. All the results came back negative. Maybe I’d have Captain Lanis look at it. It was shaped with outer platings of armor. Ivory and copper? I motioned Horus over. “Any idea what this is?”
            ((Running inquires now captain. The time frame required: 22 days 12 hrs 35 mins 20 seconds.))
            Another mystery for another day. 

Downtown Ashbury, Eliza’s Studio Apartment
USA (Texas)
March 2nd, 2096

            Rapid knocking threw me out of bed as I floated downstairs.
            My body reacting before my mind. Feet never touching the ground. The clock read half past 2 am. Doc scrambled into her housecoat and followed. She had fallen asleep next to me while administering more therapy for my back. I knew that heartbeat anywhere. By now there were 10 such rhythms that I knew like the back of my hand. I opened the door and there was Mom, wrapped in an oversized raincoat as the storm outside rumbled.  Her eyes were wide and glassy. Lorain immediately dashed for the garage, bringing out an emergency bag. “We have to go, now!” I didn’t argue, I just threw on my NASA hoodie, no shoes or socks. Over my white t-shirt. Black sweatpants. Doc got into the driver’s seat of mom’s hovercar. No frills. Off we went.
            I ran my hand along her stomach. Zach was terrified. I peered within and gasped in shock. He was forming an organic shield around himself. A partial one, akin to what grandpa could do with metal. Mom’s eyes locked with mine. I could tell she wanted to talk but something was stopping her. One hand was on her stomach. The other held on to my hoodie.
            Mr. Apple popped into the front passenger seat. He tapped me on the forehead.
            Forgive me. This will burn many Typherian bridges for you.
            Audibly I replied, “What? Typherian? I don’t….”
            Lorain and mom’s auras of surprise ran along my spine.
            My mind swirled. Filling in so many gaps. I frowned with understanding. “Doc, we can’t go to the Blue Saucer. They sent J’dax on a wild goose chase. House Genetic Idoicy is compromised. One, Apple gave me temp access to my shrouded memories. Two: Admiral Y’lansa was afraid of this. Three: Dad is inbound, I can hear him. Four: I have gone past the Uplift barrier encircling Sol territories 100s of times now. My mind is a mirror. But this has to be done. They can't get my brother. Not ever. Urraden may be in play with this as well.”
            Mom hugged me, nodding rapidly. I gave her arm a reassuring squeeze.
            Lorain did a double-take. That was her nickname for the Science Division people. It was the only way I could think to get her absolute attention. I wish I could keep these memories. It would make Earth safer even quicker but then Chronos would catch on. I felt the needles stabbing behind my eyes. There would always be a price. It’s why most of the Uplifted community was so careful. The mind was vital, could survive many things, but repeated shrouding measures took a toll on even the most disciplined of minds.
            Couldn’t have that so this was the next best thing, I brought my com-array online, linking to dads, speaking the words we had planned for months. In case something like this should ever occur.
            //Atten: Space of All-Sky, Shall we play a game. Hide here said the hen. The clock strikes 10, go forth 20,000 paces, meeting at the hollow places.//  His reply was exactly what I wanted to know.
            //CC: I see all that dwells here, Five Nuns go away, finding Excaliber in the way.//
            Mom kept reading the message. I piped up with, “The left and right hands reign.” Her hand cupped my cheek. “It’s ok mom. House Odessen prepped me on some stuff. Roped father into it as well.”
            She shot me a very concerned glance.
            “Even if I won't remember this until later. I hope. I wish I could bring a certain Red Belted Aunt into the proceedings but we can’t let them figure out your Earth ID. It’s a good thing only a handful of people know you married locally. As far as Uplifted Parties are concerned.”
            Mom rapidly tapped my arm. Using the coded language she had developed with her father.
            Who knows at the embassy? For certain!              
            Ritark, his mother, J’dax, Aunty, A certain Forger Ambassador. The Lady. As for not local? Just A certain Wolf, his consort and Dad’s Typherian counterpart. Besides the Bardaxians at A51.
            Mom smiled slightly. She found it amusing and gratifying that I compared dad to Y’lansa. Mr. Apple held up a net. It was undulating with different colored lights. Never staying one shade or the other. He gave it to me.
            This will help you give false readings in his vehicle.  
            At the Crossroads of Avalon St and 10th Avenue, we met up with father, then I instructed Doc to go into the parking garage. I got out, threw the net into his car. Forms coalesced into Mom and three guardsmen. From her homeworld no less. The General programmed it to head for the Saucer. Dad climbed into the middle row seat with Mom while Apple moved into the rearmost seat beyond that. I took the station next to Lorain. “Head to these coordinates. We are going for a joy ride. But give me a moment.” She nodded. My nose started to bleed slightly. Mom saw this and trembled in my father’s embrace.
            Dad’s eyes narrowed angrily. “I got this.” Our car warped. The outer shell changing. Going from a gunmetal grey to being covered with the logo of NASA, indicating that this hovercar was a tech material transport. Its sheer white body contrasting wonderfully with the logo slapped across its hood. “Head out in about 2 mins. The eye in the not friendly sky is still circling.” Father turned and growled at Apple, “What will this cost Eliza this time?” He replied, his mind voice like a thunderhead, That was not your wife who changed this vehicle.
            I grinned faintly at dad, “I don’t care about having any powers Marshmellow Man. I won't let these things hurt you guys ever again. Even if I have to give up all my other world’s heritage. To the point that my Earth powers fade. It doesn’t matter. Powers are irrelevant if you can’t protect those you love. Besides you do it all the time daddy. ” Lorain enhanced a box of tissues, it glowed white-hot for a moment, then she shoved it in my face.
            “That should fix your nose you giant flying brick.” Her voice was laced with tears. “I know Doc.” I peered skyward. Through the reinforced materials of the parking garage. The void walker probe shot off in the direction of the decoy.
            “Let’s go.”
            Lorain squeezed my forearm for a moment.
            Driving off into the night. Mom let out a pent up sigh of relief as Zach’s organic barrier faded.  Father said, “Where to?” I smiled, “To the stars!”
            Mom nearly grinned with that. Her green-gray within black eyes taking on a more upbeat cast. She shook her head ruefully. Mouthing, “Cornball!”

North Rachel
Nevada (The Blue Saucer)
March 2nd, 2096

            Ishtar watched as the hovercar approached. Its gunmetal exterior holding the most precious cargo. Through his probe, he saw the hired help surround the vehicle. Getting into a rather dreadful firefight with the King’s Own. He brought his probe to ground level. Relishing in the various elements on display. The copper tang of blood filled the air. The probe gathered some samples as the battle ensued. The Typherian Ambassador was in the rearmost seats. Writhing in pain as the contractions hit. Civilians and other stupid humans were running in all directions. A faint hiss echoed throughout the battlefield. One demi raced into the area to evacuate people. Thinking this was merely a gang ambush gone wrong. To outside observers, it looked exactly like that. Minor powered demi criminals attempting a carjacking. One of the sleepers, a medic from House Cyphuskara, raced to her side, attempting to assist with the birth. As he reached for her, everything slowed to a crawl, even the probe’s warning was cut short.
            Ishtar’s blackened eyes keyed in on the Scholar sigils as they engulfed everything around the restaurant. He screeched with shock and pain as the symbols burned into his brain. He had time enough for one thought: A trap!
 
*****
           The Mighty Mallet blinked. His orange and white suit was pristine again. One moment, it was utter chaos, then silence. No shots, no gang members, no car in sight. All the wounds on everyone were gone. Like it never happened. He ping’d Sir Avalon, “I think we might have a problem.” All around him the civilians milled about in abject confusion. A few of them even muttering, “Wha? Where am I?” The demi knew he wasn’t nuts. He remembered the screams. The scent of blood in the air. A weird black sphere floating near the car. What on Earth was going on?!
            Granted, he was only a local level demi but he took pride in protecting his sector. Even if it was magic. Please let it be a crazy magic time device and not some ancient cult. Those were pretty creepy. He hated horror movies. 

Med-bay
Jupiter Rising (Cloaked)
March 2nd, 2096

            J’ino screamed soundlessly as the final contraction hit. Unlike human babies, the cord had to remain attached for up to 48 hours after birth. To allow for the transfer of information they would need for development later. It was sending even now. Adding to the mind song within Zachary. She shuddered, tears falling on the blankets as she felt him touch her mind. Eliza had piloted Jupiter to somewhere safe. Beyond all reach, as she called it. J’ino wished she could have spoken properly but without a Typherian mate to carry part of the mental load, she had to put her full attention on her son. She winced as she left marks on Thomas’ hand. He placed a tender kiss on her forehead, “Don’t worry, I know why. Besides Murphy men are built like Grav-Trains.” Eliza ran a finger alongside Zach’s temple. “There you go. Full empath shielding now.” She looked over, Mr. Apple was in the room once more.
            His features were joyful yet tinged with regret.
            Time is almost out. I cannot hold the shrouded memory back for much longer.
            Mom reached for me. I placed a hand on her and my brother. “It's ok. Jupiter!”
            My ship sang out, “Yes Captain?”
            “Prepare to re-enter normal space. Target: Io. Run normal cloaking procedures. I'll be in my ready room. My recommendation for memory mask re-integration: Mom and dad wanted to see the new ruins found on Io. Thinking that is was safe since my ship has state of the art medical supplies, I gladly went along with this. Doc disagreed but accompanied us because she’s more responsible.”
            Lorain giggled at this. “Right. So responsible.” She punched me on the arm.
I continued, “In reality, you will tell me later its because you didn’t want to chance Anna getting anywhere near mom this close to baby time. So instead of being at a hospital, you guys did this. I went along with it because I love to fly and trust you.” I winked as I left the medbay. I asked Apple before all proper memory faded, “Please tell me this will be worth it.”
This will shield the universe. You must be the Wall between life and death.
My eyes grew heavy as sleep took me.

*****

Thomas cradled his wife and son in his arms. Both were sleeping soundly. He kept checking the umbilical cord for all the primary attributes present for Typherian development. His son’s cord had extra nodes running along every few inches. His spine was developed properly. Lorain was running continual scans of her own. To have an undamaged base level for what should have been present with Eliza. Her power flowed through them, even healing his hand, to which he nodded with thanks. “Doctor, its alright if you go see to our Space Cadet. I’ll page you if anything else develops.” Lorain ran her power over them once more. Just to be certain. With a tired grin, she left without a word.
Thomas watched Lanis a moment longer. Noting the set of her shoulders. Unbowed and determined.  He leaned back into the pod. His mind was wide awake and alert. He would keep vigil and catch them if they should fall.
Always.
*****
Lorain cradled Eliza’s face. Probing for any other marks upon her brain or spine. She could see the blemishes where her matter manipulation connectors should be. Even those ends were burnt off now. No hope of rejuvenation. The doctor reinforced the basic telepathic links. No matter what, she wanted Eliza to be able to hear her mother. IF that was the only thing she could salvage, so be it. Based on Mrs. Murphy’s actions and desires, Lanis could tell that was the primary hope she did have. Just a way to tell her daughter in a Typherian way that she was loved. She curled up next to Eliza, placing a hand over her demi leader’s heart. That odd rhythm echoing within. She tapped into her core, letting her power flow even more deeply within Eliza’s chest.
The beat rose slightly. One eye cracked open, “Heya doc. Mom and Zach doin good?” Sleep brought every word down to a near whisper. Lorain tapped her captain on the forehead, “Of course Cornfed. Your dad wanted some quiet time so I came to check up on you.” Eliza mumbled something. Lorain rested her head on Eliza’s shoulder. “What was that?”
*****
                I brought my chin up, craning my neck against the headrest, “I said you are the best.” Her green eyes locked onto mine for a moment. Then she poked me on the nose, “Except no substitutes!” There was that push on my senses. A flair along the emotional spectrum. I felt my jaw crack as I yawned. “Might as well take a look at those Io ruins tomorrow. How about it?”
            She patted my shoulder, making herself more comfortable, “Maybe this time you can find something less creepy.”
            Creepy?                                                                           
I tried to pull myself up, to ask her more but a gentle wave of music echoed throughout the ship. Its soothing tones drowning out whatever questions were on my mind. With everyone safe, I drifted off. The stars were twinkling in the void like lighthouses.
*****
                Mr. Apple watched the curvature of Io on the main viewing deck. Its normally volcanic surface looking deceptively peaceful from this vantage point. Swirls of yellow, brown, and orange mixed to draw the eye to the equator. The Terran Alliance had an observation station on the surface, under an artificial shielded dome. While the thin grey space elevator connected it to the small habitat ring orbiting it. The outpost his people had planted there long ago was still hidden. The ruins were a decoy. Meant to lead astray. One day, he knew Eliza would stride along those hallowed halls.
            To bring the mantle down upon the Void Walkers once and for all.

Keeper Null Ship
Designation: X'talia
Date Unkown

Ishtar examined the probe once more. Its entire database had been purged with that Scholar countermeasure. His thin lips stretched out. A parody of a smile. Dark eyes peering into the distorted innards. The pain of the scholar brand still echoed within. Chonos loomed over the smaller Keeper. “Well? Any idea how that Scholar linked into our plans? Perhaps Thoth and his associates haven’t been careful enough.”

Ishtar replied, “No leads as of yet Director. We still have other avenues open. Perhaps we should just use Urraden genetic stock. As a test bed of sorts.” Chronos nodded. “Excellent. Proceed.” He would have the necessary Typherian material by any means possible. 
Even if that initial material was quite inferior.

Issue 20: Here 
Issue 22: 

Frustration



I get it, superhero prose isn't a big mind boggling hitter like LIT RPG is at the moment. I get that amazon's tag system absolutely sucks. Especially if you are a reader who loves a genre combo that is getting about as much love as a red headed stepchild.

Right now, Uplift Protocol has 20 or so consistent readers. Imagine if this genre had a bigger buffet. Most times when I find something on amazon, its rare to find stuff like Heroes Unleashed or New Olympus saga. IE: Actual series. Most superhero prose writers are lucky to hit beyond 2 books most times.

Plus the ones who have a series going: Its dark and watchmen-lite 8/10 times. With more marvel sensibilities than optimistic time DC ones. Of those, half of those are woke tripe in the vein of Marvel's Civil War I and II. Gotta put them politics on your sleeve. Bleh. IE: Just Cause series after/around book 7. (If that's people's cuppa, whatever but its not mine.)


Or they are in a super powered academy. Or just starting out. That's another reason why I am doing the prequel book before the main series hits. I gloss over some stuff, like big time training montages in order to set up basic character dynamics/relationships and setting highlights.

Very little time spent as kids or high school setup, with one chapter devoted to each of those slices. It was mostly to highlight character relationships. 

So I totally appreciate it when a series starts with adult heroes who are already beyond college. Or even just out of college level.

I guess its cause I'm also in my 30s. Really, by the time Uplift Protocol starts the main series proper, the youngest on the main team will be Star, around 29/30. Even with Prolong, that's still more interesting to me personally. (One Last Echo also has World Building and other fun things I appreciate. Yes, there is surprise pew pew type things in it......)

So Ill keep writing. Having fun, maybe by the time I publish on amazon (Might as well give it nice covers and such) the platform might evolve more. Who can say? The plan is to put things into omnibus collections. IE: Prologue, 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12.

I'm more of a hobbyist writer and will plan accordingly but that doesnt mean I don't want to see more of certain kinds of genre combos. So I vote with my wallet. + its why I have two subscriptions to Silver Empire Publishing. MOAR I SAY!

Basically:

  • I want to keep building superheroes x space opera combo
  • Find more like what I am doing even if its going to take a while
  • Find more Superhero Prose like Heroes Unleashed, One Last Echo and New Olypmus Saga
  • Optimism > Dystopia Superhero Stories
Books:

Silver Empire Lots of good stuff to choose from. Saving some credits to get even more HU Hardbacks.


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

They Want to Destroy the Past

No matter the medium. Many followers of Woke are like these people.


X only existed in CURRENT YEAR!

Cause they want to be considered the first for everything. Woke is centered around the idea that they are the apex of whatever is happening. No one ever did anything before them. What non-sense.


Even other feminist crazies are pointing out this BS. Along with normal book type people. Wanted to list responses here so when this person eventually cans their highlights on Twitter, the outcome is still recorded on the blog somewhere.


I don't give a shit about trans crap and all the other aspects. Just the fact that so many nowadays are willingly ignorant of what came before. Schools really don't each any basics anything anymore.


Even I had my own mini rant. Ill put some links from everywhere at the end. Why have 1997 as the start point. People have been telling tales since the beginning. Orally then with words and finally on computer screens.







Woke Parties want this history erased. So they can claim X Y OR Z voice was the "first." Don't let them erase History. In any medium or place.



Interesting Links:


Monday, July 6, 2020

Allegories and Allusions

Stuff like this just rubbed me the wrong way about "modern" BIG TWO to irrelevance comics:


In my series, I make fun of the nasty woman line, the wage gap and some other things but I do it without hamfisting any modern political figures into it. Hilary Brookes is basically my take on Lex Luthor if he was a woman, with the FBI, with a heavy X-files Paranoia Smoking Man bent. She's also part Void Walker from fracked up experiments. So she doesn't have the most stable of father figures either.

Anna Preston-McGuire is my take on someone so unbelievably self centered that she doesnt even realize she's wreaking everyone around her. The only reason her current husband isn't even bothered is because he's a workaholic. Which she accuses her former husband of. She blames everyone but herself for her failures.

Eliza can sense this in both characters. She has no idea how to help them because they are women trapped in their own ego trips. Even without throwing in the Empath angle, I wanted to build Eliza up as a person who wants to build bridges. Connections with people. Even if those people reject her outright. She cant help it b/c she senses the underlying pain.  

I wonder if most IPs are a mix of Pop Cult and Death Cult at this point.

I'm still developing my craft but I am not going to beat readers over the head. Anna has canned talking points about Star because she's projecting her insecurities onto demis, esp if they remind her of her former husband in any way, shape or form. Even if he hasn't been on page much at the moment: The US president in my series is a mix of 5 or 6 different historical figures. With the look of Col. Sanders thrown in. Ill be updating the cast pages again in the future. To be honest, he's going to serve as a commentary role part of the time.Sometimes a quest instigator, to point the heroes in a certain direction, or to just add in a wink or three about Uplift events. Terran Alliance politics are pretty straightforward because I don't want to have much real world grit crap in my series. I wants super hero antics and pew pew.

DC and Marvel are hammering home TDS at every angle. Fuck them. Ill take a pole and knock them off their high horse and laugh as their IPs burn. Its gotten to that point. I could care a less if their parent corporations dissolved them at this point. They don't deserve anyone's support. They ruin everything they touch nowadays. And I consider myself a normie for the most part.

With shops closing down, theaters and many more traditional outlets of entertainment going the way of the dodo bird, it wont be long until there's a barren land of fucks to which nothing shall ever grow again. I imagine the things that will keep any hobby shop open is backlog. Before the rot set in.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

The Uplift Protocol: Issue 20


Issue 20: And Now for a Word


Have Demis or Demi-gods done anything good for Humanity that wasn’t in their interest? Tin Gods sitting upon an Empty Throne. That can always be melted. They have no right to play with our lives. Humanity is more than the sum of its parts. The “Star-Spangled Banner.” What non-sense. Infantilizing Patriotism that belongs in a grave. A dead era of American Ideology. - Ms. Anna Preston-McGuire, host of “Into the Fire”

My opinion? McGuire is a bitter old woman who no longer hears the dance. Her feet have atrophied to the point that even a weary Detective like me has more pep in his step. The heart of America is still as strong as ever. We are still a Nation dedicated to Truth, Justice, and Liberty. Some might find “Star” out of date or irrelevant but that just showcases that even if Earth has formed the Terran Alliance, this lifeboat in the sea of stars still maintains its independent spirit, we are all citizens of Earth. But we all walk our ways too. Sure, some choose a villain's path but more often than not, we get more Star-Spangled Banners. Earth, with all its differing opinions, still exists. We only need to discover our Path. The only Tin Gods are those who choose to use their powers for their own personal gain.”
–Argus Paxton, NAPD, Senior Detective, and Liaison to the Legion of Tomorrow. 

Anna, on the best of days, was usually drunk. I don’t have too many good early memories of her. When I was 10, she smacked me across the face for asking to see my sister. I never told my parents. But like anything else, my mother was able to put things together. In this day and age, I know her Typherian abilities assisted in her uncanny “hunches.” But when I was a child? I thought it was some sort of demi ability. Like Paxton’s. The ability to sense the truth in words. When one is that young, all they want from the adults is some sort of guidance. Based on what I know now: I wish I could have stolen my siblings from Anna.  It would be a long time before she set her life on a much different and healthier path.- Sleeping in Starlight, a memoir of the 22nd century.

Unix Media Hall
Downtown Ashbury
January 8th, 2096

                Anna Preston-McGuire applied the last brush of red lipstick. Her black hair was done up in a bun. Sharp grey eyes ran over every angle. No blemish, one had to be perfect for the cameras.  So far the ratings for her show mostly came from her brutal diatribes on demis like the Golden Bulleteer and that upcoming rookie team called the Golden Redeemers. Most skeptics still didn’t believe they had the planet’s interests at heart. No matter what they did or said on holovision. She placed bets on people’s innate suspicion of those with more power. Her smile was turgid at best. At worse she could cut a man off at his knees. She still relished the memory of seeing her ex-husband’s face as she took the children away. A line of worry gnawed at her back of her mind: was I too harsh? After all, the man only cared about his job. She sniffed daintily at the wine before her. Red or White?

            She pushed the errant blip of guilt to the furthest point in her mind. To collect dust with the rest of her soul. Bringing up the latest reports made her lips curl. Star this! Redeemers that! Who did the White Lily save today? Good lord. So many people were such sheep. Didn’t they realize demis were nothing but trouble?

*****
            Samantha Murphy sat in the reception area. While she inherited her mother’s bronzed complexion and hair, on some level her eyes, the same chocolate brown as her father, caused her mother fits of rage. It's not like her step-father helped. He was far too busy with his work. Which is what her mother accused her former husband of. The irony wasn’t lost on Sam. Her simple but elegant green suit made for a nice contrast. A voice called out from the entryway. Jacob, her older brother, was waiting. As she made her way over, she nearly tripped over her neatly polished high heels. Her half-sister was there as well. In her usual ensemble of NASA  jacket, jeans, and t-shirt. “What are you both doing here? Especially you sis. Considering….”
Her comment trailed off. Eliza took it in stride, “Heya Butterfly! I was in the neighborhood. Handyman here was displaying the newest hardware upgrades for my ship. It's rather fancy!” Jacob’s gray eyes, so much like mothers, nearly rolled out of his head but the twitch in his lips hid a secret: Big brother’s always protected their sisters. Even if that sister was at eye level with him. When he spoke up, his tone gruff, “Right. Like you don’t get into enough trouble. I just make sure your very pretty ship comes back in one piece.” Jacob, while his forte was shuttle work, knew his sister well enough to add in other special programs to Jupiter’s training modules. His holo display winked into existence. A rather paternal visage filled the pickup.
 General Thomas Murphy regarded his son with disciplined silence while his eyebrows shot up when he saw all three of them together. His commanding tone carried through the pickup, “I hope Sunday dinner is still on. Your grandmother wants more pictures for her wall.” Jacob pursed his lips in thought before replying, “Sam and I will be there. No worries on that account. Besides grandma has good aim.” Eliza held back a fit of laughter at that. Samantha shook her head and hooked an arm through her sister’s.
Samantha made a face at the screen, a mix of frustration and humor on her features.  Her frown deepened, “I quote: Why on Earth did you clear that relic for anything? I thought I raised you better.” Samantha blew out a frustrated sigh, “ I swear, I wish I had been more assertive growing up. Mom never gives any Demi a fair shake. Especially Star.” Eliza twitched slightly. Rubbing the back of her neck. Sam’s line of sight darted to the main doorway where her mother filmed her show.
“Besides grandma thinks I look nice in my Legion representative uniform. Mom still hasn’t forgiven me for registering the Star-Spangled Banner for HeroNet clearance. I gave her cart Blanche during the Cabal Grav Train Transit attack.” She added hastily, “On your authorization of course. She went category 5 after finding that out. But part of me was feeling very rebellious that day. I am not her wallflower.”
Meanwhile, Eliza gazed down at the floor, crestfallen but rallied when her brother ruffled her hair. He muttered, “Mom’s only friend is wine. If I had to be very blunt. Believe me, Sam and I have tried but nothing gets through that thick skull of hers.”
*****
            I winced. Failing to keep the remorse from my features.  
            The simple despair underneath my brother’s statement ate away at my heart. Anna was caustic and prickly but my brother and sister loved her dearly. Wanting to turn her from this path she walked upon. After the split, with small pushes here and there, I discovered just how badly she had clung to her children. Seeing them as the only lifeline in a marriage gone wrong. Which, in my opinion, was a great weight for anyone, let alone kids. Jacob’s uncle had become a surrogate father. To the point that while Sam had moved back home, he had gravitated towards the workshop and the simplicity of machinery.
Fumbling over my words, embarrassment rising, “Maybe get her away from the city. A wilderness retreat perhaps?” Jacob just stood there. Blinking at me. His expression was painfully blank. Like I had grown five heads and a large glowing light of a nose. My sister took notice. The momentary silence ticked by. Purgatory was lifted when Sam hugged me. Jacob took that as permission to go grab some coffee, “The usual?”
            A lump formed in my throat, “Sure.” Old memory stabbed at me. Pricking against the walls I had formed around my heart. Rather than letting us form a link as kids, Anna did her best to keep my siblings from me, saying I was proof that dad was a two-timing cheater. Even though mom met him years later. What planet Anna was from was still in discussion. I voted Venus.
Her tone was rather apologetic, “Don’t worry too much Space Case. I know you mean well but our mother would rather bury you in the sand than listen to anything you’d provide.” Father interjected, “In any event, I'll be back on Earth before then. Be ready.” The holo display cut off with a rushed goodbye as some updates pulled him back to the job at hand. Sharp footfalls resounded throughout the lobby, a shrill voice shrieked, “What is she doing here?” I dug my boots in, pivoting to face the woman that terrorized everyone and anything around her. “Hey, Mrs. McGuire! How are you on this fine day?” I made sure to keep my voice level and calm. With a dash of my usual brightness. I wasn’t going to act any different around her. No matter the piranha level. At times, I wish I wasn’t an empath. I could feel the self-loathing bleeding off of her. A leak she had no idea how to mend. That was the true horror. How do you heal something you don’t even know is wounded?
Samantha held on to my arm even tighter. Her eyes boiling with quiet defiance. I laid a hand on top of hers, giving it a reassuring squeeze.
*****
            Anna’s heels click-clacked against the polished flooring. Her eyes were drawn to her children like a lioness. With the ugly duckling crowding in on her cubs. What was that thing doing here? “I asked you a question, Samantha! Why is the Golden Child here?” She took special care to spell out the nickname with venom. Drawing out each word like a curse. Her daughter continued to huddle against the girl like she was the only dry land in a storm. That infuriated Anna on an instinctive level. She had been the one wronged in the marriage. Why her children couldn’t see that was a problem she had yet to solve. As she stepped closer, her movements taking on a rather feline grace, her son stepped in front, his arms crossed. “Mother, put your claws away. They aren’t wanted here.” His stance reminded her of Thomas. Her eyes locked onto Jacob, “Son, that is no way to talk to your mother.”
A half-smile formed under his black beard.
            “Really mother? We aren’t kids anymore. Get a fucking clue. Cry on Archibald’s shoulder. You use him like Kleenex anyways.” Her eyes grew wide. Mouth open with amazement at her son’s equally aggrieved tone.
            “You have no right….” He cut her off with a sharp poke on the forehead. Each time following up with another tap.
            His voice was a bucket of cold water on her wrath.
“Mother. One: I will not forgive you for shitting on my little sisters while we were kids. Two: You have a horrible attitude, work on that. Three: I love you but you haven’t been clear-headed since you divorced father. Four: Jennifer Murphy isn’t the devil. She has a more motherly concern in her pinky finger. You self-righteous sanctimonious bitch.”
A fragile hush fell upon the lobby. Onlookers turned away quickly as Anna stormed off. Silent tears falling as she retreated into the prep room.
*****
            Horus, cloaked on the ceiling, relayed this entire scene, from multiple angles to General Murphy and his wife. His scanners recording the various levels of outrage from Jacob Murphy and his mother.
*****
            My eyes held a new sense of wonder at Jacob. I stood, shell shocked as he walked back over with our coffees. He cut off any comments with a sharp shake of his head. “Not here. Later. For now, let's just go somewhere more pleasant. I’ve had my fill of other kinds of human contact today.” I nodded, still numb from the confrontation. Part of me was glad he came up to the table for us. Another part broke as the feelings of despair from Anna flowed over me. Hitting home just how insanely alone in a crowded room she was.
            Not understanding why the wound opened wider with every beat of her heart.
            I didn’t even realize I was crying until Sam dabbed my face with her handkerchief.
Into the Fire
Unix Media Studios
Nightly Slot: Episode 245 “Does Earth Need Demis?”

                Paxton ran a hand through his sandy hair. Earlier that day Thomas had forwarded a vid to him, asking for his discretion. After viewing it, he wanted to buy Eliza and her siblings some well-deserved sundaes. Even if that wouldn’t make up for the childhood misfortunes. Well done Jacob. He knew it hurt for the young man to stand up that way to his mother but even sons had a breaking point. Especially when their little sisters were involved. Anna’s makeup was as immaculate as ever but he could see the redness hiding there. Even a banshee could cry. It was small comfort though as she grated out, “Demis are an affront to humanity. The Banner is one of the worst offenders. Outdated and unwanted. Who’s egotistical enough to wear our flag on her back? She doesn’t speak for America or Earth. The sheer gall.” He waited, letting the crowd settle down from all the jeering, shouts, arguments, and everything in-between.
            His response hit home in a way he intended, “Because she loves Earth and her people beyond anything anyone could imagine. Have you ever looked at her HeroNet profile? Our regulations for Legion membership requires physiological and social testing. Which includes a training module, VR, wherein the demi is stripped of all powers. Want to know what Star did?”
            He waited, bringing up the record so others could see, watching the attitudes shift. Even one as deluded as Anna was forced to watch. The building was engulfed in flames but Star didn’t hesitate. She bounded into the building, dragging out survivors by any means that she could. One, two, even three people piled up on her shoulders. The exhaustion on her face was there for all to see. But she never gave up, bloodied and burnt, she kept running back into that building. The few emergency workers in the audience recognized a kinship. They knew. They risked everything at a moment’s notice. So did the Star-Spangled Banner. No matter the cost. One bulky man, a firefighter by his build, calmly stated, “She’s a shield for those who have none.” Most in the room nodded along. One other stood up, “But it was VR!”
            More piped up. “Yeah! That doesn’t mean anything!”
            Paxton expected this, “We disable the safety measures. So they feel everything that happens within the program. In the Legion’s history, anyone we name a Prime Demi displays the courage Star showed within the training. She very nearly killed herself getting everyone out. Even if it was only for “training.” It goes beyond that. The very mind of the person is unmasked. If you will forgive the pun.”
            Anna’s right eye twitched. Paxon smiled politely. “Star would be Star, with or without her powers.”
*****
            Hilary Brookes growled at the screen. “Come on Anna, fire back at that smug prick. Who cares what the Banner’s social merits are. There’s an interloper under that perfect good old girl grin!”

            Anna suddenly smiled, “And that’s supposed to give her a pass? Being ready to fly headfirst into danger? That could get more people killed! Hot-headed!” Brookes grinned with wolfish delight, her dark eyes taking on an insane glint, “Yes, she is the enemy!”

            The audience’s conversations died off as they awaited the Detective’s response.

*****

            Paxton clasped his hands under his chin, “Alright, you have her powers for a day! What do you do?” This change in direction caused Anna to whip her head back to Paxton. “What do you mean?” Her tone was tight and suspicious.
            “If you had her powers for a day. How would you USE them?”
            Her frown deepened. The synapses behind her eyes were firing ever so slightly.
            Paxton grinned, “Think about it, demis usually get their mojo when they hit puberty. Star? She’s had them since she was six.” The crowd gasped. He added, “Take a look, it's on her HeroNet Profile under history. Click under Evaluation Levels. It's all there.”
            He paused, letting the information sink in then continued,
            “Do you know how many 6-year-olds would be able to contain themselves? Star was raised with the idea that all life is precious. Plus it helped that many established demis take the youngsters into mentorship programs. Helps them settle easier. That way the responsibility doesn’t debilitate them.” He saw her flinch at the mention of mentorship.
            “You love to control people Anna. But in your case, you plant seeds of doubt, anger, and fear into otherwise normal hardworking people. Where the Star-Spangled Banner inspires, you seek to deconstruct every motivation any demi would have. To twist things to your warped narrative.”
            Her lips curled into what some would consider, at most charitable, a snarl. “Oh? If I’m such a nasty woman, why am I happily re-married? While this Banner lady flits about? I don’t see a ring on her finger. Maybe she will just die alone.”
One woman in the crowd retorted, “Demi work is dangerous. But if I had to place a bet: Who wouldn’t want to have someone like the Banner on their six. You just want to drag everyone through the mud.” The audience broke out in sporadic cheering. Shouts of anger rose above the din, “No one is that perfect! She’s hiding something.”
“Yeah dumbass! Her civilian identity!”
“Please, I’d marry that hotness…”
“You’d be target number 1 for every demi criminal!”
“Worth it!”
 Paxton eyed her with open contempt, “Really? That’s your big move? Do you know how dangerous it would be if anyone got the Identity of a Demi’s loved ones, friends, significant or otherwise? Learn to hit at your weight class, Mrs. Former Murphy.”
His jab had the intended effect. She motioned to commercial. Her fridged glance became arctic. “Was that your endgame all along Paxton? Thomas can’t fight his own battles so he sends in his attack dog to do it.”
            The former TA Major just shrugged. “I’m just a detective now. What could a little city-based PI like myself do to such an illustrious personage as yourself?” His smile was much too coy for Anna’s liking.
*****
            I watched Uncle Paxton, my face impassive, while mom held my hand in a death grip. To the point that her knuckles whitened. I covered her other hand with my own. It always felt weird when people were talking about me. In or out of uniform. Embarrassed wasn’t the word for it either. I thought what I did as a demi was what most would do if they had my powers. Mom tugged on my ever-present cap. “Where’s your mind at kiddo?” I managed a weak grin in response, “The usual! Everywhere but Earth!” Jacob snorted into his coffee cup. “NASA sure knows how to pick them.” The comment was tempered by a familiar grin under all the bearded teasing.
            Anna, her frown depicted with full Holo HD, cut the feed.
All of us just stared at the screen as the newest ad for the Terran Alliance Intelligence Bureau blared to life. Dad pipped up with, “I see Major Paxton can still hit the bullseye for shattering effect.” Grandpa Murphy had a resolute look. “Yup.” Grandma’s feelings of vindication were a whirlwind. I knew, out of everyone, Gran-gran took Anna’s behavior the hardest. She noticed me staring and put up a brave front. “Don’t you fret, I am well aware of my biases when it comes to Anna.” She never got over the fact that Jacob and Sam were used as weapons against everyone. Either to outrageous levels of guilt or as pawns to glean more money out of father.
Sam interjected with, “If there were more Stars in this universe, we’d all be in a much better place.” Cooper jumped up onto the couch and rested his head in Samatha’s lap. She scratched his chin and rubbed his belly. “What a handsome fellow you are!”
If barking could light up a whole sol system, he would have powered many extra colonies alone.  <<Yes! I take 2 baths a day. My fur is the regulation standard. Joyous earth therapy!>>
My sister didn’t hear that part of course but she laughed all the same when Cooper’s tail did its thing. Thumping with over-enthusiastic joy at the prospect of more premiere human attention.
Lorain brought more coffee to the living room. Set the tray down with a flourish, tartly stating, “Unlike some overblown holovid hosts, I would imagine Star will most certainly not be alone. Ever.” She gave me a very critical once over. “Doctor’s orders. You look like death warmed over Eliza.” She put some cream and sugar into the mug and put some espresso in after that. Handed me the steaming ceramic wonder and ordered me to drink. I tipped my cap in her direction. “Yes ma’am!” With gusto.
  Mom rubbed her belly.  Settling deeper into the chair. I leaned down to check how little Zachary was doing. Mom was pretty close now. So everyone was pulling in for the happy day. His mind was an emotional field of colors. I laid bricks down. Helping him build walls that he would need later. I was glad that I could do something for him. That way I could be a proper older sibling.  Jacob came over and placed a hand on mom’s side. His harsh countenance softened as he felt Zach kick against his palm. 

*****
             J’ino could feel some sort of communication pass between Eliza and her baby brother. She didn’t have a word for it but after her daughter was done, Zach immediately quieted down, which she was keenly grateful for. As everything got closer he was very active at the most inopportune times. She chewed on the inside of her cheek. Please let this one be calmer than last time. Rulers grant me that much.
            She smiled up at Jacob. “I talked it over with Thomas, I want you and Sam to be at the christening ceremony.”
*****
            My mouth dropped open. Then clicked shut when Lorain nudged me with her foot. Samatha and Jacob looked at one another. Sam was the first to speak up, “Are you sure?” I blurted out before mom could reply, “Of course! Your family no matter what!” Lorain poked me in the forehead with a spoon. “Cornfed, you have no manners.” Mom hiccuped at that. Holding her laughter in.  I was about to comment on the proper use of spoons when the feed cut in again. Anna had a fake smile in position while a caller keyed into the program. Dad’s complexion turned a shade of purple that I had never seen before. Mom reached over to pat his hand. “I wouldn’t worry too much.” Her tone was beyond knowing at this point. “Mama, what did you do this time?” Her eyes lit up with genuine mirth. “Trust me on this Space Cadet, there are some people who underestimate the powers of a concerned mother.”
*****
            Hilary Brookes dialed. Activated her voice Cloaker. The operator put her on hold. Eventually, Anna’s sparkling tenor was on the other end, “Into the Fire, caller you are on air. Any questions for my guest or audience?”
            “The Star-Spangled Banner isn’t even human, let alone American.” Anna’s tone held a note of curiosity but it was tempered with, “Not human? Any proof?” Hilary paused. How to deliver this? Oh yes. “She’s vulnerable to magic. I happened upon some genetic material after a particularly nasty fight she had.” She could hear Paxon laughing hysterically in the background. “OH MAN! Its that LADY again! We got some calls from that FBI wanna be last month. The ALIEN INVASION FORCE!”
            The audience joined in. The line went dead as Anna dropped her cold turkey.
            IF only that damned blood sample didn’t self immolate. Then those cowards would believe her.
*****
            From his position on top of the family espresso machine, Horus sent Highmaker an electronic high five, thanking him for his timely assistance with planting false conspiracy theories about Star’s parentage. Everything from cloning, super-soldier programs, alien abductions, and even radioactive goo flooded INet. It was pretty useful when between them, they registered over 305, 933, 343 accounts to HeroNet forums. At one point Taleer even dubbed the whole mission as the Star Anchor. Dubbing the “fanbase” as “Primers.” With a catchphrase of “All paths lead to the truth.”
            Highmaker sent a query to Horus, <<What does he mean by path? Wouldn’t there be a deviation somewhere? If there are multiple accounts with many paths?>>
            The F.R.A.M pondered this. Finally replying, <<Perhaps all paths lead to the singularity of mis-direction! We must, after all, keep everyone guessing. Agent Brookes must be kept ignorant.>> Taleer grinned within his virtual landscape. “I’m thinking we should have more fun with INet. It will give us something to do while we wait. Who wants to tackle these basic VR games next?”

Issue 19: Here
Issue 21: Here

Hightlights of the Pew Pew!