Existential Hologram: A Science Fiction Anthology Available Now!

james

Promotional image of my short story “The Simulated Woman.”

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It’s here. Existential Hologram: A Science Fiction Anthology published by Starry Eyed Press is now available on Amazon. It features my cyberpunk short story “The Simulated Woman.” The anthology description is as follows:

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Quantum Leap: Addison Doesn’t Walk Through Walls

addison

Caitlin Bassett as Addison on Quantum Leap.

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I’ll keep this short. Addison doesn’t walk through walls. In the original Quantum Leap Al (Dean Stockwell) as Sam’s (Scott Bakula) companion and hologram, walked through walls all the time.

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Disfigured

mask

Photo credit Sarah Whiley

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Every day for the past eight months I stare at my empty mask with a sense of elation. I am no longer its prisoner, no longer its slave. I am free.

Of course, freedom always comes at a price, usually a very high one. After the accident, anyone looking at my face, even if they were kind and never meant to, always registered a certain revulsion. Well, who could blame them? I was absolutely hideous. Wearing the mask was marginally better. I still received their stares, but more out of curiosity. Naturally, I would never have the affection of a woman again, especially since my dearest wife was killed in the accident that made me a monster.

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Review of Quantum Leap Ep 13 “Family Style”

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Scene from the Quantum Leap episode “Family Style”

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This week’s episode (number 13) of Quantum Leap is called Family Style. Here’s the IMDb summary:

When Ben leaps into an Indian family to try and prevent their beloved family restaurant from burning down, he finds an emotional connection with their matriarch through memories of his own. Magic and Jenn share a surprising revelation with Ian.

Ben leaps into the eldest daughter of an Indian family who owns a restaurant in Portland, Oregon in 2009 (Given that the same basic technology and lifestyles existed then as now, this is less time travel and more “I mysteriously injected myself into someone’s family”). He (again) has absolutely no issues being in a woman’s body (no awkwardness with breasts, no periods, no nothing). In fact the only difference is that he has a nose piercing. He also has mad cutting skills and apparently always wanted to be a chef. I think this is an effect of the writers of the show rather than how a guy would really react (see Sam Beckett/Scott Bakula in the original show).

I’m sorry, but if I woke up one morning with breasts and no penis, I’d lose it.

My wife worked in a professional kitchen for over twenty years and listening to all of her stories, I can confidently say, that Ben suddenly performing well in such a kitchen is bullshit. Being a good “Betty Crocker” in a kitchen at home is light years from working in a restaurant.

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My Short Story “The Simulated Woman” Was Accepted Into the Anthology “Existential Hologram”

simulated

Scene from the 2017 movie “Blade Runner 2049”

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I was just informed by Starry Eyed Press that my cyberpunk SciFi short story “The Simulated Woman” has been accepted into their forthcoming anthology “Existential Hologram.”

I don’t have any information about when this will be published, no cover art (the image above is taken from the 2017 film Blade Runner 2049), really nothing at all except the anthology description listed when the open submissions call became available:

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Feelin’ Groovy

bench

© Roger Bultot

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Used to be called the 59th Street Bridge but that was long ago. Now they call it the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, whoever he was. At least one thing didn’t change. Like in the old days, someone painted a heart on this bench. It’s nice to see.

I’ve been walking up and down the Eternity Road a long time, but not seventy years’ worth. Sure I’m almost seventy myself, but how long…since I was forty-five or so? All my friends are dead, but if I go back, I’ll be so old to them. Being a time traveler is a pain.

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Review of Quantum Leap Ep 11 “Leap. Die. Repeat.”

Scene from the Quantum Leap episode “Leap. Die. Repeat.”

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When Ben leaps into one of five people in an elevator at a 1962 nuclear reactor, he must figure which one triggers a bomb that kills them all. Each time the bomb goes off, he leaps into another one of them and the scene resets on a fine loop. If the loop runs out, Ben dies for good.—NBC

That’s the summary of Leap. Die Repeat

It’s fun to see Robert Picardo again (this time in the role of Dr. Edwin Woolsey). Sometimes the show draws an ace.

There are five people in an elevator going down to the control level for what is supposed to be a nuclear reactor that is part of a sustainable energy project. In the order that Ben leaps into them:

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My Short Story “Fall of the Tower” Now Available in “One-Way Ticket”

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I’m happy to announce that the Starry Eyed Press science fiction anthology One-Way Ticket is now available in both Kindle and Paperback form at Amazon.

It contains my SciFi short story “Fall of the Tower.” Here’s a brief summary of the anthology:

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New Beginnings

solar flare

On August 31, 2012 a long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the sun’s atmosphere, the corona, erupted out into space at 4:36 p.m. EDT. The coronal mass ejection, or CME, traveled at over 900 miles per second. The CME did not travel directly toward Earth, but did connect with Earth’s magnetic environment, or magnetosphere, causing aurora to appear on the night of Monday, September 3.
Picuted here is a lighten blended version of the 304 and 171 angstrom wavelengths. Cropped
Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO
NASA image use policy.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.
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Tor.com ran a small article called What’s the First Line of the First Book You’re Reading in 2023?. It reminded me of all of the lessons about creative writing that emphasize how the first sentence or the first paragraph is a story is so important in hooking the reader.

Fine.

I like first lines so I decided to have a look at a few of my own.

Here’s the first sentence from my most recently published short story:

Sheriff Bobby Bill Thornton ran the fingers of both hands through his abundance of silvery locks across his head, unmindful of the blood covering them.

Here’s the first sentence from a short story that’s been accepted for publication but hasn’t yet been published.

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Book Review of “Progress Report” by Roman Lando

progress report

Cover art for the novel “Progress Report”

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Author Roman Lando contacted me not too long ago and asked if I’d be willing to review his science fiction novel Progress Report. I said I was willing and he sent me a file compatible with my old Kindle Fire.

I was in the middle of another book at the time, but finally got a chance to dig into “Progress” starting a few days ago. In print form, it would be only 239 pages, so not a long read.

In broad strokes, the first and last third of the book is an action, adventure, techno-thriller involving an unlikely hero (patterned very much after the author) who is working with an alien and a covert agent to stop other aliens from starting World War III.

Unfortunately, in the middle third, there was a very long, expositional data dump along with a great deal of pseudo-science and psuedo-philosophy that took most of my interest away. Everything is told from the journal entries of the protagonist “Art” and Art is extremely “wordy.”

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