Archive for March, 2014


I’m sure I’m not the only news junkie that has become aware of a growing trend, especially in the local news broadcasts.  The rush to report breaking news well before all the relevant facts are known.  The source does not matter nor are the facts checked.  This may be a major assumption on my part, but I have seen a story reported and 12 to24 hours later, when the story is reported again, the first set of facts are at odds with the well-developed story.  The news is becoming a victim of the growing rapidity of technology.

In the past, and I mean maybe thirty years ago, news events were reported in the most recent edition of newspapers or the latest scheduled broadcast.  If there was a break in programming, what was reported was what was verifiable.

Today, with the vast majority of us plugged into the electronic grid of information, hardly anything goes by without someone recording it.  Images are captured by the ever-present cell phone.  But pictures do not necessarily reveal facts.  The need to get it fast has replaced the need to get it right.

March 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm Leave a comment


A few weeks ago Jill Bisker was kind enough, through Melange Books, to ask me questions about my eBook, Elmo’s Sojourn.

I posted a link to those questions, but in case you missed them, I thought I’d post the questions directly to my blog.

I’m also posting the link to buy Elmo’s Sojourn with the hopes that this will cause my sales to skyrocket.

Yes, even at my advance age, I still dream.


1. Please tell me a little about yourself – Where you come from? What led you to writing?

I was born and raised in Newark, NJ, but since then lived in the Midwest, LA, Miami and now in Pennsylvania.

I’ve always been an avid reader, feel naked if there is not a book close by.  I began writing poetry in college and pursued that for about thirty years while I pursued a career in science. About 14 years ago I began writing fiction.

2. What books and authors influenced your career?

I’ve read a great deal of science fiction by Arthur C. Clark, Asimov, Ray Bradbury among a host of others.

For horror I’ve read H. P. Lovecraft and Stephen King and Algernon Blackwood.


3. Your story, Elmo’s Sojourn, is a space jumping sci-fi story.  Do you write other genres?

I also write horror and the occasional poem.


4. How did you come up with the premise of your story?

I belong to a writers group, The Wordwrights, and one of the members writes children’s books.  She told us she had to write a story beginning with someone yelling that they have a problem.  Couple that with a Far Side cartoon where a wife is looking from a door down into a cellar.  In the cellar is her husband with the head of a fly.  She’s yelling, “Lunch.  Are you still a fly?”

With that in mind I had intended to write a story, Cellar Science, but enjoyed the story so much that I continued and the result was the novella, Elmo’s Sojourn.

March 10, 2014 at 7:09 pm Leave a comment


The Green Brain another science fiction novel by one of the giants of the genre.

This novel deals with a subject overly used today, many times in the guise of making a profit.  Right or wrong, that is my opinion.  The subject Herbert deals with long before it was in vogue is the environment.

My paperback copy was published in 1966, with part of the story appearing in 1965 in Amazing Stories as a novelette, Greenslaves.

The story begins with the world wanting to protect the production of food from destruction by insects.  Countries begin to eliminate all insects in farm areas and then populate the land with genetically altered bees.  China is at the forefront of this effort and one of its scientists, Chen Lhu, travels to Brazil to assist in insect elimination.  What he doesn’t reveal until far into the story is that the process does not work.  This revelation only comes to light after he and other scientists are trapped in the jungle by strange insect populations.  These insects, along with other bizarre occurrences are put into play by the green brain.  This intelligence has the ability to manipulate insects and much more.

Herbert’s novel predates real world efforts to manipulate the environment with nonnative plant and animal species in order to control some condition in the habitat that man finds troublesome.  More times than not the cure is worse than the problem.

One interesting sideline not pursued to a great extent but mentioned is the existence of a group of environmentalists called Carsonites.

Rachel Carson published Silent Spring in 1962.



March 9, 2014 at 6:31 pm Leave a comment



March 6, 2014 at 7:52 pm 1 comment


Here is a link for an interview I did for Melange Books.

You might learn a little more about me (lucky you) and about Elmo’s Sojourn.


March 3, 2014 at 8:22 pm 1 comment


As my readers know by now, I’m a news junkie.  But that is not the only type of junkie I’m guilty of being, no there are no track marks involved.  I’m also a weather junkie.

Long before the weather channel morphed into broadcasting weather related series and documentaries, it was all weather 24/7.  I would watch the weather channel for hours, back then.  Now, I rarely tune in.

I’ve lived in and visited a great deal of this county.  I enjoy knowing the weather in those locations so I can picture what the area looks like under the current weather conditions.  Also, there are places I have yet to visit but I’m drawn to their weather.  On a winter’s day, look up the weather in Fairbanks, Alaska.  I see their weather and imagine how life is and endurance test compared to the weather conditions I experience.  My imagination grows muscles in pursuits such as this and that can only help a writer.

So what brings me to this piece?

As I sit here the sky is blue and the sun is out.  Tomorrow it will start to rain and then snow.  By Monday night we may have twelve inches of the white stuff.  This will be about our thirteenth storm of varying size this winter. (Read my poem, Snow, at this point and then please return.)

Currently California, after a prolonged drought, is being deluged causing mud slides, and also causing growth which will provide fuel for fires which will set up mud slides etc…  As Kurt V. would muse: And so it goes.

I know a great deal of this moisture will eventually find its way back to the ocean from where it came, but there’s a hell of a lot of water that stays behind, water absorbed by the parched earth and coursing into rivers.

I should mention at this point that one of my novels I am currently editing and hope to publish, The Beast Awaits, has a significant weather component.

Now back to this piece.

Global warming, or the term becoming more popular, climate change, is responsible for melting vast amounts of ice, at both poles along with a host of other historically ice-bound areas.  Due to this melting, we’re told that the level of the oceans will rise so many inches in so many years.

At the same time, storms seem to becoming larger and more numerous, think Hurricane Sandy and Katrina.

I wonder if anyone has done the math correlating the increasing storm activity and the vast amount of moisture involved against the rise in sea level due to melting ice.  As a side note, I see all kinds of plots here perhaps worthy of a story.

That leads me to genetics.  See how my mind works.

I read an article some time ago where a question was posed: Is the evolution of man still taking place?  The answer was: Yes, and at an increasing rate.  How is that possible?  Advances in our knowledge make it possible.

Think of the advances in medicine and our genetics.  To an increasing extent our abilities are cancelling out the natural law of Survival of the Fittest.

Consider the progress made by medicine and genetics where flaws in man can be cured or deleted.  But who determines what a ‘flaw’ is?  That is the rub and as we gain more and more knowledge in the control of these aspects will determine the course of our future.

For those who have read this far, I’m about to tie this all together.

Look in the mirror.  That’s what ties it all together.  We tie it all together.  We have a profound influence on the weather.  A growing body of knowledge examines human activity and how it relates to climate change along with an awareness of how to alter our activities to slow that influence.  But here’s a reality check: How can billions of us exist of this beloved rock and not cause a change?  Sure, we can perhaps slow it, first we have to believe it, but change is inevitable.  This planet has undergone fantastic change in its history without our help, now those changes are increasing with our input.

Same thing with evolution.  We evolved along the bumpy road of time, but now with our hand in the mix and with our increasing control, who knows what lies ahead.



March 1, 2014 at 10:16 pm Leave a comment

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