Lightning Strikes Over and Over

So, an article I wrote has seemingly taken on a life of its own.

A month ago I was asked to write a philosophical article for a forthcoming book on NihillihiN. This is a modern Zen buddhist/Hindu/Nietzsche/futurist adaptation of Nihilism, from the mind of a Russian seer named Andrei Azsacra, or Azsacra Zarathustra. I did so, article titled “Become the Lightning,” and am pleased to announce the book will be out this Fall.

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But, the article will also be appearing in a number of other venues. The People of Shambhala has it as “Lightning and Thunder from the East.”

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It will also appear in the forthcoming Taj Mahal Review.

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Very pleased with the spread of this article. Can’t wait to see where it ends up next.

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Dinosaur Adventures

I grew up obsessed with dinosaurs. Loved studying about them, playing with them, and reading every book or watching every movie/TV show on them I could. From Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost World to Keith Laumer’s Dinosaur Beach to Sleestak infested Land of the Lost, I devoured them all.

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So it dawns on me that it has been way to many years since I seriously played with dinosaurs. I should write a dinosaur adventure series for kids. I used to write tons of tales and even draw pictures of them when a kid. I need to pass that dino-love along to the next generation.

Besides, so many new discoveries have occurred and so much new information has been uncovered over the years that everything has changed. Dinosaurs are no longer ugly lumbering stupid gray beasts, but quick, intelligent, multicolored befeathered animals of amazing complexity. Could write nonfiction for days on them. Or, if I could only hire James Gurney, I could drool over the beauty of Dinotopia.

Check out his old Weird Tales. Wouldn’t it be awesome to ride some pterosaurs? Maybe that should be a story.

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Cthulhuesque Sherlock Holmes

I finished writing a new Lovecraftian Sherlock Holmes tale for a forthcoming anthology. Hopefully it’ll be out this fall. But I had more fun rereading all the Sherlock Holmes canon to refamiliarize myself with Arthur Conan Doyle’s style than anything else. Such a fun romp!

It also gave me a chance to tie it in with several different old characters and unique worlds of mine, plus implant some literary touchstones. Should be an interesting read.

No spoilers. More as the time of publication nears.

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Vikings & Space Vikings

Lusty, TV-adapted tales of Ragnar Lothbrok the Viking raiding and loving across Medieval England and France have not only given me hope for the History Channel (Please, let them move forever away from lame reality shows with truckers, loggers, or fisherman to actual history and historical reenactments), but gotten me rereading some Viking histories and thinking about a Viking period I went through in my early years.

I love history and wanted early on to be an archaeologist (and paleontologist). The Vikings are naturally cool to study and their riveting adventures dovetail well with discovering adventures, fantasy, and sword and sorcery. Nothing brings a Viking like thrill to life quite like Robert E. Howard. So naturally, much like a Western phase as Roy Rogers or the Lone Ranger and a SF phase as Captain Kirk, I went through a Vikings phase (alongside my Tarzan, Conan, and John Carter).

But then my brother stumbled over a SF author named H. Beam Piper (of Little Fuzzy fame) and our worlds merged fantastically. He wrote a book titled Space Viking. This is the cover of the edition we had.

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At that time, I had not read any of his other works and knew nothing of his “Terro-Human universe” tales then. I only read this book on my brother’s recommendation. We loved Space Viking. It was so awesome, so savage, so cool, that it inspired us to endless hours of play and the writing of our own “space viking” sagas.

My “space viking” stories featured Captain Sark and his ship the Hornet, with a massive ram-drill on the front for shredding the hulls of enemy spaceships. My brother wrote fierce Tales of the Merciless Bitch, which were rougher, more adult and serious space opera than mine. But hey, he was older, what do you expect.

The point is, watching Vikings on TV now I am reminded of the tales. So I am rereading some ancient lays and Norse tales, looking at my old works, and on the hunt for H. Beam Piper’s Space Viking, as well. Though it appears to be currently out of print, I am sure I can find an old copy somewhere. I can’t wait to finish reconnecting with my childhood and dreaming new tales of savage conquest amongst the stars.

For added background material on Piper’s Space Viking, read Joseph T. Major’s commentary, “The Wheel of Fortune.”

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The Lost City of Drones

I’m growing very excited about the new technologies being used in archaeology. From submersibles to satellites, we are utilizing hitech equipment to peel back rainforests and deserts, and even the oceans to scan beneath the sands.

It is an amazing time to be an archaeologist, though I also fear that the technology has outstripped our means. We are finding tens of thousands of new sites daily, but as in a case in South America I read the field work on recently, the archaeologists often discover that by the time they can get funding and a team to a site (sometimes months or years after discovery) it has been looted. This is my greatest fear. As we saw in Iraq during the Gulf War, some of our black agencies are also involved in the international illicit trades, such as drugs, sex, art, and artifacts. With a perfect satellite geoposition in hand, it would be easy for wealthy looting operations to be undertaken.

Nevertheless, this is a groundbreaking and potentially Golden Aged time for archeology. We will not have to rely solely on intrepid or blindly lucky explorers to accidentally stumble upon a Machu Picchu or die in the Amazon hunting the Lost City of Z. These finds will expand our knowledge of existing civilizations, plus unveil wholly new ones, and rewrite the history books, as it is doing in the Amazon currently, revealing extensive civilizations where none were supposed to exist in a pristine jungle. I am thrilled to be living during this time.

An example of these technologies in the field is this article about current archaeological work in Brazil, “Drones to Scan for Ancient Amazonia.”

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The Murty Classical Library of India

The Harvard University Press has done it again. I am a huge fan of the Loeb CLassical Library which compiles and translates Greek and Roman classics in one place. Now they have begun publication of the Murty Classical Library of India.

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This 500-volume library will attempt the impossible: compiling a dual-language library of classical Indian works for the modern reader, from all of its various, multifaceted subcultures and civilizations and time periods. These include fiction, poetry, and nonfiction (including Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic texts) translated from the Sanskrit, Persian, Urdu, Tamil, Panjabi, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bangla, Gujarati, Pali, and Sindhi lanaguages. To say this is a massive undertaking is the understatement of the year. Poor old Sheldon Pollock.

Nevertheless, a damn impressive feat, Harvard UP! Now if only they would send me some complimentary review editions….

Read more from the NYT on the “Literature of India, Enshrined in a Series.”

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Castle Eko Atlantic

Been talking about this for decades, as the superrich build neocastles around the world, citystates walled off from reality and the stinking masses (even from theri esoteric demands such as freedom), complete with designer islands like in Dubai.

Here we see these neomedieval models moving onto a new continent ripe for further exploitation:

New, privatized African city heralds climate apartheid

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This is a very disturbing, yet very predictable trend.

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