Thursday, August 13, 2015

Dark Space (Book 6): Armageddon Pre-Orders Live

Coming September 4th

On Avilon Not Even the Truth Will Set You Free . . . 

The Real Enemy is Within
  Omnius has been hiding a lot from the people of Avilon. The war with the Sythians is not what we thought, but that raises the question: if not the Sythians, then what did Omnius go to fight in the Getties Cluster?

Humanity is Being Held Prisoner
  Omnius knows what people will do before they do it. He predicts citizens' behavior, and some suspect, he even makes those predictions come true. For those who wish to be free of his influence, Avilon's lowermost city, the crime-ridden, shadow-filled Null Zone is the only option, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that not even the Nulls are free, and there is a more sinister reason behind The Choosing than the one Omnius gave.

  As Omnius's predictions begin to come true, Ethan Ortane realizes he could lose the one thing that matters most to him in the universe--his family.

There is a Rebellion Stirring
  Far from Avilon, the Sythians are hiding out in the neighboring Getties Cluster. Out there they discover something that wasn't supposed to exist: a group of human rebels that escaped from Avilon. Their leader, Therius, seems to raise more questions than he answers, but he has a plan to defeat Omnius that just might work.

And the End is Drawing Near
  As Therius's plan unfolds, people realize the terrible truth: he can't win by conventional means, and he knows it. The alternative is called the Armageddon Protocol, but it could mean the end of everything, not just Omnius. . . .

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Relativity: Something You Might Not Have Realized

Einstein's theory of relativity means that the faster you go, the slower your time moves with relation to an observer who is not travelling at your velocity. At regular Earth speeds this is such a tiny fraction of a second that it doesn't matter much, but at interstellar speeds approaching the speed of light, the effect becomes noticeable. Most of you already knew something about this, but did you know what that time dilation actually means for space travel? It means that from a space traveler's point of view, objects are actually closer than you might think.

How far is the nearest star?

Proxima Centauri 4.24 light years. Thanks Google.

That's the hard and fast answer, but you might be surprised to know that it's not really hard and fast at all, and I'm not talking about star orbits.

Hop on a fast-moving spaceship and relativity is going to change your mind about how far it is to Proxima Centauri. Mission planners on Earth will say that for an object travelling at 0.5 c (half the speed of light) it will take just over 8 years to reach Proxima Centauri (exactly 8 years to travel 4 light years, assuming no time is spent accelerating or decelerating).

But the pilot of the spacecraft will tell you a different story. While travelling at 0.5c Proxima Centauri will actually be just 3.67 light years away. Travelling at a constant 0.5 c you'll get there in just 7.34 years. A round trip will take 14.68, but on Earth the spaceship will return right on time, 16.96 years later.

What happened? According to the space travelers, Proxima Centauri was more proximal than they thought. According to us on Earth, nothing changed. The distance shrank for the travelers, but not for us. How about that for strange? It's called "length contraction."

Question:

I thought that things shrinking (length contraction) was an optical illusion. But the text says that it is not. If not, then how does something shrink? Answer:

Time dilation and length contraction are not just optical illusions, but neither do they represent a physical contraction. These effects are the result of a measurement from a given inertial frame that is performed on body moving with respect to that frame. We assume that the measurements always take into account the finite travel time of light. Consider two observers moving relative to one another. You have no difficulty with the idea of their velocities being relative - each thinks the other is "really moving." In SR, time intervals and space intervals are also relative. You don't shrink or see your own clock run slow. The other observer sees your clocks slow and meter sticks contracted from his frame. Similarly you will observe his clocks slow and meters sticks short from your frame. The time dilation and length contraction are inherent properties of the way measurements must be performed in spacetime. (Source: http://www.astro.virginia.edu/~jh8h/Foundations/quest7.html)
Now what do you suppose this means for something travelling at the speed of light?

It means that distances become infinitely small. Zero in fact. For the light-speed object, not us. What does that mean? Suppose you were a photon. How would you experience time passing?

"If you want to be anthropomorphic about it, a photon doesn't experience the passage of time. To it, it is everywhere at once. (Source: http://www.astro.virginia.edu/~jh8h/Foundations/quest7.html)"

So there's some literal truth to the saying that "God is Light" if you want to point to something in our universe that is omnipresent, at least from its perspective. Of course, light isn't alive, sentient, or a deity, as far as I know, but it's still interesting to think about.

So what if you could move at the speed of light? I suppose you would be everywhere at once, too. Now there's a plane of existence for a real live deity.

Sources: http://www.astro.virginia.edu/~jh8h/Foundations/quest7.html http://www.orionsarm.com/fm_store/RTTCalc.htm http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2006/22mar_telomeres/

Monday, February 9, 2015

Dark Space VI: Armageddon Help Me Shape the Plot With Your Input!

Hello everyone! I'm looking for some feedback! I've been tossing ideas around for the conclusion of Dark Space, and I don't want to give anything away, but I've got two--no, three--different directions in mind for the plot at this point. I'm almost done with the outline (the writing usually takes about two months after that), but I still need to decide which spin to put on the plot.

Option One: the humanistic conclusion--we get ourselves out of our own mess through sweat and tears and blood. The ending is messy, and not everyone is going to survive. Bittersweet is the word.

Option Two: we're not alone in the universe. Humanity finds help from a powerful ally that we knew about, but didn't quite believe existed. This direction brings the metaphysical down to a human level where we can see it and feel it, and believe it without saying "That's fantasy not science fiction!" This ally is a force to be reckoned with, but it's so subtle, that if you're not looking carefully you just might miss it! This ending is a happily ever after that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

Option Three: the ambiguous blend that just might keep me from stepping on anyone's toes. I do like to walk a fine line with religion, philosophy, and science--for a lot of people I probably cross that line somewhere along the way and make them uncomfortable. This third option means mixing a humanistic conclusion with a metaphysical one. In this case the metaphysical "hints" are just that. It's a connection that's left unexplored, and ultimately unproven in any substantial way. It could be that we had some extra help from some higher power, or maybe we just got lucky. This ending is also messy, and again not everyone is going to survive.

I'd appreciate your help choosing one of these options. I can't promise you'll sway me from the direction I'm currently thinking about, but you never know. And of course, in the interests of not giving any spoilers away, I will NOT tell you which direction I've decided to go with. You'll have to read Armageddon to find out smile emoticon.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dark Space (Book 5): Avilon NOW AVAILABLE!

Buy it Now

New to the series? Get Books 1-3 here for a special price: www.smarturl.it/darkspace1-3amz & Book 4, "Revenge" at www.smarturl.it/darkspace4amz
The Sythians Invaded Again
Dark Space, the last refuge of humanity, is overrun; its citizens are either enslaved or dead. The relentless Sythians have slaughtered humanity wherever they could find them, and now only a few hundred survivors remain. Desperate to escape, these few chase rumors of a lost sector of humanity and end up on Avilon, a planet covered with a vast, kilometers-high city that lies hidden and shielded from the rest of the galaxy by its impossibly advanced technology and its benevolent ruler--Omnius, the Artificial Intelligence who would be god to his human creators.
Humanity Found Refuge on Avilon
Omnius reveals that no one really died in the war--he couldn't save them from the Sythians, but he did find a way to record the contents of their brains and resurrect them all in the bodies of immortal clones. Omnius keeps a record of everyone’s mind in order to make predictions about the future and prevent people from making mistakes. The result is a perfect paradise where you can be assured of a happy, successful life for the rest of eternity--just so long as you are willing to give up your freedom and submit to Omnius's will. If you refuse, you can live in the Null Zone, a city that lies cloaked in shadows below the immortal paradise where Omnius reigns supreme. In the Null Zone humanity has its freedom, but the result is chaos, death, and forced separation from everyone living in the Upper Cities of Avilon.
Paradise for Some is a Prison for Others
To Ethan Ortane, who spent years exiled on a prison world in Dark Space, Avilon and its utter lack of freedom is the Netherworld incarnate, and Omnius the Devlin himself. His son, Atton, is not so sure--it's hard to argue with Omnius's governance when death and suffering have become just a distant memory. Even better, it looks like Avilon with all of its advanced technology might finally be able to put an end to the Sythians. Omnius is sending his Peacekeepers to Dark Space to rescue the human slaves and take the fight to the invaders. . . .
The Road to the Netherworld is Paved with Good Intentions . . .
Despite the Sythian apocalypse, Omnius knows that humanity's worst enemy has always been itself. Darkness lies in the human heart and if paradise is to be maintained, that darkness must be contained. For Omnius the rightness or wrongness of an action is determined by a mathematical equation: the choice with maximal benefit for humanity and minimal detriment is always the right one. And with his ability to predict the future, who could be better suited to making those judgments? But when the looming detriment defies the very purpose of Omnius's existence, the benefit that outweighs it depends very much on one's point of view. . . .

Buy it Now

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dark Space V: Avilon Available for Pre-Order -- Coming Dec. 21st

Coming December 21st

Pre-Order it Now and SAVE $1.00 off the $3.99 list price

This is going to be a thrilling read; some of my finest work to date. You'll be shocked, horrified, and dragged to the edge of your seat as you race through the estimated 550 pages of this book. For those of you who've been looking for a deeper read than the original trilogy provided, this is it. I look forward to reading all of your feedback soon!

Best Regards,
Jasper

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sutyding Quantum Mechanics to Write Dark Space V and VI

Long day . . . read at least 30 different articles about quantum mechanics, quantum uncertainty, indeterminacy, quantum entanglement, the uncertainty principle, free-will as a two stage model . . . All fuel for thought as I guide Dark Space to its ultimate conclusion. I usually don't focus much on the science, particularly technology, but a lot of the philosophical underpinnings of Dark Space 4 and 5 have their roots in current theories of quantum mechanics. I'll be touching on how determinism and indeterminacy (which seems to be a more popular theory in quantum mechanics) both influence our concept of free will and moral responsibility, not to mention the ultimate theoretical goal of a deterministic universe--the ability to create a perfect world. All of this will guide the conclusion of Dark Space and give some real-world background for the questions I've posed about the nature of our existence. All in all a very interesting day. Tomorrow I'll write the last chapter of Dark Space 5 and get to editing. Beta readers can expect to get their copies very soon! More on that later . . .

Monday, November 3, 2014

Dark Space Coming to Kindle Unlimited

Hello everyone! I'm in the middle of a very tight writing deadline for Dark Space V: Avilon (Coming soon!), so I'll make this quick.

I've decided to make all of my books a part of Kindle Unlimited. The only reason they aren't already, is because I wanted to try selling my books on other retailers, such as Barnes and Noble and iBooks. For those of you who don't know, Amazon only allows authors to make their books a part of Kindle Unlimited if those books are exclusively sold by Amazon.

I've now decided that the financial upside of reaching a larger market is not enough for me to keep my books out of Kindle Unlimited. There are simply too many readers jumping on board with this subscription service.

I've watched Kindle Unlimited become increasingly popular, and I believe it will only continue to grow. As far as I'm concerned, the future of e-books is Amazon Kindle. They've been so effective at crushing their competition, and at rewarding both their readers and authors, that I don't see much hope for ePub as format, or for non-kindle e-readers. That's probably a controversial view, and maybe those other retailers will never go extinct, but Amazon will continue to dominate the market as long as they keep putting their customers and business partners (authors) happy.

So, with no further adieu, within a month (the time it will take to de-list all of my titles from other sellers), you can expect to get all of my books, present and future, from your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Happy reading everyone!