Boomers for the Stars Kindle version now on sale for a mere 99 cents

Okay…I did get a little carried away fancying up the paperback version of my latest sci fi novella, the result being that it’s retailing for $14.99 on Amazon.  But now that it’s available elsewhere, including a 99-cent Kindle version, do you forgive me?  Hmmmm?

Boomers for a mere 99 cents HERE

Even if you did pay $14.99, please keep your fingers crossed for me that SFWA’s featuring Boomers for the Stars a couple of different ways at the upcoming Nebula Awards Conference is enough to get it a Nebula Award for 2017…

But mostly I just hope you enjoy this sometimes tongue-in-cheek tale of how future generations deal with freakishly ancient Baby Boomers as much as I had fun writing it!

Check out my newly released sci fi novella, Boomers for the Stars!

BOOMERS FOR THE STARS:  Another sci fi novella I had a lot of fun writing, which will be featured on a big banner at the May 2017 SFWA Nebula Awards Conference.

In a dystopian future Baby Boomers…kept alive far too long by the first, clumsily imperfect advances in the science of longevity…once served as guinea pigs for the fledgling science of interstellar travel.  Now things are even worse…

I’ve just released it in paperback on Amazon:

Boomers for the Stars (paperback) BUY ON AMAZON

I’ll let you know as soon as it’s available elsewhere and when the Kindle version is available for a mere 99 cents.

Tumbleweed

For those of you curious about where I got the inspiration for my most recent book, Rococo, here’s the flash fiction from whence it came…on one of the many days in which I found myself thoroughly disgusted by self-help books.

Toeing an anti-depressant wrapper, she loitered at the western edge of a northsouth.  The alternating rubble and reclaimed farmlands of New Jersey twinkled in the twilight…visible through a Westside airbus clearing.  From the east, through the dip in the moonscrapers created by the Chrysler Building Museum, a battered airbus buzzed in for its landing.  Flashing silver amidst its graffiti, its landing gear descended like the pincers of a huge, battle-worn beetle.  It dopplered over her head, spraying her with a cloud of urban dust that smelled vaguely of discarded electronics, and slid into its clearing.

She sneezed, turning as a rustle announced another observer of the setting sun, and found her voice.  “Trixie, you slut, what an angelic smile.  And who had to slap you silly to get you to wear something that’s even thigh-length, let alone not leather?  That dress…  How can you even walk, let alone clear a doorway, with all those ruffles?

A cloud of dotted Swiss twirled before her.  Eyes full of pastels and spring widened.  “Were you addressing me?”  There was just the faintest hint of a Southern drawl.

“Well excuse me.  We’ve only been best friends for 20 years.”

Trixie looked blank.

“Does the name…oh never mind my name…does the name Trixie mean anything to you?”

Trixie still looked blank, but rallied.  “Pooh!  I’ll recall names in a minute.  Just see if I don’t.  Why, I just now came out from under the machine at the Nupersonality Discount Outlet up yonder.  You call 2121-8347-11572 to make an appointment.”

“Remarkably selective, those memory wipes…”

“Well yes…yes, I do truly believe they gave me a partial memory wipe while I was there.  They were most considerate and very reasonably priced.  They helped me understand how it would be ever so much easier for me to adjust to my Nupersonality that way.”  Ringlets jiggled as Trixie threw her head back.  “They were uncommonly helpful and the memory wipe costs next to nothing if you’re getting a full personality reconstruction.  If you call now they’d be just tickled to give you an additional 20% off if you get a full personality reconstruction before Mars Day.”

“Trixie, I don’t believe you did this to yourself again.  And I was just getting used to your hooker’s personality.  Of all the shoddy…”

“Whatever you could be talking about, dearest, I really cannot imagine.”

“Fuck.”  She clapped her forehead with the palm of her hand.  “What are you this time, the video-game version of Scarlett O’Hara?  Their languatician should be shot.”

“Don’t be cross at poor lil’…  Trixie!  That’s my name!  See?  A person’s always a little foggy after memory work.  You know they take away a little too much memory on purpose, because some of it comes back, but I’m mighty glad I did it.  You all can be, too!  Their offices are right over yonder at…”

“No, thank you.  You can keep your discount personality houses to yourself.  At least, when you bought your hooker personality from Spice of Life, they had the decency to do their research.  For myself, I’m having enough trouble with reputable therapies.  I went to Sachs for a Feelings Flush yesterday and I still can’t get rid of all this fucking anger.”  She shook, breath whistling through clenched teeth.  Knowing it wasn’t Trixie, she plumbed her depths in search of the something to be angry about.

Birdlike, Trixie tilted her head to watch.

As usual, she came up empty-handed.

Trixie spotted her own image in a mirrored pole and pinched her cheeks till they were rosy.

“Trixie, do you think it was that Assertiveness implant I got last spring?”  Her fury was bubbling to the surface again, as faithful as a geyser.  Compulsively fussing with her already perfect hair, she spotted a truly pathetic homeless boy, dressed in torn plastic, who was watching her closely.  “I felt so good, so strong and powerful at first.  But maybe it was of poor quality and turned on me later.  They say that can happen.  Or maybe it didn’t mix well with that second Positive Thinking I got.”

Trixie was staring past the poor homeless boy at the sun setting over the Jersey cornfields.  “Don’t think of that now.  Don’t let anger and ugliness poison you.  Not when everything’s all misty and warm and sweet.”  The glare of the setting sun off Trixie’s impossibly perfect white teeth as Trixie smiled was blinding.

She was alone, except for Trixie and the homeless boy that kept staring at her.  A rage filled her, then the deepest imaginable sorrow, which slowly subsided with the day.  She wasn’t able to identify a reason for either.

Trixie curtsied deeply and fluttered off, a dotted Swiss tumbleweed weaving with the wind through the steep canyons of the city.

She was left shuddering against a cold that didn’t exist.  Staring into the deep wells of the poor homeless boy’s eyes, a sense of vertigo touched her.  Her own words to Trixie came back to haunt her, reverberating through her bone marrow as they tumbled about the canyons of her mind:  “Does the name…oh never mind my name.  Never mind my name.  What…exactly…is my name?”

The sun popped under the horizon, leaving her alone in utter solitude with a complete stranger.  It wasn’t the homeless boy; he’d left long ago.  Only the sound of his final conclusion about her lingered on forever, echoing through her mind.  It was a long, hard laugh.

Follow the Flavor

Guest Post by Sondra Fink

I love food.  I love that vegetables need vinegar or lemon to break down their cell walls so your body can absorb their nutrients.  They need whole fats too – your vegetable’s nutrients are fat-soluble.  Fats carry those nutrients to your cells so your body can use them.  Don’t believe the hype: the consumption of nothing but raw vegetables is not, in fact, an ideal diet.  You need fats and acid too.

Trust the flavor.  Might that be nature telling you something?  Too much fat, and the flavor deadens.  Too much of anything and the flavor deadens.  Your mushrooms want some barley, your beef wants some parsley, your broccoli wants some lemon, your ice cream wants some crunch, just the right amount.

Mild afternoons are worlds better after a recent rain.  Spring only matters when winter preceded it. From seasons to cuisine, the beauty and flavor are in the combinations.

The concept of holism is based on the need to address the interrelated variables that compose anything that resembles breathtakingly complex reality.  So your bubble – my bubble – the comfortably limited little echo-chamber you or I reside in – is on par with a mini-mart burrito: tasteless.

What about people?  If I draw out my analogy, I must conclude that a holistic combination must include a few assholes, no?  I’m already a fan of a certain kind of diversity.  The reason I love NYC is because of all the different people, all colors, shapes, genders, religions, ethnicities, languages, traditions, orientations, levels of ability.  But does my tolerance extend all the way to ideologies?  That’s a tough one.  There are ideologies I loathe.  Then again, I also loathe liver, until I can unlock the secret of making liver taste good.

I read recently that men are in decline. Specifically, uneducated men.  Their skill-sets are simply bad fits for what the world now needs.  They attend college in fewer numbers than women, and advance less successfully into higher-paying employment.  But they’re not going anywhere.  And they mostly voted for Trump.

I’m part of a women-owned small business focused on holistic skincare.  Back to holism: the theory that parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection such that they cannot exist independently of the whole, or cannot be understood without reverence to the whole.  From a holistic skincare approach, you don’t just have acne.  You have your skin acting as an organ of elimination and a few too many toxins that your body, in defense of your total health, is working to eliminate.  In a holistic (read: realistic) approach, rather than torture your skin into submission – and likely fail or prompt an even worse reaction – the common-sense move is to treat the whole body.  Start with your insides and work your way out, gently, methodically and patiently.  Treat your skin topically in a way that is supportive of what it is already trying to do.  Change your diet and habits.  Use natural, gentle products that do less, not more.

For healing to occur, balance must be restored.  Healing proceeds from a place of equilibrium, which is the best kind of strength, a secure foundation for the body or spirit or body politic to restore itself.

Analogously, then, what do we do with all those balance-tipping straight, white, cis, uneducated men?  What to do with those Breitbart readers?  What about white women, that discouraging 53%?  What about evangelicals?  I begin to realize that I cannot will any of these infuriating people away, nor can I control their opinions and outlook.  The most I can offer is a persistent defense of my own opinions and outlook, and if my convictions are strong, then attempt to persuade.  That’s called discourse, but only (ugh, I almost can’t make myself say it) if there is also listening.  Listening to stuff I hate, like taking a bite of liver, and then imagining what might make it better.  In holism, when you attack a disease, you only drive it deeper.  It pops up elsewhere, often where you least expect it.  What do a bunch of frightened white men do when their demographic shrinks?  They elect Trump.  Fuckers.

They are part of us.  Ugliness springs from fear, but can prompt originality.  We have to let go of the “us and them,” or at least I do.  As much as it hurts, I think we are all part of each other.  We need to own all of it, taste the stew, and stopping short of poisoning ourselves, figure out what little-known technique or unexpected ingredient it needs to shine.  Compassion is hard but necessary.  Trust the flavor, and pass the salt.

Read more witchy rants on Sondra’s blog:  www.psycho-girl.com