BOOKS WHICH HAVE INSPIRED ME TO WRITE

Link to first novel, The Flame, in the SHEHKRii series at amazon.com – https://amzn.to/3rdOWk0

Over many years I’ve bumped into these books and kept them close. Something in each of them has inspired me and kept me on the writing path. With some, the connection is obvious and others refuse to explain themselves but touch my soul regardless.

iDM

SHEHKRii – Novel series

WHAT IF ALL MYTHOLOGIES WERE BUT A PALE AND DISTORTED SHADOW OF THE TRUTH AND CIVILIZATION A CURSE UPON HUMANITY?

WHAT IF YOU DISCOVERED THE TRUTH NOT BY ACCIDENT BUT BECAUSE IT SOUGHT YOU OUT!

HOW DO YOU RECONCILE PEOPLE WHO HAVE GODLIKE POWERS BUT CLAIM TO BE NOTHING MORE THAN FELLOW TRAVELERS ON THE SCIENTIFIC PATH? A SCIENTIFIC PATH THAT MODERN TECHNOLOGY HAS NOT YET INVENTED INSTRUMENTS CAPABLE OF MEASURING.

DO YOU TAKE IT ON FAITH, SOMETHING YOU’VE SWORN NEVER TO DO OR DO YOU ACCEPT THE EMPIRICAL DATA PLACED SQUARELY IN FRONT OF YOU?

NEIL CARLISLE AND HIS TEAM FACE THIS DILEMMA. AND THEY’VE MADE ENEMIES OF A VERY POWERFUL RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION WHOSE INFLUENCE IS BOTH GLOBAL AND DEADLY.

INTERPOL MAGISTRATE, JOHAN LUTZ DOESN’T FACE THE SAME PROBLEMS. HE LIVES THEM. RAISED WITHIN AND WITHOUT THE COMMUNITY KNOWN AS THE SHEHKRii ( shay-cree), HE WALKS A CONVOLUTED PATH OF NORMALCY AND THE EXTRAORDINARY. BUT HE TOO HAS ACQUIRED POWERFUL ENEMIES AND WILL NEED THE HELP OF HIS MOTHER’S FORMIDABLE FRIENDS.

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF THE SHEHKRii. THE WORLD AS IT WAS INTENDED TO BE BUT WAS KNOCKED OFF COURSE BY A RANDOM STELLAR ACCIDENT WHICH INTERRUPTED THE PLANS OF AN ENTITY MORE THAN FOUR BILLION YEARS OLD. AN ENTITY WHO IS NOW SEVERELY PISSED THAT HER LIFE’S WORK IS THREATENED. AN ENTITY CAPABLE OF CREATING AN EXTREME SOLUTION TO HER PROBLEMS. A SOLUTION NAMED NATHAN CHALK, A MAN A THOUSAND YEARS IN THE MAKING, WHO CAN LITERALLY CRACK MOUNTAINS BUT WOULD RATHER BUY YOU A GOOD DRINK AND SHARE A JOKE TO CONVINCE YOU TO DO THE RIGHT THING. BUT WHO CAN STILL SINK A CONTINENT IF THE DRINK DOESN’T WORK.

“THE COMPLEXITY, THE UNIQUENESS OF THE MIXED VOICES, THE ENTWINED LOCATIONS AND TIMELINES, AS WELL AS THE LARGE CAST OF CHARACTERS AND THE BLENDED-GENRE FEEL, MADE THIS ONE UNIQUE TO ANYTHING I’VE WORKED ON.”

Zoe Markham, Editor (Shehkrii-The Curse)

IT DID DELIVER, AND I MAY BE GREEDY, BUT I WANTED MORE OF IT.

Beta Reader Jacalyn (Shehkrii – The Flame)

SKINS

EXTRACT FROM THE TRAVEL AGENCY – I.D. MARTIN 2014

Available in the Kindle Store at Amazon.com – http:/www.shorturl.at/tCGTV  

REGULATOR 4

CUVALLA – 6TH PLANET EXTANT TO STAR HHH-4/98.34.02

35,000KM STATIONARY ORBIT

EVERY ORIFICE, please, Mac.”

“Excuse me!”

“I assume you viewed the tutorial?”

“Yeah, yeah.”

Teegan McNamara looked down her nose at the tray held in front of her. She noted the surgically white patches which were sized to suit the aforementioned orifices … orificii? Whatever!

More interesting was the hand that held the offending tray.

Neelak was Scientific Manager for the Travel Agency on Earth. he coordinated the three space stations which orbited her planet. These in turn provided the staging points for the increasingly lucrative business of adventure holidays on a fringe world far from the civilized heart of the galaxy and the interstellar conglomerate called the Settled Quarter.

So what was he doing out here, four light years from Earth, orbiting a medieval world which was barely paying its way. She was yet to get a straight answer out of the ‘man.’ He was male, anyway. His hand looked sort of human but noticeably elongated. All of him looked that way actually.

She checked herself; this was only a distraction. She was dodging a bullet and it had to stop.

“Yeah, yeah. I’ve watched the video, had the bloody things crawl up my arm in test mode. Maybe it’s a human thing; fear of drowning or something.”

“Only one way to find out.”

“That’s what Darren said.”

“And he’s been in the tank for over an hour.”

“Yeah, yeah. OK, let’s do this.”

Delicately, she applied the patches to her naked body. Only her bracelets remained. She doubted the brass-like rings around her wrists could be removed. They were linked to the communication implant at the base of her skull and provided a defensive shield which could withstand a small nuclear blast. She didn’t want to think about losing them.

The patches looked like cloth, but as she placed them she felt a slight sense of suction. The nanites that made up the little strips attached themselves to her and began to mold to the more delicate parts of her body. The anesthetic effect kicked in shortly after and all sensation stopped. The strip across her eyes cleared and she could see again. Glancing at Neelak, he extended a hand towards the lifting platform next to a huge glass tank.

Via her implant she heard him say, “If you please.”

Taking a deep breath through the mouthpiece now blocking her throat, she padded over to the device. It slowly lifted her up four meters to the edge of the tank.

Now or never.

Stepping out onto the quivering emerald mass, it solidified under both feet, turning a pale turquoise half a meter around. She walked to the center of the tank and the color followed her.

“Miss McNamara, may I offer a suggestion?”

“What! Who the fuck are you?”

“My apologies, I am the master control unit for the SKIN system sub-mind. Before we begin, I am concerned about your stress levels and the harm you may do to us if you express your uncertainty.”

“How can I harm you, Emcee? And call me Mac.”

“As you wish, Mac. We are aware of your abilities and enhancements. They are similar to Lord NLii, but he has them under very tight control. If you were to unleash yourself while immersed in us, it could be … difficult. I would not normally communicate directly, but you are an unusual circumstance”

“Darren is like me? Slorssh said that before, when I was upgraded.”

“Yes. You both are quite rare individuals, able to sense and manipulate energies across the spectrum. Very rare actually. And quite dangerous if invoked while we are at work.”

“We?”

“You have viewed the tutorial?”

“I skimmed it ….”

“I see. Well, there are five thousand four hundred and seventy five trillion nanites in this tank. Each has the computing power of a human laptop within its sub-molecular matrix. That amount of intelligent capacity requires many layers of control. The ‘we’ I refer to are the nine hundred and three system-subminds which direct the nanite cluster. And myself, of course.”

“Oh. How would you suggest I deal with my stress levels?”

“There are a number of options. Sedation, of course, but my current readings indicate you could easily overcome this restriction. Optimally, I would rather put you at ease. If my presence would be sufficient distraction I am willing to accompany you throughout.”

“So, you’ll figuratively hold my hand for the next five hours or so.”

“Yes, if that will relax you while we work.”

“Work, yeah. I know the theory, but the idea of being encased in creepy-crawlies that mimic the appearance of another species seems too simple. Talk me through how this works in detail. Like, I know the history and all but …”

Mac sank slowly into the tank as she carried on this sub-vocal conversation. She noticed her immersion but chose to ignore it and focused on what Emcee was saying in reply.

Master Control, the newly named Emcee, noticed its current client noticing and was well pleased. They had learned much from the several dozen immersions of Lord NLii, Darren as Mac knew him. But he was saurian, and Mac was the first mammal of similar capability that the SKIN system had studied. Yes, much to learn. And, so far, the conversation was quite pleasant, which was just a bonus really.

THE SLIPWAYS – AN ALTERNATE FTL

EXTRACT FROM THE TRAVEL AGENCY – I.D. MARTIN c2014

Available in the Kindle Store at Amazon.com – http:/www.shorturl.at/tCGTV

OBSERVATIONS ON TECHNOLOGICAL BACKGROUND

PERSONAL JOURNAL

Rrorssh (Egg Guardian to Rahl of the Selekhan Science Academy)

The thirty five thousand year (Earth standard) history of the Settled Quarter is one of incremental and heavily managed growth. Quite a boring tale really! Before the start of the current epoch, however, things were much more interesting; and violent. All on a grand scale.

While the current situation could be rationalized as an organic outcome derived from the clash of empires, the reality is the Settled Quarter would not exist if not for the concerted efforts of the Selekhan Federation.

This farsighted conglomeration of saurian species conspired to trick everyone else into peaceful cooperation. They had their own violent history to call on as inspiration, having come close to wiping themselves out on three distinct occasions. The Mir, the upper academic class within the Selekhan home group, finally asserted control and the Great Peace was instituted.

The fact that Slipway technology originated within this group also provided leverage. By negotiating a trade pact with several technically adept avian cartels, the Slipways and their safety were radically improved and the growth which created the Settled Quarter began in earnest.

Out of this early success the Trade Directorate was born. And such an enduring bureaucracy no species had ever seen. The Selekhan founders reasoned that only a certain point-of-view could be trusted to manage such a universal organization. These were the outsiders who could be found in any society. While products of their societies, they inherently felt isolated and detached from them. And tended to look for satisfaction elsewhere. The Trade Directorate became that ‘elsewhere’.  The system worked exceptionally well. The empires and cartels came to realize a negative decision by the Directorate was only a short-term thing. An investment in the suppression of pride invariably brought long-term profit. Rulers who failed to learn this lesson tended not to rule for very long.

A digression here is in order to explain the glue that holds the union together – the Slipways.

The classical Greeks of Earth have a saying, “As above, so below.” Most cultures eventually make this connection, but the Greek version has certain eloquence, hence its use here. In essence, the galaxy is an ocean of gravity and behaves in a fashion similar to the vast liquid treasures of the water planets. Most notably, when two regions of interstellar gravity meet in conducive circumstances they create a current; a slipstream of gravitational resonance, which if accessed can do amazing things.

Here again, the Greeks have a particularly poetic insight, “All is number, number is all.” They were, of course, speaking about vibration. If you can get the vibration right, you can access the slipstream and achieve faster-than-light travel. Getting in is relatively easy; getting out is deadly.

To do either you need a gravitational-pulse drive system (G.P.D.). Technology of any sophistication eventually leads to this type of propulsion. With it, velocities up to ten percent of the speed of light (SOL) are possible. Effectively an interstellar empire, federation or oligarchy can encompass its own solar system and others up to several light years away. Clusters of stars in this configuration are plentiful towards the center of the Fan (Milky Way) Galaxy. They form the outer nucleus and shoulders of the various arms of our home.

And that’s where civilization stayed until the development of the Slipway. Over ten thousand years of early development, the various species that had achieved the necessary technology spread out partway along three of the galactic arms and with the pacifist control of the Trade Directorate, the Settled Quarter became a reality. The word ‘quarter’ is both an atmospheric term, denoting community and an ambitious numerical target, aiming to settle close to a quarter of the galaxy. Selekhan projections suggest this is possible across the next twenty thousand years.

So, what is a Slipway? Essentially, near the ends of a stable slipstream two rings are placed well away from the gravity wells that generate the stream. The diameter of each approximates one sixth of Earth’s moon, and they are one light minute apart. These gravitational resonance devices align with the stream and allow a controlled insertion and extraction. They also provide navigational guidance for use during transit. Regular transit of small drones allows, if not instantaneous communication, then controllable delayed messaging. Recent developments suggest harmonic pulsing may be able to improve this further.

Around each ring are all the technical, residential and management functions necessary for large-scale interstellar trade and travel. Depending on the direction of transit for any given flight, one ring acts as a mass buffer, while the other functions as an accelerator. The roles are interchangeable. Occasionally, a third ring will be added to create a throughway; a means to control continuous travel over particularly long distances.

Earth’s Slipway is ten light minutes outside the orbit of Pluto. It takes two Earth days to travel from the Slipway to the planet, given the usual navigational obstacles of a solar system.

This Slipway is also unusual in that it links one arm of the Settled Quarter, the third, with another. Earth is in the fourth galactic arm. The original survey team was charged with making this long jump when a slipstream of unusual strength was discovered. Inter-arm slipstreams are not common this far out in the galaxy. The Surveyors make these hazardous journeys knowing full well the destination may kill them. They are the ultimate outsiders. Stabilizing the third-to-fourth link required two attempts; seventeen surveyors died. The indentured nature of their contract with the Mekli is seen as a necessary evil; a convenient conceit, which we may all regret at some time in the future.

Exploration of the fourth arm is ongoing and a long-term venture. Five worlds have been opened for tourism, which covers much of the cost of the enterprise. As yet, no economically viable resources have been located, although the exploration zone is rich in stellar terms. This region of the fourth arm has been named the Fringe.

The development of the Managed Infiltration Tour (M.I.T.) on the Fringe world of Earth has radically increased the revenue of the Travel Agency and assured its ascendancy within the Trade Directorate; something director Slorssh has been working toward for a considerable amount of time. It has resulted recently in the Agency acquiring an outer seat on the Council. When reference is made to the Council, it is the Coordinating Policy Council of the Trade Directorate, sometimes referred to as the High Council.

Returning to Slipways: unregulated ones are known but infrequent. Apart from the costs involved, smaller units are unreliable and do not last long. The resulting inter-dimensional implosions not only destroy the facilities, but also light up the slipstream for years after creating a navigational maelstrom. Penalties are planetary in scale.

Like any bureaucracy, the Trade Directorate is subject to the usual corruptions and entropy of its ilk. The charter devised by the Selekhan long ago has kept the process to a minimum. But of late there has been a subtle infiltration, which Rahl and others have realized is deliberate.

Centuries ago, when he inadvertently rescued Peter Ryan from genetically engineered slavery, Rahl has been certain of this conspiracy’s existence. When he first met DArR’ NSHA – NLii, he felt the wheels of Fate shift, and knew he had the weapons needed in the next stage of the conflict.

With the coming of Teegan McNamara, the Earthling known as Mac, he grew concerned. The legend of the Harbingers is widespread, but rarely comes into reality. When it does, chaos follows. In DArR’ and Mac, he has found two of them. Not just change is coming, something spectacular is about to blossom and he may not be able to control it.

iDM

New Developments – 12 Dec 2020

Just finished the third volume of my Shehkrii series ( shorturl.at/cBFKV ) and published it on Amazon through KDP. I’m going to centralize my marketing on my Author Page at Amazon and try to drive sales through Twitter, Amazon Ads and various book/writer sites.

Having a few issues updating my WordPress site for a new email address but will persevere.

Wish me luck.

iDM

Battlelines in publishing

Comments on recent developments in the publishing industry (primarily in the USA)

Across the early months of 2012 there has been a concerted and coordinated program of public statements from various sources within traditional publishing that are a clear push-back against the momentum of digital/independent publishing. 2011 has been the year of the Great Change as ebook growth & digital publishing have achieved critical mass. The independent movement has also found its voice in both sophistication and volume.

Clearly the holders of the status quo have finally figured out their existence is at risk. And in typically conservative fashion they have selected someone to blame. There is an obvious and large target and 2012 has also become the year to hate Amazon. Numerous articles from The Guardian (UK), Scott Turow (the sock puppet of his publisher, not the Authors Guild) and various mainstream regurgitating hacks have regaled us with the evils of Amazon, from its temerity to be successful and sell more books to its work practices that while legal in its various jurisdictions are just too sharp, efficient and profitable to be kosher (in case you didn’t notice, my tongue is sticking out the side of my cheek there!). In addition the anti-trust investigation by the Department of Justice of the’ agency model’ has been cast in the light of some dark conspiracy. Funny that, eh … price fixing and free markets aren’t actually compatible but you wouldn’t know it listening to Turow et al.

Late last year, someone (I think it was Michael Stackpole but could have been Joe Konrath) mused that as a system (traditional publishing) nears its terminus the death throes will get louder and more vicious.

Well people, it looks like we’re there if the last few months are any indication and I quite obviously do think that. Christmas 2012 is going to have some interesting eggnog conversations (not just in the Hamptons).

The tragedy of all this us-and-them posturing is that it doesn’t have to be, but the aforementioned conservative mind cannot see grey. And this is the gist of the matter. Writers, readers and Amazon will keep on going and changing to suit & make the new paradigm and commercial empires will fall and the only reason this will happen is because ego cannot admit defeat – all change is defeat by the way (if you have that mindset i.e. overly competitive &/ or privileged). And there has to be someone to blame.

So, shareholders (in publishing companies), take a good hard look at the men and women managing the money you’ve invested. Then sack them because the only thing that will survive their company’s demise will be their bonuses; certainly not your share price. If you act now and install people with some real brains you might survive. As an example you could look to Robin Sullivan at Ridan Publishing. Dean Wesley Smith and Bob Mayer run classes on how to prosper in this new climate.  Maybe some of your junior executives could take these tutorials before you move them up the line.

The rest of us, if we cared to notice, might have a bit of a laugh but would much rather keep getting on with business in an environment where there is the chance of much more success (& profit) than ever before.

My apologies for the trenchant cynicism here but it does make the blood boil to see all this crap foisted on us instead of celebrating the opportunities that almost monthly, unfold for ALL to use. As Stackpole and Konrath have said more than once, it is not an EITHER/OR situation but a BOTH/AND one that we are in right now and all avenues should be explored and exploited

Happy writing,

iDM