Tuesday, August 31, 2010

THE GENDER WARS Free Download

I am offering free downloads of my speculative fiction book, THE GENDER WARS, through the month of September. Go here to download. A word of caution: THE GENDER WARS is rated PG-13. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Power of Thought

I read a lot of science fiction. Since I was a kid, I've read science fiction so I have a pretty fair background. Also, I've studied literature. English and world literature, so I'm acquainted with most genres and plots and so on. Also wasted time studying philosophy, got a minor in Philosophy, as a matter of fact. Now, there are still plenty of people who are better read than I and more studious, as well as far smarter I'm sure, but I imagine I notice the same things they notice in the bulk of science fiction writing.

Over the years, there have been some great writers and some really intelligent people penning all those fantastic stories. After reading hundreds of books and stories, I can't help but notice common threads and themes, like shared visions these great writers seem to have. Writing about the future and the technologies mankind develops can be fun. It's certainly fun reading these well-crafted stories. Asimov, Heinlein, Bradbury, Clarke, and so many more whose names escape me, are all visionaries and most write about the same thing which is, what's going to happen to the human race? It’s a fair question to ask, especially in troubling times. As fantastic as these stories are, most science fiction writers still develop a traditional story form with a protagonist working against a particular menace that threatens our world, or by extension, our universe. Of course, the odds are against the hero, but the story plays out in an entertaining way and the hero eventually overcomes all the problems in his/her quest and saves all of humanity. This scenario is satisfying for readers because it assures us of a continuation of the race, in a sense a shot at immortality, and most of us naturally pull for the good guy.

Now, these great writers recognize that the key to survival is the ability to adapt and change. That's what all writers have their characters do and sometimes it's what they have humanity do as a whole. One predominant change that I see over and over again entails a unique change in mental state. I don't mean having a character simply adopt a new attitude. Our hero doesn't just set his jaw and proceed with a steely-eyed stare to vanquish his foes. It's much more than that. These visionary writers often describe a distant future where mankind has developed, in order to survive, an ability to expand their awareness. In short, characters evolve to become mentalists. They read minds. They are telepaths. They influence others via the power of psionics. The evolved telepathic powers take different forms but all go beyond what current science deems possible.

Personally, I’ve never witnessed a case of clairvoyance or mind-reading beyond what could be called a lucky guess. I have run into egoists from time to time who claimed they could tell what I was thinking, especially over-bearing bosses, but I’ve never run into somebody who could consistently make correct guesses as to the outcome of specific future events, or move objects with mind control, or make people do things they didn’t want to do.

It’s generally agreed that these abilities are beyond what people can do.

My question is, why do so many of these extremely intelligent science fiction writers use telepathic ability as a vehicle for change and adaptation? Are they telling us they believe such mental evolution is possible? Or, is it just a fancy of imagination? Bear in mind that the task of a science fiction author is to project his imagination in a believable way in order to explain the fantastic -- to portray today’s magic as tomorrow’s science.

One thing futurists have in common is the idea that the evolution of homo sapiens no longer centers on our physical nature, but rather on our mental abilities. The perception is that the next level of evolution for humans is of the mind, not the body. This flies in the face of what we generally agree is possible. But still we persist in believing that the next evolution of the species is for the mind to be able to do things beyond the limitations of the body.

In the last few years, we’ve made much progress in understanding the nature of reality via breakthroughs in particle physics and the general unified field theory. Essentially, advanced physics tells us that everything in existence is not separate, that everything is influenced by something else and that, additionally, these influences range from the gross to the subtle. For example, matched, identical sub-atomic particles can be separated from one another over vast distances and then changes can be made to one that will be reflected in the other. Pretty fantastic, eh? It’s not science fiction either.

There are rising popular notions that a person’s focused intentions will influence that person’s future. Meditate or pray for success and it is more likely one will achieve that success without doing anything else. Well, the popular belief has always been that having a positive attitude works wonders. Some physicists go so far as to insist that the popular notion is, in fact, based on the theory of attraction.

Is that where our science fiction writers get the idea that people will eventually harness the ability to mentally influence reality? As they say, everything starts with an idea. Will we eventually be able to wish our desires into existence? Or, are we already doing it?