Going to Mars Word By Word via a Time Slip

Published in 1964, Martian Time Slip by Phillip K. Dick (PKD) is a dark, moody story of tricks of the mind: delusions, hallucinations, power, and a time slip. It is simply told, but dated by socially unacceptable gender, racial, and ethnic descriptions. Despite the language, it has characters you want to succeed and characters you want to see get their comeuppance. Join me for the next book review in my Going to Mars Word by Word series.     WHAT IT’S ABOUT There are multiple colonies on Mars, each dominated by a different nationality or workgroup (plumbers, farmers, etc.) The colonies are officially run by the UN, but each settlement is controlled by the appropriate union boss. They are interdependent and separate communities connected by a series of canals. It is the scarcity of water that gives the plumbing union boss a stranglehold on Mars. Jack, a ‘recovered’ schizophrenic and a repairman, left earth to escape the pressures of an overpopulated Earth. Arnie Kott, the plumbing union boss, found the power and wealth on Mars that he would never have been able to achieve on Earth. These two men are brought together by the UN announcer’s emergency notification that a party […]

Robots, Mermaids, & Dogs: Inspirations and Fascinations

Wow, the blogosphere and internet have been full of news and blogs that offer weird, wonderful, and soul-touching bits and pieces that captured this SF writer’s attention. I hope you are as fascinated with these robots, mermaids, and dogs as I am. Would you move to Mars? Scientists think this might be possible in the near future. How about if you had NASA’s R2 to help?   Marcy Kennedy (an awesome WANA1011 classmate) also spoke of Mermaids in this touching tribute to her friend: Who is Your Unicorn? You already know I am a marshmallow when it comes to dogs. Dogs and heroes – I’m toasted :). These two links demonstrate that our canine friends can suffer right alongside us. He had me at Hero. 🙂 Hero, the dog. Combat service dogs diagnosed with PTSD. Demonstrating that writing ideas can come from anywhere is the following story about an endangered Salamander. Just the name of this creature brings to mind fantasy and horror: First Ozark Hellbender Raised in Captivity. If that isn’t a story title, I don’t know what is! K. M. Weiland exhorts writers to mimic the masters and gives us clear guidelines on the difference between mimicry and plagiarism. Four […]

Sometimes I Feel Like a Martian

For the past year or two, I have read a lot about how important it is to build an author’s platform.  It seemed that everyone was doing it.  Once again, I was out of step. But what was a platform? What was a blog? I felt like a Martian and needed an interpreter. So I decided to sign up for an online class by social media expert, Kristen Lamb called, “Blogging for Author Brand.”  Kristen told my classmates and I that “We Are Not Alone.”  She instructed us, encouraged us, and guided us in helping each other. Despite all that help, trying to figure out how to set up this blog, what to blog about, what Twitter was, how to use Twitter and what TweetDeck and HootSuite were, I quickly became overwhelmed.  In fact, I felt like these two. With the advice and moral support of my classmates, I finally got my website and my blog online. I wrote my first blog post. “Whew! This isn’t so bad,”  I thought. But I still felt like no one would get me, the Martian. So I didn’t follow Kristen’s advice. I didn’t tell any of my friends or classmates about what I had […]