City of the Future and Living Concrete

The future may seem grim right now, but there will be a future. And it may be brighter than you expect. As a science fiction writer, one of my favorite pastimes is following articles and predictions of future technology. Today we’ll look at reports of the city of the future and “living” concrete. City of the Future In Cnet’s report on the CES (consumer Electronics Show) one of the coolest new things was Toyota’s city of the future. Until now, they have done city planning around automobiles. The prototype city Toyota will build has no human drivers.  They plan to build the Woven City on 175 acres of a now-defunct factory near Mount Fuji. The plans feature self-driving vehicles run on hydrogen fuel cells, robots, smart homes, and new forms of personal mobility. Not only that, regular people will live in this city of tomorrow. “Living” Concrete Concrete is the second most-consumed material on Earth after water. Using sand, gel and bacteria, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a self-healing concrete. They believe that someday the concrete could “heal their own cracks, suck up dangerous toxins from the air or even glow on command”. They aren’t the only scientists […]

Sneak Peek: If I Should Die, Chapter Three

I hope you enjoy this Friday’s Sneak Peek If I Should Die, Chapter Three. If I Should Die is my current primary WIP (work-in-progress). This sneak peek is part of a six-week project in which I share parts of this story. I look forward to your comments and reactions. What’s the Book About? Miranda has built a successful Freedom Waterway across the inland waters of the United States. Refugees from the religious oppression of the Fellowship find safety and freedom aboard her boats. But now her brother needs rescued so he can complete his mission. She’s committed to helping him, but she’s a peace-loving woman. Will she resort to violence and save lives or stick to her principles and sacrifice many? ReCap Chapter One: Miranda pilots her yacht, the Lady Angelfish, up the Missouri River to rescue her brother, but the U.S. Coast Guard and a Second Sphere agent stop her for a “routine” inspection. Chapter Two: Irene, Miranda’s sister, can’t believe she’s the wife of the newly appointed Prophet. Nor can she believe she’s at the White House sitting with President Joseph Kennedy Jr. But there are drawbacks to being the Prophet’s wife. When she’s offered a role in […]

Story Time Reviews “Operation Haystack”

Story Time Reviews “Operation Haystack” by Frank Herbert. If you enjoy science fiction spy mysteries, you’ll enjoy this short story. It first appeared in Astounding in May 1959.  This review is of the public domain LibriVox recording. It is a little more than. 48 minutes in duration. All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted. — Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune The Story The story is about Field Agent Lewis Orne, injured during an assignment on a planet ruled by women. The doctors have no hope of saving him. A “womblike creche pod” had taken over most of his badly mangled body’s vital functions. Umbo Stetson, Orne’s section chief, writes Orne’s mother about her son’s condition. She is too ill to travel. In her stead, a friend and local, Mrs. Ipscott Bullone of Marak, wife of the High Commissioner, takes over for the family.  Miraculously Orne survives. Mrs. Bullone invites Orne to recuperate at her home after his discharge from the hospital.  This is an opportunity Stetson can’t pass up. He suspects Ipscott […]