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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Settled Science?

Dr. Tim Ball, one of the first Canadians to hold a Ph.D. in climatology, wrote his doctoral thesis at the University of London (England) using the remarkable records of the Hudson’s Bay Company to reconstruct climate change from 1714 to 1952. He has published numerous articles on climate change and its impact on the human condition. Dr Ball has served on numerous committees at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels on climate, water resources, and environmental issues. He was a professor of climatology at the University of Winnipeg for 28 years. He is currently working as an environmental consultant and public speaker based in Victoria and has written, with Dr Stuart Houston, 18th Century Naturalists on Hudson Bay, a book on the science and climate of the fur trade (McGill-Queens University Press, 2003).

So you would expect Dr. Ball to be right on board with global warming, right? wrong.

"The Science Isn't Settled - The Limitations of Global Climate Models," Dr. Timothy Ball, March 21, 2007

Computerized models of the earth’s climate are at the heart of the debate over how public policy should respond to climate change. Global climate models – also called general circulation models – attempt to predict future climatic conditions starting with a set of assumptions about how the climate works and guesses about what a future world might look like in terms of population, energy use, technological development, and so on.

Analysts have pointed out, however, that many of the assumptions used in modeling the climate are of dubious merit, with biases that tend to project catastrophic warming, and have argued that climate models have many limitations that make them unsuitable as the basis for developing public policy.

Dr. Tim Ball discussed the paper The Science isn't Settled, published by the Fraser Institute (www.fraserinstitute.ca/admin/books/files/ScienceIsntSettled.pdf), and examined two major limitations that hinder the usefulness of climate models to those forming public policy.

~~~

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ice Age Predicted

At least as far back as he 1970s (I recall predictions from the 1950s and 1960s), scientists were predicting an ice age. NOT global warming, but global cooling. As evidence, I present excerpts from this article from TIME magazine, Monday, Jun. 24, 1974 --


Science: Another Ice Age?






In Africa, drought continues for the sixth consecutive year, adding terribly to the toll of famine victims. During 1972 record rains in parts of the U.S., Pakistan and Japan caused some of the worst flooding in centuries. In Canada's wheat belt, a particularly chilly and rainy spring has delayed planting and may well bring a disappointingly small harvest. Rainy Britain, on the other hand, has suffered from uncharacteristic dry spells the past few springs. A series of unusually cold winters has gripped the American Far West, while New England and northern Europe have recently experienced the mildest winters within anyone's recollection.

As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval. However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.

Telltale signs are everywhere —from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest.Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F. Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data. When Climatologist George J. Kukla of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and his wife Helena analyzed satellite weather data for the Northern Hemisphere, they found that the area of the ice and snow cover had suddenly increased by 12% in 1971 and the increase has persisted ever since. Areas of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, for example, were once totally free of any snow in summer; now they are covered year round.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914-1,00.html#ixzz0Z9DjWZTQ


Man, too, may be somewhat responsible for the cooling trend. The University of Wisconsin's Reid A. Bryson and other climatologists suggest that dust and other particles released into the atmosphere as a result of farming and fuel burning may be blocking more and more sunlight from reaching and heating the surface of the earth.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914-2,00.html#ixzz0Z9DSesO8

GLOBAL COOLING
~~~

Monday, December 7, 2009

Coming Ice Age

Republibot was kind enough to send me a link to this article.

The Fiction Of Climate Science
by Larry Sutton
from Forbes

In 1974, the National Science Board announced: "During the last 20 to 30 years, world temperature has fallen, irregularly at first but more sharply over the last decade. Judging from the record of the past interglacial ages, the present time of high temperatures should be drawing to an end…leading into the next ice age."


Global warming? I think not.

~~~

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lies of Global Warming

Rather than say it myself, I will let the YouTube video say it for me.





~~~

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Atospheric CO2 Emissions Measured Downwind from Active Volcanoes

Mauna Loa has been producing a readout which supports Manning's predetermined goal by showing steady growth in atmospheric CO2 concentrations since 1959. This record, highlighted in Al Gore's discredited movie An Inconvenient Truth, is known as the Keeling Curve. A graph of the curve is engraved on a bronze plaque mounted at the entrance to the Observatory’s Keeling Building, 10,000 feet above sea level on the rocky north flank of Mauna Loa. According to the Observatory website: "The undisturbed air, remote location, and minimal influences of vegetation and human activity at MLO are ideal for monitoring constituents in the atmosphere that can cause climate change."

For some reason, they fail to mention the erupting volcano next door.


http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/greenhouse_gas_observatories_d.html

The article discusses several other observatories that measure atmospheric CO2 downwind from active volcanoes, and even the one in Antarctica has a similar problem:


The South Pole Observatory is just yards away from a power plant which burns jet fuel 365 days a year to provide electricity and heat for Amundsen Station. (Researchers claim that prevailing winds come from the opposite direction.) It is also about 800 miles from Antarctica's Mt. Erebus volcano, which has continuously erupted since 1972. Because the atmosphere's ability to carry water vapor is cut approximately in half by every ten-degree-C drop in temperature, the extremely low temperatures at the South Pole mean that only trace amounts of water vapor are in the atmosphere. CO2 mixes with water vapor in the atmosphere to form H2CO3 (carbonic acid), giving rainfall a slightly acidic pH and washing CO2 from the air. The uniquely dry and cold conditions of the South Pole prevent this from occurring, thus altering the natural atmospheric carbon elimination process and magnifying the effect of CO2 sources. Amundsen Station personnel and emissions from the 12,000-foot Mt. Erebus volcano are also implicated in the 1990s ozone hole scam.


~~~

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy

The Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy is the closest galaxy to our Milky Way.

From a Press Release:

"Called the Canis Major dwarf galaxy after the constellation in which it lies, it is about 25000 light years away from the solar system and 42000 light years from the centre of the Milky Way. This is closer than the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy, discovered in 1994, which is also colliding with the Milky Way.

". . . stronomers found the main dismembered corpse of the dwarf galaxy in Canis Major and long trails of stars leading back to it. It seems that streams of stars pulled out of the cannibalised Canis Major galaxy not only contribute to the outer reaches of the Milky Way's disk, but may also pass close to the Sun."

http://astro.u-strasbg.fr/images_ri/canm-e.html

Here's a cool photo from

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap071104.html





~~~

Sagittarius DEG

Sagittarius DEG -- Dwarf Ellptical Galaxy -- is the correct designation of the small galaxy that is merging with the Milky Way, to distinguish it from Sagittarius DIG, Dwarf irregular Galaxy.





Astronomers have long suspected that the Milky Way Galaxy was formed from smaller galaxies. Moreover, after becoming a relatively large galaxy, it may have continued to acquire a substantial part of its mass by "devouring" smaller galactic companions that moved too close. Apparently confirming that hypothesis was the discovery of a new object in 1994 now commonly referred to as the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy (SagDEG), found very close to the Milky Way on the opposite side of the Galactic Center from the Solar System (Ibata et al, 1995 and 1994). Not to be confused with the Sagittarius Dwarf Irregular Galaxy (SagDIG), SagDEG is the Milky Way's nearest known neighbor and comprised of mostly old, yellowish stars. Astrophysicist Rosemary Wyse of Johns Hopkins University has estimated that as much as 10 percent of the stars in the Milky Way's halo came from dwarf galaxies like SagDEG, merging with the Milky Way over the past eight billion years or so. (In November 2003, astronomers announced that an even closer galaxy (located 25,000 ly from Sol and 42,000 ly from the galactic center) called the Canis Major dwarf may be losing stars to the Milky Way's disk as well.)


* * *

In 1996, a team of astronomers found a stream of stars that were apparently stripped from SagDEG by the Milky Way as a "tidal trail" (Mateo et al, 1996). Extending to the southwest, it can be traced out to 34 degrees from the center of Sagittarius. Although theoretical models predicted the symmetric presence of another stream, extending to the northwest, that could be so long as to completely encircle the Milky Way, this stream was more difficult to find because it would cross the disk of the Milky Way and so be obscured by the dense stars, gas, and dust of the Galactic Center.


Emphasis Added

The article goes on to say that recent observations have confirmed the theory that the stream of the incoming stars of Sagittarius DEG actually do encircle the Milky Way.

In 2003, some astronomers modeling SagDEG's movements with a full-sky map of red (M) giant stars attributed to the galaxy that were detected through the Two-Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) speculated that it was once pulled through the Milky Way's disk very close to Sol's current location (Majewski et al, 2003; and Law et al, 2003).


Emphasis Added

http://www.solstation.com/x-objects/sag-deg.htm

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2012: What It Really Means

I just hate to admit it when I have been wrong, but here goes:

On several occasions, I have said that there is nothing special about 2012. I was wrong. The Mayan calendar makers did know something that we didn't know. Until quite recently, that is.

The year 2012 is when our solar system officially becomes, at least in the minds of those ancient calendar makers, officially a part of the Milky Way galaxy.

You see, scientists have found an explanation for why the Milky Way appears at an angle in the night sky. If we were part of the Milky Way Galaxy, then the dense band of stars that we call the Milky Way ought to appear as a horizontal band of bright stars stretching from east to west, cutting the night sky neatly in half. We should be orbiting the galactic center in the flattened disk where the stars are most densely packed -- we should be oriented to the galaxy's ecliptic. We are not. Instead our star, the Sun, wobbles up and down across the ecliptic in a cycle that lasts roughly 26,000 years.

This is because we are part of the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy, and not part of the Milky Way.

We can't see the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy, but with infrared photography, we can see that the Milky Way is stretching out the tiny dwarf and eating it.





Source:

Scientists Now Know: We're Not From Here
!

~~~

Friday, November 13, 2009

Water found on the Moon

Water found on the Moon

Water Found on Moon, Scientists Say

The discovery came out of a mission a month ago in which a
satellite hit into a crater near the lunar south pole.

New York Times


why am I not surprised?

~~~

Dangers of mercury in vaccines

Vaccination: Federal Health Agencies Continue to Deceive Americans
Congressional Report on a Vaccine Mercury-Autism Link Ignored for Six Years

by Richard Gale and Dr Gary Null



Manufacturers of vaccines and thimerosal have never conducted adequate testing on the safety of thimerosal. The FDA has never required manufacturers to conduct adequate safety testing on thimerosal and ethylmercury compounds.”

For many decades, the FDA has known about the neurotoxic effects of thimersosal. A review of internal documents from Eli Lilly, the original inventor of ethylmercury in the 1920s, reveals that only one study has ever been performed to investigate thimerosal’s safety in humans and it was “woefully inadequate.” During the actual Committee hearings, Rep. Burton remarked, “You mean to tell me since 1929 we’ve been using thimerosal and the only test you know of is the one that was done in 1929, and every one of those people got meningitis and died?”[5]


Global Research

The EPA tells s not to eat a can of tuna fish because it contains mercury, but the FDA and the CDC tell us to let them inject mercury into us. They claim that it's perfectly safe!
~~~

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Climate Change - The Real Story

As a writer of science fiction, I have an intense interest in science, especially as it affects real people. One of the most alarming trends in science, in my opinion, is to panic over unproven theories of global disaster. Global warming presents a huge threat to humanity, not because the Earth is warming but because it is not warming. In fact, many prominent scientists state -- and have been stating since the 1950s -- that we are entering a global ice age.

While alarmists change their cry of global warming to global climate change, the real situation on the ground reveals that they do not know what they are talking about. The global warming alarmists predicated that average global temperatures would rise over the past ten years, but the temperatures have actually fallen.

And there's more.

As physicist David Douglass said, “If the facts are contrary to any predictions, then the hypothesis is wrong no matter how appealing.”


Many people pointed to facts contradicting the “appealing” hypothesis but were ignored or marginalized for several reasons. These included; apparent support from rising global temperatures between 1980 and 1998; evidence too technical for most people; effective personal attacks on skeptics; Gore’s slick propaganda movie An Inconvenient Truth despite 35 scientific errors; and the mainstream media was ignorant of the science and biased.


IceCap

Go to the right hand column and scroll down about halfway for the story,
"Current Global Temperatures Impossible According to IPCC ‘Science’"
By Timothy Ball, Canada Free Press

Or use this link to the same article, for a page that loads much more slowly

Canada Free Press


~~~

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Ocean Forming in Africa?

I just love this kind of science story, a little over the edge, but still making the mainstream news.





The African and Arabian plates meet in the remote Afar desert of Northern Ethiopia and have been spreading apart in a rifting process — at a speed of less than 1 inch per year — for the past 30 million years. This rifting formed the 186-mile Afar depression and the Red Sea. The thinking is that the Red Sea will eventually pour into the new sea in a million years or so. The new ocean would connect to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, an arm of the Arabian Sea between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula and Somalia in eastern Africa.




Rift in Africa Likely to Create New Ocean


~~~

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Origins, Rare Collector's Item

If you have a copy of Origins, Part One: Thor's Hammer, it is now a rare collector's item.

The two paperback editions from Create Space have been discontinued because Publish America has bought the rights. They will make my novel available in hardcover and paperback, and they will list it in the catalogs that book store managers use. We have signed the contract, and they are paying me an advance of one dollar.

The signed copies of Origins are already going for about $100 on eBay, and the value will go up.

Only 60 copies of the first edition are in existence, and only 10 copies of the second edition are in existence. I have signed only 20 copies of the first edition, and I have not signed any copies of the second edition. I own 5 copies of the second edition, which I will be signing and either selling or giving away.

This is a step up for me, having a "real" publisher.

I want to thank all of you for your support and for reading my books!

Thank you so much!

~~ Tessa
~~~

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Home from Hospital Hell

It all started last Saturday, when my left foot was badly scalded by hot coffee. Then it became infected. Thursday morning I went to my doctor for a follow-up, and she sent me to Mountains Community Hospital for IV antibiotics. They did okay, but they did poke a needle completely through my vein and fill up my arm with fluid. That still hurts.

Then the real nightmare began. Mountains Community transferred me by ambulance to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, California. I was supposed to go directly to the burn care unit, but Arrowhead stuck me in the emergency room. I complained four times that I had severe nausea and I was going to vomit. Two staff members ignored my complaint. The other two promised to come right back with a barf bag and then disappeared and never came back.

Five different staff members asked me about drug and alcohol abuse, and the fifth one grilled me relentlessly, refusing to believe that I do not abuse drugs and alcohol. The cognitive dissonance was palpable when they insisted that they had to inject me with pain medication, even though Mountains Community had already done so. I strongly protested and refused the pain medication.

One of the staff members - I cannot tell you who they were, since none of them told me their names or positions. Most of them appeared to be technicians, and the only nurse name tag that I saw was pinned to a woman who was merely gawking at my open wounds, not treating me. You see, one of the staff members removed the sterile dressing from my foot, leaving my open wounds exposed to various patients and staff members who were walking by within inches.

After having my wound unwrapped for about 20 minutes, I sat up and replaced the used gauze wrap that they had left on the gurney beside my foot. I couldn't stop at the desk to check out because I had to go outside to vomit, since I still didn't have a barf bag.

Suddenly, five staff members ran outside shouting, "Stop fleeing! You can't leave!" (As if I were a convict escaping from prison.) At that point, I might have gone back inside to check out properly, since I had finished vomiting, but they threatened to physically drag me back inside. I stood my ground and told them I know my rights, and they were not going to treat me because they are incompetent, and that I was going to another hospital. They started talking about 5150, which is code for a danger to self or others. I was not a danger, and I knew that they could not make a case for that. I started shouting verbal abuse at them, calling them incompetent idiots and stating repeatedly that I was going to another hospital. I was surrounded by more than half a dozen staff members, including security.

The standoff lasted some time, but eventually they gave up. I have never done anything like that. Standing up to authority is very difficult for me. But my foot was at stake.

When they finally gave up, my family came and gave me a ride to St. Bernadine Hospital in San Bernardino, where I got excellent treatment. They are competent and caring.

My escape from hospital hell was an epic.

I am SO glad to be home! And I still have my foot.

~~~

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Reflection

I recently received an email from an old friend from high school who saw this blog, and it brought back memories. (She shall remain anonymous, since I do not have permission to reveal her identity.)

I remember being incredibly angry with my mother for shoving me into a school for gifted children. I suspected then, and am certain now, that this was not for my good, but for her to show off. At age 15, I had gone to public schools for most of my education, and here I had to take an IQ test just to get admitted to this exclusive private school. Then I had to try to keep up with a whole class full of geniuses. The stress caused my health to crash, I suffered a bout of shingles and I ended up on tranquilizers to two years.

At one point, I nearly committed suicide. Instead I left home. At age 17, I walked out the door at ten o'clock at night, a week before Christmas, with ten dollars in my pocket. With no destination in mind, and no resources to support me, I took my chances on the random events of that night.

That was a long time ago, but I still see it clearly. That is how I write my stories. I walk out the door and take my chances.

I am so glad that my old friend contacted me. I've been wondering about her for all these years. It's always good to hear from an old friend. And I'm so glad that both of us have survived and possibly thrived.

~~~

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fantasy & Science Fiction, Still Classy After All These Years

The two somewhat related genres of fantasy and science fiction sometimes hold hands and often clash. Fantasy evokes the dream world of anything that you might dream or imagine, while science fiction attempts to stay within the bounds of, well, science. In the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, they have found a happy and lasting marriage. This publication has been around since before I was born, and that longevity says something about quality. I am not talking about the ivory-tower academic definition of quality, but rather the editorial savvy that manages to select stories that keep readers reading and coming back for more.

Established and emerging writers often find themselves sharing these pages, and they often read this magazine to keep up with trends in the field. I read it for pleasure, as well.

The first thing that I noticed about the August/September 2009 issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction (affectionately known as F&SF) was that it is very thick. In fact, it is as thick as some paperback books – maybe thicker. They have gone from monthly to bimonthly and expanded their content to fit two months of material into a single issue.

This is still the familiar newsprint magazine with a glossy cover, and it still features established and emerging writers of stories that ask us to suspend disbelief for the few minutes or hours that it takes to read a short story or novella.

Inside I found the customary editorial by Gordon Van Gelder – the editor and publisher of F&SF – seven novellas and three short stories, plus the departments – Books to Look For, Books, Films, Coming Attractions, and Curiosities. Here and there I see an ad, a cartoon or a poem. Yes, this is the same familiar magazine, but thicker and heavier.

Rather than attempting to read and review every story and novella in the magazine, I have selected two of each that stand out in my mind.

Novellas

“The Art of the Dragon”, by Sean McMullen

I have always loved dragons, especially the one in that movie with Sean Connery as the dragon’s voice. That having been said, I opened this story with high expectations. I found a story about art that happened to have a dragon in it, but I was not disappointed. This fast-paced tale has plenty of action and plenty of ideas to digest. It kept me thinking long after the last word reached through my eyes and into my brain.

“A Token of a Better Age”, by Melinda M. Snodgrass

This jewel of a story really sparked my interest. The title alone drew me in, and soon I found myself immersed in a magical world where my favorite mythical creature – the dragon, of course – ravages the countryside. In a dungeon in ancient Rome, two condemned men share the stories of their lives. The Centurion and the Patrician both hope to survive the arena and walk out free men, but both know that their hope is as thin as a veil of gossamer.

Short Stories

“You Are Such a One”, by Nancy Springer

I’ve already read and heard enough stories about middle-aged, menopausal women, and yet this story does have something to offer. I just can’t get past the cliché opening.

“Hunchster”, by Matthew Hughes

This little gem of a story revolves around a poker game and a kid with Asperger’s syndrome (a fancy term for something like the middle ground between autism and hyperactivity ). The moral of the story is that crime doesn’t pay, but it is presented in a fresh and interesting way.

~~~

Overall, F&SF stands out for its high quality of writing and editing. It is well worth the price of a subscription.

~~~

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fans of Sue Grafton Will Love The Man Without a Past!

Most of my readers, as is to be expected, want to see more science fiction from me. That having been said, I do write other genres, including horror, humor, poetry and nonfiction. My most recent effort is a murder mystery in the tradition of (and inspired by) Sue Grafton.

Let me tell you, a murder mystery is difficult to write. Readers demand a coherent plot with enough clues to figure it out, but not such obvious clues that they figure it out too soon. And even if they don't figure it out, when they get to the end they should say, "Of course he or she did it! It all makes sense now."

Well, when I came to the end of writing The Man Without a Past, several of the characters stood up and shouted at me that I had pinned the murder on the wrong suspect. I had to start all over, from the beginning, and pin it on the right suspect. I wrote this novel forward, inside out and backward. It was a labor of love, but a Herculean labor, nonetheless.

Set partly in southern California and partly in Colorado, this murder mystery sends Lavinia "Livvy" Stout on a nightmarish quest for the solution to a puzzle. First, who was murdered? Second, who did it and why?

Please click on the link to my Amazon store in the right-hand column of this page and check out The Man Without a Past.

Thank you so much!

~~ Tessa Dick
~~~

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

On Writing a Murder Mystery

Writing a mystery is difficult. Writing a murder mystery is doubly difficult.

A mystery must contain clues that logically lead to the ending, but that do not give it away too quickly. I had to go over my novel, The Man Without a Past, at least a dozen times, forward and backward, again and again. And when I had finished, the characters started yelling at me that I had pinned the murder on the wrong suspect, so I had to start all over and pin it on the right suspect.

Since it's a murder mystery, I had to kill off one of the characters. That, for me, is even more difficult than salting the tale with clues. I love all of my characters, even the bad guys. But somebody had to die, and then I had to identify the murderer.

The result is a tale of intrigue with twists and turns leading to a surprise ending.

Lavinia Stout never would have taken the job, if she had known that it involved murder. Even worse, it involved travel, so she had to board her beloved cat Tuffy at the veterinarian's office while she went to Denver, Colorado, to investigate. She hated leaving her mountain home, even for her daily commute to work.

She had a little storefront in San Bernardino, California, where she gave phony psychic readings. Lavinia kept her private investigator's license current so she could help clients who suspected their spouses of cheating on them, and so she could do just enough research on her clients to make her psychic readings seem genuine.

When an old flame visited her one October morning, her first instinct was to turn down the job. But since it was merely a background check on some of his employees, she thought that it would be easy. She could hand it off to her partner and bring in a little cash. She should have turned him down flat.

Just click on the banner in the right-hand column to visit my Amazon store, where you can buy The Man Without a Past and some other great books!

~~ Tessa B. Dick
~~~

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Read the Novel that Lost the Contest

My murder mystery, The Man Without a Past, didn't even get past the first round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. In that round, all they read was the pitch. I guess that I'm not very good at writing a pitch. In round two, they would have read the first chapter, and then my novel might have had a good chance of getting to round three. Oh, well, it's over and done with.

If Lavinia Stout had known that a simple background check on some employees of a mining company would lead to murder, she would have turned the job down flat. Her former flame, Mark Bell, had a lot of nerve asking her for any favors, but she thought that she could hand off the task to her assistant and make a few bucks. She couldn't have been more wrong.

I can't enter it for the Philip K. Dick Award because it isn't science fiction.

So now you can buy this novel at Amazon. Everybody loves a mystery, right?

If you search Amazon for "tessa dick", this novel will probably be at the top of page two of the search results, but it might be at the bottom of page one. For some reason, Amazon keeps listing some of Phil's books on the first page of search results for my name. Go figure.

It's a good book, as good as any that I ever have written.

~~~

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Readers are everything

Writing is a solitary task, but not the way you think. We need quiet and solitude, but we are never lonely. Millions of people from all over the world sit in the room with us and look over our shoulders.

When writers put pen to paper, or set fingers down on the keyboard, we are communicating with our readers. The disconnect in terms of time and distance becomes meaningless as we reach out to what we hope will be millions of readers. We might imagine a single reader -- a favorite teacher, a relative or a fellow writer -- but we are speaking to every person in the scramble suit that Bob Arctor puts on when he becomes Fred in A Scanner Darkly. We are speaking to the young, the old and the yet to be born.

In a sense we are speaking to the dead, as Glen Runciter speaks to his deceased wife Ella in UBIK, putting on the headphones connected to the glass box where she is kept in cryogenic storage.

Most of us never achieve fame or fortune, but we write because we have readers. Otherwise, the words would simply be waste of ink and paper. Or bandwidth, in the case of this blog.

So please keep reading, so we can keep writing.

~~~