Archive for the ‘dystopian’ Tag

Now Available as 2-Book Series   Leave a comment

Two Cover MontageTransformation Project (Books 1 & 2). You can now purchase Life As We Knew It and Objects in View for $5.98

Life As We Knew It

Chaos changes everything!

Shane Delaney, a burned-out mercenary with a troubled past, returns home to small-town Kansas to heal his scars and quiet his demons, not planning to stay long enough for the townsfolk to reject who he has become.
He never expected the town to need his deadlier skills.

When a terrorist attack on distant cities abruptly transforms life as they knew it, the people of Emmaus must forge their own disaster plan to survive.

What would you do if the world as you know it ended today?

The people of Emmaus will find out.

 

Two Cover MontageObjects in View

Thirty million people died in the initial attacks. How will the survivors live in the aftermath?

The rain passes and the people of Emmaus emerge to find the world looks much the same as when they hid behind concrete.

Then reality sets in.

Death crept in while they hid. Signs of returning normality offer hope, but the transformation of the United States is underway and electricity and food supplies are the least of their problems.

If your world suddenly spun out of control, where would you go?

Interview with Kyle Perkins   10 comments

Today’s interview is with Kyle Perkins. Welcome to the blog. I found you on Twitter, liked your posts and invited you to interview with me. Tell us something about yourself.

Kyle PerkinsI am Kyle Perkins, author of Reddened Wasteland, Teabreeze, and a few others. I am from Florida, I am a fan of sarcasm, dogs, and anything computer related.

 

At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I never wanted to be a writer growing up. I actually despised writing and saw it as a punishment. Later in life though, I was bored in between waiting for new games to come out that I wanted to play, so I joined a couple text-based role playing groups based around some of my favorite games. It was there that I learned to love writing, and where other people started loving my work.

 

I always loved text-based games. Of course, I’m old enough to remember when most games were text-based. I was pleased to see when they started coming back. Tell us about your writing process.

My process is a never-ending stream of coffee, electronic music, and staring into the abyss that is Microsoft Word.

 

What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

Dystopian, but I write anything under the speculative fiction banner.

 

What are you passionate about?

This community! I love the indie community, the readers and authors. I take this all very seriously and it is in no way “just a hobby” to me.

 

What is something you cannot live without?

Reddened Wasteland by [Perkins, Kyle]Wifi.

 

Who could? When you are not writing, what do you do?

Usually, fix other people’s computers. There are very few moments when I’m not writing.

 

Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?

 

Reddened Wasteland. It transformed me into an author. =)

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

I have ADHD really bad and constantly find myself daydreaming when I should be doing something else. It’s always been something that has hindered me, until now. Now these daydreams go right into a folder and become books.

 

Lemons into lemonade. I like it. What sort of research do you do for your novels?

Bait, Brutes, and Bullets: Tales from New Biloxi by [Perkins, Kyle, Vale, Lila]Most of my books contain some elements of scifi, so my research happened long before writing books. I am constantly reading about new scientific discoveries and theories. From space travel to number theory. Plus, the copious amount of video games, movies, tv shows, etc that I have been through, I have an unlimited well of source material.

 

If someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?

I’d say it’s meant to be read by people that are 18+, and that every book is a new adventure filled with laughs, even though they are meant to be serious.

 

Do you have a special place where you write?

I have a special writing cave, full of wifi and snacks.

 

Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?

Well, all of my books occur within the same multiverse. They all have Easter eggs in them if you pay close enough attention.

 

Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?

Bait, Brutes, and Bullets: Tales from New Biloxi by [Perkins, Kyle, Vale, Lila]Both. I develop strong characters, but having an awesome plot to stick these guys in is essential.

 

Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer?  Why?

I usually have a general plot(daydream) that outlines the story, then I just start writing and wing it until the end.

 

What point of view do you prefer to write, and why?

I can write from either, and have books from 3rd and 1st.

 

Do you head-hop?

No.

 

 

I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

Does Alaska have mosquitos? Lol. I’d probably just bring my laptop so that I can write, free from distractions. If anything, you did me a favor.

 

Talk about your books individually.

 

Teabreeze: Part one. (Teabreeze Serial Book 1) by [Perkins, Kyle, Vale,Lila]Reddened Wasteland– It’s a book set on Mars in the near future. It’s about a dystopian government oppressing its people under a dome, and the resistance taking it to them.

 

Monte– Trying to keep this PG, but it’s about an incubus, I’ll say no more. Lol.

 

Ecta: The Divide– A steampunkish city floating above a fantasy medieval world. The two trying to find a common ground.

 

Bait, Brutes, and Bullets– It’s about Biloxi, set in a near future where the apocalypse has already come. The oceans have risen, and domes constructed around cities. Biloxi is now a haven to crime, and Harvey is a casino boss trying to find something from the swamp folk to give him an edge over the competition.

 

Teabreeze– The story is about a cult in the backwoods of Florida, and a man trying to save his girlfriend from their spell.

 

Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

Stories of triumph, love, and redemption.

 

What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

I hope they just think “wow.”

 

 

You are a self-published independent author. What influenced your decision to self-publish?

Well, big publishers weren’t beating down my door. So, I just put out books and wait for them to notice. Someday I want to be a household name.

 

 

Well, there are now some indie authors who are household names, so it’s possible. There are people believe that traditional publishing is on the ropes, that self-publishing is the future. Do you agree? Why?

I don’t agree. I think they both offer their own unique experience, and neither is going anywhere.

 

 

What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishng?

Meeting fans and connecting to them on a personal level.

 

Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?

Movie deals. lol

 

That might be a little harder, yeah. With the number of self-published books increasing by such a huge rate, it is really difficult for authors to make their books stand out. How do you go about this?

I try to stand out by not being more of the same. I make my stories unique, something you can’t find anywhere else. While I have found that a lot of books are just the same general stories with different covers, mine are all products of my own imagination and experiences to guarantee you can’t find stories like it.

 

Those are the best kind. Who designed your book cover/s?

Lila Vale.

 

Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?

Of course. All writers have a gift, and a talent for storytelling. Our books can be just as good if we take our time making a unique experience and not just pumping out filth for the sake of sales.

 

 

Do you belong to a writer’s cooperative? Describe your experience with that.

 No.

 

You can find Kyle’s books on Amazon and I found Kyle on Twitter. He also has a website.

Taste Treat # 3 of Objects In View   Leave a comment

In my ongoing attempt to whet your appetite for my next published book, here’s a little tidbit of what you’ll find inside.

 

Objects in View Front CoverMike Biurrarena y Sanchez forced his fingers to release from the webbing as other soldiers began to grab their gear and file toward the back of the plane where the tail door would soon drop.

Ridiculous that flying still made him nervous. How many flights had he taken? He shouldered his pack and slung his AR-15. Warm air rushed into his face as he followed other men downward.

Men with wands waited at the bottom of the ramp. Mike didn’t recognize the equipment, but the odd clicking noises reminded him of Geiger counters. There’d been rumors in the air that something “big” was happening, but the details had been sketchy when the cell phone coverage cut out.

Nuclear? Dios mio!

The day’s heat still radiated off the tarmac while a huge tow truck pulled a passenger jumbo toward the far end of the terminal where the runway lights illuminated a string of passenger jets parked wingtip to wingtip in what was usually a no-man’s security area.

“Sanchez, Vasquez, Carlson, with me.”

Mike recognized Crispin, who was already surrounded by a dozen black-clothed men with duffels resting at their feet and various semi-auto rifles slung over their backs. Crispin had been the CO on two of his last three assignments. A competent leader, ex-Special Forces, given to ironic jokes that Mike usually didn’t get until Ric laughed. He’d have to pay closer attention without Ric to be the smart one.

“Men, thank you for getting on that plane. Do you know what is going on?”

They didn’t, really. They’d sat on the tarmac of a backwater airfield forever before they’d been given the scramble order, but no reason had been given for any of it.  The cell phone chatter had been suppressed early in the flight. Crispin sighed then stood a little straighter.

“At precisely 7 pm Eastern Standard Time, terrorists struck an as-yet-undetermined number of US cities with low-tech nuclear weapons.” He let that sink in a moment. Everyone looked stunned. “I know many of you have families and friends to be concerned about, but we have a mission to accomplish. I only know that Denver and Kansas City were hit. There are others, but the information is sketchy right now. Our job here in Wichita is to maintain order and protect the governor, who is relocating here because Topeka is considered too close to Kansas City. As soon as we can get communications channels cleared, we will let you call your families.”

Mike remembered to take a breath. A memory of Ric saying “Don’t be near any big cities on Wednesday” surfaced. How had he known?

 

Watch for the book launch October 4 or you can preorder right now.

Taste Treat #2 for “Objects in View”   1 comment

This is to give you an opportunity to peek at what’s inside my latest book Objects in View, which is the second book in the Transformation Project series.

 

New York City, Columbus Circle

Wednesday Evening

Objects in View Front CoverThe lights of New York dazzled.

Katherine Sullivan paused for a last look around Columbus Circle before stepping into Robert, the restaurant. The sun wasn’t down yet, so the lights were not at their brightest, but she wanted to eat before she went to a concert on Carnegie Hall.

I hate doing this all on my own. Joseph should be here.

As the hostess showed her to a table, she tried to remind herself that Joseph had promised …  promised  … to be here tomorrow night. He was doing a good fatherly thing in taking their daughter to the doctor tomorrow morning. It had been a miserable three months for Allison stuck in a brace and Joseph did not want her to have to wait longer. That they had planned this trip six months ago did not mean he was choosing their daughter over his wife. Katherine knew, but it was hard to reconcile her solitariness with her knowledge.

She ordered the watercress soup and duck breast with snow peas and a single glass of Pinot Grigio, feeling quite decedent to be drinking before the sun was down. She reasoned that it would be dark before she left. There was a delicious pleasure in knowing that tongues would be wagging in Emmaus if she drank wine in public before 5 o’clock.

Sirens swept by the corner. Hardly anyone in the restaurant seemed to notice at first. Katherine remembered what it had been like when she lived in a big city. The sirens were background noise, like birdsong in Emmaus. Few noticed and fewer cared.

If Joseph is here on Friday, maybe he’d agree to the Roof Garden at the Met. Oh, I do hope Ren hasn’t delayed him. What does Ren care that Joseph had plans? We’re all just serfs to the great Ren Sullivan.

Her phone beeped.

I’m thinking of you. Have some bomboloni. J

She had planned to finish the pasta, but Joseph was right. She deserved a treat for being a good sport. Katherine waved the waiter down and asked for a coffee to go and bomboloni.

Great idea. I did it. Miss you.

When she hit SEND, the phone spun for a few seconds and then announced “No Signal.”

That’s odd. Well, probably just a glitch. I’ll try again in a few minutes.

Katherine thanked the waiter for the check, gave him a generous tip and gathered her things to set out for Carnegie. The lights from the sirens were still flickering over by the park. There seemed to be a lot of them.

Hopefully, it won’t affect the concert.

She stepped out of the entrance. From the corner of her eye, she saw a blue uniform move abruptly in her direction. A gun barrel filled her view and a loud male voice ordered her to the pavement. Terrified, she obeyed, but apparently not quick enough because rough hands shoved her face forward into the coffee-splashed concrete.

“Don’t move. Stay down.” She turned her head so she could breathe and saw that people all up and down the sidewalk lay prone with uniformed cops pointing guns at their heads.

My god, what is happening?

Above her, the lights of New York were in full brightness, but Katherine no longer noticed.

 

The book is available on preorder now and will debut October 4.

Christian Dystopia   Leave a comment

A friend of mine from high school (so, yes, she knows my real name) asked me why I’m writing dystopian fiction when I have this really cool fantasy series that she would prefer I write the next book to.

I could simply point out that my apocalyptic dystopian novel Life As We Knew It sells better than the fantasy, but I guess it goes a little deeper than that shallow capitalistic motive. Dystopian themes have been a part of our popular cultural for a long time. Stories about crumbling governments, pandemics, plagues, and looming apocalypses man made, alien and artificial intelligence, cycle through our collective psyches with startling regularity. George Orwell’s 1984, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Logan’s Run, Blade Runner, or Terminator, Americans seem fixated on the disaster at the end of our current mess. We always have been, but it may be getting worse as our culture and economy seem to be in spasm right now.

Front Cover LAWKI no windowEnd of the world as we know it themes do not all neatly into the category of dystopia, though they share the view of the future as a bleak place. Why are dystopian themes so compelling that we keep returning to them? My friend says she prefers my fantasy series because she just knows it will have a rosy ending. Epic fantasies are somewhat required to have upbeat endings, but I might not be so compliant, but she does have a point. Wouldn’t we rather envision a utopia where the world is lovely, clean and survivable? Yeah, but that wouldn’t be reality.

Utopianism grew out of modernity — the belief that technology and human ingenuity can build a better world. Industrialization led us to believe we could harness the better angels of our nature — conquer disease, aging, poverty, etc. That didn’t last long. Several world wars, genocides, natural disasters, governmental collapses and overthrows, overcrowded jails and over-medicated masses — reality sort of T-boned utopia. Then we looked good and hard at ourselves in the mirror and realized human beings aren’t capable of utopia. God gave us paradise once and we rejected it. Dystopia is our default position.

Yeah, I know, I’m a downer Debbie, but I’m also being realistic about human kind. and I’m drawing that vision from a Biblical worldview Manmade utopia is simply not possible and a dystopian future is far more realistic.

The Bible does not paint a rosy picture for mankind. Jesus warned about natural and cosmological catastrophes, plagues, and times of great deception. John the Apostle gave his own violent account of the end of the age, Scripture makes it clear that things will get worse before they get better. Yeah, we can make peace accords, invent new technology and develop wonderful therapeautic techniques, but Armageddon is still going to happen. Shangri la not found in the Bible. Christians read that our best efforts are going to put us in an arena, pitted against God, nature and, each other. We can try to deny it, but that’s reality.

Why?

Because man is broken and you can’t correct our damage with moral or technological enhancements. We are not inherently good and utopia is not in our future. History and personal experience have repeatedly shown us that, left to our devices, Man fails. Dystopian fictoin is an admission of the basic depravity of mankind. Everything we touch rots and the more we fiddle with it, the faster it decomposes.

Objects in View Front CoverSo why are we surprised that a society that grew out of a Judeo-Chrisian background is now coming to a creeping realization that we are broken and that things are only going to get worse? We see something in a screw up future that is familiar because we know ourselves and instinctively we know we’re going to blow it all to hell.

The dystopian trend is an affirmation of a Christian worldview which admits that no earthly power can save us from ourselves. In popular culture, dystopia runs over utopia because some truths are obvious, and the depravity of mankind is too obvious not to become the subject of any thinking novelist in reflection of our cultural corruption.

Objects in View continues the story of a small town coping in the aftermath of a nation-wide terrorist attack. Watch for it October 4 and it is on pre-order now.

Sale SALE Sale   2 comments

Front Cover LAWKI no windowShe’s on Kindle Countdown July 18-24. Only 99 cents. Read the first book before the second one comes out.

Life As We Knew It

Hey, United Kingdom!   2 comments

Front Cover LAWKI no windowLife As We Knew It is on Kindle Countdown this week in the UK only!

#kindle #SFRTG #dystopian #readers #books #sale

Posted May 28, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in book promotion

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On Killing A Society   2 comments

Writers spend a lot of time thinking about how to bump people off. Writers of dystopian fiction place that on a grander scale — figuring out how to kill the world as we know it.

Murder of individuals comes in many varieties. There’s the proverbial blunt object, a push off a cliff, the brake line “malfunction”. Murder of societies comes in varieties as well – nuclear holocaust, alien invasion, economic collapse. There are many ways to murder because depravity comes in many designs.

I remember reading a novel where a trusted spouse slowly poisoned her previously hale husband. Nobody suspected poison as the victim slowly withered and when eventually consumed, an unsuspecting coroner closed the case, listing the official cause of death as a long illness. The story in the book surrounded his niece asking questions and exposing the homicide.

In Life As We Knew It, I described the mortal wounding of America by nuclear terrorism. I don’t actually believe and therefore would not find it believable that there are foreign terrorists just planning to destroy the country for no reason. My brain keeps circling that central fact. Why would this happen? And I settled in part on poison because I see evidence for that in the world in which we live. You always wrap fiction round a grain of reality.

Fact. In its prime, the United States of America met every challenge. The Civil War devastated large parts of the nation and sucked the national soul dry, but America rebuilt into the world’s most prosperous economy, providing opportunities and better lives for millions. It was the sort of place where my great-grandpa Elmer could come from Ireland flat-broke, dodge the Civil War draft, and build a small fortune as a businessman afterward. It was a place where my husband’s great-grandfather Leo could also come from Ireland, get turned away from Ellis Island, go into Nova Scotia and enter the United States more or less illegally through the St. Lawrence smuggler’s boat and 20 years later be mayor of a New England town and a prosperous farmer. Full of ambition and energy, America became an industrial powerhouse powered by innovation that coined the terms “work ethic” and its derivatives “consumer,” and “middle class.”

Like the husband above, we drank deeply from life and enjoyed it immensely.

Then a generation arose that saw exuberance and activity as a negative. Theodore Roosevelt claimed that peace and prosperity were actually signs of incapacitation. We really needed to be involved in world affairs to be a truly grownup nation. JP Morgan and a host of well-bred businessmen insisted that America needed a central bank, elastic money, and an income tax in order to be fiscal sound. Woodrow Wilson said that the people shouldn’t have to worry our pretty little heads about governance. We could just let the “experts” handle it and go enjoy our lives. The administrative state could handle it all and Congress need not even be bothered by the mundane tasks of oversight. And while he was at it, we needed to involve ourselves in a European war. If someone disagreed with his diagnosis that the country needed these things, he threw them in jail.

The government refused to accept that the world’s healthiest and most robust economy could recover from the Depression of 1929 on its own, so Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt imposed higher taxes, deficit spending, unprecedented expansion of the regulatory state and crony capitalism, creating the Great Depression. Nowhere else in the industrialized world (Germany excepted) did the Depression of 1929 last longer than 18 months, because — for the most part — other countries allowed the economy to recover on its own, but the United States swallowed the elixir of Keynesian economic quackery, so suffered for 12 years.

World War 2 required still higher taxes, more debt and the government’s centralized control of the economy. In the 1950s and forward, every economic hiccup had to be tended to by our care-giving government, now grown to preeminent empire following the deadliest war in history. People called for a return of peace and prosperity, but the Military Industrial Complex and the intelligence-gathering arm of the government couldn’t allow that. We were told we needed continuous intervention around the globe and growing surveillance at home to keep us safe and “healthy.”

The vitality, risk-taking, ingenuity, individuality, integrity, and innovation that powered American greatness has been replaced with a desire for comfort, safety, and security without effort. There is no longer a connection between what we produce and what we receive. The dwindling few who work are duty-bound to support the rest of us. Coerced altruism is the requirement of the day according to the government, media, and academia.

Freedom is now seen as a danger to our society. More taxes, more regulation, more intrusion are seen as signs of health. We’re expected to give up our notions of honor and decency, control of our lives, our children’s educations, and anything else we cherish. We should care more about what we stare at on electronic screens than what we believe in our hearts to be true. Just do what the government says and everything will be great.

It’s hard to know when that last dose of poison will be administered. The country was already staggering when George W. Bush was president. President Obama may represent the fatal dose. Maybe the current election cycle madness is a symptom of collective insanity brought on by a century of political poison. It appears the patient realizes what is about to befall us, but do we have the strength to push the dram away?

With every election, government promises to change the dose of our poison by some degree or another, perhaps to prolong our death a little longer. And every time for decades now, we have fallen for that promise, never seeming to realize that we are ingesting poison.

This nation was born from a revolution for its freedom that initiated a dramatic experiment in representative and limited government, the protection of individual rights, and equality before the law. Yes, it took us a while to eliminate slavery and give women a voice, and for the economy to reach a point where the Industrial Revolution’s explosion of innovation and progress could free people from the drudgery of poverty, but the fact is we overcame those obstacles on our own, without the government’s all-caring, all-powerful strength. The government was small and incapable back when America was healthy and strong. In fact, those long ago Americans would have found such a government as we have today to be malignant and loathsome.

In my book, Americans don’t wake up soon enough, but here in the real world, it may not be too late. There are obvious stirrings against our oppressors. The Tea Party was a recognition by some of us that the government is poisoning us. Occupy Wallstreet was a glimmering that our economy is controlled by someone other than ourselves. Most people in the United States don’t realize we’re being poisoned and they certainly would be amazed to discover that the government is the poisoner, but we’re not dead yet either.

Some of us are waking up earlier than the rest and are sounding the alarm. Maybe it’s not too late. Waking up means realizing there is a big job ahead of us to clean up the mess we created, but it’s not beyond our powers to correct course … if we’re willing.

 

Implications of Deep Learning   Leave a comment

I read this highly supportive article on AI and “deep learning” that enthuses about how machines are going to replace human beings in pretty much every job, so we ought to restructure our societies so that people have an income without needing to work … and that’s a good thing.

I beg to differ.

So what else is new, right?

I’m not saying this future won’t come to pass, but I don’t foresee a utopia growing from it. I foresee a dystopia and wish Ray Bradbury were still around to write about it.

Human beings without work are hopeless and troublemakers.

This is more than my opinion. In Genesis, we read God’s creation of human beings and what He tasked His creation with.

The Lord God took the man and placed him in the orchard in. Eden to care for it and to maintain it. Genesis 2:15

We human beings were made in the image of God and God works. He creates, He tends, He has tasks and concerns and plans for our future. God Himself exists outside of time and the material world, so He doesn’t need an income. He does apparently enjoy work, else He wouldn’t do it.

It’s not surprising then that He tasked the creation made in His image with a job. Adam and Eve lived in idyllic garden where food was easy to get, but they still had to tend the garden and gather the food. When they disobeyed, God disciplined them by making their work harder. Why? Because He knew they were made in His image, that work was part of their DNA and that making it harder would be a true cost for their disobedience.

So now we’re told that we won’t need to work. We can sit around and contemplate our navels and not have to worry about feeding ourselves. Won’t that be lovely?

No, it won’t be. Maybe it will be workable for people like me who would still create (which is work), but the vast majority of humankind are not able to do that and no matter how much time they have on their hands, they won’t become creatives.Ever been bored?

Ever been bored? Ever had time on your hands and no way to distract yourself? Has that ever lasted for months?

In 2 Samuel 11, we read that King David (a man after God’s own heart) was bored. He didn’t go out with the army to fight the Philistines. He stayed in the city and rested. And while he was enjoying the benefits of not having to work, he saw Bathsheba, lusted for her, had sex with her and got her pregnant with his child, which required a coverup that resulted in the murder of her husband. God disciplined him – first, Nathan confronted him and forced him to name his own punishment, then his child with Bathsheba died. In all, David would lose four children because of his disobedience. But my point actually can be found in 2 Samuel 13 when we see that David went back out into the field. He had apparently learned his lesson about the danger of boredom.

No widow should be put on the list unless she is at least sixty years old, was the wife of one husband,  and has a reputation for good works: as one who has raised childrenpracticed hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, helped those in distress – as one who has exhibited all kinds of good works. But do not accept younger widows on the list, because their passions may lead them away from Christ and they will desire to marryand so incur judgment for breaking their former pledge. And besides that, going around from house to house they learn to be lazyand they are not only lazy, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things they should not. So I want younger women to marry, raise children, and manage a household, in order to give the adversary no opportunity to vilify us. 1 Timothy 5:9-14

Paul had been a scholar, but in his day, scholars worked for a living. He offered advice to several churches about the dangers of idleness.

For you know yourselves how you must imitate us because we did not behave without discipline among you, and we did not eat anyone’s food without paying. Instead, in toil and drudgery we worked night and day in order not to burden any of you. 3:9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give ourselves as an example for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we used to give you this command: “If anyone is not willing to work,neither should he eat.” For we hear that some among you are living an undisciplined life,  not doing their own work but meddling in the work of others. Now, such people, we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ, to work quietly and so provide their own food to eat. But you,brothers and sistersdo not grow weary in doing what is right. But if anyone does not obey our message through this letter, take note of him and do not associate closely with him, so that he may be ashamed.Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 2 Thessalonians 3:8-15

Here in Alaska, winters are a time of idleness for many. Especially in the villages, there is no work. Between welfare and Native corporation dividends, many villagers do not have to work other than to haul water and fire wood and with diesel fired heaters, not even much of that anymore. Alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual assault, and child abuse are all endemic, as is suicide. Kids in the villages say they feel hopeless. There’s nowhere to go, there’s nothing to do. We try to blame it on poverty. If we just gave them more money, community power sources, running water, the Internet …. They already have those things and they are still killing themselves and the ones who survive say they have no hope for the future because ….

Work gives us purpose and structure to our lives, but also it is a creative process that even non-artists can participate in. Brad, my electrician husband, loves to drive by a building he helped wired. He gets the same feeling I do when I see my books in print. When he’s not working (and he really likes time off), he’s working around our house or out on our cabin site. We choose for him to do that for financial reasons, but when I told him the day was coming when AIs could do the work for him and he could just watch, he rejected the notion outright. “Do you think an AI could write a book as good as you do?” he asked.

I think an AI could be better at grammar than I am, but I seriously doubt the story would have the same depth and human content. I believe an AI could paint a painting that technically would be as good as anything a hman artist could paint, but the AI would miss something indefinably human, creating a banal painting rather than a work of art.

“I feel the same way about my work. Even as I grind my teeth about my mistakes, it is the imperfections that provde character to the cabin. You miss that in mass production and that is really what AI produces. Besides, I start drinking when I get bored, remember?”

If I were writing a fictional book about this utopian vision of a world without work, I would write a dystopian where gangs of people would use their idleness to destroy and subjugate the creatives and where a shadow economy would grow up where people who were tired of idleness began to engage in business and attracted the ire of the government.

Yeah, that might need to be a development project.

 

The End Is Not Near   Leave a comment

I thoroughly agree with this. In my book Life as We Knew It, it takes a nuclear attack to bring us to crisis, but in reality, the weight of our own empire is going to eventually tear us apart … and that’s not a bad thing in the long run. Alaska would certainly be better off if it wasn’t a pretend state of the United States. We’re told we’re not a colony, but we’re not allowed to grow an economy, we have to ask permission of the mother country to sell our resources and we aren’t allowed to pursue our own interests. I’m sure other states feel the same way. Lela

 

The End is Not Near, It has Begun
By Jack Perry
April 15, 2016

I’ve gotten some emails from folks asking my opinion on “How’s it all going to end?” As in, what major crisis is going to finally cause the American Giant to fall down and go boom? Guess what? There won’t be a major crisis that does it. It’s going to be a slow cascade reaction of crisis and disasters. What’s more, it has already begun. We’ve already seen several of these disasters. More are on the way. The end has begun and is upon us.

Source: The End Is Not Near

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