Good aliens or bad aliens?

“Childhood’s End”, based on one of Arthur C. Clarke’s best novels, is coming to the SYFY television network on December 14, 2015.  But are the visitors good aliens or bad aliens?

In the movie “Independence Day”, the world’s largest cities are visited by huge spaceships.  No one knows whether they are good aliens or bad aliens.  Of course, everyone knows they will find out soon enough.  The movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still” depicts an alien visit with a particularly now-famous robot.  Good alien or bad alien?

In “The Last Mimzy”, children are affected by very advanced toys.  Are the toys provided by aliens or someone else?  Are they good or bad?  In the movie “2001”, a strange obelisk appears at multiple times on Earth and in space.  Is it alien?  Are they good aliens or bad aliens?

“Remorse Above Enceladus” in my new science fiction anthology, “Science Fiction: Time Travel and Robots 2”, involves the sudden arrival of aliens.  Are they good aliens or bad aliens?

Good aliens or bad aliens?  So often in science fiction, when aliens or some unknown forces are involved, this is the question.  I, for one, am very excited to find out whether the aliens in “Childhood’s End” are good aliens or bad aliens.  Of course, if you read the book, you probably think you already know the answer.  But television and movies have been known to change the ending of a book.  I don’t know if that has been done here or not.  So I’ll be wondering right from the start, good aliens or bad aliens?

“Science Fiction: Genetics”

See Amazon.com for “Science Fiction: Genetics”.  This is my first genetics-related anthology of my stories.  I enjoy following advances in genetic and epigenetic research, so I’m sure I will write more of these.

“You Can Choose Your Parents” refutes the notion that you can’t choose your parents.  “Liar” examines the life of a young woman who visits a Lie Bar.  “The Library of Pain” probes a psychologist’s patient who has issues with pain.  In “It’s in the Stars” we meet a couple who wonder if fame will be in the stars for their children.  “My Brother’s Keeper” is a clone mystery that takes place on Mars.

Versions for Smashwords.com, including a variety of formats for various distributors,  of “Science Fiction: Genetics” and “Science Fiction: Time Travel and Robots 2” coming next.

GeneticsCover_ForAmazonKindle

“Science Fiction: Time Travel and Robots 2” by Richard S. Levine

Thank you to all my readers who have enjoyed “Science Fiction: Time Travel” or “Science Fiction: Robots & Cyborgs”!  I’ve been so pleased with the response to these e-book anthologies that I decided to publish a volume 2 entitled “Science Fiction: Time Travel and Robots 2”.  It is now available on Amazon.com.

Each story relates to some form of time travel, robots, or cyborgs.  “The Time of Your Life” makes a life and death game out of time travel.  “Oddly Perfect” examines math and time in multiple dimensions.  “RemoteDoc” describes a possible future for surgeons, In “Remorse above Enceladus” a robot space cowboy probes a new feeling, and “A Penny for your Thoughts” presents a futuristic social network.

Next, I will make this available on Smashwords for other reading devices and formats.  Also, “Science Fiction: Genetics” is in the works.

TimeTravelandRobotsTooCover_ForAmazonKindle

 

 

 

Pandora – making virtual reality real

Avatar’s Pandora is coming to Disneyworld’s Animal Kingdom by 2017.  That’s a pretty strong vote for 3D environments and their influence.

Universal Studios has already tried this to some extent, recreating a Jurassic Park environment in their theme park, and more recently the streets and buildings of the Harry Potter stories.  But Pandora is a totally made up world, and it does not exist on Earth at all.  Perhaps Disney’s Star Tours ride, Universal’s Simpson’s ride, and others are more along those lines, unless Harry Potter actually transports to another world when he goes to school.  In any case, they are all fantasy rides with some having elements of science fiction.

With Hololens, Oculus Rift, and Magic Leap — among others — upping the ante for virtual world experiences, is it any wonder Disney wants to get into the game by making virtual reality real?  I wonder how long it will be before you can go to a theme park and then put on your Hololens or Magic Leap headsets to enhance your experience as you walk through worlds like Pandora, Jurassic Park, Alice in Wonderland, Mars, and so many other interesting places of fantasy, science, and science fiction.

If you’d like to experience science fiction the old fashioned way, I have several e-book anthologies of my works you might like.

Trip to India, Singapore, and Cambodia

I recently returned from an amazing journey to India, Singapore, and Cambodia.  Besides the fact that these are fascinating countries to visit, they are also places that inspire imagination and creativity.

As with any trip half way round the world, I was tired — exhausted — when I returned after the long flights.  But now that I have caught up on sleep and chores, I am feeling a renewed inspiration for writing speculative fiction.

In India, I visited the World Heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora Caves.  Ajanta is a number of Buddhist man made caves with the art still visible in some of them after almost 2,000 years.  An expert guide is necessary to fully appreciate the stories that are on the walls of these caves.

North of Aurangabad, India, Ajanta Caves is a World Heritage site, but really a wonder of the world.
North of Aurangabad, India, Ajanta Caves is a World Heritage site, but really a wonder of the world.

Ellora is made up of Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain temples that are over 1,000 years old and created in an atmosphere of harmony between the religions.  Cave 16 is said to be the largest megalith — made from a single rock — temple in the world.  This exists within the Deccan Traps region of India, a volcanic region so large that it is now thought that this area millions of years ago contributed, along with the well-known Chicxulub impact, to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Cave 16 is an amazing megalith (made from a single rock) temple in India.
Cave 16 is an amazing megalith (made from a single rock) temple in India.

In Singapore, I visited Gardens by the Bay, perhaps the most spectacular indoor gardens I have seen.  The MRT (subway) is excellent and made it easy to get around in the city.

MRT in Singapore
The subway is very nice and easy to figure out how to ride.
Plants and trees from all over the world
A cooled environment makes this an excellent place to spend a hot afternoon in Singapore. The gardens are beautiful.
The Cloud Forest
There are all kinds of exotic plants in the Cloud Forest dome next to the Flower Dome.

Finally, Siem Reap, Cambodia is the location of the Angkor archaeological site, famously known as a wonder of the world and the place where the “Tomb Raider” movie was filmed.  It is hard to capture on camera, because there is also the heat and humidity, and the smell of the jungle.  It’s an intense experience, and well worth making the trip.

At Angkor Wat in Cambodia
40,000 elephants participated in the building of the Angkor Wat complex
In a Tuk Tuk
A Tuk Tuk is a good way to get around in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We got a driver and tuk tuk for the day to visit the Angkor temples. The open air and associated breezes enhanced the experience of being there.
Trees growing into the temple
The workers at Angkor have a tough job keeping the jungle from taking back some of the temples.