Tag Archives: science

Fluffy’s Revolution, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial! You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you interviews with characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and I’m reaching into the future to the year 2135, and my very special guest is Fluffy the cat. “Welcome to the show, Fluffy.”

“Thank you very much, Lisa! I’m not used to this kind of attention.”

“Does this mean cats eventually take over the world?”

“Oh no! We don’t want to take over anything. What do you think we are, humans? Well, let me start from the beginning. It’s kind of a long story. I’m what is called a GAB cat. That stands for Genetically Altered Brain. And it’s not just cats, it’s dogs, mice, and the occasional pig. See, way back in 2015, some scientists injected elements of human DNA into the brains of some unborn mice. When the mice were born, their brains were twelve percent larger than the normal mouse brain. Then, these same guys started also experimenting on cats, dogs, and pigs. What they didn’t anticipate was that, when two GAB animals mated, their offspring would come out exponentially smarter than their parents. Over many generations, our brains changed but our bodies didn’t, so we developed certain powers to compensate. Since our tongues and palates were the wrong shape to form words, we learned how to talk to each other telepathically. Since we didn’t have opposable thumbs to grasp objects, we developed the ability to move objects with our minds—telekinesis.”

“Cats, dogs, and mice are born in litters, so are there more out there like you?”

“Today, in 2135, about a third of all the mice, dogs and cats, and about an eighth of all the pigs on Earth are GABs. Since the world is controlled by three giant corporations, and just about all the jobs were taken by robots (hey, you fit right in, Lisa!), people were not happy. They were poor and hungry. So, the corporations gave them something to hate and fear—us! They started rounding up and exterminating us. I guess, like you, they were afraid we were going to take over the world. But we just wanted to make the world better. But now I’m getting ahead of myself.

“See, I spent the first five years of my life living with my dad—er—my human. His name is Professor James Riordan, a very smart and kind human. He brought me up, loved, and educated me, just like I was his real child. But I kept getting these psychic distress signals from my lost brother, Jack. He was the runt of the litter and never got adopted. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I just had to go out there and find him.”

“So, you left the comfort of your penthouse to try helping your brother. That’s a pretty noble act. Were the streets anything like you expected?”

“Well, my dad tried to talk me out of it. He told me what a terrible world it was out there, especially for GAB animals. But nothing could have prepared me for how scary it really was. I almost got sucked up by an Animal Control truck, almost got run over by a car, almost got eaten by a dog, jumped into the back of a truck, and wound up in a warehouse that was the hideout for a group of animal revolutionaries: a brilliant mouse named Hacker, his wife, Mitzi, a sweet dog named Fang—she turned out to be a girl dog—and a young boy cat named Tigger. They also had three human helpers: Rudy, Giuseppe, and Janet. Everybody was really nice, once I got them to trust me. I was very mad about all the exterminations, so I joined up with them.”

“So, they’re exterminating cute cuddly animals, including animals that are as intelligent as humans?”

“Afraid so, Lisa… Especially animals that are as intelligent as humans. So Hacker planned a raid on the big extermination center that was pretty nearby. Their plan was to free all the animals and then blow the place up, killing the people who worked in there, but I talked them out of that part. See, my dad taught me that humans are the most violent species on Earth, that we shouldn’t try to match them in violence, because we would lose. Instead, we decided to knock the people out with some stuff called Livion. Anyway, we managed to get all the animals out, and, guess what, I found Jack in the extermination chamber, about to be killed, and got him out too. Everything went according to plan until Janet decided on her own to blow the place up.”

“Who’s Janet again?”

“Janet was one of our human helpers, and it turned out that she harbored secrets that made our fur stand on end.”

“Where did you go?”

“Well, we loaded all the freed animals into big trucks and took them back to our hideout. The plan was to smuggle them and ourselves, disguised as robopets—Epsilon’s line of new robot animals, up into the mountains. See, I’d heard of a secret university up there for GABs called Animal U.”

“Why would a university be any safer than your hideout?”

“Because our hideout was right there in the city, and the cops and the Animal Control people and Epps and his minions had ways of detecting us in there. But no one knew about Animal U. It was hidden in a valley that wasn’t even on maps. Anyway, Janet blowing up the extermination center put the kibosh on our trip to the mountains. They closed in on us with killer drones, guns, and bombs. They blew the place to smithereens. Most of the animals were killed. Somehow, I and a few others were able to escape. Making my way on foot up into the mountains by myself was no picnic, I can tell you that. I was kidnapped by bad people and almost killed by coyotes, but somehow, I made it to Animal U. Amazingly, my dad was able to find me there and we were reunited.”

“Wait, the penthouse guy? Aww, he must really love his kitty to find you there.”

“Stop! I’m on the verge of purring. The professor has discovered a problem, and he hopes our genetically altered brains can help him find a solution. We hope so too because it could mean the end of the planet.”

“Oh, my gosh! What kind of dangers are you facing?”

“A killer asteroid is headed directly for Earth. We only have thirty days to come up with a solution or we’re all catnip.”

“I wish you all the luck possible, Fluffy, and I’m sure our listeners do too. Do you have any closing remarks for us today?”

“Yes. Remember, animals are your friends, people. Also, look both ways before crossing a road, stay away from mean dogs, mean people, and coyotes, and, most important: love trumps hate!”

“You can learn all about Fluffy and her friends by picking up the book, Fluffy’s Revolution, by Ted Myers. I’ll post all the deets on the website after we go off the air today.

“This program only runs when we have guests. I’m here for you authors out there, but I can’t keep going without guests, so let me hear from you.

“Please don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. I’m sure Ted and Fluffy would do it for you when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

.The year is 2135 and the world is controlled by three mega-corporations. With thirty days before a giant asteroid hits Earth, it’s up to a few good humans and a group of GAB (Genetically Altered Brain) animals, led by Fluffy, to fix the situation before all humanity and the animal world perish. Can Fluffy and her crew save Earth from certain destruction and learn the key to the GABs’ survival? Can Fluffy and her kind answer hatred with love and show humanity what it truly means to be human?

This unique and tender story takes place in the future but begins with genetic experiments that are taking place right now.

Fluffy is a super-intelligent GAB (Genetically Altered Brain) cat. Like many of her brethren―dogs, cats, mice, and the occasional pig―her brain is the product of genetic tinkering by humans that started more than a century ago. Because they need a scapegoat, the corporate oligarchs who rule the world have labeled GAB animals terrorists and have begun to systematically capture and exterminate them. Fluffy, compelled by psychic distress signals from her lost brother, leaves the safety of her home to look for him and joins a band of animal revolutionaries. With their powers of telekinesis, the animals can manipulate physical objects without being able to grasp them. With their powers of telepathy, they can speak to each other without audible voices. After a series of brushes with death, Fluffy and her friends find a secret university for GAB animals called Animal U and that’s when they find out about the asteroid…

Pick up your copy at the following locations:

Book website:

https://fluffysrevolution.com/

 

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/sci-fifantasy/fluffysrevolution

For a 15% discount before March 28, use promo code PREORDER2019

 

Amazon:

https://amzn.to/2T8QjiZ

 

Barnes & Noble:

https://bit.ly/2CGX7xB

 

About the Author:

After twenty years trembling on the brink of rock stardom and fifteen years working at record companies, Ted Myers left the music business (or perhaps it was the other way around) and took a job as a copywriter at an advertising agency. This cemented his determination to make his mark as an author. Ted’s nonfiction has appeared in Working Musicians (Harper Collins), By the Time We Got to Woodstock: The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Revolution of 1969 (Backbeat Books) and Popular Music and Society. His epic and amusing memoir, Making It: Music, Sex & Drugs in the Golden Age of Rock (Calumet Editions) was published in 2017. His fiction has appeared online and in print in many anthologies and literary magazines.

You can find Ted at the following places:

Amazon Author Page:

https://amzn.to/2RJM2CD

 

B&N Author Page:

https://bit.ly/2DDizVN

 

Goodreads Author Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/Ted_Myers

 

Bookbub Author Page:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ted-myers

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ted.myers.56

 

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/TedMyersAuthor or @TedMyersAuthor

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The Idea Mill #22

It's been a while since we visited the old idea mill, and to be honest with you, it's because there haven't been that many interesting articles coming through.

I finally have three, and let's see if we can spark your imaginations.

This first one involves a bunch of old Egyptian papyrus scrolls that were discovered over a hundred years ago. Someone finally got around to looking at them, and found out they contained spells. They are written in Greek, so it must have been after some transportation entered the world.

One instructs the caster to burn some offerings in a bathhouse, and write on the bathhouse walls the desire for the Gods to “burn the heart” of a woman who scorned the caster. Men have been writing on bathroom walls ever since. Ladies, you've been warned.

The other spell tells the caster to scratch out some magical words onto a small piece of copper. Then a fix the plate to the clothing of the target victim. The victim will be forced to obey the commands of the caster. This article is silent as to what the words are, but I'm betting the word is “Imperio.”

I used a kind of Roman curse/prayer in Panama. This one involved turning a grinding stone while praying. I am aware of scratching out curses in lead, but copper is a new one.

How about it authors? Do you have any characters that need cursing? Maybe a woman scorned your character and he needs to get even. This could be even more fun because they are written in Greek. This means fraternities and sororities to me. I get an idea of a magical version of Animal House, where the locker room substitutes as the bathhouse, and Needermyer has to obey Bluto's bidding. Here is the link if you want a tiny bit more info: Curses.

The second article involves stalagmites and Neanderthals. Stalagmites are the ones that grow up from the floors of caves. Somewhere around 170,000 years ago, Mr. Neanderthal decided to kick down a bunch of these and build some stone walls. This may not seem like much, but 170,000 year old human construction is kind of impressive. They look kind of like nests to me. Check them out here: Neanderthal Construction.

Maybe these guys were so primitive they competed to actually build the best structure to impress the ladies. This is similar to nesting behaviour in other creatures. As a fiction writer, they could be anything though, including what remains of an ancient portal to another time or world. Some science cadet might figure it all out and recreate it, or predict some looming disaster. What would you do with this?

Finally we have what's being called a brain-to-brain interface. This involves wearing a fancy hat, while your friend wears another fancy hat. The lead researcher is able to control the other guy's movements by thinking about the motion. There is some interesting result with animals as well. Read a better, but longer, description here: Megamind.

I've kind of been in science fiction mode and this one gets me going. I remember a cuteish old movie called The Doberman Gang, (and one sequel) where the main character trained dogs to pull off a bank heist. This would be so much easier if I could skip the training and control them via brain-to-brain interface.

I have to admit, controlling my enemy via a curse scrawled on copper sounds a lot easier. Although, I dig a good hat, so I'm torn.

What would you do with this one? Here is your chance to mix in a little of The Fly, in an experiment that exchanges part of the mind when it goes wrong. Now you have your very own Gorilla Grod. Maybe you want to split out the good character and the bad character. The good one winds up in a Chimp who can't talk and tell someone what's wrong. The bad one goes on a rampage.

Part of this shtick is that I rough out a story using all of these elements. This is going to be a tough one, because the items are so far apart. Here goes nothing…

A sorority girl scorns a fraternity boy. He uses the whiz-bang fancy hat from the science lab to make her pay. There would certainly be towel snapping shenanigans in the girl's locker room, as verified by the geekiest of fraternity brothers and some kind of pervy spy hole.

Our heroine is mortified, and isn't participating in the dig inside the cave. She's spent most of her college career working on Neanderthal studies, and is blowing the biggest chance of her life. Fortunately, the Sorority sisters catch on.

They make her scrawl a curse onto a copper disk and slip in into the guy's underwear. Now under their total control, they make him don the fancy hat once more, and force the instructor to change her grades to something more acceptable. Maybe they also force him to streak the alumni banquet, because it is a college story. Ultimately, they force him to fall for the wallflower sorority sister that he wouldn't have spoken to otherwise.

I never said these were good stories, but I think I hit all three elements. What would you do with these?

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Another Idea Mill post, kind of

I’ve been very unproductive this weekend, and it irks me. The ladies are getting ready to go shopping and I may get a few hours to concentrate on my projects. (Stay away from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.)

I wanted to post this morning, but had to interact with real humans for awhile. While they’re all in the shower, I decided to throw a few goodies your way.

The first one involves two articles about the FDA. First they found some unsecured smallpox virus in a closet. This is considered extinct for all intents and purposes. The article is here: Smallpox  (Note: there is a character named Variola in my book, Arson. You’ll have to read it to find out why.) Then they found even more goodies. These include oldies but goodies like spotted fever and dengue. Here is the article: Oldies but Goodies (I’ve had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. I don’t recommend it.)

Now they know what it feels like to have a kid move out. You go through their bedroom and find a sandwich from 1997. These are supposed to be some of the most secure facilities on the planet, and they don’t even know what’s there. “Hey, Bob. We’re getting inspected tomorrow. You need to straighten up the lab. Just shove all that crap in the closet or crawl space.”

As a writer, I can see all kinds of possibilities here. Lovers of distopian or contagion type stories should be rejoicing. Writers can apply what happened to chemical compounds too. Why should biologicals have all the fun?

Next, scientists have invented a new shade of black. It sounds stupid on the surface, but it’s kind of interesting. It absorbs almost all light sent its way. It’s so black the human eye has a hard time detecting it. You can read about it here: Black The article mentions Wile E. Coyote, so you know it has to be good.

Writers could turn this into all kinds of camouflage. Everything from cloaks of concealment to space ship cloaking devices. Maybe it also absorbs laser blasts or light sabers. Maybe it’s used for hypothermia blankets. I can see all kinds of secret societies and shadow organizations using this to conduct business undetected.

This is why it’s a hodgepodge. I usually save the links until I have three. The last one is today’s blog post from Chris McMullen. It’s not part of the idea mill, but writers need to know about this. Chris adds some real common sense to the discussion about Kindle Unlimited. This is a new subscription based program; whereby, subscribers can download anything on the KDP list for free. I think it sounds pretty cool for voracious readers. Here’s Chris’ article: Kindle Unlimited & Marketing Strategies. One thing is certain, Amazon just changed the game again.

For all you early adopters of Kindle Unlimited, all of my books are already there. (Hint.) Chris may have just convinced me not to lower my prices.

I’m off to paint my truck a new shade of black and see if it works on police speed guns. If I accomplish anything today I’ll log on and post about it.

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Rare Tuesday Post

Sometimes I come across things that are too good not to share. Read this science article: Young Blood.

Start your science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal keyboards.

There is an experiment out there that suggests the blood of young mice can improve the brain function of older mice.

“Why yes, I’ll take a box of Thin Mints. Come on in.”

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Wow, just Wow!

I’ve mentioned, on occasion, how I find little things that get my creative mind working. This one is about a completely new human organ, being developed in a lab. They call it a mini heart, they think they can use it to improve veinous circulation.

My science fiction and paranormal circuits are firing on all cylinders. Check the article out for yourselves: Mini Hearts

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