Dear Readers:

We appreciate the fact the current political environment is highly charged, but we want to keep Spacefreighters Lounge a stress-free place for everyone to visit and exchange ideas about SFR.

Therefore, we ask that you please refrain from making political references that may antagonize those with differing viewpoints. Thank you for your consideration.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Houston, We Have a Problem

I generally avoid political subjects like the plague (excuse the cliche'--maybe I should have said Romulan flu?), unless they hit very close to home.  The recent announcement of proposed cuts to our space program have left me wondering if the only way we humans will ever reach the stars is through our imaginations. This sinking feeling I have of an era lost and all our advances forgotten was summed up quite well here.

And here.

Where is our space program headed?  Did my current work in progress, Outer Planets, just move from the category of Near Future Romance to Science Fantasy? Can we even hope for manned exploration of our own solar neighborhood in the next century?

The decisions happening today regarding space exploration (and the funding cuts that are impacting it) do--or should--matter to us as writers. We view the 2001 and 2010 movies now with a wistful smirk. We are nowhere near as advanced as we thought we'd be when these forward-thinking motion pictures were first released.  A low budget little TV show called Star Trek inspired an entire generation to pursue careers in science and astrophysicists in the 60's so they could reach for the stars and make that fictional futuristic dream more of a reality.  Now, funding obstacles have pushed our goals back further and further, until we've reached the point those goals now seem beyond any possible reality we might actually achieve in the foreseeable future.

Can private industry pick up the gauntlet and take us forward, as has been suggested as the "solution?" It's a huge gamble, when projects such as Spaceport America are threatened by funding crises in the states where they are being developed. Although private industry may be able to afford to build the crafts, can they also afford to construct and maintain the actual spaceports themselves? Will major corporations--those with the massive funding necessary--see this as a solid investment or quick enough return on their capital outlay?  And will their focus not be on advancing our exploration of space and scientific discovery to improve health, medicine, food production (to name only a few benefits that have arisen from our space program), or will it be on commercial gain via high tech, high ticket amusement rides of near Earth orbit or the space station?

Comments by Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt on Friday in a speech in Ocala, Florida:
“If it is a commercial effort only to visit the space station, then it is the beginning of the end of human space exploration,” he said. “Ultimately, you abandon the moon to China, you abandon the space station to Russia, and you abandon liberty to the ages."

It seems the "fiction" in science fiction romance is becoming the key operative word, as we face a very uncertain future for space exploration...or perhaps, for our future, period.   

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ann Aguirre's KILLBOX Cover

The new cover art for book four in Ann Aguirre's Sirantha Jax series was recently posted on Ann Aguirre's website.  It's my favorite of the four covers, although I'm a bit partial to Grimspace (book #1) too.  What do you think?


KILLBOX has an October 2010 release date, and follows novels GRIMSPACE, WANDERLUST and DOUBLEBLIND in the series.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

IN SEARCH OF NEW READS, PART II

All right, now, confess. You love science fiction. You love romance. You’ve got some pretty kinky fantasies going on in your head, don’t you? Yeah, that’s right. Don’t try to deny it.

Some of us dream of being the captains of our own starships. Whatever happens on the bridge of that ship—or in the cabin or on the zero-G deck—is nobody’s business but our own. Some of us wield lightswords in the armies of the galactic rebellion or seduce pirate leaders to protect our home planets (or, hell, just for the fun of it!). Some of us just like to hang out at places like Spacefreighters Lounge or TenForward and see who, or what, turns up.

And some of us wait here on Earth for that special one to come and find us and recognize that we, above all others in the galaxy, are unique, the key to the survival of his planet. Well, gals, be careful what you wish for. Because, according to the premise of Deidre Knight’s PARALLEL ATTRACTION, you could end up either 1) the beloved queen of an entire people, 2) dead, or 3) both, depending on the timeline.

Deidre Knight is, of course, well known as a literary agent (The Knight Agency) and paranormal writer. PARALLEL ATTRACTION is the first book in her first series (MIDNIGHT WARRIORS), and it’s pure SFR—an intergalactic war between alien worlds is being fought covertly here on Earth. Kelsey Wells is the unwitting keeper of a secret to the mystery of time travel that could mean either an end to the war or destruction on an unimaginable scale. Kelsey not only holds the key to victory for the good guys in the fight, she holds the key to their leader’s heart. For years exiled king Jareshk has held on to the barest scrap of a memory of her from a stolen moment they had together as teenagers. When he sees her again . . . well, you know how it goes.

The series weaves a number of subplots around the main SF theme, while it introduces and follows new couples through their own romantic journeys. Deidre does a convincing job of worldbuilding, though the universe she creates is right under our noses. The element of time travel ramps up the suspense, with characters appearing with warnings from the future or the past, sometimes about themselves! In lesser hands all this would be enough to give us a headache, but Deidre manages things deftly enough to keep us coming back for more of her brand of hot SFR.

Fantasies are one thing. Nightmares are completely another. It’s not bad enough we have aliens fighting over our little ball of dirt. Author Alexis Morgan has them pouring through a rift in the natural barrier between universes. Yeah, you heard me. In Alexis’ PALADINS series, the aliens are from an alternate universe—a very dark place, since they’re running out of light.

The state of affairs in the alien universe seems to be causing a kind of madness in some of the Others, who leap through the Barrier ready to slaughter anyone in their path. So the places where the Barrier runs thin and prone to collapse are patrolled by the Paladins, an elite army of genetically unique men with kickass fighting skills and the usual tortured alpha personalities (and need for love) to match.

You can’t blame them really. Alexis lays it out for us in the blurb for the first book in the series, DARK PROTECTOR: Devlin Bane: Born a Paladin, his is a member of an ancient band of warriors locked in a centuries-old war against evil. His destiny: To die over and over again to protect mankind from the Others, only to be revived each time by his mortal Handler.

Did we mention there’s a limit on the number of times you can do the whole Lazarus thing before you start to go a little nuts? Yeah, I’d say the boy could use some lovin’. He finds it with his Handler, of course, Doctor Laurel Young.

In the rest of the series, Alexis explores love on both sides of the Barrier (the Others come over here, we go over there, we all get to know each other in all kinds of ways) with a great mix of both science fiction and hot romance. My personal favorites in the series are those that delve deepest into the clash of cultures. IN DARKNESS REBORN and REDEEMED IN DARKNESS offer adventures on opposites sides of the Barrier in which the Other brother and sister pair Barak and Lusahn each find their own human lovers.

Alexis' latest series is skewed more toward the paranormal with the TALIONS. She even has a popular Western series out there (PAT PRITCHARD). But if you haven’t checked out her SFR PALADINS, you’re missing out on some good (ahem) fantasy material.

Cheers, Donna




Friday, January 22, 2010

IN SEARCH OF NEW READS, PART I

Quick! Name some SFR writers!

Ha! you say, and easily rattle off half a dozen well-known authors. Your list probably includes those who are at the top of their game right now—Linnea Sinclair, Susan Grant, Ann Aguirre, Nalini Singh, even Sherrilyn Kenyon, if we go by the numbers. It may include old favorites like Lois McMaster Bujold or Anne McCaffery. If you’re savvy and with-it, your list is growing to include up-and-comers like D.L. Jackson and Barbara Elsborg (and one day soon, the hosts of this blog!).

But, of course, it’s our job here at Spacefreighters Lounge to scout out the far, dusty corners of the SFR galaxy (and your local Borders, Barnes and Noble or Joe’s Bookshop) to dig up lesser known authors. Birders have a Life List of feathered creatures they’ve spotted. Readers of genre fiction have the same kind of weird fascination with sharing the more obscure authors on their Lifetime Reading Lists.
Now, truly, most of the authors on my Life List are hardly unknowns. Linda Howard and Nalini Singh, for example, are personal favorites of mine and millions of other readers, too. It’s just that they hadn’t been generally recognized as science fiction romance authors. They needed a “tag alert” so you could find them, in Linda’s case for her excellent time travel/suspense romance KILLING TIME, and in Nalini’s case for her entire Psy/Changling series.

The same could be said for award-winning paranormal writers Angela Knight and Gena Showalter. Angela is perhaps best known for her MAGEVERSE series of paranormals, the latest of which is MASTER OF FIRE. But she began her career with futuristic short fiction for Ellora’s Cave and Red Sage. Of those, MERCENARIES (Ellora’s Cave) has been expanded and republished by Berkley. “Roarke’s Prisoner” is still available as part of the SECRETS, Vol. 2 anthology from Red Sage.

Angela has also had recent success with her futuristic TIME HUNTERS series, WARRIOR and GUARDIAN. This series follows a team of “genetically engineered cyborgs dedicated to protecting time travelers from each other.” Need I say these cyborgs are sexy alpha male types? And in need of someone to help them get in touch with their feelings? Well worth checking out, particularly if you like your SFR hot and action-oriented.

The amazing Gena Showalter has hit gold with two paranormal series, LORDS OF THE UNDERWORLD and ATLANTIS, and often introduces new series titles or related titles as e-books or YA spin-offs. She’s just a busy gal! But you may not be aware of her excellent near-future SFR series of ALIEN HUNTRESS novels, beginning with AWAKEN ME DARKLY and including most recently SEDUCE THE DARKNESS.

How about this for backcover copy (from Gena’s website, for AMD): In a time and place not too far away, Mia Snow is an alien huntress for the New Chicago Police Department, and she’s the perfect girl for the job. Tough and sexy, she’s earned each of her scars battling the elusive enemy among us. Now, investigating a series of killings, she is shaken to the core when a burst of violence leaves her partner Dallas fighting for his life. A tall, erotic stranger holds the power to heal the injured agent — and to bind Mia in an electrifying and dangerous seduction. He is Kyrin en Arr, of the deadly Arcadian species — an alien, a murder suspect — who has Mia walking a knife’s edge, risking her badge and even her life . . . and edging closer to a shocking revelation that will shatter everything she’s ever believed.

Sounds good, huh? I’ve read two titles in the series and found them to be tight, edgy and evocative of a dark vision of the future that’s Gena’s own. Oh, and hot, too. Just what I’m looking for in SFR. The next title in the series is not due until November of this year. That should give us all enough time to catch up with the ones we’ve missed.

All right, maybe you all had Angela Knight and Gena Showalter on your Skiffy Rommer lists, too. Shoot me a line and let me know how much you enjoyed their lesser-known SFR stuff. And be sure to add their names to the ongoing tag party Heather Massey, our own Laurie Green and others have working to spread the news about SFR.

Meanwhile, I’ll try harder to find someone you don’t know next time with IN SEARCH OF NEW READS, PART TWO!

Cheers, Donna

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Score!

Not so long ago, I wrote a lament on this blog about the demise of the Defying Gravity television series--an imaginative science fiction program with a nice dose of romance.  DG built a fast and loyal fanbase during its short-lived time on network televsion, only to be canceled just as it was being discovered by many fans.  (Maybe it should have been named Defying Logic?)  But all is not lost.  The complete first (and only) season of Defying Gravity became available on Amazon just this week.  Sold!  

I can't wait to start all over again from the beginning and re-experience the episodes I enjoyed so much, leading up to the five or so shows that never aired on American television.

Yup, this one goes on my DVD rack in the honored spot right next to Firefly and Serenity.  I'm a happy camper. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Review: SLIPPING THE PAST


By D. L. Jackson

Spacefreighters was pleased to announce the release of D. L. Jackson’s debut novel on January 11th. Since that time I’ve had a chance to read the novel in its entirety to offer a (mostly spoiler-free) review.

SLIPPING THE PAST is a Futuristic Romance that leans a bit toward the Urban Fantasy Romance end of the scale. Set in an imaginative and sometimes frightening future world, where Enforcers are the ultimate lawmen and –women, who are nicknamed “reapers” by the general public. Because their job is to take souls. The souls are placed in containment and used as a power source, and they are in such demand that once the prisons are cleaned out of convicts, the Enforcers start issuing warrants for people with past-life crimes so they can incarcerate their souls to ensure the supply continues.

Imagine being born with a death sentence for things you did in another lifetime? That’s the plight the heroine, Jocelyn, faces.  She's on the run along with her loyal brother, Nate, who tries to shelter and protect her from the monstrous reapers using wit and grit. For nine long years Jo managed to evade the foreboding Enforcers, but one day her past truly catches up with her.

The approach of the reaper had a wonderful edge to it. I could feel the surge of power surrounding him in advance of his arrival, all very visually detailed. But there’s a surprise in store for both the reaper and for Jocelyn when they meet. And as a result the reaper grants her a reprieve—one week--to gather the evidence she needs to prove her innocence.

SLIPPING THE PAST seamlessly transitions from present to past lives and unravels a complex tale of intrigue—and love—that spans the centuries. Much of the technology and weaponry is well drawn and imaginative, and D. L. Jackson’s knowledge of martial arts comes through in the detailed fight scenes. The villain is haunting and quite relentless as he pursues Jo for his own personal reasons. Though Nate seems little more than a sidekick at first, he has his own twist late in the story.

SLIPPING THE PAST is available as an e-book from Liquid Silver Books.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Brian Cox & Stephen Colbert

I have a crush on particle physicist Brian Cox. He's married, I know. (Er, so am I.) I can't help it.

Cox was the scientific consultant for the movie Sunshine. I enjoyed this film, but I especially enjoyed Cox's commentary about the science behind the film, which is available on the DVD. (Okay, I also enjoyed the fact Sunshine starred sexy Irish actor Cillian Murphy, who inspired the hero in my SFR Ghost Planet. What can I say? I have a thing for pasty guys with accents.)

Cox uses his charm, wit, and media friendly personality to educate the public about the importance of physics research. He has a knack for transforming complex scientific concepts into digestible bits of information.

And Cox was born 23 days before me, so I like to imagine when the universe aimed its "genius" ray gun at him, maybe a little extra squirted my direction.

What does Brian Cox have to do with Stephen Colbert? They're "entangled" in two ways. (Don't you love armchair physicists?) Both were named "sexiest men alive" by People Magazine, and Cox appeared on Colbert's show in October (which somehow I've missed up to now).

I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. I hope you will too.

Monday, January 11, 2010

D. L. Jackson's Debut Novel Released Today!


***  OUT TODAY!  *** 

A frequent visitor to Spacefreighters Lounge, D. L. (Dawn) Jackson has a debut e-novel--a Futuristic Romance titled SLIPPING THE PAST--being released today by Liquid Silver Books!

SLIPPING THE  PAST is a soaring love story with some wicked twists and surprises. 

Here's the blurb from the Liquid Silver website:

Some love affairs last a lifetime, others never end.

Jocelyn Miller is a fugitive. She’s blind, homeless and was doomed to spiritual incarceration from the moment she drew her first breath. On the run since her eighteenth birthday, she’s somehow managed to stay one step ahead of the reapers. If she’s caught, she knows she’ll lose her soul, but what she doesn’t expect—is to lose her heart.

Innocent people don’t have warrants.

Or do they?

Gabriel Solaris is an enforcer, a genetically enhanced psychic often referred to as a reaper for his ability to take souls, and he’s charged with collecting Jocelyn’s. When he finds Jocelyn outside the store, he’s sure she’s up to something illegal. Proving it isn’t necessary, he already has a warrant. But the closer Gabriel gets to Jocelyn, the more he begins to question his duty. Her claims of innocence have a ring of truth he can’t deny.

I loved you once.

Gabriel loses control and kisses her. Instead of taking her soul, he gives her a week to prove her innocence for past-life crimes. Now it isn’t only Jocelyn’s soul at stake. If she can’t prove her innocence, Gabriel will go down with her.

Congratulations, Dawn!
From Spacefreighters Lounge


Saturday, January 9, 2010

2010 TBRs

I'm "unofficially" affliliating myself with the TBR Challenge on the Avidbookreader blog.  My Leaning Tower of TBR is legendary, and I have high hopes (pun intended) to chip away at it during the coming year.  I don't post reviews on every book I read, just the standouts, so if you see a review here, you'll know it's a good read (at least IMHO).

Here are just a few of the books in my Leaning Tower of TBR(C).

1. The Last Colony (John Scalzi)
2. Close Encounters (Katherine Allred)
3. The Warlord's Daughter (Susan Grant)
4. An Accidental Goddess (Linnea Sinclair)
5. Atlantis Unleashed  (Alyssa Day)
6. Labor Day (Joyce Maynard)
7. Jupiter (Ben Bova)
8. Oceanspace (Allen Steele)
9. No Words Alone (Autamn Dawn)
10. Something About Polly (Barbara Elsborg)
11. Anna in the Middle  (Barbara Elsborg)
12. Born of Night (Sherilyn Kenyon)
13. Born of Ice (Sherilyn Kenyon)
14. Storm Front (Jim Butcher)
15. Star Wars: Champions of the Force (Kevin Anderson)
16. Insufficient Mating Material (Rowena Cherry)
17. Knight's Fork (Rowena Cherry)
16. Salvation in Death (J.D. Robb)
17. Before the Scandal (Suzanne Enoch)
18. Rescue Me (Christy Reece)
19. Duchess By Night (Eloisa James)
20. Spin (Robert Charles Wilson)
21. Command Decision (Elizabeth Moon)
22. Too Good to Be True (Kristan Higgins)
23. Black Ice (Anne Stuart)
24. Born of Fire (Sherilyn Kenyon)
25. More Than Robotics (Lynn Crain)
26. Doubleblind (Ann Aquirre)
27. Zoe's Tale (John Scalzi)
28. Too Hot for a Spy (Pearl Wolf)
29. Dragonfly: Mir
30. First Draft in 30 Days (Karen Wiesner)
31. Writing the Breakout Novel (Donald Maass)
32. How I Write (Janet Evanovich)
33. Techniques of a Selling Writer (Dwight Swain)

New Releases in 2010:
34. Doing the Right Thing (Barbara Elsborg)
35. Finding the Right One (Barbara Elsborg)
36. Digging Deeper (Barbara Elsborg)
37. Beyond the Shadows (Jess Granger)
38. Bewitched & Betrayed (Lisa Shearin)
39. Sureblood (Susan Grant)

Favorite Re-reads

40. Strangers (Barbara Elsborg)
41. Lucy in the Sky (Barbara Elsborg)
42. The Outback Stars (Sandra McDonald)

Anyone else care to share their list of 2010 TBRs?  Are you going to take the TBR Challenge?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

FOLLOWING THE STORY--TO SFR

I was lucky enough to speak with the extraordinarily talented Linda Howard at the 2009 Romance Writers of America National Conference last July. A frequent visitor to the NY TIMES bestseller list, Howard has written some 23 best-selling single-title romance novels, the last few released as hardcovers. Lately she has been writing romantic suspense thrillers, but she started out with westerns, tried her hand at contemporaries, slipped in a time travel historical—you name it, she’s done it, except for maybe a Regency historical.

I asked her how she managed to span such a wide range of sub-genres. “Well, that’s easy,” she said in that magnolia-and-molasses Alabama accent of hers. “You just have to follow the story.”

Follow the story. And if it takes you to a ranch in Colorado, a high-rise in New York or a cruise ship in the Caribbean, as her stories have, you give each story its separate and very different due. Most of us can understand that rule, even if our muses demand that we travel to very different places—a ship bound for the Outer Planets or a lab in Victorian England or the heart of a time warp.

But what if most of the time you hang out in, say, a cold northern forest filled with werewolves, and all of a sudden the muse says, “Nope! Today, you’re going to a planet in Beta Quadrant ruled by tripedal mesomorphs.” Yikes! Worse if you’re a published author with a career built on said werewolves and no track record with mesomorphs!

There’s been a bit of a Revolt of the Muses lately, if we can judge by some of the titles hitting the book stores. Sherrilyn Kenyon’s new LEAGUE series (BORN OF NIGHT, BORN OF FIRE and BORN OF ICE) is the most visible example of an author famed for her paranormal novels following the story into SFR territory (with spectacular sales results!)

But she’s not the only one who has done it with her latest work. Jacquelyn Frank, known for her paranormal series THE NIGHTWALKERS and THE SHADOW WALKERS, has begun a new series, THE GATHERERS, with an SFR theme. The first title in the series, HUNTING JULIAN, offers us a fresh twist on the old “Mars Needs Women” theme. The story may not be for everyone, with a heroine so prickly she borders on the unlikable for much of the book and a sympathetic hero with a not-altogether-supportable cause. I found it engaging, if not quite up to the world-building level of Frank’s paranormal series. Maybe she just needs more time in this part of the universe to feel comfortable.

But travel is broadening, and I highly recommend it. Those of us who pay for the trips—the readers—will certainly be glad to foot the bill for those who want to travel into the SFR universe.

Oh, and by the way. The well-traveled Linda Howard has taken a trip out our way, too. In 2005, she wrote a book called KILLING TIME, which was nothing less than a full-fledged time-travel science fiction romance involving a murder mystery across time, complete with the dangers of introducing future technology, alternate timelines and all the other headaches of time travel with which we’ve become so familiar. Because of the work of the geniuses of marketing which we’ve noted here before, nothing on the cover, nothing in the back cover copy, nothing in the frontispiece indicated this was a science fiction romance. I was twenty pages in before I figured it out. Still, since she came all this way, I say we skiffy rommers should give Linda Howard the requisite visa stamp in her passport. Buy her book! Read it, enjoy it, tag it, bag it for a friend!

Follow the story, y’all. Just follow the story.

Cheers, Donna

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Do You Have a Dead End Blog?


I have a Google alert tuned to Science Fiction Romance and that often snags articles on the blogs of fellow SFR writers.  Recently, it alerted me to several whom I've never run across in Sci-Fi Rom circles and I would have loved to inquire about their work or invited them to a Skiffy Rommer community hub, but there was no means of contacting them via their blog.  The link to their profile has been deleted or not posted, comments were not allowed and the blogger had, for all practical purposes, made themselves invisible on the web.

Issues of privacy in this age of identity theft and abuse are a real threat, but on the other hand why would a writer invest the time and effort to create a blog and publish posts about their work or writer's journey only to make themselves completely anonymous?

For aspiring writers and authors, blogs are a wonderful tool to build a platform and develop a following of persons interested in their work. Bloggers such as John Scalzi and Lisa Shearin have built a large community of readers by utilizing their blogs to reach new fans.  That's not likely to happen if readers aren't able to establish some form of two-way conversation.  It's difficult enough to attract traffic to a blog; why wouldn’t a writer invite visitor feedback?

Concerns about spam or inappropriate comments can be handled on most blogs via options to moderate comments before they are posted or to have the submitter solve an encrypted code before the post will be accepted.  If bloggers are worrried about people accessing personal informtion in their profile, an easy way to avoid that is not to include anything sensitive, but still allow a way for readers to make contact, even if it's encoded [i.e. Lgreen 2162 (at) aol (dot) com].  That will filter out spam or bot attempts to snare the blogger's email address, but allow like-minded humans a way to connect.

My advice to authors/aspiring writers would be to to use your writing-related blogs to their full potential by allowing visitors a way to interact with you.  Also, if you have an informational website set up to promote you and your work that doesn’t feature some sort of contact method, be sure to link to your blog so readers can reach you.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 in an Alternate Universe

Happy 2010!

Science Fiction Romance is all about imagination, creating fascinating new worlds--or new spins on them--and the cause-and-effect of "What if..."  For true Science Fiction Romance (the sort that has a basis in actual science) the concept of alternate universes is an intriguing premise.  The theory that every possible outcome of every event exists somewhere in some alternate reality can make for all sorts of interesting twists in life as we know it.

As we turn the calendar page to a brand new decade, I thought it might be fun to re-imagine how things might be in a universe where history was a little different than the one we're familiar with.

Here are just a few events that 2010 might ring-in in this brave new (fictional) universe:


The Challenger disaster disaster never happened and our space program never experienced a serious 32-month delay because of it.  New Mexico's Spaceport America was built in the 1990s and we now have a bonanza space-tourism industry with daily flights to resorts on the moon and in high Earth orbit. Commercial enterprises are doing feasibility studies on possible fly-by tours of Jupiter, Saturn and their many fascinating moons in a decade or two.  Interest in the venture skyrocketed on January 2, 2010 when the news broke that primitive aquatic life was discovered on Europa


George Lucas is president.  (Hey, I never claimed this universe was utopia.)

Steven Spielberg just wrapped production on his third--and final--motion picture in the last trilogy of Star Wars after buying the rights from George Lucas.  Meanwhile, generations of fans flock to the theatres on New Years Day to see the latest release of the legendary space epic.  Star Wars Episode VIII smashes previous box office records with its breakthrough cinematography technology that puts the fan in the center of eye-popping FXs, heart-pounding battle scenes and characters that are every bit as endearing as those in the original trilogy. 

In our alternate realm, Elvis is turning 75 on Friday.  He still has a high dollar production show in Vegas called Captain EP (co-produced by his son-in-law, Michael Jackson).


Tyrannosaurus Rex has just been declared an endangered species with a population of only a few hundred individuals still surviving in the Amazon basin.  Deforestation and depleting prey animal populations--not to mention the black market demand for T-rex incisors and leather--are threatening to take the species to the brink of extinction in the next few years.  Cattle owners in the area are opposed to measures to protect the large predator, claiming the roaming T-Rex are severely impacting their profits by consuming domestic cattle in place of their natural prey.  Their arguement is that the T-Rex is better suited to roaming museums than being allowed to free-range near agricultural areas.  Environmentalist are rallying to defend T-Rex's rights, manning illegal roadblocks outside the dinosaur preserves and brandishing signs declaring "Extinction is Forever." 

I now return you to your regularly scheduled universe.

Wishing you prosperity, happiness and every success for 2010!

[Please note that this post is only intended as an exercise in imagination and in no way is meant to dishonor the memories of those who have passed.]