Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories — Preview #2

When it became apparent that disaster could not be avoided and that long-term survival on Earth after the impact would be untenable, both private and public efforts were undertaken in every country to prepare for the end and to ensure that some aspect of humanity might be given a chance to survive. Governments mobilized to expand underground bunkers in an effort to extend life for at least the chosen few, as well as retain a record of humanity’s collective accomplishments in samples of its art, science, and literature. Hardened bunkers built to withstand nuclear strikes might survive the impact for the former players in the deadly game of mutual assured destruction. Existing facilities were expanded to the extent possible in the available time, and stocked with sufficient food, water and oxygen to permit a few thousand people to live underground for up to five years. Technology developed for space and for use in submarines, including air and water reclamation processes, hydroponics gardens growing genetically altered strains of fast-growing wheat and other grains, and small nuclear generators capable of providing the necessary energy to run the equipment that made a self-contained closed environment possible, were utilized and implemented with all due haste. In the U.S., military bunkers from the cold war era were reclaimed and new ones built with a total capacity to house perhaps 250,000 people. No attempt was made to make the selection process of the chosen few democratic or fair. There was not even the pretense of a lottery system that might buy the chance to cheat death for a lucky few. In the end, the survival of the species was of paramount importance and the decisions made were based on the criteria set by a civilian government backed by martial law.  Other countries made similar preparations and, even in the poorest countries, some effort was made to provide the chance for survival to a select few. All of these efforts would be largely thwarted on the day of the impact, but they represented a brave effort nonetheless at avoiding defeatism and giving in to despair.  Although the record must show that in the final days anarchy ruled the world, perhaps there is some comfort in knowing that humanity did not surrender to its fate or walk quietly into the night like sheep to the slaughter but met its fate fighting to the end for life.

[End on preview]
 


 



A book trailer for this short story collection that includes my  unedited, "cold-reading" of the shortest story in the collection, "Justice", is available here.
The excerpt above is from the book's newest short story, "Mars: Genesis 2.0" which is also available as a stand-alone Kindle story. (Click on the cover below for more information.)


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Book trailer: "Mindscapes: Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories"

Click on the book cover below for a YouTube book trailer that includes a reading of teh short story "Justice" by the author. The book's Amazon web page can be accessed here.







http://www.youtube.com/upload


  Book Trailer Link.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Holiday Promotion: Save up to 79% on Intellectual Property Law: A Practical Guide to Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks and Trade Secrets [Kindle Edition]

The Kindle edition of my Intellectual Property Law: A Practical Guide to Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks and Trade Secrets reference book is available for $3.99 today (December 22). The price will increase by $1 per day back to its regular retail price of $8.99 over the next five days, starting with an increase to $4.99 tomorrow, The book has not previously been discounted and the price will remain at $8.99 when this special promotion ends. 

From the book's Amazon page:

Book Description


December 8, 2013

This book is intended as both a primer on intellectual property law and as a general reference for authors, artists, musicians, librarians, entrepreneurs and others interested in learning about intellectual property law and the processes for obtaining copyrights, trademarks and patents in the U.S. and through international agreements.

The main text provides a brief orientation on the relevant law and on the process and cost of applying for patents and trademarks through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and copyrights through the U.S. Copyright Office. In order to make this book as useful as possible as a one-stop reference resource, I have collected and included selective statutory materials, sample forms, and other useful resources in appendices to provide greater depth and context for the material presented in the main text.

This book is intended as a general reference guide that will provide you with timely, useful information and direct you to additional sources of information both in its comprehensive appendices and online that are available free of charge from a variety of sources. It does not offer legal advice. Only an attorney can provide you with legal advice tailored to your specific needs, and neither this book nor any of the self-help guides or readily available document preparation services is a substitute for the advice of an experienced lawyer.




For an extended free preview of the book, you can visit the book's Amazon page by clicking on the book's cover below and then click on "Click to look inside."

http://www.amazon.com/Intellectual-Property-Law-Copyrights-Trademarks-ebook/dp/B005AWNCFS/ref=la_B001KMII74_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387732230&sr=1-2

Science Fiction Short Story Collection

The Kindle edition of Book of Dreams 2e: SF and Speculative Fiction Short Stories is available for $.99 (75% off regular retail price of $3.99) from today through December 28 2013.

Here is the book's description from its Amazon page:

This expanded Second Edition contains three new stories in addition to the five original short stories that appeared in the first edition published in August of 2011.

What really caused the catastrophic failure after the first full-scale test of the Large Hadron Collider? Motivated, ingenious terrorists are about to try their own field experiment to replicate the classified results of the test on a large scale using two suitcase nukes and a modified jetliner in an attack that, if successful, will eradicate all life on earth, destroy our corner of the universe and, in time, give birth to a new addition to the multiverse.

If we could communicate with the other sentient, intelligent species with whom we share our planet, what vital lessons might we learn from them and they from us?

In a not too distant future in which all human beings on earth are connected and integrated into a single neural net, what price might be exacted for one wishing to opt out?

What price would you pay to revisit a crossroad in your life when you had made a terrible, life altering mistake? Would you give up an unfulfilled life for the chance of virtual happiness in an alternate reality?

Would you sacrifice everything if you could attain absolute knowledge? If so, could you live with the knowledge you attained?

It is said that no man is an island, but what if even the least among us is a god in his/her own right?

If an alien visitor offered you a lifetime of health and the gift of telepathy for a small service, would you be quick to accept?

If we purportedly use only a small fraction of our brain's capacity, what possible purpose does the apparently unused portion serve?

Above are some of the questions raised in this collection of science fiction and speculative fiction short stories that explores the interrelationship between dreams and reality, the nature of reality itself, and the dangers attendant to the single-minded pursuit of wish fulfillment that all too often results in unexpected and unwanted consequences.

The author is an Associate Professor of Legal Studies at Hofstra University's Frank G. Zarb School of Business and has previously published seven non-fiction books through traditional publishers. His business law and legal environment textbooks have been used in colleges and universities throughout the United States since 1993. This is his first book of short stories.

http://www.amazon.com/Book-Dreams-2nd-Science-Speculative-ebook/dp/B005A1GQNO/ref=la_B001KMII74_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387732230&sr=1-3




The above cover is for the book's first edition which is no longer available for the Kindle.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

In time for the holidays, two of my Kindle titles are being deeply discounted under Amazon's new "countdown" promotion available to authors only once every ninety days. Over the next six days starting 12/21/2013 My Intellectual Property book that retails for $8.99 will be offered for $2.99, $3.99, $4.99 and $5.99 ending in the original list price of $8.99. Today the book is available for $2.99 for the first and only time since its release. Details are available by clicking on the book's cover below.

http://www.amazon.com/Intellectual-Property-Law-Copyrights-Trademarks-ebook/dp/B005AWNCFS/ref=la_B001KMII74_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387646673&sr=1-2


The second title also available through this one-per-quarter promotion is my Book of Dreams 2e. This short story collection retails for $3.99 for the Kindle and is available 12/22/2013 for $.99 with the price increasing over the next few days to $1.99, $2.99 and ending at the original price of $3.99. Please note that this book is being superseded by the just released "Mindscapes" collection that includes the eight original stories in Book of Dreams 2e and two new stories. Mindscapes sells for $4.99 and will also be available in a similar countdown deal after mid January.

http://www.amazon.com/Book-Dreams-2nd-Science-Speculative-ebook/dp/B005A1GQNO/ref=la_B001KMII74_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387646673&sr=1-3


























I no longer offer free book promotions and may or may not offer these countdown promotions in the future depending on how this new promotion affects overall sales over the next quarter. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Reader Reviews of My Amazon Kindle Books



Published Reader Reviews


Book of Dreams 2nd Edition: Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories
5.0 out of 5 stars Book of Dreams, August 1, 2013
By 
Amazon Verified Purchase

Customer Reviews

“The content is deep, stimulating and entertaining as well. Mr. Lopez draws his reader into his character's lives, trials and tribulations. Anyone who enjoys great Science Fiction should enjoy this book.”

“I would compare this to Theodore Sturgeon or Ray Bradbury's science fiction.”

Stephanie rated it 5 of 5 stars  [Goodreads review from April 17, 2012. The book has a 4.83 out of 5 stars rating with six ratings—five five stars and one four stars from readers.  Reviews are current as of 12/17/2013 can be verified by logging on to goodreads.com and searching for the book title or my name.]
“I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of short stories. I do not always like science fiction so much, but I found myself glued to the pages of this book. I myself have had a few very interesting dreams lately, and reading this book made me feel that perhaps I was not going insane, but merely reliving part of what I had read through this book. I hope that this author continues to write stories of this magnitude, as I'm sure that he'd do extremely well.“

______________________________________
Intellectual Property Law: A Practical Guide to Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks and Trade Secrets

Customer Reviews

Intellectual Property Law: A Practical Guide to Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks and Trade Secrets



5.0 out of 5 stars Intellectual Property Law: A Practical Guide to Copyrights, Patents and Trademarks, and Trade Secrets  December 20, 2012
By 
Amazon Verified Purchase
“Needed practical examples for my students and found it very useful for that purpose. It takes one direct to the point. Great”
_____________________________
Of Pain and Ecstasy: Collected Poems
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, August 11, 2013
By 
This review is from: Of Pain and Ecstasy: Collected Poems (Paperback)
“If love didn't exist Victor would have created it with his poems. He has a natural gift for telling a true story or of t rue events in a delightful manner. His poems express love and give the reader much to contemplate.”
  
4.0 out of 5 stars Urban Fear and Loathing / Love, 26 Sep 2013
By 
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
“Some of the poems are very well constructed and offer a glimpse into the fears that people in an urban sprawl might experience in terms of a foreboding atmosphere and in relation to others. Good read though.”
__________________________

The Day the Dolphins Disappeared (short story)
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful writer, September 3, 2013
By 
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Day the Dolphins Vanished (Short Story) (Kindle Edition)
“Victor's stories are well written and enthralling. They are hard to put down. I recommend his books and short stories very highly.”


5.0 out of 5 stars What will we tell them?, 8 Oct 2013
By 
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Day the Dolphins Vanished (Short Story) (Kindle Edition)
“So if you could really truly talk to animals what would you say? What would you share? What should you share? Victor Lopaz' heroine has found out it can be done ....

A gem of a short story - the sort that lulls you into a cosy comfortable read and then suddenly shoots out a google that makes you stop dead and think... And then think some more....”
Direct link to Amazon U.K. review:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Dolphins-Vanished-Short-Story-ebook/product-reviews/B00EAVUV04/ref=sr_1_10_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

Monday, December 16, 2013

Short Story Preview: Mars: Genesis 2.0



Mars: Genesis 2.0
© 2013 Victor D. López
All rights reserved

_________________



Earth had not stood a chance. Careful tracking of the known asteroids and comets had accurately predicted some close calls from sizeable rocks over the past several decades, and yielded some spectacular natural fireworks alongside some notable devastation at least twice in recent memory over the skies of modern Russia and of the former Soviet Union from lesser meteors that, without ever striking the ground, still managed to make their presence known as they exploded in the atmosphere, releasing energy equivalent to hundreds of Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs. But none of the previous devastation wreaked on a defenseless planet by sizeable asteroids in the past, including the one that erased the dinosaurs from the Earth and paved the way for the eventual ascent of homo sapiens, could compare to the 113-mile diameter spherical asteroid that struck the Earth on Sunday, July 19, 2020 in Tierra del Fuego, at the Southern-most tip of South America. The resulting devastation was complete. Within weeks, nearly all life on the face of the Earth was extinguished as the force of the primary explosion and the dozens of smaller impact zones from fragments of the asteroid that broke apart from the heat of entry. These secondary strikes ranged over a wide swath of the globe as far as Australia, while numerous fragments exploded in the atmosphere before ever touching the ground. Within weeks of the impact, the devastation wrought by out of control fires, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and the sudden melting of a significant portion of the South Pole’s icecap foretold of the eventual extinction of all life on Earth.

There had been notice, of course—666 days of it, to be precise, a number that fueled an endless stream of debate, devotion, and gave birth to more than a few doomsday cults. Armageddon was duly delivered on time by a massive asteroid carrying the number of the beast. Pluto may have been demoted to a planetoid, but the ancient god of the underworld got the last laugh and the benefit of the bargain as he received six plus billion new souls from a once verdant world bludgeoned into a massive extinction event by an errant rock. The nearly two years of warning were insufficient to avert disaster. Earth simply did not have the technology to destroy or deflect a 113-mile-wide planetoid moving towards it at an orbital velocity of 20 kilometers per second on a previously undiscovered elliptical orbit around the sun that took it into the Kuiper belt beyond Neptune’s orbit. It might have been kinder had humanity been spared the precise date and modality of its demise. But there was no way to hide the truth once it became apparent, and no way to spare the aftermath of that truth or the lawlessness that resulted from the communal despair of people given a death sentence without hope of reprieve. Suffice it to say that humanity’s last two years were not on balance proud ones for a species performing its swan song. If this was, as some claimed, God’s wrath visited upon an unrepentant creation that had learned little from the lessons of the great flood, humanity certainly gave little evidence of being undeserving of the punishment in the months leading to the end. 

[***** End of preview *****]

"Mars: Genesis 2.0" is available for the Kindle from Amazon both as a stand-alone short story and as one on the ten short stories in the simultaneously released collection "Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories".

The following description is from the the story's Amazon page:


This work is a science fiction short story (7,777 words).
In the year 2020, astronomers discover a previously unknown asteroid that will strike Earth in exactly 666 days. Because of its massive size, it is impossible to deflect or destroy it with the available technology, and it is clear that the impending impact will be an extinction event. While most governments do what they can to ensure the survival of as many people as possible, such efforts are not expected to succeed. Nevertheless, underground bunkers are pressed into service and new ones created around the globe in hope that some remnant of humanity might escape impending doom by burrowing underground with enough supplies to weather the predicted decades-long nuclear winter that will result from an asteroid strike much larger than that which killed off the dinosaurs and paved the way for the eventual birth and ascent of homo sapiens.

The wealthiest, most technologically advanced countries of Earth hedge their bets by mobilizing their available resources to launch a handful of their best and brightest into space, either to a greatly expanded space station or to the Moon in the hopes that small colonies may be established there that would eventually use the Moon's natural resources to be self-sustaining. The U.S. forges a more ambitious plan to send 12 colonists to Mars in less than two years where with existing technology and the cobbling together of a space ship from three mothballed space shuttles, they may have a better chance for long-term survival.

This is the story of Earth's final days, and a testament to humanity's resourcefulness and indomitable nature in the countdown to Armageddon.
 
Amazon Prime members can borrow  both the short story and the short story collections free. For more information and free previews, you can click on the relevant book covers below.
 
http://www.amazon.com/Mars-Genesis-Victor-D-Lopez-ebook/dp/B00HBCD66U/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1387217503&sr=8-11&keywords=victor+d.+lopez





 http://www.amazon.com/Mindscapes-Science-Fiction-Speculative-Stories-ebook/dp/B00HBW3A02/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1387217863&sr=1-2

Sunday, December 15, 2013

New science fiction book published today: "Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Sperculative Fiction Short Stories"




I've decided to published an expanded edition of my Book of Dreams 2nd Edition with two new short stories stories written this year. The book will be available in paperback in January with the Kindle edition released today. Rather than publish a 3rd revised and expanded edition of Book of Dreams, I wanted to create a new cover that incorporates the Kindle covers for most of the stand-alone stories in the book and also wanted to update the title to one that more clearly emphasizes the science fiction/speculative fiction nature of the book. You can get more information by clicking on the book's cover below  or by reading the description that follows.



























From the book's Amazon page: [in italics]

This book is a compilation of 10 science fiction and speculative fiction short stories by the author from his two previous short story collections, Book of Dreams and Book of Dreams 2nd Edition, as well as two new stories written in 2013. Its scope extends from the innermost dimensions of the mind to the outer reaches of the universe, focusing from diverse perspectives on some common themes as to the meaning of life, the superlative strength and wrenching weakness of the human spirit, the power of love and the perpetual pain and ecstasy that flesh is heir to in its perpetual struggle between the the duality of human nature, in which one finds reflected both the divine and the profane.
In very broad outline, the ten stories involve the following themes:

If necessity is the mother of invention, could humanity use present technology to find a way to propagate its seed when faced with the certainty of an extinction-level event in less than two years' time?

What really caused the catastrophic failure after the first full-scale test of the Large Hadron Collider? Motivated, ingenious terrorists are about to try their own field experiment to replicate the classified results of the test on a large scale using two suitcase nukes and a modified jetliner in an attack that, if successful, will eradicate all life on earth, destroy our corner of the universe and, in time, give birth to a new addition to the multiverse.

If we could communicate with the other sentient, intelligent species with whom we share our planet, what vital lessons might we learn from them and they from us?

In a not too distant future in which all human beings on earth are connected and integrated into a single neural net, what price might be exacted for one wishing to opt out?

Egyptologists and historians have long debated the riddle of the Sphinx--its true origins, its too-small human head and the pharaoh it was intended to represent. What if the riddle could be revealed live, in prime time, to an attentive world-wide audience upon the excavation of a chamber buried stories beneath its right paw?

What price would you pay to revisit a crossroad in your life when you had made a terrible, life altering mistake? Would you give up an unfulfilled life for the chance of virtual happiness in an alternate reality?

Would you sacrifice everything if you could attain absolute knowledge? If so, could you live with the knowledge you attained?

It is said that no man is an island, but what if even the least among us is a god in his/her own right?

If an alien visitor offered you a lifetime of health and the gift of telepathy for a small service, would you be quick to accept?

If we purportedly use only a small fraction of our brain's capacity, what possible purpose does the apparently unused portion serve?

Above are some of the questions raised in this collection of science fiction and speculative fiction short stories that explores the interrelationship between dreams and reality, the nature of reality itself, and the dangers attendant to the single-minded pursuit of wish fulfillment that all too often results in unexpected and unwanted consequences.  


The Kindle version of the book sells for $4.99 but can be borrowed free of charge by Amazon Prime members through their Kindle readers.

As always, I am very grateful for your interest and support.


Published today: Two science fiction short stories

Just published for the Kindle, two science fiction/speculative fiction short stories: "Justice" and "the Mystery of the Sphinx: Solved."

Here is the Amazon description:

This is publication is a compilation of two speculative fiction short stories. In the first, "Justice", a man is being tried for the last remaining capital offense in a kinder, gentler, truly unified world in the not to distant future. In the second, "Riddle of the Sphinx: Solved" The secrets of the Sphinx are finally revealed to a curious world in prime time by the world's most famous Egyptologist in a live event reminiscent of the disastrous, much hyped opening of Al Capone's vault by Geraldo Rivera in prime time some years back. No empty bottle will be found in the chamber beneath teh right paw of the Sphinx. No, not this time. Alas.

http://www.amazon.com/Two-Speculative-Fiction-Short-Stories-ebook/dp/B00HBT32U8/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1387142941&sr=1-3&keywords=victor+d.+lopez