Sunday, March 23, 2014

Free Kindle science fiction short story: "Eternal Quest" March 23-25 2014

You can download the first short story in my Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories from Amazon in the U.S. here: (Outside of the U.S., just search for the title and/or my name for the relevant free download page.)

Eternal Quest is one of my first short stories, written when I was 19 for a fiction class in college along with some others that have been lost over the years. Although I’ve lightly reworked it over the intervening thirty five years or so, it is largely as I first wrote it and is still my personal favorite among my short fiction. As is true of most of my short fiction (published and unpublished alike), it  reflects more than a little of my own neo-Platonist philosophy and romantic core and delves into questions at the core of human existence. It is about sacrifices willingly made for love and friendship, that can make even the white-hot pain of unrequited love bearable. It is about putting the needs of others above our known, about the mindless pursuit of answers in all the wrong places and about lessons learned in life much too late for solace, comfort or salvation.

But this story is also about much more than existentialist despair, or the tragedy of an unfulfilled life. Ultimate it is about friendship, about the need to balance what Plato called the Appetites, Reason and the Spirited Element (what Freud later “borrowed” and renamed the Id, Ego and Superego) in each of our own lives. More than anything, it is is about transformational friendship and its ability, for those of us lucky enough to experience it, to make us far stronger than we could ever be without the balance brings to our lives. I blush to admit this, but more than thirty years after writing this story, I still tear up when I read it to the end. The personal subtext is not important, then or now, but the knowledge that there is no greater truth we can learn during our short sojourn through life than that which is taught only by pure, unselfish, love–requited or not–is essential. As is the transformative power of true friendship. I have learned nothing of greater importance since writing this story, and I doubt I ever will.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Free Kindle version of my most alarming science fiction short story three days only starting 3/20/2014

Although I generally dislike disaster films and novels with Armageddon themes, three of my most recent short stories from my short story collection Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories in fact deal with the “end of the world” from three very different perspectives. In one, the end of days comes from digging up that which was meant to be left alone (The Riddle of the Sphinx: Solved), in another from an asteroid (Mars: Genesis 2.0) and in the third from scientists’ penchant for playing with things they know very little about (End of Days). There are many common threads in my fiction, and layers of meaning in almost all of my stories about the duality of the human spirit with its infinite capacity for good and evil and the attendant interplay between the holy and the profane that are at the core of what makes us human.

This week, I am making available one of my newest short stories, End of Days,  free for the Kindle on Amazon from March 20 through March 22. It is one of my darkest short stories perhaps because it so closely reflects the current slide into entropy of a world spinning out of control. Perhaps because it is more than merely plausible. Perhaps because this eternal optimist who has thought too much about nearly everything for too long a time is having ever-greater difficulty seeing the silver lining in the gathering storm. Perhaps simply because even I can’t shake off the uneasy feeling that it is quite possibly prophetic.

Here is the description from its Amazon page. just click on the cover to download it free from Amazon for the noted three days.

This is one of the ten short stories in Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories (C) 2014 by Victor D. López.
This short story poses a novel theory as to the role of black holes in both the creation and destruction of an endless number of universes that coexist in an incomprehensibly complex multiverse. It is a cautionary tale about the arrogance of scientists who are the cosmic equivalent of amoebas attempting to discern the secrets of the universe by thoroughly examining within the limits of their perception the drop of pond scum they inhabit. It is also a cautionary tale about the ability of determined, creative terrorists to begin the process that will lead to the destruction of our corner of the multiverse by the creative use of materials at their disposal.
The end is very, very near and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.