Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New short fiction audiobook available free from Audible

Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories | [Victor D. Lopez]

My Mindscapes short story collection was released as an audiobook last week and can be downloaded free of charge with an Audible free one-month trial subscription. The book retails for $14.95 and is also available from Amazon and iTunes. A sample preview file is also accessible from the Audible, iTunes and Amazon sites. The book is also available in paperback and in all major eBook formats from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Smashwords and many other retailers.
A simple book trailer for the paperback and eBook versions of the book that features my reading of the shortest short story in the collection is also accessible here.  Unlike the audiobook which was professionally produced and read by Dale M. Wilcox, my reading of “Justice” is a cold read without the benefit of a recording studio using a cheap mike in my study. I offer it only as a curiosity and NOT as an example of the audiobook as Dale’s polished approach is in sharp contrast to my own five-minute project.

Please sample the book and feel free to leave feedback–positive or negative–which is always welcomed.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Mindscapes audiobook published today

Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories | [Victor D. Lopez]

My book of short stories, Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories, is available starting today on Audible. For a preview and sample audio clip you can click on the book's cover above or here. The book is also available in soft cover and in various eBook versions through AmazonBarnes and Noble, iBooksSmashwords and many other retailers. the audiobook version will also be available at iTunes and Amazon in a day or two. The book is unabridged and was produced and read by Dale M. Wilcox.

As always, I am grateful for your support and would appreciate any feedback my readers would care to offer on this  or any of my books.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Audiobook version of Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories slated for August release

Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories by Victor D. Lopez (Narrated by Dale M. Wilcox)

There were a number of minor technical issues that needed to be resolved in post-production that resulted in the delay of the audiobook's release. These have now been addressed and the book should be released to Audible, iTunes and Amazon in the next week or two.

I will post links and a sample audio file here as soon as the book is released.  It is a little longer than four and one half hours and I am very pleased with the narrator's (Dale Wilcox) final work. Pricing is, unfortunately, not up to me and will be set by ACX. Paperback and Kindle versions of the book are currently available through Amazon and elsewhere. If I maintain Amazon's distribution of the Kindle version of the book (rather than limiting the Kindle version distribution to Smashwords and its many affiliates--something I am currently considering) then anyone who has purchased the Kindle version will be able to purchase the whispersync audio version at a cut rate price.  Unfortunately, my ACX exclusive distribution agreement will not permit me to make the audiobook available other than through Amazon, Audible and iTunes.
A rough book trailer for the paperback and eBook versions of the book that includes my reading of the shortest short story in the collection, "Justice", is available here. (Worry not. The actual audiobook is professionally produced and narrated by Dale M. Wilcox rather than me.) 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Celts descended from coastal Spaniards?

Galicia, the region of North Western Spain from which my ancestors hail, has long referred to itself as "Terra Celta" (In Galician, Celtic Land) and celebrated its Celtic roots. A new study by an Oxford University team has discovered that Celts are descendants of seafaring Spaniards, fishermen from Coastal Northern Spain according to an August 4 article from The Independent.

I've always been fascinated by the similarities in some of the folk dance, folk costumes and the ubiquitous bagpipe in folk music of Galicia, Ireland and Scotland and thought these might be traced to a common Celtic/Druid ancestry yielding wonderfully different branches of a common tree that share many common traits to this day, not the least of which is a fierce independence and a love for the spoken and written word. It never occurred to me that the original tree might be rooted in coastal Northern Spain, or that Terra Celta could be a literal label rather than a tipping of the hat to the Celtic tribes known to have settled there in the distant past.

Unfortunately, I still cannot bear the sound of bagpipes for other than ceremonial purposes of short duration, be they Scottish, Irish or Galician, and hope that if these musical instruments have any link to Celtic culture, it was only as a tool to drive enemy armies nuts. :)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Armageddon de jour

Alas, one need not be a prophet or read tealeaves to see some disasters coming, such as the wisdom of bringing a doctor with an incurable, highly infectious disease into the U.S. for treatment rather than maintaining quarantine on site and taking treatment to him. What could go wrong? Did anyone other than my wife and I immediately notice the exposed skin in the gap between the glove and the sleeve of the hazard suit worn by one of the health care workers in yesterday's news reports? Are terrorists signatories to international agreements not to use chemical and biological weapons? (And do these help when countries like Iran, North Korea, Iraq and Syria are involved--to say nothing of the U.S. infecting native Americans with smallpox-laden blankets prior to such agreements in a particularly low-point in our history?)

One need not be prescient to posit a novel (yet I believe quite plausible) theory of cosmology or a low-tech means of allowing terrorists to bring about the end of the world by creating black holes with readily available technology (for a price) as I do in "End of Days." There are far more pedantic means of achieving that end right now without any specialized technology or knowledge of physics or quantum mechanics. I wonder, for example, if any of the geniuses in Washington DC at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue have thought what would happen if terrorists purposely infected the tens of thousands of children making their way to the US from Central America with bubonic plague, Ebola, antibiotic resistant tuberculosis, anthrax or any number of other readily available naturally occurring pathogens? It does not take a science fiction writer or much imagination to posit a scenario where infected suicide terrorists posing as cut-rate coyotes shepherd these unsuspecting children to the U.S. border where there is no screening of any kind for infectious diseases. These children are then relocated (for "humanitarian reasons") to the four corners of the U.S. courtesy of an overwhelmed (and politically driven) federal government, thereby ensuring as wide a reach as possible for the infection as these hapless souls are welcomed into the unsuspecting arms of caring sponsors. Armageddon soup, anyone?

And if terrorists have scruples about using children in this terrible way (you decide how likely that is) not to worry: there is no health screening for visitors from many countries with whom we have friendly relations and which are overrun by terrorists and their sympathizers.

No need to move back very far from this pointillistic painting to see the clear picture. But fear not. Courageous men and women in improperly fitted hazard suits will rescue us if that impossible scenario from the overactive mind of a know-nothing prof ever comes to pass.  So don't worry. Be happy.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Life Imitating Art?

Last year I published Mars: Genesis 2.0, a short story set in the very near future that deals with efforts to set up a small colony on Mars before an unavoidable extinction event on earth. No, we don't have a massive asteroid with our number on it destined to hit us in 666 days (as far as I know), but NASA announced yesterday that an oxygen reclamation system will soon head to Mars that will turn CO2 into oxygen in preparation for a future mission. My idea for reclaiming O2 and hydrogen from the Martian atmosphere through atmospheric reclamation units as the means to provide both water and a breathable air (also methane and carbon for fuel and building materials) was based on some rudimentary scientific knowledge and was not a novel concept. But if NASA announces that it is exploring ancient dry aquifers and/or lava tubes by dry lake beds as a site for a colony I'm suing the agency for plagiarism.  Surprised 

Now, given the  current situation in the Middle East I sincerely hope that terrorists are not into fiction as my "End of Days" short story also published last year is keeping me up nights.

If I were Stephen King, I'd write a novel about a mild mannered university prof driven to write prophetic warnings on his demonically possessed laptop that nobody reads. The end is near. Fade to black.