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The Happiest Couple in the Bar

November 23, 2013 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Not Exactly Random  0 Comments

I am a people watcher. Everyone is to some extent; people are fascinating don’t ya know. Most writers start watching and listening to people almost in a Mr. Stalker McStalker way. I am no exception. I started to hang out in bars during lunch and happy hour just to absorb it all.

When my writing started in earnest in 2006, I also embarked on some heavy-duty gender studies after an epiphany about men and women while doing guerrilla just-in-tie research on Hurricane Katrina.

These two events (people watching and hurricane epiphany) intersected. I became attuned to a certain vibe women were giving off (hey I told you–Stalker McStalker). These women were single and in play but how they went about dealing with the opposite sex was not what I was expecting.

Some men, to these women, were literally invisible. There  were not unattractive men, either. Some men caught their eye and they responded with obvious “approach me!” signals. When approached by someone deemed attractive they smiled and went into Girl Mode at the flick of a switch. But even when approached by someone they did not send cues to, they responded positively if the man  was simply being friendly in a warm way. So on and so forth. I could go on and on but the gist is these women were intense. How they responded and whom they responded to was a complex formula their brains processed in real-time about as easy as breathing.

It was at this time I recalled something very interesting a friend of mine said to me when we were discussing some movie I have since forgotten. Betty (named changed to protect the guilty) told me “You can’t lie to a woman in her zone; she might let you get away with it, but she’ll know you lied and will use that against you at an opportunistic time of her choosing.”

So I went back to Betty. Betty, why do single girls treat talking to men with the intensity as if their life depended on it but at the same time with the ease of super computer chomping on data?

Betty laughed. “That’s the woman’s burden,” she said.

Wut?

“The woman’s burden. The single girl’s life does depend on it. ‘It’ being attracting and falling in love with the right man. Because if she’s wrong, not to long ago, she was dead. Even with the extended families of old, the wrong mate meant the best parts of her life were over. Not only was she in a precarious position without the proper man at her side, she was saddled with a child from this defective father.”

Ah, I said. I get it.

“So she’s got girl powers. She is simultaneously aware of everything and nothing because knowing everything is a burden and things like avoiding dying are instinctive. The woman’s burden.”

Now about this time I was thinking Betty was amazingly wise but also full of shit. That’s not a burden, I told her. That’s amazing! Amazingly beautiful.

“Whatever (eye roll).”

Betty was a pessimist. I put distance between Betty and I, despite her providing an enormous shortcut to my understanding of the human condition, as I had become wise in my own way and was dissociating with negative people. People whose goal in life was to passive-aggressively drag everyone down with her terrible brand of narcissism, for it is a narcissistic trait to reduce people to your level to ease your own troubles.

And we come to the heart of this post, which is not about what women do, but a certain type of woman. Over the years I have met Bettys aplenty. It takes a soul-crushing discord to turn something amazing as a girl in her zone and call, and worse, believe, it a burden. What, I wondered, and whom, was the counter to Betty?

Enter the libertarian girl. Think about the enormous will power, discipline and principles needed for a woman to become a libertarian, a philosophy and way of life that runs counter to the herd mentality in so many ways as to almost defy belief.

I’ve watched these libertarian women (again, Stalker McStalker) and have come to realize intrinsic girl powers coupled with the libertarian non-coercion principal is an amazing feminine trait. The women fill the room with the presence and smile at a whim. I’ve witnessed them charming everyone they meet while at the same time repelling negative people as if they had a can of Fuck-Ups Be Gone in their hand. She is simultaneously aware of the beauty in people when you don’t force them to do what you want either directly or by proxy and yet not aware of it at the same time. Her life game dominates her girl game.

Paired with a man funneling his masculinity into the libertarian goodness of live-and-let-live and his own disburden of the removal of zero-sum games in his thoughts, the libertarian woman and the libertarian man are the happiest couple in the bar. For they have each liberated themselves beyond their gender while at the same time basking in it.  Everyone in that bar, to this couple, is good until proven otherwise, and coupled in liberty in deeds and thoughts even at the wet-ware level, they are truly the happiest couple in the bar because, really, how could they not be?

The Happiest Couple in the Bar

Wut r U Do’n?

May 01, 2013 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Not Exactly Random  1 Comment

What am I doing?

Editing.

What did I do yesterday?

Edits.

What will I do this weekend?

Grill. And edit. Some more.

SNIP.

Also: watching Supernatural.

Then editing. Book 2 is getting there!

Supernatural

 

 

 

Libertarian Sexuality, Part 1: Human Sexual Behavior 101

April 10, 2013 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Not Exactly Random, Setting, The Craft  1 Comment

The Question:

We know authors portray libertarian societies as monogamous with a side of polygamy and polyamory, but there are other types of long-term relationships. For example the m+n/f LTR, where one woman has multiple husbands (defined as polyandry). How does this all work in a free society? Was Heinlein ahead of his time or a dirty old man?

Answer:

A libertarian society would see these types of LTRs, which do occur throughout human history and also in the animal kingdom. Let’s talk about a hypothetical future with an emphasis on polyandry, as the main character in Armageddon’s Princess, Lexus, starts out with four husbands while she is the only wife. My world-building research, not simply amusement, contributed to the speculative validity of her (libertarian) marriage.

This is a three-part series:

  • Human Sexual Behavior 101
  • The Present: Doom, Doom, & More Doom
  • A Libertarian Future: Monogamy, Polyamory, Polyandry & Polygamy

Explanation:

To understand how polyandry and other relationships that end in “y” work in humans, let’s define human behaviors outside of gender-relational wishful thinking. In other words, jettison current Western Feminism Dogma for the false-dichotomy it is and deal with facts.

Yeah, I went there.

The Basics of Human Sexuality Without Dogmatic Politically Correct BS

We can divide this discussion right along the sexes: the male imperative and the female imperative.

The Male Imperative

The male imperative is blazingly obvious but modern men and women both attempt to ignore or marginalize it. Sperm is not just cheap, biologically speaking, its way cheap. Sperm is so plentiful a human male will jettison the excess through masturbation.

A human male is good to go when he can find a female willing to engage in intercourse. The more attractive the male is, the more females he can engage to deposit his genetic material into. All men a woman finds attractive can, through the pair-bounding process, create a monogamous relationship where the female is only interested in engaging sex with him despite her feminine imperative.

They call it making love for a reason. A woman attracted to a man gets “high” off a dopamine response. During intercourse, if the man brings the woman to climax, not only will she receive genetic material, she receives an oxytocin punch to her neural response system.

Literally, the male is drugging his mate with love, a one-two punch and the foundation of the pair-bounding process. If backed by cultural reinforcement, the pair-bonding process also creates monogamy and life-time mating.

Why discuss the mechanics of sex specifically impacting women? In the men’s section?

That’s the male imperative. To have sex. We’ll come back to this later.

The Female Imperative

The female imperative is hypergamy.

Hypergamy is the biological feminine drive to mate and secure commitment from a man whose relative attractiveness to her is higher than her own attractiveness. In different words, mate selection is the genetic drive to produce the best offspring she can.

Not only is this feminine imperative, but a duality inherent in all women. They seek sex and commitment. A man can impregnate a woman with little biological commitment. A woman, however, once impregnated, not only consumes more resources than when not, but she is also “spending” her body in a nine month pregnancy followed by, by modern standards, eighteen years of child-raising commitment.

A woman lies on her back, spreads her legs and offers a man her sex: this is a biological offer for a man to ride in the ultimate luxury car. It could be a short ride or the ride of his life, but for a woman sex is an impending biological sacrifice on an epic scale.

This sacrifice is so foundational to a woman’s make up hypergamy is akin to a woman breathing and an undeniable sexual drive rooted in life and death. Without hypergamy a woman could invest her entire life and offspring to a sub-standard male of lower genetic status. Not too long ago, mating with the wrong man meant death.

Many say bad things about hypergamy, but biology doesn’t care. Many also define hypergamy as “marrying up.” That is a simplistic definition of the female imperative.

Hypergamy is the biological force in a woman which dramatically reduces her chance of getting knocked up by a douche-bag who cannot provide for her and her offspring nor keep them safe. She snaps her legs closed. She does not offer the man a ride in her Lexus. She tells him to go pork a Pinto.

Strong as the female imperative is, it is not wishful thinking to recognize the pair-bonding process will dampen a woman’s drive to replace one man with a better one, as long as her current mate remains attractive to her. Making love is a giant, orgasmic sex drug for a woman (and men, but that’s a different story) and can turn her into a slut. She is a monogamous slut only for her man because of her biological drive, as long as she perceives qualities in him which are better than her own. Hypergamy, pervasive that she is, actually sets the conditions for pair-bonding and long-term relationships.

But what hypergamy giveth, hypergamny taketh away. As soon as her mate ceases to be attractive to her, all bets are off. Hypergamy kicks in, and with a vengeance. Remember, the woman is deciding to make a life-altering biological change. Why would she make babies with someone she isn’t attracted to and repulsed by? This directly translates to DON’T HAVE SEX. This DON’T HAVE SEX bit has many names. The Friend Zone. Divorce. Serial Monogamy. I Love You But I Am Not In Love With You™. Whatever you call it, thy name is legion:

Hypergamy. The feminine imperative.

Biology Doesn’t Care

We’ve talked about love but only from a biological standpoint in the pair-bounding process.  I didn’t talk about romantic love because biology doesn’t care. Biology doesn’t care about a lot of things and coupled with that factoid this post serves as the foundation for understanding human sexuality. This seems simple and is simple. Humans are highly adaptive. Genetics root this species specific trait in cold-hard reality.

Let’s go over some examples.  One classic misunderstood example is birth control.

Mr. and Mrs. Biology Scoff at Your Scientific Advancements

A woman can choose when to get pregnant. This ushered in a sexual revolution, right?

Wrong. Evolutionary biology doesn’t care about birth control, at least not yet. All sex, for a woman’s brain, is make-a-baby-sex. All. If she has sex while ovulating the female brain goes “We’re making a baby! Yeah!” Before ovulation, her brain goes “Wooooo! Give me some of this white stuff because it sticks around for five days!” So-on-and-so-forth.

The emotional response to sex is not the body saying, “Well, this is sex and I’m ovulating, but because I have a diaphragm in, I won’t get pregnant. Let’s not pair-bound, Ms. Body, either, despite the fact I’ve had three orgasms and this guy is hot, because I’m still working on my B.A.”

A woman’s hormonal system will care she is on the pill. Behavior traits based on millions of years of sexuality don’t.

Let’s talk about the other side of the coin, men.

Mr. and Mrs. Biology Don’t Give Rip if You Think Objectification is Bad

Today, many tell men to not objectify women because that’s sexist and ultimately misogynistic. Objectification, they say, is the moral basis for patriarchal systems and everything bad in men.

Despite evidence of evolutionary traits men find attractive, somehow a man must ignore the massive amounts of testosterone in his body (as compared to a woman) and the theory of evolution and not objectify a woman he just met?

Ignoring women also initially objectify men they desire, for men, the pair-bounding process replaces objectivity with idealistic notions of romance and love (much more so for men than women!). Yet somehow initial attraction, wanting (not necessarily doing but simply wanting) sex with nubile Katie without getting to know her is bad.

Biology doesn’t care. Biology doesn’t care about the “unfairness” of Katie’s long legs and big boobs while Sally is an A cup and therefore men should appreciate Sally just as much as Katie. It’s not supposed to be fair. It’s the male imperative. If a woman thinks this is bad, that’s her problem. Not his.

I end this post with a rational examination of sex-attributed behaviors and not a moralistic approach because in the next, we’ll expose all the dirty laundry. My mantra as we look at the current state before moving to a future state of monogamy, polyandry and polygamy roots itself in this notion:

The human brain is a meat computer. Emotions and feelings are tangible things running around a brain like software. Evolutionary biology is the runtime basis defining how the brain runs these programs.

No sacred cow will be safe in the next post of this series. Hold on to yer butts. Despite the looming negativity, keep in mind libertarianism is a positive endeavor in almost all things.

Including smooching:

From Girl to Woman

Libertarian Sexuality, Part 1: Human Sexual Behavior 101, first appeared in Who Said Pixies Are Rational Creatures? in April 2013. For more information on Anthony Pacheco and his books, please visit his website.

Bunny McBoobs, My First Book Failure

March 15, 2013 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Characterization, Not Exactly Random, Plot, The Craft  4 Comments

I wrote a book and it was fan-fiction. I wanted to see if I could plot without worrying about characterization.

And I could! I promptly shoved the book under the bed after having one of the kids draw a cover for it. Literally, it’s under the bed.

My second book I completely threw caution to the wind. I wrote a near-future science fiction book about a hot blonde teen girl named Bunny who was a polymath with an eidetic memory, living in a Washington coastal town during an economic downturn. The town had a nasty past, an “interesting” relationship with the local Indian tribe and… a vampiric alien.

It was a weird-ass book, but man, after a revision, I nailed the character voicing and the action scenes. I was fearless and it was way off the rails.

And I realized I could not sell it. This was not a book to launch a writing career as a novelist.

This book was important in that it was the first book I sent to beta readers. It broke through that wall most writers put around themselves when they are in that “this is a bit of crap but its good enough to get feedback.” zone. On one hand, you have to set your fears of your writing chops and worry that you’re using your friends aside and get feedback.

On the other, you need a dose of reality.

After the revisions I realized that I loved that book. I loved it very much. But I didn’t love it enough to sell it. In a sense, I picked the wrong book to write or the right book at the wrong time. This was a failure, in a way. I spent almost a year on it.

Ah, well. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not learning anything.

But someday I will come back to Bunny. Cause Bunny rules.

Bunny McBoobs

Bunny McBoobs

I Have Never Been Depressed – Empathy and Libertarianism on the Loose

March 14, 2013 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Anthonyisms, Not Exactly Random  1 Comment

In my life I have been many things, some bad, hopefully mostly good.

But I have never been depressed. I’ve been sad, lonely, disappointed, hurt and mystified. You name it, I’ve felt it, and those that really know me understand my life wasn’t exactly white-bread middle-class, either.

Part of my dodging the depression bullet is genetics and health. I do not have a condition or chemical imbalance that causes this (clinical) condition.

I’m talking about the other card on the table: depression caused by an external factors colliding with internal philosophy. I see this all the time. So does everyone else.

What is my secret?

Empathy, certainly a little bit, but the root of my non-depression is I am a libertarian. Let’s talk about empathy first.

Empathy and Depression

True empathy is a learned trait. That is, in order for a person to use empathy in a holistic manner, someone must teach that person to do so

However, some people are born with the natural trait of empathy. Spend some time with young children and you can see some of them have an natural affiliation for others outside their sense of self. They have a natural predominant “nurture” (mostly girls) or “protect” (mostly boys) thought processes. Their nature is kindness.

I am one of these people, and also someone taught empathy. I am very thankful for the way I’m wired and what I have learned.

After a certain point, an empathetic person’s sense of self has a natural defense against depression because we have a natural barrier to destructive inward reflection and selfishness. It is difficult for someone to engage in self-destructive behavior if a person understands what causes that in others. It is difficult for that person to engage in selfish behavior, due to empathy for others, as many things cease to become a zero-sum game. To the empath, there are no winners and losers. One person’s success is not your failure.

False-critical reflection and selfishness will cause depression. That is not to say that a depressed person is self-destructive or selfish, but an empathetic person has a built-in defense against depression because they use empathy as a default behavior.

For me, this is part of my lack of depression. The major part of this is I am a libertarian both in words and deeds. People attribute libertarianism often as standing “against” something.

Opposition is symptomatic of an intrinsic philosophy.

Libertarian Philosophy and the Freedom from Depression

Libertarianism is the fundamental belief that all people are good unless a person proves otherwise. There are certain social aspects of this such as trust-verify relationships and game theory. For example, let’s say I’m good friends with Larry and I trust him because he has proven to me he is trustworthy. I tell Larry that I’m going to buy a used car from my neighbor Bob. Larry says whoa there Anthony. Bob is a total scum-bag and will try to cheat you, because he cheated me by selling me a used car, but then put different tires on it before delivery/swapping out other parts/whatever.

Wow, okay. Thanks Larry. I won’t deal with Bob!

That’s one example of the social nature of trust-verify.

Beyond the social aspects of trust-verify lies dealing with people one-on-one. How we deal with people is the core of libertarian philosophy, not what libertarianism is not (“leave me alone, I will leave you alone,” statism is evil, mind-your-own-business, etc.). A person’s relationship with others comes from individual behavior and never from a group.

This simplicity heads right over to the lack of coercion in all things libertarianism. When a person “gives up” the tribalism concept of control = survival, then that person experiences liberation in the true sense of the word. To summarize:

All people are good until proven otherwise –> relationships are always individual –> giving up forced coercion –> results in liberation of the mind.

Hold on, I’m going somewhere here, folks.

Free. Your. Mind.

When you give up trying to control others either through your actions (coercive force) or by proxy (politics), your relationship with other people shifts dramatically. You enter a zen-like state of immediacy that deals with reality as it is, not how you wish it to be. A libertarian mind rebels against collectivism and therefore all the depressing attributes associated with forceful coercion.

For example, Some people are cruel. It is not our nature to be cruel.

Let’s go over some common troupes:

Troupe Collectivism Libertarianism
Racism White men owned slaves, therefore white men are prone to slavery and must make reparations I am not racist. Therefore, I am not guilty of racism. Also, many cultures practiced slavery
Sexism Men rape. Therefore we must presume that there is a rape culture fostered by the male patriarchy I am not a rapist. Therefore, I reject forcing me to pay for the sins of a felon because I did not commit the felony; I also reject the notion of a male patriarchy in today’s society
Discrimination People discriminate, therefore we must pass laws to compensate for the innate discrimination present in society I do not discriminate. Therefore, I judge people on his or hers each merit and reject any coercion to conform to that belief
Homosexuality The Bible/Koran/other religious document says all homos are evil and have cooties Sexual preference is a result of genetic and clinical attributes. Therefore, a homosexual is evil only if he or she display traits such as sociopathy or felonious, violent behavior, which is not specific to sexual orientation
Homosexuality Discrimination against homosexuality occurs therefore we must compensate by teaching children about homosexuality We must respect children’s sexuality and not force one on them
Drugs Drugs are bad for you, therefore we must pass laws protecting people from drugs Drugs don’t kill people. People kill people
Guns Guns kill people, therefore we must ban guns People kill bad people and people kill good people. The bad people killing good people with guns or other objects should be punished accordingly
Wealth We must make sure we take care of poor people I agree, but I do not believe in forcing people to give up their property for any cause
Divorce In order to protect women, we must assume a divorce is “no fault” and have the state administer child support and alimony under the threat of confiscation or incarceration I reject the notion that we should force men, or women, by the state to reallocate their resources when they are not at fault

 

and so on and so forth.

For good or bad, when a person rejects the use of force in almost all things, that person frees his mind from actual guilt and self-destructive thinking. Depression caused by behaviors becomes rare and difficult. Improving the world becomes a matter of helping people around you through your direct actions, not by forcing other people to do as you say. If we control the things we can control and reject controlling the things that are not our purview, what is there to be depressed about?

Nothing. I reject the collectivist/elitist reality and substitute one of my own.

Libertarianism philosophy or lack there of, however, also relates directly to empathy in different ways than we discussed above. And yes, I’m going to go there.

Collectivism and Elitism is a Lack of Empathy and a Lack of Empathy can Cause Depression

Now we come full circle.

Forcing someone who is not guilty of a social ill or crime to pay for another person’s social ill or crime is collectivism. Often times it is also elitist behavior and indicative of a behavioral pathology. A libertarian asserts this is contrary to our natures (control = survival vs. empathy = survival). While it is easier to stick it to the man, figuratively and literally at the ballot box, talk-show or blog post, it’s quite another to do it face-to-face. Not only is this behavior passive-aggressive and therefore subversive and coercive, it is also an appalling lack of empathy. It is punishing the son for the sins of the father. It is, at the very core, an injustice and tyranny of the group unto the individual. It is wrong and morally bankrupt.

This is a lack of empathy. Our natures rebel against such negative behaviors. We become empty, sullen, resentful.

Depressed.

Reject the forces that urge harm by proxy and suffering for those sins ceases.

There is no cure for the human condition. Libertarianism is the embrace of positive social nature and is the triumph and celebration of the individual. What a wonderful, positive place for the mind to be!

Libertarian Man

This is how I start and end my day.

Armageddon’s Princess Book Launch and Contest!

February 22, 2013 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Not Exactly Random, The Craft  23 Comments

Book Announcement and How to Get It

Here at Deep Mountain Studios, I’m super excited to announce my science fiction mystery, Armageddon’s Princess, is now available for to buy!

Click here to buy from Amazon: Print Edition.

Click here to buy from Amazon: Kindle Edition.

You can also buy the book right from my Amazon store here on my website!

Click here to buy the print edition from Barnes and Noble.

Add my book to you bookshelf on Goodreads (as a reminder to buy later)!

Go here to enter the Goodreads Armageddon’s Princess Giveaway for a chance at a free print book!

And finally, Amazon Prime members can download it to their Kindle (from their Kindle) for free!

Catchy Book Synopsis

ANGRY PRINCESS IS ANGRY.

Investigator Lexus Nancy Toulouse, ex-soldier extreme: finds her Libido Generator is on the fritz, learns her old warship wants to “get back together” (despite the fact she already has four husbands!), loses whatever war-torn sanity she had left in a crime reenactment and becomes the Princess Concubine to the mysterious Empress. Then, while trying on lingerie, someone tried to blow her up and she regenerated all the way back to a teenager. Now there will be lots of blood…

AND NONE OF IT HERS.

And an Awesome Contest! For Kindles!

Update: Contest ended!

To celebrate, we’re giving away a Kindle Fire 8.9″ HD  and two Kindle Paperwhites.

Yeah, you read that right. To enter these contests, all you need to do is:

1) To enter in the drawing for the Kindle Fire, all you have to do is subscribe to my blog. On the evening of March 8th, we will randomly pick one subscriber. That person will get the Kindle Fire. To subscribe to my blog, go to the left hand side and fill out the form that looks like this:

Blog Subscrbe

Be sure to confirm your subscription in email, or you won’t get added to the list we’re drawing from.

2) To enter the drawing for the one of the Kindle Paperwhites, all you have to do is subscribe to my monthly newsletter by clicking here and filling out the form. On the evening of March 8th, we will randomly pick one subscriber.

Be sure to confirm your subscription in email, or you won’t get added to the list we’re drawing from.

3) To enter the drawing for the other Kindle Paperwhite, all you have to do is comment on this post. On the evening of March 8th, we will randomly pick one commenter.

Note that could take 24 hours for your comment to get out of moderation.  Only one comment will count towards the drawing, multiple comments from the same person only count as one entry.

Pretty simple, isn’t it? There are no fancy point system, no complicated rules. Sign up to win, have a chance to win.

Launch Contest Q&A:

Q: Where is the contest valid?
A: The Untied States, Canada and the United Kingdom only. Sorry, Amazon limits me on which stores we can buy and ship from.

Q: What versions of the hardware?
A: The 8.9″ HD Fire 16 megs Wi-Fi with special offers, and the Wi-Fi Paperwhites with special offers

Q: Can I enter all three contests?
A: Yes. Please.

Q: How will the drawings be done?
A: Names are printed and cut out, folded, and put in a hat. We’ll hold the hat above someone’s head, and she’ll pick a lucky winner. We will drawn an alternate name, if, when we contact the first person, he/she does not have an US, UK or Canadian shipping address.

Q: What’s to stop me from unsubscribing when the contest is over?
A: Nothing!

Q: What do you blog about?
A: I blog about science fiction, fantasy, books, libertarian topics and announcements.

Q: What will be in the newsletter?
A: Mainly announcements and links to popular posts. Lightweight stuff, but a good way to get info on upcoming projects and releases.

Q: How can you run such a cool contest?
A: Because I’m a capitalist pig!

Ready?

Oh, and please buy my book. Buy 100 copies. Give them to your friends. Have those friend buy 100 copies. ANTHONY WINS BOOK LAUNCH! See, it’s that simple.

Actually, purchasing the book and leaving an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads or Barnes and Noble would be a bit of the awesome, really. Unless you hate it. But I know you will love it. I hope.

And please: share this contest with everyone! Share! Share with all the peoples!

Ready? Set? GO!

Armageddon's Princess book cover

Guest Post by Sarah A. Hoyt: Holding Daddy’s Hand

February 19, 2013 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Awesomesauce, Not Exactly Random, Plot, Setting, The Craft  1 Comment

smallsarahThe wise owner of this blog said recently that The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress needs no reboot, and I’m not stupid enough to argue.

In a way he’s absolutely right. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress is perfect of itself, vying with The Puppet Masters for my most favorite Heinlein ever, which is to say, vying with Puppet Masters for my favorite book of all time.

Which happened to be to our purpose, nothing. Meaning what Heinlein wrote was perfect for Heinlein and for his Universe, but when I finished Darkship Thieves, both my publisher and I decided it was time to open a can of whoop… er… behind on the Self-Satisfied Good Men of Earth.

Partly this was born of logic. After all, well, once you have that complete control, you are certainly going to be hurting the society that hosts you. Any parasite that grows to large is going to do that and government is always a parasite, in the sense that it creates nothing, and can’t live without its host. (Whether it benefits the host on the other hand, is something we might discuss. I mean, I hear these days that intestinal worms are good for you, they decrease auto-immune disorders. Maybe a small, controlled government decreases incidences of tyranny. I don’t know. Maybe we should have a small government and try it.)

Partly this was born of the fact that my publisher and I are both blood-thirsty broads with a nasty disposition. The Good Men annoyed us, and therefore, the Good Men must come down.

So… I was left to plot revolution. When in this type of situation, I go to Heinlein whose writing can be defined as “teaching young people how to plot revolution.”

Well, I can’t say I’m young, but yes. So I did read The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. And I thought “Okay, then, now let’s try it without a supercomputer.” “Let’s try it without a closed system like the moon” and “Let’s try it without the people we’re fighting against being at the bottom of the gravity well.”

The result was, of course, an unholy mess. In fact, it was such a messy mess, I couldn’t contain it under the Darkship Thieves series except very loosely.

The revolution starts with the escape from Never-Never at the end of Darkship Thieves of the disowned son of a Good Man. It starts not because he has high ideals, but because he would like to stay alive. (The high ideals come later.) It will end – because it’s across the whole Earth – twenty some years later, in a battle royale. In between there are many revolutions. The one in A Few Good Men is in the seacity of Olympus and its land-dependencies. The one in Liberte seacity – the next book, Through Fire – goes SERIOUSLY wrong.

And meanwhile Eden, the center of Darkship Thieves and Darkship Renegades is finding the limitations of a society with no written law (which is relevant considering we’ve decided to ignore our written law. Er… I mean, it’s complete science fiction, never mind.)

Darkship Renegades came out in December. A Few Good Men comes out in March. I have contracts in my hands for Through Fire and what might turn into Darkship Vengeance.

A friend told me I was writing Heinlein homage, but I don’t think I am. I’m also not writing Heinlein reboot, because when it comes to writing science fiction, compared to him I am but an egg.

It is just that I grew up IN Heinlein’s books, and as such it’s difficult to escape certain assumptions about how the world works, and how the future will go. Not ALL assumptions, of course, because we’re not the same people. But in general, we seem to be in accord about what matters: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I’m no more doing Heinlein homage than your kid does you homage when his walk is a lot like yours. It’s not that he sat out to imitate you. It’s that he learned to walk while holding your hand.

And in a way that’s what I’m doing – writing space opera, holding daddy’s hand.

There are worse things I could do.

(And because I promised Anthony I’d mention it – I’ve corrupted my entire family with Portuguese Kale soup. This is difficult since we are, of course, on a low carb diet, so the potato base to thicken the water is right out. BUT I make broth from spicy sausage. Then I boil and mash some cauliflower. And then I drop in the julienned Kale. Particularly good on a cold, cold night in Colorado.)

[Admin: Thanks Sarah for stopping by! Links to Sarah’s awesome  latest and upcoming books are here: The Sporadic, Spasmodic, Self Promo Post]

A Few Good Men

The Christmas Memory of Scent

December 15, 2012 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Anthonyisms, Atmosphere, Not Exactly Random, The Craft  0 Comments

The house smells so wonderful.

My penchant for Scrooge-like feelings during the holiday season has slowly been replaced by warm memories of my children’s joy for the season. For young boys, yes, Christmas is a lot about presents. If you are a good parent, if you could overcome the bombastic rampant commercialism, there is an underlying simplicity about the season that can pull at the heart like no other time.

This morning Thing Two came in while I was getting dressed, wanting to know if we could go get Thing One’s Christmas present tonight. How cute is that? I’ll tell you how cute it is, it is a bit of the ultra-cuteness.

Yes there are the presents. But then there is the smell of the tree. The gingerbread house. The decorating. The Christmas cookies. The story of Christmas. Grandpa and Nanna. Daddy’s Christmas Day roast. Santa. The music. The warm fireplace and the happy dog.

Long after those presents are gone, the memories of our close family during this time will linger on. One day my sons will be walking in one of the great national forests around here, and after the morning rain, smell the fresh scent of grand firs. And it will smell like Christmas.

And that will be magical, always magical, even in the dead of summer, it will be Christmas magic.

(repost from 2008)