Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Botanicaust" novelist coins new sci fi term that explores new territory

Having lived in Alaska for 10 years in the
1980s, this blogger often browses the online newspapers in Juneau and Fairbanks
from his electronic cave here in Taiwan, and the other day I came across an
arresting term I had never heard of before -- "botanicaust."


newly-minted word is

the title of a new sci fi novel by Alaskan writer Tam Linsey, and

since I wondered if she was using the term in reference to an older

word that is part of Jewish history now

-- ''holocaust'' -- I sent her a message via Facebook and asked if we could


Ms. Linsey kindly said yes, and an informal email interview took place

across the invisible wires of the Internet, from Alaska to Taiwan and

back to the San Diego offices of this newspaper.

When I asked how she came up with the title of her novel, and if it was

coined off the "holocaust" term, Linsey said: "You guessed correctly;

I came up with the word by playing off the word 'holocaust'. I love

etymology -- the roots of words. In Greek, the root word 'botan' means

plant, and 'caust' means to burn. In Botanicaust, there is a place

called 'The Protectorate' where the people defend their

city by burning everything within a five-mile radius -- plants,

animals -- even people."

"I focused on the 'botan' prefix because the post-apocalyptic world I

write about has been devastated by genetically-altered weeds, wiping

out croplands and forcing people to resort to other 'nutritional'

methods," she added. "I went through several titles as I was writing,

but I knew I'd hit the jackpot when the phrase Botanicaust came to me

while I was driving."

"Botanicaust" is a dystopian story that takes place some 400 years

in the future. when the world has been destroyed by genetic


In Linsey's narrative, the Earth has become a place, as one reviewer

has already noted, ''where a

few isolated

outposts of civilization attempt to survive amidst a landscape of

deserts and scrub weeds populated by cannibals who harvest what the

description on the back cover of the book calls 'the only crop left.'

The reader can guess what that ''crop'' is: human beings! Remember, this is

science fiction, so anything goes.

Linsey's book, while not religious in tone, nevertheless delves into

some important and intriguing religious issues: one character named

Levi Kraybill is a resident of a small Christian farming colony known

as the 'Holdout'. The people who live there call themselves the Old

Order, speak German,

follow only “Gotte Wille” (God’s Will) and are patterned on today's

Amish people, according to Linsey.

What caught another reviewer's attention was how ''deeply religious''

the novel is, with the author delving into some of the main

themes found in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Bible.

Linsey does this with an open mind, and the characters' search for God

becomes a major part of the story.

When I asked Linsey how the idea for the novel came to her, she

replied: "As a certified master gardener, I am very attuned to the

plant world. I’m pretty sure the first kernel of the idea for

'Botanicaust' came to me while pulling weeds in my garden here in

Alaska. Here the battle against non-native species is growing. I

watched invasive sweet clover creep along the edges of the highways

for years. And then one day a stand appeared on my street. I was

aghast. Eradicating the weed takes constant vigilance, which is

impossible on a governmental level – Alaska simply has too much land

to cover. And then I thought – what if these weeds were

bio-engineered, making them even more difficult to control?"

"The idea for 'Botanicaust' had sprouted," she said.

When I asked Ms. Linsey if, as a life-long Alaskan who was born there

and came back to live after going to college in the Lower 48, Alaska

played a major role in the inception of the book, she said: "Alaska is

completely dependent on outside sources to feed the population. If I

remember correctly, we only produce about three percent of our food

locally. I try to grow or hunt for as much of my family’s food as I

possibly can. I like the idea of being self-sufficient if a disaster

were to strike. In writing 'Botanicaust', I pondered who might be the

least susceptible to something like an invasion of genetically-altered

weeds. I also have relatives in Amish country, and have seen how many

of them still have their 'hands in the Earth,' as they put it. That's

why I chose to make the settlement called Holdout an Amish


Linsey's views about genetic enginering informed much of the book as

well, she said, noting: "As far as 'Frankenfoods' go, I am hopeful the

technology can feed the world – my concern is that we are moving too

fast, without a care for the possible consequences. Not only to

consumers, but to the ecosystem in general. Some crops are pesticide

or herbicide resistant, encouraging farmers to spray. Herbicides kill

weeds and increase crop yields, but the weeds not killed by the

pesticide then reproduce and pass along the genetic resistance to the

spray. What will we do when the spray is no longer effective? The same

goes for pesticides. Add to that the fact that genetic engineering

inserts foreign genetic material into our crops (which is not the same

as hybridization; a mouse cannot breed with a plant), and we have the

potential to create consumer allergies or other disorders. Long-term

food testing is not required. The citizens of America are guinea pigs,

with many people eating genetically-modified foods without even

knowing it. In another twenty years, we may see a surge of diseases

and disorders in the children who are currently eating large amounts

of this food. Or we may not. But I think people should have the right

to choose whether or not to participate in the experiment."

When asked how her own religious background might have impacted the

novel's themes, Linsey said: "I do profess to be Christian, but I am

not religious. Some of the things the Christian church celebrates

today are actually of pagan origin, not Biblical at all. 'Religion'

has been warped, in my view of things. I like to think of myself as

more spiritual. Throughout my life, I have studied many faiths –

perhaps not in great depth, but enough to know which path is, or is

not, for me. I pray for guidance and wisdom often. Like Levi in

'Botanicaust', I think each human being needs to search for God (or

the Divine, if you prefer) their own way, on a personal level.''

Linsey sees her first book as part of a series, although she is not

sure yet how far it will extend.

"I intend to write stories about the 'Botanicaust' world until I’m

tired of it," she said. "That may be three books. Or it may be

ten.Another full-length novel is in the works where we get to see how

Eily has adapted to life at the Holdout. After that, I have at least

one more 'Botanicaust' kernel I’m holding onto."

Friday, October 19, 2012

One very good sci fi novel stands out, one very clunky one doesn't -- a double review

[Not the Fairbanks News-Shiner]

One very good sci fi novel stands out,
one very clunky one doesn't -- [a double review]

FAIRBANKS — Kudos are due to Tam Linsey, who has accomplished a feat that many have tried but few have completed successfully: Writing a self-published debut novel that turned out to be quite good.

“Botanicaust” is a dystopian science fiction piece set several centuries hence, long after the world has been brought down by genetic engineering run amok. It’s a desolate planet where a few isolated outposts of civilization attempt to survive amid a landscape of deserts and scrub weeds populated by cannibals who harvest what the description on the back of the book calls “The only crop left.” In other words, it’s the worst-case scenario envisioned by anyone who has ever shaken an angry fist at Monsanto.

As “Botanicaust” opens, we meet Levi Kraybill, a resident of a small religious farming colony known as the Holdout. His son is suffering from cystic fibrosis, and against the strict rules governing the cloistered settlement, he departs in an effort to locate a group of scientists rumored to live somewhere across the desert who supposedly possess a cure for the disorder.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the landscape lies the Haldanian Protectorate, where people have learned to survive by a conversion therapy that leaves them with chloroplasts and the ability to photosynthesize, therefore needing few calories. It also turns their skin completely green. They wear nothing but tiny breechcloths in order to absorb as much sunlight as possible.

Like the Holdout, the Protectorate is guarding against the marauding gangs of cannibals just beyond its borders. To keep them at bay, aircraft are sent out to burn large swaths of land along with the people found there, although those cannibals that surrender are taken back to the protectorate where they are offered the choice of conversion or being euthanized.

Tula Macoby is a female psychiatrist working in the Protectorate, assisting converted cannibals into their new lifestyle. Her efforts meet limited success, however, and often her patients are euthanized for failing to change their ways.

Levi is captured during one of the raids on cannibals and brought back to Haldania, where Tula meets him and soon determines he’s not a cannibal. Although unable to speak his language, she quickly discerns that he comes from an established village that the Haldanians were unaware of. She becomes enchanted with him, but her boss, Vitus Dedecus, considers him unsalvageable and wants him quickly euthanized.

Readers can see where this is going: Tula decides to save Levi by helping him escape, and in the process winds up becoming a fugitive alongside him. And of course, the two are bound to fall in love as well. But those are among the very few predictable parts of this book, because Linsey has crafted a fast-moving plot that takes numerous unexpected twists. She may be working with some well-worn themes here, including forbidden love, the quest for salvation, and a world undone by mankind’s hubris, but she does so with a relish and originality rarely found even in much of what comes from the major publishing houses, much less the vanity presses.

After a series of mishaps in the desert, Tula and Levi finally reach the underground home of the Fosselites, the scientists Levi was seeking. They have discovered — and keep closely guarded — the secret of immortality, and also prove to have played a hand in the events that initially brought on the Botanicaust.

Unsurprisingly, their formula for eternal life has its own drawbacks, and the Fosselites turn out to present new dangers for our heroes, but we shouldn’t be giving away too much here. Suffice to say that it’s back to the desert, where Levi and Tula are alternately pursued by Haldanians, Fosselites, and cannibals. Their only possible hope lies with the Holdout, but Levi knows that the people dwelling there — who call themselves the Old Order and are patterned on the Amish — will immediately reject Tula; her green skin is viewed by his deeply religious brethren as being the Mark of the Beast.

Linsey explores a number of themes in this book. Obviously, our collective jitters about how far we should go with our experiments in genetic engineering underlie the entire plot, not just regarding the Botanicaust itself but also the steps taken by both the Haldanians and the Fosselites. Yet she doesn’t use the book as a political treatise. The actual events leading up to the initial catastrophe are barely explored, and the characters hold widely divergent views on the nature and capacities of science.

The relationship between Levi and Tula opens up the area of love found across racial and cultural gulfs, and Linsey works with these ideas thoughtfully as well.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this book, however, is how deeply religious it is. Levi is caught in a horrific struggle with his faith, and his attempt at squaring it with the world around him allows Linsey to contemplate some of the primary themes found in the Bible. Here, too, she accomplishes this goal with ample sensitivity and respect. Despite a couple of fairly graphic sex scenes — as well as the shockingly green naked woman on the cover — this is a book heavily focused on the search for God.

None of these themes detract from the plot, however. Like any truly skilled novelist, Linsey keeps the story at the forefront, with both the action and the character development moving apace.

“Botanicaust” could easily be picked up and reissued by a large publisher with little more than a few minor editing corrections. That can’t often be said for self-published works. This is top notch sci-fi.

[However, another sci fi book, also about the distant future, and whose title I am loathe to even mention in print because it is so bad, is set in Alaska, near Fairbanks even, but the book was so clunky and annoyingly cliche-ridden, in terms of plot and characterization, that I am loathe to even review other than to say a few words about how bad it is. That should explain why my newspaper refused to ask me to use my peering critical eye to review the sad excuse for a sci fi novel that the book presents, if truth be told.
To be be honest, I must tell you, this other sci fi novel that I refuse to even look at, is one

of the worst books I've come

across this year. I get over 20 books a week in the mail from would be

novelists and authors from all over Alaska and the Lower 48. This clunky book in question takes the cake.

The characters are one-dimensional, the dialogue is stilted and often

unintentionally hilarious, the situations are merely a series of

cliches derived from any number of other 'end of the world'stories.

There is

little about the book that appears to be truly original, or is

presented with any sort of literary skill beyond the most rudimentary

-- the book's preface rant is so ham-fisted and clumsy that it's

almost funny.

I understand the author's emotional and professional invested in the 'ideas' in

his book . But that is all that it is

-- a single vague idea, and not a terribly original nor a very

carefully considered at that, about a single eventuality that might be

extrapolated from the science and speculation that surrounds the topic

of global climate change, that has been churned into a slapdash series

of anecdotes about uninteresting characters and their unimaginative


Perhaps there
is a decent work of fiction that could be crafted from
this clunky and ill-written book. But if the author herself is pleased with
the results of her novel, and was happy to see it released to the world, then, really,
that's all that matters. I, for one, refuse to even mention the title, its author, or even take the time to review it. I have much better things to do than waste my time with junk.]

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Peter Cook focuses on ''Conscious Living'' in his ''Hydrogen to Human'' Project

"It would seem that the human race is at a crossroads, because for the

first time ever, we can see things not just from a global perspective,

but a universal one," writes Peter Cook, a British expat living in Taiwan.

"That should help us to make future choices, but a glance at the long run of human

history shows that we are flawed as a species,

and not the masters of the Earth as we once thought.''

Cook has been working in Taiwan on a project he calls “Hydrogen to Human,”

and which details the self-assembly of everything in the universe, which

includes human behavior.

"Because we can look at all cultures on the

Earth in real time, we can see which behaviors are common to them all," he says.

Cook adds: "Logic tells you this is who “we” are. The other behavior will have

patterns that are the same, even though the behavior is completely

different. This can also be used as evidence to predict what we will

do in the future."

Take World War I and the current financial mismanagement in Europe and

the US, for example, Cook says, noting "You would think that with just a little bit of foresight,

people would have sidestepped these problems, they were so obvious.

However, we don’t see the obvious until the amount of pain we have to

endure forces us to change."

"Why? Because we are still very much animals whose bodies are a

relationship between two interdependent partners, a mind and a body.

Work from basic principles now, they never let you down. The mind

floods the body with chemicals to make it behave in certain ways. This

simply allows the mind to exist (that’s how DNA works, to just exist)," Cook writes.

"The body needs a control mechanism so it can exist. Because human

beings have no bodily weapons, we rely on tool-making and cooperation

to get the better of the animals we share the world with. We are

programmed to conform, not to make calm logical decisions based on the

current philosophical concepts of the day. We react to the chemicals

in our bodies first and think later (test this the next time you are

driving). As the only animal that can do the opposite of what the

chemicals tell us to, why don’t we? It is very difficult to do, as any

addict will tell you. When you fall in love, or hate, it’s all but

impossible to react calmly."

"The moneymakers and warmongers have learned to exploit this to their

own advantage, another universal trait. Good education can teach the

next generation what to do before the chemicals kick in: They can

react to intelligent rules, rather than chemical ones."

"The problems caused by over-conforming can now be clearly seen:

Religion is now ironically the biggest threat to world peace, the

banks who are supposed to safeguard our savings turned out to be the

biggest thieves and looking from a universal perspective, humans on

the Earth are a product of what DNA does, so we could go on

reproducing like a virus until we kill our host."

In conclusion, Cook says: "We do have a choice, and that requires the number of people who are

making intelligent choices to have more influence than those who make

chemically driven reactions. Technology does not make anybody smarter:

If you are making a mistake, you just make it faster. Good education

with logic rather than emotion as an underlying principle gives us a

tool to save us from our own DNA."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The genesis of a book idea, from email to published novel....

First, on a whim and a prayer, as is my usual wont, one day in August 2011, i sent aform mass email bomb email as part of mass email bomb to everyone i knew in the writers field and specifically to a crime writer friend in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and asked him if he knew any other writers
who might want to take a stab at a sci fi novel about polar cities set in the future re global warming.

Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2011
Subject: Re: dan bloom Subject: "Polar City Red" looking for writer

To: charlessas in Tulsa [in my computer files address book, ***his address just came up by ***complete chance one day when
I was sending out this ***form letter to dozens of writer friends in the USA and Canada. As I had been doing reguarlu for 6 years. Nobody ever replied, but in 2011 summer of 2011 Chuck did.]

my mass email email bomb form letter read:

Subject: "Polar City Red" looking for Hollywood writer

I need writer to help bring a global warming sci-fi
thriller to book form , maybe later as either as a theatrical movie or
movie. This is fiction, but it is based on my current reseach, which
>> >> is getting worldwide attention via the Internet. The working title of
>> >> the movie is "Polar City Red". It is about a polar city in the far
>> >> distant future, which houses remnants of humanity who have survived
>> >> global warming in the North Pole area and whose "breeding pairs"
>> >> remainthe only hope for the continuation of humankind on Earth. The
>> >> year: 2500, maybe 3500. Not so far away, maybe even sooner than that.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> My name is Danny Bloom. See my blog at
>> >> and see the Wikipedia entry
>> >> under "Polar Cities". Also google the term "Polar Cities" and you see
>> >> where I am going with this.
>> >>
>> >> It's getting later earlier and earlier. In the line of such films as
>> >> "The Day After Tomorrow" and "Sunrise", my movie project titled "Polar
>> >> City Red" is based on my blog and represents a major opportunity for
>> >> our team to strike gold and have an impact on society as well.
>> >>
>> >> The storyline is this: in the distant future, a group of survivors of
>> >> global warming live in a polar city in the Arctic region of Earth, and
>> >> the 100 breeding pairs of males and females remain the only hope for
>> >> the continuation of the species. The movie explains how climate change
>> >> caused all this, how most of Earth's 6 billion people died in the
>> >> catastrophe of global warming, and all the things that led up this
>> >> event. However, the films is both a warming and a hopeful note that we
>> >> can survive in these polar cities of the future and that we will
>> >> survive.
>> >>
>> >> Email me here.
>> >> I live in Taiwan, far from the madding crowds and the madness of
>> >> modern life.
>> >>
>> >> Sincerely,
>> >>
>> >> Danny Bloom
>> >> Tufts 1971
>> >>

At first he said, saying it was a great topic but why didn't I write it myself?:

Dear Danny -- It sounds like a great concept. Why don't you write it yourself?
few writers that I know like to work off someone else's idea, but some
co-write. What do you think about your developing the concept, working
rough draft, perhaps story outline, and then see what happens? Book
packagers do that all the time--for example, Johnny Ringo, who writes
SciFi. Let me know what you think. chuck

I wrote back saying:

>> okay, i can write up a synopsis , summary , cast of characters.... and
>> ideas to throw into the pot..
>> but really, i am just a handyman news article writer, 600 words, i
>> have no idea or gift for creating or developing
>> characters or plot......but i know a good book when I read one...i
>> want to read this one.... i willing to go in as c0-writer
>> second billing but the main writer gets all teh credits and does all
>> the media interviews. its his book......i have no ego
>> involved.....but if you find a hungry young writer who wants to work
>> on this with me, i am glad to help out....i have many
>> thinking about this story for 4 years now ,,,,24/7....and i have lots
>> of outlines and scnearios....but have no idea how
>> to put it together....i am NOT a novelist.....i am a mere newspaper blogger
>> reporter....800 words max
>> dan

He wrote back to me:

Okay, Dan, I see what you are saying, YOU are not a novelist and have no idea how to create novel -- I understand now -- so I gave your e-mail to a friend of mine who writes a lot of
SciFi -- Jim Laughter in Tulsa. I think you have a good idea, but don't know if he'll
be interested in developing someone else's plot. You may hear from him.

I wrote back to Chuck and said:

thanks, Chuck......and if Jim wants to take it all in his own direction that
is fine with me, maybe he can just mentioon the idea of polar
cities,,,that's enough

it will be HIS BOOK......i am open to that..

also i can do great PR for him and the book when it's ready, because i
already know many reporters covering this beat
NYT and everyone!


So THEN I wrote a letter email to Jim saying on August 18, 2o11:

Dear Jim

Charles told me about you.....let's chat. i would love to hand this
idea over to you, i want NO money or credit and i can do
great PR for the book when ready. see my NYTimes story about
polar cities here

but it's your plot, your characters, your book......all i want is
PLEASE PLEASE....the word POLAR CITY in the title somehwere
and i will help with PR.....i want no credit or money

i am 62, heart attack, amost dead.,,,,danny, stationeed in Japan,
1991-1996....i speak nihingo...worked for newspaper there

Tufts 1971

thanks......and if he wants to take it all in his own directiont aht
is fine with me, maybe he can just mentioon the idea of polar
cities,,,that's enoiugh

it iwll be HIS BOOK......i am open to taht..

also i can do great PR for him and the book when it's ready, because i
already know all the reporters covering this beat

NYT and everyone!@


Jim wrote back to me on August 18, 2011 saying:


Your proposal intrigues me and has stirred something in my gut that says this might be a viable project. I must tell you that I know absolutely nothing about global warming. I remember seeing a movie a few years ago about people living in Antartica after the "final" global war. I don't remember the title of it or who was in it; George Kennedy, I think, but I wouldn't bet the house on it. Seems to me it was a survival story where the women were out numbered 6 to 1 and used as lottery prizes for sex, that sort of thing. As you can probably guess, it was a completely forgettable movie, one that I would never sit and watch again.

However, from what I've read on your blog and blogs of other people, your premise is based on solid research. I'm sure it would take me considerable time to read up on global warming so I can get a clear picture of how a book like this should develop. I don't have a problem piecing a story together as long as I know where I'm going and what I'm talking about.

I doubt you are familiar with my work since you are apparently a much deeper thinker than I am, but I invite you to take a look at my website to see the kind of stuff I write. My most recent book, The Apostle Murders, is a suspense thriller about a serial killer that is an ordained minister who believes God has called him to recreate the martyrdom of the original apostle of Jesus Christ. Of course, it's fiction, but the facts of church history are correct,which required quite a bit of research and outlining, and then crazy enough of an imagination to weave a believable story around it.

Previous to that, I wrote the true crime novel From Victim to Hero -- The Untold Story of Steven Stayner. Steven was a 7-year old little boy kidnapped by pedophile Kenneth Parnell in 1972 and held captive and abused for seven years. Then in 1980, Parnell kidnapped 5-year old Timmy White with the intention of abusing him too, Steven decided he wasn't going to let it happen. So on March 1, 1980 he escaped and took Timmy with him, returning him to his family in Ukiah, California.

Much like your proposal, I was approached by friends and family of Steven Stayner to write a book about him that would tell his story in a positive light. There was years of research that I had to plow through in order to get the facts straight so I could write the book. Although the facts in the book are correct, I wrote it as a fiction novel.

My other work is a young adult sci/fi - fantasy series that I co-author with a friend, and I have a children's book coming out in October. I see by your comments that you see Polar City Red as science fiction, which I guess is as good a genre as any for a futuristic book.

In any case, ***give me a ***week to study your blog and other sources on global warning, and if you don't mind, send me any ideas and material you have about plot, characterizations, etc., so I can get a feel for the project. If it's something I think I can do well, it might be a fun project to work on. But again, I don't know global warming from microwave popcorn, so it would be a stretch for me... May I recommend that you take a look at The Apostle Murders and/or From Victim to Hero to see if you like my style? Chuck read The Apostle Murders pre-publication and enjoyed it. He even wrote a blurb for it which is published in the book and on my website. From Victim to Hero received endorsements from two major child safety organizations, Safety Kids, Inc., and The Surviving Parents Coalition.

This email has turned into a journal so I'll close. I won't have time today to dig into your blog, but I'll be able to get into it this weekend. We'll take it slow and easy, and see how it develops. Like I said, I'm intrigued, but I want to see if it's a project I can grasp and do justice to.

Jim Laughter

BINGO! I was getting close. I was so happy to get Jim's letter, expressing some interest in his writing the novel I had in mind about polar cities.

I wrote back to him saying:

wow.....Jim.......thamks for this good letter.....and if you're
intrigued, then I'm intrigued......this might an answered prayer via
Chuck..... he told me about you and said you and I might have a fit
on this.......i am delighted.....

let's go slow and see how things develop....

a few things

1. i am not a scientist and know little about global warming other
than what i have read and my main teachers are James Lovelock and Mark
Lynas in the UK. i am notr a fanatic on climate change, i can see all
points of view,,,, and i have an open mind about it all....... and i
am not really a deep thinker.....more of an imagineere, dreamer, ring
the alarm and wake people up kind of person.....

2. i see the book as YOUR book, your story, and entertainment all the
way, pure fiction, maybe takes place in 2500 AD or so, so as not to
scare people, but the theme of survivors of some kind of climate chaos
catatrrophere like the moive THE DAY AFTER in
desperate isolated POLAr CITIES, SOME above ground, some below
ground, some builit into mountain caves..... and one city in
particular called POLAR CITY RED where our hereos, WHOEVER you come up
with, a family, a thriller, romance, dytopia, but above all,
entertainig and fun to read....and with a hopeful ending.....or
somewhat hopeful...that maybe this POLAR CITY RED will serve as a
lifeboat for our characters adn their descendants....and

3. sicnece fiction or science yarn...or dystopia thriller ..or like
Cormac McCathy's THE ROAD.......but is is all up to you......

4. time: distant future.....2500 AD or so
setting : POLAR CITY RED, just outside Fairbanks Alaska
characters: your cast
plot: your plot

5. where i can help is later with promotion and PR, because i have
been focusing on polar city ideas for 6 yeares now, ....24/7.....and i
have already lined up a list of newspaper reporters who will jump at a
chance to revieew this book of YOURS....and i am a pretty good PR fact, PR is my game.....

6. my main focus is to read your entertianing and fun book, and to see if help
to wake people up about the very reall chance of global warming being
a real problme, but even people who don't believe in global warming
will still enjoy t he i don't have an agenda, and not a
rightwing or left wing agenda....just a wake up call agenda and let
readers decide on their own.....

7...i will study your website now too and let's talk later....

BUT I AM VERY GLAD TO KNOW YOU...and i hope this can work out....and
mostly FOR YOU,,,it is your book.......


On 9-1-2011, about two weeks after our initial email contact re the idea of his writing a book POLAR CITY RED, Jim wrote back to me:

Dear Dan,

Just a note to let you know I've not forgotten you. I've. Started writing polar city red. Haven't got much more than an idea, but that's where it starts.

Sent from my iPhone
Jim Laughter

We were on our way. I replied:

WOW. SO HAPPY. those magic words "......Just a note to let you know
I've not forgotten you. I've. Started writing polar city red. Haven't
got much more than an idea, but that's where it starts....."

You just made my day, Jim! And now I await quietly in the wings and
will be as patient as patience takes. In fact, my middle name is
PATIENCE, and I will be just simply delighted to read your book when
it is done......WOW....this is a dream come true...... !

''I've. Started writing polar city red.'' -- I will never forget those
6 words.......FANTASTIC email, sir....and GO GO GO at your own hurry, no deadline, it's all in your arms (and mind) (and
heart) and typing fingers now........

Delighted I am,


The next letter from Jim said:

Dear Dan, ....given the study you've done on global warming, how do you see the oceans inundating the world? Island nations first, Australia, central America, etc.? Would the rising waters force Americans inland, perhaps to the mountain ranges? When would the polar cities project begin? 2020, 2030, or as late as 2050? If the world's population is going to double by 2040, it's going to cause major chaos on economies, food supplies, transportation, etc.

Oh well, too much thinking before I've had my morning coffee. But don't think for a minute that you're going to sit back patiently and watch. I don't know enough about the cause and effects of global warming to be believable. You'll need ton pitch and inning or two.

Sent from my iPhone
Jim Laughter

I replied the same day: 9-1-2011, with my comments IN CAPS BELOW to his original letter

Hi Jim
Looking forward to many such emails back and forth, and my inbox is
open to your questions anytime, of course. Ask away. I don't know
much, but I will tell you my research results so far....... -- DAN

1, given the study you've done on global warming, how do you see the

oceans inundating the world? Island nations first,..... **YES ..
Tonga, the Maldives, yes....island nations first.....and their
populations will relocate to India and China etc...... YES

2. Australia, central America, etc.?...... ***CENTRAL AMERICA LOW
LYING areas YES....maybe NORTH America and SOuth America are split
apart by water at Panama Canal zone.......?

3. Would the rising waters force Americans inland, perhaps to the
mountain ranges? YES YES YES YES....Forida
will go first...... Cape Cod too......coastal Texas....but it will
happen gradually, almost imperceptibly, but year by year, and YES the
people will love inland to Colorado and Vermont and high hill country
INLAND yes......BUT llater, as things get worse in lower 48, people
will be forced
to move EN MASSE up to Alaska and Canada to find food to grow and Lower 48 will be abandonned eventauly...but slowly.....

4. When would the polar cities project begin? 2020, 2030, or as late
as 2050? ***LATER........

5. If the world's population is going to double by 2040,*** TRUE AND
THEN.... it's going to cause major chaos on economies, food supplies,
transportation, etc. POLAR CITIES "planning" will begin around
2050.....but the need to move into them, reside in them, won't happen
until 2150 or maybe the action of your story of a family
IN A POLAR CITY RED in Alaska is the time frame of 2300 AD BUT THAT IS
LIKE SCIENCE FICTION......with earlier events leading up to
there....but no,....polar cities won;t be NEEDED by 2050....things
okay for another 100 years.....****but if you want to HURRY THINGS up
for your storytelling purposes, please feel free to so...maybe if the
story is MORE **immediate, it will have MORE of an YES,
we could need POLAR CITY RED by 2050 OR 2099......things are
> Oh well, too much thinking before I've had my morning coffee. But don't think for a minute that you're going to sit back patiently and watch. I don't know enough about the cause and effects of global warming to be believable. You'll need ton pitch and inning or two. YES YES YES I AM HERE 24/7 AND I LOVE THIS TO AND FRO...


Jim later said in response to a interview question i sent him:

QUESTION FRoM DANNY: When did you start writing Polar City Red, and when do you hope/plan to finish it and send it to your longtime publisher, where you have already published a half-dozen of your books?

JIM: I think I wrote the prologue for Polar City Red in August 2011. As you know, a mutual friend of ours, author Charles W. Sasser approached me with information that you had sent to him concerning the effects of global warming on the environment. He thought the information was intriguing and would make a good book, but he was tied up in two or three other projects that he could not get away from. Charles had recently endorsed my book ''The Apostle Murders'', so ***he asked me if I’d like to ***take a stab at ***global warming. After spending a few days on the computer reading everything I could find about the phenomenon, ***I decided this was ****indeed a story that ***needed to be told.

I don’t really have a deadline for ''Polar City Red'', simply because I have not yet approached my current publisher with the idea. I am not locked into a next-project contract, so I plan to keep my options open .... ....So, if I can stay on my current schedule and working outline, I hope to have the first draft finished by the end of January or February 2012. Since I am writing it as a fiction, it will depend on my characters and if they stay focused on the task at hand.

JIM: I hope this book will be read by everyone concerned about the world we live in; by people who care about the future of their children and grandchildren, and about the planet we leave for succeeding generations. I don’t really think I’d tag an age group to the readership of this book. It will be entertaining enough to hold the interest of the most avid fiction reader, yet factual enough to stir the heart of politicians and other civic leaders to action to protect our world. I had a man tell me yesterday that global warming is just a myth. He saw a program on television that said it’s a scare tactic to direct people’s attention away from truly serious issues such as the economy and the state of international affairs. He’s right about one thing; it’s a scary subject. And if projections are correct about the amount of carbon dioxide polluting our atmosphere, we’d better be scared. We may not be at the point of panic yet, but the day is coming when this is world is going to turn its back on us and invite us to leave forever.

JIM: .....back to your original question about the genre of my novel titled ''Polar City Red''. To say this is ''science fiction'' might be a bit of a stretch, and I don’t think it’s an adventure. It is shaping up into a bit of a thriller but I don’t expect it to continue in that vein.

You asked me what the book is about. My simplest answer would be that it’s about the effect global warming will have on future generations. From the reports I’ve read, and the research I’ve done, global warming is a real threat to the survival of our planet. I don’t really know enough about the hard science behind global warming to make any scientific predictions, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the worldwide climate is going through dramatic changes. Unless governments around the world get control of the carbon dioxide levels overtaking the atmosphere, we are going to lose our planet. We’ve seen weather-pattern shifts over the last ten-years that may set the standard for climate change for thousands of years to come.

JIM: I don’t mind telling the title of this new book. Unless something changes, the title will be ''Polar City Red''. I’ve never heard of speculative fiction, but I like the sound of it. I’m a fiction writer. I co-author a sci/fi young adult adventure series called Galactic Axia. It is fiction based in science, but it’s not hard science fiction. Although I have a vivid imagination, I’m afraid science was not my strongest class in school. I tended more toward business math and English, literature, spelling, typing, recess. You know, the creative arts. I worked on the school yearbook staff and found the publishing aspect of the procedure fascinating. When I entered the Air Force in 1971, I instinctively gravitated toward the administration side of the service and became a supply specialist. I won’t tell you the names the mechanics and other grease monkeys tagged us supply types, but I always let them know that you can’t fly without supply. Somebody has to be able to think.