Cast of Characters — THE RETURN TRIP

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MCKINNEY - THE RETURN TRIP-001

 Cast of Characters

Let’s meet the people and visit the places you will be reading about in:

THE RETURN TRIP

 Primary CharactersTHE RETURN TRIP

  • Sampson McKinney is the Commander of the expedition to establish a colony on Mars
  • Celeste McKinney is the wife of Sampson and the LT. Commander of the Space Colony 1 mission
  • Deke McKinney – the elder son of Sampson & Celeste
  • Gus McKinney – younger brother to Deke
  • Deimostra Samantha McKinney – sister of Deke & Gus, conceived on the way to Mars and named after Mras’ larger moon Deimos
  • Joyner McKinney – child of Deke and Cerella, heir to Eupepsia
  • ALL THE ABOVEThe Space Family McKinney

  • Braden King – family friend to the McKinneys and voice of Mission Control
  • Roy Crippen – Director of NASA and the SPACE COLONY 1 project
  • Rick Stanley – Commander of the New Mayflower rescue
  • Francine Bouchette – Houston USA television anchor who lands squarely in the middle of everything
  • Aldona Alfridia Talibanistani (see below) scientist who is asked to conspire against SPACE COLONY but refuses — Fletcher Fitch – name given Aldona when he defected to the United States to help with the SOL Project. Fatima – his wife (and 2 unnamed daughters)
  • Nae Tan-DanUnited Korean operative who is cahoots with Talibanistan
  • Shaikh Kamran Khan-Nutkani – Talibanistan leader determined to undermine an otherwise global effort
  • Ekcello – The Supreme Leader of the High Counsel of Eridanus
  • Cerella – daughter of Ekcello and heiress to the High Counsel
  • Fortan – Mate to Ekcello, Mother of Cerella

Supporting cast

Fredrick C. Cabell – Human Resources NASA, deceased

Phil Jansky – NASA Spatial Debris specialist, deceased

Mike Judge – Okaloosa County Florida Sheriff

Geraldo Franco – Okaloosa County Coroner

Miles Scheffeldink – Space Colony Mission Physician

Abdullah Ashtaar – the key to Istanbul

Mehmet Ali Erim – Turkish taxi driver

Elliot Deming – Consulate General – US Turkish Embassy

Senator Broyles – Texas legislator

“Larry” – Francine Bouchette’s fiancee & KHST director, VP

Randi Gilbert – NASA test pilot & news source for Francine Bouchette

Steven Sharkey – Francine’s co-anchor at KHST

Karl – NASA Chief Engineer

Grandma Savta Bergestrom – Celeste’s Mother from Sweden

Aunt Sassy McKinney – Sampson’s crazy Scottish/Irish sister

Jimmy D – Silver Seas Bartender

Roger Rodrigues – Roy & Francines’s Jamaican tour guide

Kim Jong-un – United Korea’s Supreme Leader

Silvia Freelove – Bud Cauley – Pres/vice pres candidates 2032

Skip Chandler – Freelove’s campaign strategist

Hector Grisbaum – Susannah Grisbaum – New Mexico Congressman & daughter (who sets up Deke M.)

The Interstellar Transportation

  • Space Colony 1 the orbiting portion of the Mars Colony
  • The Chronicle – the deep-space shuttle that carries the McKinneys to Mars
  • Tycho – the Mars lander where Sam & Celeste are stranded when the orbiting colony blows up
  • The New Mayflower the mission to rescue the McKinneys on Mars
  • Newfoundlander – the Eridani spacecraft that hijacks the McKinneys (Sam, Celeste, Deimostra)
  • Stellar Explorer the speed-of-light cruiser that takes Deke & Gus on a detour to Orion’s Belt

The many and varied locales in THE RETURN TRIP

  • 2030 Earth
  • Talibanistan – the very large country that absorbs all the rest of the “-stans” and is a haven for global mischief
  • United Korean Peninsula – the combined country formerly North & South where the South is consumed by the evil & secretive North
  • Istanbul/Constantinople Turkey
  • Sultan Ahmet Mosque
  • Mars the Red Planet – the fourth planet from the sun
  • KHST Television Houston Texas
  • Jamaica
  • Silver Seas Resort/Hotel
  • Sunset Hill – Roy Crippen’s hacienda at King Ranch
  • Epsilon EridaniA star in Orion’s Belt and where Sampson & Celeste are hijacked to
  • EridanusA planet in the Epsilon star system
  • Eupepsia – The home tower/city of Ekcello and Cerella and THE SPACEFLIGHT EXPOSITORY
  • The Seljuk –  An tele-transport alien race located in the Triangulum Galaxy. Has a “history” with the Eridanians

 Cast of Characters

trt-characters-001

— THE RETURN TRIP

THE RETURN TRIP – Complete Episode Catalog

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The one-stop shop for the ongoing post library of

(scroll down for episodes)

THE RETURN TRIP

 “The Space Family McKinney”

Episode 1    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6xV      Chapter 1   The Red Planet

Episode 2    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6yu

Episode 3    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6yD

Episode 4    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6yS

Episode 5    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6zh

Episode 6    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6A2

Episode 7    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ad

Episode 8    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Au

Episode 9    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6AP

Episode 10  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6B0

Episode 11  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Bb

Episode 12  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Bn

Episode 13  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6By

Episode 14  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6BK

Episode 15a  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Cc    Chapter 2   Complications

Episode 15b  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Cs

Episode 16  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6CB

Episode 17  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6CQ

Episode 18  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6D1

Episode 19  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6De

Episode 20  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Dy

Episode 21  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6DD

Episode 22  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6DQ

Episode 23  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6E3

Episode 24  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Eh

Episode 25  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Es

Episode 26  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6ET

Episode 27  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Fa

Episode 28  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Fg

Episode 29  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6FF

Episode 30  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6FO

Episode 31  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6G3

Episode 32  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Gm

Episode 33  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Gs

Episode 34  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6GB

Episode 35  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6GK

Episode 36  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6GT

Episode 37  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ht

Episode 38  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6HR

Episode 39  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6HZ

Episode 40  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6I8

Episode 41  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ii

Episode 42  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Is

Episode 43  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6IB

Episode 44  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6IZ

Episode 45  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ja

Episode 46  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Jj      Chapter 3   Up a Creek

Episode 47  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ju

Episode 48  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6JD

Episode 49  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6JL

Episode 50  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Kc

Episode 51  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Kl

Episode 52  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ks

Episode 53  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6KJ

Episode 54  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6KW

Episode 55  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6L7

Episode 56  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Lw

Episode 57  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6LB      Chapter 4   Space Family Confidential

Episode 58  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6LK

Episode 59  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6LS

Episode 60  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6M4

Episode 61  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Mc

Episode 62  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6My

Episode 63  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6MH

Episode 64  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6MW

Episode 65  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6N4

Episode 66  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Nc

Episode 67  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Nm

Episode 68  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6NS

Episode 69  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6O4

Episode 70  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Oj

Episode 71  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ow

Episode 72  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6OG

Episode 73  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6OT

Episode 74  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Pk

Episode 75  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Pp      Chapter 5   Change-up

Episode 76  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6PC

Episode 77  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6PK

Episode 78  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6PZ

Episode 79  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Q9

Episode 80  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Qv

Episode 81  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6QI

Episode 82  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6QX

Episode 83  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6R8

Episode 84  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Rg

Episode 85  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ro

Episode 86  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6RU

Episode 87  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6RZ

Episode 88  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6S9

Episode 89  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Sk

Episode 90  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Sy

Episode 91  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6SL

Episode 92  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Tg

Episode 93  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Tr

Episode 94  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6TD

Episode 95  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6TR

Episode 96  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6U0

Episode 97  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Ug

Episode 98  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Um

Episode 99  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6UC

Episode 100  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6UP

Episode 101  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6UY

Episode 102  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6V8

Episode 103  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6VF

Episode 104  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6VL

Episode 105  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6VQ

Episode 106  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6W8

Episode 107  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Wi    Chapter 6   Timeout

Episode 108  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Wv

Episode 109  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6WK

Episode 110  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6X8

Episode 111  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6XK

Episode 112  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6XS

Episode 113  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Y9

Episode 114  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Yl

Episode 115  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6YD

Episode 116  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Zb

Episode 117  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Zj

Episode 118  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6Zy

Episode 119  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6ZG

Episode 120  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6ZX

Episode 121  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-705

Episode 122  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-70w

Episode 123  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-70C

Episode 124  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-70M

Episode 125  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-70X

Episode 126  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-715

Episode 127  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-71f

Episode 128  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-71H

Episode 129  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-71S

Episode 130  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-722

Episode 131  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-72c

Episode 132  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-72o

Episode 133  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-72B

Episode 134  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-733

Episode 135  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-739

Episode 136  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-73o

Episode 137  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-73B

Episode 138  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-73J

Episode 139  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-73X

Episode 140  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-74C    Chapter 7   Pick a Pew

Episode 141  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-74H

Episode 142  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-74R

Episode 143  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-752

Episode 144  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-75k

Episode 145  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-75y

Episode 146  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-760

Episode 147  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-76g

Episode 148  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-76t

Episode 149  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-76D

Episode 150  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-76L

Episode 151  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-773

Episode 152  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-77w

Episode 153  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-77F

Episode 154  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-77R

Episode 155  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-786

Episode 156  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-78k

Episode 157  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-78w

Episode 158  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-78W      Chapter 8   Going Somewhere? (very far)

Episode 159  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-795

Episode 160  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-79h

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Episode 214      Chapter 9  Meanwhile Back @ the Ranch

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Episode 243    Chapter 10  Where are we?

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Episode 246    Chapter 10.5  Company is Coming

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Episode 271     Eleventh and Final Chapter

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Next to Last

The End

“Get to know the people, places and things.”

Thank you for reading and keep an eye out for the sequel – THE NULL SOLUTION

NULL SOLUTION-001

 

©Copyright Gwendolyn Hoff 2020 All Rights Reserved

Science Fiction Coming to WIF

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Science Fiction Coming to WIF

THE RETURN TRIP

Science_Fiction

Grab some caffeine, open your trusty and ubiquitous computing device and take 5 (or 10) minutes to read THE RETURN TRIP – every day – except Saturdays at WIF.

THE RETURN TRIP

Space Colony 1 is a stepping-stone, Earth’s best chance to leave the Solar System – There is a family of space explorers named McKinney. Join them as they colonize the planet Mars…..and are hijacked to the stars.

science fiction from Gwendolyn Hoff

Earth attempts to colonize Mars, but the McKinneys get an unexpected trip to Orion’s Belt instead.

BACKGROUND: THE RETURN TRIP is a book that I wrote in the mid-1980s. In the face of current events concerning the privatization of space exploration and specifically recruiting a married couple to start a colony on Mars, I decided to reach back to my unpublished 1st draft and update my original work. The Challenger shuttle disaster took away my steam at the time, having already included some Space Shuttle trouble in the book.

This is Book One of a three book series about the Space Family McKinney. The Null Solution will be next, followed by Alternity. Every chapter is good, clean Science Fiction.


Science Fiction Coming to WIF

Return Trip-001

– THE RETURN TRIP

 

 

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #332

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #332

Chapter Twenty

CLOSURE

…From the desk of Gwendolyn Kim Hoff…

closure-001

A personal guide: to deciphering the fact and fiction behind THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR; genre of Historical Fiction.

          Well readers, here we find ourselves, at the end of a book that may have:

  1. Surprisedmixed-emotions-001
  2.  Dismayed
  3. Confused
  4. Confounded
  5. Conflicted

Not on the list, ‘6.. Pleased’ is my wish, but there is quite a twist from where you thought things were headed. Was not A.O. Campbell tried and convicted, in a court of law, of the things we read of in Chapter One? In real life, sadly he was, pretty much the way ALPHA AND OMEGA was laid out.

I myself met the granddaughter of the doctor, in the 1990’s. She found out that I was writer and as many of us who set words to page are told, ‘I have a great story that needs to be told.’  I happened to be between projects and thus began a journey that has led me to this point.

In my files are pictures, articles and memorabilia from the life of this Southern Black Doctor. Legendary is the word that can describe what I have accumulated, in fact strewn around my office at this moment. So much of what I have written is flat-out true; real people, places and things littered from 1896 to 1955. In fact, had I been true to the facts, we would have continued on from Chapter One to 1959.

arrow-down But, and it is a big BUT, as I came to Chapter Eighteen, LOOKING DOWN, I knew I arrow-upcould not bring myself to play it out the way it really did. I began to plot an amended beginning, which morphed into the last chapter, TRIALS AND TRIUMPH. All along, #19 was going to be about the trial, of which I have the majority of the original transcript here as well. 

Depressing, is the only way I can portray the trial of a 67 year old. Did he do wrong things, sure, but he was of ill health and did not deserve the ending that ultimately came to pass. And yes, his wife really did die 1 1/2 years into his incarceration.

What actually did happen during that sad time? I don’t have anything to go on and that is where ‘historical fiction’ comes to bear; the word fiction, look it up. Creation, vision, fable, fantasy, tale are all used as synonyms. I prefer the latter. LATOBSD is a tale of epic dimension.

LATOBSD covers roughly 60 years, more than enough trips around the sun to both meet and say goodbye to too many fine people; From the spring of youth, to the winter of maturity – from the dawn of unrighteousness, to the sunset of discontentment.

In the interest of accuracy, I will sort through the most flagrant fracturing of history perpetrated by little ol’ me. Remember “The Rocky and Bullwinkle” feature: Fractured Fairytales? If you are too young… click on the FFTales picture or get over it.

So… here we go, hop-scotching from through the pages of The Life and Times of a Black Southern Doctor, sifting from front to back. Feel free to leaf back to the earlier pages, to refresh your memory. And I will try not to rush.

If you want to leave well enough alone and believe that all things I penned are true, thank you investing your time  to read LATOBSD… a real roller coaster ride…

Tune in tomorrow


Alpha Omega M.D.

mixed-emotions-001

Episode #332


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #288

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #288

…The changes in Sara may be more obvious, but Lyn’s metamorphism manifests itself right where she lives and cannot be avoided…

Conspiracy in the Cactus-001“Some-one or some-thing did something to you during those six years and I intend to find out exactly what it was and how to correct it.”

“That’s swell, Lyn, but while you and Captain Ford do that, you and I are drifting apart. Sure, we’re friends, that’ll never change, but we used to be lovers, Lyn. I may not remember what I did yesterday, but I do recall sleeping in the same bed.”

Lyn knew that this subject would come up sooner or later, preferably the latter. Her feelings for Sara had changed, somewhere between 1941 and forever. What happens when you think a person is dead? There is the process of grieving, which is basically saying goodbye. Is goodbye a one-way switch?  Or was it the six-year separation that put out the fire? The changes in Sara may be more obvious, but Lyn’s metamorphism manifests itself right where she lives and cannot be avoided.

“I can’t put my finger on it, Sare, but neither of us is the same person. It’s like the Pacific Clipper changed our lives forever.”

Mercifully, the telephone rings. Ironically, the Clipper strikes again.

roswell debris “Lyn, meet me at the airport. I got a call from the owner of the ranch where the debris field is in Roswell. The government moved him to Texas, gave him ten thousand bloomin’ acres. No wonder we couldn’t find him. Can you believe it? He heard about us poking around town. I told you that leaving my business card at the barber shop would pay off.  This guy went back for a trim and bingo! He needs to talk to somebody who won’t treat him like a loony or a criminal like the military. He has his own landing strip!” Ford is so excited that Carolyn did not have the chance to say hello.

“I’m sorry, you must have the wrong number; this is Connie’s Bakery – head crumb speaking.” She has her usual fun with him.

          “Get moving, wiseacre. We have head wind at 5,000 feet.”

          “You really know how to treat a girl, Ford, but I’ll be there in an hour anyway.”

          “Sorry, Lyn, but this is so big. I’ll have her all warmed up and ready to go.”

          “I love your enthusiasm, Bob. See you there. Bye.”

She turns to tell Sara where she is going. The back screen door is swinging closed.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Image result for old screen door

Episode #288


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #287

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #287

…Sara Fenwick wonders if there is any romance between that clever private eye and the dashing flyer…

sketches by Doug Widley

sketches by Doug Widley

Now, she has been replaced by Ace Bannion, for God’s sake. What a corny name! Even makes the name Fanny sound good. The only problem is that Ace lives on and Fanny is finished, at least in the pages of The Hawaiian Spy.

“Lyn?”

“Yes, hon.”

“You have been with Ford (Ace) so much lately, we never have time to talk, you know, the way we used to. And you are hardly ever at home. I’m starting to feel like a fifth wheel.”

Constance Caraway

Constance Caraway

Lyn has to measure her words carefully. Sara was returned to Earth not completely intact, missing this and that, with one exception. Her phenomenal sensitivity, the kind that knows when people need encouragement, has been somehow magnified, turning into hypersensitivity. Gone are the days when you could joke with Sara, say just about anything to her and move on. She was sweet that way.

But not anymore.

  Little things become huge, mostly because she does not understand the things she used to. And now she thinks she understands something about Lyn and Bob Ford. They have been working on that flying disk story ever since New Mexico. Whatever happens in their quest to uncover strange truths makes its way to Lyn’s typewriter. She wonders if there is any romance between the clever private eye and the dashing flyer. She has stopped reading for fear of just that.

Normally, Lyn would have shot back, ‘What’s the matter, Sare, you jealous?’ Not this time. “Robert is as obsessed with this spaceman thing as I am, and I’m the one writing the book!”

Ace Bannion sketch2-001

sketch by Steve Rude

Image result for flying disc“I’ve known you long enough to know that you like to work alone. Suddenly, Bob, oh — I mean, Robert, is with you as much as humanly possible. I don’t understand how he keeps his business going.”

          “He’s hired a friend to make his cross country trips, that’s why we bought a small plane together.”

          “You what?” Sara is stunned. She shouldn’t be.

          “I told you that I have been flying more, did you think I meant flapping my arms real hard?” Lyn mocks a bird in flight, like it was chased by a bigger, hungry bird.

          “That’s not funny! You know how I forget things!” She feels like the half-person everybody thinks she is and is mourning it. “I wish things would go back the way they used to be. I wish I could feel whole again.”

          “Some-one or some-thing did something to you during those six years and I intend to find out exactly what it was and how to correct it.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #287


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #272

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #272

…That’s not all he wants to rub,” she pats her bottom, “you let ‘em do it once and they think they can do it all the time…

Typewriter-001

We get letters“We’re getting a hundred letters a week, Lyn. The test audience wants to know why Constance Caraway is working without a partner. What about a dashing tall, dark and handsome type, you know the FBI or even better, the CIA that would give it an international flavor.”

Stanley Rogers – Editor

“Christ almighty, Stanley. The day Constance teams up with some damned government freak will be a cold day in hell.” Carolyn Hanes has had it with editors, not that Stanley Rogers is a bad one, but he one of the new breed editors who are what she considers as, overly concerned and influenced by the readers. “The last time I listened to you, and it may have been the last time I do, you talked me… I mean her, into marrying that sleazy politician.”

“You didn’t have to make him sleazy,” the editor reminds her.

“If it walks like a politician, somewhat upright, with two legs and a male brain, he has to be sleazy.”

“Fine, but did you have to have him sleeping with everything wearing a skirt?”

“Everything is right,” Lyn gloats. “Remember, you don’t have to be a lady to wear a skirt.” Stanley blushes. “What about you, Stan? I can lend you one of mine.”

“All right, enough of this silly talk. What are you doing tonight? Old man Harper wants to rub elbows with his star writer.”

That’s not all he wants to rub,” she pats her bottom. “You let ‘em do it once and they think they can do it all the time.

Fanny-001  “He is the publisher and that was three books ago – before he found out about your ‘friend’.”

Sara/Fanny.

 There isn’t a day that goes by without some memory of her or the character she inspired. The true essences of fictional Fanny and so-real Sara have always been interchangeable, to the point that Lyn would mentally confuse the dressmaking housemate with the picture taking investigative partner. Sara would bristle when she was called Fanny. Likewise, Sara’s name used to occasionally appear in the same paragraph with Constance Caraway. That is what editors are for.

“I’m sorry, Lyn, I keep forgetting she’s gone.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

The Hawaiian Spy-001

Episode #272


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #267

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #267

…Please give me some details about how things turned out. I had planned on being there, when you get to New York, you know, for my book and all…

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS by Mario Ortiz Martinez

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS by Mario Ortiz Martinez

Answers prove to be too slow in coming. As much as he regrets having to do so, it is time to ascend into yet more of the unknown.

“I am truly sorry, Miss Hanes, but we are leaving within the hour. May I assume you will be staying behind?” Ford has to keep the Clipper moving. He has two dozen other people he is responsible for and he cannot be sure of what lies ahead.

“I understand, Captain Ford. At least we have the British to look out for us.” She hangs her head in despair.

 “I know you’re worried to death and it may be small consolation, but until a body is found….”

“Okay, yes, thank you,” Lyn cares not to think about unaccounted bodies and such. “I pray that the rest of your journey goes well.” She scribbles an address and a telephone number on a scrap of paper. “Please give me some details about how things turned out. I had planned on being there with you in New York, you know, for my book and all.

“I will do that, Lyn.” he promises.

She appreciates the kiss on the cheek by a true gentleman.

Questions WO Answers-001

Answers are not forthcoming; two days after Sara vanished into the Ceylonese night. In a strange way, at least bruised and battered body would be tangible evidence.

“An innocent civilian woman becomes the first victim of a Pan American Clipper trip”

… the newspaper headline may read. Instead, Carolyn Hanes is obliged to play an agonizing waiting game, at the mercy of authorities on a huge island off the southern coast of India.

With tears streaming down her face, ten days and no news later, Carolyn Hanes changes the text of her manuscript. The man in the blue suit is much more dangerous than they had 1937 CC P.I.-001suspected. Neither he nor Fanny Renwick is ever seen again. Constance Caraway has only a film-less camera to remember her by. Constance will always be Constance, and retirement to a life of seclusion will never happen, as is the case with her creator. Both author and a fictional heroine move on, without their right hand gal.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Questions WO Answers-001

Episode #267


page 248

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #263

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #263

…Merely for the sake of argument milady, if you were a spy, would you travel on the Clipper?…

Belle of the Ball by Bridget Davies

Belle of the Ball by Bridget Davies

“May I cut in?” Barney Sawicki, the same Barney Sawicki who was star struck by Mary Pickford, aboard an earlier incarnation of the Clipper in 1935, steals a dance with Sara Fenwick, who has turned into the belle of the ball. Lyn was so busy pumping Lady Mountbatten for information about British intelligence, poor Sara is forced to dance her feet off. She will get even, sooner or later, but for the time being any number of men get a close up view of her chest. What the hell, what harm can come of a few fixated peeps? No man fondles her girls, thank God.

The MI5 Crest

“MI-5 is the most tenacious organization in the world,” Lady Mountbatten relates to her intrigued inquisitor. “They need to be, with Hitler at our doorstep. It is all they can do to keep him from bombing our brains out. If it were not for the air raid sirens and the intelligence we get from them, casualties would be devastating.”

“If you were a spy…?”

“I beg your pardon?” The word spy repulses the Lady.

Merely for the sake of argument milady, if you were a spy, would you travel on the Clipper?

“Oh yes, most definitely. With all the stops it makes in the Pacific Theater, good heavens, a touristy looking chap could have been practicing his craft for years. He could have a contact in every harbor. But keep in mind, because of your unexpected detour; he will be acting more suspiciously.”

An excerpt from Constance Caraway P.I. – The Hawaiian Spy:1937 CC P.I.-001

“Have you been watching that man in the blue suit, Fanny?” Constance has, ever since she saw him sneak off the Pacific Clipper in Colombo, Ceylon.

          “I did. I don’t think he thought that anybody would notice. But I did not recognize the launch that picked him up.”

          “Yes. Yes.” The gears inside Constance Caraway’s mind are turning and churning. This mysterious man had raised no suspicion until now, like he knows what he is doing and doing it for a while. “And have you noticed that he speaks to no one on the plane, and when we’re ashore, he disappears into thin air.”

          “Maybe I should follow him around at our next stop, take a few pictures,” Fanny suggests. “That photo lab we set up in our stateroom is actually quite good.”

          “Yes it is. Those chemical baths are easier to get than good airplane fuel… I didn’t think we were going to clear the trees back there.” The sound of rustling palm leaves, tickling the flying boat belly, would not be audible, but it can be imagined. “Let’s get back to our mystery man, my dear Fanny. If you could get pictures of the people he meets, that would be helpful. That would leave me free to follow some other leads. It seems that we are attracting an unusual amount of attention, considering we don’t have a flight plan,” Constance tells her trusted colleague.   “Be careful Fanny!”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Fiction vs Nonfiction

Episode #263


page 245

Great Sci-Fi, Wrong Future – WIF Bookshelf

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These Science Fiction

Novels Got the Science

Very, Very Wrong

Science fiction author Ray Bradbury said, “Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it’s the history of ideas[.]” He may have been biased, but he wasn’t incorrect. There are two genres of science fiction. Hard science fiction is usually scientifically rigorous, while soft science fiction uses elements of sociology, anthropology, and psychology. World building in science fiction is often creative, but  it doesn’t always reveal humankind’s future. Here are 10 inaccuracies found in science fiction.

10. Time for the Stars by Robert A. Heinlein

Concept: Relativity

Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity says time is relative, and one’s perception of time varies based on how quickly one is moving. Since general relativity and special relativity are theories, their applications are less concrete than the uses for technology in some science fiction on this list. We use special relativity to explain why astronauts living in space are moving more quickly — and aging more slowly — than people on Earth. Special relativity is important to the plot of Robert A. Heinlein’s 1956 novel Time for the Stars. Heinlein also uses the Twin Paradox as a plot device.

The Twin Paradox is a thought experiment that is only made possible because of the theory of special relativity. Imagine two identical twins. One remains on Earth, while the other travels to a star six light years away using a rocket that travels at six times the speed of light. Before the traveling twin leaves Earth, both twins reset their watches to zero. When the traveling twin reaches the star, her watch says eight years have passed. When the twin on Earth reads her watch, she will find 16 years have passed by the time the traveling twin reaches the star. From the perspective of the twin on Earth, the traveling twin’s rocket takes 10 years to reach the star. The light that will show the traveling twin at the star will take an additional six years to return to Earth, making the trip to the star take 16 years. To the traveler, whose rocket moves at six times the speed of light, the star she is traveling to, which seems six light years away to her twin sister on Earth, is only 4.8 light years away. It takes another 4.8 years for light to travel from Earth to her rocket, so she perceives the trip as taking roughly eight years.

Robert A. Heinlein is respected as a gifted science fiction writer. He was named the first Science Fiction Writers Grand Master in 1974. He also pursued graduate degrees in physics and mathematics at UCLA. Because of his scientific knowledge, his explanations of special relativity and the Twin Paradox are mostly correct. He applies the theories correctly, with one minor inaccuracy. In his novel, the traveling twin and the twin on Earth are communicating in real time via intercom. Once the traveling twin is moving at the speed of light, he hears the twin on Earth as though he is speaking more slowly. By contrast, the twin on Earth hears the traveling twin as though he is speaking more quickly. In fact, each twin would only be conscious of his own perception of time.

9. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Concept: Colonizing Mars

In Ray Bradbury’s 1950 collection of vignettes, humans have successfully colonized Mars. Bradbury explores which impulses, noble and ignoble, humans obey regardless of which planet they’re inhabiting. As of 2019, NASA is still planning to send astronauts to Mars. The topographical features that led Bradbury and other science fiction writers to imagine it might be possible to colonize Mars by the mid-20th century, though, have been revealed to be misleading.

By 1960, astronomer Carl Sagan had discovered that Mars is consistently freezing due to its lack of atmosphere, and the canals on Mars were not, as had previously been hypothesized, former waterways.

8. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Concept: Reanimating Dinosaurs

Unlike the saddled dinosaurs calmly coexisting with humans in the Creation Museum’s exhibits, the destructive dinosaurs in Michael Crichton’s 1990 novel are a cautionary tale for humans. A course of action made possible by scientific advancement isn’t necessarily a wise one. However, despite the intricately detailed scientific plot of the novel, resurrecting dinosaurs isn’t possible.

The science of paleontology dates from the 19th century, and dinosaur footprints and fossils have consistently been recognized as historically important. To resurrect dinosaurs, though, paleontologists would need viable dinosaur DNA in order to reassemble dinosaurs’ genetic codes. Dinosaurs dominated the Earth roughly 66 million years ago. Even if their DNA was found, it would be too decayed to be useful in reassembling a genetic code. That’s good news for anyone getting tired of holding onto their butt.

7. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Concept: Reanimating Humans

Defibrillators can be used to revive someone who has gone into sudden cardiac arrest. However, it’s impossible to revive someone who has already been hanged, like the scientist Victor Frankenstein does in Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel. During the 19th century, there was scientific research that seemed to support the possibility that corpses could be revived through the use of electricity. In 1781, a surgeon, Luigi Galvani, dissected a frog while standing near a static electricity machine. When an assistant touched a nerve in the frog’s leg with a scalpel, the frog’s leg spasmed. Galvani built a bronze and iron arc, and he attached the frog’s leg and the static electricity machine to it. The frog’s leg twitched whenever it touched the metal. Galvani formed a hypothesis: he believed the frog possessed what Galvani called animal electricity. The bimetallic arc conducted the animal electricity to the frog’s nerve, making its leg twitch. The plot of Shelley’s novel is an exploration of what might be possible if humans, too, possessed animal electricity.

After reading Galvani’s work, physicist Alessandro Volta replicated Galvani’s experiment. He observed the same result, but he reached a very different conclusion. His hypothesis, which we now know to be accurate, was that the metal was acting as a conductor for the electric current from the static electricity machine. When the current touched the frog’s leg, the frog’s leg twitched.

6. Never Let You Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Concept: Human Cloning

Jodi Picoult’s 2003 book My Sister’s Keeper explores the question of whether it’s morally defensible to expect one sibling to become an organ donor for another. In Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2005 novel, organ donation is a social requirement. Human clones are created solely to become organ donors. There are many science fiction novels featuring human clones. While the question of how humans determine quality of life will always be a valid one, human cloning isn’t currently possible. Further, there is no way to guarantee that a clone will be as healthy as the animal from whose cells the clone was created.

In 1996, Dolly, a sheep, became the first successfully cloned mammal. The average lifespan of a sheep is 12 years, but Dolly was euthanized in 2002. At six-and-a-half years old, she had already developed a progressive lung disease. She also had shorter telomeres than other sheep of a comparable age. Telomeres are pieces of DNA that protect the ends of chromosomes. Since telomeres shorten as cells divide, they are considered an indication of an animal’s age. Based on Dolly’s lung disease and the length of her telomeres, scientists speculate that she was actually born six years old, the same age as that of the sheep from which she was cloned.

5. Babylon Babies by Maurice Dantec

Concept: Designer Babies

In Maurice Dantec’s 1999 novel, a woman is carrying genetically modified twins whose birth might forever change the human race. Unlike most of the scientific advancements on this list, this one isn’t currently impossible. In 2018, Chinese researcher Jiankui He created the first babies with artificially increased resistance to HIV. Afterward, the embryos were implanted in the mother’s uterus, and the babies were born healthy.

Technically, these weren’t designer babies, because their parents weren’t selecting particular genes. However, the same gene editing techniques could be used to create designer babies. Gene editing in embryos is permitted in Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, and Sweden. Gene editing is scientifically possible, but there’s not international consensus regarding whether it’s ethical. Consistent gene editing could allow certain countries to practice genocide or produce physically and intellectually enhanced soldiers that would give them an advantage during international conflicts.

4. The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

Concept: Utopia

Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1979 novel The Dispossessed isn’t the only science fiction novel depicting a utopian future for humankind. Though no author who has imagined the future as a utopia is right (so far), Le Guin’s utopia is unique for two reasons. First, her world has an anarchic planet, Anarres, that’s rich in resources. It’s a colony of an arid planet, Urras. Even in a utopia, inhabitants of Anarres are deprived of their own natural resources. Second, the novel’s protagonist, Shevek, fares better than his real world model. Shevek was modeled on a family friend of Le Guin’s, J. Robert Oppenheimer.

Shevek makes the citizens of Anarres question both the limits of their personal autonomy and the consequences of exercising it. By contrast, Oppenheimer’s expertise made the first atomic explosion possible in 1945. Unfortunately, he was stripped of his job title, chairman of the General Advisory Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission, when he opposed the United States’ development of a hydrogen bomb. Asking the American government to critique its own use of personal autonomy cost Oppenheimer his professional reputation.

3. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

Concept: Time Travel

H.G. Wells’ 1895 novella isn’t the only story involving time travel. However, Wells popularized the idea that humans could invent a machine that makes time travel possible. Technically, time travel exists. As previously mentioned, Einstein’s theory of special relativity says time is relative, and one’s perception of time varies based on how quickly one is moving. Astronauts living in space are moving more quickly than people on Earth. Therefore, an astronaut living in space for a year will age slightly less than people who are living on Earth during that year.

The Large Hadron Collider moves protons at almost the speed of light, essentially propelling them into the future. The kind of time travel that Wells writes about — the kind that’s controlled  by humans and measured based on a Western European perception of time — isn’t possible. In 2015, Ali Razeghi, the managing director of Iran’s Center for Strategic Inventions, claimed he had invented a machine that could accurately predict five to eight years into a person’s future. His claim was debunked when he declined to release the design for his time machine.

2. The Xenu Files by L. Ron HubbarL.Rond

Concept: The Origin Of Humanity

Unlike most of the entries on this list, The Xenu Files isn’t a novel. L. Ron Hubbard was a writer of popular science fiction short stories, but he’s most famous for founding the Church of Scientology. Scientologists pay a minimum of a quarter of a million dollars to audit Scientology courses. Once they reach the level of Operating Thetan 3, they are permitted to read the religion’s origin myth. According to the 2015 HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, the origin myth, which was handwritten between 1966 and 1967, is stored at the church’s Advanced Organization Building.

According to Hubbard, Xenu, the dictator of the Galactic Federation, needed to solve his planet’s overpopulation problem. He sent his own subjects to Earth, then called Teegeeack. There, they were strapped to atomic bombs and hurled into volcanoes. The spirits of Xenu’s subjects, called Thetans, cling to contemporary humans. The only way to rid oneself of Thetans is through the Scientologists’ practice of auditing. In auditing, someone talks about events from his or her previous lives while an auditor reads an e-meter (a lie detector). The person’s truthfulness, as determined by the auditor, shows how susceptible the person is to Thetans.

If these religious practices seem like they belong in a science fiction novel, perhaps that’s because science fiction readers were the original intended audience for Hubbard’s ideas. After failing to convince doctors, psychologists, and explorers to integrate his ideas into their professional practices, Hubbard appealed to the science fiction readers who were fans of his work. He and his editor, John W. Campbell, Jr., developed the system of dianetics, a term used to describe the methodology of Scientology. Hubbard’s first article about dianetics appeared in a 1950 issue of the magazine Astounding. Campbell, who owned the magazine, primarily published science fiction short stories, including Hubbard’s. Later, Hubbard used one of his science fiction short stories, “Masters of Sleep,” as a prolonged advertisement for dianetics. In his 2012 post for The Village Voice, Tony Ortega says Scientologists might be more susceptible to Hubbard’s origin story in The Xenu Files because many of them have vividly experienced past lives during auditing. For Hubbard’s early readers, the process was much simpler. They encountered information about dianetics in the same magazine that had published Hubbard’s science fiction.

1. The Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle

Concept: The Future

Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, isn’t noteworthy because her book contains prescient predictions. The North Pole isn’t a portal to another planet. We haven’t discovered a planet that we can verify is lit by the brightest stars ever created. No human has been transported to another planet, then declared war against her own home planet (unless alien victors have compromised our collective memory of the event).

No, Cavendish isn’t noteworthy because of how she envisioned the future. She’s noteworthy because of when she did it. Written in 1666, The Blazing World is widely regarded as the first science fiction novel. A respected poet, playwright, biographer, and essayist in her own time, Cavendish also created a genre. As Bronwyn Lovell says in her 2016 article for The Conversation, “Science Fiction’s Woman Problem,” science fiction is still a male-dominated genre. Still, Cavendish ensured a future for female writers by creating a space for them.


Great Sci-Fi, Wrong Future

WIF Bookshelf