Saturday Musings - A Journey Through Time

Saturday Musings - A Journey Through Time

When I attended the recent Domain Conference in Florida I had a few copies of my science fiction book, Battleframe, to hand out as giveaways. It provoked a lot of discussion about scifi and one of the members of the Godaddy team ended up telling me about a book called “Read Player One”.

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Ready Player OneBy the time I’d finally returned to Australia I’d completely forgotten the conversation until I received an Amazon delivery with a copy of the book inside. For a start the cover intrigued me, it had a picture of a young man climbing a stack of caravans……so I thought I’d give the book a shot and started reading.

What surprised me was the fact that the central theme running the whole way through “Ready Player One” was everything about the eighties. Computers, board games, computer games and music were all fodder for creating elaborate puzzle clues that the protagonist had to solve.

To be quite honest with you I cared less about the plot (which was a little simplistic) and more for the fact that it was a personal journey through time. Trash 80 computers with 16K or RAM, cassette loaders and Atari 2600 game consoles were carefully weaved into the overall story. I loved it!

My first computer was a Trash 80 clone and it sites under the stair in its box to this day! My second computer was a Commodore 64 and the games the characters played were straight from my childhood. Including Joust, Zaxxon, Defender (I loved that game) and the D&D (Dungeons and Dragons for the uninitiated) module “Tomb of Horrors”. I’d played and loved them all!

In fact, at one point I was desperately hoping the author would actually mention some of the games that I programmed…..but sadly no. The original “Lord of the Rings” and “Mugsy’s Revenge” weren’t mentioned. Maybe in book two JI can only hope!

Was it the best thing I’ve ever read? No. Was it just good mindless fun? Heck yeah! It managed to keep me up to the small hours of the morning which is all you can really ask from a book.

I would like to thank the entire Godaddy team for inspiring me to read “Ready Player One” and to the particular team member that sent me a copy of the book. I’ve already passed it onto my closest friend who is also one of the characters in Battleframe (Bosk).

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg & Lieberman

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The Mindwars Book 2 - sneak preview

The Mindwars Book 2 - sneak preview

Since I've been traveling quite a lot lately I've had a chance to write some more of book two in the Mindwars series. For those of you that were unaware, as well as managing domain portfolios for clients I relax by writing science fiction.

This second sneak preview takes place at the Concord's homeworld and start off with a single Starfire pilot. It's not long before the action heats up.

I should warn readers that this is the first draft of the chapter and edits will be made in the final copy. With any luck I will have book two ready before Christmas....fingers crossed!

I hope you enjoy another journey into "The Mindwars". You can buy book one, "Battleframe" through Amazon by clicking here.

Have a great weekend!

 

Chapter 9 – Hammer Fall

Lieutenant Barkley looked above at the massive planet filling the upper cockpit window of his Starfire. Swirling clouds spun at unimaginable velocities within dark and light bands of coloured gas. He watched as one spinning storm devoured a smaller cloud before it to, was swallowed. Barkley returned his gaze forward as he shot across the moon, Septem’s barren surface. He loved being alone in space and would regularly volunteer for scouting missions. The majesty and emptiness exhilarated him like nothing else. It could have had something to do with the fact that he was a born and bred spacer.

Barkley flicked a switch on his control column to the wider comnet and said, “Alturus Central, Starfire six, three reporting Kaladon VIII, Septem.”

“CT Starfire six, three, report.”

“Everything looks all clear out here. No sign of enemy activity.”

“CT.”

A brief flash of light caught his eye above and to the right of his present course. “Alturus Central, are there any other ships out here?”

There was a brief pause before the reply of, “Negative Starfire six, three. There are no other vessels in your vicinity.”

“Alturus, I need to check something out…”

“CT Starfire six, three. Waiting your response.”

Barkley pulled back gently on the control column to angle his Starfire towards where he saw the flash.

The central scanning console lit up with a barrage of information and the ships siren immediately blared urgently. In contrast to the urgency, Dora, the onboard Starfire computer stated in a matter of fact female voice, “Warning, enemy missile locked. Recommend evasive maneuvers.”

Barkley wrenched the controls to the left just in time before a missile passed under his right wing. The gas giant spun wildly until it settled below him and the moon’s surface had taken its place. He would only have a few seconds before the missile re-acquired him. He tapped the maneuvering jets and spun the Starfire end for end while still tracking towards where he saw the missile launch. The cockpit siren continued to wail even as the computer said, “Enemy missile locked-on.”

“Oh frap! That was fast!”

Barkley concentrated on finding the missile tracking behind him. “Computer, heads-up display now!”

“Starfire six, three, report.”

“Alturus, I’m a little busy right now.”

Barkley’s controller paused before responding. “Starfire six, three request report immediately.”

The heads-up display in front of him highlighted the missile tracking path behind him. Barkley pushed the control column rapidly first left and then right. The missile tracked him perfectly all the while closing the distance between them.

“Starfire six, three I said report!”

Thankfully, Dora intervened in the conversation in her pleasant, patient tone, “Alturus Central, Lieutenant Barkley is presently distracted by an enemy missile tracking our position.”

Barkley squeezed and then released the trigger for his quad laser canons to fire a short burst. He watched the screen displayed before him to see if his shot erased the target. The missile was still there. “Oh come on! Give me a frapping break!”

“Alturus Central, Starfire six, three continue.”

“Not you Alturus!” Sweat beaded on Barkley’s forehead as he suddenly pushed the controls hard left and swung the ship downwards towards the gas giant. Again the missile flashed past at the unexpected maneuver. “Oh frap that was close! Dora, keep a lock on it before it can speed up again.”

“Acknowledged.”

Barkley spun the ship around again and this time his view was once again in the direction he was travelling. The heads-up display revealed the missile slowly arcing back around and building up speed. Barkley squeezed the trigger and a second later, he watched an explosion form in the distance as his lasers ripped the missile apart. Unnecessarily, Dora stated, “Missile destroyed.”

Sighing with relief Barkley wiped his brow and then pulled back to pull the fighter out of the grip of the gas giant’s gravity well.

“Starfire six, three to Alturus Central.”

“Alturus Central, it’s good to hear your voice Starfire six, three.”

Barkley looked up in awe as thousands of subspace vortices formed around the point he had been heading towards. The Scourge had arrived.

 “Alturus, we’ve got company.”

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Saturday Musings - Sneak Preview, Book Two of the Mindwars

Saturday Musings - Sneak Preview, Book Two of the Mindwars

I just received a great email from Jeff Sass from .CLUB. He just finished reading my first science fiction book, “Battleframe” and I thought that I’d wet everyone’s appetite with the first chapter from book two.

Just as a warning…..this may end up not being chapter one or it may not even make the cut. It’s unedited so it may be a little rough but it should provide some insight into the exciting world of Battleframe.

For those of you that were wondering, you can buy either the physical copy of book one on Amazon, either as an ebook or physical copy. Here is the link.

I hope you enjoy it!

Book Two of The Mindwars

Esther cried out in alarm as her body spun out of control through the air. The roaring wind assaulted her ears as she plummeted through the air. With a sudden snap of glowing blue wings, everything righted itself and her descent slowed. She tried to look around but it was if someone else was controlling her body. Flashes of purple hued lightning leapt with a crack of thunder and revealed a solid bank of clouds far below.

Where was she?

Her head turned on its own accord and she looked back at five other pilots forming up on her left and right. Each of them wore a unique battleframe that she recognized from her recent study of Concord technology. A trim lightly armoured recon Raven looked tiny against the massive Rex next to it and the Bio was completely different again.

Why were their five? Who are these people?

Something in the back of her mind suggested that she should know each person but an impenetrable fog clouded her mind. Like in a dream, she could not quite focus on what was happening around her. The previously distant clouds suddenly rushed towards her just as she lost sight of the others in a purple pyrotechnic crackle of electricity. She seemed to know what to do and with a press of a button, a display appeared before her vision that penetrated the clouds surrounding her.

A sudden wind shift buffeted her from the left side and a quick adjustment of her weight kept her gliding on the path forward. She instinctively knew what to do and how to fly through the twisting air currents.

Was she doing this? Who was she?

As quickly, as they had entered the cloud top Esther and the five pilots punched their way through the bottom, revealing a spectacular mountain landscape far below. Giant snow-capped peaks raised their sharp jagged edges towards her. Looking down she could make out a river cascading off a cliff face and plummeting thousands of feet to the valley floor below.

Her arm passed across her vision as she pulled a Charge rifle out of its back harness. She was wearing a Raven battleframe like the pilot next to her. “Why was this important?” Esther knew that she should know what she was looking at but she still could not puzzle it out.

Looking forward, the Charge riflescope appeared before her eyes and she peered through the augmented lens into the distance. The scope revealed a huge fortress nestled against a cliff face

What is this place?

Her fingered squeezed the guns trigger and a beam of blue energy lanced out and dropped her target. Silently as death, she glided over the fortress’s outer wall and landed with a few quick steps. Her head turned to the left and for the first time she saw her own reflection in a window. For a second, Russell’s kind eyes stared back at her and then moved on.

Esther’s dream world suddenly swirled around her and everything collapsed into place. She knew that somehow this was really happening and that her loved ones were attacking a massive Scourge base. Somehow, she was seeing through Russell’s eyes and she knew that he was in mortal danger. Even as her view of the dream world clouded, she tried to reach out to her husband to offer her support. Anything to help him see the enemies surrounding them. He was her love, her life.

Her head turned towards one of the other men and she recognized James incased in his enormous Rex battleframe. Her mother’s heart cried out towards her son that was thrust into a war at such a young age. He smiled back at her and deep within she felt Russell’s pride for their son.

The dream faded and in desperation, Esther cried out, “Russell, Russell, Russell!”

And then it was gone.

 

Esther sat bolt upright in bed, panting heavily with the impact of what she had witnessed in the dream. Now that she was upright, the sweat that beaded her brow ran down into her eyes, stinging them with its saltiness. She wiped her face on a corner of the sheet and was just about to step out of bed when there was a knock at the door just before it flew open.

Marie stood in the doorway dressed in her pajamas and her red hair in a complete riot. She took one look at Esther and said, “You had it too.”

Esther nodded in reply.

Closing the door behind her Marie walked over and sat on the edge of the bed. Her eyes looked haunted, almost gaunt from the experience. “I was inside Mihaley’s head and saw everything through his eyes. And you?”

Esther whispered back, “I was with Russell.”

“How is this possible?”

“I don’t know.”

“How could we both dream the same dream?”

“Marie, it’s impossible and we both know that it wasn’t a dream. We were really there.”

“Have you read anything about this sort of thing with Concord technology? Maybe we’ve been exposed to something.”

Esther shook her head. “No, I’ve read a lot since our husbands left and this isn’t something that the Concord has done.”

“So what do we do now?”

Before Esther could reply, a knock sounded at the door. Esther cocked a questioning eyebrow at Marie who responded with a shrug.

Her voice was firmer by now and Esther called out, “Who’s there?”

A female voice replied, “Sergeant Eltivia. I was doing my rounds and saw your light on. Is there anything that I can get for you?”

“No, I’m fine thank you Sergeant.”

Despite her reply to the negative, the door opened to reveal the Sergeant dressed in a standard issue Concord grey uniform. Her blond hair was perched in a bun atop her head but what struck Esther and Marie was the Sergeant’s radiant blue eyes.

Esther was a little annoyed at the intrusion as she said, “Sergeant, I said that I did not require your help.”

Sergeant Eltivia smiled warmly to both women opposite her. “Of course you both need my help. You’ve just experienced your first synaptic co-joining. It goes far beyond mental rapport and it can’t really be controlled. We were concerned this would happen.”

Her previous annoyance gone, Esther felt strangely at peace and relaxed in the presence of this stranger in her private quarters. She thought that she should be alarmed but it really did not seem appropriate. Stumbling across her words she said, “Synaptic what?”

“Synaptic co-joining.”

“What’s that? Who are you?”

The Sergeant pulled a couple of clips out of her hair and let it cascade perfectly down her back. As if smiling sweetly to a child she said, “I can’t stand putting my hair up. I don’t know what woman on this planet see in it.”

In the deep recesses of her mind, Esther felt an alarm going off. There was something wrong here. She should be concerned about the sergeant not relaxed and at ease. Like building blocks that form the foundation of a house Esther unknowingly began to construct a mental barrier between her and the Sergeant. The woman’s blue eyes looked deeply into her own and became all encompassing.

“Don’t do that dear. I’m not here to hurt you. Quite to the contrary. I needed to make sure the link didn’t expand and start broadcasting your presence to the entire galaxy.”

Like a child dismantling a house built from a plastic toy, Esther felt her mental wall disintegrate under the other woman’s scrutiny.

“Who are you?”

The Sergeant looked at Esther and then Marie. A look of concern reflected in her blue eyes, “It doesn’t matter who I am. What does matter is that you must return to Australia. There are things happening right now that are going to change the balance in the galaxy and it all hinges on you being home.”

“We can’t”

“And why not?”

“Our husbands asked us to work with the Concord team here.”

“Don’t worry about that I’ve already dealt with them.” The Sergeant strode forward and before the two women could react she placed one hand on each of their foreheads and half mumbled to herself, “I just need to erase a few things from your memory and enhance a little bit of desire. That seems to have it.”

Dropping her hands, she took one look at Esther and Marie as they stared blankly into space. Just one last thing to do. Taking out a clear vial from her pocket Creativity, masquerading as the Sergeant, dropped it into a pocket in Esther’s suitcase before she vanished from the room to report back to Wisdom.

Esther yawned as if she’d just woken from a deep sleep and blearily looked across at Marie. “What was I saying again? That’s right, I suddenly feel like we need to get the girls and head home.”

“I couldn’t agree with you more. We need to get going straight away.”

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Saturday Musings - Giving Something Back

Saturday Musings - Giving Something Back

When I attended “The Domains Conference” in Fort Lauderdale last year I gave each of the attendees a free copy of my debut SciFi book Battleframe (see blurb below). The domain industry has given me so much that I would like to extend the free giveaway to everyone in the domain industry.

From March 13-16th the Ebook version of Battleframe will be FREE on Amazon.

Click here to download your copy:

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I would love it if you could share the link with family and friends, so feel free to pass it around to anyone that you know. It would also be awesome if you could provide a review on Amazon as well. :-)

Don’t forget to register at my author's blog http://michaelgilmour.com to view maps of featured installations and the planet Alpha Three. There’s also a forum that you can participate in to ask me questions about the characters, plot and setting. I love hearing from readers so feel free to fire away!

I hope you reading enjoy Battleframe as much as I did writing it!

Have a great weekend!

Michael Gilmour

BattleFrame – Book One of the Mindwars

Resource rich planet Alpha Three becomes the focus of a galactic wide conflict. In the midst of a remorseless Scourge invasion a lone human battleframe pilot, call-sign Whizzbang, strives to find and rescue his closest friend from the invaders.

With the extermination of the human colony seemingly inevitable, Whizzbang's squad of veteran pilots struggle to turn the tide of the war. Just when he thinks they may have a chance, members of the squad begin vanishing before his eyes and the odds of winning the battle become slim to none.

The mysterious nano-robots, unknowingly developed by an alien intelligence, appear to be all that will enable humanity to survive the onslaught. But all is not what it seems as the micro-machines begin to dramatically transform Whizzbang's friends in astounding ways.

Safe within his command dome, the enemy General plots on how he can cover the world in the enigmatic Barrier, a force that kills humans in seconds. It is then that Whizzbang discovers that the Earth may be the next Scourge target.

Book one in the “Mindwars” opens with our galaxy in turmoil and humanity on the brink of extinction.

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Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

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Marketing With No Money - Part 8

Marketing With No Money - Part 8

The other day I received my first royalty check from Amazon! I’m not about to retire but I must admit that it felt incredible to be receiving money for selling copies of my scifi book Battleframe. I normally get packing slips from Amazon so to receive a cheque was a new experience.

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So what’s happening with my marketing efforts? One of the difficulties that I’ve been trying to wrestle with is the fragmentation of the science fiction and fantasy community. To personally participate in all of the different forums and subtly let people know about Battleframe is next to impossible. I would say that my hourly rate would be somewhere in the vicinity of about two cents.

To make matters “worse” my own business, ParkLogic, is going through a boom time. The result has been that I’ve backed off the majority of my marketing efforts….there’s only just so much time in the day.

So what are my plans moving forward? I’ve decided to really focus on finishing book two of “The Mindwars” and growing my readership with Battleframe (ie. Book one). My marketing goal is to build a readership base with book one and ultimately earn revenue from book two, three etc. This is great for readers because it allows them to get a taste my writing without having to outlay any cash.

My primary focus is now on completing book two. Mild spoiler alert!!! For those of you that have read Battleframe I would like say that Selfia and Acheron finally get their honeymoon. Out of all of the questions that I get asked, this is the one that I get asked the most. I read the chapter to my wife and daughter and they love it as the honeymoon is in a very unusual location. LOL! I must admit that it never occurred to me that readers would get disappointed that the two characters hadn’t had their honeymoon as yet.

It may seem a little silly but this is a really important lesson. Always listen to the feedback from your customers for whatever product you are selling. They will freely share with you some incredible ways that you can improve what you are doing and then willingly pay for it!

I put a lot of time into writing across this last weekend and I’m about halfway through the biggest space battle scene that I think I’ve ever read….let alone write. There are thousands of ships, bases, satellites and a desperate struggle…..and this will be in the first few chapters of book two! As a hint….the battle ties in to the prelude of book one…..

As you may have guessed, I’m finding that book two is really coming together. I’m planning on releasing it prior to Christmas and I can’t wait to get it into the hands of an editor. The book really expands the scope of the galactic conflict and opens up so many new possibilities in the unfolding story.

If you would like your own ecopy of Battleframe then register at SFFAuthors.com and enter the promotional code of “Whizzbang” (expires at the end of Aug 2015). BTW, if you have read Battleframe then it would be awesome if you could write a brief review on Amazon - click here.

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Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

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