Saturday, August 28, 2010

Did you always want to die for a good cause?


Here's your chance to die for a good cause. It involves donating money to a worthy cause so you can have your name in Larry Correia's next book, and you guessed it, your character gets killed. Here's the message from Kai Hintze, the father of the boy who needs a new kidney.

From: Kai Hintze catterwaller at gmail dot com

My son, Misha Hintze, age 23, needs a new kidney. Until he can get one
he is on dialysis to keep him alive. Once he gets a new kidney he can
expect to pay $1000 to $2000 a month for the rest of his life for
medication to keep the new kidney working. All that adds up to a
pretty large medical bill....

Larry Correia, author of Monster Hunter International, and the soon to
be released Monster Hunter Vendetta has generously offered to
red-shirt in an upcoming book anyone who will make a $50 donation to
Misha's kidney fund. Yes, your name will appear in the book. Yes, the
character with your name will die.

To participate, write a check and mail it to me. I will add your name
to the list, and give the check to the Rotary Foundation at the next
Tuesday meeting.

Make checks payable to: West Jordan Rotary Service Foundation
Note in the memo section: Misha Hintze Kidney Transplant
Mail checks for red-shirt to:
Kai Hintze
3087 W 7140 S
West Jordan, UT 84084

I've read a lot of tax pamphlets about donations lately, and I'm
pretty sure that the IRS will see this as receiving value for money,
so it will not be tax deductible. If you want to donate directly then
you can write a tax deductible check. Use the same payable to, and
memo, but send it directly to the West Jordan Rotary Service
Please send direct donations to:
West Jordan Rotary Service Foundation
Attn: Sharon Richardson, Treasurer
11168 South Hampton Way
South Jordan, Utah 84095

Again, if you mail the check to me it will not be tax deductible, but
you get to die for a good cause. If you mail the check directly to the
Rotary it is tax deductible, but you have to wait for another
opportunity to die gloriously. Decisions,

Please pass the word around!

Also, we had a donor lined up, but one of the final tests showed that
she had extra arteries going into her kidneys. That is good for her,
but bad for transplant. So we are looking for someone in good physical
condition, that has type O blood, and who can take a couple of months
off work to recover from surgery, and has a kidney they are willing to
share. The donor's medical expenses are all paid by our insurance.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Witches Kitchen

Witches KitchenWitches Kitchen by Allen Williams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Witches’ Kitchen by Allen Williams is a brilliantly written and gorgeously illustrated young adult novel that deserves a very large audience. Williams has been a prolific and superb artist for years, and now he’s unlocked his tremendous talent for writing. His paintings always told a story and now, thankfully for us, he’s written one of them down. The forty original pencil illustrations add to a fantastical journey in the infinitely large and dangerous magical kitchen owned by two malevolent witches. The main character, Toad, is about to be killed by the witches who are planning to steal Toad’s magical powers when she manages to escape their clutches—but ends up in a very fascinating place—the Kitchen.

Poor little Toad, who is not really a Toad, and can’t remember who she really is, meets all sorts of enthralling characters as she tries to escape the kitchen and recover her memories. She is accompanied on her journey by one of my favorite characters ever, NatterJack, an iron-handed imp who doesn’t want to become an evil demon like his despicable father and much prefers exploring his artistic side; a sword-wielding carnivorous fairy who would be utterly terrifying if she weren’t three inches tall; and a couple of other unique characters, Sootfoot and Pug, who provide lots of laughs.

Reading this novel aloud would be so much fun, as the inventiveness, great dialogue, and craziness of the pitch-black, constantly changing and living kitchen brings one amazing scene after another.

As I read the book, my imagination soared and I kept seeing the scenes unfolding like a great Hollywood movie, which this book certainly could become someday. The book is a little complicated and scary for younger kids, and they might not follow the storyline all the time, but overall young adults and older readers will be thoroughly entertained from beginning to end. The Witches’ Kitchen is Neil Gaiman’s Coraline mixed with The Wizard of Oz, and a generous helping of Terry Gilliam’s movie Time Bandits with the stunning visuals of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal.

Highly Recommended.

Paul Genesse

Author of The Golden Cord

View all my reviews

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Time Travel, Parallel Universes, and Quantum Physics


I was asked to be a panelist on a very interesting panel being held at the Gen Con convention. I felt unprepared and started doing research. I ended up contacting a very brilliant and educated friend of mine, Dave Myers and asking him to give me his take on the subject of quantum physics. Below you'll find Dave's fascinating email, plus the panel description.

Gen Con Indy Writers Symposium Panel
on August 5, 2010 at 11:00 AM at the Hyatt Hotel

Time Travel, Parallel Universes, and Quantum Physics: In a parallel universe somewhere, you've already attended this session and know all about how wave theory, super-strings, quantum entanglement, and things like noetics bear on frequent sci-fi concepts like time travel and mirror Earths, but since you're not in that universe and the handy Gen Con map doesn't show you how to get to it, you might want to attend this panel and get some insight into actual physics . . . or just enough gobbledy-gook to make your next story sound credible even though it’s quite fantastic. Remember, in some universe, you are bound to be a well-known, well-paid, best-selling author, adored by fans, critics, and even your mother-in-law. Why not make this universe be that universe?

Panelists: Donald Bingle (Moderator), Paul Genesse, Bob Farnsworth, Tobias Buckell

Interesting quotes:

Science does not know its debt to imagination. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. ~Isaac Asimov

There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. ~Mark Twain

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. ~ Albert Einstein

Notes from Dave Myers:

Quantum Mechanics are used along the same lines as Magic is in the realms of Fantasy. They are presented with broad hazy strokes of overlapping colors. This prevents the reader from focusing too closely on any particular concept and therefore uncovering the shallow depths to which the author actually comprehends the concepts. While this may seem harsh I should state that Quantum Mechanics are such a difficult concept to grasp in their entirety that there are only a dozen people in the last century that are credited with major discoveries in the field. I spent close to two years studying a Quantum Mechanics curriculum written by one of the most prestigious technical colleges in the world and I would consider myself a neophyte at best.

Before delving too deeply into Quantum Mechanics I would recommend that the student already have a firm grasp of Calculus, Classic Mechanics and be able to comfortably apply Schrödinger’s Equation to various wavefunction calculations. However, for use as an author I think far less knowledge is required to accurately portray the concepts embraced so haphazardly in modern Science Fiction. Below I will outline some of the common themes and explain how they mesh with modern scientific theory.

Important concepts to consider with close to and faster than light travel:

Kinetic energy and its affect on bodies travelling at the speed of light: A spec of meteorite, weighing 1 gram travelling at the speed of light would have the same kinetic energy as a bomb over 10 times the size of the First nuclear weapon ever detonated here on Earth. Now consider the mass of a spaceship travelling at the speed of light. Were it to impact a planet it could conceivably do enough damage to end all life and alter the planets axis or orbit.

The common description of safety for travelling at this speed is a deflector shield; but the energy required to deflect a 1 kg piece of space junk while travelling the speed of light is > 100 times the power output of every Civilian Nuclear reactor operating in the world today. Now this is a simplification since to convert kinetic energy to power requires an element of time, I assumed the enaction of the power over a second which is actually a much, much longer time than you would have to deflect an object at this speed. The concept of the ability to draw this sort of power in a fraction of a millisecond makes the power source exponentially higher; as in 108 higher.

This being said, we have theorized with calculation that it would take an infinite amount of energy to accelerate an object with intrinsic mass to the speed of light. This is due to the Lorentz factor which was derived from a Dutch Physicist who’s formulation later would provide some structure for mass-energy equivalence, or the infamous E=MC2 . This has later been tested in particle acceleration. In testing scientists were able to accelerate a particle to 99.99% the speed of light; however, no matter how much additional power they invested they could not achieve light speed.

Also, it is theorized that if an object were to travel faster than light it would create a violation of Causality as the object would move outside the normal time axis, essentially going backwards through space-time and creating potential paradoxes.

FTL travel ignores everything we know about space-time continuity and relative physics, and yet it is still used with abandon in various forms of fiction. I have to believe this is just ignorance, not intentional undermining of the Science community.

So, if FTL travel isn’t feasible, what are the options?

The easy answer is Einstein-Rosen Bridges. In 1935 Einstein and Rosen co-authored a paper that described the potential for a warp in space time that would allow a bridge from two essentially flat regions of space-time regardless of distance apart. They theorized that a tunnel like opening could join the two for a very short period of time. Travel through these tunnels would be impossible due to the shortness of duration, however it has been postulated that highly advanced civilization would have the technology to hold these bridges open long enough to use them for travel. These Einstein-Rosen bridges are commonly referred to as wormholes. Wormhole traverse could allow time travel, but to do so would either open up an alternative reality or you would have to subscribe to a true complete unified theory by which all of our actions past, present and future are governed. This theory of lack of free will is the most probable, but rarely used in fiction.

Books that succeeded in using Quantum Mechanics well are:

Dune by Frank Herbert – an excellent take on wormhole travel. The spacing guild navigators are augmented to the point of prescience by ingesting the spice Melange. This allows them to safely navigate the treacherous Einstein-Rosen bridges without encountering a singularity.

Timescape by Greg Benford - a Great portrayal of what a research physicist does as well as some interesting concepts on "realistic" time travel.

The Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson – A series of books written largely about the same characters in three separate parallel Universes. Very good use of Quantum Mechanics as they are understood today. You have to read all three to truly appreciate the series.

-The Universe Next Door
-The Trick Top Hat
-The Homing Pigeons

Next Topic:

Reactors. Assuming we are still using a fission reactor there are the issues with Ionizing Radiation. Ionizing Radiation comes in 5 main forms. Aplha, Beta, Gamma, X-Ray and Neutron.

We can disregard X-rays as they are not normally produced from fission. The four other forms have to be dealt with via shielding. This shielding works on a couple principals, but mainly the goal is to attenuate the energy of the radiation reducing it to a non-ionizing forms. Alpha and beta can be stopped with a layer of paper. Gamma requires a high density material like lead. Neutron need to be slowed to a thermal state or absorbed into a material that will not result in the formation of another radioactive isotope. Water having hydrogen atoms in abundance is a great Neutron moderator as the atomic mass of a Neutron and Hydrogen atom are essentially equal. Imagine a pool ball hitting another, equal and opposite reaction causes transferrence and dispersal of energy.

All of these are forms of Radiation. Only Alpha and Beta can be stopped with protective clothing. Every movie and book that I see that has the characters don their radiation suits to go in and work on the active reactor shows the lack of understanding of radiation. The suits are supposed to protect from contamination. Contamination is nothing more than the radioactive particles that are releasing these forms of ionizing radiation. Radioactive dust, mostly microscopic if you will.

Dave Myers graduated with honors from nuclear engineering school in the Navy in 1994 and spent the better part of 7 years monitoring nuclear reactors on both Los Angeles and Trident class submarines with a specialization in radiochemistry. He has worked the last 9 years in the Semiconductor field as head of operations for a prominent OEM. When he's not working with materials far inferior to Unobtanium he enjoys hanging out with his lovely wife Suzzanne, and riding super-charged motorcycles at speeds that he wishes approached the speed of light.

Thank you all for reading,

Paul Genesse
Author of The Golden Cord

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dungeon Crawlers Radio


I'm all about the radio interviews this week. Tonight I'm on Dungeon Crawlers Radio. The guys, Revan, Malak, and Bilf interviewed me at the ConDuit convention a little while back. They did a fifteen minute interview, which you can listen to at Or you can listen to the podcast on Wednesday July 14th. Get the podcast by going to or through iTunes. Here's a direct link:

This was a fun one and I revealed a few things about the origin of the Iron Dragon series that I almost never reveal.

Enjoy the interview,

Paul Genesse
Author of The Dragon Hunters