Monday, December 7, 2015

I'm looking for beta readers for Book 2. Anyone interested? Free book traded for honest comments.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Book 2 Teaser

Here is the summary that will appear on the back cover of Book 2 of the Milleran Cluster entitled The Forever Horizon:

When the erratic but brilliant engineer Ty escapes from being nearly torn apart by excavation equipment on some unnamed asteroid, it is up to his friend Heavy Senran Zoey to rescue him. On board the first explorer sun ship, the Constantia, Ty thinks his problems are over but soon discovers that the failure of the enormous machine was no accident. Back on his home planet of Pa’Kevutu a simple act of defiance turns into a large scale revolution that threatens to change the oppressive corporate governmental structure. Hoping to distract the people from the message of the rebels, the ceorans, or corp executives, send the Constantia on a controversial mission to find much needed resources on a large asteroid. What they discover is that the planet is the home of yet another human race but that fact does not dissuade them from their mission to rape the planet. With only a fleet of small defenseless orbiters and a great deal of determination, the inhabitants of the planet of Pa’Chot decide to defend themselves. The war for the control of the collection of asteroids known as The Milleran Cluster begins.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Maynard Authors Roundtable

I will be appearing at an author's panel to talk about my science fiction books. I will be at the Maynard Library on Tuesday night, November 17 starting at 6:30 and will have books available for signing. Please stop by, if you can.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Just finished the website for Book One.
Of Eternal Light

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Book 1.2

I am revising Book One. It will be tighter and more active in voice. Some minor changes were needed to align with the completion of the draft of Book Two. I also started a new publishing company for this and, hopefully, future works of fiction: Brass Bell Books.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Draft Complete

The first draft of Book Two of the Milleran Cluster series is now complete. The next project will be to revise Book One.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Underground Lake

In 1905 in Tennessee, there was a young boy named Ben who loved to play in a local cave. One day the young boy was exploring his favorite cave when he found an opening he had never noticed before. He crawled through it but it was too dark to see inside so he began throwing balls of mud to get an idea of the depth of this new space. Instead of the sound of mud splatting against walls he heard splashing. It turns out he discovered the largest underground lake in the U.S. At this time, at least 13 acres have been discovered.

A similar underground lake is at the center of the society built by the inhabitants of the planet of Pa'Chot and has just been discovered by a handful of wayward Kevutians.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

A Review

Here is a recent review by another writer friend:

Ken Langer has written a delightful tale, “THE MILLERAN CLUSTER” Book I of the “Of Eternal Light” Series. Mr. Langer offers his readers an opportunity to visit the wonderful world of Pa Kevutu, a land for all ages of readers. The land of the Kevutians is a delightful place to escape the worries and vicissitudes of our own partisan existence, reminiscent of a visit to Hobbiton while weaving in a double mystery both of murder and also the origins of the inhabitants of this fabulously imaginative world.

Mr. Langer offers us a unique glimpse into our own world by showing us one created from his imagination. “When are we truly living and when are we just marking time? The difference has to be in the fullness of our experiences and the richness of our relationships.” – From THE MILLERAN CLUSTER by Kenneth P. Langer
I highly recommend this cerebral stroll through a strange land and wonderful land.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Coming to the end

I am gradually coming to the final chapters of the second book of The Milleran Cluster so I will provide only a few details.

At this point the leader of the rebels against the Ceorans (bosses) tried to escape from Kethix but was attacked by a fleet of the Wesuran Navy.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Terrorism and Despotism

When does terrorism lead to despotism. According to some news analysts, it happens when something called "mission creep" enters into the scene. It could work something like this: In a vigilant effort to route out possible terrorists a government begins to monitor all suspicious communications and internet traffic. Not knowing which interactions are suspicious and which are not the governmental entity in charge of terrorism decides it is best to monitor all communications. One especially helpful tool is the ability to monitor all social media connections so that the connections to all possible terrorists or potential terrorists can be known. To catch even more possible baddies the government agency decides to monitor any groups is thinks might be related to terrorist activities. This eventually includes any groups that are even remotely connected to speaking or writing out against the government in any form. That is an example of mission creep. What began as limited monitoring of identified potential terrorists has expanded into collecting the data of thousands of citizens for doing anything that could be defined as potentially related to terrorist or anti-government action.

Why should a person care? After all, the average citizen does nothing wrong. Most go to work, go home, follow the rules, play nice, and so on. But with mission creep in action, more and more average citizens get caught up in the net of potentialities. If someone knows someone who is the cousin of someone that once wrote a nasty remark about the president on a chat site, all those people may become unwitting suspects.

More fear needs more action. More action needs more control. Terrorism leads to despotism.

So it is on Kevutu. The few people who have rebelled against the tyranny of the control of the ceorans (bosses) have caused panic in the government leading to martial law and their own version of despotism. The Grand Council of Ceorans, the primary governmental body for the planet, has been disbanded by a subset of the council called the Directorate. They have called for martial law and are chasing down any citizen they believe to be related to the terrorists (known as freedom fighters in their own land).

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


This is the map for the planetoid to be known as Pa'Chot. From Kevutu it is considered to be one of the Seven Sisters or bright stars in the night sky. Each of the gray areas is a Canton or self-sustained community. The central circle is Mount Milnak (see earlier post). The entire structure (except the top of the mountain) is underground including the water between Mount Milnak and the Cantons.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Mistaken Identity

It was a scene that could have been taken from any number of action movies. A truck with dark tinted windows is followed by the LA police department. They had received word of a recent murder and the suspect was reported to be driving just such a truck. The police surrounded the truck and forced it to pull over. Not being able to see the driver they became afraid for their lives and took up positions behind their car doors with pistols drawn. The driver was told to step out of the car slowly with hands raised. In the next moment the door of the truck opened. Immediately pistols were cocked and rifles were aimed and ready to fire. From the cab of the vehicle appeared a woman. She raised her hands and came around to the front of the truck. When she came around to the front it became obvious that she was quite pregnant and scared. All it would have taken is one itchy trigger finger or one perceived threatening move by the mother-to-be and a simple case of mistaken identity could have become a terrible tragedy.

Mistaken identity is also the theme of my current chapter. The Chotians believe that the Kevutians are on their way to have come to their planet to take them home. The Kevutians, on the other hand, think they are the only beings in the universe (know any other creatures like that?) and are, therefore, shocked when they first encounter the Chotians. They believe they are under attack by unknown beings and choose to get away without making contact. Like many cases of confused intentions the consequences of not trying to understand the other person can lead to disastrous results.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Communicating with aliens

Writing science fiction sure creates some unusual challenges not encountered in everyday life. Maybe that' why I enjoy it so much. How often are you encountered with problems like communicating with an alien race in your day-to-day job? That is the problem I face in my current chapter. Having a few Kevutians literally fall into the laps of a new race of humanoids creates many difficulties but perhaps the greatest is the need to communicate. I came upon the idea that maybe instead learning each other's languages they could use and develop sign language. Since they are both humanoid it would make sense that many of the shapes they can create with their hands might have similarities. My idea was bolstered by a rather unusual source. Keep in mind I am speaking with tongue-in-cheek about this source.

A person named W. H. Mumfrey has put himself forward as being an expert in aliens that have come to Earth and live among us. He goes out of his way to point out that these aliens do not reveal their secrets and yet he has been able to compile a complete book revealing their secrets. Ignoring this inconsistency, let's play along. He has written a book entitled The Alien Invasion Survival Handbook. This book purports to tell us all about the aliens that are planning to invade us poor humans so that we may be better prepared. On his section on language, he tells us that these aliens communicate through "airborne electrical signals." According to Mumfrey, some aliens have actually been captured and are kept in secret research facilities. Evidently they are not much different than monkeys in this case because they have been taught to do sign language in the same way that primates have. Maybe these aliens have just tapped into the Planet of the Apes series on their interstellar Netflix. In any case, the aliens have learned some basic sign language in a short period of time.

I ask you, what better confirmation of my idea could that be??

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Dark Side of Publishing

Recently, when a friend asked me if my first book was available as an e-book on Amazon I said yes. In the past, whenever the print version was available I immediately worked on the electronic version (it's harder to format than you might think) and got it ready to go. Electronic versions, once formatted, can be distributed quickly. Usually within a week my e-version would be ready and would go live shortly thereafter. I have been working with a site called Smashwords and they have been very good about getting books out to a lot of electronic distributors. One of those distributors had been Amazon–the name most people think of when they want to buy a book online. Lately, however, Amazon has started dragging their enormous feet on the ground and causing small tremors as they do so. They don't seem to want to distribute from places like Smashwords anymore. Why?

Because they have started their own ebook publishing and distribution serve, of course. OK, so what? Well, they require exclusivity of their others. Something no one else would dare do. Any author that wants to be part of their service must commit to a minimum of 90 days whe and are they will not allow anyone else to publish the work. This means that people with readers other than a Kindle or Kindle app will not be able to read it. So, the question for authors as it stands now is to go with a wide range of distributors like the Kobo reader, Apple iBooks, and so on, or to go with just Amazon and be chained to them like a prisoner on a chain gang.

I chose the chains for at least 90 days. Let's see if it makes any difference.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Concord Book Shop

I have been having some success in getting my book into several of the local bookshops around my hometown of Maynard MA. I decided to try my luck at some bookstores in nearby towns so I headed on over to Concord MA. You'd think that I had traveled from Kevutu to another planet. I entered the Concord Bookshop and asked if they carried books by local authors. From the first look from the guy behind the desk I knew I was in for trouble. He had this look like: "Oh no! Not another one!" I guess there are a lot of writers in Concord. Yea, I know it's the town of Thoreau and Emerson and all the rest but if they had been given that kind of look from their booksellers we might have never heard of them. Maybe everyone who thinks she is the new Thoreau or Emerson has moved to Concord and now hounds the local bookstores.

When I was directed to another person in the shop I was given a piece of paper stating the policy guidelines for getting books on consignment. The first line told me that I would have to pay a $100 fee just to be considered. The paper explained that the money was necessary for paying for shelf space and the time and energy it took to put that book on said shelf space. Really? I want that job.

Is this what bookstores have come to? They are losing sales from customers so they are going to make it up by dousing struggling authors. I know I'm no Thoreau or Emerson but I'm no Trump or Buffet either. I'm lucky if I make a couple of bucks from a single book sale. How many books would I have to sell to justify paying a $100 shelf fee. What if all the bookstores adopted this policy?

The internet may ring the death knell of bookstores and may be the only saving grace left for authors.

Monday, August 10, 2015

My first Amazon review

I just returned from a week's vacation in Provincetown. My current chapter of Book 2 involves a sea battle between the Wesuran corp and the freedom fighters of Kethix so it was fun to look out across Cape Cod and imagine the battle taking place in those beautiful blue waters.

I am happy to report that I got a positive review on Amazon for my first book. I will quote it here.

"This book captured my imagination. I loved the author’s creativity, character development, philosophies, story line and even some poetry mixed in too. Dialogue, flow and imagery all move nicely through the book and kept me wanting to see how the story would unfold and resolve. The fantasy of a different world and time were simply a backdrop to the real story of people solving life's challenges and problems."

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Life on other planets

Is there life on other planets? Assuming we agree on what defines life then we must consider the possibility that there are. Consider this. There are 125 billion galaxies that have been detected by our own telescopes. If only 10% of all stars have orbiting planets, there would be more than 6 x 10(with 18 zeros) possible planets. Even if only 1% of those planets could sustain life there would still be billions and billions of possible planets.

What if we discovered such life tomorrow. How would it impact us here? Would we panic? Would we be curious. Would we have to rethink the majority of world religions that claim that they're people are the only chosen ones of the universe? Creation stories of almost all cultures mention the beginnings of mankind, the animals, and the earth but none mention that the creator also made green globules of living matter on a planet millions of light years away. It is more comforting to believe we are the only ones.

That's what the Kevutians have always believed as well. There was never a need for any other beings. They alone were created for the purpose of seeking perfection in the universe. What happens to a society when its long standing sense of self importance is shattered?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Seven Sisters

In both the first and the current book there are references to something called The Seven Sisters. They are only mentioned briefly in the first book. They appear in some of the opening quotes and only a few times by the characters themselves. Only at the end are the Seven Sisters mentioned as being seven bright lights that appear in the night sky.

In the second book they play a more significant role. You learn that there is a religious connection to them. The residents of Pa'Kevutu believe the Sisters are all just bright stars until circumstances cause them to actually go out and explore one - a heretical act in itself. The idea of the Seven Sisters has always been part of the original (an unrevealed) back story for the entire collection of asteroids called The Milleran Cluster. Although it is not mentioned much in the first text it was always part of the original idea. That idea began over a year ago on the shores of an idyllic lake in Vermont.

Imagine my surprise when I began reading Neal Stephenson's newest book Seveneves. The title of the second chapter is The Seven Sisters. In his book he refers to seven parts of our moon which have just recently and mysteriously broken apart. These seven fragments threaten to break apart and eventually destroy all life on earth.

My sisters are a little less mischievous.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Willow Books

I am proud to announce that Willow Books in Acton, MA has agreed to carry some of my first book.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Return of the Ancients

The concept that there is a race of wise and powerful ancient people is a theme that runs across many story lines and movie plots. Some of those plots have appeared in the television series Stargate, Doctor Who, and Star Trek: The Next Generation (think Q); the videos games World of Warcraft and Ninjago; movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the Alien series; and in literature think the Cthulu Mythos by H.P. Lovecraft or Contact by Carl Sagan. They go by many names: the Illuminati, The Templars, The Ancient Egyptians, Atlanteans, etc. If you want to get a real flavor for a fervor for ancient ones, look up the Annunaki.

What in our psyche creates in us a desire for an older and wiser race of people? Is it a cosmic extension of our own childhoods? Do we seek some imagined wise parent that will come and teach us the secrets of the universe and then buy us a cosmic ice cream cone to make us all feel better? Maybe it's spiritual. We desire a connection to the beginnings of the universe and ideal these powers in physical forms we can relate to. Is it that we don't trust ourselves enough to try and figure out the answers on our own. How nice it would be for an anthropomorphized version of the Wikipedia of the Universe to appear and guide us through the rough waters.

The people of Pa'Chot also wait for the Ancient Ones but their elders of history are not mythical creatures. They are simply human though from another world. They have been waiting a long time for them to return and when they think they finally have returned, they are jubilant. The truth, however, will not be a chance for celebration.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Shape of Aliens

Have you ever stopped to wonder why all those aliens in all those science fiction movies and television shows look so humanoid? Think back on all those episodes of Star Trek and all the creatures walking around in the bar on Tattoine in Star Wars. How many of them had two arms, two legs, and a head? How many even had slight variations on a mouth, a nose, eyes, and ears? In the vastness of the universe surely there would be more variations to living beings.

Think about our very own planet. How would you describe a spider or a jellyfish to someone who has never experienced one? Neither of those creatures looks anything like a human. Obviously only humanoids are capable of interstellar travel. I guess jellyfish have a tough time managing the steering wheel.

So, with all that ranting you would think that maybe I would do something different. I would break the habit of anthropomorphizing the universe. Onward with creativity and bizarre living beings. Well, no. The aliens encountered on the planet of Pa'Chot (as it shall be named) are humanoid. In fact, all my aliens are humanoid. They may differ in size and constitution, language, and culture, but they are essentially all human. Cop out? Lack of imagination? Maybe, but there is actually a reason for all of it but I can reveal no more. That will have to come in a chapter far far away.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


In the Piedmont hills of Italy there is a sanctuary underground. It is called Damunhur and consists of several levels and rooms. In fact, there are seven large halls. They are each lavishly decorated and were constructed by hand. To see them is to be awed by the art and architecture. Above all this however, one would only see a typical Italian countryside and nothing more.

This is how I imagine the underground communities that make up the world of Pa'Chot are constructed. Beneath the surface are connected cities and other structures but above the surface little is seen except the rocky and dusty surface of the planet.

That is what the Kevutian crew of the Constantia thought they had encountered until they found the underground community living below.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mount Milnak

Crater Lake

In my last post I pointed out a possible mountain in the midst of a depression on Pluto's moon Charron. We can come closer to home, however, to see the same phenomenon. Crater Lake in Oregon has a similar feature. Crater Lake is a caldera which is a lake formed after a volcanic eruption. If the top of the volcanic mountain is destroyed, a depression can be formed and water can fill it. In the case of Crater Lake a mountain also developed in the midst of the lake. The mountain is called Wizard Mountain.

The mountain in my book is named Mount Milnak by the people that live within and below it. They depend on that mountain to keep them protected by the rapidly changing surface of their planet and use it as a launching bay for their small ships. Unfortunately for them, the Kevutians have just discovered their mountain but do not yet know it is inhabited. Kevutians believe they are the only beings in the universe and that the universe was made for them exclusively. They are about to find out that they were very wrong in their assumption.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Charron's Mount in a Crater

The circle in red shows a mountain peak rising from within a crater on Pluto's moon Charron.

Peak in the Valley

The planetoid Vesta reportedly has a giant crater in its southern half that is quite large compared to the others on its surface. What makes this carter even more unusual is that a mountain peak rises from within it. When I read this I decided to use the same topography for the center of the inhabitants of the planet to be called Pa'Chot. The peaceful people that live there have covered over the crater part of the structure and have used to create an underground system of small cities. Going underground prevents the need for creating an artificial atmosphere above the surface and allows for greater temperature control. That's a good thing because this particular planet has great swings of temperature differences.

Imagine my surprise when a recent photo of Pluto's moon Charron displayed a similar topography. (See next post). It seems that that a mountain amidst a crater is not so impossible.

I say that the people of Pa'Chot are mostly peaceful. They have spent many thousands of years in their mountain waiting for the return of the people they call The Ancients. Unfortunately for them, it is not The Ancients that will soon be there. The Kevutians have discovered them instead.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Back To The Sea

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy said the following:

I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it is because in addition to the fact that the sea changes and the light changes, and ships change, it is because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it we are going back from whence we came.

He was speaking at a dinner for the sailing competition called the America's Cup. As international events go, it was not a big deal, but that one paragraph in his speech has lived on as one of his many famous lines. Why? Because in a speech directly mostly to sailors he said something that was poignant and true for all of us. We did, in fact, all come from the sea and it is part of our physical, emotional, and mental constitutions as he pointed out. It is why so many of us feel this strange connection to the sea when we visit the beach. The word sea in many languages is often spelled as a variation on "mer." It is where we get the word mermaid. It is not a coincidence in my opinion that the word "mother" (ma) in many languages is similar to the word for sea.

Shuk was a sailor for most of his life and sought to escape the banal routine of being a merchant seaman. It is why he came ashore just in time to get caught up in a revolution that he eventually led. Now, though, the ceorans have forced him to consider other options to resolving the dilemma and he is faced with a stark reality. Spreading the message of the revolution will involve taking to the sea and talking to the people of the other islands. That means, of course, that Shuk himself will have to get back onboard a sailing ship, something he hoped to avoid. It seems the sea eventually calls all of us back home.

The word 'sea' in different languages:
Spanish, Portugese, and Catalan: mar
Italian and Romanian: mare
French: mer
German: meer
Estonian and Finnish: meri

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Fire and Water

We are taught that opposites are separate entities that are distinct from each other but there is no such thing in this universe. All things are part of another. Opposites define each other but only to a certain degree. It is often the case that an extreme followed for a length of time will lead to its own opposite. The Taoists understood this concept and portrayed it through the symbol of the yin and yang.

Fire and water are apparent opposites. They help to define each other and can react against each other but not everyone has seen them as distinct. In the ancient religion of Zorastrianism, fire and water were both equally important elements of purification. Temples of worship are sometimes called fire temples and the ash of sacred fires combined with clean water are essential parts of their rituals. Fire burns away the unnecessary while water cleanses.

Shuk, the sudden and initially unwilling leader of the Kethix revolution has decided to employ both fire and water in his efforts to maintain peace at the temple. He is holding out for negotiations and a mad riot, he believes, will only work against his aims. He is sure that holding the local ceorans will be a bargaining chip with the Grand Council in Yakrutich but they are stalling and things are heating up in the northern islands. When a riot breaks out, he uses a raging fire to get the crowd's attention so that he can calm them down before violence can begin.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Instigated Revolution

In October of 1789, a group of 6,000 women (with some men dressed as women) organized themselves in Paris and marched their way to the king's palace in Versailles. They were motivated by hunger, food rationing, and high unemployment. An extravagant feast sponsored by the king just the night before had been the last straw for them and they wanted the king to know about their dissatisfaction. They were so angry, in fact, that they managed to capture the king and queen and brought them back to the prison in Paris. Shortly afterwards, the monarchs were beheaded.

This all sounds like a victory for grass-roots power and the need to overcome gross injustices but some historians do not believe the story is that simple or one-sided. The king's wealthy cousin, the Duke of Orleans may have had a hand in starting the revolution. The king actually kicked him out of the country for a time for talking bad about the royal family but the Duke returned. It has been reported that he was found amongst the rioting protesters egging them on. When the revolution had succeeded he made it known that he would be willing to step in as the new king, for the good of the people, of course. His ideas were not well received and he lost his head as well.

Political upheaval and revolutions are rarely simple exchanges between one class of people and their leaders. Usually there are a whole host of motivations and goals involved with a bevy of egos wrapped up behind them. Rarely is a revolution the consequence of only local politics. Many countries and interests become involved when a change of power is possible. This is true even now for many of the recent revolutions. If you think you know the simple story you are probably being deceived.

Revolution is afoot on the island of Kethix as well and deception is in the mix. The people are seeking negotiations with the ceorans for a more equitable way of life but the leaders of the dominant corporations are not likely to give in to a change of government so easily. In fact, they have made plans to instigate violence so that the people will look like the instigators. That way, the ceorans can claim that the revolutionaries are nothing but violent thugs and that their way of control is necessary to insure peace for all the people of the planet of Pa'Kevutu.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Coast to Coast

Just returned from a business/pleasure trip to Las Vegas to deal with some issues concerning my father's estate. It was his disappearance over four years ago now that has given me a new appreciation for life and how limited it all is. Writing regularly is one of my great joys in life so I make sure that I spend a little time each day doing it as best I can. Even going on vacation didn't stop me from continuing to write.

Every morning I went to the same restaurant for breakfast. It had a nice bar that was perfect for setting up the iPad and clicking away. There were few people there in the mornings so the staff never seemed to mind me pounding away while I absorbed yet another cup of coffee. A couple of them even asked me what I was doing so, of course, I told them. One promised to purchase book I and read it.

So, now my book has reached from coast to coast. Ok, well, coast to desert.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Temple of Capitalism

Consider this: the largest free standing building in the world was built in 2013. It is so large it could contain within it three (count em three) Pentagons (the US military building in DC). Inside is a water park, hotels, and, of course, lots of shopping venues. It is a grand memorial to the power of capitalism but it is its location that is the irony. It is called the New Century Global Center and it is located in Chengdu China! That's right, communist China.

Now consider this: In medieval times towns were constructed near rivers or near hills for protection and trade but the highest point of any hill was left for the church and its tall spire. From the distance, the thing that was seen first was the church and it was lifted above all other buildings. Look at skylines now. What buildings are seen from the distance? What is lifted above the others? Most often it is the bank and insurance buildings.

That is the vision of the people of the island of Kethix as well. Their tallest building is a temple dedicated to the worship of the corp ceorans–the bosses of the companies that control the lives of nearly all the people on the island. There is no pretense here. The ceorans encourage a kind of faithful devotion similar to evangelical preachers–without the snakes, fortunately. But now that revolution is in the air, that devotion has been shaken.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Map of Kethon

Kethon is the capital city of Kethix and the location of the Kethix Ceoran Temple.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Map of Kethix

The Island of Kethix

Possibly one of the most historic and fascinating of the Greek islands is Rhodes. It once was the site of the world famous colossus of Rhodes which was a gigantic statue of the sun god Helios. Before its destruction by an earthquake it stood 98 feet into the air above the passing ships. I've you've seen Game of Thrones then you may have seen the Titan of Braavos–a close approximation to how the colossus of Rhodes may have looked in size. Rhodes is also famous for being the home and base for the Knights Hospitaller who developed the island and built many of its famous fortifications.

The Greek islands are the basis for many of the islands in Pa'Kevutu and Rhodes is the inspiration for the Island of Kethix where the people have stormed the temple and are seeking change to the currently repressive form of government. The revolution has come to an abrupt standstill, however, with the appearance of security troops.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Map of the Constantia

The KES-106 Constantia

In October of 1957, the Soviet Union launched an  unmanned satellite called Sputnik. It seems like such a harmless thing to us today. It was only about the size of a beach ball with several spikes radiating from it and it was designed mostly to make atmospheric measurements but its impact went far beyond its size. The fact that a powerful nation like the USSR could manage such a thing meant that they might also be capable of launching weapons into space–a place with virtually no defenses. The race to the moon was a romantic cover for the race for future domination of space. It is a silent war still being played out today.

The Constantia is Kevutu's first exploration ship. In fact, it's their first space ship of any kind and the only reason they were even able to develop it is because of the science left behind when the Ganshions fled the planet. Now they are using it to explore very small asteroids in the hopes of mining them for valuable resources–something that is being reduced rapidly on the home planet. But, like Sputnik, peaceful missions can become preludes to aggression. Tools, after all, are only tools. A hammer can be used to build a house or smash a skill. It is in the hands of the user to determine the outcome. A ship is just another tool but with a lot of people within.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Cluster Map

Today I reveal the secret of the title of the collection. The Milleran Cluster is a collection of asteroids of moderate size and in close proximity to each other. The map is below.

Monday, June 29, 2015


In 1801, Giuseppe Piazzi discovered a new star. At least that's what he thought it was at first. He called it a fixed star within the solar system. The problem was: it wasn't really fixed. It moved. How could a star move? Easy, it wasn't a star. But, what was it? At first, Piazzi called it a comet because it was too small to be called a planet. Eventually such small bodies were called asteroids (small stars). Piazzi had discovered one of the largest in our solar system and it was given the name Ceres. Soon after it was discovered that there were many asteroids - especially in the region between Mars and Jupiter.

Ceres became for me the model for the design of the planet of Pa'Kevutu and I am in the middle of a challenging but interesting design of the map of the Milleran Cluster.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Negotiations are a difficult thing between any two parties since both seek something in opposition to the other. According to a Wikipedia article

"Mediation is more likely to be successful when the parties are of equal power, when they have been friendly in the past, when there have been relatively few fatalities in the period before mediation, when the mediator is of high rank, and when mediation comes after a test of strength between the parties."

Unfortunately, none of these conditions exist for the people of Pa'Kevutu as they struggle to resolve the kidnapping situation on the island of Kethix. The people demand a more balanced government and the ceorans in charge are not likely to give up their power. The parties are clearly not of equal power, have not been on friendly terms, and the people have been moved by a recent suicide. Success seems limited.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Grand Council

The government on the planet consists of the directors of all companies ("corps") be represented by one member from each region. Those ceorans (bosses) make up the Grand Council of Ceorans and create and enforce legislation for all others. Notice there is no voice or election from the people themselves. Controlling people through fear and power can only last as long as those people believe that their basic needs are met but on the planet of Kevutu the population is rising forcing great demands on the people and the land. Resources are getting scarce and open space is rare. There is mostly the ugly results of unhindered building. Like the lid of a steaming kettle there is only so much pressure that can be tolerated before the top must come off.

The Grand Council has gathered together to meet about the current situation. A revolt is at their doorstep.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fight on the Floor

On May 22, 1856 Senator Preston Brooks attacked Senator Charles Sumner (from Massachusetts) with a cane on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The dispute was about slavery and some say it helped to lead to the civil war. After that incident, many senators resorted to packing weapons before they entered the esteemed chamber. We often think of Congress as a place for peaceful debate but anger and frustration are often a result when personal feelings get added to the mix of discussion. It is often too difficult for us humans to separate out our personal feelings when trying decide how best to lead a diverse nation.

On Kevutu, a small revolution has broken out and the ruling governmental structure is led by the directors of companies called ceorans. They too get into heated debates about how the situation should be handled. They are bosses, after all, and are used to people following orders without question. Some doubt that they may be able to handle such a crisis with level heads and calm emotions. Let us hope none will bring a cane to the meeting.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Arab Spring

The so-called revolution called the "Arab Spring" began on December 18, 2010 when Moumad Bouazizi immolated himself in a central square in the country of Tunisia. The people were so shocked by this event that they demanded change from their government and, through persistence and anger, eventually were able to make significant changes. The people from other nearby Arab countries were inspired by their actions and took it upon themselves to begin their own revolutions. Some were more successful than others and the conflict in Syria reflects the ongoing consequences of these attempts at regime changes.

What was so impressive to me was that the act of one single person helped spark changes greater than even he could imagine. We often feel so helpless in the face of large corporations and massive government bureaucracies but, sometimes, the actions of a single person can inspire action from others. Note that is often actions and not words that are the greatest motivation.

The corps of Pa'Kevutu are even more menacing and manipulative in the lives of the people of the planet since rapid and unbridled growth has been allowed and encouraged as it has in Book 2. The act of one brave individual may change all of it and a struggle between the people of the planet versus the controlling business structures ensues.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

First Signs

I really enjoyed my book signing event last night sponsored by the Serendipity Cafe in Mayanard, Mass. About 25 people showed up. I talked about the book and then read from sections of the first eight chapters. After that I took questions and then signed books. It was a good time.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Waiting for the gods

In the 16th century the Spanish headed to South America in the hopes of finding gold and new lands. When they arrived the natives thought they might be gods because they were light skinned and came from the sea. They, at first, submitted to the invaders' wishes but when they saw that these supposed gods ate, and drank, and fornicated, they decided that maybe they weren't gods after all but evil men. By then, of course, the damage had been done. The Spaniards brought with them horses and swords as well as the previously un-encountered disease of small pox. The natives not killed by disease stood standing in shock as strange devices like cannons and guns were fired at them.

The idea that an entire culture of people could be waiting for gods from beyond their shores became the inspiration for the people of Pa'Chot. For some as yet unexplained reason they are waiting for someone and their entire culture is focused on it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

4 Vesta

The new planet in Book 2 will be called Pa'Chot (by the Kevutians anyway). It is an underground society that surrounds a crater with a central mountain. The outer surface and some of its features are taken from the characteristics of the asteroid 4 Vesta. However, I added an ice core and some other unusual enhancements. Some of these include a rising and falling atmosphere that goes from about 1 foot to about 5 feet in height. The rise comes from the heat of the sun and acts as a kind of ocean wave of air. The heat of the sun added with these atmospheric gases greatly heat the surface of the planet and a layer of ice underneath. This creates a flow of heated water that travels with the motion of the sun. One effect this creates is a series of traveling steam geysers on the surface.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Amish

I remember as a child growing up in Pennsylvania when we would drive out to the country. Sometimes we would see the Amish in their buggies as we passed by them in our noisy car. I wondered how the horses put up with our constant intrusions, much less the inhabitants of the buggy. Like a living museum piece they have to put up with our gawking and staring, or worse. All they want to do is live in peace they way they think they should. We cry about how our world of the almighty dollar is so void of spiritual connection yet we mock those that quietly go about their lives in accordance with their beliefs and in ways that do not require the earth to be ransacked in the process. How can this possibly be a focus for ridicule?

In Book Two, a new planet will be introduced with people that lead their lives similar to the Amish. I hope that in doing so I will honor their dedication and commitment and not mock them. They will provide a stark contrast to the Kevutians who are becoming increasingly chaotic in nature.

Friday, June 12, 2015


Most book series focus on a single character throughout. That character is the connecting thread to the series itself. I also wanted to write a series but I am using a different tactic. Instead of a single character I have chosen to use place as the unifying thread. I have had several readers of Book 1 tell me they liked the characters and had hoped to see some of them return in another book but that is not what happens. Book 2 begins at a much later time from Book 1. All the characters of 1 have passed away and, in the meantime, the world of Pa'Kevutu has greatly changed. The connecting thread, of course, is Pa'Kevutu itself and its capital city, Yakrutich. My hope is that when you encounter the planet again in 2 that it will seem as familiar to you as any old favorite character.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


In my second book there will be a coup over the government structure on the planet of Pa'Kevutu. I am still in the process of designing that structure but already knew there would be a major takeover of it. Although not strictly democratic, the government will have some democratic principles applied. It got me thinking about how people might be convinced to allow someone to take over a somewhat democratic governing structure. I thought of Napoleon and wondered how it was conceivably possible for people to overthrow their harsh ruling monarchs (1789), proclaim a revolutionary government, then allow someone to name himself emperor of the French empire (1804) within the span of less than 20 years! His actions became part of my inspiration.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Coming back to the blogosphere

I have never been very good at blogging but I'm going to try and give it a try. Much has happened in the world I call The Milleran Cluster since I last wrote. The first book: Of Eternal Light has been revised and completed. I thank the many people who agreed to read the "beta"copy and offered suggestions. The local coffee shop in Maynard, MA, Serendipity, is sponsoring a book reading and signing for me on June 17 at 7:00 pm.