New Story: Einstein’s Clone

When Albert Einstein died, his doctors removed his brain, hoping to figure out what made him such a genius.  3,000 years later, scientists working for the Earth Empire have extracted Einstein’s genetic material from a sample of preserved brain tissue.  Now eleven-year-old “Albert” is the Empire’s secret weapon in its conquest of the galaxy.  They’ve set him to work developing new weapons and military tactics, bending the laws of physics to achieve victory on the battlefield.  Warfare in space will never be the same.

The only problem: little Albert doesn’t know what his “math homework” is really being used for.  History says the original Einstein didn’t approve of war.  If he ever learned the truth, the new Einstein probably wouldn’t approve either.

Click here to start reading “Einstein’s Clone.”

Preview of “Einstein’s Clone”

When Albert Einstein died, his doctors removed his brain for further study.  They’ve discovered some clues about why the man was such a genius (click here to read about that), but in the distant future the preserved portions of his brain will be put to a better use.

Some time around the year 5,000, the Earth Empire will clone Einstein.  They’ll need a man of his singular intelligence to solve one of the greatest mysteries in the known universe: how does Talie Tappler’s time machine work?

Here’s a brief preview scene from “Einstein’s Clone.”  Expect to see the full story sometime next week.

* * *

Albert sat cross-legged on the floor, still dressed in his favorite dinosaur pajamas.  He smirked, reflecting on the latest mischief he’d caused as he watched the armed guards rummaging through his things.

TAU-001 inched toward Albert, but she backed off as soon as the soldiers took note of her.  The robot fidgeted with her hands.  Her pincer-like fingers trembled, and the ticks and clicks of her internal hardware seemed to accelerate.  Her tiny scanner eyes focused on Albert, the boy she was programmed to raise and nurture; then she turned her gaze to the soldiers once again.

“Don’t worry, TAU,” Albert said.  “Father’s invested way too much money in me to risk harming me now.”

“Affirmative, Master Albert,” TAU said, a hint of uncertainty in her synthesized voice.  If Albert hadn’t known better, he might have thought the robot was nervous.

One of the soldiers dumped Albert’s toys on the floor and began sorting through action figures and miniature spaceships.  Another ransacked Albert’s bed, tossing aside sheets and pillows and slicing open the mattress with a sonic knife.  Other soldiers checked the bathroom, searched the closet, and tried to make sense of the clutter on Albert’s desk.

“Well?” the guard corporal said.

One of his men glanced up and shook his head no.

“Alright, kid,” the corporal said, pulling a blaster pistol and aiming it at Albert.  “I’m done fooling around.  Where is your math homework?”

“What math homework?” Albert asked.

“Robot!” the corporal shouted.  “Did you deliver a datapad to this room last night?  A datapad with a series of chronometric equations?”

“Affirmative,” TAU answered, her voice positively panicked.

Albert blinked innocently.  “I guess I lost it.”

The guard corporal scowled, the leathery skin of his face contorting in frustrated hate.  He lowered his weapon and put it away.  Then he snapped his fingers, and two soldiers grabbed Albert, hauling him to his feet.

Albert smirked as they dragged him into the hallway.  He hadn’t expected Father’s guards to have such a violent reaction to a missing homework assignment, but human behavior depended upon so many hidden variables.  It made people hard to predict, which was a major reason why Albert preferred the company of robots.  Still, everything the soldiers said and did helped confirm Albert’s latest theory: his math homework was not math homework at all.

Albert winked at TAU before the door slid shut.

The Void People

I’d like to announce that a short article I wrote for Sci Fi Ideas has been posted as part of their Alien August competition.  The article profiles the Void People, an alien race who live inside an artificial black hole.  I feel truly honored to have something I wrote on such a great website.  Please click here to see my article.

If you write Science Fiction, Sci Fi Ideas is the perfect place to find a little inspiration.  They don’t usually publish completed stories but rather brief articles suggesting plot ideas or describing potential settings, characters, or alien races.  Anyone can then come and develop those ideas under a creative commons license.

I don’t go there so much to get ideas for my stories but to help keep my mind open to the many possibilities Science Fiction can offer.  Science Fiction relies on strange, unconventional ideas.  Often, the stranger and more unconventional the idea, the better the story will be.  We need websites like Sci Fi Ideas to keep us from rehashing plots from Star Trek over and over again and to keep us thinking about all the weird, crazy things that can happen in this universe.

So I hope you’ll go check out my article on the Void People, and be sure to bookmark or subscribe to Sci Fi Ideas.  They’ve got a lot of cool stuff, so it’s worth wasting a few hours browsing through their posts.  Maybe you’ll find an idea or two for your next science fiction adventure.

P.S.: I’d like to call special attention to “The Planet Brokers” by Dan Palacios.  It’s one of the rare completed stories published on Sci Fi Ideas.  I read it only a few days ago, and it’s the best Science Fiction story I’ve encountered in a long, long time.  It’s about the day we sold the planet Venus to alien prospectors.  Click here to start reading “The Planet Brokers.”

Harmonia’s Poem

As a writer, one of the toughest decisions I have to make is when to remove something from my story.  No matter how much I may like it, no matter how much time and effort I put into it, if it doesn’t work it has to go.

For “The Flood of Atlantis,” the most recent Tomorrow News Network story, I wrote a poem for a young woman named Harmonia.  Harmonia is an Atlantian prostitute, a career she chose because it provided her better opportunities in an age when women enjoyed little freedom.  But for obvious reasons, working as a prostitute in any era comes with some painful sacrifices.

Whether Harmonia is criticizing Atlantian society with this poem or subtly condemning herself would have been open to the reader’s interpretation.  Either way, the poem said something about Harmonia’s character.  It fit her well; it just didn’t fit the scene for which it was written.

Tell me when
Are we to go,
Leaving behind
The false country
We know?

Let’s go somewhere
Where men don’t lie,
Where women don’t cheat,
Where the word love
Means not deceit.

 Could such a land
In truth exist?
Or does my song
Pure dreams