Results for tag "wordpress-blog"

14 Articles

Plausible Alien First Contact (Part I)

Follow Dean:

FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagram

Backstory For My Award-Winning Sector 64 Series

(Get the Free Ebook and the Free Audiobook for the Series Starter) 

For the backstory of my SECTOR 64 series, I put forth an alien first-contact scenario that my readers find very plausible, some even wondering aloud if this could be our current reality.

Let’s imagine that elsewhere in the galaxy a species elevated itself from the primordial soup a million years ahead of us. Making the most of that thousand-millennia head start, they master physics, achieve faster than light (FTL) travel, and populate thousands of star systems.

Always looking for burgeoning technological societies to bring into the galactic government, they populate the galaxy with a network of detectors designed to watch for certain markers thought to be key indicators, i.e.: unnaturally organized radio waves or light waves (laser beams) and unnatural fission reactions (nuclear detonations). Some, like radio waves, would probably just be annotated for future research. Others, like nuclear detonations, would require a more urgent investigation.

While they’ve mastered FTL travel and communications, their sensors are still limited to detecting occurrences at the speed of light. In other words, if a burgeoning society starts blasting radio waves or nuclear electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) across the cosmos, our curious aliens wouldn’t detect it until the wave traveled at the speed of light to the nearest sensor. Then it could use their FTL sub-space communication network to pass on the news.

To comprehend the logistics involved, we must have a full appreciation of the galaxy’s size. It’s a BIG galaxy. If our curious aliens only wanted to deploy ten million sensors, they would have to disperse them throughout the galaxy on a grid with one-hundred light-year spacing. The Milky Way is 100,000 light-years across and one thousand light-years thick. That means if you could travel across the entire width of the galaxy at the speed of light, the Earth would circle the Sun 100,000 times during your trek. (Note: these are external observations. The hypothetical FTL traveler would experience this time quite differently, but that’s a subject for a future blog.) Even if you could travel at an incredible 100,000 times the speed of light, an Earth year would pass in the time it took you to traverse the galaxy.

When it comes to jaunting about the Milky Way, your FTL travel would have to be SIGNIFICANTLY faster than the speed of light to be of any appreciable use. Scientist and sci-fi writers often employ wormholes due to their hypothetical ability to fold space. Joining two points of space-time, like folding a paper in half, brings two remote locations together, rendering interstellar travel as simple as stepping through a door.

Back to our first contact scenario. Because of the aforementioned galactic scale, our fictional aliens have quite a few (read: ten million) sensors spread throughout the Milky Way. One day, they receive a signal indicating that a nuclear device detonated on a planet in the remote portion of the galaxy identified as SECTOR 64. They discover the signal originated from a medium-sized rocky planet in a solar system only two light-years from the sensor. (That would be very fortuitous, remember our one-hundred light-year spacing.)

So our curious aliens fold space-time and dispatch a scout ship to SECTOR 64. Arriving only a few days after their sensor detected the first nuclear blast, they get to the planet the locals (humans) call Earth in a year the humans have designated as one thousand nine hundred and forty-seven or 1947. Because of the sensor’s two light-year distance from the planet, two Earth years have passed since their original nuclear detonations in 1945.

Our curious alien scouts travel to the only place on the planet where they detect nuclear weapons. It happens to be relatively close to where the first nuclear detonation occurred. The humans call the region New Mexico.

In 1947 only one nuclear-armed bomber squadron existed, the 509th Bomber Group based at an Army Air Corp Base known as Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF).

Yep, you guessed it. That’s near an infamous small town named Roswell, New Mexico.

In a tragic accident, the scout ship is knocked down by a surprisingly powerful thunderstorm.

After a series of nearly calamitous events, the aliens do make first-contact with world leaders of the day.

Click or tap here to read PartII of my Plausible Alien First Contact Scenario, and find out about the decades-long program that our hypothetical galactic government would use to integrate us knuckle draggers into their society. Discover why it would be a secret program, even today, almost seventy years later.

Sound like an interesting backstory for a series?

Now for free, get the prequel novella, Sector 64: First Contact, that kicks off my award-winning apocalyptic series. Available as both a free ebook and a free audiobook (narrated by R.C. Bray—The Martian).

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013-2017 Dean Cole

Share This Post:

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Follow Dean:

FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagram

Reptilian Aliens? Why Wouldn’t They Be?

Follow Dean:

FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagram

People ask why writers often depict reptilian aliens, sometimes referring to it as cliché. While humans seem predisposed to fear reptiles and regularly equate them with evil (see: Garden of Eden), I think there is a fundamental and practical reason for casting reptiles as a viable intelligent alien species.

The vast majority of Earth’s vertebrate animals sport scales.

The one example we have of life’s diversity—the biosphere we call Earth—demonstrates that hair follicles are the anomaly, not scales. Of all the classes of animal that constitute this planet’s vast wealth of life, only mammals have hair follicles. Species falling within the mammalian class only constitute 5400 of Earth’s 60,000 vertebrates. That’s less than 10%. The percentage falls to 00.3% when you include all 1.5 million known animals.

What if no Earth-changing calamity took out the dinosaurs?

If not for a big ass rock knocking down their evolutionary tree 65 million years ago, dinosaurs would likely still rule this biosphere. Considering we mammals managed to progress from rodents to spacefaring homo sapiens in the intervening 65 million years, it’s interesting to imagine what the dinosaurs might have evolved into had said ‘big ass rock’ not ended their reign.

Now for the fun part, the part where I go off into one of my thought experiments, the part where I ask: ‘What if?’ (And, you probably respond: Well, IF my Aunt had testicles, she’d be my Uncle.)

Thousands of millennia ago, Velociraptors were already hunting in organized parties, a level of intelligence far ahead of the tiny mammals scurrying about their feet.

Imagine those Velociraptors continued to develop and evolve. Hell, I’ll even diminish (but not eliminate) their huge head start over mammals. Let’s suppose it takes this advanced dinosaur species 64 million years to do what base mammals did in 65 million years: produce a spacefaring species.

In other words, what if during the first 64 million of the intervening 65 million years, Velociraptors developed into an intelligent earth-conquering species. Through utilization of superior intellect, opposable thumbs, and tools, they render the planet safe; free of the bigger more threatening species like T-Rex. Who knows, maybe they hunted them into extinction (as we likely did to the wooly mammoth). At the end of those 64 million years, they conquered gravity and put the first dino in space; one even famously referring to their astronauts as ‘Spam in a can.’ (A reference to a popular mammalian meat product.)

Now you say: “Dean, you’re missing a million years. The dinosaur’s evolutionary tree toppled 65 million years ago.”

You’re right. In my hypothetical scenario, our slow-to-develop Velociraptors conquered space a MILLION years ago. I think that is a conservative number. If we instead suppose they maintained their massive evolutionary head start, they might have conquered space tens of millions of years ago.

Where will humans be in a million years?

Back to the real world. If we don’t kill ourselves (and somehow survive Ebola), where will humans be in a million years? Perhaps the reptiles populating a nearby solar system will look up and see scale-free aliens descending on their world. After seeing our hairy heads, they will turn to their science fiction writers and apologize for calling their depictions of hairy aliens cliché.

Enjoyed my writing? Be sure to check out my new novel, SECTOR 64: Ambush.

Free Audiobook Sample:

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2014 Dean Cole

Share This Post:

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Follow Dean:

FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagram

2014 Galveston Lone Star Motorcycle Rally

Follow Dean:

FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagram
IMG_3249

My ‘Choppers’

Many of my readers only know me as an author who flies ‘choppers’ for his day job, but you may not know I build and ride them, as well.

I finished the baby pictured above in June 2008. A few months later, she made her Galveston Lone Star Motorcycle Rally debut, and she’s still going strong in 2014. It’s almost time for this year’s rally. Look for Donna and me there November 7-9.

Save us a parking space … a really long parking space with plenty of turning room. That rake allows for the turning radius of a Mack truck … but it looks good doing it. Hey, I never said it was practical.

When you see that ten-foot-long yellow chopper with my beautiful wife, Donna, behind my ugly mug, give us a yell. If you can’t remember my name, just yell out, “Hey you, author!”

Hope to see you there.

Me and the Chopper on the Cover of the Houston Chronicle 2008 — Hurricane-Ike-Delayed Lone Star Rally

2008 Ike Delayed Lone Star Rally

Bike Stats:
Chasis: 2007 JSR Custom – Outrage
Suspension: Rear – None (Hardtail)
Front – American Suspension Inverted Forks
Wheels: Xtreme Machines – Burnt
330mm rear tire (WIDE)
Engine: Ultima 127 cubic inch El Bruto
HP – 140
Tq – 145 LB FT
Exhaust: Vance & Hines Big Radius

Parking a 10′ chopper can be a challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

The Night I Met Donna, My Beautiful Wife.

The Night I Met Donna, My Beautiful Wife.

Daytona Biketoberfest 2011 - First Place at the Broken Spoke Saloon

Daytona Biketoberfest 2011 – First Place at the Broken Spoke Saloon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daytona Beach Biketoberfest 2011 - Main St.

Daytona Beach Biketoberfest 2011 – Main St.

Key West - 2012

Key West – 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key West - 2012

Key West – 2012

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2014 Dean Cole

Share This Post:

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Follow Dean:

FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagram

Day in the Life – Africa Part 4

Follow Dean:

FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagram

This episode of the Day in the Life – Africa series starts where Part 3 ended. Having finished our excursion to the island’s northeast corner for spear fishing and a visit to the Sofitel Resort, we are on our way back to the compound. Short on supplies, we stop at the island’s largest grocery store.

Grocery shopping in the developing world comes with its own set of challenges. Stocked levels of various goods vary radically from week to week. Often basic necessities are missing in action. Breakfast cereals occupy half an aisle, however, there’s no milk in sight. Eggs are a rare commodity. When you do find them, it looks like they rolled around the henhouse floor prior to finding their way to the store. Bread is a hit or miss proposal. If they have sliced bread, it may be too small to accommodate a slice of cheese. On the bright side, it makes sticking to a reduced carb diet a bit easier.

There are plenty of toiletries, i.e.: soap and deodorant, however, they are in a locked glass cabinet. Judging by the odoriferous scents assaulting my olfactory system, many of my fellow customers found that an insurmountable obstacle.

Due to shelf life concerns, all meats are frozen either uncut, or cut and thrown into a plastic bag. In our freezer, I have a several selections of meat. Typically, they’re frozen together by type. Want a pork chop? Break out your hammer and chisel (or the nearest kitchen utensils suitable to the task) and break one off the frozen block of pork chops.

I’m not complaining. The meats are good. It’s just a small example of the differences we face every day. Today I scored an incredible cut. Unfamiliar with the procedures for procuring the uncut meats, I show up at the cashier with a huge, frozen, ten-pound beef back-strap (a slab of meat big enough to produce ten filets). Apparently, I was supposed to take it to the meat counter for weighing and pricing. A helper runs it back while I continue to checkout. Shortly, he returns, the cashier rings it up, and I pay.

Here's a picture of my butchering efforts on said beef.

Back at the compound, I notice it was only marked at 5000 CFA ($10.00). I’m pretty sure that was a mistake. Had I noticed it at the store I would have pointed out the mistake. However, I won’t lose any sleep over it. A three-quarters full grocery cart that would cost you $75 in the states cost 100,000 CFA ($200) here.

Groceries put away, it’s time for Hin’s cookout. As you may recall from Part 3, tonight Hin, our Thai helicopter mechanic is cooking dinner.

With team members from Thailand, South Africa, Canada, Sri Lanka, Trinidad, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Germany, the United States, and parts of Louisiana, our base is a multi-cultural, international collection of aviation professionals. With the industry, our current assignment, and a working knowledge of the English language (excepting our Cajun friends … kidding) as common ground, we’ve formed close ties. An eclectic collection of individuals (some more eccentric then eclectic) from radically differing backgrounds, we work in harmony (for the most part).

Speaking of eccentric, here’s our beloved, senior-most pilot, Jack, keeping the bushes trimmed. (We have people for that, but this is Jack’s Zen escape.)

While Hin works on dinner under our covered, outdoor dining area, Jack decides it’s time to burn a stump. Standing around the fire, we fluctuate between animated conversations and silently gazing into the flames. Staccato laughter pierces the hushed interludes. Watching the Harmattan-obscured sunset, we talk, laugh, and reflect.

“Dinner is ready!” shouts Hin.

Taking our places, we dine on Hin’s excellent cuisine. Feasting in relative silence, we proffer compliments through full mouths.

After dinner, we drink, laugh, and swap war stories. As dark envelopes the compound, the evening settles down. Chased inside by swarming tropical insects, a few of us decide to head to the Malabo’s Irish Pub (yep, there’s an Irish Pub in Equatorial Guinea). Armed with a designated driver, and firm in the knowledge that we’re not on tomorrow’s work schedule, it’s time to immerse ourselves in Malabo’s nightlife.

Who knows? We might not limit ourselves to the Irish Pub. But, that’s a tale I’ll save for Part 5.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Dean Cole

Share This Post:

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Follow Dean:

FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagram

A Day in the Life – Africa Part 3

Follow Dean:

FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagram

Sofitel Beach: Islet and footbridge on left, tip of jetty on far right.

This installment of the Day in the Life – Africa series picks up where Part 2 ended. Come along as my colleagues and I immerse ourselves in Malabo’s culture. As I did in the previous parts, this story combines several African experiences into one day.

Having finished spear fishing outside the Sofitel Resort’s beach perimeter jetty, we decide to visit the resort. When crashing a resort you’re not paying to stay at, one must act as if one belongs. Don’t ask stupid questions. Walk around as if you own the place. Additionally, patronizing the resort’s various businesses tends to dissuade nosey busybodies from challenging the validity of your presence.

Cascading Fountains and Pool Leading to the Beach.

Employing this knowledge, we walked straight through the lobby into the resort’s inner sanctum. Knowing nothing screams ‘I don’t belong’ louder than a lost and confused face, I scanned my peripheral vision for the appropriate ocean-side exit. Not turning my head, (and with Mission Impossible’s iconic theme song driving me inexorably onward) I spot my quarry, and make a casual course correction. Passing through the exit, we find ourselves in a beautifully landscaped series of fountains and falls that lead to the pool and beach beyond.

On the left, or west side, of the resort’s quarter-mile section of the mile long beach, a modern foot bridge spans a few hundred feet of clear blue water to a small tropical island centered in the lagoon. A dense native jungle covers the rocky islet. Told it features a short nature trail we decide to do some exploring.

Crossing the footbridge, we step onto the rocky island. Greeted by a microcosm of the local (and hopefully tame) flora and fauna, we explore the trails, finding giant trees and colorful wildlife that would look at home on James Cameron’s fictional planet Pandora in the movie Avatar.

Feet sore, and tired of fighting off malarial mosquitos, we cross back to the beach. After a ‘cooling’ dip in the warm water we spread towels on the coral sand and try to relax and enjoy the thermonuclear equatorial sun.

Exploring Sofitel's Islet with Rob and Tomo.

While my colleagues seem content to cycle in and out of the water, I feel a more energetic activity tugging at my conscience. Half a mile beyond the bridge, farther west on the same beach on which we’re slowly baking, I’ve spied a Jet Ski or personal watercraft (PWC), sitting idle on a floating dock.

Standing facing west, and employing my best Arnold impersonation, I say, “I’ll be back.”

Walking west, I cross several ice-cold springs bubbling up through the sand. Stepping through their ocean-bound streams, I find the day’s first cool respite.

Finally reaching the floating dock, I inquire about renting the PWC. After a bit of negotiating we settle on a fair price. Since I’m restricted to the relatively small patch of lagoon bracketed by the beach, the footbridge to the east, and the western jetty, I decide to limit the rental to fifteen minutes. Pointing at a military gunboat visible in the open ocean and framed by the gap formed by the islet on the right and the western jetty on the left, the proprietor informs me I’ll have to deal with them if I go beyond the gap.

My wish to retreat into a mirage of western civility evaporates into the ether.

F#%k it.

I Got This!

Mounting the Yamaha Waverunner, I spend the next quarter-hour putting the PWC through its paces, doing my utmost to extract every penny from my investment. Fifteen minutes of flat spins, tail stands, and nose tucks later, I see the proprietor beckoning. After a high-speed pass, which may or may not have spayed him, I pull it onto the PWC’s specially formed section on the plastic floating dock, in spite of his telling me he has to do that. “I Got This!” Not my first rodeo.

Deciding to call it a day, we pile into the Toyota Hilux and begin working our way through town. Here are a couple of pics taken along the way.

Malabo Mall

Hin, our Thai helicopter mechanic, is cooking tonight. We should arrive with enough time to cleanup before its dinnertime. In the meantime, we need to stop for groceries.

Hmmm, third world grocery shopping … sounds like the next part of the series.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Dean Cole

Share This Post:

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Follow Dean:

FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssinstagram