Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Jintu Kor

The most advanced race of the Seven Worlds, the Nord, live on the planet Narr.  Incarnate Nord are strikingly beautiful, brilliant translucent beings of what we would mistakenly call “semi-viscous gas” within a semi-permeable shell that resembles a clear veneer. These wraithlike, round shouldered light forms that glide along the surface of the planet are not humanoid, but can grow instant arms, legs, or hands as they need. The males stand eight feet tall and vary from medium to deep blue in color. Females are about three inches shorter and pale violet to deep purple. Elders, the disembodied, “passed beyond” Nord with their transparent bodies of pure energy in the same general colors they had been when inhabiting a denser body, are unmistakably noticeable.
The single most distinguishing feature of both types of Nord is a five-tiered eye where a face might otherwise be. A three inch wide, dark red eye, immediately joined by a concentric bright red band that juts out another inch, a thin dark blue ring around that, next an orange circle spreading out another inch from that, and a bright yellow fifth glimmering halo eye to complete the multicolored sphere. Five penetrating lights like a huge multicolored headlamp on a spectral train. The eye, capable of infrared, ultraviolet, x-ray, radio waves and particles, and microwave vision, enables the Nord to see in the dark, in blinding light, to see heat, the interior of dense objects, and perceive both particles and waves. To the Nord, thought forms are real, physical things. Kumlar, the Nord language, literally means ‘thought speak,’ and it is far more thought than sound.
Because they accurately see thought forms, it is said that one cannot lie to the Nord, and though that is more true than not, it is not precisely accurate. And if anything, the Nord are precise, rational beings. Capable of ruling the galaxy, they choose to rule themselves instead, to live quietly with their thoughts, to manage, rather than dominate their planet, to treasure the terrestrial sheath of what they consider a living, sentient being and tolerate and encourage all its life forms and to remain galactic advisors.
Their philosophy is encapsulated in the Jintu Kor, the Nine Suggestions to Rule Oneself, the Way. 

                           The Jintu Kor                                         .

·         Learn to distinguish the true reality from that which you desire it to be.
·         Separateness is illusion. Bear in mind that whatever you do, you do to yourself
·         No one can make anyone else think, feel or do anything. You are responsible for your own thoughts, feelings and actions
·         You cannot give others what you do not possess yourself. You must  become what you wish the world to have
·         Remember fear, greed and sloth are the mothers of all the negative emotions
·         Accept your negativity. Only then use reason to moderate and overcome it
·         Do as little harm as possible
·         Master your passions
·         Respect the privacy of others


Monday, December 14, 2015

“Shades of Isaac Asimov Appear”

Charles Freedom Long has written an exceptional book in Dancing With the Dead. The writing is crisp, clear, and powerful. The science fiction world he creates contains sufficient remnants of today to capture readers with honesty, believability, and trust.  In this respect, shades of the great SF writer, Isaac Asimov, appear. I once asked Asimov, over lunch, how he could create his worlds of the future with such honesty. He told me to read the non-fiction university textbooks he wrote.  Truth is always borne of reality. Even piercing the veil of death, Charles Freedom Long manages to hold our credibility. He coats the sometime-overbearing spiritualism of the afterlife with intelligence, change, growth, and love. He turns Scandinavian traits into an alien race of goddesses. And because his writing approaches literary magic, he makes us believe in languages we have never heard and ideas we can only hope to grasp. Well done, Charles Freedom Long. (Temple Emmet Williams, former editor at The Readers Digest, award-winning journalist and author.)  December 9, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Starred Review from BlueInk Reviews!

We just received this starred review from BlueInk Review:
“Set in a future where the inhabitants of Earth are attempting to become members of an interstellar alliance, this ambitious science fiction thriller—about a jihadist whose mission is to destroy two space stations and a thriving city on the moon—is visionary as well as topical.
Fahd Abdul al-Sharfa’s entire life has been about becoming a shahid, a “martyr for truth.” Indoctrinated as a child and educated for one purpose—to push a button and kill thousands of “Satan’s minions”—Fahd has been working as an aerospace engineer in Luna City, patiently planning and waiting for the day when he receives the message to annihilate himself and everyone else in the city.
But he begins questioning his own beliefs when he meets and falls in love with a coworker:  a cat-like, bipedal alien named Quenby. She is an Antal; seven-feet tall, white haired, white skinned, and “intoxicatingly sensual.”  Their physical chemistry is undeniable—as is their spiritual connection—and Fahd realizes that he must choose between his mission or love. The complex political situation surrounding Luna and the space stations complicates matters, as does the existence of “peebs”: those passed-beyond who, although dead, are still actively participating in society.
Although Charles Freedom Long has created a complex foundation to set his story, it’s explained clearly and concisely and has a sense of authenticity to it. The interaction of various sentient alien races gives the narrative a C.J. Cherryh vibe, and the care with which the author describes the aliens—physically and sociologically—is impressive; the sex scene between Fahd and Quenby is nothing short of spectacular. His concepts surrounding the dead are fascinating (although some readers might wish for more examination of the afterlife), and the themes that he explores—what is truth, the power of love, etc.—are profoundly moving.
This is a unique, fast-paced, and utterly readable book. It is highly recommended.”
 blueink review-starred review

BlueInk Review offers credible and unbiased reviews of self-published books exclusively. They aim to offer reviews that are consistently fair and trustworthy and to award accolades (Starred Reviews and “BlueInk Best Book” designations) only when well-deserved, in order that a glowing BlueInk review will be a prize authors can cherish and readers and industry professionals can trust.

Monday, November 16, 2015

THE CORYLLIM: Not Just a Pretty Face

The first time one encounters a living, breathing Coryllim can be unnerving. Terrans are just not used to mobile sentient beings with what appears to be tree bark for skin. The four arms and four legs don’t help much either in the reassuring category. But I think it’s the one big green eye and the long, moving ears that really do it. 
I have become fast friends with Ardine, the highly intelligent Corporeal Assets Director for Lumina Corporation. This powerful woman-in-command is a witty conversationalist, and can be completely charming. She’s considered exceptionally beautiful because of her remarkably long ears and dainty black hooves.
She usually greets newcomers to Luna in abyt, the language of her people, then switches into any one of several languages. Aware that the first face-to-face meeting can be unsettling, she usually stands patiently for a few moments that can seem like an eternity, raising and lowering the two long drooping auricles on the side of her bark-covered, pecan-shaped head, tolerantly scanning the room in her single oblong green eye, fixing faces with names in her mind. Then, pivoting her stiff, pear-shaped body slightly from side to side, she will slowly lift one stemmy chestnut brown leg, plant the first of four black hooves firmly down and clip-clop elegantly to the podium. She usually reaches out with two half-webbed, six-fingered hands to grasp the shiny black plastalloy podium sides, and opens her two other arms wide in greeting. Her ears and snout turn rosy brown as she gives the newcomers her most fetching smile, small pink lips pulled back from beaming white incisors just below her reddish brown snout. When her concise welcoming speech is concluded, she turns, folds all four arms against her trunk, and walks slowly toward the door from which she had entered. There’s usually a hushed gasp at this point from a few Terrans who are noted by Ardine’s other elongated green eye, the one in the back of her bark-covered head.
Intelligent, dexterous, clever and personable, the Coryllim are the entrepreneurs of the Anthelion Galaxy. Small and large business owners proliferate in Luna City and the two Terran space stations. Le Club AĆ©robleu on Luna is noted for its fine cuisine. And in the legendary Star Lounge in the high orbit station, which features delicacies from each of the Seven Worlds, you will often find little Coryllim saplini, slightly over three feet tall, prancing about making themselves useful and learning the business. You can tell from their reedy greenish brown color and size they are not fully mature. As the saplini begin to show signs of adulthood, creamy cashew colored streaks run vertically along their elongated bodies and their ears and snout turn light brown.
It’s a little-known fact that Coryllim are absolutely entranced by pumpkin pie. In fact, it’s addictive to them. I always bring a fresh pie with me for my several Coryllim friends in the fall when I visit Luna, even though the cost to transfer that kind of weight into orbit and the care to keep it safe from the g-forces of the journey, make it a demanding task. Of course, when Ardine comes to Terra for a visit, I make it a feature of our evening meal.
I’m sure you too will find the Coryllim to be interesting friends and guests once you let them "get under your bark” as they say.

Friday, October 30, 2015


Few is the number who think with their own minds and feel with their own hearts.
Albert Einstein

The chill reminded the Reverend Doctor Peebles of that night in Yemen.  Sitting in a dank, gloomy APC on a night much like this one, just prior to a midnight ambush, unable to shine a light, running his large hands delicately over his medic’s pack.
In the height of a mission gone wrong in the Third Sa’ada Insurgency, a near miss by a 120mm artillery shell lifted his Armored Personnel Carrier right off the ground and tossed him out like a rag doll onto the sand in the middle of what the Yemeni called “the desert of death.” A hell-world of vivid red-yellow flashes and ugly yellow-black geysers of sand and smoke was exploding all around him. APCs leapt into the air, spewing torn, bleeding bodies. The smell of cordite and death was everywhere. A nasty ringing sound filled his ears with pain. The bombardment grew more intense. Peebles became convincingly aware of the distinct possibility he was about to be killed by friendly fire.
And then it happened.
The chaos went ghostly silent. He watched the white cannon flashes on the horizon turn into a spirit chorus singing Amazing Grace, which he heard as clearly as he had ever heard it in the Church of God as a boy. It struck him that preparing for the life beyond this one was a practice significantly more important than keeping sand out of his sidearm. Years later, he would refer to it as the time the Lord knocked him off his high APC and told him to get serious about saving souls, starting with his own.
 He and a scant few others were pulled out of the carnage. They told him he walked around in circles for three days dazed and deafened by the concussion of the shelling. Two months later, Peebles went straight from the C-135 that took him back to the States to Columbia Theological Seminary and from there used the Wounded Warrior Bill and the Army pay he had squirreled away to attend NYU medical school. He graduated first in his class.
Alerted by the head chaplain of NYU Med, who had grown up in Lackawanna, Buffalo’s Irish-Catholic south side, the board chairman of a Buffalo nursing home which had just lost its chaplain and its chief physician, flew down to New York to meet the young man of whom his friend spoke so highly.
What Peebles knew about Buffalo was: snow, cold and chicken wings, none of which he cared for.  But he found himself inexorably pulled towards this place in the snowy western part of the state. He felt it as surely as he felt that first call to the ministry. He was as certain as if he had been flung to the floor of the restaurant by an artillery barrage. Always on the lookout for a bargain, the chairman made Bill a generous offer (at a considerable savings from having to fill two positions) that included a car and an apartment.
The Patriotic Board of Inquisitors that vetted candidates were well aware of the potential savings to them. His military bearing and intense no-nonsense replies completely won them over. It was merely a matter of spinning out the necessary red tape.
But Peebles was not anything like the typical appointee. Though Proverbs was his favorite book of the Old Testament, and he quoted it freely, his time in the armed forces had helped him develop a fine nose and a short fuse for what he freely called “chicken shit”. He had a quick temper, his own way of prioritizing and would not allow small-mindedness or man-made rules to prevail over common sense. There was no doubt about his courage. He’d spent most of his hitch jumping out of rescue helicopters or APCs to pull soldiers out of tight spots and had a Silver Star, two Purple Hearts and a slight limp for his efforts. There was no doubt about his devotion to Christian principles. He lived them. A decorated war hero could take some leeway, and take it he did. He was formidable and frightening for the light of God was in his eyes and he knew not fear. And it was good to not provoke him either to words or action. He was in fact that most fearsome thing: A righteous man. The inner-city nursing home staff lovingly called him “the irreverent reverend.” He knew he had a mission to fulfil there. What he could not know was that it would involve aliens and dancing with the dead.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


CFL- A number of people have asked about Aidan Ray Good, the woman who dances with the dead, and I’m really pleased to have her here today. Thank you, Aidan. It’s not often an author gets to sit down like this with a character.
ARG- No, Charles, and it’s not often a character gets to do this either.
CFL- Aidan, the two biggest questions I’ve been asked have been, what’s it like to see, hear, and feel the dead, to dance with them? And, do you regularly interact with the dead from other planets?
ARG- Narr and El Adem mostly. Vitok and Kirsan Tabiyat.
CFL- And your regulars on Terra would be?
ARG- White Willow, John Kenneth Galbraith, Mao, the Passed Beyond Monitors, and some others you wouldn’t know.
CFL- I wouldn’t?
ARG- Not yet. (Laughs). You think you know everything?
CFL- (Laughs). Obviously not. You keep surprising me. So what’s it like?
ARG- Well, it’s a mixed bag, just like rubbing shoulders with incarnates. When the personality passes over into its new reality, it still carries with it a full set of desires, dreams. There’s no magical cleansing at death, no magic wand wisdom zap. So many of the deceased can still give the same bad advice they gave when they were incarnates.
CFL- Tell us more.
ARG- Well, at the risk of oversimplifying, I think you can divide the dead into three main groups: those who accept appearances around them and are content to live on without questioning them, those who can’t believe they’re dead, and the third group, who want to grasp the meaning of what’s happening to them and what lies beyond the reality they currently find themselves in.
CFL- So life beyond death, like life on earth, is far from simple.
ARG- And of course there are still ties of love for friends and family. This may explain why most people have little trouble contacting relatives again and again. But for the seekers of truth, the after-death life is a great adventure, another step on an eternal journey.
CFL- So you can get both good and not-so-good advice from the departed.
ARG- It takes some time, and some work for the lower earthly desires to fall away. Those who have accomplished that can give amazingly helpful guidance. Masters like Vitok of the Va-Tor Brotherhood, and Kirsan Tabiyat of the El Adem, for example, who choose to remain in service to the living and have been working from their side of the veil for, well, in Kirsan’s case, centuries, have generally burned out most ill thoughts and emotions. So they can both see and speak clearly.
CFL- When you say speak, you are speaking figuratively.
ARG- Yes, of course, there is no speaking, There’s thinking, thinking with all the emotions and meaning behind the thoughts. Not everyone can do this, and not everyone can see beyond the immediate thought forms.
CFL- And not everyone can probe another being’s mind.
ARG- I knew you’d get to that.
CFL- Well, lots of people want to know about that.
ARG- Okay then. First, you must strictly follow the Jintu Kor.
CFL- The Nord Nine Suggestions to Rule Oneself.
ARG- Two Suggestions in particular: first, “Separateness is illusion.” Only when you appreciate there is only one mind can you perform the mind probe. As long as you think in terms of I and you, you will be unable to do it.
CFL- And the second?
ARG- The Ninth Suggestion: “Respect the privacy of others.” Do not probe a being without that being having asked you to do so.
CFL- But there are exceptions.
ARG- Very, very seldom. I know where you’re going.
CFL- And of course, you didn’t probe me.
ARG- Your thought forms are blazingly apparent, Charles. You want to know about the exception I made recently. Okay. That was done because the being in question was deeply troubled by the turn of events in his life, sought truth above all other things, and was destined to find his truth.
CFL- Destined?
ARG- Destined to have his truth become clear to him. Whether he chose to follow it or not, was up to him.
CFL- His truth?
ARG- Each being has the divine right to seek the truth within his or her own heart, to create his or her own reality.
CFL- And?
ARG- And then recall the prime Jintu Kor Suggestion: “Learn to distinguish the true reality from that which you desire it to be.”
CFL- You’ve given us a lot to consider. I think this is a good place to stop. Thank you Aidan Ray Good. Any last suggestions?
ARG- Be flexible. Truth changes from level to level.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


"For me, to live is to die," Fahd al-Sharfa said. "I want to destroy Luna City and the space stations and become a martyr for truth."  But Fahd, a brilliant astrophysicist, never counted on falling in love with Dr. Quenby, his Antal coworker, whom he was now about to kill.  Nor had he realized the tenacity of Vice-Marshal Natil's Eagle Legion, determined to stop him.  And especially Aidan Good...who dances with the dead.
A boy genius is taken from his family and trained for a suicide mission on the moon. But he falls in love with just the wrong person. This powerful and gripping novel explores questions of redemption, truth, love, and life beyond death. Richly detailed, imaginative and evocative, DANCING WITH THE DEAD blends science and spiritual fiction. Filled with vivid and convincingly drawn characters, this gripping tale is at once a poignant human/alien love story and a foray into the realms beyond.