David Sloma

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Coffee with Nostalgia

I think the first time I really had a coffee I enjoyed was in the mid-1990’s, from a chain store that many dislike for their tendency to creep over storefronts like a ubiquitous green fungus – and for having coffee that sometimes tastes burnt. I agree that it wasn’t always great, but it was better than most, and sometimes it was only a hit of burnt that added to richness of the blend. The chain brought decent take-out coffee to the unwashed masses.  And I became a fan.

The burnt taste has improved over the years (pretty much gone now, as far as I can tell), and there are less of their stores around. These are two good things, as I like their coffee, and I also like independent coffee shops (or is it “coffeeshops” – grammar nerds chime in). I’ve been enjoying this coffee renaissance, having heard coffee tales from prominent artists of various stripes who I enjoy the work of, detailing their preparation methods, traveling coffee setups (!), and even some selling their own packaged coffee. As a result, I now have my own bean grinders at home.

I think one of the milestones in the history of this coffee shop chain was when I saw the ground floor of a large building, which used to house the best Goth club in the world ever, (my upcoming doc on Goth, which has been a looong time in the making will contain something on this place, honest – there are preview clips on my Youtube channel) close after a great run, only to be replaced by an outlet of the coffee chain. Yes, I went in there for pumpkin-flavoured drinks in the fall…and some nostalgia…

A few years later, the coffee shop closed!

Gone…both places I had grown fond of.

-DS

Copyright 2021 by David Sloma.

All rights reserved.

This short piece of writing brought to you by coffee.

Threat Display (short story)

My short story, Threat Display, has been published on Amazon for some time, but now it’s making its way to other online stores.

It’s a sci-fi story about a UFO invasion.

Amazon (Kindle edition and paperback): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B087NFX9FW

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/threat-display/id1551874694

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/threat-display-david-sloma/1136926579

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=y2cYEAAAQBAJ

Gumroad: coming soon

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=1230004512851

Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/492817539/Threat-Display

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1067047

Thalia/Tolino: https://www.thalia.de/shop/home/artikeldetails/ID150786073.html

Vivlio: https://www.vivlio.fr/ebooks/threat-display-9781393381167_9781393381167_10020.html

Also available in some public libraries, so ask your Librarian if you don’t see it listed. Can also check Overdrive listings here: https://www.overdrive.com/creators/766004/david-sloma and https://www.overdrive.com/libraries

Four years ago yesterday Leonard Cohen passed…

Has it been that long already since poet/musician/author Leonard Cohen passed away? Yes, four years since November 07, 2016. Time flies when you are having fun…

I never met the man, but listened to his music and read his words like so many did, and continue to do. His spiritual search shone through in his work and added a timeless beauty and richness there.

He was a source of inspiration and encouragement to other writers, often writing personal letters to young writers, like he did with me. I plan to get around to scanning that letter and posting it online.

Tonight it’s a candle burning in his memory and honour, and of course, Leonard Cohen’s music in the air.

Restaurants

I was thinking about how I used to go to restaurants, the good meals and good times I had in them, and how it would be nice to do that again…then the current “Covid climate” reared it’s ugly head again.

Post-pandemic sci-fi story

I got an idea today for a post-pandemic sci-fi story that’s joyful, and it’s one of the things keeping me going right now: a vision of a better future.

I’ve written some of it at home today, where I usually write. So, not much change for me there. If there’s anything good I can take out of these Covid-19 “stay at home” times, it’s that, with any luck, I’ll be more productive with my writing having to be home more right now. If I can stay off the Internet long enough that is…(a usual battle for those who work at home, and yes I spelled Internet with a capital “I” despite what some recent word-trends would have you do; after all, the Internet is the name for a thing: the world network of computers that is public (used to be just the WWW prefix of the World Wide Web, but has grown). That’s a proper noun. /Grammar rant mode off.  If you think I’m wrong you can get off my lawn 😉

Funny how that works, that staying home and productivity ratio! Writers (and I think this is true for most who work from home) generally get more done during the cold months than the warm months. Too many things to do outside when the weather is nice, pulling away our time and attention, it seems. Then the cooler weather eventually sets in and thoughts go back to word counts rather than vacations,  warm summer nights, and days that never seem to end.

Writing about a possible future can be an important part in creating it. We’ve seen this happen again and again, but unfortunately those futures were mostly dystopias. As much as I have enjoyed such stories and movies that were very artfully done, I hoped such worlds would not come to be, and yet they largely have; I always wondered why there were not more possible futures I’d like to live in. What we choose to write is up to us, but I think it’s time we write about more uplifting possible futures than the current state of the world we are now in. Maybe then we will find we are living in a better world one day.

See my previous entry about The Prescience of Science Fiction Authors for more on this topic, and where writers get their ideas to write about the future.

 

The Prescience of Science Fiction Authors

The Prescience of Science Fiction Authors
By David Sloma

In his 1981 novel “The Eyes of Darkness” Dean Koontz named the pandemic virus in his story “Wuhan-400” as it starts in Wuhan, China, the same place where the current COVID-19 virus was first found. That’s a pretty big coincidence! Did he know something was going to happen there in the future? If so, how?

Philip K. Dick (PKD for short) predicted “precrime” and coined the term in his 1956 story “The Minority Report” (which was the basis for the 2002 movie “Minority Report”) – now computer models are being used to determine where precrimes will be committed before they happen and assign resources to those areas. Does it ever feel like you’re living in a PKD story? (Also in the “The Minority Report” were the Pre-Cogs who had the ability to predict the future, as “living computers.”)

These authors display what is called prescience, which means foreknowledge of future events; in essence, being able to predict the future. If we look at the word “prescience” we can see it’s made of two other words: pre and science – a natural topic for science fiction writers! Some people scoff at such an ability to foretell the future, while many more pay for fortune-tellers to do this very thing for them, often with real results (and also with fantastic failures). Then there are those people who dream of things before they happen…How is this possible?

One thing is for sure and that is many so-called science fiction or “sci-fi” writers do just that: tell the future. Or maybe they are creating it. Or also, perhaps, they are tapping into some stream of consciousness that tells them the future and they write it down. Whatever the case, the results are impressive.

There’s a theory called “The Morphogenetic field” which talks about ideas contained in an energy field that can be tapped into. This is similar to the “collective unconscious” discussed by Carl Jung, Sigmund Frued, and others. Maybe some sci-fi authors were tapping into such a thing; maybe they were following trends and extrapolating; maybe both.

As a science fiction writer myself, I think it’s been a combination of these things. Sometimes the future trends of technology and society can be easily seen and they allow the imagination to fly; other times the ideas just come and where they come from could be from many sources, both mundane and Divine. I have had the experience of being surprised when something I’ve written comes true in the world, and I’m sure many more authors have had this experience too, not just the ones I’ve listed.

I’ve never quite considered science fiction stories to be purely fiction. It seems the world is quickly catching up to that notion.

###

Copyright © 2020 David Sloma. All rights reserved.

http://www.davidsloma.com

Read my ebooks FREE for the next month on Scribd

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Read an Ebook Week Sale

All of my titles are 25% off during the Read an Ebook Week Sale on from March 1 – March 7, 2020 at Smashwords.com: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/davidsloma

Fourth Anniversary of David Bowie’s Death

David Bowie left this Earth four years ago.

Earlier this month, January 10, 2020, marked the fourth anniversary of David Bowie death, his leaving this life behind; he passed away on January 10, 2016. Hard to believe it’s been that long already! Seems he’s always been with us, and always will be…

Bowie was making music before I was born. Like many of my generation, I grew up hearing the music of Bowie on the radio, a constant, dependable thing that would always be there for us, or so we thought. When music videos became popular, Bowie was there too, with his creative visions merging with his sounds. And there were his many memorable roles in films and TV shows, too (Labyrinth and Twin Peaks are two that stand out for me).

One of my earliest memories of encountering a Bowie recording was seeing the video of him singing “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” with Bing Crosby, done in 1977. It’s been described as a surreal happening, and indeed, I felt it was too; two icons from different eras, together. But despite the strangeness, and how out of place it seemed, the combination really did work well! The single was eventually one of Bowie’s biggest hits. Crosby passed away just weeks after they’d done the duet.

I saw Bowie perform, sadly only once, during his Sound+Vision Tour in 1990. I knew I had to make the effort to see and hear Bowie live! The concert had some startling moments that are still vivid in my mind thirty years later. The visuals were cutting edge at the time; images of Bowie on screens and projections on a huge, transparent scrim went swirling, growing/shrinking, backwards and forwards, and much more. It was mesmerizing! I’d never seen anything like it! The visual effects would go on to influence many concerts of others that I was to see in subsequent years. Also, the dancing of Louise Lecavalier/La La La Human Steps added a lot. The sound, being Bowie, was great, and very precise. However, there was a technical glitch in the show, and it had to be stopped for a few minutes to fix it. But that was fine, as it didn’t last long, and soon the show was back on again, plus we got the bonus of Bowie addressing the crowd because of it.

I read a science-fiction story in a graphic-novel type of magazine in the late 1980’s, it must have been (I believe it was by Ric Veitch in Epic Illustrated, but I’d have to dig out the issue to be sure), and there was a story set in the future. In the story someone was playing music that was stored on little cubes, which was a bit of a new idea back then. One of the cubes had a picture of Bowie on it, and a character in the story referred to it as he played it, saying how dead singers were still the best. That wasn’t true when I first read the story, but it’s true now – funny how things change and also how they stay the same.

But if you know about Bowie, then you’ll also know that he was a very spiritual person and didn’t think death was the end when we leave this world. I like to think that he’s still out there, somewhere. I wonder what he’s up to?

R.I.P. David Bowie (four years on now)

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