‘The H. sapiens Problem’ Print Edition is Available

“The H. sapiens Problem” by Garry Rogers

The print edition of ‘The H. sapiens Problem’ is available. Here’s how it starts:

front-cover

Prolog

Why didn’t intelligence appear in Earth’s first complex creatures during the Proterozoic a billion years ago?

What if it did?

Life in the Proterozoic:  Waves from a passing pancake-shaped oblate spheroid shake two small cigar-shaped prolate spheroids with long fine flagellates. One Pro-sphere waves its flags with a question for the other:

“Know why the Obo-spheres can’t tell a joke?”

“No, why?”

“Everything they say is sooo flat.”

Jiggles.

Plot

A conflict driven by greed and an ancient grudge ensnares Corr Syl and Rhya Bright, two beautiful young warriors descended from rabbits. Humans from a neighboring city become violent and local authorities ask the two warriors to investigate. Along the way, readers meet a truly evil spider (with spider shape), witness Corr Syl’s clumsy comedic aspirations, endure silly games by other warriors, and wonder at Rhya Bright’s enthusiasm for wrecking enemies who happen along. They will also meet Z99, an intelligent warship whose quantum manipulations of dark energy allow travel through the multiverse.

Characters

  • Corr Syl and Rhya Bright are rabbit descendants and members of Earth’s global multi-species Tsaeb civilization. Like all Tsaeb, Corr and Rhya are beneficiaries of millions of years of natural evolution, scientific advance, and social development. They have internal control over their bodies down to and including their genes. Their mental control is highly advanced as well, but experiencing love, perceiving beauty, and choosing life’s directions remain the uncertain outcomes of experience and nature just as they do for one of civilization’s newest species, Homo sapiens.
    Corr and Rhya have trained as warriors, an uncommon specialty infused with knowledge developed during Earth’s post-dinosaur Age of War. Though still highly respected, warriors have faded from importance in the peaceful world of the Tsaeb. Unusual childhood experiences influenced Corr and Rhya’s decision to become warriors. However, Corr also dreams of becoming a comedian, next to warrior, the most honored profession, and Rhya is studying human psychology. These secondary interests illustrate the allure of those things we do not understand and for which we have no talent–awkward times ahead.
  • Z-99 is an intelligent warship that Corr discovers mothballed in an old museum.
  • Lactella is a Black Widow spider whose evil nature causes trouble through the entire story.
  • Ivan Johns is a human infested and controlled by Lactella.
  • Aaron Li and Ya Zhōu are typical human leaders (so you know what to expect).
  • Others:  Numerous members of the Tsaeb civilization play their parts. All but the birds have human shape. All retain the original skin covering: the fur, feathers, and coloring of their ancestors.

Story Provenance — Corr Syl Stories Merged

The principal conflict in the earlier books, ‘Warrior’ and ‘Terrible’, is between the Tsaeb and the human species. I considered spinning off stand-alone Tsaeb stories, but I was more interested in developing the Tsaeb civilization as a mirror for human nature. ‘Terrible’ is not really an independent story. It is the concluding chapter in the Tsaeb-human conflict. In fact, reviewers said that ‘Terrible’ was difficult to follow without first having read ‘Warrior’. Thus, it seemed best to rewrite and unify the stories. ‘The H. sapiens Problem’, has fewer slow spots and more character detail. It concludes with the revelation that two warring alien species are approaching Earth. Given a chance, either will consume our planet, leaving nothing behind. I have always loved space opera. The next book has space ships, grand starry vistas, and desperate flights across the cosmos.

Whoopee!

WHOOPEE!

Print Details

  • Publication Date:  Jan 3, 2017
  • Publisher:  Coldwater Press – (928) 925-7191 – PO Box 1011, Humboldt, AZ  86329
  • ISBN-13: 9781541157187
  • ISBN-10: 1541157184
  • Size:  6.0″ x 9.0″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm),
    88,300 words, 390 pages
  • Print Identifiers:
  •          ISBN-13:  978-1541157187
  •          LCCN: 2016921063
  •          ISBN-10: 1541157184
  •          BISAC:  Juvenile Fiction / Science Fiction
  • Subjects: LCSH Environmental protection–Fiction. | Conservation of natural resources–Fiction. | Human ecology–Fiction. | Environmentalism–Fiction. | Science fiction. | BISAC JUVENILE FICTION / Science Fiction.
  • Classification: LCC PZ7 .R633 Hs 2017 | DDC [Fic]–dc23
  • Audience:  Teens
  • Price:         $21.95
  • Available everywhere, including Gifts and Games in Humboldt, Arizona (928-227-2775).

eBook Details

  • Publication Date:  Dec. 7, 2016
  • Publisher:  Amazon/Coldwater Press
  • Size:  3499 KB, 88,000 words
  • ASIN: B01N6EOQ1T
  • Audience:  Teens
  • Price:  $ 2.99
  • Available from Amazon.com

Story Provenance

The principal conflict in the earlier books, Warrior and Terrible, is between the Tsaeb and the irresponsible human species. I considered spinning off stand-alone Tsaeb stories, but I was more interested in developing the Tsaeb future. Thus,Terrible is not really an independent story. It is the concluding chapter in the Tsaeb-human conflict. In fact, reviewers said that “Terrible” was difficult to follow without first having read “Warrior.” So, all in all, it seemed best to rewrite and unify the stories. I removed some of the slow spots, added some character details, resolved the conflict, and set up the approaching confrontation with two alien species, a confrontation that humans must face along with the rest of the Tsaeb in a struggle to survive a massive onslaught by two advanced alien species.  I have always loved space opera. So, the next book will have space ships, grand starry vistas, and desperate flights across the cosmos.

Reviews

Write a review for Amazon.

Inside the US agency charged with killing a ‘mindboggling’ number of animals

“Wildlife Services funds the lethal control methods, but they don’t fund the nonlethal,” says Fox. “That in and of itself disincentivizes nonlethal methods, and incentivizes the reliance on the federal government for predator control. The reliance on an agency for that kind of subsidy is really, really hard to counter.” www.theguardian.com

GR:  The policies of the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Service demonstrate the way American land-use agencies place the interests of ranchers first and the interests of wildlife and the land second. It is clear now that as long as land managers must fear politicians controlled by special interests such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (http://bit.ly/1Nkudid), and the National Livestock Producers Association (http://www.nlpa.org/), there can be no safety for wildlife and its habitats.  Of course, the destruction of nature by its appointed stewards is not limited to America; human governments worldwide conduct it. Will we ever see a government created for the good of the Earth and all its creatures? In the midst of the great human-caused mass extinction, it appears that we will not.

I write EcoSciFi, science fiction with an ecological theme. Here’s an idea for a story about the future of nature conservation:    As the destruction of wildlife becomes apparent to all people, privately funded wildlife-protection militias embedded with the animals will spread. Local governments will oppose these defenders of nature, arms manufacturers will sell to both sides, and violence will escalate. Humanity will have created another force behind its descending spiral to oblivion.

YA SciFi Novella – Corr Syl the Terrible – Coming May 2, 2015

Corr Syl the Terrible by Garry Rogers

Corr Syl 5--HollandThis young-adult science-fiction story follows the warrior Corr Syl as he searches for kidnapped Rhya Bright.  It adds a chapter to the young warrior’s life, and creates a new challenge for Earth’s Tsaeb (silent T, long a) Warriors.

When a mysterious enemy takes Rhya away in a helicopter, Corr borrows an old Tsaeb aircraft and follows. The ship looks like an aerodynamically unsound blue egg, but it has advanced capabilities that Corr discovers as he defends against bombs, missiles, and a fiery trap in a waste incinerator. The search for Rhya takes Corr half way around the world to a dark volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean.

CoZhous Island 3x4 and one halfrr Syl and Rhya Bright are Tsaeb warriors. They are rabbit descendants with gray fur, auburn eyes, and long whiskers. Like all Tsaeb, they love humor. Corr is a becoming a master of the corny one-liner–If at first you don’t succeed, don’t try skydiving—that’s Corr.

Humans are a recent addition to the Tsaeb civilization. They resemble Tsaeb mammals, but they tend to have more bare skin.  Human intelligence is not well-developed.  Most members of the species are unable to foresee the consequences of their actions and so they are a continuing source of environmental problems.

Corr Syl the Terrible has a linear plot focused on rescuing Rhya Bright. But the book is also about Corr’s problem with taking life. Corr’s training taught him the mortal weaknesses of hundreds of species, but he can’t reconcile killing with his natural urge to protect life. How far should one go in defense of self and friends? Corr returns to this question throughout the book, and in the end, finds an answer that changes Earth’s future.

Corr Syl the Terrible ($9.95, 120 pages, 6 x 9, paperback, ISBN: ) will be available at neighborhood and online bookstores in early May, 2015. Excerpts and an advance reader copy are available here.

P.S.  No one likes the cover–working on a new one.

Lactella: A Make-Believe Story of True Evil

Evil Lactella

Warning, “Lactella” is an evil character. This is not a nice story.

 

Ivan Johns’ Tragic Encounter

Adult_Female_Black_WidowIvanstor Johns, the new Mountainview City Manager, had one eccentricity. He cut his own hair in an uncommon style: short on the sides and long in the back. No one, not even his family, knew the secret it hid. Beneath the long hair, like a fat tick, a huge black widow spider clung to Johns’ neck. The spider’s claws and webs and the powerful chelicerae bracketing her mouth held her fast. Her hollow fangs reached deep into the City Manager’s flesh. In public, Johns appeared calm and relaxed. In private, the spider liked to make him beg and scream.

The strange pairing had been the result of a misfortunate accident. Intelligent spiders are rare among the Tsaeb, and those who exist tend to keep the shape and some of the instinctive behaviors of their progenitors. Black widow spider hatchlings still spin the tiny web strands that originally serve as sails and carry the spiderlings to new, and hopefully richer, habitats. Intelligent black widows snip those first webs and prevent the spiderlings from floating away. On rare occasions, they fail to snip in time, and the spiderlings are lost.

On a stormy summer day, a spider egg hatched unattended. Wind caught the baby spider’s web and carried her far from her family home. Such waifs rarely survive to become adults. The small spider survived because of luck, and because of her unusually high intelligence. Deposited in the heart of a large city, she grew while locked in a daily struggle to survive alone.

The spider’s quick mind kept her alive, but she did not learn the body and mind controls that a normal Tsaeb family life would have given her. She received none of the great store of Tsaeb experience and wisdom. Instead, she learned only how to avoid threats and satisfy hunger.

The spider found that other creatures broadcast sensory images. When she inserted her fangs into them, her inherited mental powers enabled her to sense the electromagnetic fluxes surrounding their muscles and nerves. She soon learned to replace or guide the impulses with her own, and she finally began to gain control over the muscles and senses of her victims. Her power became so complete that she could keep an animal conscious and calm while she fed. As her size and ability increased, she learned to use larger creatures for transport.

* * *

Susan

The first big step on the spider’s path to Ivan Johns was her discovery of a little girl named Susan. The accidental offspring of a drug addict and an alcoholic, Susan had lived an abnormal life. When her mother left Susan behind to become an entertainer for her dealer’s customers, Susan had only her father, a violent alcoholic. Often beaten and treated to other abuses, Susan’s body bore lesions that rarely healed before the next attack.

In her sixth year, Susan awoke one morning to an empty apartment. After a week, and after every dried scrap of discarded food had been consumed, Susan left the apartment for the first time. Walking unsteadily down the shadowy hall between silent doorways, she came to a stairwell and crept down to a dark alley.

Just a few steps down the alley Susan saw one of the unintelligent cats the Humans kept. The cat had its head in a sack, but when it sensed Susan and turned toward her, it appeared well fed and unafraid. Susan held out her hands and approached, and the cat sat and watched her for a moment, but then it trotted down the alley. Susan wanted to follow, but the sack held the remains of a dinner. She sat on a pile of newspapers and began digging through the sack.

The spider had been studying the cat from beneath a nearby garbage bin. When Susan came along, the spider’s ambition for a larger host soared. While Susan ate, the spider stunned the rat it was controlling and leapt up beside the little girl. Susan noticed the spider and started to rise, but the spider sprang onto Susan’s arm and injected her with venom. Then the spider moved out of sight beneath Susan’s dress and began taking control.

The spider found it difficult to control Susan, but after numerous partial failures that required more venom injections, the spider learned to direct the little girl’s movements. She resumed the nocturnal routine she had developed with the rats.

At first, the spider controlled Susan’s muscles, but not her thoughts. The many electrical flashes and fluxes in Susan’s brain varied more than those in the brains of rats and other small animals. There were waves and sparks with no connection to the child’s movements. During an encounter with another child, the spider realized that some of the sparks connected to sounds Susan made with her throat and mouth.

The spider tried to make Susan speak and had immediate success. The other child backed away, but the spider didn’t notice; she was learning to talk, and had Susan gobbling and snorting. The spider soon began connecting the sounds with feelings, actions, and senses. Her near-perfect memory and quick mind enabled her to build vocabulary and grasp structure almost overnight. Within a week, the spider could understand Susan’s thoughts and could direct the child to form sentences.

Susan had learned from her father that obedience produced the least pain, so she did not resist when she felt the urges the spider produced, and the shadowy presence wasn’t frightening at first.

Solitary by nature, the spider’s circumstances had given her no opportunity to learn to socialize with parents or friends. She tried to talk with Susan. Needing a name for the girl to use, the spider chose Lactella. The talks didn’t amount to much. Susan hadn’t ever had a real conversation, and she didn’t know how to play. Susan didn’t know how to describe the pain and fear she had endured, and when she did share something, the spider found it depressing.

Lactella tried to do things with Susan. Susan knew how to hop, skip, and run, but she hadn’t learned about hopscotch, skip rope, or any other games. Lactella became bored with the things Susan knew, but she found she could stimulate pulses along Susan’s nerves that made the child’s body jerk and twitch in odd ways.

Lactella found that she could darken Susan’s senses until the child became frightened, cried, and finally began screaming. This was exciting, but it attracted dangerous attention. Large people came sometimes, and though Lactella hid Susan well, she feared discovery above all else.

Lactella also learned about laughter. She witnessed it a few times in the homeless wanderers Susan encountered, but she didn’t understand how to produce it. The heavy barking breaths choked through Susan’s constricted throat were monstrous, the sounds of horrible madness.

Lactella kept the girl immobilized and hidden during the day, and let her creep through alleys in search of food at night. She let the child eat, but she did not consider its health.

When the pair came upon a male spider, Lactella followed ancient instincts, obtained sperm, and attacked the producer. Later she attached her pale yellow egg sack under Susan’s arm. As the eggs hatched, Lactella used her feeding solutions to soften the child’s flesh. She watched her offspring, curious to see how they would mature. Infection developed and spread under Susan’s skin. Lactella could see something was wrong, but she did not know what to do. None of her firstborn survived.

Soon Susan became weak and unsteady on her feet. When at last Lactella could not force the child to rise, she withdrew her fangs and claws and, ignoring the feeble sobs of the small ragged ball beside a waste bin, went hunting for a fresh human host.  She found a tear in a window screen at the back of the nearest house.  As she entered, she saw the sleeping form of Ivan Johns, and elation filled her.  Something great was about to begin.