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Welcome to my website!

The Technology of Dreaming is now available at Amazon.com. The novel is also available in trade paperback exclusively from Amazon CreateSpace.

The Technology of Dreaming is the first volume in Altstralia: A Speculative Republic, an anthology of Australian sci-fi and speculative fiction that I have put together from bits and pieces of stories I have written over the years.

My previous, science fiction epic, Primae Noctis, is available at Amazon.com.

Many of these sites offer free preview chapters of the novel for your reading pleasure. This novel is also available in trade paperback exclusively from Amazon CreateSpace.

Free review copies of any of my novels are available for all science fiction, speculative fiction, or eBook reviewers who have an ongoing blog, publication, or website that actively covers new releases. You can use the contact section of this website to request your review copies.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with me or my work, please have a look around the site to learn more about me and my novels. If you'd like to, I encourage you to send me a message to give me your feedback. Please indicate if you'd like a fast turnaround on a response, and I'll do my best to get back to you quickly.

For those of you who are wondering when I will eventually return to completing the next novel in The Once and Future Lords Trilogy, Tempus Belli, it will be delayed until better distribution and promotional options become available for me.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my site!



My new novel, The Technology of Dreaming is now available at Amazon.com. The novel is also available in trade paperback exclusively from Amazon CreateSpace.

What is The Technology of Dreaming?

The Technology of Dreaming (TToD) is the first volume in Altstralia: A Speculative Republic, an anthology of Australian sci-fi and speculative fiction I have begun to develop from a number of short stories I have written over 10 years in Oz. Each volume will be expanded from short story from a range of novella to novel length, based on continuity and other story elements.

About the Story

The story opens several decades from now. Australia has become a Republic. The lead character, William Malinagi, an Aboriginal Australian, is forced to return home after learning of a family tragedy. William must confront his 18-year separation from his culture and heritage, and fight against a gross injustice that threatens his people's future.

What are your thoughts on writing a novel with an Aboriginal lead, especially since you aren't Aboriginal?

I write about all sorts of characters, and as a person of colour, I think diversity is both realistic of the future and critical to original storytelling. I was drawn to write this story out of admiration and respect for a people who I feel a deep affinity for.

I believe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers understand the importance of including their people in stories of the future as lead characters and protagonists, just like anyone else. But I also believe writers must take responsibility to respect their heritage and values, and take care not to present any private, traditional knowledge of real groups of people in the process. TToD has a notice in the front of the work that explains how the novel deals specifically with this issue, and respectfully offers an apology to any Aboriginal readers who may find any of the content offensive.

Will all of the books (volumes) in the anthology focus on the same principal topics as TToD?

No. Altstralia will deal with a number of topics, places, politics, and people across a future Australia, but I felt it was important to start the series just like the real Australia started its history, with a story that focussed on Aboriginal people. The next volume, Hundred Years Swim will be different in both subject and nature, but will take place in the same Altstralia as TToD.

The Technology of Dreaming, the first volume of Altstralia: A Speculative Republic, is now available at Amazon.com.


Primae Noctis is available at Amazon.com. The novel is also available in trade paperback exclusively from Amazon CreateSpace.

What is Primae Noctis?

Primae Noctis is the first in a trilogy of science fiction novels filled with action, intrigue, and suspense. The remaining titles in The Once and Future Lords trilogy, Tempus Belli and Corpus Novus, are in various stages of draft and planned for release over the coming years. These novels will be a direct continuation of the story that begins in Primae Noctis, which is more than 200,000 words stand-alone.

About the Story

It is 60 years after the Calamity, a time of global crisis that led to the deaths of more than 99% of the world's 13.6 billion inhabitants. With the guidance of the Archonae, survivors formed an idyllic society of secure and protected cities designed to elevate humanity to its full potential and to prevent problems of the past from recurring. However, not everyone is content with life in the new utopia.

The novel follows an expansive cast of characters through the future world:

  • Nan Allegra is a political historian with outspoken views. She is in pursuit of a mystery that no one else seems to know about, but could be of critical importance to the future.
  • Archon Devlin is responsible for the Recovery, a global programme to recycling the former cities of Earth into useful, raw materials. He is deeply concerned with the future direction of humanity.
  • Jones is a man who doesn't remember his first name or his past, but hopes to change the future. His mission is to assemble a group of citizens in the world's second-largest city to aid him on his quest.
  • Reginald Mullen is a Knight charged with protecting the citizens from the dangers of the Wilderness. He finds strength in ensuring a secure future for the citizens of his city.
  • Franklin Murakami is an administrator and designer at the largest nanotech production facility in the world. His designs help to shape the future.
  • Sylvie Mathieu is an AIC administrator in Republica. She has never engaged an intimate relationship with anyone, and only cares about the future of her daughter, Leila.
  • Henry Roston is an engineer who lives a carefree existence and spends his leisure time in the Entertainment District of the city. For him, the future is no further than the present.

The nature of the beast

From the perspective of style, the narrative is presented in tandem with excerpts from a history that details the technological, political, social, religious, military, and sexual norms and stories from the future world. Although Primae Noctis has most of the hallmark characteristics of the hard subgenre, I believe my novel has a focus that considers the social values of the world that it depicts. I created the work's detailed future history as a way to examine how the seeds of the negative social, economic, and political developments in our world today may bear bitter fruit in the future. My ongoing aim is to keep thoughful consideration of social science at the forefront of my science fiction.

As a true sci-fi novel, there are plenty of well-conceived future technologies and a tasteful modicum of fornication and violence throughout the work. Fantasy readers may be interested in the novel for the epic scale of the story. I would say more, but I don't want to provide any spoilers.

Primae Noctis is available at Amazon.com.


08/05/2014 09:39 AM
 The Technology of Dreaming has arrived!
After a long wait, I am pleased to announce the release of my second novel, and the beginning of a new series, Altstralia: A Speculative Republic!


The Technology of Dreaming is out!

My first sci-fi/speculative work set where I have lived for the past 10 years, Australia. The story takes place several decades from now, but features several very familiar and pertinent social issues.

It is available from Amazon.com as an eBook (all stores), and is also available in paperback via Createspace print on demand.

Now I'm off to finish the next volume in Altstralia, hopefully for release by November.


08/28/2013 09:45 AM
 Primae Noctis available for free on Amazon.com: August 29-31
In case you missed any of the previous promotions, Primae Noctis will be available for free on Amazon.com from August 29th through 31st.


05/10/2013 02:51 PM
 Wishful thinking, and dreaming of how I wish technology would work for me...
So, the free previews of Primae Noctis are done with... all up, well over a thousand copies out worldwide to interested parties at no cost during the KDP promo period.  For a first novel, thousands of copies + no cost + interest = motivation to try again, despite reviews or profitability.

I am very pleased that at a $0 dollar or euro value proposition that the novel earned enough attention to interest people visually or by description for them to bother to download it.  Downloads were proportionally higher in the Amazon Germany (Amazon.de) market, which serves most of Europe, than anywhere else.  I thank the Anglophile German market for their good taste in branding, but it is a matter of time to determine if they think that my ideas are worth the effort to read.

To receive a #1, even on the European Amazon free promo chart for Fantasy/Science Fiction, certainly makes one feel like its worth it.  Is it the fact that potential European readers have a better understanding of the double entendre  of the title, thus, get the more nuanced meaning of what I've put on offer?

My next steps are to wait patiently and to see if providing free product garners actual sales and recommendations to merit further interest.  With The Technology of Dreaming coming out next month, and with a more politically-prescient theme to it, I guess that I will need to adopt these learnings relatively quickly.  But I am now convinced that an Amazon free promotion (on principal release) is certainly worth an initial effort, even though I waited 6 months to  realise it.

Stay tuned, dear reader, and I will let you know soon if all was for naught or gain.  But it is a hell of a mule ride...


05/07/2013 08:56 AM
 All or Nothing! Primae Noctis free ebook promo days through May 9th on Amazon!
Due to the early success of getting folks interested in the free Amazon promo for Primae Noctis, I've expanded the free days through the 9th of May.

In the six months since the novel has been release, I've waited for some sort of critical event to get the pot boiling under my promotions of the novel.  The free event on Amazon has been a boon, and I'm hoping that for every ten people that get a free copy, I might be lucky to receive one paid recommendation for the ebook.

If you've been waiting for the opportunity to get your hands on some free, hard sci-fi, here's the link:

Tell a friend!


05/04/2013 03:03 PM
 Get Primae Noctis for free on May 6th, 2013!
As I continue to expand the audience for Primae Noctis, I've chosen to work with KDP and offer the novel for free to Amazon Prime members and offer it for free.  This Monday and Tuesday, 6th and 7th of May, you can download a free copy of the Primae Noctis ebook on Amazon, for one day only.  There may or may not be additional free promotion days to follow, so take advantage of the deal before it expires if you'd like to read my novel for free!

Get the Primae Noctis ebook for free, May 6th and 7th at:


04/02/2013 09:13 AM
 What's going on...?!?!
There are plenty of things going on in my life right now,  a new full-time role, a recent trip to Guam and Micronesia, but the most important thing remains the upcoming release of The Technology of Dreaming.  I've had to push the release back to May 2013, due to editing and other concerns with concurrent projects, but it promises to be a significant departure from Primae Noctis for most readers. 

More details to come over the next few weeks!


02/25/2013 04:05 AM
 Dreaming of Aboriginal characters and a future Australia
Whenever I find myself deep in the development and completion of a project, I tend to let go of secondary concerns to have single minded focus on my top-level goal.  This has been the case with my blog, as I have been completely engaged with finishing up The Technology of Dreaming over the past few weeks.  Completing this work has been particularly difficult, as the plot and subject matter center on Aboriginal Australians in a mid-21st century Australian Republic. 

My primary concern has been to develop and present a fictitious group of Indigenous people with traditions that pay homage to the many individual cultures across Aboriginal lands without causing offense.  Inference to or mention of the specific knowledge of a real group of people could be deemed offensive by some, and would go against the spirit of what I have tried to create.   Thus, the names and locations of the lands of the tribe at the core of the story are purely fictitious.  Although the Ceremony and Laws of a fictitious group of people are presented in the story, what is presented is an amalgam constructed from research across a wider group of cultures in Australia and neighboring states.  I attempt to portray these subjects with sensitivity, but with purpose.

Ceremony and custom are of paramount importance to Aboriginal identity, as is their special relationship with their lands.  These are some of things I most admire about their cultures, in addition to their resilience and willingness to share their stories with others.  As they are the protagonists in my work, I wanted to showcase these values to a wider, global audience who might not be aware of them.   Finally, it would be an understatement to say that Australia's historical relationship with Aboriginal Australians has been difficult; there are yet many serious and real issues that remain unresolved to anyone's satisfaction.  This real conflict in identities and crossed purposes is at the core of the plot.

The Technology of Dreaming contains a detailed account of the future Australia itself, with particular reference to how it arrived to its predicament in relation to the politics of today.  This is also a tricky subject to deal with, as an effective cautionary tale must be both earnest and frightful at the same time.   Having a good depth of knowledge of the true history of a place can help to develop a thematic bridge to a realistic, but bittersweet future.  Economic prosperity and illegal immigration are real themes that lend credence to this story's thesis, but also set the stage for some of other stories in future volumes of Altstralia: A Speculative Republic.

The Technology of Dreaming will be available on Amazon.com in April.


02/03/2013 02:17 PM
 News on Primae Noctis, Tempus Belli, and The Technology of Dreaming
Primae Noctis continues to receive some pretty good reviews and sell progressively more copies, especially after the decision to discount the eBook for a limited time.  Review copies of Primae Noctis continue to be on offer to reviewers with a literary blog or other sci-fi genre related stop on the web.  It takes a while for word to get around about an independent genre author, so I need to continue to remain patient and carry on with new projects.

Groundwork continues on the next novel in The Once and Future Lords Trilogy, titled Tempus Belli.  Although a continuation of the storyline, the novel will have a substantially different tone and pace due to the events within the greater continuity of the Trilogy.  At present, the novel remains largely in outline / waypoint form.  I find myself wanting Primae Noctis to gain greater readership before I commit myself to the extended campaign of fleshing out the draft, due to the significant time investment involved.  Also, there's the need to see bills paid while concurrently pursuing my emerging vocation.  I expect that Tempus Belli will continue to see release in 2014.

I have dedicated my present writing and editing hours to a mostly-completed novella, unrelated to the world of the Trilogy, with the working title of The Technology of Dreaming.  I feel passionately about the subject matter and themes in the story, and have desired to see it published it for a while. 

The Technology of Dreaming examines the intersection of politics, technology, and traditional culture in a mid-21st century Australia.  This work was originally envisaged to be part of a larger collection of speculative fiction short stories set in Oz.  I have chosen to set aside the other stories from the collection for now to be able to get my favorite to readers on an accelerated schedule. Now seems to be the right time to move forward to get it out, with the eBook available on Amazon by the end of March / early April 2013.

Thanks again to all of the people who have kindly supported my writing so far, and I hope to bring you another update with progress soon!


01/25/2013 05:00 AM
 Discounting and awakening the Amazon giant

This week, I’ve temporarily reduced the price of Primae Noctis for a limited time to $2.99 US across all vendors.  I’ve received a few questions from fans and friends regarding the decision.  Here’s why:

This weekend is my “Big Reach” weekend.  I’m reaching out to all of my friends, colleagues, and fans who have indicated interest in the novel over the past few months and encouraging them to purchase a discounted copy of the novel on Amazon.com.  It is a matter of getting the giant to take notice of a mote of a pebble beneath its foot.

The most important thing right now is to spread word about the novel.  Without word of mouth, especially amongst genre readers, the novel is virtually invisible.  This is especially true for Amazon, as the vendor’s sales algorithms not only rate how frequently a book sells but also considers how many reviews and ratings every book receives in relation to sales.

If enough people buy discounted eBook copies on Amazon, the vendor will finally begin to recommend the book to readers that are browsing the science fiction section and the book will have a chance to sell itself.

The reviews are an ongoing part of the novel’s success as well, as they give insight into the quality of the work for potential readers.  So if you’ve read it, please consider submitting a review or at least rating the novel on Goodreads and Amazon.

Thank you for your continued support, and here's the link:



01/06/2013 07:01 AM
 Calling #indie #scifi fans and backers: lend your support to Primae Noctis!
The battle to get Primae Noctis in front of a larger audience is continuing.

A number of early reviewers have gotten hold of the novel, and the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive.  The greatest challenge right now is to get larger distributors, such as Amazon, to provide much needed free promotion and recommend the novel to readers.  The finished novel is more than 650 pages in print, and has been fully edited and published using Amazon's print-on-demand, CreateSpace platform.

This is where I still need your help.  If you are able and willing, it would be immensely helpful if you would visit Amazon and purchase a copy of Primae Noctis for $5.99 USD.  Every sale of the novel helps to get the novel attention within Amazon's search and recommendation engines, as well as gets Primae Noctis to a more desirable place on the sci-fi charts to get more reviews and sales.

Here is the link:  http://www.amazon.com/Primae-Noctis-Future-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00A67A93A

Again, thank you for your support up to this point, and thank you for continuing to support this effort to bring my creative vision of the future to life.


12/28/2012 09:35 PM
 Remembering 2012: An End to Conversation and the Rise of Personal Absolutism

As another year becomes memory, most of us look back and conduct personal assessments of what could have been.  I find myself looking forward with doubt and trepidation at 2013, in consideration of a greater pattern of social norms that seem to have taken hold of us this past year.  I believe that 2012 was the year when we stopped having as many conversations with each other, and started to withdraw to the safety of the perfection of our own ideas.  2012 saw many of us become absolutists.

The greatest problem we face as a species is a lack of care and understanding for the opinions of others: a mode of sociopathic self-interest that has presented itself in our entertainment, politics, interpersonal relations, and media.  Many of us seem to feel that we are further apart from the people that we disagree with than ever before.  We are addicted to critique without reason; we make judgements without facts.  It is as if everything has a bloody “Like” button and we shoot anything that we dislike with our unlicensed, verbal automatic weapons.

For those of us who have forgotten, friendly disagreement and negotiation of position used to be the way progress happened in previous centuries.  Even in politics, when an election was over there was a respect that came with a result that allowed for parties to compromise and agree upon imperfect solutions.  Perfection exists only in our minds, but too many of us fail to realise the difference between the real and the ideal.

People have become increasingly entrenched and polarised within indefensible positions of the personal and absolute perfection of their own ideas.  It is as if we receive programming to believe that there is only one outcome or possibility for any given scenario.  We don’t care to find out facts for ourselves, and often our supposedly perfect positions are not our own.  Why find out about the underlying factors behind someone else’s views when we can refer to a handy infographic or bar chart from an increasingly biased source?  We allow talking heads to do our thinking and speaking for us…

We now lose friends over our choice of political parties.  We now lose lovers over our taste in music and movies.  We now lose sleep over a multitude of simple choices that people used to recognise as trivial or unimportant.  Every nuanced difference between anything that can be compared becomes a cliff, impasse, divide, or gap.  Everything is presented as a zero-sum game where someone will lose, and losses will be unfathomably great and permanent.  Choose or lose!  Believe or leave!  Win or die!

Maybe we should all agree that it is time for all of us to stop losing, and to recoup the stupid losses that we gave up last year.  Not every division that we can perceive is provably grave, nor is every decision that we take going to result in the end of an age.  Let’s back down from the cliff, step away from the divide, and take the overpass across the impasse.

It would be nice to have a blog headline at the end of 2013 that read: “2013: A Year of Well-Reasoned Thought and Genuine Negotiation”.

I realise that it might be a bit unlikely.   I would be willing to negotiate my personal desires down to: “2013: A Year of Frank and Honest Conversation”.


12/23/2012 06:40 AM
 My own apocalypse is finally here: the paperback edition of Primae Noctis
I am very excited to report that my paperbacks have finally arrived on the slow boat from the States, and wouldn't you know it, just in time for the unpocalypse!

Here are some fun, celebratory photos taken in Sydney's Royal Botanical Gardens:

I am very pleased with the typesetting and the quality of the finished product, and it makes the ordeal of getting it out there entirely worth it. 

The paperback of Primae Noctis is available HERE.


12/06/2012 04:40 AM
 Now available everywhere!* The Primae Noctis distribution roundup.
After many weeks of hard work, my new sci-fi novel is finally available in all major, global channels of English-language eBook distribution, and hopefully, will soon begin to make its way into the hands of even more e-readers.  Currently, the novel is available via the following distribution points:
  • Amazon / Kindle Store
  • Apple iStore (via iTunes / iBooks apps)
  • Sony eBookstore
  • Barnes & Noble Online Store
  • Kobo
  • Diesel
  • Page Foundry
  • Smashwords
Having worked tirelessly to get the distribution channels right, I need to reinvigorate my effort and focus on getting reviews and  more people to read the novel. 

Of course, the print version of the novel is already available via Amazon / CreateSpace.

*(it seems like everywhere)


12/04/2012 05:05 AM
 Effort, exhaustion, and expectations

So I’ve finally completed and released Primae Noctis and the long period of waiting begins.  Everyone I know who has ever penned a novel has tried to prepare me for this step, and I’m coming to terms with their sage advice every day.  They tell me to keep a cool head, and in the end, eventually your efforts will reach some point of public acknowledgement: for better or for worse.  

Criticism and reviews don’t frighten me.  It doesn’t bother me if people find things about it that they don’t like or if the novel simply does not appeal to them.  My greatest fear is that the book will remain undiscoverable in the constant and uninterrupted flows of media that makes its way to market.  

My greatest fear is that no one will ever know that the novel is out there.

Aside from sending scores of ‘Request for Review’ emails and regular postings on Twitter and Facebook about the novel, I feel as though there is little else I can do except wait and hope.  Primae Noctis is not a quick read, and I know that it could take more than a month for most people to get through the nearly 700 pages of dialogue and story.  Critical reviews and word-of-mouth are what I need more than anything else.  Not that a few more sales would hurt.

I hope that I have performed due diligence and done everything I could to ensure the quality of the finished eBook and paperback.  I hope that I have not been overly ambitious or hopeful in expecting adult readers to embrace a new, independent sci-fi author in a market that teems with the hormone-laden angst of Young Adult offerings.  At 40 years old, I hope I have not waited too long to try to launch a career as an author, and hope that my optimism is tempered enough to deal with potential rejection by the market.

Primae Noctis has been an all-encompassing dream that has taken every active, available measure of energy out of my life for the past two years.  It broke my bones, sucked the marrow dry, and discarded me with nary an afterthought.  I know that I need to keep strong and to persist in my efforts to market and spread the word about the novel, but strength is lacking and resolve has faded somewhat.  Not because I lack in hope, but because I am truly exhausted.

Of course the entire effort is equally exhausting for friends and family.  They have watched me go through the rollercoaster of upbeat and downswing throughout the entire process of writing.  Now that I’ve passed the finish line, many are wondering if I will stop running, or if the marathon that they’ve just witnessed is infinite.  They want to know if the race will ever end.  

I tell them “I don’t know”, and continue running.

So if you’re out there in cyberspace reading this weary blog, perhaps putting together your own novel or just having a look at what’s going on with one new author, I hope that you will choose to persist and to follow your own creative visions to their ultimate endpoints.  Exhaustion or not, I would still have produced Primae Noctis and spent my energies to get it to market, even if I had the option of revisiting the decisions along the way.  

It simply needed to happen, and it found a way into existence. 

Want to have a free preview of my novel Primae Noctis? 
Visit http://www.amazon.com/Primae-Noctis-Future-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00A67A93A
and select "Look inside the Book".


10/21/2012 09:40 PM
 New look cover for Primae Noctis
Have a look at the final draft cover art for the novel.  I'm both pleased and relieved at settling on a semi-expository cover that tells a story without spoiling the plot. 

Comments?  Let me know what you think!


10/10/2012 03:56 AM
 Update on Primae Noctis and the November release

Primae Noctis is a few short weeks away from its public debut in November, and I couldn’t be more thankful the hard yards and months of rewriting the novel have finally come to an end.   The mental exhaustion from the completion of a large novel or any creative endeavour is overwhelming, at least for a time.  I haven’t had the time or willpower to post many new blogs for a while, but I intend to get back into the saddle soon.

I am extremely nervous.  I have no idea how such a long and relatively complex novel will be received by the public, but I know some people will find it to be intriguing.  A final readers’ circle is currently underway over the next two weeks, before Primae Noctis is submitted for final editing and typesetting.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Primae Noctis will be available via Amazon.com and through Smashwords distribution, initially as an eBook, but will also be available in print by the end of 2012.  There’s much work left to be accomplished, and I will be swapping my creative hat for my marketing hat (the one I cringe at if I look in the mirror).  I apologise in advance if my normally, more socially-interested discourse takes a back seat for a while.

Initial pricing for the novel will be set between $5.99 and $7.99 USD, as Primae Noctis is more than double the length of an average, $2.99 to $3.99 release novel of 100K words or less.  I will soon make an announcement for bonafide reviewers to submit a request for a review copy via the website.


08/24/2012 11:14 PM
 What’s the point of postmodern partisanship?

I remember many years ago in 1998, back when I was a political science student at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, James Carville came to campus to speak to us.  I eagerly waited until the question and answer segment of the program came up and I asked him what I thought would be an absolute bombshell of a question.  More or less, I asked him “what’s the point in having political parties if they continuously argue about non-substantive issues and don’t have clear values?”  Needless to say, the clever political strategist that Carville was hemmed and hawed about the stage with his Southern charm and the well-rehearsed sidebar, but didn’t really answer my question.  Silly me.

As the November elections in the United States loom closer, something that strikes me is the lack of genuine dialogue on the issues that matter from either the Democratic or Republican parties.  Sure, both parties are very competent at convincing potential voters that the other party is either wrong at best or insane at worst, but where is the vision for America that will propel the nation out of the doldrums and into the latter half of this century?  

As an expatriate American currently residing in Australia, I have the privilege of being able to compare and contrast what’s going on in the US with the similar state of party politics here.  Both the Labour and the Liberal parties seem to go around in circles with the same litany of issues as their American counterparts: illegal immigrants, small business owners, a diminishing middle class, a near-dominant China, and perpetual fear of economic slowdown.

You might immediately say, “Well that’s easy.  Social issues are the principal difference between the main parties.”  Are they?  If that were true, the allegedly left-leaning Labor party in Australia and the Democratic party in America would have already taken the federal lead on giving homosexual partners the equivalent of marriage, would have fought harder against xenophobic views toward immigrants, and sought to make vast improvements to the state of education and child care in both countries.  For the purposes of this intellectual exercise, imagine social issues as ‘window dressing’ so that we can get to the heart of the matter.  Patriotic rhetoric will not aid in this quest for truth, either.

I won’t be the first or the last person to tackle this question, but what do political parties really mean anymore, and moreover, what’s the point of political parties?  In both the United States and Australia, both pairs of major political parties take contributions from the same principal types of donors.  Politically astute corporations and wealthy individuals hedge their bets and back every ‘horse’ in the race.  Alas, individuals don’t have such a luxury as we get only one vote.  Studies generally show that we have a strong tendency to be heavily influenced on our choice of our political party by our parents and relatives, although a few of us switch as we change our level of income, education, and lot in life.  

What are the real differences between the Democrats and Republicans if they both take a similar tact in assertively supporting the extremely wealthy and big business over small business owners and workers?  As a big donor, you have the ear of your Representative, Senator, or even President.  If you give enough money or garner enough support, you earn a seat at the party’s table, an Ambassadorship, or a night in the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House.  

 As an ‘average Joe American’ donor, your political seat is in the nosebleed section, high above one of the goalposts at the stadium next to the urinal block, or at best, a YouTube video, flyer, or a cleverly constructed infographic emailed to you because of your demographic profile… along with a heartfelt request for your lesser money.  Possibly a t-shirt, but it probably won't be 'Made in the USA'.  Most of us will never be so politically connected to be invited to attend a fundraising dinner at a crusading Hollywood celeb’s house, at a digital baron’s social club, or at the private ranch of a party power broker.  

Australia’s not much different from the US in this regard, except that the Australian constitution is brilliant enough to have the foresight to make voting compulsory for all citizens over the age of 18.  That's right Americans, over here you must vote or expect to be fined.  Anyway, there are the same relative levels of prizes for the big donors, but nix that bit about the Lincoln Bedroom, unless rooms in Sydney's Kiribilli House are being pimped out without the Aussie public's knowledge.   

For those of you who weren’t aware, about two years ago, the current Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, superseded her predecessor Kevin Rudd, also of the Labor Party, in a backroom, internal party preference vote.  Many observers questioned the legitimacy of this strange, secret coup. Some might argue that the Australian parliamentary system allows for this eventuality, and that this was not somehow distasteful.  But when Australians were given the opportunity to go the polls the next time, they returned a parliamentary tie between the parties, also known as a “hung parliament”, that forced both major parties to court the votes of independents that represent a range of special interests and views that were inconsistent with their own.  In the end, Labor and Gillard came out on top, but the politics of the party have become increasingly centric and beholden to the interests of the independents ever since.  Some argue that the Labor party is being torn apart from the inside by conflicting interests, as well.

Centrism is the fundamental flaw with party politics today.  In both countries, the major parties serve their wealthier constituents and interests without question, because the need for campaign contributions and the support of the power elite overwhelms the parties’ need to satisfice the wider body of their constituents.  In the US, the Democrats used to be the party that steadfastly supported workers and labor unionism before many of its other interests.  In Australia, the Labor party ostensibly still has strong ties with the unions as well.  Why is it that in both countries, labor unions are continuously finding themselves reduced and resolved to increasingly smaller stature and effectiveness, despite the ongoing federal-level presence of two governments that should logically do everything that they can to support unions?

Not to ignore the right of the spectrum, Republicans in the US used to be the party of smaller and more efficient government, and wide spectrum support for entrepreneurship.  The Australian Liberal party has a similar, traditional core agenda.  But how does creating private sector, pseudo-government services through outsourcing constitute smaller or more efficient government?  If it sounds like a shell game, that's because it is: except that elite interests win all the nutty contracts.

Both conservative parties are facing increasingly hostile ultra-conservatism that holds them hostage to radical viewpoints that dilute their principal agendas.  More than a decade ago in Australia, the Liberal party had to form a coalition with the National party, of principally rural interests, for their lengthy last go at rule under former PM John Howard.  American Republicans are now similarly being forced to stomach the reactionary tastes of the Tea Party caucus, even though many strongly disagree with their views.  And everyone knows that red-blooded Americans prefer coffee.

For most people, we proudly support our choice of political party until the choice becomes too confusing and murky.  This is why some Americans don't bother to vote, and Australians take the "donkey vote" or join the Australian Sex Party (not kidding).  I cringe whenever any of my friends begins to talk about the next election in the US.  To them it is fairly obvious who I will vote for, but it pains me to do so because I am not substantively satisfied with the answers proposed by either of our parties.  What point is there in having political parties in our postmodern world, when in terms of real vision and ingenuity, they are less substantively different than brands of soda pop?  If parties have no vision, then there is no point.  More so if they serve the same elite interests.

Political parties, especially in countries with two dominant, centric parties, need to be especially wary of not losing sight of having a clear message or real values.  Because in the histories of both American and Australian politics, a major party can find themselves increasingly less relevant and replaced by a party with new vision before they even realize it.  Have you ever heard of the Whigs?  Probably not.  But you might have heard of the Reform Party or the Greens...


08/21/2012 05:42 AM
 Negative musings on positivity, and vice-versa
After a two-week hiatus, I’ve returned with a critical eye focused on positivity and negativity.  What is it that leads people to encourage others to be irrationally positive?  Why is it that considering all of the possibilities makes one socially unacceptable rather than sensible and wise?
Contrary to the beliefs of some, critical thinking is not innately paired with negativity.  Simply imagining the negative outcome to a given situation before it occurs does not mean that you are encouraging that outcome.  The mission-critical planning for our societies are run by pessimists because these things need to be.  But too much negativity can lead some to engage in extremely self-interested or sociopathic behaviours.  Military leaders, corporate CEOs, politicians, and others navigate a fine line between reason and excess in their need to be swaddled in negativity due to the nature of their work.

Negativity exists to reinforce our natural suspicion of situations that are likely to produce less than optimal outcomes, based on learned behaviours.  But excessive negativity can lead to psychological disorder or even self-harm.

Positivity can have equally disastrous consequences if it is applied improperly.  A lack of consideration of possibilities leads us to reckless and self-endangering behaviours.  Crossing public streets becomes deadly, as do a great number of other equally mundane tasks.  Excessive positivity frequently leads to a lack of duty of care.  Simple failures that arise from a lack of attentiveness in our complex world can easily become fatal.  People who operate mass transportation, hospitals, and police officers know this all too well.  Positivists tend to inadvertently harm others and profusely apologise afterwards.

Positivity exists as an outgrowth of the desire to see the ideal possibility in the world around us.  Without positivity, we would not share or create.  Limited to simple needs-based imperatives, we would behave and react to our world like the lowly amoeba.  Positivity is the carrot reward to the eye-sticking of disappointments that we face in life.

How is it remotely logical to “choose” one over the other?  We all have the desire to be positive, but are faced with the harsh realities of less than optimal outcomes.  Choosing positivity or negativity exclusively is not optimal, nor is it meant to be.

Maybe the positivists cast aspersions on the pessimists to lend credence to their less-than-sane approach to life.  Even at the most basic level, a life driven by a positive or negative skew is going to produce less than desired outcomes.  It is hard to argue against the idea that the world could immediately benefit if people would stop to consider the facts when faced with difficult decisions, rather than just react.  Maybe the world desperately needs something in between the two poles of this extreme scale.  A true neutrality.

The world we live in is a complex place, driven by complex interactions that cannot be readily dealt with by a dichotomy of positive or negative worldview.  Just like salt and sugar, positivity and negativity both have their place, and should both be used in moderation.


08/08/2012 03:11 AM
 The final update from the Primae Noctis Kickstarter project
Primae Noctis will not reach its goal of funding independent editing and promotion via Kickstarter.  I want to genuinely thank all of the backers who took the time to support my efforts to bring independent science fiction work written for adults to the market, as well as thank all of the well-wishers who have lent their support in intangible ways to this effort.

A Brief Analysis:

For its funding goal of $5,000, 30 days was simply not enough time to raise this project's funds on Kickstarter.  Although Kickstarter's own recommended period of funding is 30 days, I don't believe that a non-young adult science fiction project that doesn't have in-build graphics or significant marketing collateral can easily raise more than $2,000 in such a short period of time- unless the author already has serious street credibility and access.  This begs the question as to why they even really need Kickstarter.  As a new author, there are too many hurdles to simply getting people on your side to begin with.  Getting visibility within the Kickstarter site itself was very challenging, and It is of note that more than 70% of the pledges raised came from efforts generated by weblinks outside of Kickstarter, such as Facebook, Twitter, and from other sources of traffic.

As an exercise in public relations, this Kickstarter campaign has been of some assistance in getting word out about my novel, which has gotten me valuable exposure and feedback from genuine players in the world of science fiction literature.  Showman P.T. Barnum allegedly once commented that "there's no such thing as bad publicity", and for the most part, he was right. 

As for Primae Noctis, I am considering my various options in moving forward to proceed with a November release via Amazon.  I am still examining ways to get the novel in front of professionals in sci-fi before independent release, but it is likely that I will turn to even more informal methods of peer review (such as readers circles) to get the novel prepared for market.

You can continue to find me at the following places across the web:


Thanks again for all of your wonderful support, friends and strangers, and I hope to continue to be able to bring Primae Noctis to you sometime in November.



08/03/2012 09:08 AM
 Why you should back the sci-fi novel Primae Noctis at Kickstarter (with less than 5 days to go)
The Kickstarter project to get Primae Noctis edited and published has reached its final 5 days, and there's cause for renewed optimism.  With the project having reached 26% of its goal and a large surge of new backers coming in, there's still a good chance for success.

So why would you or should you back Primae Noctis in a sea of projects that all deserve your attention?  Here's the requisite (but vastly expanded) 'Letterman-style' list:
  • You genuinely like science fiction because of your love of new ideas and prognostication;
  • You read the 80-page excerpt and wanted to read more;
  • You are an adult who wants a new science fiction story made specifically for grown-ups;
  • You like to support the underdog when you follow your favorite sport;
  • You are a muse who likes to inspire and support others through life-changing moments;
  • You're an iconoclast who likes to stand apart from the herd;
  • You have an extra fifteen dollars that you were going to drop on candy or beer (not nec. in that order);
  • You have a negative karmic inbalance that you've been trying hard to overcome;
  • You dislike the current political state of the world and are looking for non-violent answers;
  • You like your sex and violence with the high-pitched 'pew-pew' of lasers in the background;
  • You don't know the difference between an AI and an AIC and are dying to learn;
  • You haven't been watching the Olympics and are looking for something to read;
  • You want to learn more about the salacious aspects of cohort marriage;
  • You've just received your Household Assistance Package deposit and want to spend big (AUS only);
  • You like grand conspiracy theories but hate to admit it;
  • You've been waiting for a book to come along to titillate your senses and make you think simultaneously;
  • You're hedging your bets for an acknowledgement in Tempus Belli or Corpus Novus; or finally,
  • You like me.  You really, really like me.
Whatever your reason(s), Primae Noctis really needs you!  If you can spare as little as $1, your backing can bring this novel to the world of readers in a properly edited form.  They say that 82% of Kickstarter projects that reach 20% or more reach their goals, and we're at 26%.  Even if you hate statistics, help me be on the right side of these numbers.  Thank you for reading this blatant plug/rant, and you can find the Primae Noctis project here: http://kck.st/M9vhX2


07/28/2012 04:47 PM
 The hardest yards in a new author's universe

We've all been there. That moment when you can feel that you are on the verge of something uniquely great. A tantalising taste of tangy triumph and possibility that makes you believe again in the rationality of your efforts. A glimpse of potential that brings everything into focus. A classic moment of clarity without a narcissistic prerequisite of debauchery and redemption.

Tonight, I've been having one of these moments following the progress of my project on Kickstarter. My blog has been neglected for more than a week because I've been preoccupied with the ungracious and untidy art of self-promotion. I've been fundraising on Kickstarter to get my novel,Primae Noctis, the independent editing support that it needs. Although the project is far from guaranteed success with just 10 days remaining, I feel reinvigorated by recent support from both friends and strangers. But this also brings to me a sense of foreboding and trepidation. With time growing short, the spectre of another setback looms on the horizon.

Words almost seem like they are too hard to sell these days. Especially when your words don't fit into a preferred or “saleable” preset of what many would suggest is expected from a new science fiction author.  Some voices that proclaim rigid requirements for new authors come from genuine concern for quality in a bedraggled and ill-treated genre, whilst others would seem to desire to preserve an antiquated vetting and hazing of new minds to enforce literary groupthink or collective mediocrity.  But what's the point of spending thousands of hours of your life creating a new universe when it will be exactly comparable to numerous other universes that have been created recently? Why recapture twenty-two points of a perversion of Lord Raglan's thesis in yet another pedantic work? As with most things, the simple, but ethically unacceptable answer is, money. But a selfish and sorrowful effort would fail to quench my thirst to develop and share new ideas.

The ultimate challenge for both old and new authors is not to sate demand for populist subject matter, but to create demand for new ideas and new iterations of possibility. The same goes for creating works that are eroded for the specific intent of being “more accessible” to a “wider audience”. You can bastardise your own idea, but you will sell your creative soul to some imagined devil of populism for all time.

Some might argue that this is a problem with not just today's literature, but also with the world in general. We lower expectations of ourselves and others rather than challenging ourselves and others to rise to the occasion to gain greater levels of insight and knowledge. We scorn those who build characters and write with painfully human or scientific detail. We criticise 10-cent words because we're growing too lazy to bother to expand our vocabularies. We mindlessly recite and share jingles and jargon, but have no patience for a moment at a dictionary to understand deeper meaning. Our rush to genericise and neuter challenge is also reducing innovation and intelligence in the greater population. With a world that is in desperate need of innovation and bravery on so many levels, it can be very easy to view compromise as a means to an end. Unfortunately, this sort of compromise is the end for many.

The hardest yards in the universe for a new author aren't the obvious ones. Because they are first ones that you cross in your mind to get a truly creative project moving, even though you have no surety of success. They are also the ones that you cross every day from your bedside to the mirror to reassure yourself that you need to keep trying.

As a new author, the hardest yards in the universe are also the ones that you will cross when faced with a setback. But you know that you will cross them to regroup and try again.

I know that I will keep crossing these hard yards until I don't need to look back.


07/16/2012 09:55 AM
 Kickstarting Primae Noctis, or what I've learned from my first 168 hours in crowdsourcing's cybertrenches

The most important lesson that I have learned from crowdsourcing my novel, Primae Noctis, is to keep hope alive after the initial shock and panic of being out there.  I say this even though there are only a few more short weeks to go. There are plenty of projects that don't reach any tangible mass in just a few days and go on to succeed, so there's plenty of cause for continued optimism. The one thing that should be avoided at all costs is public or overt pessimism, even if one isn't delighted with outcomes to date.

As I think that I've mentioned on my blog before, I am generally quite loath to self-promotion. I feel bile moving deep in my gullet whenever the notion of telling others anything for personal gain crosses my mind. But especially in the case of crowdsourcing, one must get the word out by any means necessary! Who will support you if you don't support yourself?

The first week of crowdsourcing is a difficult experience, unless you've prearranged a vast amount of support for your project in advance. I had a modicum of support lined up, and it softened the blow a little bit. Other than a mention on my website and on a couple of message boards, I thought that it would be premature to announce a Kickstarter project that hadn't yet been approved.

I was probably wrong, and using a Barnum-style rationale, I probably should have rented the online equivalent of a Sydney bus overflowing with rugby cheerleaders and eskies full of free grog. But that's right, we are crowdsourcing because we can't afford to play like the big guys do... bribery and appeal to sexist stereotypes are generally out of the question to gain the favour of the 'crowd'.

Spreading more information about yourself across the web is painful, especially if you value your privacy or sanity. But to have the best chance of success, you will need to swallow your pride (and possibly your chewing gum) and start a conversation with others about who you are, what you hope to achieve, and why they should help you. State your objectives succinctly, directly, and hopefully with a touch of panache.

A key consideration is how you manage and control the flows of information that you send from your computer. Even consider what I've done: create a flow chart to see where your messages from different sources end up, so that you don't get unnecessary repetition.

Managing your voice and message across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Kickstarter, your blog, and other platforms is a full time job. It is important to take care and make sure that you have a consistent voice that is reasonably clear in your objectives to all audiences. Probably the biggest embarrassment that can happen is if you contradict yourself and thus discourage supporters. So far, I have been lucky enough to avoid this. 

If you ordinarily blog or share social commentary with others, you should continue to do so.  If you don't, then you'll need to learn how to real quick.  If your ordinary social commentary presents you in a less-than-appropriate light, then you may wish to wait about a decade after scrubbing the Internet with virtual steel wool and soap before attempting anything at all.

Your backers probably don't want to be deluged by more requests for assistance. The public doesn't want to be nagged or spammed to death by an unreasonable amount of requests from you. You don't want to lose followers or potential supporters due to message fatigue.  I wasn't a luddite when I began, but learning the nuances of gaining support on Twitter and Facebook is challenging.  But don't lose hope, as there are plenty of resources about to help anyone get up to speed that are worth looking at.

Inevitably, your friends and family will bear the brunt of your social media onslaught, so you'll just have to promise them that you will take them for a night out on the town or do their chores for a few hundred years to make up for it. If any of my friends or family caught that last bit, please disregard it...

Finally, always get in the plug.  You can help to support the editing and release of my new science fiction novel Primae Noctis on Kickstarter at http://kck.st/M9vhX2

See, I haven't lost hope yet!


07/14/2012 06:23 AM
 'Acme Ion Trips' or 'Imprecations'? A continued need for both bright and dark visions of the future

As I try to be attentive to the blogs and articles from the deep core of the hive mind of science fiction, several threads have emerged recently that suggest that there are too many dark visions about.  It is ironic that some of this well-considered criticism is coming from some of the science fiction minds that have given us some of the most intriguing dark visions of the future.  Tie-in blog posts and similar articles have appeared in the Smithsonian, Slate, and on other author's forums.  One recently featured guest post on the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) website by Guy Stewart, particularly inspired me to write this post/rant. He suggests that the word 'apocalypse' is becoming synonymous with 'science fiction', especially amongst the young that he instructs.

I would suggest that more sinister flavours of sci-fi are popular right now because people of all ages are genuinely concerned with the state of the world in which we live, and are increasingly willing to be forthcoming about their belief that our future isn't looking terribly bright. The abundance of overt negativity in the world naturally inspires their reading and viewing habits.

Apparently, concerns regarding a preponderance of dark visions have given rise to some good creative efforts aimed at presenting brighter and more inspirational visions of the future, especially for the next generation of young minds.  In my opinion, creating any new vision of the future specifically geared for the young is a very laudable endeavour.  But young adults are more than just a literary herd of prize cattle to be milked dry, as they are also our future citizens, lawmakers, scientists, and critical thinkers. What if they were exposed to nothing but bright and optimistic visions of what could come to be?  Should we also bind them from reading Shakespeare, Chaucer, Hemingway, or Salinger, for fear of what their dark visions might yet inspire?

In specific regard to young adults, what should science fiction authors and writers do? Should we pull the wool over their collective eyes and proclaim to them that it is wrong to compare and contrast a dystopic future critically with the times in which they live? Should we tell them that regardless of the pain and dysfunction that they are very capable of witnessing on the nightly news, that they should presume that “everything's gonna be alright somehow”? Should we force feed our children with positivity, mouths agape and eyes sealed shut, until their tiny livers explode? The young are not blind, nor can we treat them as captive geese.

To be fair, my first major work, Primae Noctis, is not intended for consumption by the young.  But I would have a difficult time producing a story for anyone that was following some unnatural, external directive to “inspire”, “motivate”, or “brainwash” any segment of the reading population.  I like the idea that readers at any age can come to their own conclusions regarding the content that they wish to read.  For whatever reason that they choose to read.

Inspiration to "do better" and "produce better things" can evolve from many types of sources, even pessimistic or gloomy ones.  I hope that the science fiction community continues to produce both bright and dark visions, as a perfect future is evidently not in our immediate future.  To ignore the imperfections of any possible reality is to embrace its possible inevitably.

If dystopic and apocalyptic visions are what is needed for a 'revolution of the mind' to occur so that readers, both young and old, will become more active in civic participation and concerned about the likelihood of a dark future, then I hope that we see plenty more darkness from the people that are tasked with the mission of delivering us the future ahead of schedule.


07/11/2012 08:10 AM
 What value have unknown words... the first 72 hours
It find it to be very difficult to stop myself from continuously camping out in front of the computer screen to check on the progress of the Primae Noctis Kickstarter project.  Although the project itself is off to a somewhat less-than-auspicious start after the better part of three days (5 backers @ $131/$5,000), I am very encouraged by the significant uptake in people that are interested in the novel.  Twitter, Facebook, and this blog are all showing very sizable increases in traffic.  I have even received a few emails of encouragement and support via my own website.

I have already moved on to the next step, trying to get the word out to influential voices in the sci-fi genre community that cover new crowdsourcing efforts on blogs, message boards, and news sites.  Along the way, the periphery of my search vision has become flooded with negative scenarios about how the Kickstarter bubble has already burst, how one must be a celebrity to succeed, and reams of negativity in the form of project statistics.  I choose to forget them and remain a 'true believer'. 

Not unwilling to look at any possibility to spread the word or get a well-considered mention, I have also decided to plan a pub-based fundraiser for the effort here in Sydney halfway through the project with the hopes of attracting more local ground-based support.  Have a schooner or a pint, and kick in a dollar toward your mate's novel.  Good on 'ya, mates (and hopefully a few mates of mates)!

So what value do an unknown author's words have?  The very question seems tantamount to asking if words have any value at all... but if you're reading this, they must have some value.  72 hours in, and I find this to be the very encouragement that I need to press onwards.


07/09/2012 09:47 AM
 More than just a fiction of science becoming reality

It seems amazing to me that Primae Noctis is finally on its way to gaining a proper, independent distribution and people that I don't even know are already beginning to back the project on Kickstarter. The technologies of self-promotion and the ability to connect with others that the Internet provides are truly amazing, especially when one considers how recent a development that most of them are.

The complexity of our digital connections can be so overwhelming at times, but it is truly a blessing for those of us who are seeking to share ideas and spread the word about our new creations. I am also finding time to probe deeper into the sociological aspects of this meta-connectedness, and have a sense that many people have been wondering for some time about what the next evolutionary step for the Internet might be.

One question that comes to mind is if the Internet will continue to be a thing that people are truly aware or conscious of as an entity? Might our increasing levels of connectedness eventually relegate the concept of Internet to the manner of an appliance or tool to the point where it isn't even named?  Could the Internet eventually become our all-encompassing state or nation, to which we pledge allegiance to and all consider ourselves citizens of?  Or could the freedom that we see before us turn sour and become a far more restrictive place that seeks to limit our connectedness rather than enhance it?

For the moment, having just achieved permanent residency in cyberspace and looking forward to achieving my own digital dreams, I'm very content to imagine the possibilities, just as an early arrival to New York in the early 20thcentury might have gazed upon the Statue of Liberty or the early skyscrapers of Manhattan.

For the first time in a long time, I again believe that anything is possible and that nothing is fiction.



Aimery was born in Los Angeles, California. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California, and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations (with honours) from the Australian National University. Throughout much of his education, Aimery worked nights as a nightclub disc jockey and later as a karaoke host.

Professionally, Aimery has worked on school reform efforts in the Los Angeles Unified School District, worked to liaise with the underrepresented ethnic communities of Los Angeles for the United States Census Bureau, worked several years in organizing performers for the Screen Actors Guild, and later worked on several independent film productions as a script supervisor and continuity specialist. He has written many screenplays and numerous short stories.

Aimery later moved into the fields of applied market and social research for business and government clients. He continues to perform freelance project work as a qualitative consultant in the fields of market and social research / business development in Sydney, Australia.