Category: Melodee’s Books

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Melodee Has Dreams — Some Pretty Damned Strange Dreams

 

 

Dreams are funny things.

I once took a class in dream analysis—not one the silly new-age sort of things…this was a real class at a real university taught by a man who had enough doctorate degrees that his name on his office door looked like a can of alphabet soup. He reminded me a little of what I think Sigmund Freud would have been like. Anyway…

In the first ten minutes of the very first class session, he told us that, “Ninety-nine point nine-nine-nine percent of all dreams don’t mean a thing. Think of dreaming as being a rather inept motion picture director with an unlimited special effects budget and you’ll have the idea. We’re here to talk about the other one one-thousandth of one percent of dreams.”

Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s because dreams are funny things, but I have always had some funny dreams. Some have been hilariously funny. Some have been funny only because it’s easier to laugh than to cry. Some have been funny in the rubber room and white coat that ties in the back sort of way. And a few have been funny in that nervous laugh that scares the hell out you manner.

A number of years ago, I had a recurring dream that was pretty bizarre…I would ride around the country on a Honda Trail 70 motorcycle (minibike, actually) pulling a forty-foot semi trailer behind me full of WWI vintage British Lee-Enfield rifles. I stopped in the parking lots of Wal-Mart stores around the country and sold the rifles from the trailer.

I told you it was bizarre. And I defy anyone to assign any special meaning to any of that.

When I was little, I had another recurring dream that I was on a train. It was an old style steam engine type of train with big wheels and pistons driving them. The cars of the train were like the ones you see in movies with windows that slid up and down, and big bench seats covered in red velvet. I was the only kid on the train, and all of the adults were big bullfrogs that walked upright. None of the frogs spoke, but instead they used sign language, just as I did. The frogs never tried to hurt me, and they were all polite in the traditional Victorian sort of way. At first I was afraid of the frogs, but then I started to like them. Eventually, a group of frogs and I had tea and cakes as we rode across country.

Go figure.

I have a good number of erotic dreams, too. Some are clearly connected to reality and involve people I know—in the Biblical sense. Others are more common…

When I’m working on a book, I often have erotic dreams involving the characters. When I was working on The Polyamorous Princess, Harry, Allie, Damon, and I had more than a few pretty intense episodes. Sometimes it was just me and one of the characters. Other times it was me with two or more of them. And a few times I was just an observer as the others carried on.

I have precious few inhibitions when it comes to sex, probably a lot less than most people, but like everyone, in a dream state, I have none what-so-ever. Pretty much anything you can imagine goes. Actually, some things you can’t imagine go—like the dream when I was with seven men at the same time. I’ll let you figure out the details on how that worked.

One thing I have found in my erotic dreams is that they tend not to involve ménage sex. I’m not saying that the dreams don’t involve multiple partners, because they often do. I’m saying there is always a love component to the dreams. The number and gender of my partners in the dreams don’t matter too much.

Don’t get me wrong…I love the feel of a man, his hands and skin against my body and the taste of his body as we make love are delightfully wonderful. Sorry, guys, but most men don’t know how to really please me, but I have yet to find a man who couldn’t be taught. You are capable of learning! Once a man knows how to touch and kiss and lick just the right ways in just the right places, it’s amazing.

But I also love the sensations of making love with a woman. A woman knows how to please a woman. We already know just how to touch and caress the special places, how to trigger the shivers and shakes that drive a woman wild.

And when you combine a man and a woman into a polyamorous affair, a dream gets very intense. Or men. Or women.

Just remember that these dreams are not orgies. These are loving, polyamorous encounters.

Does the fact that I have dreams like that mean that I want to live a polyamorous life? I don’t know, but I don’t think that’s the case. I believe these dreams simply mean I like things a little wild once in a while. At least “wild” as defined by most people’s standards.

And maybe that’s what dreams are really all about…the ability to let go of the inhibitions and stresses of reality and live in a fantasy world. Sometimes, it’s good for us to just do what we want without the interferences of “right” and “wrong” and not to worry about the consequences of “proper” society.

As the father of dream analysis might have said, just let your id run free.

Keep Loving!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2016/10/12/melodee-has-dreams-some-pretty-damned-strange-dreams/

On The Road Again…

 

 

Hello, All!

Just so no one worries, I’ll be more or less unavailable from 03 OCT through 17 OCT 2016. I have set up the Two Hundred Word Tuesday (on Tuesdays…imagine that!) and Melodee’s Rules for Authors (on Fridays) as well as a couple of random blogs to post on the appropriate days while I’m away. While the various blog postings will happen as scheduled, email to the lists could possibly be an issue…if my PC here at the house should fail, the mails won’t go out unless someone on the IT staff notices and comes in to fix it.

Remember Melodee’s Rules for Authors #29 where I talk about the need to travel from time-to-time? Well, this is one of those times for me. I’ll be making an appearance and lecture tour throughout Europe, Asia, and Australia during that time. The schedule is tight enough that I really thank God for the Flying Winnebago so we don’t need to deal with hotels and such. The schedule is also so close that I likely won’t have time to process email, blog comments, or even social media too very much, if at all.

In short, I’ll pretty well be incommunicado those couple of weeks.

While the trip is for appearances, a few business meetings will be happening as well with some production companies. I really wish I could promote the “tour” a little here, but all of the appearances are for pen names, and the contracts prohibit making connections between any of the names.

But until 03 OCT, things will be normal and I’ll be here as usual.

Lastly, if anyone should have something they want me to get right away, please feel free to email me at melodeeaaron@gmail.com as I’ll have 7/24 access to that address, even when the plane is in flight.

Keep Loving!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2016/09/27/on-the-road-again/

The Melodee Aaron Special Collection Available NOW!

 

Drop by http://www.bookstrand.com/book/melodee-aaron-special-collection to grab your copy of the Melodee Aaron Special Collection today!

 

Get three of my best sellers in a boxed set for only $3.99!

 

Melodee Aarron Special Collection

 

Keep Loving!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2016/07/31/the-melodee-aaron-special-collection-available-now/

The Mind of the Hard SF Author

 

 

The mind of the hard science fiction author can be a strange place sometimes. It can also be an interesting place, to say the least.

But before we dig into what’s happening in the gray matter of the writer, let’s get some definitions out of the way…

People, readers and writers alike, often confuse science fiction and fantasy. In fact, the two are very different despite both being in the larger category of speculative fiction. To further add to the confusion, within SF you have both “hard” and “soft” subgenres. While not all-encompassing, the definitions given on Wikipedia are close enough for all practical purposes, at least until you get into the variations from one publisher to another or into the domains of highly specialized fandom.

Let’s look at each of the above…

 
FANTASY

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasy for the full Wikipedia article.

“Fantasy is a genre of fiction that uses magic or other supernatural elements as a main plot element, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic and magical creatures are common. Fantasy is generally distinguished from the genres of science fiction and horror by the expectation that it steers clear of scientific and macabre themes, respectively, though there is a great deal of overlap between the three, all of which are subgenres of speculative fiction.”

In other words, if there are dragons, wizards, witches, or were-whatevers, it’s fantasy. There may be some actual science as back-story, but even that is rare.

 
SOFT SCIENCE FICTION

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_science_fiction for the full Wikipedia article.

“Soft science fiction, or soft SF, is a category of science fiction that uses less probable or realistic science elements. It either (1) explores the “soft” sciences, and especially the social sciences (anthropology, sociology, psychology, political science, and so on), rather than engineering or the “hard” sciences (for example, physics, astronomy, or chemistry), or (2) is not scientifically accurate, or (3) both of the former. Soft science fiction of either type is often more concerned with character and speculative societies, rather than scientific or engineering speculations. It is the complement of hard science fiction. The term first appeared in the late 1970s.”

Soft SF need not be 100% accurate in its science and there is rarely any high technology or science playing a major role in the plot of the stories. Generally speaking, time travel stories will fall into the realm of soft SF.

There are some people who claim that any story that uses faster than light (FTL) travel or any form of teleportation is soft SF. Wrong. I’ll tell you why later on.

 
HARD SCIENCE FICTION

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_science_fiction for the full Wikipedia article.

“Hard science fiction is a category of science fiction characterized by an emphasis on scientific accuracy or technical detail or both. The term was first used in print in 1957 by P. Schuyler Miller in a review of John W. Campbell, Jr.’s Islands of Space in Astounding Science Fiction. The complementary term soft science fiction, formed by analogy to hard science fiction, first appeared in the late 1970s. The term is formed by analogy to the popular distinction between the “hard” (natural) and “soft” (social) sciences. Science fiction critic Gary Westfahl argues that neither term is part of a rigorous taxonomy; instead they are approximate ways of characterizing stories that reviewers and commentators have found useful.”

The major difference in hard and soft SF is the degree of adherence to scientific principles. For example, if the writer uses nothing in the story except relativity and/or quantum mechanics and treats them as facts, then having a FTL drive will be very difficult if not impossible. Oh…and that pesky conservation of energy thing will shoot all manner of holes in your main character teleporting to meet his dinner date. And to paraphrase Monty Python, “…time travel is right out…”

 

 

As I said, the Wikipedia articles are not 100% the way of things in the publishing world or even in the minds of the fans, but they are close enough for our needs here and have the benefit of being both easily accessible and easily understood.

One thing that is worth noting is that no matter what some authors may think or want to believe, just because THEY say their work is (for example) hard SF does not make it so. Like it or not, it is the publishers, critics, and readers who will decide that for you.

Anyway, on to what it’s like inside the noggin of a hard SF writer…

Most hard SF authors have degrees (usually post-graduate) in one of more of the hard sciences. They may also have other training in the soft sciences, but the majority don’t. The most common soft science degree held by hard SF writers is in psychology followed closely by sociology. A fair number of hard SF writers have actually worked in positions that most people would see as being “scientists”.

Have you ever spent any time having a casual conversation with a person who holds, let’s say, a doctorate in theoretical physics or math? Maybe you’ve attended a conference where such degreed scientists spoke on one topic or another. Either way, unless you too hold an advanced degree in the field or, perhaps, are a radical hobbyist with an interest in the particular subject, you probably felt one of two ways:

(1) The doctor was living (and thinking) in a world that you could only see glimpses of every now and then, or…

(2) The aforementioned doctor was trying to make you understand some item but was unable to put it into words that you (or another other “normal” person) could understand.

There is a third possible scenario as well, and that is you felt like the doctor was talking down to you. This usually isn’t the reality of the situation, though…the doctor is every bit as frustrated with their inability to get their point across as you are, and their passion tends to make them think that everyone should be as excited about the (typically) esoteric subject as they are.

The thing that makes many of these scientists turn to entertainment (and we writers are indeed in the entertainment business) is that they discover they have the ability to communicate complex scientific concepts to the non-scientist general population. As two well known examples of this I will offer Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Both Carl and Neil have long pedigrees as competent scientists and they also can make nearly anyone, regardless of their education and background, grasp things like general relativity. No small feat!

Then there are the full-time hard SF authors…

A good number decided that they could make more money writing than working in the scientific field. Others realized they could reach more people with the science by telling stories rather than staring through a telescope. Some reached the conclusion that academia is too competitive and political for their tastes. But regardless of the reason, they decided to write SF.

At its core, what is SF? The simple answer is that SF is, basically, fortune telling. We hard SF authors look at the state of the art in terms of scientific theories and try to see what the future might be like by operating within those limits.

It’s worth noting here that in many of the hard sciences like physics there are no firm facts. At least not yet. For example, the best descriptions we have for how the universe works are found in the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics. These are both fairly mature theories and have, for the most part, been able to predict things that we are still discovering. Like gravitational waves…relativity predicted them 100 years ago, but it’s only been in the last year or so that we had good enough hardware to actually see them.

Relativity deals with the universe on the scale of the very large. The combined theories of special and general relativity do a good job of describing the structure and behavior of big things like solar systems, galaxies, clusters, and even on to the entire universe. But when things get small, relativity fails us.

Quantum mechanics deals with the universe on the scale of the very small. When we talk about elementary particles like quarks and bosons, quantum mechanics does a good job. But for things much bigger than a small molecule, quantum mechanics breaks down.

And, just for fun, when we get close to the beginning of time (AKA the big bang), both relativity and quantum mechanics get goofy. In both theoretical structures, you literally end up trying to divide infinity by zero. Adding to this party atmosphere is the simple fact that quantum mechanics and relativity are, in many major areas, mutually exclusive and contradict each other.

It is this nagging condition that tells us that neither relativity nor quantum mechanics is actually correct. They are, instead, pieces of the bigger puzzle that theoretical physicists and mathematicians call the Grand Unification Theory (GUT) or the Theory of Everything.

This all means that even hard SF authors have a great deal of leeway in the theoretical structure they use as the basis of their stories. We don’t have to stick to just relativity and quantum mechanics to make things work…we can, and often do, use other theories as a framework.

Again, the training and/or experience of the writer is important. We must be able to defend our choice and use of a particular theory to do certain things.

For example, in most SF stories, FTL travel is nearly a requirement. Our characters must be able to move from one star system to another in reasonable times. Communications must be able to move between star systems fast enough to hold civilization together. And as an aside, instantaneous communications is just FTL travel using information instead of ships. Again, using quantum mechanics or relativity you may have a problem.

But other theories may help…I’m going to pick on just one of them.

M-Theory (formerly string theory) has a good number of the qualities that the GUT needs. It can, in some solutions, reconcile the issues with relativity and quantum mechanics. It can go back and make predictions about the instant of the big bang. A few solutions even push back to a point before the big bang. And, for a hard SF author, it is a gold mine…you can travel FTL and teleport! There are other theories that also offer these benefits, but many are still too immature to put much stock in just yet. M-Theory is becoming more mature and accepted every day.

Nearly all scientists accept relativity and quantum mechanics in general. No pun intended. The number who accept M-theory is much smaller. But it is gaining. Stephen Hawking has even said that M-theory “…may be the theory of everything, but we’re not yet bright enough to realize it…”

But M-theory is accepted enough to use as the framework of a hard SF story. But there is a problem today…

Many authors have, at best, only a tenuous grasp of M-theory. That is to say, they don’t understand the theory well enough to make use of it.

Personally, I think the problem is the multiple dimensional nature of M-theory. No, not like the four dimensions of relativity (length, width, depth, and time). In M-theory, you have either eleven or twelve dimensions to deal with. The exact number of dimensions is still fuzzy, and that’s one reason M-theory is still not universally accepted. Again, no pun intended. For my money, I like eleven.

A good number of people have trouble visualizing a three-dimensional object. Toss in the dimension of time (the proverbial space-time image) and maybe 30% of the people can visualize the object. (Remember, the dimension of time is at a right angle to the length, width, and depth of the object. All at once.) Now take that four-dimensional object and multiply it by three to get twelve dimensions. And remember that every dimension is geometrically at a right angle to ALL of the others.

Now draw a picture of that object. Hell, draw a picture of the object’s shadow! I can’t do it. Ed Witten can’t do it, either.

But I know it exists. I can “see” it in the equations. I can deduce it from its effect on things around it. And I can use it in stories to get my hero from Earth to Barnard’s Star in just under a week. All I have to do is charge up the hero and his ship to a few billion electron volts and tuck them up inside dimension G. No muss, no fuss.

This brief dissertation on seemingly competing theories (not actually the case, really) has a point…it shows you a little of the things that hard SF authors have rattling around in their bean. We have to take all of these things and make them the back-story for a book that will be entertaining for the reader. We also hope that the reader might just learn something, too.

When you add to this the inevitable society that particular technology will create (actually a range of possible societies) and the needed character development to go along with it, you begin to see the problems that come up in what we authors call “world building.”

For a wonderful treatment of how small changes in the assumptions for a single technology might impact society as detailed by one of the masters of hard SF, see Larry Niven’s Exercise In Speculation: The Theory and Practice of Teleportation.

 

 

So, has your head exploded yet? Or have you simply decided that writing hard SF isn’t something you care to try? Well, there is one more thing to think about if you want to give it a go…

The readers.

Hard SF is pretty much the ultimate niche market. Readers tend to fall into the general classification of geeks. They know a LOT about science. And they are outspoken when they think you’ve botched some element or another of the science in a story. And they are usually right. In short, screw up the science, and the hard SF readers will shred you faster than a pack of hungry hyenas.

The good news, more or less, is that it is a niche market. Hard SF books rarely sell more than 2-3 million copies in the first two years. If you write in other genres and are doing well there, you might be better off trying to increase your production and/or sales in that arena rather than jump into the shark-infested waters of hard SF.

 

 

The hard SF writer has a boatload of issues to deal with that other genres avoid. Oh…did I mention that the real hard SF publishers put your manuscript through scientific peer review just like the various academic journals to make sure the science is solid? About the closest genre to this level of scrutiny is real historical work, but even that is a far cry away.

I personally like hard SF. Then again I have doctorate degrees in both theoretical physics and theoretical math. I also have a masters in astrophysics. And I still get the science wrong sometimes. And I catch hell from the readers, too.

So, if you’re so inclined, dust off those science books, put on your shark suit, and come on in! The water’s fine!

Keep Loving!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2016/07/20/the-mind-of-the-hard-sf-author/

Coming Soon from Melodee Aaron

 

Coming soon…

 

Melodee Aarron Special Collection

Keep your eyes open!

 

Keep Loving!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2016/06/23/coming-soon-from-melodee-aaron/

The Immortal Love Universe

I get a lot of questions about the Immortal Love Universe™. Things like “when does the time-line start?”, “who lives there?”, and “how big is it?” are all common questions I get from readers. And there are a lot more.

The goal of this blog is to tell you a little more about the Immortal Love Universe™. This isn’t meant to be all-inclusive…it’s a big place. It’s a really big place.

One word of warning…if you haven’t read any of my works, much of this will lack context and not make any sense to you at all. For the sake of brevity, I have assumed that you are at least a little familiar with the stories now available.

I first used the name Immortal Love Universe™ way back in 2001. The Immortal Love Universe™ is the setting for many of my books. The list includes: For the Love of Payne, Desert Heat, The Polyamorous Princess, Knights of Desire, Burning Love, As Darkness Falls, and more than a dozen other works-in-progress. The difference is just when in the life of the universe that the stories take place. In general, the Ike Payne Adventures take place about 2,000 years before the Flights of Fancy stories. The Polyamorous Princess falls just before the Ike Payne Adventures.

But all of these stories take place many thousands of years after the time-line begins…and many billions of years before its end.

The Immortal Love Universe™ has two calendar systems, but they aren’t complicated to grasp. There are references in the above stories to a period called The Doom Time. This was a global nuclear war that very nearly destroyed humanity. The Doom Time ended in 2551 AD. At this point, a new calendar was started as year 0 (zero) GE (for Galactic Empire). In other words, 2551 AD and 0 GE are the same year in the universe.

With that explained, I can tell you that the Immortal Love Universe™ in its present state starts in 1950 AD with the birth of Stuart Dayton. As detailed above, in 2551 AD/0 GE the Doom Time came to an end. The Ike Payne Adventures happen about 4,300 years after the Doom Time. The Flights of Fancy stories are another 2,000 years along in around 6,300 GE.

Right now, there are no publicly available works in that 4,900 year span from 1950 AD through about 4,300 GE. They are in the pipe, though. There are some 11.5 million words of story waiting for me to edit and get ready for submission. In my mind, I see this huge story spanning at least twenty full novels. Some of the people you will meet and get to know better in those books you already know a little about. Jim and his four wives Janelle, Marilyn, Tanya, and Paige are all there. Admirals Claire and Zach Reeves are in those stories. Some of Ike’s ancestors are there, too. Stuart and Ann Dayton are prominent as well. You’ll even learn how the simulated humans Q and Rebecca came into being and how they grew into the remarkable “people” they are in the later books. And there are literally thousands of other characters who play both major and minor parts in the Immortal Love Universe™.

Then there is the future of the Immortal Love Universe™, the time-line beyond the Flights of Fancy series. In a nutshell, the future history goes forward more than 15-billion years. Yes, I said billion. There isn’t much more than ideas in my head for that future right now.

If the Immortal Love Universe™ is big in terms of time, it is even bigger in the domain of space. As the name implies, the Immortal Love Universe™ spans the entire universe. But this concept gets a little complicated.

Really, I don’t want to get into a lesson in theoretical physics here. I don’t, but I need to tell you a little bit about the physical underpinnings of the Immortal Love Universe™ so you can grasp the immensity of what we’re dealing with.

Most of you are at least casually familiar with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Some of you may have an inkling of the theory of Quantum Mechanics. These two theories define the universe as we currently understand it. In loose terms, Relativity deals with things on a very large scale and Quantum Mechanics deals with the very small. When we try to combine the two theories into a single, unified view, we find they are mutually exclusive in many areas.

It is this unified theory that physics is obsessed with finding. We even have a name for it: The Grand Unification Theory (or simply GUT). We know some of the things the GUT must predict and explain. So far, however, we haven’t been smart enough to find it.

Maybe…

A few years ago, a new idea came along called String Theory. After some growing pains and being discarded and resurrected several times, a new view came into being. This new theory was so different from the original String Theory—and from Relativity and Quantum Mechanics for that matter—that it was given a new name: M-Theory.

M-Theory is still evolving, and not all physicists accept it at all, but the fact is that it has so many of the attributes of the GUT that we know will be needed to be a true theory of everything that we can’t afford to totally dismiss the idea.

Depending on how you solve the equations, M-Theory has either ten or eleven dimensions. For our purposes, it doesn’t matter because either way allows for the concept of more than one universe.

No, not parallel universes ala so many science fiction stories from over the years. I mean real, totally isolated and unrelated universes. But the multi-dimensional nature of M-Theory also allows for us to move energy from one universe to another if we are very careful. We have to be careful because what we see as the Big Bang was the touching of two such universes. The result of such touching would be a total conversion of mass to energy. And when you convert all the mass in two entire universes into energy, the release is staggering.

OK, I’m done with the physics lesson now.

All of this leads to the fact that the Immortal Love Universe™ is actually made up of many different universes. Not only does it cover our universe, but many others at the same time.

I told you the Immortal Love Universe™ is really big.

Almost all of the technology in the Immortal Love Universe™ is based on M-Theory. That’s why Boone and the other ships can travel faster than light, the cosmic speed limit imposed by Relativity and implied by Quantum Mechanics. This is also how the transporters work. I could go on, but I’ll end up in another physics lesson, and neither you nor I want that to happen.

Some aspects of the Immortal Love Universe™ have been borrowed from stories by authors I consider to be my betters in the realm of hard science fiction. Some of these borrowed facets are in the form of various aliens. In several stories, I mention “Bandersnatch” and “Moties”, creatures created by Larry Niven. There are others that avid readers of hard SF will recognize.

One big thing I borrowed for the Immortal Love Universe™ is a creation of—in my opinion—the Master…in his stories of the Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov created a science he called “Psychohistory”. Using psychohistory, Hari Sheldon was able to predict the fall of the galactic empire and saw a way to save humanity from many thousands of years of chaos. Many characters in the Immortal Love Universe™—mostly Stuart and Ann Dayton, Marilyn, and Tanya—use psychohistory to understand, guide, and to a large degree control the Immortal Love Universe™.

Other things are borrowed from various aspects of more mundane life. Throughout the history of the Immortal Love Universe™ the Masons and Eastern Star play a role. Several of today’s major religions including Catholicism, Islam, Later Day Saints (once again calling themselves Mormons), and others all play a role. And then there is the music…

The one question I get asked most often by readers, editors, and publishers alike is why the nightclubs on the ships in the Immortal Love Universe™ all play music from the mid-twentieth century. The answer is actually pretty simple: Stuart Dayton designed and built many of the ships, and he was born in 1950 AD. He grew up with the early days of rock and roll, and he still likes the music, despite being more than 4,000 years old.

Once we get past all of the time, space, technology, science, secret societies, religions, and music, we are left with the main underlying current of the Immortal Love Universe™…

Love

While hinted at in the stories now available, the personification of the love in the universe can be found between Jim and Marilyn. It’s often mentioned that of his four wives, Marilyn is Jim’s favorite. Janelle, Tanya, and Paige all know this, as does almost everyone else around them. There is a special link between these two, and it shows. I wish I could tell you that this was something I, as the author, planned from the beginning, but I can’t. It just sort of happened that way.

My characters often become so real that they do what they want to do, not what I tell them to do.

The relationship between Jim, Marilyn, Janelle, Paige, and Tanya is the foundation of the polyamory that runs through the Immortal Love Universe™. I have always hated the term “ménage” when applied to romance. In my own mind, ménage is simple three (or more) way sex. I much prefer polyamory because this—again in my mind—means a loving, devoted, and caring relationship between more than two people. And note that gender has no value in this equation. Jim has four wives. In The Polyamorous Princess, Allison has two husbands. Jim has children (not yet in any published work) that are gay/lesbian and in polyamorous relationships. So what? The key is that Jim and his wives all love each other. Allie and her husbands all love each other. And as always, sex is a part of that love. The gender doesn’t matter.

Every so often, someone will pester me to document all of the details of the Immortal Love Universe™. I have actually started that project several times only to give up after a while. The idea these well-meaning people have is that I could make this document available to other authors as a framework for them to write their own stories within. This is not a new idea, however. Larry Niven has done this with his Known Space Universe in the form of the Man-Kzin Wars series. I don’t know how much money he makes off the licensing fees, but I suspect it’s not bad.

The problem for me with the Immortal Love Universe™ is that it’s so bloody big. I have more than 500,000 pages of notes on the place and people and society. No one else can even begin to understand my random thoughts there and make any sense of them at all. I seriously doubt I will live long enough to get all of that into something that another could read and understand.

In other words, there will probably never be such a document.

So there you have it…a brief outline of the Immortal Love Universe™.

In the current Ike Payne Adventures and Flights of Fancy series, there are three books now in the pipe at various stages of completion. I have rough notes on five more right now. I’m sure more will come to me.

As I mentioned above, the early history will probably be another twenty or more novels, and what I have now ends about 1,000 years before Ike Payne is born. That means there is plenty more to tell about that period. And I haven’t really thought about what happens in the billions of years after Flights of Fancy other than the very end of the Immortal Love Universe™.

Now all I have to do is actually get the time to write them.

Keep Loving!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2015/06/01/the-immortal-love-universe-2/

Menage and Polyamory

 

Ever wonder about ménage and polyamory?

No, they are not the same things!

Drop by Lisabet Sarai’s site where I’ll be doing a quest blog on Wednesday October 30, 2013.

Just go to: http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2013/10/menage-versus-polyamory.html

And you never know…you just might win something, too!

Hope to see you there!

Keep Loving!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2013/10/29/menage-and-polyamory/

All About the Immortal Love Universe™

 

I get a lot of questions about the Immortal Love Universe™. Things like “when does the timeline start?”, “who lives there?”, and “how big is it?” are all common questions I get from readers. And there are a lot more.

The goal of this blog is to tell you a little more about the Immortal Love Universe™. This isn’t meant to be all-inclusive…it’s a big place. It’s a really big place.

One word of warning…if you haven’t read any of my works, much of this will lack context and not make any sense to you at all. For the sake of brevity, I have assumed that you are at least a little familiar with the stories now available.

I first used the name Immortal Love Universe™ way back in 2001. The Immortal Love Universe™ is the setting for many of my books. The list includes: For the Love of Payne, Desert Heat, The Polyamorous Princess, Knights of Desire, Burning Love, As Darkness Falls, and more than a dozen other works-in-progress. The difference is just when in the life of the universe that the stories take place. In general, the Ike Payne Adventures take place about 2,000 years before the Flights of Fancy stories. The Polyamorous Princess falls just before the Ike Payne Adventures.

But all of these stories take place many thousands of years after the timeline begins…and many billions of years before its end.

The Immortal Love Universe™ has two calendar systems, but they aren’t complicated to grasp. There are references in the above stories to a period called The Doom Time. This was a global nuclear war that very nearly destroyed humanity. The Doom Time ended in 2551 AD. At this point, a new calendar was started as year 0 (zero) GE (for Galactic Empire). In other words, 2551 AD and 0 GE are the same year in the universe.

With that explained, I can tell you that the Immortal Love Universe™ in its present state starts in 1950 AD with the birth of Stuart Dayton. As detailed above, in 2551 AD/0 GE the Doom Time came to an end. The Ike Payne Adventures happen about 4,300 years after the Doom Time. The Flights of Fancy stories are another 2,000 years along in around 6,300 GE.

Right now, there are no publically available works in that 4,900 year span from 1950 AD through about 4,300 GE. They are in the works, though. There are some 4.5 million words of story waiting for me to edit and get ready for submission. In my mind, I see this huge story spanning at least twenty full novels. Some of the people you will meet and get to know better in those books you already know a little about. Jim and his four wives Janelle, Marilyn, Tanya, and Paige are all there. Admirals Claire and Zach Reeves are in those stories. Some of Ike’s ancestors are there, too. Stuart and Ann Dayton are prominent as well. You’ll even learn how the simulated humans Q and Rebecca came into being and how they grew into the remarkable “people” they are in the later books. And there are literally thousands of other characters who play both major and minor parts in the Immortal Love Universe™.

Then there is the future of the Immortal Love Universe™, the timeline beyond the Flights of Fancy series. In a nutshell, the future history goes forward more than 15-billion years. Yes, I said billion. There isn’t much more than ideas in my head for that future right now.

If the Immortal Love Universe™ is big in terms of time, it is even bigger in the domain of space. As the name implies, the Immortal Love Universe™ spans the entire universe. But this concept gets a little complicated.

Really, I don’t want to get into a lesson in theoretical physics here. I don’t, but I need to tell you a little bit about the physical underpinnings of the Immortal Love Universe™ so you can grasp the immensity of what we’re dealing with.

Most of you are at least casually familiar with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Some of you may have an inkling of the theory of Quantum Mechanics. These two theories define the universe as we currently understand it. In loose terms, Relativity deals with things on a very large scale and Quantum Mechanics deals with the very small. When we try to combine the two theories into a single, unified view, we find they are mutually exclusive in many areas.

It is this unified theory that physics is obsessed with finding. We even have a name for it: The Grand Unification Theory (or simply GUT). We know some of the things the GUT must predict and explain. So far, however, we haven’t been smart enough to find it.

Maybe…

A few years ago, a new idea came along called String Theory. After some growing pains and being discarded and resurrected several times, a new view came into being. This new theory was so different from the original String Theory—and from Relativity and Quantum Mechanics for that matter—that it was given a new name: M-Theory.

M-Theory is still evolving, and not all physicists accept it at all, but the fact is that it has so many of the attributes of the GUT that we know will be needed to be a true theory of everything that we can’t afford to totally dismiss the idea.

Depending on how you solve the equations, M-Theory has either ten or eleven dimensions. For our purposes, it doesn’t matter because either way allows for the concept of more than one universe.

No, not parallel universes ala so many science fiction stories from over the years. I mean real, totally isolated and unrelated universes. But the multi-dimensional nature of M-Theory also allows for us to move energy from one universe to another if we are very careful. We have to be careful because what we see as the Big Bang was the touching of two such universes. The result of such touching would be a total conversion of mass to energy. And when you convert all the mass in two entire universes into energy, the release is staggering.

OK, I’m done with the physics lesson now.

All of this leads to the fact that the Immortal Love Universe™ is actually made up of many different universes. Not only does it cover our universe, but many others at the same time.

I told you the Immortal Love Universe™ is really big.

Almost all of the technology in the Immortal Love Universe™ is based on M-Theory. That’s why Boone and the other ships can travel faster than light, the cosmic speed limit imposed by Relativity and implied by Quantum Mechanics. This is also how the transporters work. I could go on, but I’ll end up in another physics lesson, and neither you nor I want that to happen.

Some aspects of the Immortal Love Universe™ have been borrowed from stories by authors I consider to be my betters in the realm of hard science fiction. Some of these borrowed facets are in the form of various aliens. In several stories, I mention “Bandersnatch” and “Moties”, creatures created by Larry Niven. There are others that avid readers of hard SF will recognize.

One big thing I borrowed for the Immortal Love Universe™ is a creation of—in my opinion—the Master…in his stories of the Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov created a science he called “Psychohistory”. Using psychohistory, Hari Sheldon was able to predict the fall of the galactic empire and saw a way to save humanity from many thousands of years of chaos. Many characters in the Immortal Love Universe™—mostly Stuart and Ann Dayton, Marilyn, and Tanya—use psychohistory to understand, guide, and to a large degree control the Immortal Love Universe™.

Other things are borrowed from various aspects of more mundane life. Throughout the history of the Immortal Love Universe™ the Masons and Eastern Star play a role. Several of today’s major religions including Catholicism, Islam, Later Day Saints (once again calling themselves Mormons), and others all play a role. And then there is the music…

The one question I get asked most often by readers, editors, and publishers alike is why the nightclubs on the ships in the Immortal Love Universe™ all play music from the mid-twentieth century. The answer is actually pretty simple: Stuart Dayton designed and built many of the ships, and he was born in 1950 AD. He grew up with the early days of rock and roll, and he still likes the music, despite being more than 4,000 years old.

Once we get past all of the time, space, technology, science, secret societies, religions, and music, we are left with the main underlying current of the Immortal Love Universe™…

Love

While hinted at in the stories now available, the personification of the love in the universe can be found between Jim and Marilyn. It’s often mentioned that of his four wives, Marilyn is Jim’s favorite. Janelle, Tanya, and Paige all know this, as does almost everyone else around them. There is a special link between these two, and it shows. I wish I could tell you that this was something I, as the author, planned from the beginning, but I can’t. It just sort of happened that way.

My characters often become so real that they do what they want to do, not what I tell them to do.

The relationship between Jim, Marilyn, Janelle, Paige, and Tanya is the foundation of the polyamory that runs through the Immortal Love Universe™. I have always hated the term “ménage” when applied to romance. In my own mind, ménage is simple three (or more) way sex. I much prefer polyamory because this—again in my mind—means a loving, devoted, and caring relationship between more than two people. And note that gender has no value in this equation. Jim has four wives. In The Polyamorous Princess, Allison has two husbands. Jim has children (not yet in any published work) that are gay/lesbian and in polyamorous relationships. So what? The key is that Jim and his wives all love each other. Allie and her husbands all love each other. And as always, sex is a part of that love. The gender doesn’t matter.

Every so often, someone will pester me to document all of the details of the Immortal Love Universe™. I have actually started that project several times only to give up after a while. The idea these well-meaning people have is that I could make this document available to other authors as a framework for them to write their own stories within. This is not a new idea, however. Larry Niven has done this with his Known Space Universe in the form of the Man-Kzin Wars series. I don’t know how much money he makes off the licensing fees, but I suspect it’s not bad.

The problem for me with the Immortal Love Universe™ is that it’s so bloody big. I have more than 500,000 pages of notes on the place and people and society. No one else can even begin to understand my random thoughts there and make any sense of them at all. I seriously doubt I will live long enough to get all of that into something that another could read and understand.

In other words, there will probably never be such a document.

So there you have it…a brief outline of the Immortal Love Universe™.

In the current Ike Payne Adventures and Flights of Fancy series, there are four books now in the pipe at various stages of completion. I have rough notes on five more right now. I’m sure more will come to me.

As I mentioned above, the early history will probably be another twenty or more novels, and what I have now ends about 1,000 years before Ike Payne is born. That means there is plenty more to tell about that period. And I haven’t really thought about what happens in the billions of years after Flights of Fancy other than the very end of the Immortal Love Universe™.

Now all I have to do is actually get the time to write them.

Keep Loving!

Melodee

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2013/08/08/all-about-the-immoral-love-universe/

Melodee Wants to Know — What About Planetary Life?

 

What about planetary life?

Anyone who writes science fiction—particularly “hard” SF—has to deal with this issue. The fact is, especially in hard SF, this can take many forms…more on that in a minute.

This article discusses a real-world (in this case Mars) situation: http://news.yahoo.com/mars-life-search-hindered-planetary-protection-concerns-scientists-112342935.html and there are concerns we need to address. Do we risk contaminating Mars with Earthly organisms in order to advance our understanding of the planet? Or do we cripple our exploration to protect either the pristine Martian environment or existing Martian life?

But let’s look at these issues from the point of view of an author building a universe…

Just as one example that pretty much everyone will know (as opposed to pulling out some possibly obscure SF references), Star Trek had the Prime Directive. In a nutshell, this directive prevented Kirk (and presumably the rest of Star Fleet) from doing anything to interfere with developing civilizations. And yes, that is exactly what we are talking about. After all, if you infect an entire planet with the rhinovirus and the population has no immunity and they all die, isn’t that interfering with their development?

In my Immortal Love Universe™ (the setting for all of my books with Siren/BookStrand) the issue of protecting existing life has been hinted at but not directly addressed in the released stories. All of the current works take place very far in the future, so there are few pristine planets left for such first contact. In the Flights of Fancy series, there are first contacts with existing civilizations, but the attitude of the Empire is that interference is sometimes needed. The problem is that the Immortal Love Universe™ starts in about 1950 AD and runs for about 22 billion years. No, that’s not a typo. Billion. There’s plenty of room and time for expansion of these details.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t expand this idea just a little. The same concept applies to contact between any two differing cultures…say Native Americans and Europeans. Yeah…that went well.

Anyway…

I really have several questions for those reading this…

For readers and authors alike, what should we do about Mars? How much science do we sacrifice to protect the Martian environment, or, how much of the Martian environment do we sacrifice for the sake of science?

For readers only, how should an author handle this in a story (or group of stories)? Do you even care?

And lastly, for authors, how do you deal with the concept in the tales you spin?

What say you?

Keep Loving!

Melodee

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2013/07/21/melodee-wants-to-know-what-about-planetary-life/

Say What?

 

So, what’s with all the letters?

If you’re new to erotica or erotica romance, sometimes the “code” used by the publishers and authors can be a little confusing. Just as an example, my January 2013 release As Darkness Falls (Flights of Fancy 3) carries the mystic code of:

M/M/F/F, with F/F

To use another code, WTF does that mean??

Let me ‘splain somethin’ to you, Lucy…

The Ms and Fs are simply shorthand for Male and Female. It starts getting complicated because the order of the letters means something.

Here’s a simple one…M/F (sometimes just MF) means the story has one Male and one Female star. Pretty easy, right? It gets worse…

M/F/M (sometimes MFM) means there are two men and one woman. So does M/M/F, but these are different. In the M/F/M story, the trio may all have sex together, but there is no sexual contact between the two men. In the M/M/F variant, the trio is still together, but the men have sex with the woman and with each other. By the same token, there are F/M/F and F/F/M trios out there.

In other words, the placement of the letters means something. Usually…

The problem comes in when the group is larger than three. Using my story above as an example, there are two men and two women and they couple in every possible combination of two, three, and four. This means that the story has elements of M/F, M/M/F, M/F/M, F/F/M, F/M/F, M/F/M/F, M/F/F/M, F/M/M/F, M/M, and F/F. I probably missed a few in there, too.

As a general rule, if the letters are next to each other, you have people of the represented gender having sex.

The idea is to give a potential reader a bit of a warning. If you are a man and you want no part of reading about two men having sex, you should avoid books with M/M in the description. On the other hand, if you are a man and want to read about two women having sex, you should look for books with F/F in the string of letters.

Oh, and as an aside…guys, never EVER think that we girls don’t find the idea of an M/F/M or M/M/F threesome as exciting as you find an F/M/F or F/F/M three ways. We do. Whether we will admit it to someone or not, the idea of two men at the same time is pretty hot.

Anyway…

Now you know what all of the funny letters mean, at least as well as anyone does.

For As Darkness Falls, the code of M/M/F/F, with F/F means there are two women, two men, and everyone has sex with everyone else in all combinations.

One final word of caution, though…the exact use of the letters may vary a bit from one publisher and author to another. Generally speaking, most are fairly consistent within their own scope.

Keep Loving!

Melodee

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2013/01/19/say-what/