Friday, October 26, 2007

Telling You Where to Go

(on the web, that is.)

I have a number of links on my website, but here are some others which readers of Pam’s Pages just might enjoy. This list is almost as eclectic as I am.

For fans of horror, dark science fiction, dark fantasy, and poetry along those lines, you might find this spot worth your time: Aberrant Dreams is both a print magazine and a webzine.

Author and archivist Nina M. Osier has amassed quite a few reviews on her website. Science fiction is one of her main interests, but not the only one. I’ve found numerous titles which I have enjoyed on her list of reviews.

A few people may be so well-heeled that being careful with money isn’t necessary, but the rest of us want to make the most of what we have. Atlanta radio show host Clark Howard helps with that more than any other media resource. To “save more, spend less, and avoid being ripped off” take a look at his site. Visitors will find lots of help in Clark’s Greatest Hits, but I prefer the show notes.

At a loss for words? Readers will find many quotes, famous and not-so-famous here:

The professor on Gilligan’s Island seemed to know how everything worked. I’ll never have his knowledge, but I think even he might have learned something at How Stuff Works, a site which is fun to research or just browse. Recent front page articles included “How Nanotechnology Works,” “How the U. S. Postal Service Works,” and “How Mummies Work” which must be a Halloween favorite.

Like to read? Do you like to stretch your brain with an occasional quiz? Then visit First Lines, a collection of opening lines from books in various genres. “Venice Dylenski had measured the possibility of losing hold on that transient state that human beings call life more than once, but at the moment she couldn’t recall a more painful experience” is the first line of my science fiction novel, Trinity on Tylos. It isn’t featured in the quiz just yet, but I’m sure they’ll add it with the next site update.

Now you have some places to go, but do come back to Pam’s Pages for more-or-less weekly entries on who knows what.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Water Woes

In the opening chapters of Trinity on Tylos, the main character, Venice Dylenski, discusses the frustrating matter of finding the right planetary home for the human colonists onboard the Excalibur. She states,“It just remains to find the right balance of land and water. I’m beginning to understand that it’s not air that is precious, it’s water.”

When I wrote those words, I was looking ahead toward the middle portion of the book, when the characters are on the planet Tylos, a rocky-red planet with limited water, but enough. The inhabitants just have to manage that precious resource responsibly. I didn’t view her words as prophetic, but perhaps I should have.

I live in a section of Georgia which used to be rural, with small rivers and streams meandering through woods and pastures. For “city water” folks here would dam up a creek or river and create a pond as a reservoir. Anyone outside of those areas would dig a well and use the ground water. Occasionally a well would go dry, necessitating digging a bit deeper or in a different spot, but most folks had plenty of land and therefore enough water.

Then came our new neighbors. Lots of ’em. The water resources in northern Georgia are no longer sufficient to meet the needs of the population. Oh, we’ve had a drought, but if it rained every week, we’d still have water woes. We haven’t balanced the use of the land with the water available. Leaders here seem baffled, but a look at a map of our country shows that a few decades back, there was much better balance. Large population centers and industry were clustered around the Great Lakes, beside the mighty Mississippi, or on the coast. The idea of using a river the size of the Chattahoochee for both industrial use and for a multimillion population center would have caused leaders fifty years ago to smile knowingly. That stream just isn’t big enough, even when dammed up to create Lake Lanier.

Venice manages to solve the water woes on Tylos, but that’s fiction. Any problem that crops up in a novel can be solved by the inventive mind of the author. Alas, it isn’t so easy in the real world.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

A New Print Review of Trinity on Tylos

Readers in Jackson County have come to know Living Jackson Magazine as a classy, professionally produced periodical which serves as a guide to a fascinating and fast growing area of Georgia. The September/October issue of Living Jackson features a full page review of Trinity on Tylos, a science fiction adventure, by Pamela J. Dodd, a native of Jackson County. (Yes, that is yours truly.)

Reviewer and fellow author Malcolm Campbell states, "In her very readable novel, Dodd gives us a strong female progagonist whose journey to the forbidding planet of Tylos is more than a trip through space. It's also an inner journey, one in which Venice will learn if she has what it takes to be more than a mere survivor."

The full review is found in Living Jackson, and archived articles can be found at My previous novel, The Gift Horse, was reviewed in the debut issue of Living Jackson and can be found in those archives.

I've received a great deal of local support for my writing, including opportunities to speak at various functions and many local customers for my books. Campbell's insightful review is a welcome addition to that support. Thanks to Malcolm Campbell and Roxane Rose, the publisher of Living Jackson.

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Gloom and Doom

Once, at an English conference, I saw a session devoted to favorite science fiction authors and themes and gladly joined it, thinking I might enjoy a session beyond the best way to teach writing. It was led by a college professor, who promptly began a discussion about how SF sounds the warning bells for what is wrong with society. Most of the participants seemed to be current or former students of this prof, and they all brought up books and stories with dystopia as the theme— such as Brave New World or 1984. I sat there, thinking that is not the only vision of the future. I brought up space operas such as Star Trek and Star Wars, which postulate that mankind will conquer space just as he has conquered other obstacles, and learn by so doing, and they scoffed. Oh, not out loud, but you could see it in their eyes. The only possible future postulated by serious minds is bleak indeed.

Yesterday, I read an article in the Wall Street Journal online which postulates that the world is becoming a better place. I tend to agree with that assertion. There will be problems, some serious, some not so serious, as long as humans exist. However, the world is still a beautiful gift, and people can help each other, and some will even profit by so doing.

My family would never call me an optimist, but as I grow older, I see many reasons to be optimistic about the future of humanity.

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