Monday, May 31, 2010

Are We Alone for 05/31/10 - Cell! Cell!

Image for Are We Alone weekly radio show
Are We Alone - Cell! Cell!

Live forever? Both cancer cells and stem cells can make a claim to immortality. Left unchecked, tumors will grow indefinitely. And stem cells offer the promise of non-stop rejuvenation.

We’ll find out whether the surprising discovery of stem cells in the brain really can keep our thinking organ young. And we’ll hear the remarkable story of Henrietta Lacks, the woman who unwittingly donated tissue to science in 1951, and whose cancer cells are still grown in laboratories around the world today.



You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fun news from Jeff - 05/30/2010

The following is posted on behalf of Jeff Carlson:

Okay, it's official at last.  I have a shiny new blog at and don't expect to be changing this url again now that I've jumped ship from Blogger and Blogspot to Wordpress.
As part of the new launch, we've posted a new "director's cut" version of the book trailer.
I've also got some more fun news from overseas, and we hope to have a big meaty announcement about the new book within the next week.  Or two.  The wheels in publishing always turn at glacial speeds.
In the meantime, please come on by, kick the tires and see what you think!

eBook editions of Children of the Star now available in more formats

The follow is posted on behalf of Sylvia Engdahl:

This is to let you know that the three novels of my Children of the Star trilogy are now available from me in all the common formats: EPUB, PDB, PDF, MOBI and LRF (in addition to the Amazon Kindle editions that have been available since 2008).  EPUB is what you need for the Barnes & Noble Nook and the Apple iPad, among others.  If you are not familiar with the formats, I now have a page describing which devices they work with and links for downloading free software for reading them on your PC or Mac -- it's at  You can order the ebooks at

My novels Stewards of the Flame and Promise of the Flame are also available in all these formats, as previously announced, and can be ordered at  (These two are not intended for YA readers.)

All the ebooks are free of DRM (Digital Rights Management) which means you can read them on whatever compatible devices (and/or with any compatible computer software) that you have, now or in the future.  They are priced at $4.99 for the Children of the Star books and $6.99 for the Flame Series books, with a 20% discount if you buy them from me.  They're now also at Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Smashwords, among other outlets; but those editions were produced by automation so although the text is identical, they aren't quite as well formatted as the ones I produced manually.  The PDB editions are available only from me because my novels require italics, which most automated PDB converters cannot not reproduce.

If you aren't reading ebooks yet, you don't know what you're missing! They aren't just for reading on phones or other small devices. Personally I find them much easier on my eyes than paper (even for my own books!) because the font can be enlarged to any size I want. Many people read ebooks on their desktop or laptop computers, but for fiction, when I want to relax in a comfortable chair, I use a netbook computer that rests on the arm. I chose this over an ereader such as the Kindle, Nook or iPad because I also want to write in a comfortable chair, and to have my books, photos and music all in one place. But the dedicated readers are great for people who want to read while away from home.

Of course, I am still offering the print editions.  In case you didn't receive my last email, a new print edition of This Star Shall Abide (aka Heritage of the Star) was published in January and can be ordered on the same page as the ebook edition, or at  It will not be available from other booksellers.  The price is $10.95, with a 20% discount and free U.S. shipping if you order it from me.  Several teachers have ordered copies for class use; I give a 50% discount to schools and libraries.

And I still have copies of my other YA books available at sale prices, which you can order at  I need to clear some of the boxes out from under my bed!

Happy reading,


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Are We Alone for 05/24/10 - Life of Brain

Image for Are We Alone weekly radio show
Are We Alone - Life of Brain

ENCORE We should award frequent travel miles to your brain. After all, it’s evolved a long way from the days of guiding brachiation from tree-to-tree to become the three pounds of web-surfing, Sudoku-playing powerhouse it is today. But a suite of technologies may expand human brains further still.

From smart pills to nano-wires: discover the potential – and peril – of neuro-engineering to repair and enhance our cognitive function.

Also, how our brains got so big in the first place: a defense of the modern diet.



You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jeff Carlson’s Plague Zone sells in Czech Republic

Posted on behalf of Jeff Carlson:

Jeff Carlson’s Plague Zone sells in Czech Republic

This week, leading Czech publisher BBArt bought the third title in Jeff Carlson’s international bestselling Plague Year trilogy.  Last summer, BBArt won the first two titles in auction.  Evidently they’re doing well with their translation of “Rok Pandemie,” which debuted this February. 

“You couldn’t ask for better marketing,” Carlson said of the Czech edition, which BBArt is promoting as a mainstream science thriller alongside offerings from Dean Koontz, Clive Clusser and James Rollins.  “I’m excited to see the trilogy come to completion in this country, and I hope to continue working with BBArt.”

Here in the U.S., the second novel in Carlson’s trilogy, Plague War, was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award, while the third title, Plague Zone, was Ace/Penguin’s lead paperback in December 2009 and received front-of-store displays in Barnes & Noble and other chains.
To date, the Plague Year novels have also sold in Germany, France, Romania, and Spain, where “La Plaga quickly became a bestseller as Minotauro’s lead hardcover in September 2008.  

Plague Year is also available as an audiobook from Recorded Books and  Film rights were optioned by award-winning producer James McNally of Seven Seas Jim.
Readers can find free excerpts of the trilogy on Carlson’s web site at along with tour dates, videos, contests, and more, including a trivia challenge in which winners will be allowed to name a character after themselves or a friend in one of his upcoming novels.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Are We Alone for 05/17/10 - Skeptic Check: Fraudcast News

Image for Are We Alone weekly radio show
Are We Alone - Skeptic Check: Fraudcast News

There are a lot of scientific claims out there – how do you separate the good from the bad and the outright fraudulent? Experts failed to do so for years in the case of a physicist whose published papers claimed the invention of a new bio-based transistor. Plus, other stories of deceit – such as the scientist who stooped to coloring mouse fur with markers.

Also, why climate science is solid, but its scientists need to be more open with the public.

And, from the undersea “bloop” to the Denver airport conspiracy theory. Why urban myths are so popular.

Plus, Phil Plait describes someone’s plans to meditate away the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

It’s Skeptic Check… but don’t take our word for it!


You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Flash Fiction updates for May. 10, 2010

Here are the latest stories and news from
Have a great read!

Spooky Doofus News For May. 10, 2010

Spooky Doofus Web Comic
Here is the latest news from the gouls over at Marc Lapierre's web comic Spooky Doofus:
Have a howling good time with Landon and friends.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Are We Alone for 05/10/10 - Alien Invasion

Image for Are We Alone weekly radio show
Are We Alone - Alien Invasion

They’re heeeere! Yes, aliens are wreaking havoc and destruction throughout the land. But these aliens are Arizona beetles, and the land is in California, where the invasive insects are a serious problem.

And what of space-faring aliens? We have those too: how to find them, and how to protect our planet – and theirs.

From Hollywood to SETI’s hi-tech search for extraterrestrials, aliens are invading Are We Alone?



You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Apex Magazine May released; DARK FAITH released

Posted on behalf of Jason Sizemore - Apex Publishing:

Two bits of important news.

1) Apex Magazine has released it's May issue. This issue features Paul Jessup and Jerry Gordon. Can be found here:

2) DARK FAITH has been released. This is our anthology of dark fantasy and horror examining spirituality, faith, and gender issues. Features Catherynne M. Valente, Jay Lake, Ekaterina Sedia, Brian Keene, Gary A. Braunbeck, Mary Robinette Kowal, Tom Piccirilli and many others:

Apex Book Company - Dark SF, Fantasy, and Horror

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Are We Alone for 05/03/10 - Robots Call the Shots

Image for Are We Alone weekly radio show
Are We Alone - Robots Call the Shots

ENCORE Dr. Robot, I presume? Your appendix may be removed by motor-driven, scalpel-wielding mechanical hands one day. Robots are debuting in the medical field… as well as on battlefields. And they’re increasingly making important decisions – on their own. But can we teach robots right from wrong? Find out why the onslaught of silicon intelligence has prompted a new field of robo-ethics.

Plus, robo-geologists: NASA’s vision for autonomous robots in space.



You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.