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Dangerous Dreams
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-108-2
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Science Fiction
eBook Length: 273 Pages
Published: January 2004
OUT OF PRINT

From inside the flap

One second before the last program dropped, Stewart punched his last tracer, an automated information agent he had just adapted. And on it's tail rode the Nano Nuke. Asta La Vista, Baby.

The name of the hacker he had just hacked, and bombed, appeared on his screen - just three simple words: "World Security Agency" Exhilaration turned to fear, tingling with the acrid scent of panic. What have I done?
Above the Earth, cradled next to the moon, lay the Sternkind. Earth's first colonization ship. A ship borne of ambition and courage, destined to fulfill mankind's dreams.

But what dreams, and whose will she follow?

For some people chose to follow their own dreams. Dreams of a better place, a new way, a new beginning. For those, if the will is strong and the determination great enough they just may reach their goal, if only they can stay alive while trying.

Reviews and Awards

Review by: Ray Baron

Occupation:
Professional Writer (Ray Baron, Wordsmith), Texas

Wow! If there is one new author that you read this year, this has to be the one.

Dangerous Dreams is significantly better than most of the established authors books I have read. I'm not saying it's the best book I ever read but it is in the top 10%!

This book started a little slow - compared to what it revs up to - but before I knew it I was completely immersed in the characters and the story. Not as much sci-fi as I was expecting but a great story and great writing.


Dangerous Dreams (Excerpt)


What is Law? In simplest form, it is a Boolean thing, one or zero, yes or no. There is no middle ground, no subjective quality. It is pure. It is constant. It is an unwavering foundation with which to build great things, do great works, and uncover new and wondrous discoveries.



And so it is. In the fields of science, Laws discovered and proven by great men and woman have propelled humankind forward, feeding the insatiable thirst of the Id to do more, better, faster.



Society stares longingly at this fertile ground of science with its immutable Laws. It resents the logical world, even as it covets it. And so Society begets its own laws, not by hypothesis, theory, challenge, and test but by mandate, consensus, negotiation, and barter.



Yet law is law. It reduces complication to simplicity, shedding context, condition, and consequence like a hot knife through butter. All societies that create laws find this. The laws they create stand above the individual, holding a higher place in the society.



Why were these laws created in the first place? What need did they fulfill? The answer is simple, surprisingly simple. Where natural Laws do not exist problems cannot have a definitive answer, they have an infinite number of subjective answers. Creating societal law relieves this duress by pre-selecting one answer as the answer.



But we do not accept laws being placed above us. Therefore, society immediately follows the creation of law with the rule of judgment. Regardless of how such judgment takes form it allows the subjective assessment of a law against the context of a specific situation, once again delivering societal control back to people.



Such a contradiction inevitably leads to disaster. Take the concept of Democracy for example. The natural evolution of Democracy, once societal law and rule of judgment has been created, is the "Spiral of Demise." Summarized, we find that the institution of law is the next order of progression, which as it grows, distances the law from justice and fairness becoming a game of win or lose. The institution of law is synergistic, even catalytic, with Political Expansion resulting in more laws purportedly in the name of justice. In turn, this propagates the growth of the institution of law continuing the cycle until the "Latent Societal Force" builds sufficiently to erupt in some form of revolution.



Conclusion: Societal Law is an abomination that cannot be allowed to exist.



John Marshal, the Elastic Society Theory



Stewart leaned back, the clear vellum-like esheet displaying a section of the Elastic Society Theory on its face, forgotten in his hands. He could feel John Marshal's words sifting through his synapses, mining his memories so that he could relive past moments in a reflective state. This Marshall guy was really something! Mental images flickered rapidly, here and gone, finally settling into his high school years where captive memories were richer and multi-dimensional.



He remembered a girl, the one with that voice so clear, like crystalline water in a bottomless lake. She had broken a school rule (as if everyone didn't?) by wearing that earring receiver to catch the live feed from London, the Masters of Music Symposium. But the Teacher found out and called down the law didn't she? Sure, it was called a School Policy but it was still a law, a societal law. Moreover, here it was enforced so the teacher could assert her control and dominance over a kid that was different. An intelligent, seeing, knowing kind of person, not a troublemaker. It was obvious the Teacher did not like her, or more likely did not like her because she was envious of her. Envious of her poise and intelligence, her obvious musical gifts, and that amazing quality he could only describe as being in harmony with herself and her surroundings. So at the first chance, like the queen of hearts in Wonderland, she leapt on the girl screaming "off with her head!"



Without warning, prose began writing itself on Stewart's mental canvas, capturing the emotions of that moment as if it were really happening in this moment.



"She was a work of beauty, in need of no adornment, a flower that rose strong, blooming quickly, with colors of a richness and purity I had not seen before. Perhaps she was a pure soul, or as pure as a soul can be. Needing no affirmation, no veneration, no validation she was unto her self, complete. The Teacher saw that. Saw it and burned with envy - was clutched by jealously - and reacted with anger. There, within the Law, she found the means to cast her dark emotions upon the girl to lessen her color and dim her splendor. It was nothing less than an effort to erase from the girl what she so greedily coveted."



Stewart relived the moment, seeing the girl's pain again just as if it had been that first time, years ago. He felt his own pain, the pain of watching her and doing nothing, of being able to think of nothing he could do.



Then it was gone, replaced by new images, a new memory un-summoned by his conscious mind but called forth nonetheless.



Stewart saw his father, bent over his desk late at night working on the maze of multi-variants and physical impasses the esheet concept was fraught with, an image so often repeated it seemed to Stewart an aspect of nature, part of the fabric of natural order. A vicarious thrill spun its way through him, watching his father work. Stewart saw his father, then and now, as both a great man and a good man. He had lived by his principles and morals, dealing out kindness to all without prejudice.



Doctor Breston had struggled and fought for his vision until NanoNext had grudgingly given him a fraction of the money and resources he needed to conduct the esheet research. Even with such meager support, Breston had compensated by working all those hours, weekends and holidays because he knew it could be done. He also knew the esheets would make a difference, a technological advance of importance that would have a real affect on the world. This is what drove him on, the prospect of making a difference and the money - the money would enable him finally to give his time to his family, to enjoy life together and to reunite.



Too bad he hadn't read the fine print.



"Oh, and by the way, don't you know that those conversations you had that everybody else suddenly can't remember very well don't count for Jack Shit? Surprise, surprise."



He saw shadowy figures in a room that even as an indistinct anagram he knew was a corporate boardroom.



"Do you believe he actually signed this, without even consulting a two-bit lawyer?"



"I have to admit, I was against even making this offer but with the potential upside if the old coot could pull it off and your insistence that we just couldn't pass on an opportunity with this risk/reward ratio, well I see some big bonuses on their way."



"Big bonuses? I don't believe you have really looked at what is happening here. We have already recouped our investment times 100 and with the latest marketing projections esheets stand to represent over 70% of corporate revenue within 12 months! Gentlemen, we will all be multi-millionaires by this time next year just from the increase in value of our stock options."



"About the contract, don't you think we have an obligation to amend it? I've spent some time on this and I don't see that he is really getting anything. We gave him the funds, well a piece of the funds, he needed to make esheets work and he did. I can't really see where we have agreed to any compensation for his success?"



"You just don't get it, do you? The only way to get a success like this from these visionary types is keep them on the ropes, feeding them just enough resource to keep afloat while they're possessed by a project, or as they see it, a vision. If we compensate him for success, he's going to shutdown, kick back and coast. That's not going to happen on my watch. As it is I'm willing to bet he'll have another hot project for us in less than a year."



The images faded away and in the resulting void Stewart was left feeling trapped, the void stiflingly wrapping itself around him. His dad had died 18 months later of a heart condition aggravated by severe depression and an overdose of sleeping pills. What was fair or just in that? Luckily by then Stewart was already well on his way to becoming one of the slickest Net programmers around. With the meager pension earned by his father and nothing but a runaround from NanoNext about esheet royalties, he and his mother could not afford much but a basic existence, let alone the physics program Stewart had wanted to pursue.



The pall of his broken, defeated and deceased father also faded, replaced by new images in the mental mosaic the reading had triggered. Though none effused the mental clarity and insight he had experienced with the unnamed girl and his father, they all carried the same whispers and shadows of sadness, remorse and failed justice. The constant theme cast an unsettling sense of depression and fatigue Stewart felt to the marrow of his bones.



The time slid by unnoticed while Stewart was held in the replay of memories and reflection. He began to see images less clearly, felt something else drawing at him, demanding his attention. Then his reverie broke, and he was back in his chair the tattered remains of thought that had spurred his reliving of memories still hanging in the fading window of his mind's eye.