We are very sad to report that science fiction and fantasy author Dr. Debra Doyle passed away of a sudden cardiac event the evening of October 31, 2020 at the age of 67.
Debra was known for her numerous novels and stories co-authored with her husband James D. Macdonald (including their story “Gertrude of Wyoming” in our Altered States Of The Union anthology, her editorial work, her teaching work including her time with the Viable Paradise workshop, her doctoral thesis on Old English poetry, and her musical contributions to the Society for Creative Anachronism (under the name Malkingrey). She is survived by her husband, brother John Doyle, and children Katherine, Brendan, Peregrine, and Alexander.
The family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to cover funeral costs, the extent of which is not currently known. Any additional funds raised beyond what is needed for burial will be used to ease the transition for her husband, Jim.
A wake will take place after the pandemic eases, as is believed Debra would prefer.Continue reading
“Make it didn’t happen.” This is the cry of a child when something bad occurs. Fix it! Do over! Make it all better!
And like the wish of any child, it’s primal. Undeniable. We want it so hard to be true.
Throughout history, human beings have often wanted for nothing more than a second chance. A hope that this spin of the wheel, they’ll get it right. This time, there won’t be any screw ups. Paying anything to roll the dice just one more time.
Don’t deny it. You’ve prayed for it, too.
And every once in a while, people get lucky. They get that shot at redemption. And some of them pull it off. They get to make right what once went wrong.
But oh so many fail. Given a chance to correct things, they make the same mistakes again. And if they had yet another chance, they make the same mistakes yet again.
You have to start to wonder if it’s fate.
Lots of stories make us wonder that all the time, and have been doing so ever since Oedipus started dating. Where all the efforts of good men and bad men, their hopes and their dreams, really don’t matter for much in an uncaring universe. And you start to wonder whether it’s fate, destiny, random chance, or if the fault truly is not in the stars, but in ourselves.
Time travel stories live and die on that same dilemma. Can you really go back and change things? Or is your very attempt to change things because of what you’re trying to prevent in the first place? And even if you know what supposed to happen to you in the future… can you change events? Can you change yourself? Or are you damned to do the same thing over and over again, because you can’t change yourself?
In my story, ‘Make It Didn’t Happen,” — appearing in the Crazy 8 Press anthology Love, Murder & Mayhem — we explore some of those ramifications. You may have your own beliefs about predestination versus free will. I have them myself. But you’re never really going to know which is right until you get the chance.
And the real hell of it is… you’re never really going to know whether it was a real chance to change over, or that you were going to do it all along.
Glenn Hauman is uniquely qualified to be in this book, as his love life is mayhem and he’s soon to be murdered.
A founding member of Crazy 8 Press, he also writes, edits, colors comics, designs websites, designs books, performs marriages, reaches things on high shelves, changes lightbulbs, bats right, sings baritenor, snores loud, draws to inside straights, drinks too much DMD, and stays up way too late at night. Having come to the grisly realization that the New York Observer called him a “young Turk of publishing” two decades ago, he now patiently awaits the sweet embrace of death. He is looking ahead to being killed by many contributors to this book with a candlestick, knife, lead pipe, revolver, rope, and wrench.
You can find out more at Glennhauman.com or by looking at his Wikipedia page. No, really, someone wrote up an entry for him. He can’t believe it either.
Certainly you’ve heard it mentioned. The Chicago Way. They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue.
There’s been a lot of talk post-Ferguson about the militarization of police forces in America. A number of reasons have been bandied around: surplus weapons post-Iraq and Afghanistan being one of the most cited. But I think there’s a much simpler reason.
Maybe not you, specifically– or maybe it IS you. Do you own a gun?
How about your neighbor? Does he own one? Are you sure? Maybe he owns more than one?
The odds are that there’s one guy in your town that owns a ridiculous number of guns.
Here’s the important part: It doesn’t matter if that he’s “a good guy” or “a bad guy”. The police have to be ready for that arsenal to be pointed at them. And so they get paranoid. And they get more weaponry, just to keep up. This is simple tactics from Von Clausewitz: you must be prepared for what your enemy can do, not what you think he will do.
The problem is… the guy down the street is thinking the same thing about the police. He’s worried about the day the po-po are going to come down on him like a ton of bricks. And he’s preparing. He and his friends have end-of-times plans to kill government agents. And really, can you blame them? The police are getting more and more out of control.
You can see where this is going, can’t you?
If you lived through the 80s, you remember this feeling. This is the feeling you got from being in the middle of an arms race. Your side had weapons, but so did the other side, so you had to get more. There was a lot of fear of nuclear weapons, but around the mid 80s the nature of that fear changed. We didn’t fear that the weapons would be launched at us in anger, but that they’d be launched by accident. There were pop songs about it.
We have created, yet again, our own balance of terror*.
And it gets demented on both sides. And the problem with dealing with demented people is that it’s very tough to take things that are central to their identity away from them, especially when they feel threatened, and yet they’re the least likely to be able to handle them. (Did you know elderly people are the most likely to own a firearm in America? And are also the most likely to suffer from dementia?)
And yet, it’s all perfectly logical. The police are militarizing, so some of us feel we have to stock up to protect ourselves. And because we stock up, the police have to stock up to protect them and us. And the crazy part is that we’re both sides of the equation. Or at least, we should be.
And we know for certain that some lucky day, someone will set the spark off and we will all be blown away.
So, who’s going to back down? And is there a way we can get both sides to back down together? Who would you trust to broker the arms talks?
* Yes, we all have to make Star Trek references on this site. It was either this or “A Taste Of Armageddon”, which is also disturbingly on point.