Massimo Marino's Blog: The Ramblings and the Rumblings

February 2, 2019

The Arrival of Man on Earth – “Daimones Trilogy”

The original home planet lost for ever:


“The loss of Tiamat, and the lives which were also lost, constitute what we call the First Loss. This event took place around 65 million years in the past of your time. Your race caused that loss and all subsequent events.”


Daimones (The Daimones Trilogy Book 1)


The Daimones Trilogy


Nautilus issue 32: The Day the Mesozoic Died 65 million years ago.

“From the iridium measurements in the clay, the concentration of iridium in so-called chondritic meteorites and the surface area of the Earth, Luis calculated the mass of the asteroid to be about 300 billion metric tons. He then used various methods to infer that the asteroid had a diameter of 10 ± 4 kilometers (km).


Hell on Earth


The asteroid crossed the atmosphere in about one second, heating the air in front of it to several times the temperature of the sun. On impact, the asteroid vaporized, an enormous fireball erupted out into space, and rock particles were launched as far as halfway to the moon. Huge shock waves passed through the bedrock, then curved back up to the surface and shot melted blobs and bedrock out to the edge of the atmosphere and beyond. A second fireball erupted from the pressure on the shocked limestone bedrock. For a radius of a few hundred kilometers or more from ground zero, life was annihilated. Further away, matter ejected into space fell back to earth at high speeds—like trillions of meteors—heated up on re-entry, heating the air and igniting fires. Tsunamis, landslides, and earthquakes further ripped apart landscapes nearer to the impact.


Elsewhere in the world, death came a bit more slowly.


The debris and soot in the atmosphere blocked out the sun, and the darkness may have lasted for months. This shut down photosynthesis and halted food chains at their base. Analysis of plant fossils and pollen grains indicate that half or more plant species disappeared in some locations. Animals at successively higher levels of the food chain succumbed. The K-T boundary marks more than the end of the dinosaurs, it is also the end of belemnites, ammonites, and marine reptiles. Paleontologists estimate that more than half of all the planet’s species went extinct. On land, nothing larger than 25 kilograms in body size survived.


It was the end of the Mesozoic world.”


“Tiamat finally exploded, and the shock disrupted the stability of the solar system. Some from your race left Tiamat in time and survived. Eridu was their destination, a home away from home.”




AuthorMM


Massimo Marino is a scientist envisioning science fiction. He spent years at CERN and The Lawrence Berkeley Lab followed by lead positions with Apple, Inc. and the World Economic Forum.
Massimo currently lives in France and crosses the border with Switzerland multiple times daily, although he is no smuggler.


As a scientist writing science fiction, he went from smashing particles at accelerators at SLAC and CERN to smashing words on a computer screen.


He’s the author of multi-awarded Daimones Trilogy, with over 1,000 ratings in combined Amazon and goodreads. He’s an active member of SFWA, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.


The Daimones Trilogy:


Daimones” “Once Humans” “The Rise of the Phoenix



• 2012 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner in Science Fiction

• 2013 Hall of Fame – Best in Science Fiction, Quality Reads UK Book Club
• 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner in Science Fiction Series
• 2014 Finalist – Science Fiction – Indie Excellence Awards L.A.
• 2014 Award Winner – Science Fiction Honorable Mention – Readers’ Favorite Annual Awards

His novels are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble (Nook), iTunes Apple Store, and many other retailers around the world.

Join his mailing list for new releases, or follow him on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

 


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Published on February 02, 2019 23:00 • 13 views

January 18, 2019

Planning To Spy on Your Teen – Pros and Cons of Using a Spy App






When you purchase a cell phone spy app, you will have the power of
tracking your kids’ mobile activities by a simple click. The spy app is a
remote monitoring feature that is an essential tool, especially to parents and
friends when they want to monitor their loved ones.





On the other hand, after your child reaches her teen years, you
will need to provide monitoring services. There are positive and negative
effects for monitoring young ones including cyberbullying.





Teenagers’ Freedom





Currently, technology is evolving at a tremendous speed. So, the
teenagers are there trying to experiment and break from their shell so that
they can experiment their freedom. Teenage is a stage that most people learn
things and they have the full energy of wanting to experiment everything all at
once. As a parent, at this stage, your child’s life is also crucial because it
might either reap both negative and positive effects basing ton the way the
child will perceive disciplinary actions.





How To Monitor Your Child With A Spy App





During the child’s teenage years, it’s easy for him or her to have
certain emotions, but it depends on the way you guide them. However, you might
have a child with newfound sense and ditches all parents concerns after taking
steps towards their independence.





Most teens like venting their emotions and thoughts to their
friends instead of parents. However, understanding and open communication are
the keys you need to establish with your child for a better relationship that
is beneficial to both you and your child.





On the other hand, the technique you can use is to track your
child’s cell phone using a monitoring app. However, you need to have the best
cell phone’s spy app and therefore get more information at mspy reviews.





Here are some of the pros and cons you will achieve by using a spy
app on your child’s cell phone:





Pros





It’s easy to monitor your child even when driving a carYou can know when your teenage attends classes or notIt’s easy to identify the people who your child calls and texts through his phoneYou have the capability of blocking all the pornography sites your child can access with his cell phoneYou can reduce the number of hours a child can spend with his cell phone and therefore establish a proper studying habit while at home



Cons





It’s clear that the children might feel that you don’t give them your trustThe child might think that you are intruding in their private lifeThe child might feel stifled after realizing you are monitoring himThe child might say you are hindering his freedom



Conclusion





It’s essential that before you install a spy app in your teen’s
cell phone, you have to resolve your issues by explaining to them and come with
a compromise. However, you will also need to listen to your child’s opinion.
You don’t have to hide anything to the child because the spy app is essential
to both parents and their children.


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Published on January 18, 2019 00:44 • 5 views

September 3, 2017

How to Make Book Illustrations

One of the most common ways to create illustrations for books is to compile photo montages. Essentially a photo montage involves joining together parts from several different photos to create a new and unique image. In this case it can be used to create illustrations in a variety of different styles to complement the contents of a book.


To start creating book illustrations in the form of a photo montage, all you need are the photos (or images) that you intend to use along with an editor. While it is up to you to decide on the former, as far as the latter goes your best bet is to use Movavi Photo Editor.


Not only is Movavi Photo Editor easy to use, but its features make it an excellent photo montage maker for creating illustrations. Initially you will want to use its features to remove unwanted objects, replace the background, or copy and paste parts of a photo.


When you want to get started just launch Movavi Photo Editor and click on the ‘Browse for Images’ button to add the photo that you want to edit. Once it is loaded, you can begin to apply the various features that are available.


If you would like to start using Movavi Photo Editor to remove unwanted objects, open up the ‘Object Removal’ tab. On the left you’ll see a variety of tools to help you select and remove objects, and you can start by using the ‘Brush’ to paint over the object you want to remove (though you can try the ‘Magic Wand’ or ‘Lasso’ as well). To delete the object in question, click ‘Start Erasing’ then use the ‘Stamp’ tool to copy other parts of the image and use them to cover any imperfections.


On the other hand if you want to replace the background using Movavi Photo Editor, open the ‘Background Removal’ tab. Use the ‘Foreground Brush’ to paint over the objects that you want to keep, and use the ‘Background Brush’ to paint over the areas of the background that you want to remove. Assuming the selection checks out, click ‘Set New Background’ to remove the background, then ‘Add Image’ if you want to use a new background.


To copy and paste parts of images, click ‘More’ on the upper panel then select ‘Copy/Paste’. With the selection tools that Movavi Photo Editor provides you can then isolate the area that you want to copy, and click the ‘Copy’ button. After that you can open the image you want to paste it in and click ‘Paste’.


In addition to making it so easy to piece together a photo montage, Movavi Photo Editor has a lot of other features that will help you make it stand out by applying artistic filters, adjusting the color parameters, altering the frame, and much more. All in all you should definitely have everything you need to create any style of book illustrations – with a bit of experimentation and creativity.



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Published on September 03, 2017 23:24 • 32 views

March 15, 2017

The Connectome and the Quest for Self

In my fourth novel, “The Law,” which takes place in the same galaxy order emerged after the events narrated in the Daimones Trilogy, a main crucial scientific element of the story revolves around the ‘connectome.’


If you search on google, the first entry for the word is from Wikipedia, which says: “A connectome (/kəˈnɛktoʊm/) is a comprehensive map of neural connections in the brain, and may be thought of as its “wiring diagram”. More broadly, a connectome would include the mapping of all neural connections within an organism’s nervous system.” Several studies and research projects aim at understanding and mapping, to finally interact with the connectome.


While writing “The Law,” I had several contacts with neuroscientists, read articles, and absorbed the main lines of thought on the subject and extrapolated them into new realms of possibility. [image error][image error]


In the novel, scientists finally succeed to fully understand the connectome, map it precisely in order to discern how behavior and stimuli relate to it, alter it to inject memories, action/reaction patterns, change personality, and more.


At a recent reading session with a Book Club in Geneva, one of the attendees was a young neuroscientist researcher and, afterwards, we had interesting conversations around this fascinating subject. Today, researchers in neuroscience aim at understanding the connection between biology and personality, phobia and neurons networks, short linkage and long distance connection between different areas of the brain, and ultimately are along the same scientific journey which in “The Law” is fully accomplished.


Allow me to introduce you to Doctor Ewa Miendlarzewska, PhD University of Geneva and University of Lausanne. Ewa agreed to answer a few basic questions on the connectome from me, and agreed to answer questions you might also have on the subject for a little while.


Ewa, thanks for the continuing exchange and chat on this amazing realm of discovery and mystery such as the human brain is.


Many years have passed and gone since the brain was only known as amorphous ‘gray matter,’ today we understand that the network of neurons, firing together, send excitation messages to other areas, and that repetitive behaviour triggers changes and evolution in the brain, which is a formidable bio-puter that, most probably, still holds its most precious jewels hidden.


Modern neuroscientists have evolved at the same pace as the discoveries and new perspective in this scientific domain. Ideally, neuroscientists would like to trace the actual “wiring” of the brain: the dendrites and axons that form the synaptic connections between neurons, and map them with traits of personalities and behaviour.


Q1) The amount of data required for the above probably will reach easily terabytes and petabytes for even a tiny part of the actual connectome, but it would constitute the realisation of the wildest dream of science fiction writers. In your opinion, will neuroscientists achieve, in our lifetime, the mapping of the wiring of critical areas like the hippocampus, or the retina, for example?


Ewa) We are well on our way when it comes to mapping the structure, Massimo! The rat somatosensory cortex (aka, the barrel cortex), mouse visual cortex have already been mapped by the Human Brain Project (nota bene, with a seat at Campus Biotech in Geneva). Project MindScope, which closely collaborates with the HBP, has been working on the mouse retina but I don’t know how far they’ve gotten. The hippocampus is a more tricky beast. I don’t know how advanced the efforts are in this direction.


This is rodent research but I suppose you are more interested in the human brain. Well, there is good progress on microscopic mapping of ex vivo human hippocampus but I guess your question refers to real-life and real-time visualization of what’s inside the skull. We are very far from “real-time” because of computation cost, for the moment. Even with supercomputers (as in the HBP), it takes months to years to put the pieces together.


As far as “real-life” goes, the technology for noninvasive brain imaging (ultra high-field MRI) in the human is pretty impressive (we can now image something like a 1mm cube of neurons at 7T, as far as I remember) but we cannot image single cells without actually implanting electrodes inside the brain and that greatly limits data collection. So we can make human connectomes but the nodes in the network are not single neurons – they could be at most populations of neurons that occupy a voxel measuring >=1 cubic mm, at the moment. With that said, I do believe we will be able to visualize (and maybe even use for diagnosis and prognosis) such cortical column-based connectomes with fairly high accuracy in the next 10-20 years.


Q2) Fascinating. So, Science Fiction of today can really become Science of tomorrow. The assumption in “The Law” is that the connectome may hold the key to the basis of personality, intelligence, memory, and maybe even mental disorders. How far off science fiction is from science in this case?


EwaA short answer – it does. Today this is not sci-fi, it is science.


Presently, a lot of exciting things are happening in human network neuroscience which links the structural (obtained with DTI) and functional (typically, with resting-state fMRI) human brain maps with cognition. I foresee that this is where the biggest impact of neuroscience on daily life is going to come from in the near future. To cite a small example, a network property measure called resilience (which defines the degree of network robustness, i.e., its ability to still sustain undisturbed function after removal of some x% of connection), has been shown to correlate with fluid intelligence.


We simply need large-scale projects and many many more brains to be scanned in order to have reliable estimates for connectomics of cognition (personality, task performance, etc.), and this laborious effort is going to take time and international collaborations.


Q3) You’re right. This is highly exciting and, yes, it will have a tremendous impact on daily life of people. If you were to give a short answer about why, today, neuroscientists believe it is so important to study neurons and the connections between them, what would you tell us?


EwaIt has always been important. It is the basis of neural science since the discovery of the Hebbian learning principle. What do you mean “today”?


Q4) Indeed, we non-expert tend to believe neuroscience is only a few years old, while instead it accounts for decades of research and studies. With an approach related to the concept from Information Technology of neural network, in my novel scientists approached the problem as reweighting, reconnection, rewiring and regeneration of new patterns (through lots of lost ‘patients’ and brains, I have to say). How might we go about learning a new skill, remembering something, recovering from an injury? Is current research on the path of figuring out one day what I call connectome code breaking?


Coloring the Connectome


EwaI like the term “connectome code breaking” – by which you probably mean a set of principles that dictate which neurons are going to (re-)wire together? In network science this is called link prediction (and please note – I know this not because I am a neuroscientist but because I’ve spent some time with network scientists. The sexy term for studying biological networks these days is “Biocybernetics”).


Real neural networks in the human brain still hold a lot of mysteries before scientists because they are so incredibly complex. There are so many levels of biological tissue that come together to determine where and what kind of connection is going to be made or broken, that – also here – multidisciplinary efforts are needed for scientists to bring together the knowledge from different levels of study, i.e. from peptides and molecules flowing through clefts and channels of a single neuron, through synaptic gating and tagging, to multiple neuron network dynamics, to columnar organization in the cortex, to intra-cortical communication, and up to consciousness (which is also probably determined by some network state) and cognition…


To give you an example from my home topic – memory: The difficulty is not so much in understanding “if these conditions are met – let’s say, you have dopamine present at the synapse at the time of stimulation – then there is a high probability of these several neurons forming strong synaptic connections”. The relevant question would then be “does this mean the animal will remember better?” And then of course, we are not yet talking about a human brain in this case.


It appears that ”human connectome code breaking” is still a remote dream, at least in the direct manipulation sense that you might envision. We can, however, observe progress in traumatic brain injury recovery, for example, by just looking at the brain. A very exciting example is the prediction of recovery of consciousness in patients in coma from resting-state data, which illustrates the amazing potential of applying network science to brain data.


Q5) I like those terms, “link prediction” and “Bio-cybernetics.” You really depict a scenario that involves the need of multi-skills and concomitant and diversified research teams from many branches of science to maximize the chances of a breakthrough. Speaking of which, what excites you most in terms of future challenges and outcomes?


EwaVery hopeful news about the human brain is that the atlasing is getting more fine-grained and major advances come to light every year. We are still mapping, in a way, but many mapping initiatives include the third dimension – linking the structure to cognition.


It’s becoming difficult to catch up with the scientific progress, unless you’re within this sub-branch of human neurosciences! I am not – I am an experimentalist and I work on emotions, memory and decision making, but I found out that, for example, we now have a detailed multimodal (including cytoarchitecture) atlas of the human neocortex that has been produced by the Human Connectome Project. It combines data obtained through various techniques – invasive (such as ex vivo microscopy) and noninvasive, such as MRI, DTI and all other cool things you can do with an MR scanner.


Personally, I am most excited about the applications, not about the methods of obtaining data. We won’t be able to directly manipulate the connectome – as you’d envision – by injecting and removing memories anytime soon (although this has already been done in the mouse) but we may soon be able to use these databases to predict task performance, probability of developing some brain diseases and understanding inter-individual differences with some accuracy. In a way, we are still on the same quest: “to know thyself .“ And I think we are not that far away from the sci-fi vision you’re painting…


 


Well, folks, wasn’t that exciting? Can you imagine what the future holds, maybe not for us but for our children’s children?


Thank you, Ewa, for being with us, here, and folks, don’t be shy, it’s a rare opportunity offered from this page. Fire your questions.


 



Ewa Aurelia Miendlarzewska is still interested in how we learn and how to optimize it: first it was organizational learning (MSc No.1), human emotional memory (in applied research and in MSc No.2), then modulation of memory formation in the hippocampus (PhD in Neurosciences). Now she studies learning from financial information in an interdisciplinary lab at the University of Geneva (post-doc). She’s an attempting sci-fi writer, tango argentino and egyptian belly dancer and Paleo baker. She wants to inspire people, apply her research to optimize how we learn and teach, and encapsulate the rest of her futuristic ideas in books and movies.


Speaks 4 ½  languages, highly sensorially sensitive, high-maintenance (gets easily bored and tired unless propelled by love and passion).


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Published on March 15, 2017 05:28 • 68 views

December 14, 2016

Desperately seeking for Time

whenIt’s a common thing to hear this from non-writers: “I would write a book, but I simply have no time to write.” Usually they also give you “the look” as in “you have too much free time for yourself. Jobless? No family? No kids?”


This is where you have to be honest with yourself. A day has 24 hours. We have enough time in our lives to do whatever we like to do with it. If we choose NOT to write, we have to acknowledge that it is a choice we have made, and time has little to do with it.


Are we after so much money that we have to slave extra jobs to support it? People are quite content (and *truly* happy) earning far less than what we believe is the threshold to happiness.


Have you chosen to take on extra volunteer jobs, or to take a job that is far from home? Yes, it’s great to feel productive and it’s great to have numerous hobbies but – again – we have that 24 hours allotted time with each day and if we feel the urge to write it needs to have a slot in there. We may choose to do other things instead, then those other items will have priority, but time is not an issue.


Many famous writers had full time jobs, had families and parents to care for. They sat down, looked at their schedule for the week, and set aside time for their writing. It was important to them – to ease their urge.


In airplanes they say to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others, right? Your own mental state needs care just as much as other things do. If you become overly stressed and worn down, you can’t help others properly. Every hour you spend is less effective. In order to be fully helpful to others you must meet your own needs, too. The same goes for being a writer.


So sit down and go through your schedule. Look at all the things you’ve chosen to do. Fit in an hour for writing and then DO it. Put up a “do not disturb” sign. This is your time. The more you make this an important part of your normal schedule, the more others will respect your efforts, support you, and your dreams will become a reality.



AuthorMM


Massimo Marino is a scientist envisioning science fiction. He spent years at CERN and The Lawrence Berkeley Lab followed by lead positions with Apple, Inc. and the World Economic Forum.
Massimo currently lives in France and crosses the border with Switzerland multiple times daily, although he is no smuggler.


As a scientist writing science fiction, he went from smashing particles at accelerators at SLAC and CERN to smashing words on a computer screen.


He’s the author of multi-awarded Daimones Trilogy, with over 1,000 ratings in combined Amazon and goodreads. He’s an active member of SFWA, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.


The Daimones Trilogy:


Daimones” “Once Humans” “The Rise of the Phoenix



• 2012 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner in Science Fiction

• 2013 Hall of Fame – Best in Science Fiction, Quality Reads UK Book Club
• 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner in Science Fiction Series
• 2014 Finalist – Science Fiction – Indie Excellence Awards L.A.
• 2014 Award Winner – Science Fiction Honorable Mention – Readers’ Favorite Annual Awards

His novels are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble (Nook), iTunes Apple Store, and many other retailers around the world.

Join his mailing list for new releases, or follow him on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

 


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Published on December 14, 2016 22:25 • 65 views

November 5, 2016

A reader’s blessing…

[image error][image error] Today I’m blessed again.


Aren’t these words the reason a writer goes on every day? “Opened his veins and bled until words came out.”


“In the tale, in the telling, we are all one blood. Take the tale in your teeth, then, and bite till the blood runs, hoping it’s not poison; and we will all come to the end together, and even to the beginning: living, as we do, in the middle.”

– Ursula K. Le Guin


Today I’m blessed by a reader, again.


“Mo, I’m […] from the […] Amazon thread. I don’t usually write and semi lurk but was blessed this morning and felt I needed to contact you regarding your book Daimones[image error]. My gut screams out “Tell MO DON’T STOP WRITING” . My husband bought me a book from my wish list for mothers day, and it happened to be yours. While waiting for my father this morning I started it and have been compelled to read/re-read then contemplate and read parts again. No I have not finished and am actually taking my time getting through it, which is unusual for me. You had captured me within the first 10 minutes of reading! Rarely do I not speed read through a book, but I do not want to miss anything and have been going back and rereading and stopping to absorb what I have read – to consider the future story line! I LOVE IT!


Please don’t stop writing, your gift is too precious.


Thank you for sharing your gift with us! I look forward to completing this book and anticipating future offerings!


Excitedly,


[…] “


“’Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem to be confidences or sides hidden from all else and unmistakably meant for his ear; the profit of books is according to the sensibility of the reader; the profound thought or passion sleeps as in a mine, until it is discovered by an equal mind and heart.”


~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Readers are the most important persons for a writer, and often they do prove us just that, time and again. Did you receive a personal message for a reader that made your day? Share the love.



AuthorMM


Massimo Marino is a scientist envisioning science fiction. He spent years at CERN and The Lawrence Berkeley Lab followed by lead positions with Apple, Inc. and the World Economic Forum.
Massimo currently lives in France and crosses the border with Switzerland multiple times daily, although he is no smuggler.


As a scientist writing science fiction, he went from smashing particles at accelerators at SLAC and CERN to smashing words on a computer screen.


He’s the author of multi-awarded Daimones Trilogy, with over 1,000 ratings in combined Amazon and goodreads. He’s an active member of SFWA, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.


The Daimones Trilogy:


Daimones” “Once Humans” “The Rise of the Phoenix



• 2012 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner in Science Fiction

• 2013 Hall of Fame – Best in Science Fiction, Quality Reads UK Book Club
• 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner in Science Fiction Series
• 2014 Finalist – Science Fiction – Indie Excellence Awards L.A.
• 2014 Award Winner – Science Fiction Honorable Mention – Readers’ Favorite Annual Awards

His novels are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble (Nook), iTunes Apple Store, and many other retailers around the world.

Join his mailing list for new releases, or follow him on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

 


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Published on November 05, 2016 02:11 • 73 views

November 4, 2016

The Arrival of Man on Earth – “Daimones Trilogy”

The original home planet lost for ever:


“The loss of Tiamat, and the lives which were also lost, constitute what we call the First Loss. This event took place around 65 million years in the past of your time. Your race caused that loss and all subsequent events.”


Daimones (The Daimones Trilogy Book 1)


The Daimones Trilogy


Nautilus issue 32: The Day the Mesozoic Died 65 million years ago.

“From the iridium measurements in the clay, the concentration of iridium in so-called chondritic meteorites and the surface area of the Earth, Luis calculated the mass of the asteroid to be about 300 billion metric tons. He then used various methods to infer that the asteroid had a diameter of 10 ± 4 kilometers (km).


Hell on Earth


The asteroid crossed the atmosphere in about one second, heating the air in front of it to several times the temperature of the sun. On impact, the asteroid vaporized, an enormous fireball erupted out into space, and rock particles were launched as far as halfway to the moon. Huge shock waves passed through the bedrock, then curved back up to the surface and shot melted blobs and bedrock out to the edge of the atmosphere and beyond. A second fireball erupted from the pressure on the shocked limestone bedrock. For a radius of a few hundred kilometers or more from ground zero, life was annihilated. Further away, matter ejected into space fell back to earth at high speeds—like trillions of meteors—heated up on re-entry, heating the air and igniting fires. Tsunamis, landslides, and earthquakes further ripped apart landscapes nearer to the impact.


Elsewhere in the world, death came a bit more slowly.


The debris and soot in the atmosphere blocked out the sun, and the darkness may have lasted for months. This shut down photosynthesis and halted food chains at their base. Analysis of plant fossils and pollen grains indicate that half or more plant species disappeared in some locations. Animals at successively higher levels of the food chain succumbed. The K-T boundary marks more than the end of the dinosaurs, it is also the end of belemnites, ammonites, and marine reptiles. Paleontologists estimate that more than half of all the planet’s species went extinct. On land, nothing larger than 25 kilograms in body size survived.


It was the end of the Mesozoic world.”


“Tiamat finally exploded, and the shock disrupted the stability of the solar system. Some from your race left Tiamat in time and survived. Eridu was their destination, a home away from home.”




AuthorMM


Massimo Marino is a scientist envisioning science fiction. He spent years at CERN and The Lawrence Berkeley Lab followed by lead positions with Apple, Inc. and the World Economic Forum.
Massimo currently lives in France and crosses the border with Switzerland multiple times daily, although he is no smuggler.


As a scientist writing science fiction, he went from smashing particles at accelerators at SLAC and CERN to smashing words on a computer screen.


He’s the author of multi-awarded Daimones Trilogy, with over 1,000 ratings in combined Amazon and goodreads. He’s an active member of SFWA, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.


The Daimones Trilogy:


Daimones” “Once Humans” “The Rise of the Phoenix



• 2012 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner in Science Fiction

• 2013 Hall of Fame – Best in Science Fiction, Quality Reads UK Book Club
• 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner in Science Fiction Series
• 2014 Finalist – Science Fiction – Indie Excellence Awards L.A.
• 2014 Award Winner – Science Fiction Honorable Mention – Readers’ Favorite Annual Awards

His novels are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble (Nook), iTunes Apple Store, and many other retailers around the world.

Join his mailing list for new releases, or follow him on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

 


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Published on November 04, 2016 00:00 • 48 views

November 2, 2016

The Earth in Daimones – An Apocalyptic Travel





 


 


 


 


 


 


Even with the best of intentions, cruelty is just around the corner.


The Daimones Trilogy deals with many themes, from survival and the rebirth of the race of man after an alien apocalypse, to love and romance in a dying world, and the rise of new ethics and morals. 



Why on earth does Earth become Eridu in the “Daimones Trilogy“?

Every name in the trilogy bears a symbolic meaning. Eridu was long considered to be the earliest city in southern Mesopotamia, and is still today argued to be the oldest city in the world. Located 12 km southwest of Ur, Eridu was the southernmost of a conglomeration of Sumerian cities that grew about temples, almost in sight of one another.



In Sumerian mythology, Eridu was originally the home of Enki, who was considered to have founded the city, later known by the Akkadians as Ea. His temple was called E-Abzu, as Enki was believed to live in Abzu, an aquifer from which all life was believed to stem. Eridu, also transliterated as Eridug, means “mighty place” or “guidance place”.

And now, let’s have an imaginary travel in Eridu, visiting 28 famous places in the world, and let’s have a game to win ebooks, paperbacks and have fun guessing how long it would take for the world to become as in the pictures when we will disappear. In the game, some places are easily recognizable (at least 10 of them), others much less, but all are known iconic places in the cities we’ll explore together through the post-apocalyptic pictures.

So, here’s the rules of the game.

1) Subscribe to my NewReleases mailing list to be the first to know about my new fourth sci-fi novel and receive a complimentary copy of my crime drama/horror short stories collection Stranded Love.

2) Message me — in private — your guesses about the post-apocalyptic locations. You may contact me  on FacebookGoogle+, and Twitter, or use the contact form in this blog.

Look at the pictures (click for larger versions) and:

a) Guess at least 10 locations and win ONE ebook at your choice: either Daimones (The Daimones Trilogy) (Volume 1), or Once Humans (The Daimones Trilogy Book 2), or The Rise of the Phoenix: Daimones Trilogy, Vol.3


b) Guess at least 15 locations and win TWO ebooks at your choice in the Daimones Trilogy.


c) Guess 20 locations or more and win the complete THREE ebooks of the Trilogy together in The Daimones Trilogy: Omnibus Edition


And now, have fun and discover Eridu, or Earth after the apocalypse and the end of the events narrated in the first volume of the trilogy. (click on each picture for a larger version.)


 


Location #1

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AuthorMM


Massimo Marino is a scientist envisioning science fiction. He spent years at CERN and The Lawrence Berkeley Lab followed by lead positions with Apple, Inc. and the World Economic Forum. He is also co-founder of “Squares on Blue”, a Big Data Analytics service company.
Massimo currently lives in France and crosses the border with Switzerland multiple times daily, although he is no smuggler.


As a Scientist, he envisions Science Fiction and went from smashing particles at accelerators at SLAC and CERN to smashing words on a computer screen.


He’s the author of multi-awarded Daimones Trilogy and an author with Booktrope Publishing, LCC.Daimones Postcard Front


• 2012 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner in Science Fiction

• 2013 Hall of Fame – Best in Science Fiction, Quality Reads UK Book Club
• 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner in Science Fiction Series
• 2014 Finalist – Science Fiction – Indie Excellence Awards L.A.
• 2014 Award Winner – Science Fiction Honorable Mention – Readers’ Favorite Annual Awards

His novels are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble (Nook), iTunes Apple Store, and many other retailers around the world.

Join his mailing list for new releases, or follow him on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

 


The post The Earth in Daimones – An Apocalyptic Travel appeared first on § A Scientist Envisioning Science Fiction.

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Published on November 02, 2016 01:29 • 122 views

November 1, 2016

The Last Colony – John Scalzi

Could John Perry, be satisfied with the peaceful life as the Ombudsman of a peaceful colony, after spending the previous years of his life in constant danger, as a soldier of the Colonial Defense Forces?


And what about his wife, Jane Sagan, who—in a sense—was born in that life full of danger?


The Colonial Union ask them to embark on a new adventure. The list of candidates was not very long, and the two of them were not right at the top, but they were candidates nonetheless, and they had the right  spirit and attitudes.


The mission? Supervise the start of a new colonization with elements taken from different colonies, the top ten even. An experiment never attempted before. A challenge.

But of course things are not as they seem, and many dangers come from any source, even the most unexpected.


John Scalzi returns to his fictional universe of the Old Man’s War, soon to be made on TV, apparently.


John Scalzi presents the ordinary world of John, made of small disputes, placid pace of life, and brings us seamlessly into an adventure, a series of twists and inventions that greet you almost at every turn of the page.

It’s difficult to get into the detail of the story without giving too much away, and there are so many narrative twists. When we think we have it all figured out, that you understand what the rip-off is, when we begin to despair for the fate of John and Jane and the adopted daughter Zoe, Scalzi pulls off the right trick, a trick that solves the situation and continues the story, answers the questions, but also poses new ones.

Actually, not really tricks á la Deus Ex Machina, of course, but interlocking logic, surprisingly simple in hindsight.


Continuing to exploit stylistic elements from various genres, Scalzi begins with almost comedy tones, then draws the handful of western epic, stirring well with all the intrigues of political and legal thrillers, and adds in the background some military science fiction.

In fact, if the SF military relationships between the characters are essentially related to the various ranks and having to accept and respect orders according to a hierarchy, this time John (the character, not the author) has to earn respect on the basis of his actions, his decisions pulled out in a short time and in extreme situations.


The novel is—once again—narrated in the first person, from the point of view of the old man, John, but Scalzi manages to detach from the limitations of the 1st POV with narrative skills in a few moments when the protagonist reconstructs what happens around him. The result is of a greater understanding than what you would normally achieve in a novel written with the narrow point of view of the protagonist.


In conclusion, The Last Colony (Old Man’s War) is read with pleasure. A good science fiction entertainment, regardless of gender. It is true that it stirs many already-seen situations, many ideas seen since ever in the history of science fiction, but as always, how they are presented makes a difference. And in this case the mixture seems to work.


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Published on November 01, 2016 03:54 • 54 views

October 29, 2016

Getting Your Science Right

In James Blish’s novel “They Shall Have Stars” we read:


“there was no electronic device anywhere on the Bridge since it was impossible to maintain a vacuum on Jupiter.”


The assumption Blish made was that electronics implied vacuum tubes (no transistors invented yet), which would collapse under the extreme atmospheric pressure found on our giant planet companion.


Making assumptions – worse, making the wrong ones – will always let us down if we look to science fiction as a way to predict the future.


It helps if you really understand the science you use in your novels, its current limits, and its aspirations to venture beyond the edge. Don’t leave gray areas in the open, do your research and learn a lot about your science in science fiction, even if it is in order to write one line.


Definitions of science fiction grow on trees, and it is a great genre to write on, and to read. It certainly specializes in answering “What if?” questions. What other genre can place humans (or aliens) in an imagined scenario, dooms day, post-apocalyptic, dystopian societies, and with that element of science or technology to make the story unique and inspirational. It is the job of the writer to  show how those human will then react.


For the writer, it is far more important to make sure for the follow-through of the initial “what if” to be realistic and logical than it is to make a clear prediction of scientific possibility, especially when your assumption – on the contrary – is that there will be no new scientific possibilities (like being stuck with vacuum tubes in the future). But don’t force prediction doing too much erring into fantasy. Current science – and currently explored theories – is a fertile ground for science fiction if you know where to look for.


More relevant than prediction is instead the influence of science fiction on real science. I’ve worked for many years at CERN and at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, and I use that in my novels. Because science and science fiction are powerfully intertwined, it was also common to meet co-workers whose reading realm was Science Fiction. It’s obvious that science fiction is influenced by science, the clue’s in the name, but it is also true that science can be influenced by the right science fiction.


Take, for instance, robots. There is no doubt that many of the attempts to create humanoid robots have been driven by science fiction archetypes like Isaac Asimov’s classic stories. And the very word “robot” comes from fiction.


It is easy to find many different science and technology areas with a similarly complex relationship with science fiction. Virtual reality, tractor beams, bringing extinct creatures back to life, exoskeleton suits, cyborgs, cloaking devices and artificial intelligence spring to mind, and there are many more you can surely add to the list. But in the end, all of these pale before what might be the most important influence science fiction has on science. It may not have directly inspired every bit of science we see, but science fiction has certainly shaped generations of scientists. And that can only be a good thing.


 



AuthorMM


Massimo Marino is a scientist envisioning science fiction. He spent years at CERN and The Lawrence Berkeley Lab followed by lead positions with Apple, Inc. and the World Economic Forum. 
Massimo currently lives in France and crosses the border with Switzerland multiple times daily, although he is no smuggler.


As a scientist writing science fiction, he went from smashing particles at accelerators at SLAC and CERN to smashing words on a computer screen.


He’s the author of multi-awarded Daimones Trilogy, with over 1,000 ratings in combined Amazon and goodreads. He’s an active member of SFWA, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.


The Daimones Trilogy:


Daimones” “Once Humans” “The Rise of the Phoenix



• 2012 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner in Science Fiction

• 2013 Hall of Fame – Best in Science Fiction, Quality Reads UK Book Club
• 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner in Science Fiction Series
• 2014 Finalist – Science Fiction – Indie Excellence Awards L.A.
• 2014 Award Winner – Science Fiction Honorable Mention – Readers’ Favorite Annual Awards

His novels are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble (Nook), iTunes Apple Store, and many other retailers around the world.

Join his mailing list for new releases, or follow him on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

 


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Published on October 29, 2016 08:18 • 49 views

The Ramblings and the Rumblings

Massimo Marino
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