New Submission (Phew) June 29, 2014Posted by Tom Wells in Introductions.
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It was one year ago that I had a submission worthy story for the Writers of the Future contest. That story did not place at any level. I am of course very hopeful for my latest submission uploaded today. Lets hope this new story catches the fancy of the judges.
The More Is Better Principal June 26, 2014Posted by Tom Wells in Force of Bureaucracy, Introductions.
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Here’s the most obvious observation with a bureaucratic force. The bureaucracy itself does not care about the mission of the group which forms the bureaucracy. Therefore the bureaucracy is only satisfied with the kinds of thing a bureaucracy needs. The number one thin a bureaucracy needs is validation through growth. It is the More Is Better principal.
The most common example is in purchasing. At the end of a fiscal year there is a scramble to spend every last penny of a widget budget. Not because more widgets are needed to fulfill the mission, but because if the budget is not maximized the next year’s budget may be downsized to fit the under spending. This kind of logic only applies in a bureaucracy. It is the result of the Silo Principal (more about that in another post). The mission may not even need the widgets anymore, but the bureaucracy won’t know that for years if it is large enough.
People are nothing more than another widget in the bureaucracy. This is the most insidious example of the More Is Better Principal. In a bureaucracy, power is gained through the amount of people there are to manage because the number one function of bureaucracy is management. A system based on management can best recognize success through the increase of the people needing to be managed. Promotion comes from adding more people who are being managed, therefore it is in the bureaucracy’s best interest to add more people to manage so there can be more upward mobility for the people needing to be managed. Why? Because More Is Better.
Fb = Force of Bureaucracy June 21, 2014Posted by Tom Wells in Force of Bureaucracy, Introductions.
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We have all been taught about the commonly known forces of nature like Frictional Force, Tension Force, Electrical Force, Magnetic Force and Gravitational Force. These are forces that exists largely unseen but constantly felt or experienced. The forces are so much a part of our lives that these things were not recognized individually and categorized as forces until relatively recently in human history. Newton didn’t discover gravity per-se but he did identify it and quantify the force so that it could be mathematically modeled and studied.
Now I believe I have identified a new force of nature. It is a force that affects all of our lives in an unseen way but we constantly feel and experience this force. There are indicators within the force that can be studied and predicted. It exerts itself perpetually and invisible just like gravity and magnetism. I call this force the Force of Bureaucracy (Fb). This force is created when decision making and problem solving rises up beyond the individual level into growing groups of individuals who come together to make decisions and solve problems. The force seems to grow exponentially as the numbers of individuals who are brought together to effect a single action grows. In other words, the larger the government, corporation, religious, or philanthropy group gets is the larger the Fb on that group. There becomes a time then the momentum created by the Fb becomes greater than the ability of any one person can control.
The insidious thing is that there is an illusion of control over Fb in the same way a helicopter gives a person the illusion of control over gravity. Being able take off from the ground feels like you have broken the bonds of gravity, when in reality there is no where you can go in the entire universe where gravity is not an influence in some way. In governments, corporations, religious, or philanthropy groups there is no way to escape the Force of Bureaucracy as it increasingly gains a momentum of its own. That momentum starts to force the growing endeavor to behave in ways that defies logic and can even make an organization as a whole behave in ways the individuals that belong to the organization would never want.
My writing time has been consumed by the Force of Bureaucracy for the past three years since I became a supervisor in California State Government. My energies as a writer have been drained writing reports, recommendations and justifications to feed the ever present Fb. Recreationally, I still yearn to write creatively. The problem is that my daily experience involves trying to invent helicopters that can rise my organization above the Force of Bureaucracy. The daily experience is material rich, but it isn’t science fiction rich. I do have some gem ideas that could enter my science fiction writing someday, but I want to return my discipline from technical writing to creative writing. Since my mind gets focused on my daily work, I’ve decided to try creatively writing about what I experience at work and attempt to chronicle what it is that creates, influences and grows the unseen Force of Bureaucracy. I am going to try posting some essay’s on the things I observe and maybe I can make up a Dummies for Bureaucracy kind of publication. It’s an experiment so lets see how this goes.
Reviews January 22, 2014Posted by Tom Wells in Introductions.
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I know good reviews draw more people to your work so asking friends and family for more good reviews is supposed to make good business sense. However, the review features at places like Amazon are very helpful and I don’t want those reviews skewed by recommendations from anyone but honest users. That is why, for better or worse, I don’t solicit friends or family or anyone I know for reviews of the stories I self publish.
Undoubtedly that is why I don’t have many reviews, but on the flip side, they are honest reviews from people whom I have never met. So these six reviews from my story, Mother, are great to see.
Very different take on artificial intelligence. Truly believable. Could be a real encyclopedia of the future :). Thanks for the imagery.
Bill: **** Mother
An exceptionally original story conceptualization well reasoned out. The story line has a few time gaps and the human interaction dialogue is not quite up to the narrative dialog, but it’s a solid four stars. Looking forward to the complete book
Ryan: **** Really great sci fi read
I picked this up for free, and honestly, I would have paid for it happily!
TOB9595: *****GREAT SCI FI story
This is a terrific read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Plot and characters are well developed. There are no spoilers in my reviews
Allison: **** the first chapter of what could prove to be a good read
This first chapter of the story sets up a very interesting scenario whereby a probe sent from Earth to look for life among the stars evolves/mutates into a sentient being as it attempts to accomplish its directive. This chapter encompasses a fair amount of time in the life of the probe and its slow transformation. It seemed the parts of the chapter dealing with the human elements of the story weren’t crafted with the same care. In any case, I’m going to splurge for the $1.99 for the rest of the story. Something different, worth the time to read.
Darkaura: **** Very intriguing, April 29, 2013
It has a slow start, but gets real good. I am interested in reading the rest of the series. Future space stories are so intriguing.
I’m also grateful to anyone who might have read my stories and didn’t like them but also didn’t feel the need to low-rate them too. However if anyone who reads my stories on Amazon or the retailers like Barnes and Noble does have feedback about what can be improved in any of the stories published there, I would welcome the input. Just e-mail me at email@example.com.
And thank you again to those who liked my stories enough to give me the great reviews. writing written
How Many Computers Can One Guy Need These Days? August 15, 2013Posted by Tom Wells in Tom's Posts.
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It struck me recently that I use five computers going about my business on an average day.
When I graduated from college my wife and I shared one computer, a Mac LCII. Back then, most homes only had the one computer if any. I had grown up in the day when going from a rotary dial phone to a push button phone was a big deal, so owning this computer was hi tech indeed. Funny thing was it didn’t do all that much for us.
It was never connected to the internet in all the years we owned it. No e-mail. No Google. I just wrote some early stories and my wife did our finances on the computer but the most practical thing it did was produce the resumes that would take me from college graduate to carpenter to drafter to architect.
Our first office jobs doubled the amount of computers both of us used each day. One shared computer at home, and one at work. Those computers did not do much more than replace the typewriter and drafting boards until 1999. The internet entered my world at the turn of the century. Slowly the internet expanded my use of the computers and my little household added a laptop computer before we added our first child to the family.
We kept the Mac but never connected it to the internet. The laptop was our connection to the world through our phone line. With the birth of our first child the laptop also became my video editing studio. It was no longer a fancy upgrade to the typewriter. And the uses quickly expanded enough to justify upgrading our Mac to a new windows desktop.
That jumped me up to three computers I would use a day, especially when we upgraded the one old laptop to one new ones for each of us. We started using them at home much more and sharing was no longer an option.
The computer was finally shrunk down to something that fit in the palm of our hands and in 2011 I tried replacing my laptop, digital camera and GPS with the newest computer in my life, the smart phone. The experiment to replace the laptop ultimately failed but the Smartphone quickly became the computer bridge between my work and home use. The Smartphone for laptop experiment failed, I upgraded my old netbook to a tablet and at the same time my employer gave me another Smartphone to carry around that is encrypted so I can get company e-mails on the go. And this is where I ended up with five freaking computers, all of which I use to stay connected.
All of this lets me get out of the office more while staying connected and seldom bored. The world of computing is leaps and bounds above my connection to computers in 1994. I won’t say it’s above my imaginations from back then. Network pads that are my imagination’s fusion of the modern tablet and Smartphone are prominent in my stories started in 1994. I welcome the computers in my life and exploit them for the conveniences I have looked forward to using from my earliest science fiction readings and writings. It is amazing though to reflect back on how much the second half of my life has been transformed by the availability of this many computers.
Computers have become the one thing from all of science fiction which lives up to what has been imagined and more. They are a real life embodiment of worlds we can still only imagine.
Europa: Bellwether to Invasion May 30, 2013Posted by Tom Wells in Tom's Posts.
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As I look out over the vast Pacific Ocean I’m reminded of the reason that nearly every alien invasion movie or TV show gives for some warlike race crossing the vastness of space to come and pick on the likes of little old Earth. We do have a lot of water here, just waiting for something to come and try taking it away. Thing is, Earth is not the easiest place to get water from in our solar system.
The moon, Europa, which orbits Jupiter may be smaller than our Earth, but it is entirely covered by ice that holds a liquid ocean much deeper than the one that covers the surface of our own planet. It stands to reason then that if another race did come to our solar system in search of water, Europa would be the prime target. After all, as far as we know, Europa is not inhabited by an intelligent race with nuclear weapons. Why go poking at that race to take water when there is a larger store of the stuff far from the reach of the species’ weapons.
If anything, we should look upon Europa as an early warning for water greedy aliens from afar.
House On The California North Coast May 29, 2013Posted by Tom Wells in Tom's Posts.
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The view from my writing spot for the next 8 days.
I lived my first twenty years only 3 miles from the Pacific Ocean. I have moved further away for the next two decades, but the ocean still feels like home. I’m excited to be back for a week.
The Twelve Actions of Indoctrination Introduced May 21, 2013Posted by Tom Wells in Introductions.
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There is a new entry into the Encyclopedia of the Future. This entry describes the Twelve Actions of Indoctrination. It explains the actions that the Alliance of Worlds takes when a Non Alliance Species discovers that they are not alone in the universe. If you have read Mother or Preserving Humanity, then you know that humanity has become aware that life exists beyond our solar system. My next novel expands the story to include the Alliance of Worlds and their view upon humanity as a new NAS.
Sketch In Progress April 23, 2013Posted by Tom Wells in Tom's Posts.
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MSS (Martian Space Ship) Intrepid
Year Built 2095: 5 years after Martian independence. (See Red Sands of Revolution) – There is a ship named the Intrepid in this novel, but that ship is not the one pictured here. That Intrepid is however dear to the Martian revolutionaries. They named one of their first warships after the Rising Star cruise ship that brought their hero Carl Ronad home.
Year originally decommissioned: 2135
Loaned to the Program (See Preserving Humanity) in 2166 – This ship shows up at the end of the book which explains why a space ship would be sleek and aerodynamic.
First Human crew to leave the Sol solar system in 2167 (upcoming NAS 842) – How far will it go?
Help Someone in Need: A Book Bomb for Ben April 8, 2013Posted by Tom Wells in News, Tom's Posts.
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Help Someone in Need: A Book Bomb for Ben
Ben Wolverton, age 16, was in a serious long-boarding accident on Wednesday the 4th, 2013. He suffers from severe brain trauma, a cracked skull, broken pelvis and tail bone, burnt knees, bruised lungs, broken ear drum, road rash, and is currently in a coma. His family has no insurance.
We are having a book bomb on Wednesday, April 10th, on behalf of Ben Wolverton, who is the son of the New York Times bestselling author David Farland (http://www.davidfarland.com/).
You can learn more about Ben’s condition, or simply donate to the Wolverton family here: http://www.gofundme.com/BensRecovery
What is a Book Bomb?
For those that don’t know, a Book Bomb is an event where participants purchase a book on a specific day to support the author, or, in this case, a young person in serious need: Ben Wolverton.
David Farland’s young adult fantasy thriller Nightingale has won seven awards, including the Grand Prize at the Hollywood Book Festival—beating out ALL books in ALL categories. It has been praised by authors such as James Dashner (The Maze Runner), Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn), and Paul Genesse (Iron Dragon series), and has received four and a half starts on Amazon. You can read reviews here: http://www.amazon.com/Nightingale-ebook/dp/B006P7SEBY/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1365432857&sr=8-2
Some people sing at night to drive back the darkness. Others sing to summon it. . . .
Bron Jones was abandoned at birth. Thrown into foster care, he was rejected by one family after another, until he met Olivia, a gifted and devoted high-school teacher who recognized him for what he really was—what her people call a “nightingale.”
But Bron isn’t ready to learn the truth. There are secrets that have been hidden from mankind for hundreds of thousands of years, secrets that should remain hidden. Some things are too dangerous to know. Bron’s secret may be the most dangerous of all.
Nightingale is available as a hardcover, ebook, audio book, and enhanced novel for the iPad.
You can purchase it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nightingale-ebook/dp/B006P7SEBY/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1365432857&sr=8-2
on the Nightingale website: http://www.nightingalenovel.com/
or, you can get the enhanced version, complete with illustrations, interviews, animations, and its own soundtrack through iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/nightingale/id560309064?mt=11
If you are a writer, you may want to consider purchasing David Farland’s Million Dollar Outlines instead. Both books are part of the book bomb. Million Dollar Outlines has been a bestseller on Amazon for over a month and is only $6.99.
As a bestselling author David Farland has taught dozens of writers who have gone on to staggering literary success, including such #1 New York Times Bestsellers as Brandon Mull (Fablehaven), Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time), James Dashner (The Maze Runner) and Stephenie Meyer (Twilight).
In Million Dollar Outlines, Dave teaches how to analyze an audience and outline a novel so that it can appeal to a wide readership, giving it the potential to become a bestseller. The secrets found in his unconventional approach will help you understand why so many of his authors go on to prominence.
Or on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/million-dollar-outlines-david-farland/1114285069?ean=2940015965148
Read one of the 26 reviews here: http://www.amazon.com/Million-Dollar-Outlines-ebook/dp/B00B9JYJ6W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365434120&sr=8-1&keywords=Million+Dollar+Outlines
Would you like to just donate money? You can do that here: http://www.gofundme.com/BensRecovery
If you can’t spare any money, but would still like to help, you can do so by telling others about Ben’s donation page, and/or this Book Bomb. Share it on facebook, twitter, pinterest, your blog—anywhere you can. We have an event page set up on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/453677124707603/
Ben and his family greatly appreciate your support, and so do all who love and care about them.