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Archipelago Atascadero Discovered By Kepler Space Telescope November 3, 2015

Posted by Tom Wells in News, Tom's Posts.
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From an article in USA Today:

Strange light emitting from a distant star has astronomers and people in the scientific community scratching their heads.

Is a megastructure created by an alien civilization diverting the light to create energy? Or is it just leftover particles from an asteroid belt? Maybe, a technical glitch?

The only sure thing about the star, called KIC 8462852, seems to be uncertainty.

Spotted by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope in 2009, the strange light pattern emitted from the star has puzzled many over the years, The Atlantic reported.”

Another explanation I am choosing to believe is that NASA has discovered the Archipelago Atascadero from my stories, Spacewalk and Son of a Sun. The archipelago from my stories is the holy grail of habitable systems with a grouping of thirty nine small planets that orbit together at the same distance from their common sun on opposing planes like multiple electrons orbiting an atom’s nucleolus.


I’ve always thought this kind of solar system is a fun new idea that I haven’t seen before in science fiction. Apparently, there is at least some possibility it is more than just an idea.

How Many Computers Can One Guy Need These Days? August 15, 2013

Posted 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. LC2

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.Dellmini10

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. bionic-atrix-dock-2-SlashGear-580x386 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, 2013

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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.

To scale, the blue ocean of Europa is larger than the water of Earth.

To scale, the blue ocean of Europa is larger than the water of Earth.

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, 2013

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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.

Sketch In Progress April 23, 2013

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Intrepid_isometricMSS (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, 2013

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Ben Wolverton Pictured Here with his sister.

Ben Wolverton Pictured Here with his sister.

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

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/nightingale-david-farland/1107084747?ean=2940016100463

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

milliondollaroutline cover
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.

Get it on Amazon: 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

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/

Thank you!
Ben and his family greatly appreciate your support, and so do all who love and care about them.

Precious Time April 5, 2013

Posted by Tom Wells in Tom's Posts.
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My kids were out of school for spring break. I took time off from work and we spent the week doing family time. There were bike rides, movies, and at ages 9 & 13, our kids had never been to a mall. So we did all of these things, plus Netflix and pitching in together for yard work and all of the things that makes the start of spring a fun time of the year. Not having to face an alarm clock the next morning allowed my wife and I to stay up longer and spend our own time together that regular work weeks don’t afford. I did do a little writing, but it was much more of a family week.

What has made that week spent together feel more special is the disheartening news that seems to be everywhere right now. A coworker’s daughter died suddenly while attending UC Santa Barbara last month. My nephew who became a quadriplegic in a tragic accident a number of years ago was hospitalized for pneumonia and his outlook was grim for a while (thankfully the signs of recovery are encouraging now). I recently attended a workshop held by David Farland who now reports that his son is in a coma after a skiing accident. These are just the personal stories. Add the tragedies in Newtown and other news from the world and you have a constant reminder of what a precious gift our families are.

With the bad news seeming to pile on, I am so happy to have the chance to appreciate the wonderful time I had with my wife and kids last week. And my prayers go those who are facing the cruel challenges that no one should have to face.

My First Review On Amazon January 16, 2013

Posted by Tom Wells in News, Publications, Tom's Posts.
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Mother02Since offering my short story, Mother, is available for free on Amazon downloads from kindle are high (at least their high for a new author publishing for myself).  There has been over 150 free purchases in the month of December alone.  Mother is a short story written a couple of years ago and after it was completed, I wrote a follow along novel that incorporates Mother as the second chapter. So I am hoping that people who have read my short story will be interested in the full length novel where the story of what happens next is explored in detail. I could have solicited my friends and family to log onto Amazon and review my story, but I have stayed silent and waited to see if I have caught the attention of people who have probably come across my story by chance and read it out of curiosity.

And now someone has, giving the story a five-star rating and making me feel like it was enjoyed.  Hopefully I’ll get more like this.  I am encouraged as I take one last weekend this week to final edit my follow along novel to Mother and submit it for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Entry for this year opened on January 14th and I hope they have not topped out on their maximum 10,000 entries by the time I finish my edits a few days from now. Maybe the first judges will like my pitch enough to send me on to the next level, maybe the next line of judges will send me into the semi-finals, and getting even that far would be amazing.  Yet even if I do not place at all, I still have my first five-star review and that is a winner for me.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’s Reflection December 24, 2012

Posted by Tom Wells in Tom's Posts.
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Merry Christmas. As a father of two, I get to enjoy some of the best things about this time of the year. I also become extra emotional when holiday movies get sentimental. The time with my family is put into an extra amount of appreciation when thinking of the terrible year this will be for some of the parents in Connecticut. If you’re a parent like me, you’ve been hugging your kids at least a little extra these days.

As I write this, Christmas is tomorrow and there is an electricity of anticipation in the air around our home. For us, the big event starts this evening when we go out for sushi before going to a Christmas Eve mass. Then we’ll cruise some neighborhoods for their light shows and return to open a gift each. The kids will spend the next few hours trying to go to sleep while my wife and I try to patiently wait for our chance to play Santa. My twelve-year-old daughter likes to still believe in Santa like she wants to believe that there are fairies and magic in the world. I can tell that her logical side knows differently, but her optimism still lets her consciously keep these things real to her. She makes me wonder if Santa really exists and that his magic includes planting the illusion that us parents are the ones delivering his gifts while he stealthily continues to fulfill his legacy.

As for me and writing, it’s been a year of testing my ability to stay on task while outside forces have interrupted the positive flow of the year before. I am still at it though and I of course am resolving to put even more energy into my writing in the coming year. So rather than dwelling on what has stalled my writing, I’m going back to the story I’ve been working on today.

Have a merry Christmas and here’s to a great New Year!

Of Course, A Rejection Can Be Just That December 12, 2012

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“Your story has been judged and did not place in the 4th quarter of the Writers of the Future contest.”

That’s when a rejection is just a rejection. It can be disappointing, but I have to remind myself that I am not writing to win a contest. I’m writing to tell stories.

To get better at telling those stories, I have signed up for a workshop in Provo UT next year. It is being put on by author David Farland who just happens to be the current judge for the Writers of the Future contest and the same guy that has rejected my most recent entry. I figure who better to learn more about story telling from than the man who has been judging my work.