The Game

The Game

The game of avoiding catastrophe

                Played against an opponent

                                Who does not care.

What can be more important

                Than fighting for the future?

Jumping off a cliff

                Into the unknown

                                As the corals bleach.

Populations crash.

                An ecosystem

                                That took billions of years to build,

Destroyed in decades

As time runs out.

People are ready for change.

We are desperate for hope.

Opher – 22.4.2021

We are standing on the brink of that cliff.

We are unbalancing the ecosystems.

We are killing the wildlife.

We are destroying habitats.

We are polluting the world.

We put money before the future.

Enough is enough.

It has to stop.

We have to start to repair the world.

It is too beautiful to allow it to die.

Star – A Sci-fi novel – A parody of the sixties set in the future. Galactic Rock Music is the focus.

Star

 Opher May 26, 2020

It’s the sixties – the three thousand one hundred and sixties.

The Federation is in conflict with the Confederation.

The Troman war rages …

There is a civil rights issue with the Androvians.

Young people all across the galaxy are in revolt. Rock Music, on an intergalactic scale, is the medium of the rebellion.

Zargos Ecstasy and the Terminal Brain Grope are providing the impetus for the rebellion.

Zargos, a larger than life character based on Bob Dylan, Hendrix, Jagger, Jim Morrison and Bowie, struts the stage, putting his poems to music and rousing the spacefreaks to seek social justice.

If you lived through the sixties you’ll recognise it all.

Extract

The beginning

Hilan Hilzar sat back into the posture form sensopadding of his couch seat. He was so full of tension that the living contouring did little to reduce the tightness of his muscles. He could not relax. The huge effort of holding back the excitement was making is body rigid. His mind was clamping down on his torso like a crushing weight so that the pressure welled up inside him. His heart felt swollen, writhing around in his chest. His flesh was actually jumping and twitching as if some high voltage current was flowing through his veins. He was worried that it would trigger the seat’s resuscitation unit. It might consider him at risk and ping him with a sedative.

For weeks now his whole existence seemed to have been building up to this climax. At first it had all seemed unreal – an eternity away. It had crawled towards him at a krank-snail’s pace; like it would never arrive. It had devoured his concentration leaving him unable to think of anything else. Then it had simply rushed and the impossible day had arrived.

The journey here was a haze of unreality. He had spent the entire time peering around himself in disbelief. It could not really be happening. Reality was divorced from the evidence of his senses.

He sat back into the seat and took a deep breath as the sensopadding rippled calmingly around him. His mind refused to operate properly. Only fragments of the journey were registering. He’d been in a dream. It was a wonder that he had got here at all. He had vague recollections of boarding the ship and then the jump. Somehow the surge had only barely registered at all. Who could believe that? He had burned through the colour shifts with all the interest of a veteran traveller or some spoilt rich kid to whom hyperspace was a regular event. Instead of being astounded by the brilliance he had just wanted it to end; to arrive. His mind had not been there at all. Even the re-entry was just a dream that washed over him. It was almost forgotten. It meant nothing. His mind was already ahead of him, dancing at his destination. In his head he was already there. This entire journey, no matter how amazing, had been no more than a necessary nuisance to be endured. The terminal had been awash with a multitude of beings as aliens mingled with humans and he allowed himself to be wafted along with the flood of the crowd. They were borne along on a babbling sea of excitement that engulfed them all.

It was as if he only really awoke when he entered the arena. He stood for a minute open-mouthed as the crowd washed past him, boggling at the immensity of it. He was here. He really was. Only then did he dare to let himself believe. He allowed himself to look around as he was checked by an automated usher, conveyed and deposited into his allocated seat. All the while he had been in a trance.

As he came to, excitement welled up inside him as he accepted that he was actually here. He had made it. He bounced to his feet and found himself jumping up and down madly waving to the various groups of friends in his immediate vicinity, the same friends he had not even registered on his journey here.

After a while he had calmed down sufficiently to settle back down into his seat. He could barely contain himself. There were still hours to wait.

A sun was up casting hard sharp shadows. The sky glowed with a deep violet blue bathing the audience with its soft gleam. It would be nightfall before anything happened. He forced himself to calm down. His body would surely give out if it continued at this pitch. He did not want to burn out before it even started.

The sun set below the curved horizon leaving a crystal clear void sprinkled with a billion stars like fine salt on black obsidian. They hung like a pall of smoke over the crowd. There were no gaps between the specks just differences of intensity. It was so clear that one could imagine there was no air or Plexiglas between them. It made him aware that this was a moon; no planet could possibly have created such clarity.

Hilan decided it was time to drop his tablet of Amaz.

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Today’s Music to keep me SSSAaaaaNNnnEEE in Isolation – Leonard Cohen – The Future

I’m watching the future in Ukraine – it’s murder!!

Brexit, Johnson, Oban, Trump, Bolsonaro, Le Pen, global warming, war, mass immigration – things are gonna slide in all directions!

Quantum Fever – a Sci-fi novel – a futuristic vision of a capitalist system.

Thanks for all the great reviews and buying the books!!

Quantum Fever

 Opher August 27, 2019

The System is made up of thousands of planets housing trillions of people in tiny doms arranged in tiers.

The Consortium are a group of wealthy capitalists who live above the metropolis in floating mansions. The name of the game is expansion and profit.

The Quships cross quantum space in search of planets to either colonise or plunder for resources in order to maintain the system.

Quantum Fever is a disease that affects people who jump the weird reaches of quantum space.

Was Tahsin Roeg suffering from Quantum Fever or were the Consortium seeking to control her?

What of the alien planet she discovers?

Were the Primitives going to achieve their dream?

Extract

Chapter 1

I hate every minute of being in such an elite club. I play the game and I know I do it well but it really is not me. Inside I am still Tahsin Roeg, the ordinary girl from the deeper beltways of Haven.

Having this rare ability has been my ticket out of the lower tiers. At first, I revelled in it. Who would not feel good about being able to do something that so few other people could do? For someone like me, now in my middle age, short, rather dumpy and plain looking and possessing a phobia about Nano surgical recontouring, it surely proved a lifeline for my ego.

Who would not feel great about being made to feel so special, or having the potential to be elevated into such a high position in society? That skill provided me with a status that was otherwise unattainable.

My rare ability transformed the future for my entire family and gave me a pass to a life, that as an otherwise rather average girl, I could only have imagined – attaining that place in the sky we all dream of.

The skill made me wealthy and famous, but it had not made me happy and now I was finding that it was not at all fulfilling either.

Disillusionment leaves a rancid taste.

I began to see it for what it was – emptiness – sheer emptiness – all sham, all front.

We thought we were part of their club but we really were not. All we Quship Skippers were being used. We were expendable. They, ‘The Consortium’, exploited our talent, paid us handsomely but would discard us as soon as we were of no further use to them. We moved in their world but we were not part of it.

Worse than that – they thought they possessed the right to control us.

There was an epiphany when I woke up to what the Consortium was really doing. For some reason I had shut my mind to it. Now my eyes were opened. I could clearly see what game they were playing. It was so obvious.

No matter how much I tried to kid myself that I was doing a good job and bringing back the resources that everyone needed, I knew I was really working for a bunch of crooks who I did not think were very nice. They certainly were not doing it for the people – that was for sure. The whole business made me feel used and grubby. Somehow, despite all my best intentions, I had lost contact with the friends I used to have in the lower tiers. Looking back now I can see that the moment I left to start the intensive training was when I subconsciously broke away from my roots. I severed that umbilicus. It was something I was now regretting. I was starting to wonder what had become of my friends. We had shared so much. They must have felt abandoned, betrayed.

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Poetry – Robots for good!

Robots for good!

Let us bring in robots!

Do away with work!

Then quarter the population.

A new age of fairness and prosperity!

Let us have a new age

Of unity with nature,

Of reverence for all,

Of oneness with respect and dignity!

Opher 26.11.2019

The world is being ravaged by mankind. We are destroyed nature. Our greed and numbers are killing everything in our path.

Time to change.

Maybe AI can be a force for great good – if we harness it for the good of all, and not just the wealthy few, we can all become prosperous. We can work less.

But we will need to bring our numbers down so that our impact is less. Nature cannot stand the strain. We are changing the climate; we are causing extinctions on a catastrophic level.

Time to change.

AI could be the solution (or it could be the final straw).

Poetry – Choices

Choices

We stand at the apex of choice.

The road ahead forks.

The main track is clear,

More of the same,

As the trees dwindle

And the bird song dies

It becomes quiet.

To the side

There is a route that is verdant;

Alive with wings and rustles.

We have a choice.

Each decision has a cost.

Opher – 24.7.2019

We are trundling along on a juggernaut whose maw is gobbling up all before it and churning out plastic goods in its wake.

There is a decision to be made.

Without Blades – A short film based on my poem Rebellion Extinction.

Without Blades – A short film based on my poem Rebellion Extinction.

Posted on  by Opher

I was very humbled to find that a group of students had used one of my poems – Extinction Rebellion – to create a powerful short film.

Thank you Alex Galkowski, Nicola Stockdale, Nathan Wong and Iago de Parla – with thanks to Meegan Worcester, Freya Dohrn Ellefsen and Ethan Bishop.

Let us all hope that it helps a little to put the environment top of the agenda. We’re fighting for our planet.

Thank you guys – you’ve done me proud!https://www.youtube.com/embed/DUGxTTaaj7w?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

Extinction Rebellion

The world is in a mess.

That’s not hard to see.

The plunder and the rape

Is killing bird and tree.

But there’s a rebellion against this extinction

Carried out with distinction.

Superglued to trains and building barricades

They’re fighting without blades.

They are fighting for the future

They are making a huge din.

They’re trying to wake us up

To what is happening.

For profit and gain

We are busy plundering.

Without a care for pain

Or a moment spent wondering.

But there’s a rebellion against this extinction

Carried out with distinction.

Superglued to trains and building barricades

They’re fighting without blades.

So long live the rebellion

I hope it wakes us up.

Greed is so destructive

We’ve got to give it up.

But there’s a wealthy bunch

Who just see the cash.

Unless they start to give a damn

We’re heading for a crash.

But there’s a rebellion against this extinction

Carried out with distinction.

Superglued to trains and building barricades

They’re fighting without blades.

Opher – 24.4.2019

What we have done to the world over these last few hundred years is criminal. Without regard to the destruction or the agony of the creatures caught up in it we have devastated the environment.

Things have got to change.

Animal population numbers are decimated. Many face extinction. The wilderness is being destroyed.

Nowhere is safe.

Thank heavens some people are prepared to fight for a better future.

Poetry – Poem To My Future Self

Poem To My Future Self

Dust – look at what you have achieved.

You are the stuff of stars

Yet you are so dull and shiftless.

You who were the ecstasy of worms

Are now all wind and dirt.

Where are your dreams?

Dust – why so useless?

Do you not crave action?

Are you content to drift

In aimless ripples?

Are you now so purposeless?

What are you planning?

Dust – you were once me.

You sought to live

And now you skulk in corners

And cover beauty

In your carelessness.

Do you not care?

I hear you.

I am dust, vapour and gas –

I did not amount to much.

I will touch stars again

But until then

I will exist

In what used to be, what is, and what I will become.

Opher 14.12.2015

Poem To My Future Self

I am told that I may not always be the same as I am today.

A thousand years from now I may appear different to how I presently am.

I have this on good authority but I do not really believe it. This body I possess may have changed. The evidence of the mirror backs up the possibility that I am not the same as I was. The evidence of my experience shows that others before me have disappeared. But inside my head it is the same me peering out. I can’t imagine he will want to leave this green jewel shrouded in mystery. I do not believe I will intrinsically change.

Yet seeing myself and others age and die certainly puts things in perspective.

I’ve had a life. My dust, this walking patch of dirt, has thoughts, dreams, wishes and still strives to change the world.

What are my visions for the future? What is this consciousness I possess?

What is this body, this corporal entity, this substance that I call me?  It is transient, ethereal and lifeless. It is dust – dust, wind and water.

Already I have shed a million bodies. My past dust drifts behind me like a gossamer shroud. I do not mourn those particles that were me. Already each gulp of air teems with molecules that were once part of me and may be again. The water comes and goes to rest a while in clouds before once again flowing through my tap, blood and kidneys.

All those zillions of atoms are not me. They never knew they were ever part of me.

Or did they?

Do I imbue them with my energy? Do they, like me, dream?

They will swirl and eddy around his planet forever, until our sun finally expands to incorporate them once more to its fiery breast and they return to whence they came.

Perhaps they will always throb with the essence of me? For one day I am destined to be a star again.