Black Petals Issue #97, Autumn, 2021

Editor's page
Editor's Page
BP Artist's Page
BP Guidelines
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
A World of Sensations-Fiction by Michael Dority
Goddess Deva-Fiction by David Starobin
Hunting Ground-Fiction by N. G. Leonetti
Love Letters-Fiction by S. J. Townend
No Content Available-Fiction by Richard Brown
Phantom Smell-Fiction by Daniel G. Snethen
Predatory Peepers-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
The Visit-Fiction by B. E. Nugent
The Working Man-Fiction by Christopher Hivner
The Extermination-Fiction By Dominique K. Pierce
Win-A-Burger-Fiction by Glenn Dungan
Counting Time-Flash Fiction by Ramon F. Irizarri
Terry and the Techo-Frog-Flash Fiction by Hillary Lyon
The Epistolean-Flash Fiction by Harris Coverly
Labelled Rocks-Flash Fiction by Holden Zuras
Along Side of the Road-Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Beneath the Weeping Willow-Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Half-Life-Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Liquid Darkness-Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Lost-Poem by Carl E. Reed
Succubus Seductress-Poem by Carl E. Reed
The Crime of Frankenstein-Poem by Carl E. Reed
Brother's Keeper-Poem by Cassandra O'Sullivan Sachar
Razor Beak-Poem by Jessica Heron
The Fall of Vampire Hunters-Poem by Matthew Wilson


Some thoughts on writing science fiction:

Do you believe in alien contact? I do. I think the earth has been visited not just recently, but over millennia by civilizations more advanced than ours. Why do I find it so easy to believe? Let me tell you a story. (It’s what I do best.)

I grew up on a farm in southern Michigan and I guess at some point, every male kid gets at least momentarily interested in airplanes. To say that I had an interest in planes would be like saying Kellogg’s of Battle Creek had an interest in breakfast cereal. For a long time when I was growing up I ate, slept and breathed airplanes. I drew them in the margins of my schoolbooks when other kids were trying to draw female genitalia. My drawings were much better, probably because I had actually seen airplanes. I built hundreds of models, some flying models, some for static display. I still love planes and would have a pilot’s license right now, if I could justify the cost, just so I could go tool around over Kansas.

In about 1954 or 1955 a lot of airplanes came over our house. Seemed we were right in the traffic patterns for Detroit, Toledo and Willow Run, which was an air base, so I got to know my planes pretty well.

One day my mother and I happened to be outside. I don’t remember what we were doing out there in the yard, but I remember the weather. It was a blustery spring day and the sky was laced with broken clouds that were racing along to the south.

I heard a plane and before I even looked up, I knew what it was: a Douglas DC-3, the workhorse of the airlines in those days and also the military “Gooney Bird” that carried thousands of troops in World War II.

I peered skyward, looking through the broken cloud deck and spotted the plane, but then I called my mother’s attention to it. There was an object circling the plane. It was either ball-shaped or disk-shaped, we couldn’t tell, because by that time it was almost straight overhead. It was as shiny as if it were chrome-plated. It was maybe ten or twelve feet in diameter and it made no noise we could detect. There was only the sound of the plane’s big Pratt and Whitney radial engines. This object circled the plane smoothly and effortlessly and we actually found ourselves looking for some sort of tether cable attaching it to the plane, for it never increased or decreased its speed or its distance from the plane.

Now think about that for just a minute. This meant that whenever it crossed in front of or behind the plane, its speed had to match perfectly the speed of the DC-3. And then when it went forward to pass the plane it had to speed up and when it came down the other side to go around behind again it had to slow just enough to match and make that perfect pass.

I am convinced the pilot of that aircraft had to know it was there. My mother and I speculated about whether it might have been some secret military experiment or if we had witnessed a “flying saucer”. I’m sure I’ll never know.

And that brings me to the next phase of why I like science fiction. A few years ago, I rode my motorcycle to Rachel, Nevada and visited the Little Ale Inn (alien, get it?) an establishment that sits just on the near side of Bald Mountain. On the other side of Bald Mountain is Area 51, which as we all know, does not exist. But we do know that the place is so secret that deadly force is authorized against anyone who even climbs Bald Mountain and tries to get a peek. We also know that the people who work there live in Las Vegas and they are flown to work daily from Vegas in unmarked airliners and back again each night.

The military has lately increased the size of Area 51 and they have also moved a lot of what they do there even farther back into the mountains and they are buying up the land so they can make it even more secure.

The nice man at the Little Ale Inn had a lot to say about Area 51 and the Nellis Bomb range in general. He said a few years back, when they weren’t so touchy about security, he and some friends would climb Bald Mountain with their cameras and video gear and sit up there and drink beer and watch the show. Can’t do that anymore. The entire area is wired with every kind of sensor and motion detector made and you will be nabbed before you can even start up the mountain.

He says they were used to seeing unusual lights that would hover and flicker and sometimes go from a complete standstill to thousands of miles per hour in the blink of an eye and just as quickly stop again. He recalled being chased across the desert in his car by silent aircraft that lit the entire desert and were too bright to look at or photograph. He was convinced that the military were reverse-engineering captured alien spacecraft out there in order to get so far ahead technologically that no other country would ever catch us. Makes me sleep better at night.

Over the years I have done my share of reading. I have read most of the good UFO reports that were filed away as unexplainable. At this point, nothing would surprise me.

So, what does the sci-fi writer really do? Well, if he’s good, he takes known technology, combines it with speculative, future technology and weaves a story around it. I have written three novels and two novellas, all dealing with sci-fi and the supernatural. At some point I might even let you read them. They never found publication, but they’re still fun. But you have to be able to suspend your disbelief. That’s what the sci-fi writer really says when he takes on the reader. He says, in effect, “I’m gonna tell you a bullshit whopper of a story, a big fucking lie, and I want you to believe it, but only for as long as it takes you to read it. After that, I’ll return you to reality, because we both know it’s all bullshit.

Wichita, Kansas


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