Category Archives: aliens

Sci-Fi Characters

I have slowed down on revamping Aeroquest.  You may have noticed, I did not spit out the next Canto yesterday.  But I am still noodling around with the characters and the story.  I took as my model the short chapters and many characters of Frank Herbert’s Dune series.  And since it was intended as a comedy novel along the lines of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, it has a lot of ridiculous things in it that subvert the plot and the many subplots.

The story is salvageable.  But I will have to do some very big changes.  I need to streamline the plot.  I need to cut out unnecessary characters.  And I need to give more extensive development and stage time to the characters I keep.

So here is an insight into critical characters and who they are.

The Aero Brothers are the two main characters who give the book its name.  They were not created by me, but, rather, by one of the high school boys who played the science fiction RPG Traveller with me back in 1985.  He created both characters loosely based on Han Solo from Star Wars.  Ham was a hotshot space pilot.  Ged was a rogue hunter who developed the psionic power of changing his shape.  He was so powerful that he could use this mind power to change not only his size and shape but also his species.  The boy who created these characters was a natural born leader even though he was small for his age and often taken for granted by his fellow players in the game.  So these characters both reflect his real-life personality.

Trav Dalgoda, known as “Goofy” for his weird obsessions (like the eyepatch he doesn’t actually need), is a clown character who is constantly driven by his worst impulses to move the plot forward.  He doesn’t mean to betray anybody on purpose, but he is obsessed with treasure hunting and watching things blow up.  He can’t help causing massive destruction on planetary scales.  Tron Blastarr, the scar-faced space pirate, is a bad guy turned hero who is often on the wrong end of Goofy’s plot-moving missteps.  He ends up deciding that instead of merely being a pirate leader, he needs to lead a rebellion and form a new interstellar government.

These four are the most important characters in the entire story.  I cannot rewrite it without any of them.  All four of them are based on real people who played the science fiction role-playing game with me in the 80’s.  I will tell you more about Aeroquest characters in future posts.


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Extreme Strangeness That is Probably True

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  • The Russians decided the election in 2016 and put a criminal in the office of the President of the United States.  Enough concrete evidence and testimony of expert investigators now exists and is freely available enough to make a clear case for the truth of it.
  • They will probably get away with it.  Republicans control the government even though they get fewer votes than the other party.  This is because they cheat.  They use voter suppression, gerrymandering, and other dirty tricks to stay in power supported by a base that is controlled by fear, prejudice, and partisan tribalism.  They ignore the rule of law when it favors them getting what they want.  This country is no longer a democracy.
  • 9/11 is a terrible event, but it was not perpetrated by terrorists.  It was done by government organizations working together to hide the truth and cover the wealthy elite who made money and gained power from this horrible event.  The airlines that were hijacked made money for Wall Street investors who bet the stocks for those specific airlines would make a sudden fall in value.  The airplane (or possible missile) that hit the Pentagon hit the budget offices that were investigating the missing trillions of dollars, and the money was never found.
  • Aliens are real and routinely visiting our planet.  Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan all knew this for a fact, and the rest of the presidents since Truman may have known it as well… Though probably not Trump.  He would attempt to steal from the aliens or find some other way to make money from them.  The evidence is there in the form of testimony, artifacts, whistleblower testimony, photographs, and documentation that sometimes slips out of the government’s grasp.  The very real cover-up of the truth of it is also evidence of the reality of it.
  • The human mind is an incredible thing, with bizarre capabilities that we are only beginning to understand.  Synesthesia and savants with mysterious brain powers are also a documented reality.  Remote viewing and other mind powers have not only been studied by the government but used by them.

Bizarre things are often more true than the ordinary mundane things we all believe in every day.  You are welcome to argue with me.  I wish many of these things were not true.  But I know better.  And that sick feeling in your stomach is evidence that you know better too.

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Why I’m on This Aeroquest

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For those of you who are breathlessly following the weekly episodes from my first published mess of a novel, I apologize that I am not following through on my regular Tuesday feature today.  Of course, I know that the number of regular followers of this novel is actually zero.  Understandable because of what a confusing mess it is.  But I need to explain things anyway.

This whole saga began back in 2006 when I had time on my hands from being laid off from my teaching job by the Wicked Witch of Creek Valley.  I had two years worth of substitute teaching because said witch first hired me for my teaching philosophy, and then fired me for implementing it in my classroom.  (She had never actually been a teacher herself, just an administrator.)  I found myself with ample time to do a lot of writing, and I created my first published novel.  It was inspired by Frank Herbert’s Dune saga combined with Douglas Adams’s Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series.  So, naturally, it was doomed from the very start because it had too many characters in a long and rambling plot that was three novels too long in only one novel.


And on top of those serious rookie-writer mistakes, I added getting it published long before I actually had it ready for publishing with a fly-by-night publishing house called Publish America whom I can safely ridicule and defame here after they have been sued by authors numerous times because my contract with them expired in 2014, well after the company had morphed and changed its name to avoid paying any of their authors damages.  They did all the things they were accused of in lawsuits to my book.  They published it without reading it (proven by some of their authors who copied and pasted Wikipedia pages and got the company to publish that in book form).  They screwed up my chapter numbers and font styles intentionally to get me to pay for publishable revisions.  And they marketed my book only to friends and family for five times the price of a normal paperback.  They were the worst publishers I ever dealt with.  But in the end, I didn’t pay them a cent.  My relatives, however, bought the horrible book and refused ever after to fall for buying another Mickey Book.

The result is a large pile of garbage chapters with some good things and funny moments in them that I can use to mess around with, rewrite, reorganize, post here weekly, and eventually form into new novels.  That’s why I claim that this Tuesday feature is about novel writing in categories and tags.  I will take the first part of this mess and whip it up into a new book called Aeroquest 1: Stars and Stones.

It will have the whole first adventure on the planet Don’t Go Here where the entire planet’s population is trying to live within an episode of the Flintstones cartoon show.  It will reach the point where the three main characters will split up and go their separate ways, Ged Aero becoming the prophesied teacher of Psions known as the White Spider, Ham Aero becoming the rebel hero in the fight against the Imperium, and Trav “Goofy” Dalgoda taking his chaotic clown act to depths of dangerous depravity.  I am not, of course, trying to claim it will be good for anything.  But never let it be said that Mickey ever wasted a really bad idea.  Or even a really, really bad idea.  Or a terrible idea.  Or… well, you get the picture if you were fool enough to read this far.  If you put in that kind of effort, you certainly deserve to give yourself a “Yay me!” in the comments.

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Aeroquest… Canto 38

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Canto 38 – The Master Speaks

      Xavier Tkriashav came back to the planet Zarane for the first time in a quarter of a century.  It had once been home.  By the looks of it, though, they had been through hard times in his absence.  The Downport at Zhdlianta City was run down and nearly deserted.  Only a handful of junky old fossil merchant ships still traveled in and out of the place.  The lone military ship that once had carried a hundred teleport commandos aloft sat broken down and thoroughly pirate-scarred in its dry-dock.


The Megadeath sat down on what once had been the Psion Emperor’s landing pad.  No one was there to meet them.  The Lupin Stardog Corsairs filled the empty landing pads surrounding it.  If they had been an invasion force or a raiding party, they would have entered Zarane’s largest city unopposed.  Tkriashav frowned.

“We be jammin’” said Vince Niell.  “Last stop, spooky world of the supersonic headhunters.  Everybody out!”

Tkriashav was the only one who left the safety of the starship willingly.  Everyone else edged out behind him.  Young Rocket Rogers kindled a small ball of flame in his right hand, apparently to be ready in case the worst happened.  He cradled the baby fireball out of sight in his hands.

“Wha…?” said Cold Death as a small rock flew out of the shadows and plunked him on his head.

Vince and Nikki pulled their laser pistols.  Cold Death stupidly rubbed his throbbing head.

“Friends?  Zaranians? Countrymen?  I have returned.  Why is no one here to lend an ear?”

“Go away!” shouted someone in the middle distance.  Vince pointed his weapon in the general direction but could see no one to shoot at.

“The crowd is in the Gallows Stadium!” cried someone else from further away.  “Go there to get what’s coming to you.”

“Jeez, man,” moaned Nikki Sixx, “we should leave now, dude!”

“Yeah, well, I mean…  Wait,” said Tkriashav.  “I know these people better than they know themselves.  They need to hear our good news!”

Resolutely Tkriashav began his march to the Gallows Stadium, expecting everyone else to follow him.  Slowly they did.

On the way, several people saw Tkriashav and his crew.  They all turned tail and sprinted towards the Gallows Stadium.  Word would proceed the Psion Master himself.

The stadium was designed, just as the name suggested, as a place of public execution.  It was, in fact, quite crowded with the current execution nearing its commencement.  As Tkriashav entered through the main gates, all eyes turned his way.  Some few shouted “Hurray!” but many others hissed a “Boo!” at him.  The rest were unnaturally silent.  On the gallows itself were three Nebulons and a white-skinned boy about to be hung.  The adult male Nebulon glared defiantly at Tkriashav with a noose securely around his neck.  The blue-skinned woman and the Nebulon boy were both crying.  The white boy, also balanced precariously with a noose around his throat, looked grim.

Tkriashav marched up to the gallows platform, shoving several planetary officials and Telepathic Monitors aside.  He raised his hands to the crowd.

“Zaranians, I have returned.  I am Tkriashav, First Psion of Zarane from the Aziashav Dynasty.  I know you will not go through with this unwarranted execution!  To have a share in the prosperity I bring, your hands must remain clean of innocent blood.”

“What makes you believe they are innocent!” cried a Telepathic Monitor in a blue turban and Psi-police uniform.

“I can foresee the future.  If you kill them, I see this planet devastated in war.  You have no fleet left!”

“These Nebulon invaders have no real fleet either!  They are Psionic and intend to overrun our world.”

“Have you probed them?”

“The two boys are too powerful.  They shield everyone around them from telepathic probes!” accused a red-turbaned Psion Centurion.


“Those of you who remember me from twenty years ago will recall my powers of clairvoyance.  I foresee the space whale navies of two entire Nebulonin clans coming to destroy this world.  Every last man of you will lie dead in your own filth for the atrocity you plan to commit here today!  Only if you listen to this blue man do you stand to reap the benefits of the prosperity and high technology that I have brought back to you.”

“Empty words, Tkriashav!” called out Shivitatla, one of Tkriashav’s former political rivals.  “You may have predicted your own disappearance and return, but you failed to predict the death of Aziashav II.  The world of Zarane has gone to ruin in your absence.  Stardogs and Nebulons are to blame.  They decimated our fleets and dropped colonies on all the empty worlds in this sector!”

“Perhaps,” said Tkriashav grimly, “you need to hear why.  Did you give this Nebulon ambassador a chance to speak?”

“No,” said Shivitatla.  “<You know already why he’s here, don’t you!>” he added in Zaradese.

“<Do you?>” The force of Tkriashav’s reply made Shivitatla stagger backwards.

“Let the Psion Master give us proof!” shouted a Psi-police Lieutenant.  “I would hear the evidence!”

“Let the Nebulon speak!” said Tkriashav.

“He’s a stupid Space Smurf!” cried several.  “He doesn’t know Galactic English!”

“Can you speak to us?” Tkriashav asked the blue man directly.

“I can speaken Galagic Engrish!” he said in a thick, but understandable accent.  “I need to speaken!”

The crowd grew hushed at the surprising revelation.  Xavier Tkriashav walked up to the man and removed the noose from his neck.  “Speaken,” he said.

“I am for Clannish Sinjarac talken!” said the blue man.  “I am Ambassador Jor.  My clan has left the Great Nebula from before I am bornen.  Tshizcaruc!  We are refugees of a great war.  We leaven the Pan Galactic Union because of Faceless Horde.  We leaven Imperial Borders because of pirates and Galtorrian monster men.  We been many killed by your kind.  We beg for place to stayen!  We like many other mens.  We bleed.  We feel sorrow.  Give us any worlds you want.  Airless okay!  Gas Giants!  We live where you do not!  We only want peace, a place to belongen.”

“Let me add this,” said Tkriashav, “I am a powerful clairvoyant.  I know what course will bring us happiness!  This man offers you something you need from Nebulons, peace and friendship.  I can also show you proof that the prophecies of Xan have come true.”

“A new White Spider?” asked Shivitatla amazed.

“Yes.  A man called Ged Aero.  He is on a planet called Gaijin, not many parsecs from here.  He will rebuild an Empire and create a new future for us.”

“I hope you can prove that,” said Shivitatla, “but if you can, then I yield to you.  Your way could be right after all.  I will not stand in the way of Xan’s Prophecy.”

The people began cheering.  The government officials began chattering amongst themselves.  The possibilities began to open their minds and hearts.

“I thanken you for saving us,” said Jor to Tkriashav.  “I am grateful for the lives of my son, Gyro, my wife, Natasha, and this young cowsboy, Billy Iowa.”

“I had a dream about this,” Tkriashav said, helping Jor to free his family, “and if it comes true, we will all be thanking you and your family.”

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A Character Reference, Part 2

Yesterday an inconvenient internet outage interrupted my fountain of character gushing.  So let me splash a couple more on here.


Tim Kellogg

Tim is a school teacher’s son who is sorta, kinda, based on my own oldest son… and maybe a little bit on me.  He’s clever, creative, a natural leader, and only slightly evil part of the time.

Tim is a main character in;

Catch a Falling Star

The Bicycle-Wheel Genius

Magical Miss Morgan


Grandma Gretel


Grandma Gretel Stein

Gretel is a German survivor of the concentration camps who sees and talks to fairies on a regular basis.  She also bakes magically delicious gingerbread cookies.  And loves to tell stories to those who eat her cookies.

She is a main character in;

Recipes for Gingerbread Children

She is an important character in;


The Baby Werewolf


The Primary Cast of Recipes for Gingerbread Children (left to right) Grandma Gretel, the cookie baker, Todd Niland, handsome young farm boy and cookie-eater, Sherry Cobble, nudist and junior high cheerleader, and Sandy Wickham, cookie-eater and Todd Niland’s crush.

My Art 2 of Davalon


He’s the alien Telleron pilot and good guy aboard Xiar’s space ship who gets shot during the failed invasion of Iowa and helps save the planet in the near future.  He’s a main character in;

Catch a Falling Star

Stardusters and Space Lizards

Davalon (re-named David by the couple who adopts him)

Dav is the alien boy accidentally lost on earth in Catch a Falling Star, and leader of the young explorers in Stardusters and Space Lizards.


Edward-Andrew Campbell, the Superchicken

It is possible E-A is really me.  He bears my high school nickname.  He is a boy trying to cope with being the new kid in a tightly knit little Iowa farm town.

He is the main character in;




I fear I am still a long way from done with referring to characters in my books.  But more waits for another day.

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Aeroquest… Scherzo 1

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Scherzo 1 – Who?

      In the Central Hospital of downtown Oasis City, Hassan the Elf was awakening from his ordeal.  Maggie the Knife sat by his bed with little Artran hanging out at the foot of the bed.

“He’s awake, Mommy!” announced Artran.

“So he is,” said the red-haired beauty, reaching over to brush a lock of hair out of Hassan’s eyes.  “Welcome back little one.”

In a very soft-spoken voice Hassan said, “I am one hundred and four years old.  I have had fourteen wives and seven hundred children in my time.  I may look young, but I’m not exactly a child.”

“My, my!” said Maggie in the tone of an indulgent parent.  “You are quite the little man!”

“Do I get Daddy?” Artran asked of his mother.

“Please.  Tell him the Peri is awake.”

“Right away!”  Artran tore out of the hospital room as if it were on fire.

“So tell me,” said the elf softly, “will I be kept around for my intellect, or will you do away with me now that I am crippled?”

“Ooh, how you talk!  You’ve been liberated by the Pinwheel Corsairs of Tron Blastarr.  We intend to let you decide your own fate.  Tron is planning to pay for an artificial leg for you.”

“Why would a corsair leader help a poor Peri slave?”  Hassan’s eyes were large and filled with tears.  He couldn’t believe his sudden good luck.

“We Blastarrs believe that all races and individuals have worth.  It’s what has made us so unpopular with the Galtorr Imperium.”

Scan_0005At that moment the room filled with an unnatural pinkish light.  By the wall opposite the bed a really old-style phone booth materialized out of thin air.  One creature was inside, a middle-aged human with shaggy gray hair and a large nose.  He also had bags under his eyes as if from excessive fatigue.  And he carried an umbrella under one arm.  He opened the phone booth and stepped out.

“Who are you?” asked Maggie, staring.

“Exactly!  You can call me Doctor Hooey, or just… Doctor.  I’m a Time Knight from the planet Gallagos.  This is not a phone box; it is my TimeShip, the Star Wars.  It’s really much more impressive than it looks.”

At that moment, Tron and the King of Killers arrived to greet the awakened Peri.

“What is going on here?” demanded the scar-faced boss.

“Er… I was just telling your wife, Maggie, I believe, that I am a Time Knight of Gallagos.  I come from long, long ago and far, far away to find you, Tron.”

“What?  How do you know my name?”

“I told you.  I am a Time Knight of Gallagos.  This telephone box is my TimeShip, the Star Wars.”

“No.  I mean, what are you doing here?  How do you know who I am?”

“I’m not an agent of the late Count Nefaria, if that’s what you fear.  I came here because King Ryan Beowulf of the Time Knights sent me here to find you and do the things the record books said were done in the proper timeline.  We have a pyramid to look into and some Imperial secrets to steal.”

“What is this record book you speak of?  And what PYRAMID?”

“I’m a Time Knight!  I know things that haven’t happened yet… and things that once happened that nobody else alive today knows about.  I travel through time, forwards and backwards, and I know it’s all very confusing!  It gives me a headache to think about it too.”

“What is a Time Knight?” asked Artran, staring out from behind his father’s leg.  “And why do you have those golden question marks on your old, tweedy suit?”

“Ah, you ask good questions, boy!  No wonder you become so famous if you manage to live past the age of thirteen!  A Time Knight…”  Here Dr. Hooey had to pause to take a breath as all the oxygen in his brain was used up.  “…is an adventurer and hero who travels through time, correcting anything that has gone, or might go wrong with the stream of time.”

“Wow,” said Hassan softly.  “You talk funny!”

Artran snickered.  Tron himself began to smile.

“Oh, I’m not the worst one, believe me.  Of all the Time Knights, Dr. Emmit Brown talks the fastest.  Sir H.G. Wells has a funny English accent.  Sir Emerald Man is an original Galtorrian and speaks with a snaky lisp.  No, I’m not the worst one.”

“So what is this nonsense about a pyramid?” asked Tron, sounding more exasperated than he looked.

“It’s the reason I have come.  If we don’t go and look into that pyramid, then your New Star League will never be formed.  You will never become the Grand Admiral of Outpost, and Ged Aero will never become the successor to Shan as the White Spider!”

“So, you better lead the way!” said Tron.

“You know,” said Hooey, “Master Hassan has to be there as well, along with your friend Mr. Killer.”

“Are you ready to travel, elf?” asked Tron.

“You can’t!” said Maggie.  “The boy just woke up from a coma!”

“I will do anything you ask of me,” said Hassan sincerely to Tron.  “You have helped this lowly one in a way that can never be repaid, except by never-ending service.  It is my duty.”

Tron smiled at the elf.  He was almost truly handsome when he smiled, in spite of the nasty scar through his eye.  Hassan felt blessed to have such a brave and generous man as his new lord and master.

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Advertising on E-Bay Ignorantly


You are probably not going to believe this, but there are certain things you simply cannot safely sell on E-Bay.  My first good novel, Catch a Falling Star, took years to write.  The research, interviews with survivors, fighting off remaining alien invaders left behind when the Telleron invasion failed, and clean-up of sites and inconvenient witnesses took at least from 1990 to 2012.  And then, as part of my marketing-by-blogging strategy for the book, I took a box of leftover skortch pistols and listed them for sale on E-Bay.  They turned out to be a very popular item.  It took the first skortch ray almost a year to sell for a measly five dollars.  It was bought by a woman with a very annoying husband.  She apparently bought the item as a joke, thinking it would not actually work as a molecular disintegration weapon.  But after she surprised her husband with it and then posted the surprising results on Facebook, I quickly sold out the rest of the 26 pistols in the box and made almost $800. I am told by concerned investigative reporters that crotchety old men, ugly wives, and particularly Dennis-the-Menace-like kids were disappearing all across the Midwest.  I also learned that one skortch ray pistol came into the hands of a Republican political operative before the election in 2016.  That fact may have accounted for the disappearances of large numbers of registered Democrats in both Michigan and Pennsylvania in the weeks before the election.

I wanted to inform you that I may have done something stupid on E-Bay.  Therefore I am re-posting the drawing I did of Studpopper the Telleron demonstrating the firing of an example skortch pistol created by Zillokahsitter Industries on Telleri Prime with Sylvani technology.  If you should see one of these in the hands of a spouse that thinks you are grumpy too much of the time, I would suggest an almost instantaneous program of self-improvement.  And if you see one in the hands of someone in a red MAGA baseball cap, immediately put on your own red hat and say something inordinately stupid so they will assume you are one of them, and hope they skortch themselves by accident before they get around to skortching you.

Sorry about that.  I should’ve thought this whole thing through more carefully beforehand.

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