Please click on the following links for some YouTube clips containing several readings from my book Of Pain and Ecstasy: Collected Poems.
Starting April 14, 2014 most of my fiction and poetry is available through Smashwords. Kindle and paperback versions of these are still available through Amazon and paperback versions of my short story collections and poetry are also available through CreateSpace and various retailers.
In the coming weeks, Smashwords will make my titles available through Apple iBookstore, Sony, Kobo, B&N, Aldiko, and through other retailers and in other formats.
For a quick look at what’s available, please visit my Smashwords page by clicking here (or copy the following link to your browser: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/VictorDLopez) . There you will find links to my Smashwords books and free previews.
As always, I am grateful for your interest and support.
End of Days is one of the ten short stories in Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories (C) 2014 by Victor D. López. It is also available as a stand alone short story for the Kindle reader and can be downloaded free of charge for two days only (April 9-10, 2014). Mindscapes is available in both paperback (6″x9″ size) and kindle formats and is currently under production as an audiobook to be released this spring through Audible, iTunes and Amazon.
End of Days poses a novel theory as to the role of black holes in both the creation and destruction of an endless number of universes that coexist in an incomprehensibly complex multiverse. It is a cautionary tale about the arrogance of scientists who are the cosmic equivalent of amoebas attempting to discern the secrets of the universe by thoroughly examining within the limits of their perception the drop of pond scum they inhabit. It is also a cautionary tale about the ability of determined, creative terrorists to begin the process that will lead to the destruction of our corner of the multiverse by the creative use of materials at their disposal.
The end is very, very near and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.
You can go to the story’s Amazon page (and also the Mindscapes page) by clicking on the appropriate link above or the relevant book covers below.
This book is a compilation of 10 science fiction and speculative fiction short stories by the author from his two previous short story collections, Book of Dreams and Book of Dreams 2nd Edition, as well as two new stories written in 2013. Its scope extends from the innermost dimensions of the mind to the outer reaches of the universe, focusing from diverse perspectives on some common themes as to the meaning of life, the superlative strength and wrenching weakness of the human spirit, the power of love and the exquisite pain and ecstasy that flesh is heir to in its perpetual struggle between the duality of human nature that reflected both the divine and the profane.
In very broad outline, the ten stories involve the following themes:
If necessity is the mother of invention, could humanity use present technology to find a way to propagate its seed when faced with the certainty of an extinction-level event in less than two years’ time?
What really caused the catastrophic failure after the first full-scale test of the Large Hadron Collider? Motivated, ingenious terrorists are about to try their own field experiment to replicate the classified results of the test on a large scale using two suitcase nukes and a modified jetliner in an attack that, if successful, will eradicate all life on earth, destroy our corner of the universe and, in time, give birth to a new addition to the multiverse.
If we could communicate with the other sentient, intelligent species with whom we share our planet, what vital lessons might we learn from them and they from us?
In a not too distant future in which all human beings on earth are connected and integrated into a single neural net, what price might be exacted for one wishing to opt out?
Egyptologists and historians have long debated the riddle of the Sphinx–its true origins, its too-small human head and the pharaoh it was intended to represent. What if the riddle could be revealed live, in prime time, to an attentive world-wide audience upon the excavation of a chamber buried stories beneath its right paw?
What price would you pay to revisit a crossroad in your life when you had made a terrible, life altering mistake? Would you give up an unfulfilled life for the chance of virtual happiness in an alternate reality?
Would you sacrifice everything if you could attain absolute knowledge? If so, could you live with the knowledge you attained?
It is said that no man is an island, but what if even the least among us is a god in his/her own right?
If an alien visitor offered you a lifetime of health and the gift of telepathy for a small service, would you be quick to accept?
If we purportedly use only a small fraction of our brain’s capacity, what possible purpose does the apparently unused portion serve?
Above are some of the questions raised in this collection of science fiction and speculative fiction short stories that explores the interrelationship between dreams and reality, the nature of reality itself, and the dangers attendant to the single-minded pursuit of wish fulfillment that all too often results in unexpected and unwanted consequences.
The author is an Associate Professor of Legal Studies at Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business and has previously published seven non-fiction books through traditional publishers. His business law and legal environment textbooks have been used in colleges and universities throughout the United States since 1993. He has also published a book of poems and the two previous noted books of short stories since 2011.
For more information about the author’s books, textbooks, scholarly articles and blogs, you can visit victordlopez.com.
You can download the first short story in my Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories from Amazon in the U.S. here: (Outside of the U.S., just search for the title and/or my name for the relevant free download page.)
Eternal Quest is one of my first short stories, written when I was 19 for a fiction class in college along with some others that have been lost over the years. Although I’ve lightly reworked it over the intervening thirty five years or so, it remains largely as I first wrote it and is still my personal favorite among my short fiction. As is true of most of my short fiction (published and unpublished alike), it reflects more than a little of my own neo-Platonist philosophy and romantic core and delves into questions at the center of human existence. It is about sacrifices willingly made for love and friendship that can make even the white-hot pain of unrequited love bearable. It is about putting the needs of others above our known, about the mindless pursuit of answers in all the wrong places and about lessons too often learned in life much too late for solace, comfort or salvation.
But this story is also about much more than existentialist despair, or the tragedy of the unrealized promise of a life lived with blinders on. Ultimate it is about friendship, about the need to balance what Plato called the Appetites, Reason and the Spirited Element (what Freud later “borrowed” and renamed the Id, Ego and Superego) in each of our own lives. More than anything, it is is about transformational friendship and its ability, for those of us lucky enough to experience it, to make us far stronger than we could ever be without the balance it brings to our lives. I blush to admit this, but more than thirty years after writing this story, I still tear up when I read it to the end not because it strikes any sort of responsible chord but because it reveals what is for me the most important truth of human existence when all the layers are pealed off at the end of life and we are left with the fundamental truth of our existence as we breathe our final breath. The personal subtext is not important, then or now, but the knowledge that there is no greater truth we can learn during our short sojourn through life than that which is taught only by pure, unselfish, love–of the required and unrequited varieties–is essential, at least for the young author who has learned nothing of greater importance himself in the middle age of a life devoted to the dissemination of knowledge and doubts he ever will.
Although I generally dislike disaster films and novels with Armageddon themes, three of my most recent short stories from my short story collection Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories in fact deal with the “end of the world” from three very different perspectives. In one, the end of days comes from digging up that which was meant to be left alone (The Riddle of the Sphinx: Solved), in another from an asteroid (Mars: Genesis 2.0) and in the third from scientists’ penchant for playing with things they know very little about (End of Days). There are many common threads in my fiction, and layers of meaning in almost all of my stories about the duality of the human spirit with its infinite capacity for good and evil and the attendant interplay between the holy and the profane that are at the core of what makes us human.
This week, I am making available one of my newest short stories, End of Days, free for the Kindle on Amazon from March 20 through March 22. It is one of my darkest short stories perhaps because it so closely reflects the current slide into entropy of a world spinning out of control. Perhaps because it is more than merely plausible. Perhaps because this eternal optimist who has thought too much about nearly everything for too long a time is having ever-greater difficulty seeing the silver lining in the gathering storm. Perhaps simply because even I can’t shake off the uneasy feeling that it is quite possibly prophetic.
Here is the description from its Amazon page. just click on the cover to download it free from Amazon for the noted three days.
This is one of the ten short stories in Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories (C) 2014 by Victor D. López.
This short story poses a novel theory as to the role of black holes in both the creation and destruction of an endless number of universes that coexist in an incomprehensibly complex multiverse. It is a cautionary tale about the arrogance of scientists who are the cosmic equivalent of amoebas attempting to discern the secrets of the universe by thoroughly examining within the limits of their perception the drop of pond scum they inhabit. It is also a cautionary tale about the ability of determined, creative terrorists to begin the process that will lead to the destruction of our corner of the multiverse by the creative use of materials at their disposal.
The end is very, very near and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.
“To Sleep, perchance to Dream . . .” is free for the Kindle reader for five days only (February 27 – March 3). It is a stand alone short story and one of ten short stories in my Mindscapes collection. You can download the short story by clicking on its book cover below. The Amazon description follows:
There is a common thread in many of my short stories and even in my poetry about the nature of reality and the relationship between sleep and wakefulness and the conscious and subconscious mind. As is the case with a number of my short stories, this was inspired by a dream. It delves into one possible explanation for what lurks in the dark
recesses of our mind for which science has yet to discover a clear use.
This short story (2,792 words) is reprinted from Book of Dreams: Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories, (C) Victor D. Lopez 2011, Book of Dreams Second Edition: Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories (C) Victor D. Lopez 2012, and Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories (C) 2014 by Victor D. López.
“Earth Mother” is free for the Kindle Monday and Tuesday only (2/24 2/25/2014). This is one of ten short stories featured in my Mindscapes short story collection (available in paperback and Kindle versions and currently in production as an audiobook for release in May 2014). The following is the description from the short story’s Amazon page:
A mysterious visitor from another world wakes a young, ambitious woman in the middle of the night to deliver an intriguing offer after nearly frightening her to death. He explains that his race is dying as women in his distant world are no longer able to carry embryos of their species to term. If she is willing to serve as a surrogate mother for an embryo for an accelerated gestation period of a few weeks, he promises to return to take away the child and to bestow upon her the gift of telepathy for the remainder of her life in exchange for her service. As an added bonus, the embryo will provide a boost to her immune system that will make her virtual impervious to all disease for the rest of her life. If she accepts, will her dreams finally be realized, or will she live to regret her choice?