Future Man

http://www.amazon.com/Future-Man-Bruno-Marques/dp/1480818143/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442492225&sr=8-1&keywords=future+man+bruno

#futureman

15 years into the 21st century and, apart from smart gadgets and smart TVs, in terms of high-concept tech, it even feels we’re going backwards. The Concorde, the supersonic airliner, was decommissioned in 2003. For the first time in transportation history, distances had become longer. Apollo 17 remains, to this day, the most recent manned flight beyond low Earth orbit. It’s been 40 years. That can’t be a good thing.
But what are the consequences?
The future should have brought … options. To us all. And with them, the chance at a different kind of life.
But that’s not even the most important aspect. We, as in Mankind, must work on our own future or some other civilization’s future might cross paths with ours, taking us by surprise. If history has taught us anything is that it has always ended tragically for the least advanced civilizations. Think Mayans, Aztecs, native Africans, native Americans …
But what can one man do to change the dangerous Status Quo of things?
Perhaps nothing. Perhaps everything!

Not unlike me and you, Vincent’s not happy with the fact that ‘the future’, as foreseen by classical sci-fi authors, never came to pass. So he’ll call upon himself the task of making it all happen and, in doing so, he will change everything.

Check Future Man Out.

Bruno De Marques.
#thefutureneedsyou
#futureman

Mankind | Are we an “advanced civilization”?

When considering countries or regions that benefit from peace and a stable political system, like the U.S, Europe, most of Asia, Australia, NZ … it would seem fair to see us and call us an advanced civilization. Even if, objectively, we don’t (yet) have another to compare it to. If you are reading this, chances are you are probably from one of these countries. In these, it’s reasonable to say people make a relatively comfortable living. There are a lot of things wrong with the world but, let’s face it, they hardly ever pass onto this side of the screen.

It helps to think that there were once services that only a century ago where exclusive to millionaires – which you can now afford – like travelling to distant locations. And most of us, with a little luck, will live to see their 90th anniversary when, a few centuries ago, you’d be nearly an elder at 50. Medicine has also reduced child mortality to virtually zero. Again, not a hundred years ago, families were large because they knew most younglings would not make it into adulthood. You can now get a smartphone relatively cheap that allows you nearly instant access to basically anything you need. You couldn’t get that a decade ago. And we went to the moon and all.

So, an advanced civilization we are.

But are we really? We’ve created a society so complex it takes us nearly 20 years in school to earn a decent place in it. Teaching methods and tools have improved but we still take the same 20 years as we did for decades. It’s a good thing we live to nearly a hundred now. Some people are lucky enough to make it big in life and make a lot of money. To these, life will bring on different challenges. But, to most of us, we have to work hard to pay our bills. We spend a significant part of what we earn in energy (home electricity, car gas …) and in the supermarket (food et al.). And, of course, then there are the mortgages (the roof over our heads), transportation, education and healthcare. All of these are, in a way, “basic needs”. Some are more basic than others, sure, but the truth is, for most people, there is very little left after you pay for the basic stuff.

Why? Because we’re NOT an advanced civilization. Not even a rational one, it seems.

What would an advanced, thinking, civilization do, before starting to put out, say, new smartphones, smart TVs and car models nearly every year? A thinking civilization, an advanced one, would try to take care of people’s basic needs with the least effort – or, in the world we live in, the least cost. This would – should – be its prime directive! Pretty obvious, right? Apparently not. By this I don’t mean to have the Government pay for everything. Quite the contrary, actually. I mean to put the trendy word “sustainability” to the test and try to make basic goods and services as cheap as they can be for everyone. Ideally, at no cost at all.

All the basic needs stated above – and some more that may feel basic to you – should represent like 5% (at most) of what you earn. Or less. You should have 95%, or more, to invest, create or do whatever pleases you. In an advanced civilization, basic needs shouldn’t “eat up” 95% of your earnings. How’s this possible in this day and age? Some may say the world is too divided for this but, frankly, I don’t think that’s it. Any medium-sized country could take the reins and do the right thing, start walking in the right direction. Is this rocket science? I don’t think so. Not yet.

Point of fact is: that’s what our great minds should be focusing on. Is there a doubt in your mind that if the people who are working on smartphones and smart TVs were to focus on, say, solar cells, you would have a solar panel the size of, say, a tablet – irony intended -, able to provide for free/clean energy for your car and perhaps even your home? And all this probably before the end of this decade? And, of course, in the long-term, this progress would release resources for much needed and not-immediately-profitable enterprises, such as expanding our world.

We need an “intelligent” civilization. Not (more) “smart” phones. We need Future Man.

Bruno De Marques.

***

Kirkus Reviews describes Future Man as a “Highly imaginative (…) action packed novel” … “This wildly creative work certainly takes readers to many unexpected places.

RevolutionSF calls Future Man a “Thrilling adventure based on World War II history (…) made better by dialogue that really sounds like it comes from real people” adding that “The story takes place in present tense (…) It ratchets up the tension, as if it’s happening right now and you, the reader, are right there” concluding with “Future Man is a potent combo of history, science and adventure.”

Future Man is available now!

Amazon US (Worldwide) http://www.amazon.com/Future-Man-Bruno-Marques/dp/1480818143/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442492225&sr=8-1&keywords=future+man+bruno

Amazon UK (Europe) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Future-Man-Bruno-Marques/dp/1480818143/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442492273&sr=8-1&keywords=future+man+bruno

 Hardcover, softcover and e-book editions are available in Amazon (all stores) | Apple iBooks | Google | Barnes & Noble | Ingram | Baker & Taylor | Bowker | Kobo | Scribd

 

 

Astronauts, pilots, dancers and princesses | Why not?

I could bet that, at some point in your life, you once dreamed of being a pilot, an astronaut or a ballet dancer. What about a princess? Am I wrong? At least, you’ve seen small children say it, without even being able to explain exactly why, right? If not, you should get on your feet and find a way out of that deserted island, pronto!

How many of these dreams survive our or theirs 12th anniversary? What about adulthood? Such small a percentage that, statistically speaking, it would probably be meaningless.

What do these “dream jobs” mean exactly? Surely there are hundreds of studies from people far more qualified than me, but here’s my two cents:

We are a daring people, born to be explorers. But not only that. We were also born to create and we’re particularly keen on beauty. What “beauty” means, of course, is different to each of us, coloring our wonderful diversity.

What if children’s dream jobs were unbiased interpretations of these primal drives?

As we grow up, our surroundings and the people we connect to condition us towards the practical aspects of life, such as putting a roof over our heads and the need to make enough money to pay the bills. With little room to breathe, our ambition rottens. Instead of driving us to dream and to personal accomplishment, it deceives us into thinking that “having more” is better than “being more”. As we grow older, those dreams start to look more and more foolish every time we manage to pause our daily grind and look back.

Is our mind actually maturing or is it slowly rotting?

It’s not your fault, though. It’s our society’s fault. But perhaps not as you may think: our society never allowed the future promised to us “to step forth”.

You see, if instead of one blue planet, Mankind were to be present in 100 planets, there would be opportunities and room for a lot more successful ballet dancers and astronauts. And other “fringe” jobs, as I like to call them. There would be enough resources and money to go around (if properly distributed … yeah, I know). Nobody would have to worry about making a living off fringe jobs.

All the new events we’d witness and be exposed to: there would be a lot to discover, a lot to inspire us into creating new things – not the endless reboot-remake-sequel-ridden era we seem to be living and see going on in pretty much everything.

Now let’s go wild: Our daughters want to be Princesses? Fine! If we were to be present in 100 worlds, we could have a new political system for these new planets where politicians would have a temporary royal status (remember the political system in Naboo, in Star Wars Episode I?). I’m not judging if royalty makes sense or not here. I’m just trying to make a point. That even the hardest thing we may conceive could be within our grasp.

You see, “space is boundless”. “The possibilities are endless”. And “The limit is (indeed) our imaginations”. The clichés are all true.

Our old world, on the other hand, as it stands today, is slowly collapsing onto itself. This reboot-remake-sequel-ridden era is just the beginning. Repressing our dreams and, with them, our primal drives could eventually drive us all mad. There’re already several events, apparently unrelated, that substantiate this (ex.: growing suicide rates among the young, hideous crimes in our schools, depression figures among young adults …)

Nothing was ever accomplished without someone having dreamed it first. But our dreams of late are having no consequence (except perhaps in the video-game market)

In space lies the answer.

And the realization of the dreams you no longer dare to dream.

Bruno De Marques.

Mankind | Can we get any less interesting?

If you’re anything like me, at least once you’ve wondered how it would be like to live in the Old West, be a Cowboy roaming the frontier, or perhaps a Knight in medieval times. But there’s no need to look so further back: some of us would settle for being a glamorous movie star in 1930s, a WWII hero in the 1940s or part of the American space program’s “Original Seven”, in the 1960s.

This is the result of hearing stories or reading or watching romanticized and “action-alized” versions of tales from those periods. We all know now that those were difficult times for most people. And the further back you look, the more difficult they were. Misery, disease and war. In short, most of these times would have actually been rather terrible to live in. And if you think of how uptight your grandfather probably feels/felt to you, just imagine how uptight his grand-grand-grand x 20 x grandfather from 500-years-ago would feel. Yeah. Chances are he wouldn’t laugh at any of your jokes. Maybe the ones with funny dismemberments.

But there was still, to some degree, truth to those stories – I mean there were once Cowboys roaming the frontier and Knights fighting just causes. And there were glamorous Hollywood stars in the 30s, WWII heroes in the 40s and brave astronauts in the 60s and 70s.

You’ve probably noticed that, apart from recent armed conflicts, fiction is failing to romanticize the following decades: the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s. Have you read or watched a movie that romanticized these times? If you did, it’s probably the exception. There aren’t a lot. Or, at least, not as much as there should be anyway, considering we’re talking about 4 decades ago already, wouldn’t you agree? Someone might say we’re still too close to those times for us to be able to “distanciate” ourselves from them and find the substance and charm to romanticize them. But that was never an issue in the past: you had “Back to the Future”(1985), that romanticized the 50s, only 30 years before it was produced. You had the “Right Stuff”(1983) that romanticized the American Space Program in the 60s – only 20 years before. And countless examples in literature.

So what’s wrong?  I don’t know for sure. I doubt anybody does. But I have a theory – again, my 2 cents on the matter. I believe we’re getting less and less interesting. That our times are getting less and less interesting.

There’s a Chinese saying that goes “May you live in interesting times.” I found out like 10 years ago that it was actually a curse and, by interesting, it actually means “troublesome times”. As in war and people-dying-for-no-reason kind of times. I was very disappointed. Before I knew what it actually meant, I liked it a lot more as it made a lot more sense to me than it does now. So indulge me in pretending it means what I first thought it meant: its literal meaning. So I may simply say that the last 40 years have not been “interesting times”.

And the fact that writers haven’t found the necessary substance in the 80s, the 90s or the 00s to romanticize these periods is (almost) undeniable proof of just that.

Just think: the most stressing global fact we’ve lived in the turn of the year 2000 was the “Millennium Bug.” Remember when we all thought computers would fail with turn of the millennium and that, by the next day, there’d be no record of your bank account or that you ever owned the house you live in? That bug. The actual issue was that the date-field in computers only had 2 spots instead of 4 and that meant it would go from “99” (1999) to “00” (2000) and, since these weren’t in sequence like before, nobody knew how computers would react. Now romanticize that! Not easy, huh? How exciting can you make it? How jealous will people feel in 50 years for not being here to live these days? This is the kind of crappy substance writers have had to work with for the last 40 years. No wonder so many turned to science fiction. Unless you spice it up with superheroes, vampires, aliens or time travelling robots from the future, there’s not a lot (with epic-story potential or cinematic “spectaculararity”) going on in the present. Or in the last 40 years for that matter. Nothing truly worth fantasizing over by future generations.

If you consider that the 80s where the times when remakes, reboots and sequels kicked into gear, along with the evolve-and-not-revolutionize wave – in just about everything – it’s not hard to see why there aren’t exciting subjects to write about.

Being a child of the 70s as I am, I thought this couldn’t get any worse. Turned out I was wrong. I wasn’t counting on how smartphones and tablets would take over our lives. And so we went down a few more steps in the “uninteresting-lives” scale. I’m sure you’ve seen evidence of this yourself. You enter a room, be it your living room or some party lounge, and you find everybody checking stuff out on their smartphones. You can tell something’s wrong with that picture but you soon ignore that feeling and join them. True?

Can we get any less interesting? Yes, apparently. Unless we do something about it.

But fear not: Future Man is here.

Bruno De Marques.

***

Kirkus Reviews describes Future Man as a “Highly imaginative (…) action packed novel” … “This wildly creative work certainly takes readers to many unexpected places.

RevolutionSF calls Future Man a “Thrilling adventure based on World War II history (…) made better by dialogue that really sounds like it comes from real people” adding that “The story takes place in present tense (…) It ratchets up the tension, as if it’s happening right now and you, the reader, are right there” concluding with “Future Man is a potent combo of history, science and adventure.”

Future Man is available now!

Amazon US (Worldwide) http://www.amazon.com/Future-Man-Bruno-Marques/dp/1480818143/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442492225&sr=8-1&keywords=future+man+bruno

Amazon UK (Europe) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Future-Man-Bruno-Marques/dp/1480818143/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442492273&sr=8-1&keywords=future+man+bruno

 Hardcover, softcover and e-book editions are available in Amazon (all stores) | Apple iBooks | Google | Barnes & Noble | Ingram | Baker & Taylor | Bowker | Kobo | Scribd