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Goons Chase the Most Dangerous Game in “Wolf Hunt.”   Leave a comment

Wolf Hunt Cover

By C. Michael Forsyth

Jeff Strand’s Wolf Hunt is a thrill ride that combines witty dialogue with nonstop action and enough gore to fill a swimming pool. It’s one of a tiny handful of books that I’ve read in one sitting. The pages turned as easily as if I were watching a movie. More specifically, it’s as if Quentin Tarantino and Sam Raimi of The Evil Dead fame collaborated on a werewolf movie, Quentin supplying the quirky chit-chat and Sam providing the over-the-top action.

The story begins when George and Lou, a pair of thugs for hire who normally spend their days busting kneecaps on behalf of loan sharks, receive a highly unusual assignment: they must transport an iron cage containing a guy who is supposedly a werewolf from Miami to Tampa. Is the shrimpy, whining jerk named Ivan actually a real werewolf? Spoiler alert: yes he is, and it isn’t long before he busts loose and a wild chase ensues, with an ever-rising body count.

Wolf Hunt ebook

The more subdued eBook cover may be more chilling but doesn’t capture the novel’s manic quality.

I usually don’t enjoy extended action scenes in novels. They’re rarely as effective on the printed page as they are in movies. But Strand writes them beautifully, choreographing the violent encounters between the werewolf and his pursuers with gritty realism. He describes the fights as vividly as if he were an eyewitness to the mayhem caused by claws, fangs, fists, pistols, switchblades, chairs, dynamite, meat cleavers, shotguns, car keys, hand grenades, crossbows, kitchen knives, bottles, car keys and even bowling balls.

The author is just as adept at writing dialogue. Both George and Ivan are smartasses and their sarcastic exchanges are priceless. One of the classic lines in comedy horror history is uttered when the wolfman disarms Lou and is atop a van as the two thugs and a woman they’ve rescued drive along in panic:

“George applied the brakes. ‘You two go back and get in the cage. He can’t bend the bars or he’d have done it before, so you’ll be safe in there!’
‘We won’t be safe! Now we’re up against a werewolf with a gun!’”

With hundreds of novels about werewolves already on the shelves, it’s a challenge to write one that feels fresh. At least three story elements make Wolf Hunt different.

Number one, the protagonists are not your typical steely eyed heroes. George and Lou are the kind beefy henchmen you’ve seen in movies a thousand times. Their roles are usually confined to punching the hero in the gut and escorting him to Mr. Big’s headquarters. I’ve often wondered about the off-duty lives of henchmen. How do you apply for a job with SPECTRE? What’s the training like? Do they have a decent health plan? What are their hopes and dreams? Wolf Hunt takes a pair of ordinary goons and makes them the stars. It reminds me of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, the play in which two hapless henchmen from Hamlet are plucked from obscurity to become the main characters.

Oliver Reed Curse of the Werewolf

Oliver Reed plays a man doomed from birth to become a wolfman in the 1961 movie Curse of the Werewolf.

Number two, Ivan is truly evil. In the Hollywood tradition established by films such as The Werewolf of London, The Wolfman and Curse of the Werewolf, lycanthropy sufferers are sympathetic figures doomed by no fault of their own. The wolf mode is the tragic hero’s rampaging id, but we understand that he has no control over it being unleashed. And of course, thanks to the Twilight series, we’re now accustomed to seeing werewolves as even kinder and gentler; cute hunks with boyfriend potential. By contrast, Ivan is a sadistic sociopath who had plenty of kills under his belt before being a werewolf—which he thoroughly enjoys.

Peter Stubbe

BAD TO THE BONE: A werewolf named Peter Stubbe terrorized the town of Bedburg, Germany in the 1500s, according to court records.

In that regard, Ivan is truly old school. In the lore of the Middle Ages, werewolves were generally evil folks who used black magic to achieve the transformation. One of the best documented case of werewolfism took place in 1589 when a German named Peter Stubbe was convicted of having sold his soul to Satan in order to become a wolfman. According to a contemporary account, “This vile wretch desired neither riches nor promotion, but having a tyrannical heart and a most cruel bloody mind, requested that at his pleasure he might work his malice on men, women and children in the shape of some beast.” Stubbe confessed to having engaged in a killing spree for years in wolf form and was executed. (Caveat: he confessed under torture).

Ivan is of the same breed. He’s the kind of werewolf that haunted my nightmares as a kid: a relentless killing machine that comes after you with claws and teeth. Werewolves have always struck me as far scarier monsters than vampires because they trigger the most primal of all fears: the terror of being eaten.

Number three, Ivan can not only transform at will, he can morph individual body parts. At one point, for example, he terrorizes a motorist by transforming only his mouth and flashing his razor-sharp choppers. This nifty trait makes for some mind-blowing visuals throughout the novel.

What more can you ask for in a horror comedy? My rating for Wolf Hunt is a rare five out of five claws. More good news: the sequel Wolf Hunt 2 is out and I’m looking forward to reading it.

This review was written by C. Michael Forsyth, author of the werewolf novel Hour of the Beast.

cover_hour_beast_front%5b1%5d[1]

In Hour of the Beast, a young bride is raped by a werewolf on her wedding night. When her sons grow up and head to college, things REALLY get out of hand.

Posted February 19, 2018 by C. Michael Forsyth in Uncategorized

Next Generation Won’t be “Snowflakes” — Because They’ll Live in a Dystopia!   Leave a comment

 

Hunger Games

Young folks in the future will have plenty of grit, like Katniss (Jennifer Laurence) in The Hunger Games.

By C. Michael Forsyth

Good news! The generation after the Millennials won’t be a bunch of weak, coddled snowflakes. The Omega Generation will be tough as nails from struggling to survive in a brutal dystopia.

“We Baby Boomers have been wringing our hands about how soft and pampered the Millennials are, with their dependence on technology and inability to cope with offensive speech,” says futurist Francine Cloutmer. “We should relax, because the following generation will be hardened by the harshest living conditions imaginable. Their idea of a ‘safe space’ will be a shelter where they can hide from killer robots sent to hunt them down.”

The problem of today’s young folks having it too easy is a frequent topic of discussion among irritated Boomers and Generation X-ers.

“There weren’t cellphones and all this other technology when we were growing up,” 59-year-old Michael N. posted on social media. “We only had seven television channels and many TVs didn’t even come with a remote. We had to face hardships like war,  and I’m talking about the invasion of Grenada. Although I didn’t personally participate, I watched it on TV.  Not the war footage, actually, but that movie Clint Eastwood was in.”

heartbreak ridge

NO SNOWFLAKE: Clint Eastwood and his platoon conquer the resort island of Grenada in the movie Heartbreak Ridge.

The disturbing trend actually dates back centuries, according to the expert.

“Since caveman days, through the Middle Ages, the 1800s through the present, each generation has been raised in a safer environment with more creature comforts,” Cloutmer explains. “As a result, each generation seems weaker to the previous one. People who bought meat in stores seemed like ‘pansies’ to those who hunted game with guns, who in turn had it easy compared to those who had only bows and arrows.”

But the softening trend is about to be flip into reverse, according to many prognosticators.

“We are looking at a society in which wealth is increasingly concentrated in a few hands and automation is making human workers obsolete,” Cloutmer observes. “A baby born today will likely come of age in a world where obtaining basic necessities such as food and clean water will be a daily struggle, and the unwashed masses serve no use except perhaps as source of entertainment for the rich as in The Hunger Games.

Terminators

Raids like this will be a common sight in America’s shanty towns.

“Almost certainly, the wealthy will have private security forces composed of armed, sentient robots to keep starving mobs from scaling the gates of their estates. They may even give these real-life terminators leave to hunt down bands of ordinary people who are seen as a nuisance, like coyotes.”

What’s more, climate change is expected to make the physical environment far more challenging than it is today. Rising sea levels will put many of America’s coastlines underwater, turning what are now high-priced beach communities into seascapes resembling the movie Waterworld.

waterworld_25

THAT SINKING FEELING: Kevin Costner is up to his neck in trouble in Waterworld.

People who are in their 20s in 2038 will rely on animal cunning and physical stamina to survive.

“Much like the Neanderthals, who would break bones and just keep going, and used plants and herbs they came across for medicinal purposes, the Omega Generation will live in a time when healthcare as we know it is a thing of the past except for the very few,” Cloutmer points out. “Their medical needs will be met by old ‘medicine women’ and faith healers, and when those are unavailable, the self-sufficient young person of the future will know how to carry out emergency procedures such as pushing dislocated joints back into place, and bandaging stumps after routine amputations.”

folk healer

After the collapse of society, most medical needs will be met by folk healers.

While life maybe tougher for our grandchildren, no one will complain about them being wusses.

Predicts the expert, “Instead of clucking your teeth when you see a young person lounge around with the latest new mobile device, you’ll glow with pride as you marvel at what they’re capable of.”

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

If you enjoyed this news satire by fiction writer C. Michael Forsyth, check out his collection of incredible stories, available on Kindle and in other eBook formats.

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Fun Contest: Design Logo For Trump’s Private Spy Agency!   Leave a comment

By C. Michael Forsyth

 

Do you have a knack for design? Then you may be in line for fame, glory and cold, hard cash! President Trump’s new personal spy agency is in urgent need of a logo, and if the White House selects your design, you’ll win a whopping $100!

News that the White House is weighing plans for a private spy agency that answers only to the President was recently revealed by investigative reporters for The Intercept. Organized with the aid of experts from the shadowy mercenary outfit Blackwater, the elite corps of secret agents will be funded by wealthy donors. It’s reportedly being put in place to circumvent the NSA, CIA and the 15 other current U.S. intelligence agencies that Trump is convinced are out to undermine him.

Trump’s spy agency doesn’t have a name yet, but one early suggestion, The Research Espionage And Secret Operations Network, has already been shot down.

“The acronym was not a good fit,” an insider said. “All that’s for certain right now is that the first letter will be T, and so that should figure prominently in the design of the logo.”

In our fun contest, readers of this blog are invited to submit a simple drawing of a design for the emblem. Email your submission to freedomshammerpr@aol. com. Because a name has not yet been settled on, you can use “Trump Intelligence Agency” for now.  We’ll select the five best designs, publish them on this site, then send them on to the White House. If the President and his team select your design, we’ll issue you a check for 100 bucks. You’ll also be able to brag to pals that your logo graces agency walls, stationary and rings. The deadline is January 1, so get cracking! To give you some inspiration, below are the emblems of some top intelligence agencies from around the world.

 

Spy Agency MMS better

China’s Ministry of State Security. They torture you and an hour later you need to be tortured again.

 

Spy Logo MI6_Logo

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service? Then you’re working for Britain’s famed MI-6

Spy CIA

Our own CIA was considered the good guys–until now.

Spy Logo France The General Directorate for External Security

Viva La France! The General Directorate for External Security

Spy agency Logo Mossad

Israel’s Mossad is one of the most effective spy outfits in the world.

Spy Agency logo SVRlogo

The SVR is Russia’s external spy agency.

Spy Agency ASIS-Australia

G’day mate, from The Australian Secret Intelligence Service.

Spy Logo Russian Federal Security Service

Vladimir Putin keeps track of his foes with the FSB, Russia’s internal security agency.

Spy Logo Nigeria Defence Intelligence Agency

Nigeria’s Defense Intelligence Agency keeps Africa safe.

BND

The BND is the toughest German intelligence agency since the Gestapo.

[Note: Void where prohibited. All participants must be over the age of 7. Employees of Freedom’s Hammer Productions, Forsyth Industries and the Monolithic International Conglomerate are not eligible. The decision of the judges is final, unless overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.]

If you enjoyed this article by novelist C. Michael Forsyth, check out his collection of mind-bending stories, available on Kindle and in other eBook formats.

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Help Pick A Name For Trump’s New Secret Police.   Leave a comment

Gestapo

The Gestapo was one of the most feared secret police agencies in history.

By C. Michael Forsyth

U.S. President Donald Trump is reportedly set to establish his own private spy agency—and you can help come up with a catchy name for our leader’s new secret police.

“The Trump administration is considering a set of proposals developed by Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a retired CIA officer—with assistance from Oliver North, a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal—to provide the White House with a global, private spy network that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials and others familiar with the proposals,” The Intercept reports.

“The sources say the plans have been pitched to the White House as a means of countering ‘deep state’ enemies in the intelligence community seeking to undermine Donald Trump’s presidency.”

KGB

The President’s personal spy agency will likely have its own emblem, similar to that of the KGB, once run by Trump pal Vladimir Putin.

Blackwater is the shady mercenary outfit that played a key role in the occupation of Iraq. Its founder Prince already has a cozy relationship with Trump: his sister is controversial Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Trump’s personal spy agency will report only to the president and will be funded by wealthy donors. The Mission: Impossible-style secret agents won’t carry out operations against Russia. Instead, they’ll combat what Trump considers the “real” enemy: the CIA, NSA, FBI, Defense Intelligence Agency, Office of Naval Intelligence, Air Force Intelligence and all of America’s other intelligence agencies. And, unlike the CIA, no law will prevent it from pursuing targets in the U.S.

Get Smart Better

In the beloved TV series “Get Smart,” agent Maxwell Smart (Don Adams) worked for a secret organization named Control.

All that Trump’s spanking new secret police is missing is a name. Below are some possibilities. Choose your favorite, or if none catch your fancy, come up with a suggestion of your own. We’ll send the most popular picks in this poll, plus readers’ three most catchy suggestions, to the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., where President Trump himself will make the final choice. (Note: KGB has already been taken).

Stalin's Secret Police

Soviet strongman Joseph Stalin created an elite security force called the NKVD.

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

If you enjoyed this article by novelist C. Michael Forsyth, check out his collection of incredible stories, available on Kindle and in other eBook formats.

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Trump Tax Returns May be Hidden in Safe — at the Bottom of the Sea.   Leave a comment

 

By C. Michael Forsyth

WASHINGTON — To keep Donald Trump’s tax returns from the public, IRS officials are securing them in an impregnable safe in a locked room no one is allowed to enter. But a top expert in keeping dangerous documents out of the wrong hands says that doesn’t go nearly far enough.

“That safe should be encased in a hermetically sealed titanium vault,” said Herman Klausgrove, an advisor to the Vatican. “The vault should be placed in the cargo hold of a submarine and the doors to both the cargo hold and the sub welded shut. The submarine could then be scuttled in the deepest part of the ocean, the Mariana Trench, with all records of the exact location shredded, then burned.”

mariana trench

THE MARIANA TRENCH, more than 7 miles deep, is literally the bottom of the sea.

Klausgrove is unquestionably the leading expert in the field. He is credited with concealing numerous books and manuscripts deemed unsafe for public consumption, many associated with the occult. These include Adolf Hitler’s personal copy of the notorious Oera Linda, said to contain powerful 4,000-year-old spells from Atlantis, and dubbed the Bible of the Third Reich.

Most recently, the expert deep-sixed the original copy of the Grand Grimoire, also known as the Red Dragon or the Gospel of Satan, purportedly written by Honorius of Thebes while possessed by Lucifer and discovered in the tomb of King Solomon. The Necromonicon-like book is chockful of blasphemous incantations, demon-raising rites and occult spells – including one potent enough to compel even a Pope submit to the Devil. While the age-old tome was long kept under lock and key in a secret Vatican archive, last year Pope Francis made the decision to hide it somewhere even safer.

Grand Grimoire

THE GRAND GRIMOIRE, one of the most dangerous books on Earth

“The book is impervious to fire and even attempts to destroy it with acid and explosives have failed,” Klausgrove explained. “The only alternative was to put it somewhere it could never be found again.”

The crafty specialist refused to divulge anything about where he ferreted away the Grand Grimoire, but hinted that the public would be very surprised to learn the answer.

“Sometimes the trick is to hide an object in plain sight,” he said coyly.

Trump’s tax returns became a subject of controversy during the 2016 campaign, when unlike every other past presidential candidate, he refused to release them. At the time, the flamboyant real estate tycoon vowed that he would let voters see them once he was elected, but soon after he was inaugurated, a spokesman declared that the returns would never see the light of day.

trump

CANDIDATE Trump swore that he would release his tax returns if elected.

There has been renewed interest in the President’s taxes after he pushed through a tax reform bill that could cut the money he pays Uncle Sam by an estimated $1 billion. Reporters have been eager to take a peek at the forbidden documents, one calling it “the Holy Grail of White House reporting.” But the IRS has redoubled efforts to keep them from the public eye.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen recently told Politico magazine, “It’s in a locked cabinet in a locked room that nobody’s in. You’ll need a key to the room and the cabinet to get it. We’re in the process of turning that cabinet into a safe.”

But Klausgrove warns that a determined safe cracker might retrieve the documents.

“If the contents of those returns came to light, the fallout might be as devastating as reading aloud from any of the unholy texts I’ve hidden over the years.”

Evil Dead Book

READING aloud from a forbidden book bound in human skin can have unforeseen consequences, as characters learn in the movie The Evil Dead.

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

If you enjoyed this news satire by fiction writer C. Michael Forsyth, check out his collection of incredible stories, available on Kindle and in other eBook formats.

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Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

Manspreading Cure? Men Are Being Taught to Sit With Ankles Crossed.   Leave a comment

crossed ankles

Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and Queen Elizabeth of England sit with ankles daintily crossed.

By C. Michael Forsyth

NEW YORK CITY — Anti-manspreading crusaders aren’t taking the problem sitting down. They’ve launched a nationwide campaign to snuff out the rude male behavior—by training guys to sit with their ankles primly crossed.

“In etiquette classes, properly raised young ladies are taught to sit with their ankles crossed—never with their knees spread wide, which is of course quite vulgar,” explained retired etiquette instructor Clarice Bowdlake, who spent her 30-year career at a girls’ school for manners. “It is time we teach men to do the same. There is no reason why even the most uneducated man cannot learn to sit with the grace and decorum of Queen Elizabeth.”

Manspreading best

There is an epidemic of manspreading on public transportation, experts say.

 

Manspreading is when a man sits with his knees spread brazenly apart, particularly on a bus or subway seat when doing so takes up extra space. The inconsiderate conduct has become a bane of female commuters, who complain that they end up either having to stand or sit squeezed uncomfortably to one side.

The training program is the brainchild of activist Courtney Featherstein, who has pushed through numerous ordinances regulating manspreading across the country. Her organization Close Your Legs has hired dozens of expert instructors like Bowdlake to lead classes in 20 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and D.C.

“Manspreading is more than just an affront to basic civility, it’s a primary symbol of male privilege,” Featherstein declared. “Men use it as a way to project dominance.”

Obama Trump

Manspreading is used to communicate power, as in this case where two leaders vie to out-manspread each other.

The two-hour training sessions, which cost $140, don’t just cover sitting. Male enrolees are also shown the proper way to hold a teacup—one pinky extended—curtsey, avoid burping and other basics.

Many of the students are progressive men hoping to learn more sensitive behavior and earn points with their girlfriends. Others have been sent to the classes by forward-looking businesses that cough up the fee and give employees time off to attend. For now, participation is voluntary, but Featherstein hopes that one day soon, high schools will make such classes mandatory for all young males.

“I’d like to see it become as routine as taking a driver’s ed course,” she said.

American men need to be educated on the important issue, the activist revealed. Stunningly, many still don’t even know what manspreading is.

Admits Nick R., 35, of Bangor, Maine, “When I saw a headline with the word ‘manspreading’ in it last year, I thought it was some kind of new gay bedroom move, and I skipped the article.”

But ignorance and homophobia aren’t the only obstacles to stamping out manspreading. So-called “men’s rights” organizations have been whining that the whole movement is anti-male.

“I’d love to sit with my knees pressed together on a bus or subway, but we men have something between our legs we call testicles,” insisted Jerry Nogland, president of the Male Liberation Brigade. “These women are trying to create a society in which all men are effete wusses, like in that movie Zardoz. It’s not right.”

Zardoz

In the bizarre 1974 sci-fi film Zardoz, Sean Connery plays the last remaining masculine human on the planet.

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

If you enjoyed this news satire by fiction writer C. Michael Forsyth, check out his collection of incredible stories, available on Kindle and in other eBook formats.

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Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

Fox Hosts Want to be Shot in Church. Poll: Where do YOU Pick?   Leave a comment

Fox and Friends

HEAVEN BOUND: Fox and Friends hosts prefer be shot in church.

By C. Michael Forsyth

 

Following the gun massacre at a Texas church in which 26 worshippers were killed, Fox and Friends hostess Ainsley Earhardt commented that if she and her fellow Fox staffers were to be blown away in a mass shooting, “there’s no other place we would want to go other than church.”

The thought-provoking remark has led many Americans to ponder where they would prefer to be gunned down in an upcoming mass shooting. An informal survey yielded a wide range of locales.

Alison K., 38., of Greenwood, S.C., says she’d choose to meet the Grim Reaper while relaxing on a beach, listening to her playlist. Wayne T., 44, of Montgomery, Ala., would spend his final hours in the Playboy Mansion, surrounded by bosomy Playmates. Crafty, 26-year-old Sheryl N. of Boise, Idaho, picked a hospital, where trauma surgeons might be able to extract the bullets and revive her.

 

Beach scene

A GUN MASSACRE is preceded by a relaxing day in the beach in this scene from the movie American Assassin.

 

If you had your druthers, where would you be pumped full of lead by America’s next top gunner?

TERRORISTS REFUSING TO VISIT U.S. — BECAUSE IT’S “TOO DANGEROUS.”   Leave a comment

Mass shootings

MASS SHOOTINGS like the one in Las Vegas have become an everyday occurrence in America, but gutless terrorists don’t have the gumption to risk them.

By C. Michael Forsyth

In growing numbers, foreign terrorists are refusing to set foot in America, because they’re scared stiff of being blown away in a mass shooting!

“They think the United States is simply too dangerous and are requesting assignments in countries with fewer guns,” a frustrated ISIS recruiter acknowledged. “They are opting to serve in places like England and Denmark where mass murder with semi-automatic rifles is less frequent.”

Some of those who’ve said no to coming to America are battle-hardened killers accustomed to risking death in war-torn Syria. They resent being branded as “cowards” by other terrorists.

“I do not mind dying as a martyr while carrying out an attack on infidels, I look forward to that day with joy,” claimed an ISIS member who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “But I wish to carry out a suicide bombing, or whatever Allah wills, on a day that we have planned. I do not want to have my head blown off by some random American crazy man.”

A whopping 378 people have been killed or wounded in the U.S. by mass shooters so far in 2017, according to Mass Shooting Tracker. The weapon of choice for many of the trigger-happy madmen is the popular AR-15. One reason that other western countries have failed to rack up as impressive a body count as the U.S. is that such military-type assault weapons aren’t as easily available, experts say.

“Our gun homicide rate is 20 times that of Australia, which has firmer firearms regulations,” revealed a law enforcement source. “It’s no wonder that foreign terrorists are jittery about visiting here.”

But ISIS honchos show little sympathy toward terrorists who are chicken about ducking bullets in America.

“You have to understand, many of our members are weary of fighting. In America, they expect to enjoy a peaceful, relaxing period lasting months or years before they receive orders to stage an attack,” the recruiter explained. “They want to experience all the creature comforts of your corrupt western society: air conditioning, shopping malls, gentlemen’s clubs, a Starbucks on every corner. All that without any risk of death in a mass shooting?

“The leadership has been very patient until now, but if volunteers do not begin to show more grit when it comes to assignments in the U.S., heads will roll—and yes, I do mean that literally.”

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

If you enjoyed this news satire, check out the writer C. Michael Forsyth’s collection of bizarre new articles, available on Kindle and in other eBook formats.

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Poll: Who Should Replace Us, Androids or Genetically Engineered Superhumans?   Leave a comment

sophia android

Super-smart Sophia the android has been named a citizen of Saudi Arabia.

By C. Michael Forsyth

A spirited debate has cropped up among scientists, ethicists and ordinary U.S. citizens about which would be a better replacement species for humankind: a master race of genetically enhanced superhumans, or androids thousands of times more intelligent than people.

“Robot overlords would be more likely to govern fairly because they have no emotions,” argued Bernard Herkstone, a top expert in artificial intelligence.

But humans genetically engineered for superior intelligence get the vote of bio-ethicist Dr. Natalie Lungucci.

Khan

Khan, a genetically engineered superman, appeared in a classic “Star Trek” episode.

“Homo Sapiens have had a good run,” she pointed out. “We’ve had dominion over this planet for more than 30,000 years. But it’s time for a changing of the guard. If we can create a new sub-species that is free of disease, has a super-genius I.Q. and none of our flaws, for goodness sake why wouldn’t we? We can take pride in the knowledge that these Numans, as I like to call them, will be our direct descendants, just as we descend from the now-extinct Homo Erectus.”

Computer experts estimate that within a few decades, if not sooner, advances in A.I. will reach what’s known as the “singularity,” the point at which programs have greater reasoning capacity than people.

“Imperfect human politicians can then be replaced by androids with impeccable judgement,” explained Herkstone. “There would no longer be the need for human college professors, journalists or even artists, because synthetic beings will do a much better job.”

Meanwhile, the science of gene-editing is becoming increasingly sophisticated.

“After eliminating hereditary diseases, scientists will be able to move onto removing such flaws as shortness of height and unattractive facial features,” Dr. Lungucci explained. “Genes borrowed from animals will be essential ingredients. DNA from a salamander, for example, could give the Numans the ability to regenerate lost limbs. Plant DNA could give them the ability to obtain extra energy through photosynthesis. Most importantly, the Numans will be as superior to us ‘Old Humans’ in intelligence as we are to the rhesus monkey.”

Now the race is on, experts agree.

“There’s really no telling which type of superior being will cross the finish line first and replace humans as the dominant species on Earth,” Herkstone said. “It will be very exciting to watch.”

This is of course satire…at least for another couple of years. If you enjoyed it, check out the writer C. Michael Forsyth’s collection of bizarre news, available on Kindle and in other eBook formats.

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Kolchak Meets Poe in New Graphic Novel   Leave a comment

kolchak

By C. Michael Forsyth

Before there was The X Files and Supernatural, there was Kolchak: The Nightstalker, and before H.P. Lovecraft, there was Edgar Allan Poe. Both these wellsprings of the macabre fueled my imagination when I was a teenager, and it is a delight to see them combined in a recent graphic novel.

In Kolchak, The Night Stalker: Forgotten Lore of Edgar Allan Poe, the intrepid monster-chasing reporter played by Darren McGavin in the 1974-1975 TV show, is back in action, knee-deep in paranormal mysteries revolving around tales by Poe—the grandfather of the weird short story. The writer, James Chambers, does a smashing job of recapturing the personality of the determined underdog, as well as the show’s storytelling style. In the book, Kolchak has a series of adventures, each playing off of a Poe story, including The Telltale Heart, The Premature Burial, the Black Cat, the Tomb of Ligeia and The Masque of the Red Death. These episodes, while satisfying reads individually, are all linked by a narrative that runs through the graphic novel—concerning a magician obsessed with Poe. There are plenty of nuggets to please Poe fans, such as a character named Annabelle Lee.

kolchak. com

REPORTER Kolchak hasn’t lost his knack for uncovering the uncanny.

Carl Kolchak is unchanged, still sporting his signature rumpled white suit and straw hat. He has made a few concessions to 2017. Instead of his old tape recorder and typewriter, he travels with a laptop that he uses to Skype his boss, the grumpy Tony Vincenzo. An interesting touch is that three different artists with distinct styles contributed to the book, depicting the character with varying degrees of success. Between Luis Czerniawski, Felipe Kroll and Jim Fern, I think the last does the best job in nailing McGavin’s mischievous Irish face. To me, the actor resembled a less-handsome Sean Connery.

Darren Best

ICONIC Kolchak was only on TV for one year.

I was a huge fan of the series, in which Kolchak, a reporter for the fictional INS wire service, investigated crimes that invariably turned out to have a supernatural cause. The police were useless, either refusing to believe anything abnormal was going on, or getting tossed about like rag dolls by whatever creature happened to be wreaking havoc that week. So, the plucky journalist always had to take matters into his own hands and dispatch the monster.

In the course of the show, Kolchak’s investigative reporting turned up vampires, werewolves, mummies, doppelgangers and many other of the usual unusual suspects. What made the show so great was McGavin’s character: sly, streetwise, with a sense of humor. I often thought that Kolchak would be fun to follow even if there were no supernatural element and he was doggedly exposing crooked politicians and solving ordinary crimes.

Although the iconic character was McGavin’s best work and is his chief legacy as an actor, he wasn’t satisfied with the show, despite rewriting many scenes himself, and bailed after one season. He was principally frustrated with the monster-of-the-week aspect of the show. This was, indeed, its main weakness. It was never explained why Kolchak “just happened” to stumble onto the supernatural on a regular basis. Chris Carter, creator of The X Files, cites The Night Stalker as his biggest source of inspiration. And in his show that problem is solved: his heroes’ job is hunting the paranormal.

As a kid watching The Night Stalker, I came up with my own explanation that is as good as any. Kolchak, although he doesn’t know it, has been appointed by some higher power to be a champion of good, a white-suited knight battling the darkness.


Check out works by this reviewer, including the horror novel Hour of the BeastHERE.

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In Hour of the Beast, a young bride is raped by a werewolf on her wedding night. When her sons grow up and head to college, things REALLY get out of hand.

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