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J Alan Erwine's Blog

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Green Grievances
A Divided States of America Story
The Green States of America is a fairly peaceful nation, but not everyone is happy with the current government, and when armed terrorists take over the congressional building, it's up to Speaker of the Month Robert Nesmith to fight back for his nation, but what does he have to use against armed militants? Only his words.

Fear and Panic
Edward's mission is simple, blow up a dome on Mars that's full of Martian terrorists. What can go wrong? Everything! Things just keep going from bad to worse, as the Agency demands results, results he thinks he's accomplishing...but they say he's not...

Ereven is on the run. Having abandoned the dictatorial governor of Ganymede, he now finds himself pushed and pulled in directions he doesn't want to go as he tries to flee the brutal hands of the governor. Where will he go? The inner solar system seems to be the only choice, but does he have any chance of getting there? He's never had choices, and now that he does, every one of them seems to lead to death, imprisonment, or both...

Danger on the Spectrum
Richard doesn't see the world like most people, and for the most part, he'd like to avoid people as much as he can, but once he reaches Foster's Planet, he finds that even with a small population, he has to interact with people more than hed like...and he also finds that the thing that makes him so different from everyone else might be the only thing that can save everyone on the planet

Return to the Wastelands
A Divided States of America Story
Robert Jenkins escaped The Wastelands, but he feels that the best part of him has been left in that horrible place. Now, with the help of unexpected friends, Robert has to decide if he goes back to save the love of his life, or enjoy his new life in The Rocky Mountain States of America.

Fight or Flight
A Divided States of America Story
Robert grew up in The Wastelands, where kids are forced to grow up fast, or they die. Now as a member of The Rose Clan, Robert finds himself on his first mission outside of The Wastelands...a raid into The Rocky Mountain States of America, but nothing has gone as planned, and now he finds himself on the verge of death...but he's been there many times before, and maybe death isn't as bad as going back to The Wastelands.

All's Well
For more than twenty years I edited a small press science fiction magazine known as The Fifth Di... In June of 2019, I published the final issue that I would edit. This story was written as a tribute to all of the authors I had worked with for more than two decades and to all of the readers that had made editing the magazine worthwhile. I hope you enjoy this little story...

Frozen Ambitions
A Divided States of America Story
The Great Lakes Conglomerate is ready to launch an ambitious mission to Mars, but is there a saboteur among the designers?

Seas of Red
Attempts at cleaning up the ocean go very wrong and leave the entire planet in peril. Can it be saved in time? And if so, what will the consequences be?

Flight of MadnessThe storms on Taranis are legendary for putting people on edge, but can they drive someone insane? Brice is just trying to get home, but he's about to find out just how bad the storms can really be.

Back to the Old Ways
A Divided States of America story
Captain Christopher Chases Crows knows that something horribly evil is going on in the Wastelands, but can he convince his government to get involved, and is getting involved even the right thing to do? Morality and law aren't always the same things, but in the Wastelands, there are times when neither exists.

It's in the Water
A Divided States of America story
Richard hated being a corporate drone, but what else was there to be in Corprotopia? After losing his girlfriend to the government, Richard struggled with just surviving, but when he learns a deep secret, a secret of resistance, he suddenly finds a reason for his life...or does he?

An Eternity in Limbo
This story first appeared in the anthology Kepler's Dozen published by Hadrosaur Publications.
Planet Limbo is orbited by the prison space station Argos, which is home to all kinds of prisoners, some aren't violent criminals, but maybe they can be pushed to be come murderers.

And the Lamb and the Lion Shall Not Lie Down Together
This story first appeared in the anthology "A Taste of Armageddon," which featured stories centered around the ideas presented in the Star Trek episode of the same name. This story looks at a perpetual war from both sides, and the lengths people will go to to stop the war.

Edward is a soldier on the run. He's been sent to the "Institute" for retraining, but now he's escaped and finds himself among a group of zealots set on overthrowing the government, but Edward's a soldier of that government, and a programmed soldier at that. Now he's faced with decisions that his programming might not let him make.

The Martian Orphans and the Moons of Jupiter
After the death of their parents, Vanessa and Michelle find themselves on the run across the solar system, trying to escape a life they don't want, but no matter where they go, their life is waiting for them.

Nobody's Home
Leo Jenkins thinks he's the last man on Earth, but when he hears a phone ring, hope rises that there might be someone else...but maybe those hopes will be dashed...

When Living is a Crime
A soldier awakes on a field of death, but he quickly learns that sometimes death can be something to wish for.

War can be brutal, but when a soldier is forced to do something that goes against his conscience, it can have devastating effects...

Forgive Men Their Trespasses
Nikki, a street kid in Denver is about to get into more trouble than he could possibly imagine. Talked into committing a crime, Nikki now finds himself about to be punished by the Grand Patriarchs, and their punishments are legendary.
This story takes place in the same universe as Erwine's controversial novel, The Opium of the People.

The Magenta Equations
A brilliant mathematician makes a discovery about the dangers of traveling in hyperspace, but his discovery is not welcomed by the government or by the corporations. Wanting to only be left alone to do math, he now finds himself in dangers that he never could have expected.

A man witnesses a murder, and then quickly realizes that he could be next. What will happen to him as he races across the solar system, trying to save his life?

The Twin Sorceresses
Twin girls are born into the village of Comer to a beautiful mother and an abusive father. As their powers grow, they find they may need to protect their mother.

Skeleton of the Onondaga
A group of friends gets lost during a storm, but they quickly learn that the storm is the least of their worries as an ancient Native American curse comes to life.

Entropy may be inevitable, but one man can not accept this, and his obsession leads to madness.

The Mind of the Cat
The Native American population of Earth has been banished to Mars, and now a young woman realizes that she's a telepath, but when her own people reject her, what's she do? And then when she realizes that she's pregnant, and the baby is a telepath, her options narrow. Will this lead to her demise? Or can she use her abilities to save her people?

The Ancient Ones
Eric Stone had forged his credentials as an archaeologist to get on the mission to Epsilon Eridani 2, but now that ruins resembling those of the American Southwest have been discovered, he finds himself falling deeper and deeper into his lies...and the captain is beginning to figure him out...

The Limit of Tolerance
The crew of the Astrid has been pursued all over the galaxy by the Lemec, who while not being violent, have shown that humanity in general, and the Astrid in particular, are not welcome. Now the crew of the Astrid has found a planet whose population is facing extinction, but the Lemec won't do anything to help them. Captain Takahashi and the crew must now decide if they risk war, or allow an entire civilization to die.

Living in the Styx
What's a mother to do when she hears her son saying his prayers, and is startled by what she hears? What's that mother supposed to do when the Devil shows up to answer her son's prayers?

On the Word of Ancients
As the galactic empire decays, the current emperor looks to the most unlikely of sources for how to solve the problems...the science fiction literature of the 20th and 21st century, and the solution he comes up with will almost certainly not be a popular one.

Lost in the Dark
An accident leaves one astronaut stranded with only his dwindling sanity.

Out of Plato's Cave
Living underground was said to be a necessity on Earth, but was that true anymore? Jacob is about to find out...whether he wants to or not...

A Singular Solution
When it's decided that the ultimate weapon must be unleashed against the Earth, one man has to decide between following orders and disobeying, and then he must decide what to do when facing the consequences.

Gerard Anderson is having trouble deciphering what's real and what's not real. Caught up between conflicting realities that seem to bounce around in his head, Gerard can no longer tell where he is, what he's doing, or even who he is at times.

A Chronic Mistake
The runner had been one of the best hackers and tech runners in the business. That was until he got hooked on chronic. Now he's but a shadow of his former self, and he's one mistake away from being caught...or maybe he already has...

Two men, who can't stand one another, sit down for what seems like innocuous drinks, but will their discussion forever change the future of humanity?

Alec has been having problems, but when he's sent to see a computerized psychologist, a sim-shrink, his problems only get worse, as the machine is even crazier than he is...

Sad Grey Eyes on Tharsis
A Martian marine is captured by rebels, but what will happen to him as they try to make him see their side of things...will he turn against his training, or will he turn against the rebels?

The Least Practical of Jokes
A man gets conned into helping Robert Lendorin pull off a practical joke, but when things go wrong, what will the consequences be.

Twist of Fate
Edward Janick couldn't get into the space academy, so he decides to stowaway on a ship headed off Earth, but he has no idea of just what kind of adventure he's about to undertake, and who will be determined to see him fail...or die...

The Progenitors
While mining a Jovian satellite, Patrick Clegg discovers evidence of ancient life, but how far will the corp he works for go to keep anyone from learning about his discovery?

The Galton Principle
Lewis Goddard has long supported the eugenics based government that rules the United States, so much so that he's a proud member of the Galton Youth, but when he suddenly finds himself classified as one of the "genetically inferior," Lewis suddenly finds himself questioning his beliefs...and on the run.

The Indoctrination of the Tolari
Religion is something that is very personal to most, but what happens when one zealot decides it's his personal mission to bring his religion to a group of aliens?

A Union in Death
As the end of the world approaches, a young couple is faced with some difficult choices, because not everyone will be allowed to leave the Earth.

The Coldness of Love and Death
Edward died and had himself frozen so he could see the future, but how could he survive that future without the love of his life...

Harvest of Debts
Debt is a huge problem in the world, and as the gap between the "haves" and the "have nots" continues to grow, just how far will corporations and the rich go to make the poor pay off their debts...organ harvesting?

A Tortuous Wrong Turn
Hentor made a business of smuggling cargo for one of the most powerful criminal syndicates, but when he's forced to dump his cargo to try to avoid capture, he has no idea of just how much trouble he's about to find himself in.

Beyond Mudslinging
Politics has always been ugly, and it just keeps getting uglier...this can only mean that in the future, politics could be deadly...

Who Listens to the Voices of the Past?
Humans have a long history of exploiting other races on their own world, but what will happen when they discover another sentient species on a new planet?

Secret of the Coltao
The Coltao and the Humans live peacefully on the planet Nerthus, but the Humans have been told to never approach the Coltao city as their shared planet approaches aphelion, and the Humans have always listened...until a young human named Dag decides he wants to find out what the Coltao are up to. He will face terrible dangers as he crosses the frozen landscape, and nothing can prepare him for what he finds when he reaches the Coltao city.

Private Coral Gnasher is a dolphin serving the navy of the hairless apes, as he calls them, but he's not happy about it. The dolphin wants to return home, but he has to learn how to escape from the hairless apes...without invoking their vengeance.

Adrift Amidst the Cooling Fires of Creation
A failed mission to Mars leaves four astronauts marooned and heading for the asteroid belt. Faced with certain death for lack of air or starvation, they each choose a way to exit life...all but one, who decides he just wants to see what's out there before he dies.

The Lives of Billions
As the terraforming of Mars swings into high gear, microbes are discovered deep in Valles Marineris, but the corporations don't care, until one scientist decides that it's time to make them take notice.

Trek for Life
A shuttle goes down in a blizzard, and the crew is forced to march through the deadly snow in the hopes of saving the passengers, but will any of them make it...

If you want to contact me, you can reach me at jerwine at Sorry, no hyperlinks, trying to cut down on the annoying spam.