LITERARY SCIENCE FICTION--The Archives of Varok
Friendly Alien (SciFi) Stories, Complex System Notes, Steady State Economics in Fiction
Excerpts from Complexity Workshops, Novels Coming in 2012-2014, List of Publications, Workshops, etc.
THE ARCHIVES OF VAROK--Explore with me an alternate 21st century solar system where the aliens are too close to ignore, where their dedication to steady-state economics makes our everyday business ethics look like treason, and where their complexity philosophy challenges our basic assumptions about the meaning of life, faith, family and evil.
The series includes five issue-oriented science fiction/fantasy novels. It is a multi-species family saga touched with humor, realism, and romance. Each novel stands alone and is aimed at a wide audience, including young adults.
The stories are set in an alternate solar system that includes 21st century Earth, Varok, and Ellason. Ellason is a self-heated planet coming in to perihelion near Neptune for the first time in 12,000 years, home to playful ellls and right-brained great-fish. Varok is a hidden Jovian moon housing a steady-state society of several intelligent species, including the varoks—emotionally fragile, thought-reading humanoids who have difficulty learning to deal with the human concepts trust, faith, and espionage.
When the planets’ nine conversant, opinionated species discover each other, they struggle to get along while searching for ways to ensure their future. Soon after contact is made they realize it is not their lives and civilizations that are threatened, it is the belief structures that define their self-images, their ethical sense, and their economic survival.
A PLACE BEYOND MAN
Romantic first contact/crossover YA A human microbiologist risks everything, including the life of her two-year-old child, SHAWNE, to establish the safety of their first contact with aliens from undetected bodies in Earth’s solar system. She finds common ground with the aliens and becomes emotionally entangled with them--then she sees them as frightening mind-readers (the VAROKS) and sensual amphibioids (the ELLLS) until a near tragedy opens her eyes to their real nature.
THE VIEW BEYOND EARTH
Since A Place Beyond Man was published, we have seen the rapid growth of understanding in the complex nature of all natural systems, including the relationships of sentient beings, like humans. The discovery of Earth-like planets and our sense of self are being impacted by ongoing discoveries in everything from cosmology to animal consciousness. An exciting time to be alive. This new version of my first novel reflects some of this new awareness. Enjoy.
THE UNHEARD SONG
Alien societal conflict on an aquatic world.
When the varoks discover Ellason and try to save the aquatic ellls from ecological disaster, they trigger violent reactions, as well as civil war. Not until a disabled young elll and an idealistic varok put their lives on the line do the two species give up enough of their self-importance to communicate effectively.
THE WEBS OF VAROK
In 2051 AD the family of ellls, varoks, and humans of The View Beyond Earth leave Earth to its questionable fate. They retreat with their human child, SHAWNE, to the security of Varok, where they find the delicate balance of its sustainable economic system disrupted by illegal markets created by an ambitious traitor. The solution to re-instating the steady-state on Varok serves as an example for Earth in its need to find a no-growth solution to overpopulation and overuse.
CONN: THE ALIEN EFFECT
Shawne, the young human woman raised on Varok by ellls and varoks, returns to a welcoming, recovering Earth to teach steady-state ethics. To her dismay, members of her multi-species family spend most of the time (and the wealth of her lover) saving their own skins. Shawne learns to be content with faith in the long-term effects she initiates in the complex, emergent systems of Earth.
SHAWNE: AN ALIEN'S QUEST
While dealing with depression, Shawne explores God concepts on Varok and finds various species there inspired by complexity theory and cosmology. Her quest continues on watery Ellason but is interrupted when her elllonian brother and varokian father disappear. In saving them, her family is endangered by huge marine predators and a black market in hatchling ellls. (A Bibliography is included.)
The Steady-State Ethics of Varok
Based on the economic theories of Herman Daly, the economics on Varok that are disrupted in "The Webs of Varok" depend on their being stable populations, those whose numbers remain unchanged. This requires a universal buy-in, an ethic that emerges from agreeing that replacement-only is the only humane option for a sustainable future. Universal recycling, localization, long-term manufacture of carefully selected technology, and a system of nonrenewable resource quotas provide the basis for a sustainable free market.
The Oil Patch Project.
The Oil Patch Project takes place at the tense intersection of the oil, cattle and environmental cultures in present-day New Mexico. Geologist Jim Checkers is trying to stop the dumping of salts in the oil fields of New Mexico when the surge of events thrust him and his wife, who owns a high-profile event managing firm, into an extralegal investigative effort with a spelunking intelligence analyst enraged with bureaucrats entombing the truth for political advantage, an attractively offbeat lab chemist, and an enterprising young state policeman. The team solves the murders and exposes a malevolent conspiracy concealed by the political culture of the southwest oil fields.
"Petra and the Jay"
In this musical play set in 3020 C.E. (original music by Alice B. Kellogg), the young human Petra is challenged by her animal and alien friends to accept their personhood without assuming it includes human traits. She is also challenged to accept humans as suffering animals in need of the same sympathy she shows animals and aliens. Meanwhile, the galactic federation, U.F.F.D.A., with offices on Earth since 3002 C.E., has convinced the Population Study Council to address the suffering caused by the current surge in human numbers. As a result, the human conservative Guardians demand that UFFDA leave Earth.
Just when the United Free Federation of Demilitarized Autonomies (UFFDA) has agreed to invite Earth into the federation, which hasn't seen war in ages, an ambitious silicon critter attempts a violent coup to take control. Original music is by Alice B. Kellogg.
Summary notes and definitions for chaos, complexity and its indicators, a bibliography including theological references, and implications for human organizations.
Indicators explored include fractals, power laws and the regularity of catastrophes, criticality, self-organization, emergence, and unpredictable amplification of small events into huge effects over time. Applications and examples come from the natural and social sciences.
Complex systems are everywhere in existence, including our own. Our personalities are emergent phenomena. Most natural systems, including humans, self-organize in ways that reveal their true nature. Simple rules guide this process, but chaos and chance can intervene. As a result, very little is truly predictable, but anything that happens can be amplified in the future, often unpredictably.
Chaos, Complexity, and the Search for Meaning
As we accept our place in the greater universe and understand that our complex nature is sensitive to initial conditions--hence everything we do has long-range effects--we must carefully distinguish between information that comes from experiential, verifiable evidence and beliefs that direct our religious faith.
We live at an exciting time in the history of human understanding. We have learned so much about who we are and how we live in this huge universe it is beyond awesome--how genes regulate each other, the beauty of star nurseries, how complex systems govern themselves and us and everything around us, yet remain unpredictable and utterly mysterious, why plants have thousands more genes than we do, how animals and birds develop cultures and communicate, how close we are in a continuum with other life yet so far we will never meet the other astronomers across the galaxy, and so much more.
OTHER WORKS AND PUBLICATIONS
January-May 2005 Co-Instructor and Developer of "Sustainable Solutions for an Overused World," a one-unit course for UNM-LA Undergraduate study and Continuing Education.
“Complexity and Chaos—Church Organization,” Workshop for Unitarian Universalist Mountain Desert District.
“Complexity and Chaos--Implications for Philosophy and Theology,” Meadville/Lombard Theological Seminary, January-March, 2003.
"Bypassing Divine Action: Built-in Meaning Inspired by Complexity Principles," talk and publication for Collegium, San Juan Batista, CA, Oct. 23-26; published by the Unitarian Universalist Process Theology Newsletter, 2004.
BOOK REVIEWS for The Christian Science Monitor: "When Humans Converse with Apes and Whales; What’s to be Learned," 6/30/82. "New Light on Debate Over Atomic Power Plants," 10/8/82. "2010: Odyssey Two" by Arthur C. Clarke, 12/3/82. "Computer Books Help You Pick the Right One, Translate the Jargon," 3/22/83. "Useful Look at Genetic Engineering..." 9/28/83. "Bright New History Traces Music Through the Ages, 11/14/83.
"Complexity--Simple Drivers in Nature" for the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos, Spring 2006.
"Complexity and Organization," Course for Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, Spring 2004.
Cary Neeper and Don Neeper, "Concepts," Junior High Course for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Los Alamos, 1995-1996.
Cary Neeper, "Looking Out, Looking In: Exploring the Significance of Being Human in a Vast Universe," Junior High Course for the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, 1993-4.
"Findings from Complexity Studies Impacting Education,"
for the Northern New Mexico Education Coalition, April 2005.
Cary Neeper, "Common Sense, Chaos, and Theology," for the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, August 1995.
Cary Neeper, "Human Denial: A Workshop in Chaos, Genetics and Connectivity," for the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, June 14, 1992.
Cary Neeper, "[Seismosaurus] Findings and Their Importance," for the Los Alamos National Laboratory Museum, December 11, 1991.
Cary Neeper, "Meaning in Existence As Ordered Chaos," Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, March 17, 1991.
Cary Neeper, "A View From the Sidelines," Women in Science Newsletter 6:4, December 2, 1985, Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Cary Neeper, "Observation-derived Faith," Flagstaff Unitarian Fellowship, May 13, 1984 and Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, October 28, 1984 and A Pulpit for Liberals, October, 1984.
Carolyn Neeper, Ph.D., "History of Catholic Attitudes Toward Abortion," Speech for the New Mexico Committee on Medical Termination of Pregnancy, 1969.
Cary Neeper, "Double Bass Music of Frank Proto," Los Alamos Monitor, September 21, 1997.
Cary Neeper, "What the Government Should Do to Create a Sustainable Economy," Los Alamos Monitor, June 24, 1997.
Cary Neeper, "Striving for Sustainability at the Community Level," Los Alamos Monitor, June 22, 1997.
Cary Neeper, "Sustainability: Finding Equitable Solutions," Los Alamos Monitor, June 20, 1997.
Cary Neeper, "Putting it Simply: Enough is Best," Los Alamos Monitor, June 19, 1997.
Cary Neeper, "Forgotten Guidelines: Sustainability According to Herman Daly, 1977," The New Sunpaper III:05, October 1996.
Cary Neeper with Robert Schrei, Certified Rolfer, "Rolfing to Save a Career," Rolf Lines XXI:1, March 1993, pp. 12-15.
Cary Neeper with Robert Schrei, Certified Rolfer, "Rolfing to Save a Career," International Society of Bassists XVIII:1, Fall/Winter 1991-2, pp. 48-50.
Cary Neeper, "Gilbert and Sullivan Have a Long History Here," Los Alamos Monitor, October 19, 1990.
Cary Neeper, "Kinder, Gentler Rolfing," Los Alamos Monitor, May 10, 1990.
Cary Neeper, "The Importance of Imprinting," Unitarian Universalist Voice, April, 1988.
No byline, ZPG column "Little Island Earth,", The Los Alamos Monitor, 1969-1973.
No byline, writings on the abortion issue for the New Mexico Review and Legislative Journal, 1969
Carolyn Neeper, Ph.D., "Understanding the Abortion Reform Movement," Newsletter of the New Mexico Committee on Medical Termination of Pregnancy, January, 1969.
No byline, pamphlet and speech material for the Illinois Citizens for Medical Termination of Pregnancy, 1966-1968.
Cary Neeper, "A Gift of Fear," in Adobe Christmas, The Santa Fe Reporter, New Mexico, December 1979, p. 105.
Cary Neeper, "An Undeniably Sentimental Journey," in Adobe Christmas, The Santa Fe Reporter, New Mexico, 1975, p. 13.
JOURNAL ARTICLES IN MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY:
C. A. Neeper and C. V. Seastone, "Mechanisms of Immunologic Paralysis by Pneumococcal Polysaccharide IV. Comparison of Polysaccharide and Whole Organisms," J. Immun. 93, 867-871 (1964).
C. A. Neeper, "Mechanisms of Immunologic Paralysis by Pneumococcal Polysaccharide III. Immunologic Paralysis in Relation to Maturation of the Immunologic Response of Mice," J. Immun. 93, 860-866 (1964).
C. A. Neeper and C. V. Seastone, "Mechanisms of Immunologic Paralysis by Pneumococcal Polysaccharide II. The Influence of Nonspecific Factors on the Immunity of Paralyzed Mice to Pneumococcal Infection," J. Immun.91, 378-383 (1963)
C. A. Neeper and C. V. Seastone, "Mechanisms of Immunologic Paralysis by Pneumococcal Polysaccharide I. Studies of Adoptively Acquired Immunity to Pneumococcal Infection in Immunologically Paralyzed and Normal Mice," J. Immun. 91, 374-377 (1963).
D. J. Buchanan-Davidson, M. A. Stahmann, C. A. Neeper, C. V. Seastone, and J. B. Wilson, "Action of Synthetic Polylysine on Experimental Infections in Animals,: J. Bact. 80, 595-599 (1960).