Tag: Bob Mayer (page 1 of 4)

Techno Thursday: Back to the Future Part II

We’re gearing up for the release of Nine-Eleven by Bob Mayer, which is a Time Travel novel, so I thought it fitting to actually talk about time travel. The rules of Time Travel are mind boggling. I can barely keep track of the time differences in the different time zone’s my kids live in, much less consider the world of Time Travel and the ramifications that Time Travel could cause. That said, I’m utterly fascinated by Time Travel.

Back to the Future II was released in 1989. I was 23. Married for a year. Still in college. Was using a dot matrix printer. An original IBM PC (still think I’m cooler than Bob with his original Mac whatever). I had finally declared a major of Business Education with a Concentration in Marketing in Sales. I was in it for the computers. Seriously. The class I really wanted to teach was BC/BCA or Business Computers/Business Computer Applications. I worked in the PC computer lab at college. Lotus 1-2-3 and Word Perfect were the best software programs out there. And DOS! Oh the days of the C Prompt.

I frame this because one never knows what our future will look like in say, a short, twenty-five years or so…or do we?

Back to the Future II introduced the concept of head-mounted virtual reality devices.

Here’s my cousin at a family gathering just last year!

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 3.09.29 PM


I wish I had a picture of the little box that Bob and his wife Deb got while I was done there a while back on business. Deb tossed it at me and was like, what on earth is this. I was determined to figure it out, as I put it together and stuck my iPhone in it and low and behold, a virtual tour of a City. It was kind of cool that a little box you put together, then insert your phone would do that.

I’m not totally sure the movie created the technology, but there was nothing like that head gear anywhere at the time. And lets face it, fiction writers have very unique imaginations.

What are some of your favorite technologies that came to life after being show in a movie?

Another milestone: 50k sold: Nightstalkers

I wondered: who are the Special Ops who take care of the thing that go bump in the night?

Moms sat back in her seat and gestured for Nada to begin. The team sergeant got up and picked up the top binder. “Nuclear Protocol, including facilities, materials, weapons, etcetera.” He tossed it to Kirk, who caught it. Nada picked up the second binder. “Biological Protocol. There are some nasty bugs out there, and hard as it is to believe, there are people in labs trying to make nastier ones. It’s not like Mother Nature can’t be quite the motherfucker by herself.” He tossed the second binder. Third binder: “Chemical. Really, you do need to read all this stuff, cause Doc or an Acme might not be by your side. Pretend you’re in graduate school for things that can kill. Learn which ones kill quickest and fastest.” He paused. “You know your three Bs right?” “Breathing, bleeding, broken,” Kirk said, listing the priorities for triage. Nada nodded. “For us it’s the three Cs. Containment is the first priority. Nothing else matters if whatever shit we’re trying to deal with spreads. Then concealment.” He noted Kirk’s surprised look. “Panic can kill as much as the actual problem. Word of some of the things we’ve had to squash gets out, people will go bonkers. The people out there in the world got twenty-four-hour news channels. They’re hungry for bad shit, like the way weathermen pray for hurricanes to hit so they can stand on that pier with the wind howling around them. The news would eat up the stuff we deal with and the public would panic. War of the Worlds–type shit. The third C is control. That one is regulated by Ms. Jones’s directive whether it’s dry, damp, or wet. Got it?” “Containment, concealment, control.” “Good.” Nada picked up a stack of three more binders. “This is just a bunch of stuff. And some of it is pretty weird. They list every single mission the Nightstalkers have been on since it was founded in 1948. Makes for great late-night reading.” Moms cut in for the first time. “Don’t concern yourself so much with the problems, because some of them won’t happen again, but look at the way the team dealt with it and consider possibilities.” Nada dumped the three binders on top of the ones already in Kirk’s lap. He grabbed the thickest one off the desk. “This is the one I call the Dumb Shit Scientist Protocol, but don’t ever let Doc hear that. This lists all the incredibly dumb things scientists have done that damn near wiped out the human race.” Nada’s eyes shifted to the wall between the CP and Ms. Jones’s office, as if she could hear through two feet of steel-reinforced concrete. “Pretty high up on that list is what happened at Chernobyl.” Last, Nada tossed a pocket-sized team Protocol. “That’s your first priority reading. You’ve got forty-eight hours, then anyone can ask you anything in it and you’d better know it and your place in whatever it is. Here is an overview of the entire Area 51 Series. Tell us who your favorite Alien is (from any movie or book) and be entered in a  drawing for a free audio book from the Area 51 Series.    

Jimmy Stewart, Marlene Dietrich & the Rule of 7 for Disasters

I’m writing this as I sit here at McGhee-Tyson Airport (Knoxville) waiting to board a flight en route to Seattle to present at PNWA. Perhaps not the smartest move, but those who know me know . . .

When I was young I watched the movie No Highway In The Sky starring Jimmy Stewart– and strangely enough, Marlene Dietrich. It’s about an engineer who fears the first jet-engine commercial airliner will crash because of metal fatigue. He’s so convinced he’s right, even though everyone else thinks he’s wrong, that he retracts the landing gear while the plane is parked on the runway to prevent it from taking off. Of course, by the end of the movie he’s proven right. But of more interest, three years after the movie, the first jet passenger plane, the de Havilland Comet had two fatal crashes. The cause: metal fatigue.

Then I went to West Point and subsequently volunteered for the Special Forces (Green Berets). Both of these experiences had a profound effect on the way I view the world around me. Operating in the covert world leads one to have a paranoid perspective where shit doesn’t just happen, it’s expected, and we have to deal with it. I’ve written quite a few novels based on my experiences, but also some nonfiction books. The Green Beret Survival Guide is full of not only survival information, but stories about survival events. In a way, this book is an expansion of those types of individual stories to larger catastrophes. Who Dares Wins: Special Operations Strategies for Success is where I apply what I learned and taught in Special Operations to the civilian world.

Finally, my wife (who is terrified of flying) and I became very interested in a television show titled Seconds From Disaster, which aired on National Geographic. Over the seasons it covered just about every plane crash and numerous other disasters. And we noticed a startling commonality. No plane crash just happened. There was always a series of mistakes, miscalculations, negligence and other events leading up to those final seconds and the disaster. Which led us to develop the . . . The Rule of 7: no crash happens in isolation or as the result of a single event. It requires a minimum of 7 things to go wrong in order for an airplane to crash. And one of those 7 is always human error. It might not be the primary cause, but it is always a contributing factor.

A catastrophe involving humans does not happen in isolation. In fact, with enough knowledge and preparation, many individuals and organizations can avoid catastrophes altogether, and if caught in one, survive.

I’ve used the Rule of Seven not only in the Survival Guide and Who Dares Wins but it’s an integral part of my new Time Patrol series, where the Shadow is trying to change six days in our history in order to form a Time Tsunami and wipe us out!

Let’s hope we don’t go past six.

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