UPCOMING RELEASES

I’m getting ready to release three new works. Two stand-alone novels and an omnibus edition that contains Volumes One & Two. Both volumes are a spin off of my first book “The METAVERSE: Virtual Life-Real Death.”

Volume One of the “METAVERSE GAMES” is titled “DEVOLUTION: LEVEL UP” A deadly outbreak that resulted in millions of devolved humans, no more than mutations now who are as deadly as they are hideous. Rival gangs, known as Outfits who claim the city as their own and government sanctioned mercenaries who infiltrate deep into the dead city to recover assets and valuables left behind. A tale of non-stop action and adventure!

WillKurth-72dpi-1500x2000

Volume Two, “DEVOLUTION: IRL,” contains a prologue that brings readers up to speed in case they missed Volume One. It picks up where the first one left off, Outfitters for whom killing is an everyday occurrence slip out of the dead city seeking the location of a large treasure known to but a few of the mercenaries. In the “Dead Zone,” nothing is as it seems as competing factions battle one another both in the dead city and out.

WillKurth-72dpi-1500x2000-2

“METAVERSE GAMES” is the omnibus edition, combining both stand alone novels into one larger read. Volumes One and Two will be available as ebooks at $2.99 each while the Omnibus edition will be available at 3.99.  “METAVERSE GAMES” will be available in paperback also.

WillKurth-72dpi-1500x2000-3

I’m hoping to have all three released at the end of August 2017, stay tuned!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

COMING SOON IN PAPERBACK!

In formatting for a papWillKurth-The Metaveers_72dpi-1500x2000-13erback version of “THE METAVERSE: VIRTUAL LIFE-REAL DEATH,”   I decided to redo the cover. I think the new design more accurately reflects the story, a thriller that is ultimately about the chase.

Any thoughts?

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Freedom To Be…

In the summer of 1776 and the fight with England already a year old the Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia. The precursor to what became the “Declaration of Independence” was the resolution by Henry Lee of Virginia and the famous words:

“Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

4th-of-july-funnyAnd the rest they say is history…

Often overlooked in our disagreement with our cousins “across the pond” was the simple request that English Subjects living in the colonies have the same rights as any Englishmen. Hence, the familiar chorus of “no taxation without representation.” Had King George and the Parliament acquiesced, then we all might still be Subjects of the British Crown.

Or maybe not. Americans have an ingrained independent streak. We don’t much care for totalitarianism whether it’s from Kings, or a government big enough to give you everything and thus big enough to take everything. The Founding Fathers worried so much about having a pure democracy that could lead to the “Tyranny of the Majority” they favored a Republic, the Electoral College and checks and balances so that neither people in the population centers not individual politicians, judges or unelected bureaucrats could reign supreme.

“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” soon followed. While life and liberty are inherent rights, only the pursuit of happiness is guaranteed. That last part often gets some people caught up. They aren’t happy, or more to the point they feel that something isn’t fair. Therefore it’s up to the government to fix it, which I’m ok with; that was the way the system was set up, and in fact, many injustices, social, racial and economic have been overturned.

But that road to happiness is an elusive one and should be maintained with vigilance. I am libertarian in my politics: I don’t much care what you do in the privacy of your home, private life or in the way you make a living, just don’t demand that other taxpayers and I pay for it.

Those great men 241 summers ago gave us something wonderful and unseen in human history: Freedom to be…

I’ll let you finish the sentence.

Happy Fourth of July!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Of Zombies And Men

I’ve been revising my new novel which I plan on releasing sometime this summer. While it is part of the “Metaverse Crimes Team” series it is not a sequel per se but rather a spin-off of  “The Metaverse.” 

zombie-silhouette-wallpaper-pictures-52292-54001-hd-wallpapers

It is not strictly a horror story or even a tale of the undead, Zombies nonetheless have a central role.

Anyway, I was going to write a cute tongue-in-cheek post about why my home state of New Mexico is a good place to ride out the Zombie Apocalypse that everyone knows is coming.

Then the news broke that a gunman (they almost always are men) had opened fire, deliberately targeting a group of Republican Congressman because of all the wrongs that occur in this world those elected officials, their aides and presumably anyone else in attendance advocated for policies that the shooter was in opposition to. I won’t wade into that whole episode any further except to say that it got me to thinking about some things.

In my upcoming story, a lot of action occurs where people, both bad and good struggle against terrible monsters, former fellow human beings and now Zombies. The handful of “normal” people must battle the awful beings whose legions number in the tens of millions. Needless to say, a lot of firepower is brought to bear on these hapless creatures.

discourse-thumb-280xauto-27863It’s easy to shoot down Zombies right?

Aside from the fact that they will bite you and try to suck the brains from your skull or tear the flesh from your body they need to be destroyed, for the good of humankind. Most people (at least the ones I know) would not think it exciting let alone moral to go out and shoot people down. But dehumanize that person, and something happens in our psyche, both individually and collectively that allows many to treat their fellow man with dismissiveness, derision, and even violence.

Unfortunately one does not need to be a Zombie to undergo that judgment. It seems simply having a difference of opinion for some people is enough, while for others it is about religion. I have noticed that society as a whole has de-evolved when it comes to civil discourse. You need not look past the most popular social media sites to find examples.

With the internet between us, it is easier than ever to dehumanize another person. We wade into discussions to start arguments, we jump into debates to start fights that are mostly virtual but just as vicious as the real thing. It’s easy to do when you don’t have to look the other person in the eyes. You don’t consider their point of view let alone their feelings because those things no longer count. They are not an equal; worthy of nothing but your scorn. What they say, think or believe does not matter because you have already rendered judgment.

A fan of lively debate and persuasive conversation I  used to discuss the issues of the day on Facebook and other forums but no more. My politics are not important, nor are yours. They will have virtually no effect on another person, at least not individually. We used to debate to persuade those on the other side of the position to if not join us, at least to find common ground. I still enjoy a lively face to face discussion, and some of my closest friends have views diametrically opposed to mine on a variety of topics and yet we like each other still.

14576261-mmmain

Perhaps the art of conversation and civility, in general, is lost over the new mediums in which most of us communicate. 24/7 news channels of all stripes give us plenty to get worked up about while allowing us to pass judgments on people based on sound bites that we rarely hear in context. I would go so far as to say that is done deliberately but then some might call me a conspiracy theorist (other than space aliens at Area 51 being hidden by the government I believe no conspiracies…JK).

I guess for now I will return to my “safe space.” You know, the one with the Zombies. At least I know they are make believe (aren’t they?).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What’s In A Name?

IMG_2293

Friends and relatives who visit us here in the “Land of Enchantment” otherwise known as the State of New Mexico are often surprised about two things:

  1. We are a part of the union.
  2. We have four full seasons

The first one I put up only half in jest. But some people who may need to brush up on their geography sometimes believe that the southern border of Colorado separates the USA from Mexico. They may be surprised to IMG_2289find out that New Mexico became a state before Arizona, although just by six months in 1912.

Previously both were part of the New Mexico Territory. Arizona kept the title that the Spanish converted from the Papago “ali-shonak” meaning “small spring.” Our state retained the connection to Mexico and Spain, confusing Easterners and others ever since.

Unlike Arizona much of which is warm even in the winter, New Mexico, particularly the Central and Northern portions have a full four seasons. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Parts of Arizona get cold while portions of New Mexico remain warm even in January, bringing me to the main point of my post.

I reside in what we call the “High Desert,” which also happens to be part of the name of this website and my Twitter Handle. Everyone can imagine a desert, lots of brown sand, little vegetation and even less water. But what then is the High Desert? A standard definition is above 4,000 feet in elevation with less than 10 inches of annual precipitation. New Mexico’s mean elevation is 5,700 feet above sea level but our annual rainfall averages around 14 inches while the snowfall averages around 22 inches.  Of course being averages, there are the extremes like the 100 inches of snow some of our mountains received this last winter.

The fIMG_0772oothills of the Southern Rocky Mountains where our home is located is around 6,800 feet above sea level. We receive above the snow and rainfall averages for the state. That elevation, well above a mile, along with the greater precipitation gives us some green in the spring and summer and some white in the fall and winter. The parking lot of Ski Santa Fe where I instruct skiing is at 10,350 feet. The peaks towering above the base area extend to over, 12,000 making it one of, if not the highest lift-served ski terrain in North America.

The name High Desert may not define precisely the topography of where I live, but I will nonetheless keep it. The photos are from the open space just a short walk from my home. It’s a place of peace and reflection where I plot and plan what the characters in my books do. It’s a great place to work through and overcome writer’s block and plot holes because you place those things in the back of your mind when you are surrounded by such grandeur. As you hike along your subconscious works out all of the details.

It’s not the desert, and it’s not the mountains, but it is a place I love. I think I’ll keep the name.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Opposites Attract

This weekend as I was starting a garden and doing yard work in the bright New Mexican sun and the almost ever prIMG_1073esent crisp blue skies I thought how just a couple of weeks ago that green grass and garden sat under a couple inches of snow due to a late April storm. Just another couple weeks before that I was still at my “fun job” working as a Ski Instructor for Ski Santa Fe. That last week saw some big dumps of snow. One of them was so heavy that half of the upper mountain had to be closed for the better part of one day due to avalanche danger. Something not often seen when skiing inbounds at a ski area.

I spent nearly 90 days on skis this last season and loved most every minute of it! I was getting paid to do what people dream about doing as they grind away in their cubicles until they get a chance to take a holiday.  When they come up to the mountain, they’re not thinking about politics, their jobs or even their day to day problems. If they are wise they leave those things down the mountain. If for no other reason that makes going up the
mountain good for the soul.

As a professional skier, I am always striving for the perfect carve in my turns whether that is on a groomed run, through some gnarly bumps, or in the deep powder stashes through the tight trees on a steep hidden glade that only the locals know exist. Our Ski Instructor uniforms, technical talk, and stamina from doing cardio every day at 12K feet in elevation sometimes intimidate the recreational skiers that we teach coming from the big cities to our cozy area. Being cognizant of that we try hard to put them at ease and to remind each that they should use the “F” word often…Fun!

We truly want our students and guests to relish in the joy of the sport, a joy that grows exponentially the better they ski. We might make judgments about their turns but never about them. That sounds like an easy thing to do, and it is when you are in the mountains getting paid to hang out with people on vacation. However, it is a little more difficult in our daily lives. Coming from a law enforcement background I was quite judgemental, I had to be. I had to make determinations about someone’s state of mind, motives and not the least their intent to do me harm. That existence will make anyone jaded to one degree or another. In fact, I would submit that if it did not, you would not be very good in that job, but that is a topic for another day.

IMG_1876As I engage people now whether it is on the snow or in the pages of a novel I work hard to be nonjudgmental in putting forth any point of view that might take away from the experience. Just as I strive for the perfect carve on my skis I strive for the perfect word, sentence, paragraph, passage and story.

Life is a yin and yang existence. That Eastern philosophy describes how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected and interdependent in the natural world.  The snow that covered my garden nourished it with moisture. Being judgmental in one job is required while in another the opposite is true. For going up the mountain to be good for the soul, one must first leave the bad down the mountain.

I’m blessed, I get to see the mountains every day. Either from my backyard, as I drive through the city or as I descend from their peaks in a way that only a bird or a fellow skier can relate to.  If I’m wise, I’ll remember to leave the bad “down the mountain,” even if the mountain is only a frame of mind that day.

I hope that you do too!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Useless Class

In the future when the Bvirtual_reality_wideots and AI have all of the jobs will that just leave us humans having all the fun? Will our days be filled with moving from one virtual reality game to another? Of course, we won’t all be unemployed. To be sure we will need people to develop virtual worlds and the games that we might play in them as well as people to design and maintain not only the hardware but to keep the lights on so to speak. With Bots and AI assistants, we might only need a fraction of humans that we now need to do those tasks.

That will leave a whole class of individuals with nothing to do. Characterized as the “Useless Class” by Yuval Noah Harari they will not just be the unemployed, but the unemployable.

Assuming that government (or their parents) provide them some type of “Universal Basic Income,” an idea under consideration in Canada and other places. In fact, even in the USA a UBI already exists if you consider entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as well as a variety of welfare programs. If basic necessities were provided for then the need to work would not be required to live. Leaving a lot of extra time to enter digital realms that cost little or even nothing but the hardware to join them.

One could debate whether a UBI should exist, but that is not something I would plunge into. Rather I would observe that the results of all of this impressive technology whether you are employed, unemployed or unemployable, is that your standard of leisure time activities through virtual reality will be much higher, perhaps in ways that are a magnitude above what you now enjoy in the “real world.”

If a virtual world were so intriguing and enjoyable that you never needed to leave it would that be your new reality? I just finished the first draft of my next novel in the “The Metaverse” series. It’s a story where the lines between what is real and what isn’t are not merely blurred. What is real has been reduced to abstract thought. The only reality becomes for many, the dimension that they currently occupy.

To protect that reality some might even kill.

Stay tuned!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment