Archive for October, 2013

CITIES OF REFUGE BEGINS THEIR CAMPAIGN TO REVIVE A NEIGHBORHOOD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

2013-03-23 12.41.31INDIANAPOLIS, IN:  October 15, 2013 – Cities of Refuge, a non-profit dedicated to assisting motivated homeless men to transition from a state of homelessness, has partnered with Volunteers of America to help rebuild a neighborhood.

They will be having an Open House November 9th from 1 – 4 p.m. at their property on 2801 Columbia Avenue to show the community what can happen when groups cooperate and a neighborhood pulls together.  (Before ==>)

“We spent a year getting to know our neighbors and listening to their concerns about the neighborhood,” Executive Director Maurice Broaddus said.  “After that time of building relationships, we knew we were on the right track.  We don’t give up on people and we don’t give up on our neighborhood.”

With a program they call “Project: Revive,” Cities of Refuge Ministries employed men re-entering from prison through the non-profit Volunteers of America to rehabilitate one of several homes they purchased.  Cities of Refuge’s mission is to restore people and through those people rebuild a community.  So they reclaim abandoned homes which have been blights in the King’s Park neighborhood.  They partnered with Volunteers of America to employ men recently released from prison in order to provide job training and an opportunity to live life another way.

Culminating months of hard work and partnering with several other non-profits, among them Outreach Inc, Stop the Violence Indianapolis, and Trusted Mentors, and shows what can happen when a community pulls together.

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail Maurice Broaddus at  maurice@coreindy.org

To learn more, please visit the Cities of Refuge web site at http://www.coreindy.org

 

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Cities of Refuge Ministries assists motivated homeless men and women in the greater Indianapolis community transition from a state of homelessness to a stable living arrangement through employment and home ownership.  Learn more at http://www.coreindy.org/

Volunteers of America of Indiana is a faith-based organization that provides life-changing services to enhance the physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual needs of individuals by providing counseling, rehabilitation, job placement, and residential services. We serve individuals transitioning from the correctional system, the elderly and those dealing with chronic addiction and mental illness.  Learn more at http://www.voain.org

Contact Person:  Maurice Broaddus

Company:  Cities of Refuge Ministries

E-mail:  maurice@coreindy.org

Web Site:  http://www.coreindy.org

Launch Party: DAY ONE by Nate Kenyon

I get periodic requests from folks for quest blogs celebrating the debut of their novels.  I thought it’d be cool to just go ahead and make a regular feature of it.  I’m calling it Launch Party, because if there’s one thing I love it’s an excuse to have a party.   So one thing the writers have to do is convince me/us why we should attend their party.  First up: long time pal-o-mine, Nate Kenyon.  I’ll let him take over …

DAY_ONE_coverLaunch Party: Day One

Maurice was kind enough to invite me to guest blog on his site, and to be the first in line in a new series about launching the killer thriller (my words, not his).

Some might think writers are excited about every single one of their launches. Not so. Some books you’re just less confident about, or your publisher isn’t giving it a good push, or early reviews are bad. So on this, my launch week, what makes me so excited about my new novel DAY ONE?

Three things: first and foremost, I love the story. DAY ONE is about a journalist with a shady past trying to redeem himself as he goes after what he hopes is a breakthrough profile of a tech visionary. As John Hawke heads into New York, everything with a computer chip in it begins to malfunction. Soon, he’s trapped in a city under attack by an unknown, brilliant and vicious enemy that can be anywhere and everywhere at once.

The bridges and tunnels have been destroyed. Somehow, Hawke must find a way to escape the city and get back to his wife and young son. Their lives depend on it…and so does the rest of the human race.

DAY ONE is a very dark and wild thriller that moves like a bullet. It’s been described as “Cloverfield meets the Terminator,” which is pretty spot on. Red-blooded horror fans who want action are going to love this book.

The second thing that’s gotten me excited is the early feedback. Booklist gave it a starred review and called it “exciting and inventive.” Library Journal called it my “scariest to date.” There’s some great buzz around the novel, and a major producer just picked it up for film.

While researching the novel, I was blown away about what’s going on in the artificial intelligence space. Billions are being thrown at the problem of creating an AI that thinks, learns, acts more human–using quantum computing breakthroughs and neural mapping–even the idea of creating consciousness and what that means is in play. Google, NSA, IBM, and certainly many universities are after it–and Paul Allen just announced his founding of the Allen AI research Institute with a $500 million war chest.

The possibilities and benefits of this kind of system are obvious. But the dangers are very real too. If we create something that can improve itself and learn on its own, what does that mean? If it is self aware, how do we define it? Would it be protected from abuse–have some sort of legal rights? What if something like this “gets loose” from whatever system we put in place to control or contain it, and evolves in such a way that it leaves the capabilities of the human mind far behind–and what if it decides that human beings are expendable?

All this might seem like science fiction. But a lot of researchers say we may be less than 20 years away from such a thing, and we’ve already created an entire ecosystem for it to grow and thrive in the World Wide Web and networked devices. In James Barrat’s excellent OUR FINAL INVENTION, he makes the case that we are quite likely engineering our own extinction–that we are not focused enough on safeguarding such a system, and even if we were, we won’t be able to predict the ways an AI might “escape” its own programming safeguards as it evolves. As Barrat writes, an AI might not hate humans, or even bear us any ill will. But we don’t hate lab mice either, and look what we do to them.

I wrote DAY ONE imagining what might happen if such a system “woke up” and decided to eliminate us. It’s pure entertainment, of course, and I take liberties with the concepts, but there’s a surprising amount of truth in it as well. The problem is that most people won’t believe it. Artificial intelligence has been a rich playground for entertainment for many years (Forbidden Planet, the Terminator movies, The Matrix, and on and on), and that, I think, has lulled the general public to sleep. But there are very real developments in the field and the possibility of an actual breakthrough or catastrophe is looming.

Incidentally, Barrat’s book came out the same day mine did, from the same press (Thomas Dunne/St. Martins). It’s an interesting pairing of a fictional imagining of an AI apocalypse for entertainment purposes, and a nonfiction account of the realities around the occurrence of such an event.

The last thing that has me so excited about DAY ONE? It’s a rich playground for scaring the hell out of people. And that’s what I love to do best.

 

Bio:
Nate Kenyon is the award-winning author of Day One (St. Martins, October 2013), about the day machines become sentient and take over New York. Day One received a starred Booklist review and raves from Library Journal and many others. Kenyon is a three-time Stoker Award Finalist. His other novels include Bloodstone, The Reach, The Bone Factory, and Sparrow Rock. He also writes Diablo III novels for Blizzard Entertainment and Simon and Schuster. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers. He lives in the Boston area.

 

Where I’ll Be/Where I Am Internet Round Up

fountainI will be doing a session on writing and marketing genre fiction along with Phil Dunlap and S.M. Harding at this year’s Indy Author Fair at Central Library is scheduled for Saturday, October 26th:

Writing and Marketing Genre Fiction 

3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Goodrich-Houk Room

This session will be invaluable to those who hope to write speculative fiction (science fiction, horror, fantasy), Westerns, and/or mysteries. You’ll gain inside knowledge about how to break into these markets and tips for catching an editor’s eye. You’ll also learn how to write a query letter, synopsis and pitch, which will give your book its best shot at publication. Presented by the Indiana Writers Center and featuring Maurice Broaddus, Phil Dunlap and S.M. Harding. (2 LEUs)

 

Now here’s where you can catch up with me around the Internet:

-In case you missed it, The Guardian picked up one of my tweets for their article on “It’s time for science fiction to face up to discrimination” after this year’s WorldCon.  AND I WASN’T EVEN DRUNK TWEETING AT THE TIME!

-This almost counts as a blog post:  SF Signal invited me for one of their MIND MELD, this time on “Our Favorite Women Horror Writers.”

-Speaking of WorldCon and SF Signal, I was part of an SF Signal podcast (Episode 204): 2013 Live WorldCon Panel with the Authors, Editor and Publisher of BEYOND THE SUN.

-I was asked to give three good things to read, watch, and use.  Check out which author’s I name drop (okay, I’ll spoil one of them:  Geoffrey Girard’s Cain’s Blood/Project Cain.  Not coincidentally, there’s a well-dressed bald black man who makes an appearance in the books).

-On the Punchnel’s web site, I have a “lost” story from my Knights of Breton Court trilogy, “Ebony Paradox.”  Here I tell the tale of a couple of knights I mention in passing in King’s Justice and their failed Grail quest (which would have happened in Book Three:  King’s War).  You’ll never look at the fountains in Woodruff Place the same … *creepy cherubs*