It's not quite fair, me being the only guy on the team who starts the GB3 story dead for two years. After all, I'm the closest person in Google Beta 3 to the author's real-life biography. We're the same age, very similar beliefs and intentions. I surely have a lot to say - but nope - I'm dead and long-gone in the first chapter. So I guess this backwater PORTAL location for what I have to say will have to do.
First of all, since they're already posted here - let's talk about my poetry and lyrics in the collection John has recently put together. John has his name on the collection, called MIND DANCE, but for the sake of Google Beta 3 and forthcoming novels in that series, MIND DANCE is my expression. And you'll understand my character a lot better by reading or listening to those 110 poems than by trying to figure out who I am from GB3.
Like John, I came right off my family's cattle ranch down in Ojai and Cuyama in 1964 and got hit right in the face with the psychedelic revolution and the battle to put a stop to our engagement in Vietnam. In Google Beta 3 I'm pushing 70 when I get murdered, my son Jack is from my second marriage, and I appear to be an established and even highly lauded professor of brain science. But if you want to know why I ended up in that position of power, and also why I got killed for my efforts, it's important to go back to the early poetry and songs I wrote when I was 20 to 35, because those revolutionary years formed me.
Those early outlaw years took a real-life kid from a working cattle-ranch family and turned me into my opposite - radical rather than conservative, hostile rather than docile, excited about science rather than uninterested. And most importantly, they turned me into someone on a life-or-death mission to find a realistic tech way to change the human brain - to somehow make it less violent and irrational. And of course, that's what Google Beta 3 and the upcoming books in the series are all about.
Luckily for me, the author and god of this forthcoming fiction series has already written books 2 and 3 in the series. I'm mostly not present in book 2, even though it's all built on my research - but I'm front-center in book 3, SHOOTING ANGELS, which is the prequel to GB3. In SHOOTING ANGELS we go back to when I was 22 and dodging the Vietnam draft by going to grad school at a Christian seminary, the San Francisco Theological Seminary. It was the most liberal seminary in the country, and we had a wild time there and at Berkeley in 1969, as the novel reveals.
It's a good murder mystery in and of itself (not my murder this time) and at the same time, uncovers the motivations and experiences that in the end drove me into brain research, tech-psych, mood management and all the rest. So that book, along with MIND DANCE, seem to be the slight cracks through which my contribution to this drama can be seen more clearly. I'm otherwise just a corpse on the floor of the story.
Okay, enough for now - except to thank John for re-collecting all those early poems and songs, boiling them down to their essence and publishing them, and then also recording them ... the audio dimension is especially interesting because John seems to have found my own voice in reading them, they take on a present-moment intensity and significance, and somehow bring me alive ... click on READINGS and there they are.