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Friday, May 9, 2014

Come to the Heroes of Earth Book Party!

Host: Martin Berman-Gorvine, tel. 703-477-1824
When: Saturday, May 24 at 11:00 AM (during Balticon)
Where: Hunt Valley Inn, Parlor 1026, 245 Shawan Rd Cockeysville, MD 21031

When Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, he didn't expect to be greeted by seven-armed starfish from the planet Gliese 581d, much less to be offered a lift home by these imperialistic, monarchical, technologically superior "echinodermoids" from another star system. Explore with me the "alternate history" that would have resulted from these aliens' love of stability in government, leading to a present-day America that still has a president whose name rhymes with “Blixen.” Discover what it's like to be strip searched before you can enter middle school, how terrorists think, who launched the asteroid that killed that dinosaurs, and how echinodermoids eat matzah ball soup (messily). Fall in love with Gloria, the key character of Heroes of Earth and my previous novel, Save the Dragons, who is sometimes a redhaired lady, sometimes an orange tabby cat, and always the proprietor of a magic bookstore that offers entry to this and many other parallel worlds. And get a sneak preview of the many other projects percolating in the overactive imagination of Martin Berman-Gorvine.
***Heroes of Earth is due out from Wildside Press later this year.***

Monday, March 17, 2014

Charge of the Putin Brigade

With apologies to Lord Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade":
"Forward, the Big Bad Bear!"
Is Vlad so unaware?
Not tho' the Leader knows
He might have blunder'd:
His not to hesitate,
His not to sit and wait,
His to spawn war and hate:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the Black Hundreds.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Gematria and Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Can gematria (Hebrew numerology) help find Malaysia Airlines Flight 370? You can calculate numerical values for entire Hebrew words by simply adding the values of each letter in them. Using this method, I have come up with the following phrase with a value of 370, the number of the Malaysia Airlines flight:
This means: "They stole [it]. The passengers are alive." Let's hope this is really so! For those who are interested, here's how gematria works. A numerical value is assigned to each Hebrew letter, with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, aleph, corresponding to one, the second letter, beth, corresponding to 2, and so on through yod, the tenth letter, corresponding to ten. The eleventh letter, kaph, corresponds to twenty, the twelfth, lamed, to thirty, and so on up to kuph, the nineteenth letter, which corresponds to one hundred; followed by resh, the twentieth letter, which corresponds to two hundred, shin, the twenty-first letter, three hundred, and taph, the twenty-second and final letter, to four hundred. If you've seen the Hebrew year, currently 5774, written out in Hebrew letters, that is done using this method. But there's no value anywhere near as high as five thousand, so the four letters you've seen, as shown below, only add up to 774. The five thousand is assumed. (And for the Hebrew-reading cognoscenti, the apostrophe marks are put before the final letter to indicate that this grouping of letters is not an actual word. The same method is used for acronyms in modern Hebrew.)