Take Back the Sky

Take Back the Sky

War Dogs, Book 3

Marooned beneath the icy, waxy crust of Saturn's moon, Titan, Skyrine Michael Venn and his comrades face double danger from Earth and from the Antagonists. Haunted by their dead, the former combatants must now team up with their enemies, forget their indoctrination and their training, and journey far beyond Pluto to the fabled Planet X...



Meeting Epstein

You can't wash this shit off by taking a shower.

In late 2011, at the behest of Marvin Minsky, a number of prominent folks were invited to attend a trial conference in the U.S. Virgin islands sponsored by billionaire and so-called entrepreneur Jeffrey Epstein, all expenses paid -- basically a free vacation in the Caribbean. Minsky’s participation was major, as is his reputation to this day -- though he passed in early 2016.

Having heard some suspicious tales about Epstein, I asked a long-time friend about him and his character. This friend told me, through email, "The man who did the things the press reported is not the person I've experienced."

Whatever he had done, it seemed he had spent some time in prison, and perhaps he had emerged a chastened and better person.

The trip and arrangements were being made with the coordination of the wife of the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Cecile de Jongh, whom we never actually met.

And so, we agreed to go. Astrid and I had a lovely time, thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with friends, colleagues, and new acquaintances, and returned from the conferences on St. John bathed in sun and good conversation.

On a couple of occasions, we had face time with Epstein, who seemed, to me, an eccentric and possibly brilliant financier with weird ideas about economics--but hell, he was paying all the bills, so we were polite. One of our observations about his entourage was they consisted mostly of attractive young women in their twenties or early thirties, at most, brought over from his private island near St. John, where it seemed they staffed his house. We had been dangled the possibility of being taken out to that island to see the sights, but most of us did not get that opportunity.

The women, by my instincts, were of a uniform and somewhat inaccessible temper, and I got the impression that Epstein was their lord and master, and they did not range far in their daily lives. But they were all adults.

At one point during the conference, with Epstein in the room, some imp of perverse in me made an analogy (I cannot remember my exact point, or the reason for the analogy) to Dracula coming down out of his castle to ravage the young women of the village. That put an end -- though not abruptly -- to our face time with Epstein, and the conference ended on schedule. We had a great time with Marvin and his wife, Gloria, loved the islands and towns, and never heard from Epstein or his people again. No further conferences were arranged, at least with me involved.

I wondered if I had screwed up royally by alluding, in metaphor at least, to Epstein's behavior.

Now, it just seems I was being protected or warned by a guardian angel.

In 2017, Hurricane Irma ravaged the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with much of the Caribbean, and nearly destroyed the Westin Hotel where we stayed during the conference. Looking at videos of the damage, we could not identify many of the places we visited.

And now, Epstein is in jail, awaiting trial on the same charges he should have faced back in 2005, not having substantially altered his behavior or having learned any lessons -- unredeemed, and facing long prison time in less-than-fancy rooms where one’s neighbors have a phrase for what you are -- Short eyes.

Trump, an avowed friend of Epstein at least until he booted him out of Mar a Lago, observed Epstein had a taste for younger women.

You can't wash this shit off by taking a shower. But at least we better understand now how a rich sonofabitch can be protected by money, influence, local politicians -- and career prosecutors who would be better employed shining muddy shoes in airports, which at least is an honorable profession.


"Very sorry indeed to hear about the death of Yoshio Kobayashi. Yoshio was a fine translator and a major part of Japanese and world SF. He was my translator, and an excellent guide to Japan. He will be missed in so many ways." - Greg

10 Enchanting Fairy Books That Will Spirit You Away

Greg Bear's The Infinity Concerto has been featured on The Portalist's list of '10 Enchanting Fairy Books That Will Spirit You Away.'
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World Fantasy Con
October 31 - November 3, 2019

Greg will be appearing at World Fantasy Con, Los Angeles, CA, Oct 31-Nov 3.

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About Greg Bear

Portrait of Greg Bear by Astrid Anderson Bear, 2006

Greg Bear is the author of KILLING TITAN (Orbit 2015 - sequel to WAR DOGS), HULL ZERO THREE (Orbit 2010), CITY AT THE END OF TIME (Del Rey 2009), MARIPOSA (Perseus paperback November 2010), HALO: CRYPTUM, HALO: PRIMORDIUM, and HALO: SILENTIUM (Tor, 2011, 2012, and 2013). He's the father of two young writers, Erik and Alexandra, and is married to Astrid Anderson Bear, who has written for SAN DIEGO NOIR.

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