‘First Transgender Superhuman’ Predicted the First ‘Transgender’ Superhero

Exclusive "Mortal Gods: Invasion" Artwork. © Paul Hair. All Rights Reserved.

Exclusive “Mortal Gods: Invasion” Artwork. © Paul Hair. All Rights Reserved.

One of the elements in Mortal Gods: Ignition that makes it an entertaining book is that the characters face contemporary issues and challenges. And of the biggest issues of our day, the concept of a “transgender” person, heavily factors into the second story, “The First Transgender Superhuman.” But apart from this, MG:I is a prescient book, and “The First Transgender Superhuman” is more relevant than ever with news of AfterShock Comics creating “the first transgender superhero.”

Lee Duigon writing at his eponymous site noted a post at Bleeding Cool on the announcement of the first “transgender” superhero.

In what AfterShock Comics is calling the world’s first transgender superhero (which does manage to miss out a fair handful from 1993’s Masquerade in DC Comics’ Blood Syndicate to date), Alters is a new comic launching in September by Paul Jenkins, Leila Leiz, Tamra Bonvillain and Brian Stelfreeze.

Mortal Gods: Ignition is about superhumans, not superheroes, and it is prose, not a comic book. But “The First Transgender Superhuman” is both a nod to the obsession the United States of America has with the concept of a transgender human being, and an acknowledgement of what was inevitable from the comic book industry.

Buy MG:I today. It’s enjoyable, unique, and perceptive about what is going on today … and about what will happen in the future.

‘Mortal Gods’ and Future Forecasting

Mortal Gods: Ignition is an entertaining book about how superhuman people might deal with contemporary issues and challenges. But as Liberate Liberty noted a few days ago, it is more than this. It is forecasting (albeit in a broad way) the future. And a recent press release from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is another reminder of this.

“‘Mortal Gods’ Is Forecasting the Future” covered how new technology, research, and developments are moving humanity towards a day when superhuman individuals will be a reality.

IARPA is a part of the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence and its recent press release is another reminder that things that are now speculative fiction (and once thought of as fantasy) will exist eventually. Nextgov summarized, on June 14, what IARPA is currently seeking.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, the intelligence community’s R&D arm, wants businesses to showcase technology that could prevent new biotechnology, such as DNA synthesis, from being exploited. At the end of this month, IARPA is hosting a Proposers’ Day in advance of a new solicitation for its Functional Genomic and Computational Assessment of Threats, or “Fun GCAT” program. …

The potential that researchers could synthesize “novel organisms” from genetic material is a “special concern,” the posting said. Today, researchers aren’t screening DNA synthesis for the risks it might pose to humans and the environment, according to IARPA. To remedy this, the Fun GCAT program aims to assess “the threat potential of unknown genes.”

As Liberate Liberty noted about the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in “‘Mortal Gods’ Is Forecasting the Future,” IARPA is likely focused “more on how enemy states or organizations might manipulate traditional chemical and biological weapons to create new threats, and how the U.S. might counter these threats.”

At the same time, as Liberate Liberty noted in its previous post, the IARPA press release points towards bigger things, and how one day “such R&D could lead to many more—and highly different—technologies and abilities as well.”

Divisiveness Is Good When You’re Connected to Evil

Divisiveness is good when you’re connected to evil. And this is an issue Mortal Gods: Ignition addresses in each of its three short stories.

One of the favorite buzzwords of politicians and others is “divisiveness.” “We must end the politics of divisiveness!” is a phrase you might hear from a politician. But there isn’t anything wrong with being divisive in the right situation. In fact, you have a moral obligation to be divisive if everyone else isn’t doing what they should be doing.

Each of the three stories in Mortal Gods: Ignition features characters engaging in what undoubtedly would be deemed “divisive” behavior by politicians, pundits, and public pressure groups. The characters challenge the ruling power, a group of people, or conventional way of thinking and behaving. And as is the case with literature, it is up to the reader to decide: Are the characters fighting people and changing things in the service of good or have they made the wrong decisions and engaged in the wrong actions?

Read Mortal Gods: Ignition and answer that question. And remember that divisiveness in itself is not a good or bad thing. The reason someone is divisive determines whether it is right or wrong.

‘Winning through Losing’ & ‘Mortal Gods: Ignition’: Summer Reading for Everyone

“Winning through Losing” Cover. Art by José Cano. © 2016, Paul Hair. All Rights Reserved.

“Winning through Losing” Cover. Art by José Cano. © 2016, Paul Hair. All Rights Reserved.

Winning through Losing and Mortal Gods: Ignition are separate books in completely different genres. MG:I has superhuman characters facing contemporary challenges. WtL is set in the here and now, with one story being humor and the other being drama. And these different books mean that, regardless of your tastes, you’ll enjoy one of them.

So read a little bit more about Winning through Losing and Mortal Gods: Ignition. And then go purchase one or both of them today. They’re perfect summer reading.

“Mortal Gods: Ignition” Cover - No Text. Artwork by José Cano and copyright © by Paul Hair. All rights reserved.

“Mortal Gods: Ignition” Cover – No Text. Artwork by José Cano and copyright © by Paul Hair. All rights reserved.

‘Mortal Gods’ Is Forecasting the Future

Original artwork from 'Mortal Gods: Ignition.'

Original artwork from ‘Mortal Gods: Ignition.’

Mortal Gods: Ignition collects three short tales focusing on how superhumans might confront real-world issues. And while superhuman individuals might seem like speculative fiction in the extreme, they aren’t that far from reality anymore. Recent information continues showing how governments and institutions across the globe are working towards creating superhuman people.

News and primary sources on research and development that moves superhumans closer to becoming a reality aren’t necessarily common. But dedicated investigation uncovers some serious information showing that it is happening.

Armed forces and governments of a variety of nations are among the major organizations exploring the creation of superhumans. The U.S. armed forces and government won’t explicitly say they are researching and developing such technology and advancements, but they undoubtedly are. Governments of other nations, and private institutions are too.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) issued a press release in March claiming, “Mammoth Milestones for Synthetic Biology,” and it reveals some of the unique things being researched.

Gene editing allows scientists to combine woolly mammoth and elephant DNA, engineer pig organs for human transplants and create malaria-resistant mosquitoes that can pass their resistance to offspring. While gene editing could help eradicate some of the world’s greatest global health concerns, it also has the potential to be a weapon of mass destruction.

The DTRA press release appears to focus more on how enemy states or organizations might manipulate traditional chemical and biological weapons to create new threats, and how the U.S. might counter these threats. But analyzing the press release shows that such R&D could lead to many more—and highly different—technologies and abilities as well.

Furthermore, the South China Morning Post, the state-linked Chinese media outlet, is more forthcoming about what the Chinese are doing regarding creating superhumans. An April article titled, “‘It’s most … most likely use, is the technology of human enhancement’: Chinese scientists alter genes in human embryos in controversial study,” provides some details.

‘Winning through Losing’: The Perfect Book for Election Season

“Winning through Losing” Cover. Art by José Cano. © 2016, Paul Hair. All Rights Reserved.

“Winning through Losing” Cover. Art by José Cano. © 2016, Paul Hair. All Rights Reserved.

Winning through Losing is a new book containing two short stories. One is a humorous tale with a plot following a presidential campaign. The other is a tale that warns of how dangerous it is to focus exclusively on being an adult while others focus on your destruction. Both stories are perfect for the election season.

“Common Ground” opens Winning through Losing. Isaiah Epstein is working on the campaign team of Jared Tewksbury, the Big Tent Party nominee for the President of the United States. They are working to defeat Ross Templeton of the Forward Party, who is the incumbent president.

Isaiah is an enthusiastic supporter of Tewksbury and the BTP at first, but as the story unfolds a series of humorous events lead to trouble for the campaign and to Isaiah slowly becoming disillusioned. And when Election Day finally arrives, the story reaches an outrageously funny climax and conclusion. Yet at the same time, as outrageous as it is, it seems very real based on the past few election cycles. If you are in the mood for some light-hearted fare, you’ll enjoy “Common Ground.”

“We’re Too Busy Working” doesn’t have anything to do with elections. But it still is relevant for the election season. Carter Lindlaw and Lana Brooks’s story switches between the present and a series of flashbacks. The two have just married, and as they face off against a threat in the present, they think back through their lives, recalling how they had always focused on being productive, adult members of society … all the while other people focused on a destructive agenda.

As a side note, I wrote “We’re Too Busy Working” after listening to “Spies at Leisure,” a song by Smoldering Ashes. The song didn’t inspire the story (listen and read to see what I mean) but I did decide to write my own semi cloak-and-dagger-like tale after listening to it.

I’ve known Veronica Ashe (lead vocalist of Smoldering Ashes) for a few years. Make sure you pick up her music. Also, follow her on Twitter.

Of course, don’t forget to go out and buy Winning through Losing too. It’s a great book for election season.