If you aren’t a fan of lime green, then you probably don’t want to live with me.
The last time we talked here through the forum of SciFriday, things were quite different. We had a different design back then, more websites in our network, and I was living in the United States.
But after nearly 20 years of calling Florida home, I am now surrounded by rather relaxing lime green walls in a comfy two-bedroom apartment on the small Caribbean island of Grenada. If you are as geographically challenged as me, Grenada is one of the most southern Caribbean islands, located just north of Trinidad, not far from Venezuela in South America.
I’m not quite across the equator, but this is the closest I’ve ever been. In fact, when our plane lifted off from Fort Lauderdale and slipped past Miami, I felt a little bit like Sam in the Lord of the Rings trilogy — I had gone south further than I ever did before.
But now I live in St. George’s, on the southern end of Grenada — pretty much the area that three decades ago was the focus of military action by American troops, sent by Ronald Reagan. But that’s all history now, and Grenada is a beautiful, quiet island with some of the greatest people in the world.
I’m here to support my partner, who is a medical student at St. George’s University. It’s a school with a great reputation, and I’m here to take care of everything outside of school, so that my student can concentrate on being a student.
I’ve been here for a little more than three weeks, and my days are filled with writing, boiling and filtering water, helping out with some volunteer and civic groups, living without air-conditioning, and playing Star Wars online. I’m sad that Netflix doesn’t have any of the Star Trek television shows here, but happy that it does have a bunch of shows not available on Netflix in America — like five seasons of “The Good Wife,” and plenty of “Homeland” and “The Americans” to keep me happy.
But I do miss HBO Now … I’m glad that “Game of Thrones” has finished for the season.
I expect to be in Grenada for two years, coming back for holiday and summer breaks. But a change in location is not the only thing that has evolved since the last time we met here.
When I semi-retired from the website, I made it clear that I wanted to focus on my fiction writing. And I’ve done that. I have written two feature-length screenplays, “Thursdays” and “The Firefly Widow,” and I am working on revisions for them now. I haven’t shopped them around at all, and so no, you won’t see it on the screen anytime soon — but hopefully someday you will.
An online miniseries I co-wrote with a friend, Robert Yaniz Jr., called “Key West” is in pre-production, and we expect to shoot it in the spring. While the name is “Key West,” we’re actually filming it back in the Tampa area, so I’ll definitely be back for that. And Robert and I are working on a television series concept that, believe it or not, originated from an undeveloped novel idea I had back in 1999. I put together a huge amount of backstory for it, but couldn’t come up with a primary story — amazing how that all changes once you change the format from a novel to a television series.
Suffice to say, I can’t keep up with all the shows that are on television right now, and are coming up. There are some I make a point to keep up on, like “Game of Thrones,” but others that are on my list to catch up. Shows I’ve enjoyed like “Defiance” and “American Horror Story,” and others I can’t wait to really start watching, like “Dark Matter” and all the comic-based series.
Then again, I have a lot of time to catch up, right?
We are on a slow ramp-up to returning, and I hope you like the new design. Shane Churchman spent more time on it than I would probably ever understand, and it’s a work in progress as we streamline everything, and get all the tools functioning. But we hope you enjoy the site, and everything we offer.
As you know, our other two sites — Inside Blip for television and Rabid Doll for horror — were shut down. We loved those sites, and put a lot into them. However, it was really stretching our resources.
So Airlock Alpha will not only have science-fiction and fantasy, but horror as well. Our longtime managing editor Bryant Griffin is still here, and he’ll make sure we do it right. We’re also adding Star Wars coverage to our mix here, replacing Star Trek, which you can still find on our sister site produced in partnership with Roddenberry Entertainment, 1701News.
What do you think? Like the new site? Hate it? Have suggestions? Want to write for us? Don’t hesitate to reach out. Send me an email right now at mhinman@1701News.com, and I promise I’ll respond to each and every one.
Until then, put Airlock Alpha back in your bookmarks, and I’ll see you here again the same time, same place, next Friday.