Friday, June 15, 2018

Enter Amazon Giveaway #2 for June: "The Day the Dolphins Vanished"

Enter for a chance to win a copy of my SF short story "The Day the Dolphins Vanished" in my Amazon Giveaway promotion (Ends June 22). Click on the book cover below or on this link to enter:

This is a short story (2825 words) reprinted from Book of Dreams Second Edition: Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories (C) 2012 by Victor D. López and Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories (C) 2014 by Victor D. López.

Human beings are not the only intelligent life forms on Earth and possibly not the most intelligent. Efforts at communicating with marine mammals such as wales and dolphins whose brains are larger than our own have had very limited success to date, less so than the success we've enjoyed in teaching some gorillas and chimpanzees to communicate using sign language despite the fact that their brains have less capacity than our own. This short story explores the possible consequences of bridging the language barrier with dolphins whose larger brains may well provide them with intelligence that exceeds our own. When a dedicated marine biologist/linguist makes the breakthrough in the near future that allows true communication to take place, what rewards may we expect from her research, and what might our aquatic cousins learn about us and teach us about ourselves?

NOTE: The short story collection is available on paperback, audiobook and eBook versions from Amazon, Audible and most book sellers. The short story is also available in various eBook versions, including the Kindle version from Amazon and other book sellers as well. If you like the preview and think you and others may enjoy reading the whole story or short story collection, won't you consider recommending them to your local library? All are available for library purchase, including through OverDrive for libraries that use the popular Live-brary platform.  Thank you!

Amazon Giveaway - Enter for a chance to win a copy of my Copyright Law: A Practical Guide for your Kindle

This book is based on the material that first appeared in my Intellectual Property Law: A Practical Guide to Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks and Trade Secrets with some updates and expansion. Like my earlier work, it is meant to serve as a resource that provides information in an easy to understand and absorb manner. Unlike my earlier work that offers a survey of intellectual property law, this one focuses exclusively on copyright and will be priced at $3.99 for the Kindle and other eBook editions. It is available from Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and other retailers. To enter the Amazon giveaway, click on the book cover above or on this link: The Giveaway ends on June 22.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day

On Memorial Day and every day, let us remember the brave men and women who laid down their lives in both just wars and in unwise ones to preserve the freedoms we enjoy paid for with their blood in lonely places far from home and in battlefields too close to home. May we never forget their sacrifice. May we always honor their memory. May they rest in peace. 

Whatever our differences and despite the current unpleasant polarization that divides us, I pray we can be of one mind on the value of their sacrifice and raise one voice for one day to express our gratitude, and to show them that we may yet prove worthy of their sacrifice.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

LibraryThing giveaway: 10 copies of the eBook version of my Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories collection

I am giving away 10 copies of the eBook version of my Minsdacapes short story collection through LibraryThing. You can enter the giveaway at the following link  (LibraryThing) by scrolling down until you find my book in the current giveaway page. This giveaway ends May 31. Good luck!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

My intellectual property books now available to libraries internationally

As of today, my Intellectual Property Law: A Practical Guide to Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks and Trade Secrets and Copyright Law: A Practical Guide are both available to libraries for the first time in eBook formats. The paperback versions of both books are also available for library adoption. Both books are intended as practical guides for the general public and are brief yet comprehensive in their coverage of their respective subject matter. You can preview these and most of my current books by visiting my Amazon Author's Page at

If your local library uses the popular Live-Brary system, these can be recommended directly by searching for my name (Victor D. Lopez) and clicking on "see all" titles if your library does not already have these in their collection. Regardless of the system used for print and eBook acquisitions, however, my books should be available as of today (my fiction and poetry was already available prior to today). 

I believe you will find both books to be among the lowest priced and most user-friendly introductions on what is not a particularly user-friendly subject matter. Please check them out. As always, I am grateful for your readership and support. 

eBook version available in multiple eBook formats

Paperback version

eBook (various formats) and paperback versions available

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Illegal Immigration: The Need for a Discussion Beyond Walls and Sanctuary Cities

Illegal immigration is a topic that is much discussed but about which most people--and politicians--know very little, and what passes for "information" on the subject is often far from the truth. For example, illegal immigrants (undocumented workers for those on the left of the political spectrum) do not just take jobs Americans don't want; a significant number are employed in high paying blue and white collar professions, including law, academia and medicine. Nor is the often touted "fact" that illegal immigrants add significant value to our economy accurate; although many do in fact pay taxes, as a group illegal immigrants are a net drain on the economy.

The push for open borders and the unwillingness of both Democratic and Republican administrations in recent memory to enforce immigration laws pose serious public safety and national security issues, and no debate about immigration policy can ignore the humanitarian and ethical considerations for both illegal immigrants and for the far larger number of would-be legal immigrants waiting in line for years for their chance of a better life.
We have not yet begun a serious discussion of these issues and I fear we never will as the left and right will simply continue to politicize the issue rather than face the inconvenient truths that should be aired in an honest discussion about immigration policy beyond yet another simplistic and counter-productive Reaganesque amnesty by any other name is proposed and implemented. In my article, “Illegal Immigration: Economic, Social and Ethical Implications” North East Journal of Legal Studies (NEALSB) Vol. 22 (Fall 2009), I focused attention some of the vital issues that underlie our current predicament which is only likely to be made worse by any of the simple solutions to a complicated problem that have been aired in recent years and will once again rise from the ashes during the next administration. This is an issue I need to revisit formally in the near future as the data need to be updated, but the conclusions are unchanged.

Whatever your personal views on the issue. I hope you will read (and, if you are so inclined, share) the article, conduct your own independent research and perhaps add your voice in a meaningful way to the ongoing discussion--whether you agree or disagree with my conclusions. NEALSB is a refereed journal that is only available by subscription, but fortunately some of the recent volumes have been made available online, including the Fall 2009 volume in which my article appeared. You can download the article here: Illegal Immigration: Economic, Social and Ethical Implications.

In 2013 I published a second related article, “Dealing with Uninvited and Unwelcomed Guests: a Survey of Current State Legislative Efforts to Control Illegal Immigration Within Their Borders”, Int. J. Public Law and Policy, Vol. 3, No. 1 (2013). At the time, the U.S. Supreme Court had not yet weighed in on the constitutionality of state efforts to enforce federal immigration law in answer to the Obama Administration’s refusal to enforce the law. (No president from Reagan through Obama has made a sufficient effort to enforce the law, which explains why after President Reagan provided a general amnesty to most illegal aliens, effectively reducing illegal immigrants to near zero during his time in office, we find ourselves with more than 12 million illegal aliens today.) When the Obama administration challenged the Constitutionality of Arizona’s efforts to enforce federal immigration law within its borders, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled most (but not all) such efforts as Unconstitutional, holding that only the federal government (read: Congress, the legislative branch) can set immigration law and only the federal government (read: the President, the executive branch) can enforce federal law. The high court would later invalidate President Obama's efforts to grant amnesty by executive order unconstitutional. This particular article is, unfortunately, not available other than through subscription services. The brief abstract can be found at:

Smashwords Interview Excerpt

I just came across a" Smashwords Interview" from a few years ago as I answered a new question about my latest book.  Here is an excerpt. You can access the full text at the following link: Smashwords Interview.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. Alas, it is lost along with much of my early work done on typewriters with no backups. I will rewrite it some day as it still speaks to me and, like many of my later stories, it delved into the interplay between the conscious and subconscious mind, life lessons and redemption. My second short story, Eternal Quest, survives in my latest short story collection, Mindscapes, and is still a favorite that is little changed from the one written by a young old man of 19 who had already learned some of the most vital lessons about the things that matter that he would ever learn. My philosophy, too, has changed little over the intervening decades.
What is your writing process?
For both my fiction and non-fiction I tend to compose at the keyboard. I do no outlining and seldom work on plot lines ahead of time. Also, my first draft is usually also my final draft with only minor changes. During the day, I almost always have a cup of coffee on hand as I write. At night, it may be tea, diet Coke or Pepsi or a glass of wine. Less often, when writing late into the morning, especially after a particularly good or bad day, the glass of wine may be replaced by a snifter of brandy or an Absolut vodka martini with olives. (No more than 2 drinks a day on average as a rule, though.) I like to work in significant blocks of time without interruption other than fetching coffee or pestering my wife during very brief breaks until she yells at me and I slink back to work.

What are your five favorite books, and why?
It is impossible for me to answer this. So I'll just list the first five that come to mind that have had a significant impact.

1, Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth. I love Wordsworth above all other poets of all times--even more than Shakespeare and Milton. This lengthy Ode encapsulates him for me, and links him to my favorite philosopher, Plato. It has had a profound influence as the first among my beloved Romantic poems.
2. Bleak House by Charles Dickens. "If that is the law, the law is a ass." What more need I say? (A case that drags out for generations until the last farthing is spent and then is finally resolved. That's not fiction. That's an ETERNAL TRUTH! And yet I still went to law school. Maybe I should list Freud next.)
3. Plato's Republic. (And the Socratic Dialogues.) There is Plato's idealism, Aristotle's realism and the rest is largely a historical footnote.
4. Shakespeare's complete works. The comedies. The tragedies. The sonnets. The inferiority complex for the rest of us who dare write anything at all after reading him.
5. Roger Zelazny's Amber series. I know, I know. It's absurd to list it here but it is still my favorite fantasy series of books from one of my favorite writers. I've read thousands upon thousands of pages in favorite fantasy series, including every word in the trillion page (it seems) absurdly long "Sword of Truth" series of books by Terry Goodkind (whom I love). At times I literally screamed in frustration at the repetitiveness GET TO THE F*^%$*#G POINT! George RR Martin (another favorite writer) in his lengthy Game of Thrones series of books (all eagerly digested--likewise the HBO series) also made me squirm and/or skip ahead from time to time lest I tear out the few remaining hairs on my head. I will buy the next long-overdue installment as soon as it is available, though. Likewise many other favorite authors like Stephen King (I almost died of boredom on my way to the Dark Tower on many occasions) -- and on very, very rare occasion even Dean Koontz whom were I pagan I would worship as a demigod. But Zelazny never had that effect on me, especially in his Amber series. Not a single skipped word. Not a single needless, redundant description. Were it not nearly 2:00 a.m. and need I not get up in less than six hours to attend Commencement ceremonies I'd probably rummage through my library for my Book Club two-volume Chronicles of Amber right now.

Describe your desk

When did you first start writing?
Almost as soon as I learned to write. I was writing (bad) poetry when I was eight years old, and "stories" before that. I kept a journal before I knew what a journal was--and burned it when what it contained was too painful, troubling, embarrassing, or simply too real to deal with at a tender age. I wish I had not for I can't remember what that precocious child found too troubling to keep around. This (no longer precocious) adult would like to know--and smile (mostly) and perhaps shed a tear or two for the unrequited love, frustrations or deep truths learned too young in life to process in a more productive way. I wrote a lot back then. Doubtless it was full of sound and fury, signifying nothing (apologies to The Bard). Some things don't much change.

What are you working on next?
I'm winding down a sabbatical leave as I write this. This semester I completed research on usury laws in all 50 states and how these are in effect undermined by federal law. The research was started last summer and completed in late January, with a paper completed in early April and presented at the NEALSB annual conference in late April. It is now out for a first round of reviews in selected first-tier journals and law reviews. I am also currently in the process of researching "good Samaritan" statutes in all 50 states, a project that will continue beyond the summer and will form the foundation for a paper completed before the end of the fall 2015 semester. This summer, I will also work on a new, expanded 3rd edition on my Business Law and the Legal Environment of Business for my current publisher, Textbook Media Publishing, that should be out early next year. Not much time for fiction or poetry projects in the coming year, I'm afraid, nor for work on my first novel that has been mostly on hold in mid-stream for the better part of a decade due to time constraints.
Published 2015-05-07.