Hutchins A Hit With Pod People

Remember feature writer Chris Hutchins at the Palm Beach Post? Well, now he's J.C. Hutchins of podcast semi-fame, New Times' Amy Guthrie tells us. Hutchins has written a clone-populated sci-fi trilogy called "7th Son" and when he couldn't get it published, started with the podcasts on Podiobooks.com. The pod thing seems to be sort of the electronic equivalent of the old pulp novel industry, with a lot of sci-fi (and some pulp-free pulp, as well). Here's a link to Hutchins' first-book podcast, which describes the work thusly:

Three weeks ago, the U.S. president was murdered by a four-year-old boy.

Today, seven men stare at each other in a locked conference room. Kidnapped and brought to this underground facility, the strangers are sitting in silence, thunderstruck. Despite minor physical differences, they all appear to be the same man, with the same name ... and the same childhood memories.

Unwitting participants in a secret human cloning experiment, these seven "John Michael Smiths" have been gathered by their creators for one reason -- to capture the mastermind behind the president's assassination.

Their target? The man they were cloned from; the original John Michael Smith, code-named John Alpha.

Soon our heroes -- John, Jack, Michael, Kilroy2.0 and the others -- realize the president's murder was merely a prologue to Alpha's plans. As the mystery deepens and the implications of Alpha's scheme are slowly revealed, the clones decide to stand against John Alpha. The outcome will unearth a conspiracy larger than they could have ever imagined.

I'm waiting for the movie, but good luck to Hutchins, who you've got to root for. He took a huge risk to leave a "fat and happy job" at the Post, as one of his former editors, Dan Neal, put it in Guthrie's article. Good luck, J.C.

After the jump: Mayo Defies Editorialists and They Caught A Killer

-- Sun-Sentinel columnist Michael Mayo spent the Fourth of July with Iraq war veterans and found a shameful truth about America., namely that it's not taking care of its returning soldiers. In so doing, Mayo ran counter to editorial writers at the newspaper who ordered all of us yesterday to "Break out Old Glory, and wave it proudly" because the 4th is a day to "feel good about living in a free country." Well, it was kind of tough for the vets to feel good when they were getting rattled all day by the sound of fireworks, which brought back horrible PTSD-enhanced memories of war. Tip for Sentinel: Newspapers should never, even on July 4, tell their readers to become mindless patriots, no matter what the marketing surveys might indicate. There's enough mindless politicians telling them to do the same thing.

-- It took 21 years, but Broward sheriff's deputes finally made an arrest in the strangulation death of 24-year-old Angela Savage of Deerfield Beach. The apparent DNA-connected culprit: Gary Troutman, a family friend who actually mourned with the family over Savage's death and has done prison time for another strangulation. One uncovered aspect to the story, which is in the dailies today and was first reported yesterday by Broward Times' Elgin Jones, is that Savage's brother, Wayne Adams, has become one of the most vigilant activists in Deerfield, especially when it comes to crime. In an e-mail, Adams wrote: "This is a joyous day in the Adams family my sister Angela Savage was murdered on March 18, 1986 and through the advancement of DNA this animal was arrested 21 yrs later for Angela's murder. The Lord is good! this guy is a friend of the family and looked us in the face on many occassions."

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