Feb 062018
 

SpaceX is currently livestreaming a series of videos being beamed back from the roadster, heading off into space. It’s already a good distance from Earth, with the result being some damn fine images. I do wonder how long this will last. It’s already far further away than I would have thought possible with a  meager GoPro transmitter that they usually use on space launches. Is it battery powered? Does it have solar panels? it would be really interesting to check back in on the roadster every few months to see what the rigors of spaceflight do the the paint and bodywork. Eventually you’d probably see the windshield get pitted, maybe even blown out in meteoroid impacts; the paint trashed by UV and thermal cycling, plastic, fiberglass, rubber, carbon fiber bits turning to mush and fluff.

 

 

 Posted by at 3:39 pm
Feb 042018
 

All I know about the “Black Panther” Marvel property is… shrug. Dunno. Some guy in a magic black suit, leads a high tech nation somewhere in Africa that has somehow gone undetected due to… a cloaking device, or something? Whatever. I’ve seen lots of yapping about how great the movie will be and how evil white folks shouldn’t go on the opening day, rather leaving open all the seats for the masses of black comic book fans who will surely go in record numbers. Eh. Whatever.

But this guy makes the argument that the fundamental features and position of the “Black Panther” character fall directly in line with alt-right positions, such as migrant-free ethno-states, a determination to maintain cultures, borders and gender roles, and so on. Should be interesting to see if that holds in the movie, and, if so, how it gains traction in the current culture.

 Posted by at 7:09 pm
Jan 312018
 

A fanciful late 1950’s Martin Company illustration of a space station. This rendering features a large parabolic solar reflector to concentrate sunlight onto a boiler to run a turbogenerator for electricity, a hockey-puck shaped habitation section (you might think it was meant to rotate, but there are windows in the floor *and* a group of astronauts seemingly standing on the side of the thing, somehow not getting flung off), some standard 1950’s gee-whiz rocketships and something at far right that I can only describe as “a thing.” Maybe it’s meant to represent the radiator for the solar generators working fluid, but if so, it seems a terrible design. Maybe it’s the death ray.

 Posted by at 5:04 am
Jan 252018
 

I’m poking away at the last two major unstarted (until now) stories for book one of “War With The Deep Ones, “Brass Valley” and “Amber Aspect.” And this (Ligeti’s “Requiem for Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, 2 Mixed Choirs and Orchestra”) seems just about perfect for the mood I hope to convey:

No scene such as this occurs in book one, but if I were to pick the music for a hypothetical Lovecraftian movie, this, or something very like it is what I’d tell the composer to include for the scene where the hero, antihero, victim or whoever approaches the vast, incomprehensible cosmic horror. If you’ve seen “Oblivion,” that’s actually pretty much what happens here anyway…

 

 Posted by at 3:24 am
Jan 242018
 

This music video dates from 2017 and was made to promote “Guardians of the Galaxy 2.” It is by definition a product of the 21st century. And yet… and yet, they managed to accurately capture the screaming horror that was 1970’s disco. I was honestly torn between laughing my keister off and doing my best George C. Scott “turn it off, turn it off” impression and throwing the computer across the room. If you are too young to remember the 70’s and always wondered what it was like…  behold, ye younguns, and despair.

 Posted by at 4:13 am
Jan 222018
 

Some while back I tried to rationalize the size of the Orville based on a cutaway shown on bridge displays. I did a serviceable job, IMO, given the data at hand… and with the caveat that going in I *knew* the diagram as shown to be wrong. Following that I was waiting for the “World of Orville” book, hoping it would come right out and say how big the ship was. When i heard that it gave no such dimensions, I was disappointed. This morning, however, I found out that the book has a scaled diagram of the bridge. And since the bridge is visible from the outside of the ship, I re-scaled the ship. Here’s what I used:

My assumption here is that the ellipse of the bridge dome is essentially the same dimensions as the ellipse of the bridge “footprint” shown in the diagram. The bridge ellipse is about 48.4 feet long, per the diagram. The bridge ellipse on my model is 6.72 mm long. The ship model as a whole is 240.1 mm long. So if 6.72 mm = 48.4 feet, then 240.1 mm = 1729 feet, or 527 meters. This is substantially bigger than the 337 meters I’d previously estimated, but it does mesh a whole lot better with what’s seen on screen.

So:
1/350 scale: 59.3 inches
1/1000: 20.75 inches
1/1400: 14.8 inches
1/2500: 8.3 inches

Clearly, the proper scale for this model is 1/350. But that might wind up being a bit on the spendy size. So… who agrees with my assessment? Who disagrees? What scale y’all want?

 Posted by at 1:34 pm
Jan 222018
 

Here is the first tale from Volume One of War With The Deep Ones, “Honolulu.” It’s provided complete in both PDF and EPUB (Kindle) formats. I would be interested in any and all constructive comments, criticisms, suggestions. Feel free to spread this far and wide… any relevant people, forums, discussion groups, whatever, that you think might like this, feel free. And if you do, let me know where.

Also interested in whether you prefer the PDF or the EPUB version.

The terribly short background for this story: it’s more than a century after the events of H.P. Lovecrafts “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” The Deep Ones – a race of amphibious humanoids (think: kinda like the Creature From The Black Lagoon, except smarter and more froggy) have finally decided that they’re done with mankind. There are a lot of them. And the vast majority of mankind is wholly in the dark. They are hard to kill, they have commitment to cause and they have shall we say patrons and allies that are just plain bad new for Mankind. On our side, we have… us. And some associates at Brass Valley…

Some of the stories will have recurring characters. Most will be one-and-done. This is about an event of global scale, after all… there would be billions of stories to tell here. I’m not going to try that hard, though.

War With The Deep Ones 1 Honolulu epub format

 

War With The Deep Ones 1 Honolulu pdf format

Let me know what you think. I’ll release the other stories here and probably at Amazon from time to time, for probably something like a buck or two a pop. If you are a Big Time Publisher and you read this and want to throw a gigantic advance at me and/or movie rights… let’s talk.

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 Posted by at 2:09 am