Coming soon

Just finished another pass through on Oasis, the bonus story I’m putting with Queen of Bones. Once I get the okay from my editor, I’ll be able to put them out on Kindle sometime in the next month!

Next up is the novella, which has been sitting on my plate for nearly three years. It’s going to feel really good when I finally get that thing in reading condition.

I’ve been having a hard time writing lately, and have only been doing editing. I think I need to take a step back and write something smaller and more contained. Making things so huge all the time may be holding me back, since I end up  never finishing any of it…

Hope you all  had a nice holiday. Make some big plans for next year!

Happy Christmas!

Time for the new year! I’m sure I had some writing resolutions last year, but I don’t remember what they were. I think something crazy like submit 100 stories, or something. If you hadn’t noticed, I haven’t been submitting many stories anymore. I got so tired of the long wait, that I pretty much will submit a story to only 3 or 4 places that all respond pretty quick before I give up on it and set it aside for reworking, or get it ready for self publishing if I really believe in it.

This year I plan to do a lot more reviewing, of books and movies. So far I’ve only been reviewing the ones that really stand out to me or make an impact on me, but for this year, I want to review every single movie I watch, even if it’s something old. I guess the only exception would be if I’ve already seen it, but even then I may try to have a go at it with a fresh perspective.

I also want to review every book I read (or listen to) this year. And though I want to read a lot more of them than I did this past year, I sort of doubt I’ll have the time.

So, look forward to much more regular posts featuring me rambling about a movie or book!

Hope you all have a nice holiday, and write something!

Cyborgs on the horizon

As the world of sci fi continues to invade real life, this week a double amputee was able to control two robotic arms simultaneously using only his mind. These are arms he was wearing on his body, walking around with, with no wires leashing him to a nearby computer or anything like that. These are arms he could use as a part of his own body.

I wonder, how far will this technology go? Surely there are many soldiers with similar injuries. Could it become commonplace to see people walking the streets with robotic limbs? What about someone with no arms or legs? With all four limbs robotic, their body-mass would be more mechanical than biological. What would that mean?

Imagine someone paralyzed from the neck down choosing to have their limbs amputated to be replaced with robotic ones. Or maybe they would choose to stay in bed, and mentally control some kind of robotic avatar.

No matter what direction this technology goes, I don’t think it’s going to be long before cyborgs and robots walking the streets becomes mundane.

Cloud City on Venus

NASA has plans for a Cloud City on Venus, seriously. 

Our nearest neighbor, Venus, is always ignored when it comes to explorations, probably because the surface is around 465C (870F). Venus is very similar to Earth otherwise, though, and is called Earth’s twin. It’s nearly identical in size and composition and gravity, we just can’t get anywhere near the surface. Even to send a robot would be difficult since the temperatures there are hot enough to melt lead.

But the atmosphere, however, is another questions.

The High Altitude Venus Operational Concept, or HAVOC (nice) is NASA’s plan which would first send a robot to test the atmosphere, followed by an crewed orbital mission, then finally a thirty day manned mission into the atmosphere of Venus, staying in solar-powered airships held up by helium. Yeah, it sounds like a sci fi movie. But NASA is actually seriously thinking about this.

Imagine, a cloud city on Venus full of scientists studying the planet below. The vision in my head is something like the scene below:


But… maybe I shouldn’t get my hopes up…

Claw of the Conciliator, by Gene Wolfe

After Name of the Wind, this book was like a cool glass of water the morning after a night out.

In my review of Shadow of the Torturer, the first book in this series, I said that the main driver of wanting to read the other books was learning more about the world, not so much the characters. This book has turned that on it’s head.

Every character in this book (many of them first appearing in the first book) have a secret. Something interesting and completely the opposite of what you expected. I more than twice had the rug yanked out from under me about a character. Either their motivation, or their very being. And when I looked back it was so obvious, everything being right there for me to see, hiding in plain sight. That made it all the more satisfying that I didn’t see it until the author chose to reveal it.

The extremely enthralling world does not let up either. Every location exposes some interesting detail about the world. Every encounter shines a light on some bit of history, or new element to this deliciously deep universe.

I’m now into the third book, and was getting increasingly scared that there isn’t enough words left to fully expose all the secrets that have been hinted at. But I have just discovered that there is a fourth book in the series, so some of my worries have been calmed. I dearly hope this series doesn’t end like Lost, all build up and no reward.

Even if it does though, the ride has been fantastic so far. I can’t recommend this series highly enough. Read it!

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    Currently Listening to: Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan

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