Monthly Archives: June 2015

Any sailors out there?

Looking for anyone with experience building and sailing smallish sailboats. I’ve done a little bit, but it’s not been my main thing. I’d like to run the plans of a possible scenario by someone with more experience. I’m pretty sure they are not absurdly stupid, but I want to make sure they are better than the “Hollywood-smart” sort of things would only work on McGyver’s 17th take.

Short version – as a “graduation test” kids dropped with the basic supplies (like food and hand tools) and a tight schedule need to make a boat largely with local materials. Is a small gaff-rig (using tent canvas) trimaran a stupid way to go?


Now this is hysterical. Some days you just can help but admire the creativity of people who are tired of getting denigrated. Agree of disagree on the meaning or use of the confederate flag, such displays of independent thought are impressive.

Shamelessly stolen from Michael Z Williamson, we have “Some fights you’ll never win“, which as a result of the kerfuffle over the confederate flag brings us pictures like this:

A lot more at the link, starting with this and gradually getting much, much more entertaining.

The law is dead

The Supreme Court of the US just upheld the ObamaCare subsidies in direct violation of what the clear letters of the law said, in spite of what Johnathan Gruber, the architect of the law, said about it and the intentions. Chief Justice Roberts will go down in  history as one of the worst, most destructive justices ever on the SC. With this decision, political expediency will now trump the constitution, and the actual letter of the law as written, every time. No longer can a person who reads the law know the law, because it quite literally means whatever the guys at the top want it to mean at that time. And that’s bad, because wise, limited government sorts are never the ones that rise to the top of the heap.

Time for impeachment… But who am I kidding? None of those idiots in Congress have the balls or the brains, because they see too much personal profit in it for themselves.


Anyone out there personally familiar with home casting metal, either or both bronze / iron / steel ? I’m working on a scene in another book and want to get some of the details right on how a couple of guys doing semi-primitive casting of those metals might work, and problems they have to deal with (no electricity or gas – wood / charcoal and bellows for heat). I have a rough idea, but I’m sure there are tidbits I’m missing that would add authenticity.

Oddly, right now I’ve got two and two/halves of books in editing / awaiting cover art, and one getting illustrated, while I work on another. Eh, just the way things have worked out, I guess.  Once the art-flow picks up life will be better.

Happy Solstice and Father’s day 2015

The longest day of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere. The sun is as far north in the sky as it will go, ~23.5 degrees north of the equator. The warmest days are ahead, but only ever-shortening days. A fascinating day for all of recorded  human history, as for most of it we’ve not really understood why the length of day or seasons changed. It was THE GODS!, they declared, and worshiped accordingly. Studying / developing spherical geometry to try to understand the motions of the stars, planets, and sun, some early people like the Babylonians counted in base 60, which stays with us today in seconds and minutes.

Of course, for most healthy adult males, becoming a father is comparatively trivial (and many do that likely shouldn’t, and some don’t that likely should). It’s being a dad that really counts. That’s where the difficult, persistent, consistent, thankless work is. To the scum that managed to spawn and then run away to let others raise them, this day is NOT for you, even if you technically qualify. This is for those that stay involved with the mother of their children, and their children’s activities, giving them as good a role model as they are able, supporting and guiding them. It doesn’t mean being their slave – far from it, but doing what is best for them in the long run.  Moms are necessary for optimal family health… but so are dads.  The family is a unit, that works best when intact. So, for the dads out there, doing their best with what they have to work with (internally and elsewhere), Salute!


Short-ish story

I set out to write a short story for a SF mil-fic anthology. I decided to write about one of Armadillo’s early missions, a traumatic one. I figured I could whip it out in short order. It’s totally self-contained, and now at more than 12k words, expecting it to hit ~15k or so. Let’s just say it has a cast of characters that are rather unlike those in TSCB.

Vox said 16k words is more suited to a stand-alone novella. I should finish it this week, then editing (should go fast) and cover art, but no telling how long that will take. I’m also trying to figure out a good title.

Anyone up for being an alpha reader?

Tor Boycott

The Tor/Macmillian boycott is on.

Long story short, for those that don’t normally follow such things, is that several high-ranking people at Tor books, one of the big names in science fiction / fantasy publishing, said some very nasty things about their conservative / libertarian customers, and even some of their own authors. They were asked to apologize,  and the corporations were asked to enforce their own code of conduct. Some general non-apology apologies and patently insincere disclaimers were trotted forth, but nothing really was done by the corporations. The offending people, Irene Gallo,  Patrick Nielsen Hayden, his wife Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Moshe Feder, and author John Scalzi, are still employed and have not even  been formally or publicly reprimanded. In other words, the employer tacitly endorses their employees saying things like referring to their own authors works as “bad-to-reprehensible,” and calling the author’s supporters “extreme right-wing to neo-nazi”.

Gee, I can just feel the love from here. Details at Vox’s blog, Peter Grant’s place, Hoyt’s, and many other places in the SF/F blog-o-sphere. So, if you like Tor SF, keep reading, but but use the library. If you think you just must buy your favorite Tor author, buy used and hit their tip-jar. Or, check out competing publishers like Baen or Castalia House, which don’t treat their authors and fan base like crap.

Expected no-read reviews

The long-expected SJW no-read one-star reviews have started to arrive. The first is Elisabeth Carey of Massachusetts. She’s a librarian, or at least that’s what the claim is on the bio. Hours apart she posts on Amazon and GoodReads.  Both reviews appear to only cover things in the free “Check Inside” or the description, and are almost totally style-oriented apart from what can be read in the description. She doesn’t appear to be the sort that would like, appreciate, or even understand most mil SF. She’s not a verified purchaser. She’s also written similar one star reviews of John C. Wright’s work, and Riding The Red Horse. Continue reading Expected no-read reviews

Feel like writing an email?

Sorry I’m late to the party. Long story short, Tor Publishing bigwigs behaved badly, even calling some of their own authors “bad to reprehensible,” while calling pretty much every SF/F fan to the right of Mao a nazi, etc.  People wrote to Tor complaining. Tor claimed it was all bots and astro-turf. So the call went out to write an email about it to three people, saying “I AM NOT a bot.”

Details here. And here. more links with more background at those two places.