Anything you dream is fiction,
and anything you accomplish is science,
the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction.
- Ray Bradbury
December 31st, 2005

Cats in Snow

I was testing Erica’s new camera. It is a very nice Kodak that Justine gave her. The cats were scampering in the snow. Of course, the only photogenic cat is Gracie. The other cats disappeared into the jungle, but Gracie chased snow mice and had a good time. The temperature is above freezing in these pictures so the snow is coming down in clumps as big as golf balls. The pictures with a blue border have a larger image, so click on them.

Snow pictures:

Cute cat pictures:

December 31st, 2005

Static Movement Online is online

Chris Bartholomew has brought out the first edition of Static Movement Online. This is much more difficult that you might imagine and Chris deserves a few weeks of deep sleep to recover. I will raise a glass of champagne this evening and toast her.
I have a couple of stories in the zine, as does Arthur and a bunch of the AstoundingTales crowd. It has a few of the AnotheRealm.com people so in the ezine taxonomy, Static Movement falls under the classification of Another Realm type zines.
I did the flash banner at the top. I found a swf file from a free templates place and managed to hack it. I think one of my new years resolutions will be to become a flash guru. I did the image at left by taking an image that Chris already had and applying a few filters in Paint Shop Pro, not really creative, but still pretty good for the site. I did the home page template, but Chris has recreated it in a variety of modes and styles throughout the site so not much of the original remains. The mistake in the page titles is mine and she never caught it. Perfect is the enemy of good enough.

December 30th, 2005

Chesley Bonestell part 2

The rest of Mr. Smith Goes to Venus.

December 30th, 2005

Tales of Talisman Magazine

Tales of the Talisman 1.3 is available at Project Pulp. It has my story The Last Big Herd. I have not yet received my contributor copies, but I will report on it when I get them.

December 29th, 2005

Poker Tonight

After weeks of cancellations, tonight I will be playing poker at Jim’s house in Nyack. If anyone hits this blog because they are looking for poker in Nyack, be forewarned that we play a very strange game, evolved by Jim and I over 30 years of playing. You can read about the Game of Games, Hot Tuna at AstoundingTales.com.

If you want a game with the complexity of bridge, the intellectual challenge of chess, and the danger of bull fighting then try Hot Tuna!

Buy-in is $6. If you loose more than $10, then you’ve had too much of Jim’s vodka. Warning: we play music by the group Hot Tuna and we only play Vinyl records so if you want to listen to something else, then bring your old records along.

December 29th, 2005

Stories, tapes and rejects.

I wrote most of chapter 14 of Fumets. It is not coming easy. This and the next chapter are fighting back. I need an extra chapter to separate them and I am not sure how to do it.

I got back a reject from OSG IGMS 62 days. They are getting way behind in slush.

Baen on the other hand has a two day or even less turn around, so I re-wrote the rejected story, adding a spare character to the action mix to make it more interesting, and I shipped it off to Baen. It’s hard SF with military action so there if they reject it, this story goes into the trunk. There ain’t no other markets for it.

I finished three books on tape by Richard Marcinko. I wish I could cuss like that man. The plots were so heavily abridged that I had no idea what was going on in any of the books, but I still like them. I am about half way through writing a SEALS in space story inspired by the Rogue Warrior books, but without the profanity. I know better than to even try to emulate such an artist.

I am currently listening to Arthur C. Clark’s 2061 on tape. It is so abridged that I can’t follow the plot. I did not read any of the previous books, so I am mostly lost. I always get these Clark tapes, heavily abridged, and always third of fourth in a series. I didn’t like the Rama book, or the Childhood’s End sequel, and I don’t like this. I liked Clark when I read him back in the 1960s. I wish I could find an audio version of Tales of the White Hart.

The interesting thing about the 2001 series of books is that the name of character Heywood Floyd, is the same name as a character in of one of the H. Rider Haggard novels, although I can’t remember which one. Heywood Floyd was also used as a dime novel hero emulated in the long dead TV show The Gold Monkey.

December 28th, 2005

One Billion Internet Users

Some time in 2005 the internet exceded one billion people online. Jakob Nielson discussed this in his Alert Box blog. If you read the article, the majority of internet users are not from the US, but from Asia, followed by European users. The USA is falling further and further behind in getting hooked into the networks. You can view the slides of a talk on Global Technology/Internet Trends from Morgan Stanley.

Why do I care? I want to retire on revenue from the internet and all I need is support from 0.000025% of these people checking out my websites. My website stats are at about 25,000 page views a day, lately. I need that to go up an order of magnitude or so in order to retire. Any ideas? Anyone?

December 27th, 2005

Sand Storm in Iraq: April 26, 2005

Check out this sandstorm. It makes Frank Herbert’s Dune a little more real.

December 26th, 2005

Chesley Bonestell

I was checking through old magazines at an antique store in Cold Springs, NY, looking for old SF magazines, when a cover caught my eye. It read Mr. Smith Goes to Venus. The date was March, 1950. It was Coronet Magazine, which was a cheaper simpler version of the Saturday Evening Post or Readers Digest. Later, I think, Coronet would become a sleazy sex magazine.
My curiousity piqued, I opened up and found some marvelous pictures by the famous space artist Chesly Bonestell. Bonestell did art for dozens of Hollywood movies, including Destination Moon, When Worlds Collide, and Conquest of Space. After 15 mintues of Googling, though, I couldn’t find any reference to the Coronet spread.
I am wondering if the text is by Bonestell in this article. It describes a family’s trip to Venus. Bonestell did the art work for the movie, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, hence the title of the piece.
I managed to scan about half the pages before I pooped out. I will try to get the rest of the pages in the next few days.
Click on a picture to see the (very) large version.

There are 10 or so more color images and will get those soon.

December 26th, 2005

More Christmas Cats

I thought that I might show you some of the cat pictures that I took this year. I did not want this blog to degrade into a cute cat pictures gallery, but that ship has sailed. Click on images to get a larger version.

This is Blue. He is a stray that hung around all spring and summer. He was half starved so Erica started feeding him. He now lives in the unfinished room off the kitchen. He is a beautiful blue longhair, but he is feril and will not let anyone touch him. He has his own box and feeding place and has recently learned that the house has windows.

No blog entry would be complete without a shot of Gracie. Here she discovers that Christmas trees have water at the base. Oh Boy!

Gracie isn’t so sure about this tree thing!

Max keeps an eye on Fafhrd.

Another picture of beautiful Blue.

December 25th, 2005

Christmas Day

I spent this afternoon with my sister-in-law, Justine. THANKS JUSTINE! We went out for dinner at the New York Athletic Club down on Central Park South. Since Justine is one of the three people who read my blog, I have to get the pictures up so she could see. Click on each image to see a larger version.)

This is our tree.

I don’t know who these people are!

Very nice wine!

This is how the pumpkin pie was served

This was Justine’s dessert.

A view off the balcony

Another, it was raining rather heavily.

That’s the Dakota (I think) in the distance.

Central Park in the rain from the 12th floor.

This was the view of Central Park from our table.

And one more cute cat picture of Gracie and Ollie looking for turkey scraps.

December 23rd, 2005

Amazing Heroes III

Amazing Heroes III is now available through LuLu.com. It has one of my stories in it. I am worried that the price, $15 plus shipping, is prohibitive. POD publishing will not be really successful until the prices come down.

December 23rd, 2005

Lionel Fanthorpe

When I google, I often come across the totally unexpected. This is the page of a British writer, Lionel Fanthorpe. He wrote over 180 very bad novels in the 50s and 60s. During one period he averaged a novel every twelve days!

I was looking for artwork to extend my Christmas Card program, and I thought that lurid pulp covers might be available on the internet. The covers on these pages fit the bill, but most of them were ripped off from american Ace covers for books by P. K. Dick and others.

December 22nd, 2005

Space themed Christmas Cards

I am testing a little script that I wrote that sends out Christmas Cards based on some soviet era holiday cards. It works for me, but I am not sure that it is bug free. Please give it a try:
This is good for Scienc Fiction Buffs. There are dozens of more cards, but the labor is in cleaning up the soviet symbols and lettering and figuring where to place the message.
If this is popular, I’ll start working now on the valentine’s day cards!