Adrift continued, #wewriwar #sf

wewriwa
Welcome to weekend writing warriors. Many fine authors, and me, contribute short snippets for your delectation.

I was getting a bit stuck with Regency fiction, and decided to try hard SF. Swords and spaceships, no rayguns (yet), but plenty of action and as long as I’m logically consistent I don’t have to worry about historical accuracy

It seems to be working. The first draft, over 80k words, is finished and I’m part way into the sequel.

In any case, here’s the start – a new midshipman is having her first session of weapons training on her first ship. Her instructor is not exactly impressed. Last week’s snippet skips ahead a few paragraphs from the one before. It’s after she’s finished her training for the day. The discussion of Scotland from before is replaced by the ceremonies for the first jump of the mission. The initiation ceremony continued.

I’ve decided to skip ahead and move to the start of more action. Serapis is about to jump near a new (to us humans) star and explore it. Terry takes her station. Chief Ames reassures the other members of the landing ship’s crew that they’ll live in this installment.

They’re fine. Serapis isn’t. Terry’s last thought wasWhat now? I’m supposed to know what to do; I’m in command. They went silent, drifting, and waiting for something to happen.


Terry asked, “We can run, we can wait, or we … can probe; it depends; first, I need … we need to know our status – how’s the fuel?”

Phillips spoke, “We’ve a full hundred grams of boron hydride; enough to easily get to Tau Ceti, if not Sol.”

“If we jump,” Terry said, “If we can jump.”

“Aye,” Ames said, “We can jump if we need, but what’s the rush?”

“None,” Terry said, “We can lurk here, a full year, if not more. We haven’t seen anything from the Serapis, but if she were kicked a few light minutes off – we wouldn’t see her or,” Terry choked, “or her wreckage; I don’t understand what happened; the preimage detector went off; that’s why I pushed the scram, but”

Ames continued her sentence, “Nothing’s come out of jump where we were.”

Terry studied the opposite wall; she could hear the men breathing. Finally, she, very quietly, almost in a whisper, said, “We will send a homing beacon; Fleet must be told, but we’ll wait a couple of hours; what ever happened to the Serapis, we should see evidence by then.”

Ames asked, “And then?”

“We’ll see.”


A Farnsworth Fusor in action.

Boron Hydride (BH) fusion into carbon is one of the candidates for successful plasma fusion. Fusion energy, of course, has been ‘only ten years away’ for the last fifty years. You can get small amounts to work, even with some fairly simple devices. A Farnsworth fusor, for example. (By the way that was developed by the Farnsworth who invented electronic TV and is commemorated in Futurama by Fry’s uncle, Professor Farnsworth.) It’s just doing this and generating more energy than you put into it is a tad difficult.


I’ve put up a couple of things on instafreebie. The first is a short story, To Court a Dragon.

The second is the start of a science fiction story in the same universe as Cynthia the Invincible, but set in 1893 Dartmoor, The Curious Case of Miss James. It’s available on Amazon.

The Art of Deception, first in a series of late Georgian/early Regency spy novels is now up.. You can get the first part here.

You can find my work here.

Adrift #wewriwar #sf

wewriwa
Welcome to weekend writing warriors. Many fine authors, and me, contribute short snippets for your delectation.

I was getting a bit stuck with Regency fiction, and decided to try hard SF. Swords and spaceships, no rayguns (yet), but plenty of action and as long as I’m logically consistent I don’t have to worry about historical accuracy

It seems to be working. The first draft, over 80k words, is finished and I’m part way into the sequel.

In any case, here’s the start – a new midshipman is having her first session of weapons training on her first ship. Her instructor is not exactly impressed. Last week’s snippet skips ahead a few paragraphs from the one before. It’s after she’s finished her training for the day. The discussion of Scotland from before is replaced by the ceremonies for the first jump of the mission. The initiation ceremony continued.

I’ve decided to skip ahead and move to the start of more action. Serapis is about to jump near a new (to us humans) star and explore it. Terry takes her station. Chief Ames reassures the other members of the landing ship’s crew that they’ll live in this installment.

They’re fine. Serapis isn’t. Terry’s last thought wasWhat now? I’m supposed to know what to do; I’m in command.


Jones recovered his voice, “I’ll do a scan; bound to find something.”

“Yes, a scan,” Terry started to agree.

“Belay that!” Ames shouted, “Not yet, with respect, Sir, whatever it was that took her out is still there; right now we’re just drifting debris; best we not call attention to ourselves.”

“That’s right,” Terry said, “Silent running, rig for silent running,” She tried to stop a nervous titter, “Never thought I’d say that … not in space; we’re not an f’ing submarine.”

The lights went out and the ship went quiet … only essential systems stayed online; gravity was not an essential system; air was; the intercom wasn’t.

Terry unhooked herself and slithered back into the main cabin, guided by the dim green emergency strips.

“Sorry,” She bumped into someone, “Chief?”

“Mr Mullins.”

“We need to tell Fleet.”


Early submarines, like this the HMS C-15, had to learn to run silently quite early on. (The C class predates WW1, and served mostly as coastal defense. One actually sank a German Uboat.) Just as a space-ship would have limited quarters, much like a modern submarine so would a space ship expect to run quietly. Of course it’s electromagnetic radiation, heat (which is really the same thing), and not sound that would need to be hidden.

Terry’s character arc will include her growing into command. Changing from a completely wet behind the ears new Middy to someone who readily takes charge. Mind you, that will get her into trouble, too.


I’ve put up a couple of things on instafreebie. The first is a short story, To Court a Dragon.

The second is the start of a science fiction story in the same universe as Cynthia the Invincible, but set in 1893 Dartmoor, The Curious Case of Miss James. It’s available on Amazon.

The Art of Deception, first in a series of late Georgian/early Regency spy novels is now up.. You can get the first part here.

You can find my work here.

Serapis #wewriwar #SF

wewriwa
Welcome to weekend writing warriors. Many fine authors, and me, contribute short snippets for your delectation.

I was getting a bit stuck with Regency fiction, and decided to try hard SF. Swords and spaceships, no rayguns (yet), but plenty of action and as long as I’m logically consistent I don’t have to worry about historical accuracy

It seems to be working. The first draft, over 80k words, is finished and I’m part way into the sequel.

In any case, here’s the start – a new midshipman is having her first session of weapons training on her first ship. Her instructor is not exactly impressed. Last week’s snippet skips ahead a few paragraphs from the one before. It’s after she’s finished her training for the day. The discussion of Scotland from before is replaced by the ceremonies for the first jump of the mission. The initiation ceremony continued.

I’ve decided to skip ahead and move to the start of more action. Serapis is about to jump near a new (to us humans) star and explore it. Terry takes her station. Chief Ames reassures the other members of the landing ship’s crew that they’ll live in this installment.

They’re fine. Serapis isn’t.


“What do you mean ‘where’s the Serapis?’”

“I can’t see her, nothing on visuals, not even debris,” Terry shouted back.

“Don’t need to shout, Sir; the comm still works.”

“Sorry,” Terry caught her breath, “The count, it when smoothly, then the.”

“The what Sir?” Ames tried to keep his voice calm.

“The proximity alarm, the preimage detector, it went yellow, then red, as if space were bending; it’s not supposed to go off unless a jump is immanent; a collision; I hit the scram button, and … we’re here; the Serapis isn’t.”

“Bloody, bloody, bloody fuckin’ hell, sorry Sir,” Ames paused, “What now?”

What now? I’m supposed to know what to do; I’m in command.


Drifting, alone, somewhat scared. Definitely not the best place to be.

Whatever is left of Serapis, even if she’s unharmed, has been kicked at least several light-minutes away from them. Relativity is a harsh master (or mistress if you prefer). They have to wait even to see if there’s wreckage.

I’ve been trying out different titles in the last couple of installments. “Sword and spaceship” is too generic. “Have sword will travel,” Maybe? “Serapis” short, simple and obscure. It’s going to need work.

And then there’s covers.


I’ve put up a couple of things on instafreebie. The first is a short story, To Court a Dragon.

The second is the start of a science fiction story in the same universe as Cynthia the Invincible, but set in 1893 Dartmoor, The Curious Case of Miss James. It’s available on Amazon.

The Art of Deception, first in a series of late Georgian/early Regency spy novels is now up.. You can get the first part here.

You can find my work here.

Spring Flowers

Spring is finally coming to that corner of Alabama I periodically reside in.
In addition to the wild iris, there are other small flowers. An Oxalis
and a spring beauty

Have sword, will travel. #wewriwar

wewriwa
Welcome to weekend writing warriors. Many fine authors, and me, contribute short snippets for your delectation.

I was getting a bit stuck with Regency fiction, and decided to try hard SF. Swords and spaceships, no rayguns (yet), but plenty of action and as long as I’m logically consistent I don’t have to worry about historical accuracy

It seems to be working, the words are (so far) flying off my fingers (I crossed 61k last night) and into the book.

In any case, here’s the start – a new midshipman is having her first session of weapons training on her first ship. Her instructor is not exactly impressed. Last week’s snippet skips ahead a few paragraphs from the one before. It’s after she’s finished her training for the day. The discussion of Scotland from before is replaced by the ceremonies for the first jump of the mission. The initiation ceremony continues this week.

I’ve decided to skip ahead and move to the start of more action. Serapis is about to jump near a new (to us humans) star and explore it. Terry takes her station.
Chief Ames reassures the other members of the landing ship’s crew that they’ll live in this installment.


“Secured,” Ames turned away from the microphone; his voice, muted, still came through, “Relax, lads, I know it’s her first launch; do you see me acting like a gormless lout?”

“Chief;” Terry asked, “Why me; I thought you didn’t like me?”

“I don’t; not particularly any road,” Ames paused, “I’ve read the astrogation scores; at least you manage to put us in the right galactic quadrant and occasionally even in the right star system; I know the automatics can keep track, but as I said, I’d like to get home.”

Terry whispered to herself, “Faint praise.”

“What was that Sir?”

“Nothing,” Terry watched the count, “Prepare for separation in five, four, Bloody hell, something’s wrong,” She pushed the scram button and the craft shot sideways, away from the Serapis, hard.

When she caught her breath, she haled the crew, “You well, I heard clunks.”

Ames spat back, “Take more than that to harm me, Lass … Sir. What happened?”

“I don’t know,” Terry frantically scanned the controls, “Everything seems in order, but where’s the Serapis?”


The logo.

This weekend is the date for the fifth GSU Hackathon.  It’s a programming contest , a chance for the students to find internships, and a great way to show off the university which must not be named. I’m one of the faculty advisors, one of my ex-Ph.D. students, now a PTI, organizes it, and the students run it. It’s a blast.
The Chaos Monkey has so far skipped us by and it’s been smooth. Tiring but smooth.


I’ve put up a couple of things on instafreebie. The first is a short story, To Court a Dragon.

The second is the start of a science fiction story in the same universe as Cynthia the Invincible, but set in 1893 Dartmoor, The Curious Case of Miss James. It’s available on Amazon.

The Art of Deception, first in a series of late Georgian/early Regency spy novels is now up.. You can get the first part here.

You can find my work here.

Sword and Spaceship #wewriwar

wewriwa
Welcome to weekend writing warriors. Many fine authors, and me, contribute short snippets for your delectation.

I was getting a bit stuck with Regency fiction, and decided to try hard SF. Swords and spaceships, no rayguns (yet), but plenty of action and as long as I’m logically consistent I don’t have to worry about historical accuracy

It seems to be working, the words are (so far) flying off my fingers (I crossed 61k last night) and into the book.

In any case, here’s the start – a new midshipman is having her first session of weapons training on her first ship. Her instructor is not exactly impressed. Last week’s snippet skips ahead a few paragraphs from the one before. It’s after she’s finished her training for the day. The discussion of Scotland from before is replaced by the ceremonies for the first jump of the mission. The initiation ceremony continues this week.

I’ve decided to skip ahead and move to the start of more action. Serapis is about to jump near a new (to us humans) star and explore it. Terry takes her station.


Terry threw her kit bag through the hatch, “Secure it!” She grabbed the two handholds at the top and flung herself feet first through the opening. Without looking at the crew, she slithered through the hatch to the pilot’s seat.
She scanned the lights as she snapped herself in, “All green,” She relaxed; just like the simulator … and the practice ship back … home.

“Are you certain, Sir?”

Terry felt her chest tighten, “Ames?”

“Chief Ames, Sir, Please check again, I’d like to get home to my family when the mission’s over; there’s time.”

Terry carefully checked each gauge, each light, each switch, “In order, ready to secure the port.”

“Securing the port,” Ames called.


Between a scout trip (Cheaha state park in Alabama, 7 miles of being sweep) and various personal diversions (none serious, but all time consuming), I’ve been remiss. Something like this friendly lizard, waiting for it to warm up enough to move.

An alligator resting in the spring sun. Still glad I used a 600mm lens to get the picture. They can outrun you over short distances, which is all that matters.

One of the problems with SF is coming up with good aliens, and even worse good names for them. So far I’ve been using place holders like <1> or <2>. Easy to replace with a global search and replace once I’ve figured out what to put there. The nasty aliens in this work use numbers, so it’s not too hard to name them. It’s the neutral and more or less good ones that are hard. What do you call an insectoid doctor, or a slightly insane piratical biped who looks to human eyes much like his jilted fiance? Or for that matter the fiance?


I’ve put up a couple of things on instafreebie. The first is a short story, To Court a Dragon.

The second is the start of a science fiction story in the same universe as Cynthia the Invincible, but set in 1893 Dartmoor, The Curious Case of Miss James. It’s available on Amazon.

The Art of Deception, first in a series of late Georgian/early Regency spy novels is now up.. You can get the first part here.

You can find my work here.

Tybee & Savannah National Wildlife Reservation.

Alligators are the stars at the reservation. We visited in mid-March (during Spring break) which is a tad early. Mid-April is better. Still we saw (in addition to the big lizards): white ibis, glossy ibis, house swallows, coots, anhinga, osprey, great white egret, cattle egret, and blue heron.  And we weren’t particularly careful about it (there were several other birds we didn’t identify).


Not all the birds were natural. This shows what my cheap mirror lens can do.


This blue heron calmly waited for us to take his picture. (he was fishing).


On Tybee, the gulls were enjoying the washed up jellyfish, when they weren’t strolling about and begging for handouts.

Tybee beach.

Spring in Alabama.

Nothing literary today. The weather’s too nice to sit for long in front of a computer. After a surprisingly cold January and first half of February, it’s warmed up and the signs of Spring are upon us. The tree frogs hide around our house, but we hear the wood frogs in the wet and swampy parts of the woods.

A sleeping tree frog

 

Spring Daffodils
More Daffodils

They’re already wilting in the heat.

Swords and Spaceships – Pluto has his moment. #SF #wewriwar

wewriwa
Welcome to weekend writing warriors. Many fine authors, and me, contribute short snippets for your delectation.

I was getting a bit stuck with Regency fiction, and decided to try hard SF. Swords and spaceships, no rayguns (yet), but plenty of action and as long as I’m logically consistent I don’t have to worry about historical accuracy

It seems to be working, the words are (so far) flying off my fingers (I crossed 61k last night) and into the book.

In any case, here’s the start – a new midshipman is having her first session of weapons training on her first ship. Her instructor is not exactly impressed. Last week’s snippet skips ahead a few paragraphs from the one before. It’s after she’s finished her training for the day. The discussion of Scotland from before is replaced by the ceremonies for the first jump of the mission. The initiation ceremony continues this week.


“Bring them forward and present them, that they might be recognized,” The man rubbed his hands with glee, while his queen nestled next to him and licked her lips.

M being in the middle of the alphabet, it didn’t take long for the captain to get to ‘Mullins, Teresa’; Terry stood up, to the laughter of the rest of the crew, and stumbled toward the stage; she joined ‘McYu, James,’ on it.

“My Lord,” Mr Campbell bowed to Pluto, “they are assembled.”

“Hmmph,” Pluto removed himself from his queen’s embrace and slowly walked around the lot of them, clicking his tongue, “A very mediocre lot; are you sure these can survive a jump and are worthy of your crew?”

“I was,” Terry started to say, then bit her tongue.

Pluto commanded, “Out with it, Lass!”

“I was best in my class.”

The man laughed, “A ground pounder, best in her class? As I said, a mediocre lot,” The crew joined him in laughter; he walked, sauntered around them, and finally looked at the captain, “Is the force strong in these?”

Terry inwardly groaned, “Please not that old chestnut.”


It would be nice to think that influence from Star Wars would survive that long. I wouldn’t bet on it, but you never know. After all “nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.”

Taking off my sci-fi author’s suit and pulling  my historical author’s stocking over my face, it is amazing how many phrases of Shakespeare’s are current. Jane Austin remarks on it in Mansfield Park, and she is still worthy of parody, “It is a truth generally to be acknowledged that a Zombie is in search of brains” (or something like that). “To the manor born”, “more in sorrow than in anger” and “O that I were writ an ass”, stick in my mind as do “once more into the breach”, “my kingdom for a horse”, and “lend me thine ears.”

Sometimes the phrases are changed in the telling, “Lead on MacDuff,” should be “Lay on MacDuff.” But no more of the Scottish play, lest “Double, double, toil and trouble,” find us.

“My kingdom for a Hearse” might make a good title for a horror story.

Exit pursued by a bear. (oops that’s another one from a Winter’s tale.)


I’ve put up a couple of things on instafreebie. The first is a short story, To Court a Dragon.

The second is the start of a science fiction story in the same universe as Cynthia the Invincible, but set in 1893 Dartmoor, The Curious Case of Miss James. It’s available on Amazon.

The Art of Deception, first in a series of late Georgian/early Regency spy novels is now up.. You can get the first part here.

You can find my work here.

Space, Swords, and Ceremony. #SF #wewriwar

wewriwa
Welcome to weekend writing warriors. Many fine authors, and me, contribute short snippets for your delectation.

I was getting a bit stuck with Regency fiction, and decided to try hard SF. Swords and spaceships, no rayguns (yet), but plenty of action and as long as I’m logically consistent I don’t have to worry about historical accuracy

It seems to be working, the words are (so far) flying off my fingers (I crossed 55k last night) and into the book.

In any case, here’s the start – a new midshipman is having her first session of weapons training on her first ship. Her instructor is not exactly impressed. Last week’s snippet skips ahead a few paragraphs from the one before. It’s after she’s finished her training for the day. The discussion of Scotland from before is replaced by the ceremonies for the first jump of the mission.


Mr Campbell clinked her glass with her spoon and the room hushed, “Navigation watch informs me that we are about to make our first jump of the mission.”

Terry felt her insides turn over; this is it.

“I believe,” The captain continued, “that we have a distinguished visitor.”

Everyone’s eyes swiveled to the back of the room where a dark-robed man, a dark-robed woman and two pipers waited. The pipers started playing and the party proceeded, slowly, half-step by half-step, to the front of the room.

If that’s not Chief Ames
, Terry thought, I’ll take Mr Jones up on his offer; juice or no.

The pipers only stopped playing when they reached the front of the room and the two black-clad figures had turned to face the crew. The man held up his right fist, a signal for silence.

“I, we, King Pluto and Queen Persephone, rulers of the dark void, have been told that there are members of your crew, Mr Campbell who have not jumped.”

“Aye aye, M’Lord.”


Societies often have some form of initiation.  With the Fleet, it’s the first jump.

I’ve skipped ahead over a discussion of “the juice.” The juice is the drug cocktail needed to keep people healthy when exposed to the radiation of space for the time it takes to get out of a star system, let alone the radiation that would occur when decelerating from a jump. Since the juice slows cellular metabolism, one side effect of coming off the juice is something like five years of puberty happening at once –  with all that can entail.  (Lieutenant Jones’ offer was for Terry to keep her berth open at the time. She wasn’t exactly keen on the offer.)

NASA has shown that even in near earth orbit – on the space station – that there are effects on humans. It’s not surprising. Cosmic rays left characteristic craters in the plexiglass of the space helmets used on the moon landings. We also know that for adults, muscular strength is in a “use it or lose it” mode and too much inactivity, even on Earth, spells disaster. (not literally of course).

So real space flight will require either very effective shielding – which means a lot of mass, or some way to mitigate the effects. It’s also important to be careful about the kind of shielding – Stopping high energy particles in the wrong way can result in the production of X-rays (which is why you don’t put your 32P in a lead box.)


I’ve put up a couple of things on instafreebie. The first is a short story, To Court a Dragon.

The second is the start of a science fiction story in the same universe as Cynthia the Invincible, but set in 1893 Dartmoor, The Curious Case of Miss James. It’s available on Amazon.

The Art of Deception, first in a series of late Georgian/early Regency spy novels is now up.. You can get the first part here.

You can find my work here.