July 2018 Archives

We are now 25 months on from the Brexit referendum. Theresa May filed notice of departure from the EU under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on 29 March, 2017: on 29 March, 2019 (in 8 months' time—approximately 240 days) the UK, assuming nothing changes, will be out of the EU.

You thought you were rid of me. Sorry, Charlie's still on vacation for a few more days, so here's something that has nothing to do with current politics. Just to be annoying, I'm going to revisit that ever-giving fount of joy, slower than light (STL) interstellar travel. You may think that, because it's not physically impossible, that it's inevitable that humans will travel this way one day. Sadly, it looks like blasting your way between the stars the hard way requires magical technology too, just as FTL does.

We've talked about this before on the blog, but unfortunately, the really good conversation was about 800 comments in and about 8 (?) years ago, so you can't just google it. Here, I'm going to cover two points: why canned monkeys don't ship well, and what the precursors to STL would look like, so that we'll know if our society ever starts preparing itself to expand into space at less than the speed of light.

So last week I finished the rewrite of "Invisible Sun", the third Empire Games novel, which feels as if it's been going on forever (I began it in mid-2014). The delivered manuscript is about 30% longer than the previous draft and 25% longer than the two earlierbooks, because of all the loose ends I was trying to tie up, and it all took longer than expected.

On Tuesday I'm off to Toruń in Poland as a guest of honour at Polcon, the oldest Polish science fiction convention. I've got a relatively quiet summer (although I might be doing a panel at MCM Comicon in Glasgow in mid-September and doing a reading in Berlin earlier in the month, subject to venue). Then in October I'll be a guest of honour at Vcon 42 in Vancouver; I may also be wandering around Canada for a couple of weeks before/after Vcon, but won't be visiting the USA on that trip.

Anyway, the blog is going to go quiet while I'm in Poland, but I hope to start updating it more regularly once I get home around mid-month and am no longer on deadline.

While I'd like to write SFF or rewrite Hot Earth Dreams, this year I'm stuck spending most of my energy fighting developers who decided not to let a good housing crisis go to waste and are busy clogging California with million dollar fire traps. Right now, worldbuilding is my way to blow off steam, and I figured I'd pass some of it along for your amusement. If you're a writer, feel free to appropriate anything here. My ask for comments is to contribute to the effort: help me unpack the science in this essay, ask questions, and contribute cool worldbuilding science of your own. If this goes over well, there are other topics we can cover.

The subject of this essayare the three little ideas in the title. Without further ado:

Specials

Merchandise

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