November 16th, 2013


"And you'll find loss, and you'll fear what you found."

Warmer yesterday and today. Sun and temperatures in the high fifties, low sixties Fahrenheit. It won't last, but then what ever does.

Day before yesterday, I wrote 1,112 words on the third chapter of Cherry Bomb. But then there was a night of extra-special insomnia, and I only managed write 706 words yesterday. As it stands, I have ~39,676 words remaining on the novel. With luck and good health, I can be done with this by mid-December. Maybe. There's also the digest, and a short story deadline. But that's my plan. I hope to have the third chapter done by tomorrow evening, so that we can go to Beavertail and search for Comet Ison on Monday.

I sat here yesterday and sketched hardware schematics for The Dinosaurs of Mars. I think Black Helicopters taught how this book ought be written.


Two good films last night. The first was a better-than-expected "teens get picked off by a monster" affair. You know, the sort of people you want to die, they're so insufferable. Great special effects, more brutal than average, a chilling ending. Larry Fessenden's Beneath (2013). We've learned we can pretty much always count on Fessenden for good stuff. But it's the second feature that was a truly wonderful surprise. Sebastián Cordero's Europa Report (2012). It's streaming from Netflix, and if you like smart SF that knows how to balance good, hard science with wonder, awe, and questions of human psychology (and even metaphysics), you need to see this film. I'm going to repost a review I found on IMDb that truly nails it:

The people who disliked this are undoubtedly people who think science is not important to science fiction, in other words, idiots.

Yes, the dialogue was a little difficult to understand at times, and the non-linear editing with the interspersed talking-head woman made the film less than ideal and took away from the story, however, there was more good science in this film than a thousand Hollywood blockbusters. It was a delightful, satisfying gem of a film for those of us dying of thirst in a desert of films created by, and for, stupid people.

Every plot point made sense. No suspension of disbelief was required. Every aspect of the film was well-researched and extrapolated carefully from what we know. The people who made this film even included the toxicity of hydrazine as a believable and significant plot point! It made me want to stand up and cheer!

This film reminded me of the golden era of science fiction. It was something Asimov and Clarke would have enjoyed. For the length of the film I forgot my despair for the decline of the intelligence of the human species.

If you didn't like this film, I have news for you: you are not very smart. Go and watch your bling-bling flashy-flashy explosions-and-big-breasts moron fodder. This film is not for you.

I disagree about the non-linear editing, but otherwise, yeah.


We're walking in the morning's now. The beginning of my physical rehabilitation, so far down have I let my body go. I need sun, desperately, and I need to unplug, and I need clean air. Here are photos from yesterday. It's a start:

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Off to the Word Mines,
Aunt Beast