So much of my attention is focused of the bits of news we're getting from the ESA on the Huygens probe's discoveries. If you haven't visited the "Sounds of Titan" page, you ought to do so now. Oh, the marvelous things you people could do if you could only stop killing each other in the name of god and money. It makes me dizzy to consider. It's hard to get a handle on just exactly how much the world has spent on the United State's frelling of Iraq, but according to a January 13th Bloomberg.com report, "The U.S. spent $102 billion through Sept. 30 on the invasion and occupation of Iraq, with costs averaging $4.8 billion a month, the Pentagon comptroller's office said today." $102 billion dollars, so far, to make the world safe from a non-existant threat. By comparison, the entire Cassini-Huygens mission will have cost only "about $3.26 billion," according to the mission FAQ from NASA.
Every month, the US is spending more on the Iraqi war than it took to reach Saturn and Titan. Mass murder is expensive, and good science is relatively cheap. Oh, but I am naive. I forget.
On a lighter note, check out Chapter 11 of Boshen and Nesuko</i>. Only fictional blood is spilled.
I'm now reading Damon Knight's 1970 biography of Charles Fort, along with Dinosaurs and Other Mesozoic Reptiles of California by Richard P. Hilton (and a host of very old books on Rhode Island and Massachusetts history and folklore). Hilton's book contains some of the best restorations of mosasaurs ever published anywhere. They might be a little thick through the mid-section and not quite snakey enough, but they look like what they were, gigantic sea-going lizards, not crocodiles with flippers. I am especially fond of the painting of Plotosaurus bennisoni on p. 108.
On Friday, my copy of Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars DVD arrived. I'd preorderd from Creation Entertainment way back in October. Because I preordered I got a free autographed cast member photo, and, much to my delight, I got a Gigi Edgley signature! I haven't had time to watch the DVD yet, perhaps tomorrow night. There's about fifteen or twenty minutes of footage that didn't make the TV airing. I did get a kick out of the synopsis on the back of the DVD's case, however: When a full-scale war is engaged by the evil Scarran Empire, the Peacekeeper Alliance has but one hope: reassemble human astronaut John Crichton, once sucked into the Peacekeeper galaxy through a wormhole. Crichton's task: Get the entire Peacekeeper race to safety before the last war of an era brings an end to the universe. I'm quite certain that not only had the person who wrote this never seen an episode of Farscape, she or he ceratinly never bothered to watch the mini-series they were trying to synopsize. Or, maybe, I've received, by some fluke of cosmic misdirection, the Special Unrealized Reality version. But if not, I hope I can get this person to write copy on my next novel. Then no one will have even the slightest clue what it's "about" and will be forced to buy it and read it to find out.
And, lastly, I'm reposting this paragraph from my last entry: We added a couple of things to the eBay auctions yesterday and will likely add more today. We're now offering ARCs of the Subterranean Press edition of Low Red Moon, but supplies are limited and they've been going fast (I think we've sold five since last night). Also, we've put up a PC of the leatherbound lettered edition of Wrong Things (out of print), with a "buy it now" price $50 dollars lower than the publication price. Bill Schafer was a kind enough to send us a large box of goodies for the auction, for which we are very grateful. He also presently has the high bid on the hand-corrected Dry Salvages ARC, a situation someone should rememdy. Take notice of In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers, which isn't selling as well as it usually does. The copies up now are the limited edition, not the trade, which we were offering earlier. They are signed by both me and Dame Darcy. Great art, a fine Dancy story, a handsome volume. Also, check out From Weird and Distant Shores, which includes a Richard Kirk illustration for each and every story and wonderful cover art by the amazing Bob Eggleton. Thanks to everyone taking part in the auctions; it's a huge help, really.
P.S. — Today is the last day we shall be offering The Five of Cups for only $25.