Tags: titan


An Ennui of Possessions

Clouds moving in. Currently, it's only 77˚F, with the heat index at 79˚F.

Another mostly lost day yesterday, though we did get the living room arranged enough that we can at least sit out there and watch TV. But we are still buried in boxes. Well, the room that will be the dining room is, and the the sun room is, which is supposed to be Spooky's work space. I think I'm starting to despair of ever making any real progress with the boxes. This is what happens when you dump the contents of two storage units into your apartment. Half of it's stock books. That is, extra copies of books that I've written, which we're supposed to sell on eBay. But we haven't done much with eBay for a couple of years, and the books have kept coming.

There was some email with Tachyon yesterday regarding their "Very Best" volume of my short fiction. And I emailed Daniel Chabon at Dark Horse, just a question, but I haven't heard back from him yet.

There was a quick trip out to Leeds.

Spooky made chili for dinner. We watched the new Face/Off and a documentary about the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, the late 80s TV series on which the Netflix series is based. Then I watched David Lean's The Sound Barrier (1952), which I'd been wanting to see for some time, and it showed up on Filmstruck.


7:58 p.m.

"Wild, 'cause I would do anything to tear you off your precious fence."

I'm trying – again – to cut off, get off, ditch the Seroquel, because it's turning my brain to mush. I slept maybe five fitful hours last night, and yet I feel more awake than if I'd slept seven on the Seroquel.

Here in Providence, it's currently a scorching 24˚F, but "feels" like sweltering 29˚F. You will pardon me is that is no consolation whatsoever. Yesterday's stale Hell seems especially so:

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As of yesterday, I have left the House every day for fourteen days. It might not sound like much, but it is. I may not have left the House on that many consecutive days in....well...years.


Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, but most especially the "Beanie" Platypus + lettered edition of Tales from the Woeful Platypus (2007, long OOP). This is letter O. We met the reserve yesterday, but I'm going to continue pushing because the proceeds of to fix my (still) broken premolar. Thank you.


Yesterday I just barely managed to write 652 words on "Chewing on Shadows." Too much haze in my head, and I was having to read articles on Level A hazmat suits, the Genesis probe, ethane-methane rivers on Titan, a "blacker than black" material developed from multi-walled carbon nanotubes, buckshot, North Carolina newspapers, the Huygens atmospheric entry probe, and the possibility of methanogenic organisms in cryogenic hydrocarbon lakes. And my brain, unable to shake off the effects of weeks of 2-(2-(4-dibenzo[b,f][1,4]thiazepine- 11-yl- 1-piperazinyl)ethoxy)ethanol absolutely was not up to the task of fact juggling while writing good prose. Though time is short, I decided to do an SF piece for Sirenia Digest #97 – the aforementioned "Chewing on Shadows" – to prepare me for the cyborg story I need to write immediately afterwards.

Hopefully, despite not having gotten a great deal of sleep, today will go better.


The thirteenth and final chapter of Alabaster: Boxcar Tales* can be found in the pages of Dark Horse Presents #32.

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And to answer the inevitable questions, without spoilers: Yes, she is. No, really.

Speaking of comics, I just got around to reading Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows Neonomicon, because I've heard the kerfuffle (from some quarters) surrounding it. My objection has nothing to do with sexism and "rape culture." I just find the book fucking wretched in all respects. Dull, glib, badly written, poorly drawn and colored. I couldn't even finish it. Mr. Alan Moore, please stay away from Lovecraft? Please? Meanwhile, I loved the Hellboy: Beasts of Burden one-shot (2010; Dorkin, Thompson, and Mignola).


Last night I saw what is surely one of the best 49 minutes of television ever filmed, "Chapter Two" of David Fincher's House of Cards. Wow. Just...wow. Kevin Spacey is brilliant and then some.

Now, I must try again to write the words.

Aunt Beast

* To be collected as Alabaster: Grimmer Tales.

The lakes of Titan, and a bug named Eophyllium

Some days, I almost feel there is no wonder left to be found. Others, I trip over it at every turn. Fortunately, today was a day of the latter sort. To wit:

Titan Has Liquid Lakes, Scientists Report in Nature. My thanks to corucia for the PDF of the full Nature article. And there's a photo from the JPL (behind the cut), a most amazing photograph, indeed:

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Also, the famous Eocene-aged Messel oil shales of Germany have given up another gem, Eophyllium messelensis, the earliest evidence of a leaf-mimicking insect.

Also also, it's not too late to vote in the second Cassini photo contest, to help pick the most spectacular image yet captured by the probe as it orbits Saturn and her moons. For my part, I'm torn between "Mapping Titan's Changes" and "Ringside with Dione."

Bride of Night Science

A couple of wonderful things...

Thanks to sclerotic_rings for posting news from Titan:

Massive Mountain Range Imaged on Saturn's Moon Titan

A mile high and built on water-ice bedrock.

Also, thanks to chris_walsh for news of the remains of a juvenile plesiosaur recovered from the Cretaceous of Antarctica.

Actually, I knew about that last one already, from an abstract in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, but it's always the thought that counts. And this is a somewhat better account that the one that Reuters was running. No mention of "Nessie," for example.

Wookie lips.

Late, late, late, and I need to be in bed. But I was going to mention my surprise at finding myself disappointed that the oleaginous Malan Breton was given the boot on Project Runway last night. I loathe the man, but this third season is shaping up to be notable only in its almost complete absence of personality. What a painfully dull lot. In that drab company, Mr. Breton at least commanded attention. And whoever imagined that Miss America would make for an interesting challenge? For the first time, I found myself bored at the series. Anyway...

My thanks to sclerotic_rings for reminding me of Titan and the wonders that continue to be revealed by the ESA Cassini probe. Wow. Perhaps we will not have ethane or methane seas, but whatever the solar system presents beyond the speculations of mankind are wonders enough for me. Okay. Bedtime. Perhaps I shall even sleep...