Hyperion update

Hyperion has become a sleeping aid for me. That sounds like a poor review of a book sending me to sleep, but that is not what I mean.

For various reasons I have had to get up a lot at night recently. This is fine, but lately my mind has begun to race around, skipping from one thought to another which keeps me awake. Hyperion is what calms me down and focuses my mind on just one thing. The stories are so great and eventually I nod off to fantastic images of talking dolphins and portals across time and space. It’s kind of trippy to have so many nights with those stories running through my head.

Usually I am able to turn of audible before I fall asleep. Otherwise the story just keeps playing in my head and the next night I am hours behind and completely lost! I can mostly figure out what has happened, but after twenty hours of narration and a few nights leaving the story running on my headphones whilst I snore away, I definitely have some gaps.

Last night I finished the sixth and final chapter and I just have the prologue to go tonight.

Still highly recommended.

Happy Thursday chimps.

Sci-fi views

We are in lockdown in a beautiful location. We are lucky. There are regular scenes resembling a cover of a sci-fi novel.

Peach and pink sunset over the bay, the sea was perfectly still as a navy submarine, half submerged and performing a routine drill, cruised past like an alien ship in the evening. All the while a bright white moon hung in the pink sky. La Luna smiled down on us from the other side of the bay, almost scraping the pastel colored mountains which surround us like one of Mars’ orbital rocks.

On another morning, further out to sea a pod of hundreds of dolphins were in a feeding frenzy. They gorged themselves on a huge shoal of smaller fish which they had trapped. A boiling, choppy circular mass moved along through the water until the feeding was done. From high up here it looked like one of Jupiter’s storms passing by.

Now at night time the darkness of the water fills up space from our viewpoint to the city. Far on the other side of the bay is where the water ends and the city starts. I see an amber glow and winking, yellow lights floating on the blackness of the sea. The city is like a huge mothership hovering on the ocean.

Look for the sci-fi around you because it’s surely there.

Happy Tuesday chimps.

Dining Room (a study)

This wasn’t always a dining room. In fact, like a pimply-faced teenager this room is not quite sure of what it is yet. The dinner table gives some structure and purpose, but there are also bedside tables in the corners, a bean bag at one end, and what was designed to be an office cabinet along the wall. My fish in his tank greets me each morning for food. I assume he is a he, and not a she. More confusion in an adolescent room.

The light in here is lovely in the mornings. While the air is still cool, the sun pours in to light up the dining table for breakfast time. Strangely we never take advantage of this as we are generally in too much of a rush to sit down and eat in the morning.

There is also a door in one of the walls, next to the bean bag. This leads straight onto a flight of stairs and is remarkable for not having a landing. Instead one has to step up into the open door at a different level to the room. Perhaps not the best design, and apparently illegal for health and safety reasons. Oh well. The teenager stumbles through life until it figures out what it wants to be.

When we first moved in, this was my music room. My favorite room at the time, I filled it with jazz, rock, blues. There were movies and computer games. Speakers and amplifiers. A turntable and cds littered the floor. These days my beautiful children turn it into something different every day. Sometimes it is a race track for scooters, sometimes a camp site, a beach, a mountain top for epic adventures. Sometimes we even eat at the table. I’m just glad my amps and speakers are not in here.

Rediscovered Kickstarter Project

I received a reminder from my own website. Kind of ‘meta’ and Sci-Fi in its own right no? But the reminder was for an old post (link) about a Kickstarter campaign. This reminded me of the prize I got for backing the project – Like so many things – I downloaded the anthology and never read it.

I now have it lined up in my queue after ‘Foundation’.

Here’s to machines talking to people, reminding them of their laziness. And here’s to reading Sci-Fi.

Mostly to reading Sci-Fi.

Foundation

I’ve started reading Isaac Asimov’s ‘Foundation’.

Well, sort of. I’ve actually started listening to it on audible. It’s great and very entertaining. I can see echoes of the story in more recent fiction.

Audible as a way to consume books is a revelation to me. It will help me to work my way through this great sci-fi list: link

Imagine a city which covers a whole planet…

Sleep and Leftovers

Dreams remember they don’t mean much.

Snippets, memories, old desires and such.

Memories of memories become loops. Internal errors.

A Treasure hunter is on the beach tonight. Metal detector sweeps the sand while the waves crash hard.

Take the good and leave the bad.

Programmable robot.

Reboot your glitch.

Dreaming to doing

I couldn’t sleep last night because of an idea. A business idea. The idea created adrenaline in my body which fueled my heart and my brain which developed the idea further which created more adrenaline! No sleep, but an idea nonetheless.

I have let a lot of ideas go by the wayside. This one I will try and develop though. That’s the hard part. An idea is easy to come up with. Making it work is a lot harder.

Smugglers of Earth – 6

Marlon’s coat was a Grohl coat. Marlon felt bulletproof in his coat. He had a feeling it might outlast him and the next few Smugglers after him to wear it. Its tailoring spell meant it fit him so well it was like a warm pair of pyjamas. He could keep a week of rations in the pockets, and he never felt cold. Or wet. Or hot. Just right.

Excerpt taken from Grohl’s most holy book: The Smuggler’s Handbooke

“A coate is first and foremost for wearing on Smuggler missions. For alle seasones, a coate is needed by yeah Smugglers. Whan thy coate is made, maketh the coate of magical leather. Magical leather is only righteous for such a vital dude as a Smuggler, especially in dark times as these. The spells cast on the coate should repel water and snowe, insulate thy body from any other alien liquide. A heating spell may be needed whan thy smuggling missions take thee far North or South. Give thy coate pocket spells for storage and never let thy coate out of sight for fear of alien wear and pollution most foul.”

Grohl was known as the Godfather of Smuggling. His coats outlasted the man himself, and ironically have become part of the growing inter-galactic illicit trade. Value in drugs, guns, animals, songs and chocolate is only matched by value in Grohl’s limited edition coats. The Godfather is known to have made only thirty-three in his lifetime.

 

Smugglers Of Earth – 5

When the Shepherd Trolls came to Old Earth, they wept like babies. The Trolls snuck in through a small portal left open by the Bantam civilization. Expecting easy spoils, what they found was full scale warfare which had turned Old Earth into a frightening place. Before they could retreat back through the portal, it had already closed. A Shepherd Troll is not brave, and when it is in tears it sounds like a howling monkey. Hiding for months, once the humans evacuated and Bantam rule was established the Trolls could move more freely. Collecting spells, treasures and goats as they travelled, the Sodom of Trolls grew to a healthy size and Lughar proved himself the most canny and ruthless of the group. It was his idea to take Robert Johnson from the circus.

As the storm of the century stopped, sensing that something was not right, Lughar made his way underground. Using a large stick with a green flame as a torch, Lughar stepped through uneven corridors and rickety structures down into the abandoned mine which had been turned into a Troll cave. Walking steadily deeper underground, faint music started to fill the air.

Gotta keep moving, Gotta keep moving

hellhound on my trail. Mmmhmmm, hellhound on my trail”

The corridor flattened out and after three more right turns, Lughar stopped at a small wooden door and pulled a big iron key out of his pocket. The song was clearly emanating from behind the door, vocals of a tortured soul rising up through the cave. Lughar smiled viciously, turned the big lock and opened up the door. The music stopped suddenly.

Lughar stepped into the dark, cold cell and grinned at the sad scene in front of him, “Mr Johnson, you missed quite a storm up there. But don’t worry, we’ll make sure you stay nice and wet down here”

A trembling voice came out the darkness, along with the distinctive clink of chains, “Oh s…sorry boss, I’m s…. s …so …sorry boss….was i too l….l….loud with the singing boss?”

Lughar thrust his torch of fire into the cell, illuminating the head, arms and chains in front of him. “Stop your snivelling!”

Robert Johnson was a 75 kilo orangutan. He was Lughar’s most valuable treasure.

Dune progress report

I managed to read a good chuck of Frank Herbert’s Dune last night. What struck me about it was the length of time committed to character development.

I have a tendency when I write something to want to get to the end of the story and not fully flesh out all the detail that a reader might need to become engrossed. Call it lack of patience.

Dune is managing to show me so much of the character flaws, strengths, traits as I read. With each page the story is getting sharper, more solid, refined. Like going to the optometrist, when they test your eyes by slowly adding different lenses in front of you until everything is crystal clear.

A second observation is the overwhelming sense of paranoia and political sniping in the story. While the more exciting elements of sci-fi novels are there in abundance (weird technology, far away stars and planets, alien ecosystems) its intrigue lies more in the political struggles of the characters.

Surprising to me, but very fulfilling so far.