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Inspirations for Star Trek

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I'm currently reading a book... I'll give you the title and subject later... and I'm currently casually watching some of the original Star Trek series. The thought that this book (with which I am only half way through) might be the single most important inspiration for Star Trek led me to start this thread.

Now a quick google search for Gene Roddenberry's inspirations shows the usual suspects...

Roddenberry served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in WWII...

No Man's Sky gets massive improvements

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No Man's Sky was always an interesting open-world game - but now it's had the most serious of updates, taking it to a huge new level...

My family enjoyed No Man's Sky - originally an exclusive game for the PS4 that allowed you to travel around the universe, and visit billions of unique autogenerated planets.

What's especially good about it is that it's very open-ended - you can play it any way you want to: exploring planets, building a...

Space News: Water worlds common, life likely?

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A few recent space news stories to roundup:

1. Solar system 'normal'

One of the big mysteries is how usual or unusual our solar system is. We've identified a lot of exoplanets that are like nothing we've ever seen - and others that are commonly familiar.

Now a study looking at material around forming stars suggests that the basic ingredients of our solar system are actually pretty common...

The Saliva Tree by Brian Aldiss

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After a few decades, I finally re-read "The Saliva Tree", Brian Aldiss's homage to H. G. Wells. This novella, first appearing in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (Nov 1965), seamlessly combines many elements of the first few years of the Wells canon. The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, even The Wonderful Visit - all are given their nods at times and appear subtly woven into the story. Set in...

Echoes of the Great Song by David Gemmell

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Echoes of the Great Song has always been one of my favourite Gemmells - possibly because of how different it is to the others - but I’d forgotten until my most recent read just how dark it was.

In the first few pages we’re introduced to some of the members of the Avatars, a race who founded a global Empire on the back of immense mystical power but are now frantically clinging onto their last scraps of power after a global cataclysm. There’s Ro, a fussy and proud...

Hit me up with some good scifi I haven't read.

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Recommend me some scifi. I prefer lighter, less grim works. I'm ok with series or standalones. Just tell me why I might like it - hit the high points. Some that I have read and enjoyed:

Old Man's War
Vorkosigan Saga
Confederation/Peacekeeper by Tanya Huff
Ready Player One
The Indranan War by KB Wagers
Linesman SK Dunstall
Vatta series Elizabeth Moon
Dark Run Mike Brooks
Foundation trilogy
Unbreakable WC Bauers
Everness Ian McDonald
Imperial Radch
Paradox Rachel...

Be Abendau’ed -- free for a couple of days

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I made the mistake yesterday of reading through Abendau’s Heir for a blog and now find myself reading it for the first time in 4 years. Since I last edited it, I guess.

And I’m loving it all over again. It is, as we’re often told to write, exactly the type of book I’d pick up to read :)

So I decided to celebrate by popping it on free for my last few days on KDP.

Close character work, Family dynasties, dark stuff, space ships, one half-mad sexy pilot (who might...

Do characters work personalities shape a story?

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How important is a character's work situation when it comes to shaping an overall impression of a character.

Looking at four basic work situations where the job is an ordinary job in that it can be recognized as a normal occupation. Piloting a space ship would be considered a normal job, as it's just another kind of vehicle that can be driven. Growing a garden in burnt out soil after a war, everything is knocked back to basics, where getting mixed results would...

'Elitist': angry book pirates hit back after author campaign sinks website

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This is quite an interesting story about the taking-down of a website devoted to piracy. Note the very trendy use of "elitist" to mean "something I don't like".

'Elitist': angry book pirates hit back after author campaign sinks website

Two things spring to mind. First, and obviously, piracy is stealing, and stealing is...

Your favorite crazy cult film?

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Some people like Pink Flamingos or Eraserhead.
For me it a film called Andy Warhols Bad.
This film is understated , nothing outwardly seems exactly strange until you get into the plot.
Carol Baker runs a electrolysis parlor in her kitchen and a sort of boarding house.
She really has a all-female hit squad for doing little dirty jobs.
People pay to have like a cafe restroom trashed, or wronged by a mechanic his thumb cut off, or an obnoxious...

Space News: Weird stars and meteorite secrets

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I've been collecting together quite a few small stories from the past week or so:

1. How a star blew-up - but didn't

Recognize the pic above? It's Eta Carinae, one of the most famous images of an exploding star. And yet, there is still a living star at the center of that. How did it survive?

By using light echoes, scientists have been able to gauge what happened - and truth is stranger than fiction...

Which hardback edition of LOTR to buy?

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I'm intending to read the LOTR soon and would like to purchase an up to date hardback copy with all the trimmings i.e. fold out maps, appendices, whatever. I'm confused by the multitude of options available on Amazon. While I'm not up to a deluxe edition, I would like a decent copy to add to the reading experience.

From Amazon, I'm interested in this:

This seems to have the added advantage of...

Latest Science Fiction & Fantasy Kindle eBook offers

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There's a decent selection of eBooks on offer at at the moment, covering a good spread of science fiction & fantasy genres:

Books for 99p:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - Another short standalone bestselling novel full of mysticism and stories.

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft - The...

Patrick Stewart returns as Picard to lead new Star Trek series

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CBS all access has signed up Patrick Stewart to star in a new Star Trek series, which follows the life of Jean-Luc Picard 20 years after Star Trek: The Next Generation:

Star Trek: Discovery showrunner Alex Kurtzman will be an executive producer on the new series, and stated, “With overwhelming joy, it’s a privilege to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back to the Star Trek fold. For over 20 years, fans have hoped for the return of Captain Jean-Luc...

History News: Stonehenge built by Welsh, Orkney tsunami graves?

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A couple of particularly interesting stories this week:

1. Stonehenge built by Welsh?

We know little about the people who built Stonehenge - but analysis from suggests that the people first cremated there were Welsh: Stonehenge: First residents from west Wales

Lead author Dr Christophe Snoeck compared the levels of different forms, or isotopes, of the element strontium against...

Honestly, it wasn’t my fault by Susan Boulton

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‘Your family is not left behind.’ It’s the unofficial slogan of the Commonwealth Expeditionary Force. Family units are supposed to be more stable for long-time missions, according to the higher-ups. I don’t think this can be applied to the Masons, somehow. Dad says ships like ours are really like small towns back home. All the good bits are on show for people passing through. The bad bits are hidden away behind closed doors and twitching curtains. Dad...

Hugo winners you didn't like

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Hugo season is approaching and having that Hugo Winner stamp on the cover a book is a great endorsement. I was wondering how many, if any, past Hugo winners have you read but didn't like?

For me it has to be Speaker For the Dead by Orson Scott Card. I read this before his whole anti-gay stance and whatnot. After Ender's Game this one was a huge let down for me.

The other is Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman. I really wanted to like this book...

August 2018 Reading thread

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A few books on the go at the moment:

The Orphan Star by Alan Dean Foster. It's not a particularly bad book, but neither is it a particularly good one - just a well-written but otherwise throwaway space fantasy I've almost finished reading during my breaks at work.

Chapter House Dune by Frank Herbert. Thankfully the last book in a series that as began with a bang with wonderful Dune, only for the sequels to meander between vaguely...

August 2018 75-word Writing Challenge -- VICTORY TO THEDUSTYZEBRA!

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Write a story inspired by the chosen theme and genre in no more than 75 words, not including the title

ONE entry per person

NO links, commentary or extraneous material in the posts, please -- the stories must stand on their own


All stories...

Sir Edric's Kingdom, discounted to 99p (for now)

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This year's Self-Publishing Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO) includes Sir Edric's Kingdom, by me. It's a fantastic comedy, so splendid even persons who don't normally like fantasy often enjoy it.

When King Lawrence is poisoned and consigned to his sickbed, Sir Edric Greenlock, the Hero of Hornska, is thrust into the position of Lord Steward. But with the King half-dead and vultures circling, Sir Edric soon discovers running a kingdom is about as relaxing as being a...

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