Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Sep 01 2020

What a Long, Strange Summer it’s Been

Published by under T-Space,Uncategorized,Writing

One would think that, what with so much being closed, I’d have finished at least one of the books I was working on in the spring. Alas, things rarely go according to plan (see below), but I have made progress.

My son Robert (the paleontologist) came home for spring break, and, because of covid closures, ended up staying until mid-June. He was able to teach his classes (he’s a TA while studying for his master’s at Oklahoma) online, and some of the rest of the time he helped me with more brainstorming and world building T-Space. We pinned down many of the planetary system details, drew maps, and discussed back-story. Some of that information has made it to the T-Space wiki, and more will be showing up as the story lines develop.

Late June and early July found me increasingly tired, wanting to take long mid-day naps, and making it difficult for me to concentrate on writing. I put it down partly to summer blahs, until a casual pulse-ox test started alerting because my pulse was too slow. How slow? Thirty beats per minute. After a few days of trying to figure out what the problem was, (well, I knew it was bradycardia, but that’s a label, not a cause), I called the doctor. (Okay, yes, I should have done that sooner.) She told me to get myself to an emergency room, stat.

Less than two hours after showing up in the ER, I was being wheeled into surgery to have a pacemaker installed. Turns out that, loosely speaking, the top half of my heart was not communicating with the bottom half, and thirty BPM was essentially the emergency fall-back setting my heart beats at when not being told otherwise. The pacemaker (mine, anyway; there are different kinds) detects the signal that’s trying to make my heart beat faster, and directs it to the rest of my heart muscle. So I’m now part cyborg. (It’s programmable, with the right setup, and it will, via a bedside relay, periodically report back to the mother ship to let them know I’m still alive, so I guess I’ve been assimilated. Resistance was futile.)

Anyway, I felt much better after that. Just in time to work on taxes before the extended deadline. (Not just mine, but also those of my two sons to see if they still qualified as dependents. Spoiler: they don’t.) So then I could get back to work on the novels, right?

Not so fast. There was an anthology deadline coming up, and though I knew what story I was planning to submit, I hadn’t actually written it. I wasn’t too worried. Eight thousand words should have been easy, I started out writing short stories. (Several of my Analog sales were under a thousand words each.) However, for the past several years, I’ve been writing novels, not shorts, and this would be potentially reaching folks who had never heard of T-Space or of Carson and Roberts (yes, they’re in the story). It was running long, too long. I threw out the first two thousand words and started over again. Then trimmed it and polished it. I’m rather pleased with the result. More about that when I can say more.

Meanwhile, it didn’t help that while in the hospital, they’d changed my meds, and a side effect of two of the new prescriptions was fatigue and somnolence. I was still struggling to stay awake. That’s since been sorted out, changing my meds yet again, and I’m getting back into my old writing routine. Over 2,500 words yesterday, split between two novels, and on track for the same today. It’s also looking like I can split out another short story from a scene I’m writing for Downhill Slide. I’d like to do more of this in future, creating short stories I can give away to my newsletter subscribers, separately from the novels. We’ll see.

Barring unforseen events, I should still have two new books out this year, as well as some bonus goodies that I’ll talk more about later.

Meanwhile, how did you spend your summer vacation?

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Nov 11 2019

In Remembrance, and Thank You

Published by under Uncategorized

It’s Veterans Day here in the US, Remembrance Day in Canada, the UK, and other commonwealth countries.Poppy on jacket lapel. Sometimes called Poppy Day, after the traditional symbol named from the poem “In Flander’s Fields” (where poppies grow…)

To all veterans of the US, Canada, the UK and allied countries … thank you.

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Aug 18 2019

Spam

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If you posted a legitimate comment here recently, you might want to re-post. I hadn’t checked the spam bucket in a couple of weeks, and found something like 1,127 items in it. I’m not going to wade through all that, so I just flushed them.

Sorry if your post got caught up with all that, although my spam filter is usually pretty good. (Once you’re authorized, your comments won’t have to wait in the moderation queue. But trust me, you really don’t want to see some of the crap that spambots try to post here.)

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Jan 01 2019

Happy 2019

Published by under Uncategorized

Happy New Year, folks. Not much to post because of the usual year-end chaos, but Kakuloa: A Rising Tide is now available in both e-book and paperback from Amazon. I’ll be at the CoSine SF convention in Colorado Springs January 19-21.

More later.

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Nov 11 2018

Remember

Published by under Uncategorized

Today is Veterans Day in the US, Remembrance Day in Canada and the UK, and is also marked in other countries under different names.

To all those who served: thank you.

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Nov 01 2018

Update: CAL book sale is this weekend

Published by under T-Space,Uncategorized

Colorado Xmas Show couponAs mentioned earlier, the Colorado Authors League (of which I am a member) will be part of the Colorado Country Christmas Show this weekend (Nov 2-4) at the Denver Mart (I-25 & 58th). My books (trade paperback) will be on sale at discounted prices, even bigger discounts if you buy multiples. Use the coupon at right (click on the image for full size) for discounted entry to the show (there will be a lots more going on than just books, but lots of books.)

All books are signed, but I will be happy to personalize them from 2pm to 4pm on Nov 2, 11am to 1pm on the 3rd, and 2pm to 5pm on the 4th. Look for the T-Space poster.

Cheers!

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Sep 09 2017

RIP Jerry Pournelle, 1933-2017

Jerry Pournelle passed away in his sleep yesterday. I heard about it this morning. I considered him a friend, and I will miss him.

I first read Jerry’s science fiction back when he was writing for Analog Science Fiction magazine, and later had the opportunity to work with him at Byte magazine. Byte flew me out to his Chaos Manor to get him up to speed on their new BIX system, a computer conferencing system based on my CoSy software. That didn’t take long, he was a very bright man, and we spent much of the afternoon into the evening in his study, discussing science fiction, space, fandom, and other common interests. As we were both headed to San Francisco the next day (he for a book signing, me to show BIX to the McGraw-Hill office there) he invited me to an after-party at his hotel. That’s where I met Larry Niven, Bob Silverberg, and Poul Anderson, among others.

I later worked with him, Niven, Anderson and a number of other writers, scientists and astronauts as part of the Citizens Advisory Council on National Space Policy. We (mostly he) helped get the DC-X project started — reusable, vertical-takeoff-and-landing rocket technology that SpaceX built on (indirectly) for their Falcon launcher.

Jerry and me in 1993 at White Sands for the first public (2nd actual) flight of DC-X (Jerry and me in 1993 at White Sands for the first public (2nd actual) flight of DC-X. Gods I was young.)

Jerry also inspired me, by example, to start selling my writing, both non-fiction and later fiction. In fact, through a series of events I won’t go into here (but involving the Council, L5 and an International Space Development Conference) he led to me meeting the woman I later married. When we had twin boys, we briefly (very briefly) considered naming them Jerry and Larry.

His passing isn’t a complete surprise; he was getting on in years and he had had health issues in recent years, but it is still sad to see him gone. His last public appearance was at the recent DragonCon, and now I really regret not making sufficient effort to attend it. My condolences go out to his family, who were all very gracious when I visited his home.

He inspired a lot of people, writers, scientists, and others. And while his opinions may have annoyed many, a large number of those still respected the man. He will be missed.

Ad astra, Jerry.

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Apr 04 2017

Miscellany

Published by under T-Space,Uncategorized,Writing

Happy April! Just a few short updates here, then back to working on the next book. 😉

HTTPS – I’ve enabled the website for https access (thus https://www.alastairmayer.org and so on). At the moment, your browser might complain about the certificate. Temporarily I’m using a self-signed cert, which in general you shouldn’t trust unless you know what’s going on. But you shouldn’t be posting any sensitive information here anyway. No doubt you’ve seen it before with other sites.

Books and Covers – some of my older covers look a bit outdated, I’m looking into doing a refresh to coincide with new volumes in each series coming out. And I kind of want to change the ship on the cover of Alpha Centauri: First Landing to look more as described in the book. And speaking of looking outdated, this whole website could stand a refresh. Coming Real Soon Now.

Publishing ScheduleAlpha Centauri: Sawyer’s World is about to go to edit, and barring major changes should be out sometime this May. I’m hoping for sooner rather than later, I’ll keep you posted. (For faster updates, and some special offers, join my mailing list. See below.) The Eridani Convergence, third in the Carson & Roberts series (aka the Starship Sophie series, still trying to find a good name to differentiate those books from other mini-series set in T-Space) is past the halfway point on the first draft. Target is as soon as possible after Sawyer’s. There will be at least one more in the Centauri series, Alpha Centauri: Kakuloa, covering the return to that planet and segueing into the era of the Jason Curtis stories.

Mailing List – Some of you, I know, have been wanting more timely updates on what’s happening with the next books in the series, and I’d like to offer my fans something extra for their loyalty. Perhaps advance notification of special deals and events, freebie short stories or novelettes, background material that isn’t in the public wiki, that sort of thing. No spam. Here’s a link to the signup page.

Cheers!

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Nov 11 2016

In Remembrance

Published by under Uncategorized

It’s Veterans Day here in the US, Remembrance Day in Canada, the UK, and other commonwealth countries. Lest we forgetSometimes called Poppy Day, after the traditional symbol named from the poem “In Flander’s Fields” (where poppies grow…)

To all veterans of the US, Canada, the UK and allied countries … thank you.

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Oct 31 2016

Hello world!

Published by under Uncategorized

Welcome to the new home of my T-Space (and other universes) blog.  I’ve tried importing from the old one, but there’s a big gap in there, plus none of the image files came across.  I’ll be working on fixing that as time permits.

Meanwhile, welcome (back) to T-Space!

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