Nov 04 2016

Next up: The Eridani Convergence

Published by under T-Space,Writing

So, I’m 15,000 words into the sequel to The Chara Talisman and The Reticuli Deception. (No, those aren’t all NaNoWriMo-qualifying words, I got a head start.) The cover outline is done (see pic),
but the detail image awaits at least the first full draft of the text. Meanwhile, Alpha Centauri: First Landing is selling at a modest pace, and I’ve had some good comments on it.

There are a lot of separate character threads at the start of the next book, with Carson and Roberts temporarily going separate ways. Meanwhile an old friend, and an old enemy, are back in the picture. And everyone seems to be converging on a star tagged 82 Eridani…

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Oct 31 2016

Finally, Alpha Centauri: First Landing is out!

Published by under T-Space,Writing

A few posts down, when I announced The Reticuli Deception, I promised a prequel to T-Space called Alpha Centauri.   Well, the tale grew a bit in the telling (as they do), so it’s really a two-parter. The first can be read as a stand-alone, and I’m trying to do the same with the second, it’s not like the publisher artificially cleaved it twain at the midpoint.  It helps that there are two habitable planets in the Alpha Centauri system. 😉Cover image: Alpha Centauri: First Landing

Alpha Centauri: First Landing came out last week, debuting in time for MileHiCon 48, and so far it seems pretty-well received.  The sequel, Alpha Centauri: Sawyer’s World, will be out in 2017, but prior to that I’ve promised another Hannibal Carson/Jackie Roberts adventure, sequel to Chara and Reticuli, to be called The Eridani Convergence.   Good thing NaNoWriMo is coming up, I have novels to write!

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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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Sep 15 2013

Meteorite!

Published by under Astronomy

Exactly seven months ago today, on February 15, a large fireball exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia. The shockwave damaged buildings and injured as many as 1,200 people (mostly from falling/flying glass). Meteorite fragments showered the area, although the main mass may be at the bottom of a nearby lake. Thanks to KD Meteorites and the Colorado Coliseum Mineral and Fossil show, I now own one of those fragments.

picture of meteorite

It’s a small piece, 10.5 grams and about an inch across, with an almost complete fusion crust except for a small chip showing the interior. Under a magnifier, you can easily see the grains — including tiny grains of nickel-iron — that make up this chondrite.

Pretty cool.

What I think is really cool, though, is this: a year ago this little piece of rock was in space somewhere out around the orbit of Mars. The track of the meteor (aside: the atmospheric phenomenon of a meteoroid or asteroid burning up in the atmosphere is meteor, when it’s still in space it’s either a meteoroid (small) or asteroid (over 10 meters — at 18m Chelyabinsk was an asteroid), and any pieces that survive entry and hit the ground are called meteorites) was well recorded on many security cameras and dashboard cameras in the nearby town, as well as by an earth observation satellite. Projected backwards, it is highly likely that the Chelyabinsk asteroid was one of the Apollo group of Earth-crossing asteroids*. Meteorite orbit, from Wikimedia It was about 40 days past perihelion when it slammed into Russia. A year ago — five months before impact — it was roughly in the vicinity of Mars’s orbit. (I haven’t worked out where Mars itself was at the time, it could have been on the other side of the sun.)

This is not my first meteorite. Some years ago I was given a nice 87 gm (about 1/5 pound) fragment of the Canyon Diablo meteorite, which formed the famous Meteor Crater in Arizona, impacting some 40,000 years ago. It’s awesome to have a piece of what blew a mile-wide hole in the Arizona desert. It is awesome to own a piece of the meteorite which we saw a few months ago on TV, one of the largest in a century. It’s even more awesome to hold a rock in your hand and know that a year ago it was deeper in space than any one, and few robots, have been before.

I think I’ve found a new hobby.

*(The largest member of this group, 1866 Sisyphus, is estimated at 8.5 km diameter, 472 times the diameter of Chelyabinsk … or over 100 million times the mass. If — or when — it hits us, the impact would be equivalent to that of the Chicxulub dinosaur-killer. Nervous yet?)

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Jun 15 2013

Worldcon is coming…

Published by under Writing

LoneStarCon logo

It’s just over 10 weeks now until Worlcon 71, the 71st annual World Science Fiction Convention. Also known as LoneStarCon 3, it’s coming up Aug 29 through Sept 2 in San Antonio, Texas. If you’re not already a member, sign up before the end of July to be able to vote for the Hugo awards. Eligible voters can download e-copies of most of the available works (obviously not the dramatic presentations) from the LoneStarCon web site. I just downloaded mine and am reading through what I’d missed; there’s definitely some award-worthy work in there.

I’m looking forward to the con, to seeing friends I haven’t seen since last con and meeting new ones. I don’t know if I’m on any panels yet, I got my volunteer info in kind of late, but I’ll be around. I think the last (only?) time I was in San Antonio was for an International Space Development Conference (many years ago!) and had a great time.

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May 10 2013

The Reticuli Deception now in print!

Published by under T-Space,Writing

Cover: The Reticuli Deception

My latest, The Reticuli Deception is now available in trade paperback from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others. The ISBN-13: is 978-0615-71102-7 if you want to support your local bookstore by ordering it through them. It can also be had in various e-book formats from the usual suspects.

This is a sequel to The Chara Talisman, and the latter has been reprinted with a few corrections and an added star map. Next up, and in progress, is a prequel to the T-Space series called Alpha Centauri, which covers the first landings.

I’d love for people to leave reviews of this — or any of my works — on Amazon, B&N, or any of the various review sites. I’m not asking for five-star reviews, just honest appraisals that will help new readers decide if my work might be for them or not (no author can please everyone). And feel free to drop feedback here too, of course. The more feedback I get, the more I write ;-)

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Apr 19 2013

Cybersquatted

Published by under Uncategorized

It seems Register.Com took too long to sort out the issue with my domain name, and let some cybersquatter jump on it. Said squatter wants over $1000 for it. Ain’t going to happen. Since what they did is contrary to the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (nobody on the planet, but me, has any use for the ‘alastairmayer.com’ domain), I can get it back. I’m even willing to pay a lawyer if I have to (“millions for defense, not a penny for tribute”). But all that takes time and hassle, so it won’t be in the immediate future. Grrr.

Meanwhile, I’m changing all the on-line references I can find to this one, alastairmayer.org.

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Mar 26 2013

Domain issues

Published by under Uncategorized

If you’re reading this, then you’ve followed a working link or otherwise found out that the site is now at www.alastairmayer.org, not at www.alastairmayer.com.

Through a combination of unfortunate events, some my own stupid fault, some my original domain registrar’s, my domain “alastairmayer.com” expired and I didn’t find out about that until renewal became problematic. (It’s complicated; somehow I managed to end up paying twice for renewal and still not getting it renewed. We’re still working on sorting that out.)

Anyway, I bought “alastairmayer.org” (and a couple of others) from a different registrar, and moved what I could of the site here. I’ll sync back up when I get the domain issue resolved. Meanwhile I need to recover some of the recent posts…I don’t have immediate access to the latest backup (that also is being worked out).

“Sorry about this little snag, fellows.”

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Oct 19 2012

MileHiCon44

Published by under Uncategorized

The 44th annual MileHiCon, Denver and the Front Range’s regional sf/f convention, starts today at the usual location: the Hyatt-Regency Tech Center in south east Denver.

I’ll be on a couple of panels and readings:
– “Long-Lasting Short Story” at 4:00pm today (Friday)
– “Higgs-Boson & Faster Than Light Neutrinos” at 3:00pm Saturday
– Reading at 5:00pm Saturday.

The usual locals — Connie Willis, Carrie Vaughn, Mario Acevedo, Jeanne Stein, Paolo Bacigalupi, among others (sorry guys, I’d love to mention you all but MileHiCon has its own web site for that) — will be there, along with guests Steve Brust and Cherie Priest. Come on by!

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Aug 25 2012

New story in November Analog

Published by under Writing

The November issue of Analog has arrived (yes, I know it’s only August, that’s the magazine business for you), featuring stories by several friends of mine, including relative newcomers Gray Rinehart and Patty Jansen.
Cover, November Analog
More exciting for me personally is the appearance of “Strobe Effect”, a collaboration between me and my good friend Brad Torgersen. (May it be the first of many.) Brad was nominated for a Nebula earlier this year, and is up for a Hugo and the Campbell awards at Worldcon.

This story is based on a draft I did a long time ago, using as its gimmick something I used to joke about: if we ever discover anything that goes faster than light, it will be at some computer chip lab trying to make the things go faster. (Seriously. Light travels less than three inches in one cycle of a 4 GHz processor.) It’s nice to see it finally in print, and much improved over the original. (Part of that is unquestionably Brad’s influence, but I’ve learned a bit myself since then.)

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