Excuse of the Day

I’m currently nursing a rather embarrassing “lower body injury” which unfortunately has me in just enough pain to break my concentration. So once again there will be no writing on this here “writers blog.” Honestly I’m started to get rather frustrated and discouraged.

And then to add insult to injury some Random Torling declared this Space Opera Week. Space Opera Week was then IMMEDIATELY co-opted by friends of this blog (ie people who actually LIKE space opera.)

So for a least a few days I’m going to have to sit here and not write space opera during Space Opera Week. Hurrah!

The proposed battle anthem of the Viceroyal Breylandic Navy

 

Which bring me to another point I’ve identified a rather glaring flaw in the Breylandverse; the stories don’t seem to be very fun (too much serious business, like saving Breylandic civilization) and there really isn’t that much room for fun pulp Traveller-type adventures as the smallest civilian starship is a roughly eight hundred thousand ton tramp freighter with a crew of about three hundred.

So while I have no intention of abandoning my ridiculous collection of world building notes (I might start sharing a few here and there) I’ve also started playing around with something that for lack of a better term I’m calling the Nekoverse designed around TIE Fighter/Wing Commander dogfighting; MechWarrior style ground combat and genetically engineered catgirls fighting to liberate an enslaved humanity from evil pink space bunnies.

howthenekoversebegins.jpg

It’s an idea so stupid it might actually work. Or at least it will be fun break from time to time.

So anyway I’ll get back to you guys once I can think straight and have stopped feeling sorry for myself.

Until the end. For Breyland and for Glory. Wolfman out.

Excuse of the Day

NerdLife

NerdLife for March 31st 2017

Not too sure what direction I’ll be taking this blog in the future. I’ll probably be doing a bit of A/B testing over the next month or so. This is supposed to be a writer’s blog but I never seem to get any writing done…

Iwontgetpolitcial

I know right.

Rolling a 98 (Found randomly on Youtube)

Hey sometimes RN Jesus thanks you for all the prayers. Moments like these are why gamers game.

The STAR WARS is serious business section:

Of course Han shoots first. To think otherwise is heresy!

http://kestifer.blogspot.ca/2017/03/why-han-shooting-first-matters.html

BelikeHan.png

Good life advice in general.

A brilliant retelling of Star Wars that highlights just how toxic and counterproductive strong female characters can be when trying to tell any sort of heroic story.

https://monalisafoster.com/2017/03/29/double-standards-a-strong-female-character-retelling-of-star-wars/

Bradford Walker breaks down the important of Grand Admiral Thrawn as a Star Wars antagonist. While I still have mixed feelings about Rebels there is absolutely no doubt that they nailed Thrawn character and that his mere presence greatly improved the show.

https://bradfordcwalker.blogspot.ca/2017/03/my-life-in-fandom-in-praise-of-thrawn.html

Rawle Nyanzi breaks down the new power rangers movie and highlights the paint by numbers progressive nature of the heroes.

http://rawlenyanzi.com/manufactured-rangers/

Declan Finn goes down the list of upcoming Hollywood remakes. It’s not a pretty picture.

http://www.declanfinn.com/2017/03/hollywood-screw-ups.html

Uadate: Related an article on the CHIPS remake which IMO doesn’t look like a bad movie in and by itself but is probably going to be a horrible remake.

http://fragsandbeer.com/hollywood-even-watch-chips/

Wasn’t sure where to put this… but you know how much I love conspiracy theories. Besides Machiavelli is pretty required reading in these troublesome days.

https://qcurtius.com/2017/03/29/machiavellis-principles-of-conspiracies/

“I’ve never clicked on anything so fast in my life.”

Sad news everybody.

https://www.evolutionnews.org/2017/03/remember-those-exciting-earth-like-planets-of-the-trappist-1-system-the-honeymoon-is-over/

Now if anyone needs me I’ll be in the bathroom cutting myself and listening to My Chemical Romance.

—Wolfman out.

Still rocking in the fading memory of the Free World.

NerdLife

A War Story

Progress on my military sci-fi novel is going so slowly that I’m quite embarrassed about it. I just can’t shake the feeling that I’m letting my friends down. However any progress however small is still better than no progress at all. The curse right now that of “over worldbuilding” since this is my fifth or sixth attempt of writing a novel in this universe (Martyr’s Shadow from the previous post was I believe the second.) there is a truly autistic amount of backstory and background information that I CANNOT infodump on the reader. Picking and choosing what details to put in and leave out is going to be as much of a struggle as chipping away at what on the surface is a very modest goal.

One side effect of this is that I’ve been reading a lot of WWII and Vietnam War memoirs just trying to get the feel of how men act and think under fire. Brothers in the Dust is first and foremost a test to see how well I can write common soldiers in the line of duty. The big space opera stuff can come later.

The following is transcribed from the Vietnam war memoir Chickenhawk (1983) by helicopter pilot Robert Mason (highly recommended)

http://www.robertcmason.com/

picture-chickenhawk-mason.jpg

Both men had been hit in the head on the last lift. One had been shot from the front and the other from the side. Both were clutching their helmets, pointing at the holes. One guy had had a bullet hit the visor knob on the forehead portion of his flight helmet. The bullter had crushed his helmet and glanced off. His scalp was bleeding.

The other lucky soul walked around holding his helmet with a finger into the holes on each side of it. Dried blood matted his hair on each side of his head. It was a magician’s illusion. The bullet had to have gone through his head, from what we could see. We wanted to know the trick.

I figured it out on the way back.” he said. “I mean after I stopped feeling for the holes on each side of my head and asking Ernie if I was still alive!” He was still pale, but he laughed. “The bullet hit while we were on short final to X-ray. Luckily Ernie was flying. It felt like somebody had hit me on the head with a bat. It blurred my vision. First I thought that a bullet had hit me on the helmet and somehow bounced off. Ernie first noticed the blood. He turned to tell me about a round going through the canopy in front when he saw it.” I could imagine the guy seeing the jagged hole in the side of his friend’s flying helmet, blood dripping down his neck. “I reached up to feel my helmet and felt the hole on the right side, but Ernie said the blood was coming from the other side. I put my left hand up and felt that hole! I pulled both hands down quickly, and they were both bloody! I felt the helmet again. Two holes all right. One on each side of my head. I couldn’t believe I was still alive1” He passed the helmet around while he continued his story.” See, it hit here.” He pointed in front of his right ear. “The bullet hit this ridge of bone and deflected up between my scalp and inside of the helmet. Then —he shook his head in disbelief— “then it circled around inside the top of the helmet and hit this ridge of bone on my left side.” He pointed. “it was deflected out here, through the helmet and on through the canopy in front of Ernie!” He beamed. I saw the path the bullet made as it tore its way through the padding on the inside of the helmet and the wounds on each side of his head. I shook my head. God again?

Hell of a story isn’t it?

That is the standard I need to be reaching for in my writing. That level of drama and amazement. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intimidated as hell but the world really doesn’t need another werewolf Pegasus knight romance. Besides it’s better to have standards that are too high than no standards at all. Even if I can’t hit such a distant target… at least I’ll be firing in the right direction.

A War Story

Martyr’s Shadow

An old piece of writing I found digging around. Good for a laugh if nothing else. Peter Talek is definitely the classic Gamma protagonist.

Martyr’s Shadow

The marine sentry held his hand up to his ear bug for a second before grunting “Ensign Talek, the Lady Admiral will see you now.”

Reserve Ensign Sir Peter Marcin Talek came sloppily to attention and snapped a salute that was half-assed and half mockery, “very well Sergeant perhaps it’s time to see what all this fuss is about.”

The sergeant rolled his eyes but held off a rebuke on account of Peter’s last name, “Yeah whatever kid, just don’t get the Old Lady too riled up will you?”

Peter gave an impish grin as he opened the heavy pseudo-oak door,” Oh come on it’s not like anything that happened was my fault, was it?”

On the other side of the door Peter was shocked to find two additional guards, this time in full body armor and wearing the black and purple uniform of the Special Forces. A third man wearing a Captain’s shoulder patch came up to greet him.

“So Sir Peter what do you think of Mount Atlas, so far?”

Peter stared incredulously,” The door was a fucking checkpoint?”

“Well, I wouldn’t go that far but as you can see we do take the Admiral’s security very seriously,” the Captain said.

Peter eyes narrowed as a tiny fragment of strength leaked through his youthful irreverence. He never did like being threatened or intimidated even absentmindedly. “Still I do object to being drugged and whisked away to a secret location, simply on the principle of the thing.”

The Captain motioned down the hallway and the two of them started walking. ”Well that is the principle of the thing. What is the point of having a hidden facility if everyone knows where it is?”

Peter conceded the point still it was an odd feeling to be walking around a secret military base in civilian clothes, “If my aunt wanted to chew me out why couldn’t she just screen me normally, rather than go though all this trouble?”

The still unnamed Captain practically growled his reply,” maybe she’s serious

this time.”

Peter started to reply but was cut short as the Captain grabbed the front of his shirt, “Listen punk… I’ve seen your fucking aptitude tests. By all rights you should be wearing this uniform not sitting around all day playing video games and smoking pot with a bunch of anarchist shitheads.” The Captain stuttered for a moment perhaps feeling he had gone too far; “what would you father think?”

Peter’s answer boiled up from deep within him. Cold and callous but somehow appropriate,” My father would not approve of his old unit becoming a Praetorian Guard.”

After that they walked to the end of the hallway in awkward silence.

Peter entered into the Admiral’s office and was briefly stunned at the richness of the furnishings and décor. Most members of Concordia’s ruling class were notoriously Spartan (at least in public) and he’d never gotten the impression that Aunt Karla was any different. The gold trimmed carvings and elaborate paintings that covered most of the walls seemed to be styled after Old Earth’s Roman and Greek eras. Peter had never studied any mythology older than John Wayne and Clark Kent or at least not in any depth and thus wasn’t terribly sure precisely what aspects of this art he was supposed to be appreciating.

Lady Admiral Karla Barbara Estara rose wearily from a large wooden desk cluttered with papers. She was a stern-faced woman of middle age with touches of grey finally working their way into her reddish mane. The off white cream color and forest green of the Concordian Navy’s uniform gave an odd contrast to her features yet only added to her aura of command and confidence.

“Out of uniform are we? I suppose that’s to be expected,” she said greeting her great nephew with a sinister half smile.

“You goons neglected to dress me,” Peter fired back pausing just a split second to make sure his aunt’s bodyguards had withdrawn. Talking back… well defending yourself in front of your clan Matriarch was one thing disrespecting a senior officer in front of her retainers was quite another. “I’m not in active service right now anyway.”

Aunt Karla glanced down at one of the notes on her desk,” You still have four years peace time service if I remember correctly.” Peter stuttered what might have been a reply. “Besides,” she continued gracefully shifting to another point, “you were born a Corsair so your skin is all the damn uniform you fucking well need.”

“Any salute you get from me will be with one finger. I’ll let you guess which one,” Peter answered perhaps a bit too sharply for this sort of social occasion but pomp and circumstances had always been a complete waste of time for him.

If the Matriarch was offended she gave no sign, “After the fleet reorganization in three months I will be assuming command of Second Fleet. I am willing to offer you a place on my staff as my flag lieutenant. If you accept I should be able to get you a promotion to Sub-Lieutenant in about six months.”

Peter wasn’t too surprised his few surviving relatives had been pushing to get him back into the military every chance they got. “You don’t really think I’m that suited to staff work you?”

Aunt Karla laughed. “Dear Nephew your sole redeeming virtue is the fact that I am absolutely fucking sure you are not an enemy spy. I feel it would a shame for that virtue to go unused. Surely you wish to serve your country?”

“If I believed my Nation was in real danger I would rally to the flag like any patriot,” Peter replied. “In the meantime I see no point in serving in order to build a career for career’s sake.”

The Admiral snorted perhaps she hadn’t actually expected his rebuttal,” Whatever, your career plans are a subject for another time.”

Martyr’s Shadow