Nerdlife Five: Just Here For the Catgirls

Nerdlife Five: Just Here For the Catgirls.

Sort of rushing this one but I have enough links for a post and I’m too caffeinated to sleep.

Quick fictional interlude: No idea where I’m going with this…

Zeps or (zeproru in Codteki) were difficult to describe in Terran biology terms. Seiko kept thinking of them as horse-dog-lizard-things. The nekoites had never figured out what planet the zeps came from or even if they were a natural creature at all or perhaps rather a genetically engineered animal creation of a distant alien race still completely unknown to the clans. The strange mammal-like reptiles had quickly become the low tech mount of choice on the rare niche occasions that such animals were called for. Zeps were intelligent, easily trainable and able to eat plants from a half dozen protein profiles. In addition they were tough, loyal to their handlers and had a nasty enough bite to fend off most local predators but their best trait (from the nekoite perspective) was that unlike Earth-horses, they responded well to being cryogenically frozen and could safely be put in storage aboard starships until needed planetside.

Of course getting them off the spaceship wasn’t always easy.

Come on Fluffy. Easy does it,” Seiko crooned as he tried to lead the confused creature down the offramp.

 

World Building: Gas giants and habitable moons

Lot of heavy geek math here but still a fun watch for us soft scifi plebs.

 

Yakov Merkin on why the Pulp Revolution will win.

https://yakovmerkin.com/2017/06/16/why-the-pulprevolution-will-win/

 

Important piece of history

Here… fishy, fishy.

 

myass

It’s big beautiful world full of wonder and surprise.

 

Treas… errr… Reason Magazine goes over Gary Gygax’s FBI records.

https://reason.com/blog/2017/06/15/dd-creator-gary-gygaxs-fbi-records-make

 

Skiltron Bagpipes of War

Starts a little slow but this one’s worth the wait.

 

irishcross

Bradford Walker discusses the principle of simplicity in gaming. He uses WoW as his main example but then applies the same principles to tabletop gaming.

https://bradfordcwalker.blogspot.ca/2017/06/revealed-preferences-in-gaming.html?spref=tw

I do see some of this while say playing Aurora 4x (which is about as complicated a game as there is.) Fighters in Aurora are very effective, and extremely cost efficient but I don’t use them because it’s too much micromanagement and I’d rather focus my efforts elsewhere. Player attention span is also a resource in 4x games.

catlogic2.jpg

Steampunk Author and airship mechanic Jon Del Arroz on character voices and dialogue.

http://delarroz.com/?p=1136

 

JimFear138 makes an compiling argument that Manowar is THE band of the Pulp Revolution.

http://jimfear138.blogspot.com/2017/04/manowar-is-pulp.html

In much the same fashion, Manowar came out with a specific mission. They were going to play HEAVY METAL, they were going to sing about whatever the fuck they wanted, they were going to play fast and loud, and anyone who had shit to say about it could get fucked.”

 

Electric Cars bad for the environment?

https://theoldcontinent.eu/electric-cars/

 

hiqualityreporting.jpg

Seems legit.

Nerdlife Five: Just Here For the Catgirls

Breyland Notes: Ultra-Christianity the Final Temptation

Ultra-Christianity the Final Temptation

Remove the Traitor, Bleed the Cuck, Free the Nations. Vengeance is the Lord’s we are but his instruments.

Motto of the Holy Order of St. Brevik.

deusvult.jpg

I’m clearly overthinking this but I’ve run into a rather hilarious writer’s problem. One of the core elements of the Breyland stories is going to be the constant struggle between the Celtic Pagan majority and the large Christian majority for the cultural and philosophical soul of the nation. The single greatest fear of the Breyland patriot is that of a religious civil war tearing apart the Homeworld just as their colonies and allies abandon them. While such a war is unlikely, it could happen and lingers over the political landscape like the sword of Damocles.

This means the religious landscape is going to be far more important then I had originally imagined. The vague handwaved notions of Energetic New Age-y Celtic Pagans and Stoic Steady Determined Christians I had five years ago simply aren’t going to cut the mustard. I need to actually sit down and work out what are the major sects? and how do they interact?

Somewhere around this time I learnt that the Saxons around the time of the migration viewed Christ as a warrior god who had conquered Death. Which I suppose is definitely one way to look at it. So I incorporated that idea into a vaguely defined “Church of the Warrior” a militant sect of Christianity popular among the military. Since this was about the time I was losing my own faith I sort of left it at that and didn’t think any further on the idea.

Several years and many, many red pills later I’m picking the idea back up and finding the Church of the Warrior to be actually rather tame and not anything I can get a reader to be alarmed about. What I need is a church so outrageous, so hardcore and unforgiving as to be a legitimate threat to the status quo; with centuries long history and absolutely no doubt to the righteousness of their cause. A group so hardcore that they border on heresy but without going into cartoony supervillan strawman territory like the Masadans in David Weber’s Honor Harrington series. The Church Militant and Unrepentant needs to be both a hyper-competent threat to the heroes and a moral temptation. The temptation of course is to join them, for is not their cause righteous? Do we not seek the salvation of the nations? Must the works of Satan not be opposed? Did we not save Western Civilization once before?

The looming tidal wave of Reconquista 2.0 is causing a great deal of havoc with my original timeline. Predicting the future is always tricky but the problem is that while I know something is going to happen I don’t know the scale of the event or how much it will alter the fictional plans. A maximum scale Reconquista 2.0 event would leave a huge mark on human history (continent sized ethnic cleansing wars will tend to do that.) The rapid growth and entrenchment of a church like the CMU and the Templar style orders that would be created during such a conflict would simply not go away afterwards. So it makes perfect sense to keep an element or two around a couple millennium later. If we’re still talking about the Romans, there’s a good chance the Breylanders might still be talking about us.

The Church Militant and Unrepentant is going to be a special challenge to flesh out as no matter what I do to make them extreme and “they go too far” I can’t help shake the feeling that most of my internet friends and potential reader base would immediately join such a church if it existed. For the lulz as much as for salvation.

Assassin-monks calling themselves the Order of St. Brevik?

Hey it could happen? And isn’t speculative fiction supposed to be about speculation?

trumpcrusader

Related: Musing about the effect of feral pigs as a ecological threat.

Breyland Notes: Legacy of the Oinkkrieg

Breyland Notes: Ultra-Christianity the Final Temptation

Breyland Notes: Legacy of the Oinkkrieg

Feral Pigs in Breylandspace

Colonising an alien planet is far more difficult than most people realise. The colonists need to either create an entire ecosystem from scratch or very carefully incorporate terran foodcrops and livestock into an existing completely alien biosphere. Unbalances aren’t just possible they’re practically expected. The key thing is not to allow ecological unbalances to become disasters that threaten the existance of the colony. In the modern era with established interstellar trade aid can be acquired from off world. This was not the case with the earlier distant colonies and the failure rate was very high; in fact it was amazing that any of these colonies survived at all.

Breyland owes its superpower status to one main factor. They got there several centuries earlier than their near neighbors and the first colonists somehow survived. However one early event left an notable mark on Breylandic culture and folklore; all the pigs died. As it was centuries before Breyland reestablished contact was the rest of humanity, these animals could not be replaced and for this reason pork did not become part of the traditional diet. Pigs however did become highly symbolic in folklore and national myth with magical winged pigs often appearing in Golden Age children’s cartoons. By the time pork could be cheaply and easily imported from other nearby worlds pigs had become practically holy animals; far too sacred and precious to actually eat. It took several centuries to overcome this attitude.

As a result of this cultural baggage it is very difficult for the Breyland born intellectuals who make up the core of the Colonial bureaucracy to take the problem of a feral pig population explosion seriously. After all the solution to any ‘highly problematic free range unprocessed bacon surplus’ is both obvious and delicious. Even in the case that the government acts the go to solution is to import apex predators like lions, tigers, or yargis. This usually ends rather poorly for the hapless colonists. So as a result at any one time there are five or six planets in Breylandspace that are experiencing a feral pig problem.

The Oinkkrieg:

The most famous feral pig explosion occured on the planet Brandenburg (now one of the Four Worlds) and cuminated in the legendary Oinkkrieg (or oinkzkrieg) a sixty year epic struggle for survival between Man and Pig. The Brandenburgers did eventually get the pig population under control and redomesticated but there was a very real risk of humanity getting pushed off the planet. As this event happened early in the colony’s history it left a mark of the Brandenburger sense of humor. For example exclaming “for victory!” or humming a patriotic song before taking the first bite of a pork sausage.

The Situation on Mzab:

Mzab is a interesting case. The feral pig population which was once a mild annoyance to farmers and ranchers, is in recent years rapidly approaching oinkkrieg levels. As Mzab is a Muslim majority world (roughly 85%) the normal measures commonly taken to cull a feral pig explosion could not be taken without causing significant unrest. Successive governors simply ignored the problem and hoped it would go away. This put several noteworthy tribes in a bind between breaking Islamic teaching in order to deal with the pigs and the risk of angering their more fundimental and warlike neighbors. As the crisis deepened it begin harder and harder for outsiders to feel any sort of sympathy for the beleaguered locals as the workers of the nearby mining colony of Hammerfall were living on 3/4ths and sometimes even 2/3rds rations; and yes they would very much like some pork sausages.

The call thus came for the finer citizens of Mzab to put aside their hashpipes and their ridiculous barbarian customs and turn the ongoing crisis into a profit opportunity. While some Mazbians were indeed willing to shallow their pride and get their hands dirty in exchange for cold hard cash the tribal warlords and fanatical clerics of the northern provinces were not. The latter in perticular were in no mood to risk their social status and political power (only recently gained.) As social and economic pressure begin to build the Islamists, the Tribal Chieftains and the secular nationalists gathered into a strange uneasy alliance against their colonial overlords.

The pig crisis was not the leading cause of Mustafa’s Rebellion but the growing sense of unease through the colony caused by it and the disconnect between the population and the government made the ground very fertile for any seed of rebellion to take hold. The crisis would also lend a certain absurd character to the war.

As for how the pigs got there? No one knows. The Mzabians claim that the pigs are in fact an lost colony of Jews that were turned into pigs by Allah to punish them for their sins. No colonial admistrator takes such hashish fueled claims seriously, of course. Mzab is a place that lends itself to absurdity as anyone who has spent any time there can readily attest.

Related reading:

“Harvesting 66% of the total population per year is required to keep the Texas feral pig populations stable“

https://infogalactic.com/info/Feral_pig

https://infogalactic.com/info/Emu_War

Thirty minute video on how to butcher a pig. Remember fam, either we eat the pigs or else the pigs will eat us.

End Note: Breyland refers to both the Capital or Homeworld and the larger political entity (The Viceroyalty of Breyland.) There are approximately eighty billion people in Breylandspace roughly one quarter of which are ethnic Breylanders.

The star and thus the system is named Hammerfel. The main planet (a Mars-like) is named Hammerfall. This state of affairs confuses the hell out of everybody, much to the amusement of the locals.

Breyland Notes: Legacy of the Oinkkrieg

Nerd Life Three: Life Is Suck

Nerd life for May 29th 2017

This will be mostly older links as I had an unusually rough month and this piece was delayed because of it. Of course I don’t really have a set deadline for these sort of things. Maybe I should set one?

Anyway since this happened during Space Opera Week I just want to start by pitching my favorite novel of all time. H. Beam Piper’s Space Viking.

It’s a classic, almost archetypal space opera; with a central revenge plot and focus on the questions of civilization versus barbarism, the nature of leadership and the duty of men. Very 1950’s and oddly in hindsight rather Alt-Right to boot. I literally cannot recommend this book more.

(AudioBook here)

https://librivox.org/space-viking-by-h-beam-piper/

 

Rick Stump having fun with a certain underused trope.

http://harbingergames.blogspot.ca/2017/05/i-love-earth-as-space-australia-trope_1.html

He’s got about three or four of these but think this is the funniest one.

 

Raging Golden Eagle on Marvel choosing DEATH before de-convergence.

 

PowerWolf- Army of The Night

Urge to Deus Vult rising! Powerwolf has this very interesting thing going on where they introduce just enough Catholic Horror themes into their Black Metal to provide a sense of contrast. A spot of light to accompany the darkness.

 

“Evil Queens are Princesses who were never rescued.”

https://www.erindorpress.com/2017/05/villains-made-not-born-j-m-robison/

A very interesting writer’s article on how villains have an origin

getstuffedpoachers.jpg

Remember GamerGate happened for a reason. This piece hit a little to close to home for me.

https://buildingboys.net/how-the-war-on-video-games-is-hurting-your-son/

 

Actual Science? This is apparently a big deal. Let’s see how Greenpeace finds a way to bitch about it.

http://wallstreetpit.com/113389-fusion-power-first-plasma-achieved/

 

How to pronounce German Military words

Not only is this video very useful for wargamers it turns out that IRL Trolls can shout random German words in order to trigger snowflakes and confuse the normies.

 

Jon Mollison discussing his latest novel (at the time, I think put out another one since then.) In the course of which Jon goes over the difference between natural diversity and forced diversity and how the former can develop over the course of writing a proper story.

http://seagullrising.blogspot.ca/2017/05/accidental-diversity.html

 

Russell Newquist touches on an interesting piece of Medieval myth.

http://russellnewquist.com/2017/05/the-peluda-dragon/

 

This here is wizard country but y’all need to be careful throwing that magic around.

http://therpgpundit.blogspot.com/2017/05/did-i-just-unintentionally-alter.html

shamanwooo.jpg

 

Nerd Life Three: Life Is Suck

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