Monday, May 30, 2011

Crocodile cheers

I've progressed from bemused to troubled to angry at the spate of breathless headlines heralding some "final" activity of a space shuttle. A typical example: "Shuttle Endeavour gone forever from space station." The launch, docking, undocking, and landing of each shuttle in the fleet is getting this kind of  treatment. Oh, and the dispersal of the shuttles to museums draws press attention, too.

Why am I so cranky? Because endings are pretty much the only aspect of the U.S. manned space program to get much media interest. What doesn't draw much media attention?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I've had an interesting few months.  My out-of-print first two novels, Probe and Moonstruck, returned to print. My latest novel, Energized, began running as a serial in Analog (look for Energized in book format next year). And the fun continues ...

Today sees Betrayer of Worlds re-released in mass-market paperback format.  (It's been available in hardback, ebook, and audio formats). Here's what I had to say when BOW was first released.

Of Betrayer's post-publication reviews, here's my favorite:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Buzz (and buzz kill)

Need a jump start some mornings? I know I do.

As Prof. Farnsworth oft said on Futurama: "Good news, everyone." There's no longer any reason to wait till after showering for a caffeine fix. Not when you can (or so the manufacturer claims) get caffeine from your soap. (Really. I'm not making this up, whether or not the Shower Shock people are.)

And you'll want to be awake before you leave home, because there's a new threat to our networked world: GPS jamming. The notion of inexpensive jammers messing with my GPS ... that's very upsetting. As is the possibility (see the same article) that 4G LTE mobile broadband services will interfere with GPS on a wide scale.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Caught in our own web

As a writer, I consider hacking and awkwardly timed system crashes grossly overdone as plot devices. As a netizen, I find both all too common. (For a recent discussion, see "It's a mad, mad, interconnected, discombobulated world.")

And wherever one looks, there is another (or a continuing) problem:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Alien probe (no, not that kind)

Twenty years ... yowza. That's how long it's been since Probe, my debut novel, first saw print.

Sadly, Probe has also been long out of print.

So: I am pleased to say that Probe is once more available (with new foreword and afterword), this time in a classy trade paperback edition and -- something scarcely imaginable in 1991 -- as an ebook. The nearby cover is from the new edition.

What is the probe of the title? The hero's own Prospector spacecraft, prowling the Asteroid Belt for mineral wealth? The alien derelict that Prospector had the (mis)fortune to come upon? Something the military does not want found? Or is it something really out of the ordinary?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Still crazy after all these (13.5 billion or so) years

The universe is a strange and wondrous place.  (Is it the only place? Not according to multiverse theory. Consider that topic grist for some future post.)

Just in this universe, moving progressively farther from home, we see: