Saturday, October 31, 2015

Whoa! Tachyons!

As in ... I did not see this coming.

A bit over a month ago, I was delighted to discover (see A(n inter)stellar start to the day) that my latest novel, InterstellarNet: Enigma, was a finalist for the inaugural Canopus Award for interstellar-themed fiction. The award aims to recognize "works that contribute to the excitement, knowledge, and understanding of interstellar space exploration and travel."

The awards were, well, awarded Friday evening October 30. I wasn't able to attend, but I prepared a few remarks just in case. And -- mirabile dictu -- I woke up this morning to read that InterstellarNet: Enigma had won!

Here's what I sent to the emcee to read if lightning struck:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Today (only?): more science; less nonsense

I'm seldom an advocate for more regulation, but there are exceptions. The proliferation of drones, and the lack of enforcement for the few drone-centric regulations that do exist, brings me to exception territory. Drones free to interfere with civil aviation -- intentionally or not -- is a Certified Bad Idea. And so, I was pleased to see that "Federal regulators to require registration of recreational drones."

No rules. How scary is that?
Consider merely these few excerpts:
Pilots of passenger planes and other aircraft are reporting more than 100 sightings of or close calls with rogue drones a month, according to the FAA.
Nobody knows exactly how many of the robotic aircraft are already flying around, but most estimates top 1 million.
U.S. hobbyists are projected to buy about 700,000 drones this year, a 63 percent increase from 2014.
Here's hoping the FAA succeeds in getting registration in place before holiday gifting. The first step toward enforcing rules is knowing to whom the rules apply -- and those folks knowing it, too.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Strange but true

I spent way too long last week configuring a new PC (aka learning -- doing battle with -- Windows 10). That makes today a good day to recover a bit of time by posting from my stockpile of accumulated SF and Nonsense-relevant esoterica.

Too often, how we all feel
Is the problem that I haven't been getting enough sleep? In simpler times, before much in the way of artificial lighting, did people evolve to need a lot of sleep? Say, to need the oft-recommended eight hours per night? Well, maybe no one ever got that much sleep. See (from Reuters, via Yahoo News), "What a nightmare: sleep no more plentiful in primitive cultures."

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Night of the Talking Heads

This TV appearance just out from Fast Forward: Contemporary Science Fiction ...

I'm interviewed about (mostly) my latest novel, InterstellarNet: Enigma. Tom Shaad, host of the show, also got me talking about some of the finer points of the InterstellarNet series, my writing process, and collaborating (on the unrelated Fleet of Worlds series) with NYT bestselling author Larry Niven. And it's all certified SFW.

To read about the novel
To read about the novel ...
Among the joys of the writer's life is the -- how shall I put it? -- casual dress code. It takes a lot these days to get me into a coat and tie. Going on TV to talk about writing will do it :-)

Monday, October 12, 2015


At risk of seeming starry-eyed ...

Life imitates art ... sorta
In my 2012 technothriller, Energized, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) appeals to NASA to stop work on solar-power satellites. Her concern: microwaved power from the satellites would interfere with radio telescopes. In a more mundane instance of life imitating art, NRAO recently appealed to the FCC to bar radio-controlled robotic lawnmowers. Again, the concern was over possible interference. And again imitating art, NRAO did not convince the FCC. See "iRobot's robotic lawn mower gets U.S. regulatory approval."

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Getting physical

News about physics being a popular topic on SF and Nonsense, herewith a few interesting (but not especially publicized) tidbits ...

White light thru yonder prism breaks
Old-fashioned light bulbs emit a broad spectrum of colors. LEDs? They're red or green or (and this was difficult) blue. If you wanted white light -- white, of course, being a blend of colors -- you needed to mix the emissions from separate red, green, and blue LEDs. But maybe not for long. See (from IEEE Spectrum), "The First White Laser."

The heart of the new device is a sheet only nanometers thick made of a semiconducting alloy of zinc, cadmium, sulfur, and selenium. The sheet is divided into different segments. When excited with a pulse of light, the segments rich in cadmium and selenium gave off red light; those rich in cadmium and sulfur emitted green light; and those rich in zinc and sulfur glowed blue.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Coming (to an end) soon ...

Over the summer, as part of his launch support for InterstellarNet: Enigma, my esteemed publisher offered promotional ebook pricing for earlier novels in the series. But summer is over. Pretty soon, that promotional pricing will be, too.

Lots of people scooped up InterstellarNet: Origins and InterstellarNet: New Order ebooks at $2.99 ... but October 15, the ebook prices return to their original $7.99.

“Edward M. Lerner’s InterstellarNet is one of the most original and well-thought-out visions of an interstellar civilization I’ve ever seen.”
  Stanley Schmidt, Author of Argonaut

There's more on my website about the InterstellarNet series. Or get to the Edward M. Lerner Bookstore, on Amazon, while the gettin's good ;-)