Saturday, March 16, 2019

Which do you want first?

By tradition, given their choice, people ask for the good news first. So here 'tis, smallest to largest:
  • "A Time for Heroes," a favorite short story from several years back, has been picked up by StarShipSofa for podcasting. Availability is TBA -- though I imagine you have an idea where the eventual release will be announced. Yay!
  • I've finished my first draft of "The Satellites of Damocles," a longish novelette. From here, the story goes to a beta reader, and tweaking, then onto the shelf till my head clears for final polishing and submission. So, while not yet ready for prime time: a completed draft, as any author will tell you, is A Certified Good Thing (TM).
  • Finally, a major project I don't feel at liberty to identify further (much less to discuss -- these things don't always pan out) is gaining traction.
And (you've been expecting it) the bad news? These few sentences are all you're getting from me for a bit. For several days, anyway.

There's beaucoup catch-up to be done ....

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

So much physics news. So little time.

If you're new to SF and Nonsense, know that before I became a full-time author my background was in physics and engineering. Physics and physics-enabled tech remain compelling interests, and I continue to follow news of the field(s) -- where news can mean "reported in the past few weeks or months," versus "breaking story this past 24-hour media cycle." News such as: 

Recent years have bombarded us with gloomy predictions of the imminent demise of Moore's Law.(*) True, the shrinkage of transistors has slowed down, because chip makers' focus lately has tended more toward any means of reducing chips' power consumption -- i.e., coping with the aggregated waste heat from literally billions of transistors shoehorned onto a chip -- but transistor densities do continue to rise.

(*) That "law," if it's unfamiliar, basically forecasts a steady rate of shrinkage of transistor dimensions -- thereby increasing the number of transistors on a single chip -- with attendant increases in transistor speed and improved power thriftiness. When Gordon Moore first made his prediction, chips held, at most, a few dozen transistors each with multi-micrometer features. Many chips today hold billions of transistors, with features measuring but 14 nanometers.

Increasingly, a third dimension plays an interesting role in chip design. Several manufacturers have taken to stacking transistor layers to increase overall density. Now, in a new twist, and for reasons unrelated to transistor density, others may go toward all but eliminating circuit depth. As in, getting to a news item: "2D diamonds set to drive radical changes in electronics."