Space Opera With a Twist

Month: September 2017

The Sun of Autumn

After blessing us with the coldest, wettest summer in living memory, Mother Nature finally realized she had some catching up to do and is giving us an overly warm, and dry start to the fall season. We’re finally enjoying actual July-style weather, which is passing strange when the leaves are already turning. I can but hope that this late warmth also heralds a later start to winter. The water main replacement on our street is finally done, and we’ve been reconnected to the underground drinking water supply, but there is still a lot of rehabilitation work to come – new curbs, repaving the street, and fixing our front yards and driveways to return them to their original state, etc. I hope the city’s contractors will complete the task before the first snows. I’ll be glad when it’s over. The constant dust, which reminds me so much of life in an Army training area (the Lawfield Road corridor in Gagetown, for example!), won’t be missed, least of all by my sinuses. That’s the one disadvantage of working from home. I get to experience everything in real time.

Author Unplugged

Last week, Mrs Thomson and I took a few days off from our respective travails and indulged in an impromptu visit to one of our favorite places so we could leave the surface behind and blow bubbles over pristine coral reefs.  It was our first time there during the off-season (we usually go in the spring), and we experienced the eerie quiet of a place less than one quarter full.  But the lack of visitors meant the staff could pamper us all the more, and we were glad once more to see faces that have become very familiar over the years.  The water was almost bathtub warm and I dove without a wetsuit all week.  And, of course, we over-ate, over-slept and generally indulged in the gentle art of farniente.

In a departure from my usual underwater pastime, I shot video exclusively and took not a single picture.  It was just as well that I did, since we encountered so many nurse sharks that I lost count.  This fine specimen bade us a fond farewell on our last dive, almost precisely beneath the boat.

Nurse Shark

The image is an extract from the video I shot of the encounter.  You can watch said video on You Tube at the following link Nurse Shark.  And yes, in case you’re wondering after seeing the video, it passed within a few inches of me, close enough to touch.

I even managed to write a whole chapter of Without Mercy (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 5) on the airplane while flying to our destination, but couldn’t muster the energy to do more.  I’ll be getting back to it shortly.

And now to enjoy the weirdly late summer’s warmth we’re experiencing in my portion of the Great White North.

A Passing

I just found out that one of science-fiction’s greatest authors, Dr Jerry Pournelle passed away today at the age of 84.    He was without a doubt a giant in his field, an intellect that outstripped almost every other writer of his time, and a storyteller without peer.  Dr Pournelle was also the one who introduced me (and no doubt every other mil scifi author writing today) to the military science fiction genre with his John Christian Falkenberg stories.  The very first mil scifi story I read as a teen was his novel West of Honor.  From that day on, I was hooked.  Pournelle’s CoDominium universe became a major influence on my scifi reading tastes, and decades later, on my own writing.  Without Dr Pournelle’s influence, Zack Decker and Siobhan Dunmoore wouldn’t exist, and neither would Eric Thomson.

Rest in peace, sir.