August 27, 2015

Book Review: Recycled Pulp edited by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristen Kathryn Rusch

On sale in September 2015!

Remember the pulp novelettes of yore?

Named for the woodsy, low cost paper they were printed on, dime store pulp novels were an integral part of many readers’ childhoods. They were formulaic, sure, but we always knew the tales within would deliver.

The folks at Fiction River recently challenged authors to concoct some pulp tales of their own, and the results were far from rigid or predictable. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Helium Party Part 4

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Rogue clowns in space hungry for helium, what’s not to love? Here’s this week’s latest installment chronicling the further adventures of the Sons of Silliness. Be sure to start back on chapter 1, and read Helium Party and other works of original fiction by yours truly.

Helium Party

by

David Dickinson

Chapter 4

The vessel was tiny, a nod to the clown cars of yore. It came complete with an oversized windup key that served as the ignition for the anti-matter cascade, which seemed to always be Lanky’s job to get out and crank. The first Gemini astronauts probably had more space in their cramped capsule. The crew consisted of four, with Crunchy, Lanky, Tinker and I crammed into the good ship Laughing Stock. Of course, Crunchy was initially against my accompanying them, until I mentioned my skills handling a gas-giant skimmer as a kid growing up on Mimas. Plus, he’d softened a bit over time to the ‘get your poignant plight out to the people’ angle. I also knew that The Terran Solar News Miner was paying the Citizens handsomely for my service. I agreed not to disclose any tactical secrets, and we were off on an illicit hunt to smuggle in more helium. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday-Helium Party Part 3

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Here it ’tis; our weekly installment of rogue Space Clowns, doing what rogue Space Clowns do. Be sure to start back on chapter 1 if you’re new to the story, or read Helium Party and other original tales of science fiction in their entirety.

Helium Party

by

David Dickisnon

Chapter 3

I crept towards the fray. The battle scene before me was truly epic, if not slightly hilarious. Pies flew, both toxic and explosive. Bad puns and gags were exchanged. I knew that it was only a matter of time before the battle would devolve into cutlery throwing and hand-to-hand-buzzer combat. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Helium Party Part 2

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Those crazy space clowns at the Sons of Silliness are at it again, in a solar system spanning tale of mis-adventure. Welcome to chapter 2 of our Free Fiction Friday offering of Helium Party. Be sure to start back on chapter 1, or you can simply read the tale and others like it in their entirety.

Helium Party

by

David Dickinson

Chapter 2

“The story’s always first, you know how it is,” I replied, and let it hang at that. You know how it is with us fearless-girl-reporter types.

“Yeah, we know alright…”

I would sometimes try to appeal to their sense of “clownish pride,” asking them how they always seem to come through for their clients with even the most outlandish requests and parties, but to no avail. I knew that the central clubhouse storage depot had to hold the answer. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Helium Party Part 1

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This week, we thought we’d start in with some lighter helium-laced fare with our tale of space hi-jinks, Helium Party. Hey, it’s got  rogue gangs of space clowns, what’s not to love? Plus, we may very will be revisiting the universe of the Citizens of Silliness again, the story was that much fun to write. Remember, you can read Helium Party and other original tales of science fiction by yours truly in their entirety as well.

Helium Party

By

David Dickinson

Chapter 1

 

I knew, as Jupiter filled up our view and scuds of methane clouds whizzed by, that this was a bad idea.

“Just have those scoops ready to deploy when I tell ya’ to, Kid…” Crunchy called out from the pilot’s seat. How the three of us had fit into the tiny cabin of the Laughing Stock I have no idea. I’d done exposés on technology cults in the Oort Cloud and had taken audiences on a hard-nosed look at crime bosses of the Flying Venusian underworld, but never did I fear for my life quite like I did just now. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 7

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And here it is; the final installment of our second book of the Solar Winds series. Be sure to start back on Chapter 1, or better yet, start back with chapter 1 book 1: Scorpius Cell. Or, you can read em all and other original works of scifi in their entirety by yours truly.

Solar Winds: The Cloaked Promise

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 7

“Ah, your beauty can only add to the drab setting here. I told them you were an absolute celestial angel when they questioned me, you know. Why the media doesn’t play that up is beyond…”

“How did you find our base?” Andrea cut in. She resisted every urge to cup her newly injured shoulder in front of him. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 6

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And here it is: the penultimate chapter to part two of our solar system-spanning tale. Be sure to start back with story one chapter one, or read ‘em all and more original tales online.

Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 6

Once she was safely out of sight, a hooded man at the bar stood up to depart in the opposite direction.  He was heavily augmented, so much so that it was hard to tell where the machine ended and the man began.  Nano-robots coursed through his veins.  Already, data recorded by his ocular implants was being transferred and analyzed by his contractors.  They would be pleased. All that remained now, he decided, was to kill the provider, then hunt for the girl.  He prided himself on carrying out a clean act. It was, after all, why they kept coming back for his services. [Read more...]

Colonists Launch Pluto One Project as Historic Flyby Nears

Pluto or bust? Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

As Pluto grows ever-sharper in the view of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, so does humankind’s longing to explore the ‘other Red Planet.’

Now, a Florida-based organization calling itself Pluto One is looking to do just that. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 5

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Can’t wait ’til next Tuesday for New Horizons’ historic encounter with Pluto? You can explore the future solar system now, with Martian native Andrea Makati and the Zodiac Cartel gang in this week’s installment straight out of the Solar Winds universe. action is heating up, as Andrea heads to Titan and Cronos City. Be sure to start back with chapter 1, or better yet, the first chapter of the first story Scorpius Cell, or better yet read em both and other original tales of scifi in their entirety.

 

Solar Winds-the Cloaked Promise

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 5

The ship proved to be one hell of a mover. Andrea estimated they had covered several million kilometers in just the span of an hour.  She could see Saturn’s phase and orientation change in real time as she watched.  This ship has to have a new anti-matter drive, she thought. Nothing else could power something this compact. I wonder how they contain it? The Professor would love to tear into this rig… [Read more...]

Review: A Murder of Clones by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

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Things are definitely heating up in the Retrieval Artist Universe. One thing we arrived back home to after our year-long great American road trip this past year was a stack of books from the sci-fi Anniversary Day saga. We’d read and reviewed Blowback, the second book in the installment, so we eagerly jumped right back in to the eight book series and recently finished A Murder of Clones for review this week. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 4

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Things are heating up in the Saturn system this week, as Andrea discovers that the captured Radium Core is a terrible prize that will bring them more than they bargained for. Be sure to check out this week’s installment, or if your new to the series start back with Chapter 1 of the first story Scorpius Cell or Chapter 1 of The Cloaked Promise or hey, you can read em both in their entirety.

 

Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise

by

David Dickinson

Chapter 4

Sleep did not come easy to her that night.

Curled in her suspensor cocoon, Andrea writhed like a caterpillar unable to transform.  Dreams came in fits and starts, disjointed and tangled. Sleep inducers and dream programmers were prevalent among her college friends, but Andrea categorically rejected them.  Some saw random dreaming as dangerous, but lately, Andrea had come to see reality as the real hazard. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 3

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Here’s our latest and greatest installment straight from our Solar Winds universe.  Andrea and team may have successfully used the Radium core to lure in and capture a small Legion cruiser… but what will they do next? And will her team rally under her leadership? Things are definitely going down in the outer solar system out near Saturn’s orbit, in our solar system spanning adventure. Set in 2222 AD, Solar Winds follows a the adventures of Scorpius Cell and the Zodiac cartel as they navigate perilous worlds on the brink of open rebellion.Think of it as Star Wars meets 2001: A Space Odyssey. Be sure to start back at chapter 1, or read The Cloaked Promise and other tales of science fiction adventure in their entirety.

 

Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 3

Andrea watched out the view port as the newly shielded Radium core was dragged back into the loading bay. This little Kuiper belt asteroid had seen a lot of activity as of late. And things had only gotten stranger and more complicated since the hijack of the Daedalus.  The captured communications officer was still in the medical ward. Andrea had scanned her retinal implant and discovered her name was Lori Stutton from Earth.  [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 2

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Alright. My back is out as I write this, so we’ll get right to this week’s installment. Be sure to 1.) Start back on chapter 1 from last week, and 2.) Read The Cloaked Promise and other original tales of sci-fi in their entirety.

 

Solar Winds: The Cloaked Promise

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 2

 

Desperately, he searched for a compromise. “Leave us our ship, and we’ll transfer what weapons and supplies we have…”

As if on cue, the hatchway to the bridge buckled inward. Light blinded the crew as two figures moved through. One was fitted with a welder’s harness, and the larger one brandished a maser rifle. The boarding party quickly took up positions on either side of the bridge as a thin figure drifted straight at the Commander. She had the beauty of a Space Siren, but she was all business. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise

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And with the advent of another Friday, we’re pleased to announce the start of another story straight out of our Solar Winds universe. This tale is Part 2: be sure to read the first chapter of Part 1 entitled Scorpius Cell here. Can’t wait? You can read ‘em all in their entirety including The Cloaked Promise on our Amazon page.

 

Solar Winds- The Cloaked Promise

by

David Dickinson

 

“Have you glimpsed them? Have you sighted their flitting shadows at the edge of the watering hole?”

-Hanna Julian Sweeten,

The Violet Integer

The Radium Core spun lazily in the diminished sunlight of open space. Its shielding elements alternated from light to dark as the locator beacon on its side blinked with a forlorn glow. [Read more...]

Astronomy Video of the Week: A Look at the First Teaser Trailer for the Martian!

Matt Damon on the set of The Martian.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

It’s here!

Well, the first teaser is out, at least. We recently wrote over on Universe Today about how some of the very first promotional images from the upcoming film adaptation for Andy Weir’s novel The Martian had surfaced. Now, a first video promo has surfaced as well over this past weekend. Directed by Ridley Scott and set for release on November 25th, 2015, The Martian is one of THE most anticipated film releases of 2015… and that’s saying a lot, in a Star Wars/Avengers year. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: The Second Coming of Stephen King

This week, we though we’d give you a short tale between Solar Winds adventures… so short, in fact, that it fits into just one short 1,000-odd word post. You can read this story and other original sci-fi tales like ‘em via Kindle, if you prefer. Ever wonder who the next Stephen King might be? Be careful, and don’t take that idea too literally…

 

The Second Coming of Stephen King

By

David A. Dickinson

 

Once there was a writer who thought that he was the Second Coming of Stephen King.

“I’m going to write horror stories,” he announced to the unsuspecting world one day. “I’m going to write great horror stories, and people are going to pay me shitloads of money for them.” [Read more...]

Review: A Ray of Light in a Sea of Dark Matter

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What is it?

It’s an amazing revelation of modern cosmology to realize that we’re comprised of the rare exceptions of the universe. Baryonic matter, the stuff that you, your Iphone and radio telescopes are made up of, is the left over minority in the cosmos.

It turns out that it’s all dark, at least to our limited primate eyes.  A Ray of Light in a Sea of Dark Matter by Charles Keeton is a short work which narrows in on the subject, looking at the discovery and history of the hunt for dark matter and where the research and the field of cosmology might be headed. Part of the Pinpoints series out from Rutgers University Press, A Ray of Light looks to address a modern question of science in a simple and concise way. [Read more...]

Review: Explore the Cosmos Like Neil DeGrasse Tyson

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Ever want to explore the universe through an astronomer’s eyes?

The reboot of the Cosmos television series has cemented Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s place in the universe as the successor to the late great Carl Sagan. But before he was a science celebrity and a household name, Tyson was a research astrophysicist as well as a tireless science popularizer and the director of New York City’s Hayden Planetarium. [Read more...]