April 5, 2020

KIC Dreams: Thoughts on Tabby’s Star

Time to contemplate the cosmos…

All right. I know that, by now, much good ink (real and cyber) has been spilled over KIC 8462852. I also know that I’m probably not the very last science writer to turn our attention towards this strange star, drudged up in the Kepler Space Telescope data. And things have only gotten stranger, as search back through glass-plate archives has revealed that KIC 8462852 has gotten continuously fainter over the past century. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: A Standard of Deviation Part 9

On sale now…

And here it is: the conclusion to our original story A Standard of Deviation. And here’s our weekly spiel to A).Start back on chapter 1, B). Read the story in its entirety, and C). Read others like it as well.

This also brings us to the end of every story we’ve written and published thus far… we’ve got another Solar Winds tale in the works, but first, a question: do you want to continue seeing these Friday freebies? If so, leave us a comment on this or any other story, and a review on Amazon of any of our tales would be great!

A Standard of Deviation

by David Dickinson

Chapter 9

What would become my final stop on this run was a world that I looked forward to most of all; the Van Takcrafans of Navi Prime. They were almost frighteningly advanced. How these sentient flying spider-snakes hadnít stumbled upon quantum transport technology is a small wonder in of itself. Stranded in this remote corner of the Milky Way, they had instead enshrouded their host star in an enormous Dyson Sphere to capture every available erg of energy it produced.† [Read more...]

Ringworld by Larry Niven

Larry Niven has a way of presenting hard science in an entertaining light. While much of Sci-Fi opted to go the way of fantasy after the 60s’, Nivens’ work carries on the traditions of Clarke and Asimov in that much of his premises are grounded in real science. Ringworld is his crowning work. Several sequels were written, but again, as with Dune and Rama, the original stands on his own. The story is one of Nivens’ first “tales of known space” stories that weaves its thread through much of his later work. Some of the first concepts of the Man-Kzin wars are also introduced here.

The central theme is the discovery of a distant Ringworld found orbiting a remote star by the Pierson’s Puppeteers while on their exodus to the Large Magellanic Cloud. A flat ribbon of a world encircling the star, it is obviously artificial in nature and a sort of scaled down version of a Dyson sphere, which entirely encapsulates its host sun, and along the lines of an Alderson disk. The cast of characters, two humans, one puppeteer, and one Kzin, are sent to investigate. They find technology that is truly stupendous but no sign of the original constructors. Orbiting shadow squares create a simulated night and day cycle, and mountains along the rim keep the atmosphere from spilling out into space. The current inhabitants seem rather primitive.
Other asides are revealed, such as the fact that the cowardly Puppeteers have been manipulating both humanity and the Kzin for specific traits, the Kzin to be more docile and humanity to be more “lucky”! The puppeteers also fear space flight and instead have opted to move their entire worlds during their migration. As with his other noteable works, The Integral Trees and Out of Time, Niven has a knack for presenting a fully fleshed out world with intriguing characters. Ringworld is a must to read when embarking on a journey through “Known Space”.