terrific new WONDER WOMAN trailer

Hard to imagine any of you have not seen the new Wonder Woman trailer, but here it is just in case.

The action starts at 1:11 minutes.

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Great new CASTAWAYS IN TIME book

Just finished a terrific addition to the old “castaways in time” books which started with Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. The book by Michael Z. Williamson is a bit long on the details of how the main characters adapted. This might bother a few but I enjoyed them. You can always skim if a book seems slow to you, but I might have felt cheated if the author had left them out.

From the book’s blurb:

“Ten soldiers on convoy in Afghanistan suddenly find themselves lost in time. Somehow, they arrived in Earth’s Paleolithic Asia. With no idea how they arrived or how to get back, the shock of the event is severe. They discover groups of the similarly displaced: Imperial Romans, Neolithic Europeans, and a small cadre of East Indian peasants. Despite their technological advantage, the soldiers only have ten people, and know no way home.”

Preview Amz B&N

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interview Gal Gadot, star of WONDER WOMAN movie

Gal Gadot and her Wonder Woman co-stars will be at Comic-Con on July 21-24. As part of the publicity for their attendance, Gadot (pronounced Guh-dot, according to her) gave an interview in Entertainment Weekly.

Below is the first of four images of Gadot in her costume. Click the first to go to the gallery.

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Anything new from fave author Lois McMaster Bujold is a cause for celebration. The latest is her second novella in her Penric and Desdemona series set in her World of the Five Gods. It takes place four years after events of her first Penric story.

Preview Amz B&N

Preview Amz B&N

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Summer’s biggest COMPUTER GRAPHICS conference

SIGGRAPH is one of the biggest computer-graphics conferences each year. It is also very accessible to the general public. Highlights for the casual observer are the daily displays and the two evening Electronic Theater light shows. You should get a ticket for the show as soon as possible. It’s always sold out.

The first video is a general trailer for the conference. The second is for the animation part. For info on the conference and how to attend, use the Attendance link. Have fun!

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DEATH’S BRIGHT DAY by David Drake – terrific military SF

Just finished the latest book in David Drake‘s Republic of Cinnabar Navy series. He hasn’t lost the touch. I stayed up late and long to finish it. Totally wrecked the work schedule I’ve crafted so I can finish some of the damned books I’m writing!

Short term, not good. Long term – renewed my love of writing. Already I’ve banged out nearly a 1000 words on one of my books. Only now have stopped to catch my breath and run out to my favorite burger place to get fast food so I can dive back into writing.

The one on the left is the first in the series – which can be gotten FREE. On the right is the latest book.

Preview Amz B&N FREE

Preview Amz B&N

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WONDER WOMAN rethought – new beginning

Often after we finish a book we put it away to work on something else. Then when our intense focus on it has faded we look back at it – and see aspects we did not see before. I recently did that with my Wonder Woman Rethought book, Star Woman. And in the first chapter I noticed that it starts in the wrong place.

I fixed that chapter, and the second chapter since the fix affected it. Both they and the three following chapters are now online. Click Chapter 1 – Revelation to read the first chapter, which will lead you to the following ones.

A book should speak for itself. But a few of you may enjoy knowing how my Star Woman is like her inspiration, and unlike her. First, the look is different. It’s more grounded in reality. Really, what crime fighter wears a star-spangled bikini and high heels?!

But I love the look, silly as it is. So I wondered, how would a young woman who’s suddenly acquired super powers change her look? Maybe not at all, if one of the powers was to clothe herself in an invisible but super-hard force field. Which also let her fly.

Click either image to see the full-size version. (Why two images? I couldn’t decide which I liked best. Let me know your feelings.)

Anna in Air stormy bkgnd CROPPED.Anna in Air sunny bkgnd CROPPED

The force field shield dispenses with the need for those silly bullet-bouncing bracelets. Really! A heavy machine gun fires 60 rounds a SECOND. Each the size of our thumbs, weighing a tenth of a pound, and moving at over 2000 feet per second. Wonder Woman would have awfully sore muscles after deflecting a magazine of those bullets!

And the tiara? What use is it? In the comics it’s a status symbol and a boomerang-like weapon. In my version it’s a super-supercomputer, communicator, and “gravitar” sensor suite. And it can be invisible so she can use it without anyone knowing she has it. Oh, and it helps her sense if someone is telling the truth or lying, so no need for Wonder Woman’s golden lasso.

Which brings us to the greatest difference of my Star Woman from Wonder Woman. I always thought the Greek gods origins of Diana Prince really stupid. I opted for a sci-fi explanation: she’s an alien. Hey, if it’s good enough for Superman, it’s good enough for Wonder Woman!

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SMART WOMEN – that’s what Taliban, etc. fear most

This may be the most important news story I’ve read so far in this first half of 2016. Now you can read it too.

Meet Sultana, the Taliban’s Worst Fear

This young Afghan woman may be the next Einstein or Hawking. Or Rosalind Franklin. Or she may just be another curious young girl. Either way she is a deadly, deadly menace to tyrants and terrorists worldwide.

Why? It’s not because women are kinder than men. That’s a popular myth among women and men alike. They can be just as evil. Such as the several young women who recently drove another young girl to suicide because she was different. Or the woman who recently convinced a man to kick another woman to death with his steel-toed boots.

Nor is it because women are smarter than men, either at rational or creative or any other kind of thinking.

It’s because they are JUST AS SMART as men. No less. No more.

And they are half the human race. A half whose contributions have been denied and suppressed so long it seems “natural.” Letting that entire half of the population use their minds to effect even modest change? Enormously dangerous.

It is, however, inevitable. In today’s world many more jobs require brains than brawn. In field after field, especially in the under-developed world, it is becoming increasingly hard to find AND KEEP merely ordinarily smart people. Not geniuses. Just plain smart people, willing to work hard and long.

Such a job is fighter pilot. It takes several million dollars, and well over a year, to get one who is merely competent. They have to keep training, too. It’s not just done and done forever. They have to keep training, studying on the ground and burning fuel in the air, to stay sharp and stay on the advancing edge of the art.

Result? Even nations as backward and woman-hating as Pakistan are recruiting women as fighter pilots.

But many humble jobs are brain jobs, too, and certainly far more numerous. You think cleaning a house, nannying a child, flipping burgers, and doing the Big Mac weekly payroll are menial and requiring little thought and education? If so, you’re an idiot. Efficiency analysis studies of such jobs have shown they take a good deal of practical and even creative thought. And – SURPRISE – women can do that too.

Thus. I predict. This century will be the Century of the Woman. Hell, this MILLENNIUM may be the fucking Millennium of the Woman.

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CHINA to own the Moon?

An important reason to go to the Moon is to compete with the Chinese. They already have a capable space program. Now they have begun to put their Moon exploitation efforts in high gear, as shown by two reports.

China wants to mine the Moon.
China is about to launch its space program into high gear.

It may seem alarmist, but history shows that China tries to dominate every arena it can. Including military ones. Witness its push to take control of all the Pacific Ocean beyond its east coast. This includes the waters which international law has long viewed as owned by the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, and other nearby nations.

One possibility is that China could use electromagnetic launchers to bombard enemies with Moon rocks. Plentiful sunlight could be harvested and stored as electric energy to power the launchers. The lack of air means that rocks could be accelerated at many Earth gravities. Rocks, natural cannonballs, are plentiful and free.

The long fall time does mean that the trajectory of these “cannon balls” could be precisely predicted, at least until they neared the Earth and could take evasive action. However, even if destroyed, the fragments could also be dangerous.

Are such weapons likely to be useful? Personally I doubt it. But the threat of them could be effective, perhaps more so than their actual use.

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MOON BASE FIRST – a new book relaunches Moon vs Mars debate

The recent publication of a new book has reinvigorated the arguments for creating a Moon base before attempting a Mars base. It is The Value of the Moon by Paul D. Spudis, available through Amazon. There’s a good summary of the book and the movement in an article in Aviation Week and Space Technology.

A return to the Moon will be supported by four technologies: telerobots, 3D printing, hydroponics, and electromagnetic launchers.

Continued in the Sci/Tech/Etc section.

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