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Weekend Roundup: October 19-25


Tweet of the Day:  Megastructures

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The bad news first: I spent the last weekend with a family member in the emergency room. A combination of ill health, bad emergency room care, and worse timing meant endless hours running around. Said family member is on the mend, but the whole situation has left me physically and emotionally drained, even a week after the fact.  The good news? I finished Season 3 of Wizards’ World War. It should have wrapped it on months ago, but one thing led to another and only managed to do it now. I feel the Low-Hi that comes from finishing a project, or at least this part of it. There are, at least, two more seasons to go before it all comes to a close but for now I’m satisfied with what I got.

Now onto this week’s posts:

That is all for this week. See you around.

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Random Quotes from Unwritten Books


 

Mercy? You can’t ask for something you’re unwilling to give.

There is always a price to pay. Question is, who will pay it.

The things we do to protect the body scar the soul.

There is no love in lust without trust.

Death is Life’s exclamation point.

 

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Wizards’ World War (s.3)-Dispatch 30- Tartarus upon Erebus


 

 

Tweet of the Day: Wrinkles in Spacetime: The Warped Astrophysics of INTERSTELLAR

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Season 1 & 2 - Season 3 PremiereDispatch 29

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Mount Etna, Catania, Pruvincia di Catania, Regione Siciliana, Rebupplica Italiana, 23  October, 08:26 hrs +1 GMT

Owen and I made our way deeper into the mountain. The air shimmered with heat haze. We walked past dozens of armories, foundries, vaults, and workshops. A legion of cyclops, clad in thick leather jerkins, walk to and fro. Some stacked gold bars in a vault along with iron buckets full of uncut diamonds. Others hammered away at white hot rolls of steel that poured from the foundries. None payed attention to us. The volcanic forces of the ever erupting Etna belched forth the Gaia’s endless bounty of iron, precious metal, stones. This was the force that powered the armies that ravaged across Europe.

The plan was to weaken whatever lay at the heart of the volcano enough so that Martin and the other necromancers could bind it. How exactly we were going to do that I had no idea. Owen tapped my shoulder to a bright light at the end of a long tunnel. The tunnel ended in an alcove overlooking an immense cavern. Broken chains hung from the ceiling and walls of the cavern. Each link of the chain was the size of a coupé. At the center stood a giant, fifteen meters tall and waste deep in a lake of lava. It was clad in radiant bronze armor.

I jumped down to the cavern floor. Dark glowing embers looked down at me through the eye lids of the titan’s Corithian helmet. It reached for a two handed labrys that rested against the wall and swung at me with a deafening roar. The axe blade glowed white hot as it passed inches from my head. A summoned my Will and erected a wall of rock to block the next swing but it shattered on impact with the axe. I ducked under every swing and dodged waves of lava that splashed erupted from the crater. In the ledge above me Owen fought off a wave of enraged cyclops that came to their masters aid. The titan swung the axe with terrific speed. I jumped on top of the axe head and hacked at the weapon’s neck but Excalibur’s enchanted edge rebounded. The sparks along the sword’s edge jolted my memory. Zeus cast down to Tartarus many a monster with the power of his thunderbolts. I reached deep into my Will, where Fire commingled with Air. I forced the two into a violent collision.  Lighting arched from Excalibur blade up the axe’s shaft to the titan’s body. It recoiled from the blast. The chains shot out of the walls. The titan cut through them. Again, I summoned the heated air around me and spun it around Excalibur. Lighting danced around the edge. I hurled another lighting bolt at the beast. It recoiled on impact. The chains sought him out. They coiled around his neck and arms. Whether it was the magic of the prison or the necromancer’s ritual, each blast of electricity summoned more and more chains.

Lava overflowed the crater’s banks. With a mighty push of Air I jumped back to the entrance. Owen wrapped an armed around my waist. Everything around us slowed down to a crawl. The tunnel behind us collapsed. The cyclops ran for cover. The vaults imploded. All in slow motion. With each stepped we took, everything slowed down even more. Somehow Owen extended his dagger’s time dilation effect around me. Then, with a bone shattering jolt, time caught up with us outside. We picked ourselves up from the rubble strewn floor. On the valley floor thousands of enemy soldiers broke their positions and ran away. Above us the volcano continued to belch ashen clouds crowned with flashes of lightning.

Somehow we made it back to allied lines, exhausted, but alive.

Catania, Pruvincia di Catania, Regione Siciliana, Rebupplica Italiana, 28 October, 07:49 hrs +1 GMT

Owen’s kiss on the cheek woke me up.

“Get up, you have to see this,” he said.

I wrapped the bedsheets around my naked chest. He stood by the window, steaming cup of tea in hand. What I saw took my breath away.

A clear blue sky from horizon to horizon.

The war was far from over, but we turned the tide.

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TV Tropes Monday: Artificial Limbs


Tweet of the Day: Sci-Fi Romance Heroines and the Chivalric Code

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Nothing says, “Welcome to the Future!” like a background character sporting a shiny new cybernetic arm, or an advert on TV about the new YT-900 series of artificial legs that allow you to run three times as fast as best human athlete. Real life Artificial Limbs rarely confer super strength or speed as they do in fiction but are growing in sophistication. Nor are these limbs limited to science fiction. Multiple fantasy and steampunk stories feature magical or alchemical contraptions that allow otherwise disable characters to move about freely with significant advantages over the flesh and blood counterparts.

When it comes to using this trope as a story element it usually falls somewhere between Nature vs. Technology. On the Nature side, the new limb is a inferior replacement, a reminder of something lost. Not just the loss of flesh, but also a lost of innocence and purity. On the Technology side, the new limb is an upgrade, a sign of the times where man transcends the limits of the mortal coil. Even when an author presents both sides of the divide, they tend to chose one over the other.

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Weekend Wrapup: October 12-18


 

Tweet of the Day: 8 Elements to NAILING Your Plot & Owning NaNo

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Oh this week….

The week of something awful. That vague feeling that nothing is right with the world. Mind you, if you’re keeping up with the news there is a lot of people screaming about a lot of scary things, or at least things they want you to be scared about. But you always find a place a place for shelter from the withering storm. Until you find something rotten there as well. Famous writers promoting pedophilia, hobbyist exposed as massive misogynist, death threats for the mos innocuous stuff, it never seems to end. Add a dollop of family (and familiar) drama and well it ends up being…well…one of those weeks. But you’re not here for the moaning (at least not that kind of moaning). You’re here to catch up on the week in posts:

By the way, I suggest you follow Dodger (the wonderful human being behind Welcome to the Fandom). If you ever need a pick me up, she is it.  To quote her, I hope you had an amazing week.

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Space for Rent: An Open Letter to “Both Sides”


 

Nobody likes to be the bad guy.

Rarely does a bad guy sees himself as a bad guy.

Yet, sometimes you are wrong.

Sometimes, I am wrong.

How so?

If you defend pedophilia? You are wrong.

If you side with serial abusers, stalkers, and misogynist? Guess what, you are wrong.

It may not seem fair that you got tainted by their stench. It is not fair at all. But sometimes doing the right thing means walking away from the wrong.

Fairness abused is unfair.

Yes, there are both sides to each story.

And sometimes one side is just wrong.

You don’t need to side with the worst of humanity just to make a point you already made so many times before.

Just walk away.

Just let it go.

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Mass Effect: Cargo


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Tweet of the Day: Levels of Violence in Science Fiction

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A thick curtain of smoke covered the entrance. Periodically, pairs of mechs would march through, guns blazing. A few shotgun blast later and they joined the pile of smoking servos on the floor.

Turtman turned to Mr. Aten, “I think it’s time to break out your pyjak moves, Mr. Aten.”

Mr. Aten cloaked. More smoke grenades exploded around the entrance. The batarian engineer, Si’nn, curled into a ball in the deepest, smallest corner of the room.

Mr. Aten even yet deep voice came over the radio, “Enemy at platoon strength, plus eight mechs. The leading pair are at ten meters from your location armed with grenade launchers. A well timed attack should disperse their leading elements and give me an opening to strike.”

“Got it,” said Turman. “Listen up, overload your guns and set for ten meters. I want time on target on my mark,” he said to the others.

The other krogan nodded in turn. Turtman got out of cover. A blue sphere appeared on his right hand.

“Whenever you’re ready, Mr. Aten,” said Turtman.

“Now,” said Mr. Aten.

Turtman hurled the biotic sphere down the corridor. Simultaneously, the other krogan fired their overloaded shot guns. Turtman let out a battle roar and charged through the smoke. He jumped over the debris of two more mechs, shot an batarian in the face and backhanded another mercenary into wall. The body slumped to the ground and twitched for a few seconds.

Mr. Aten stepped around another corpse father down the line, “I think it is time to secure the bridge. Mr. Si’nn?”

“Yeah, I’m coming, I’m coming,” said the batarian as he gingerly stepped over the bodies.

They double timed it to the bridge. Two krogan took positions on both sides of the doors while a third cut through with his omni-tool. The moment the doors snapped open, the assault force threw a volley of flashbangs inside. A series of loud flashes followed. The krogans stormed the bridge. A few mercenaries fired back but the sheer force of the assault neutralized them. Verminus jumped from the back of the captain’s chair. He knocked Turtman flat on his back. The turians sharp talons dug into Turtman throat. Verminus’ eyes shone with bright white light.

Verminus screamed, “YOU EXIST TO SERVE US. THE CYCLE WILL CONTINUE!”

“Not today,” said Turtman.

He shoved the turian aside with a biotic blast. Verminus bounced back from the floor. Turtman stuck the barrel of his shotgun in Verminus face. One pull of the trigger later and Verminus headless body crumbled in a pool of blue blood.

“I say I missed you, but I didn’t,” said Turtman. He tapped his another krogan on the shoulder, “Status?”

“Bridge secured, sir,” said his second in command.

Mr. Si’nn went over the consoles and gasped.

“Something wrong, Mr. Si’nn,” asked Mr. Aten.

“Yeah, something is wrong. There is a thing in cargo bay B and it putting out all kinds of radiation. We have dark energy spikes across the board,” said Mr. Si’nn.

Mr. Aten and Turtman moved to Si’nn’s position. An object that looked like a small pyramid emanated pulses of white light.

“That, Mr. Si’nn, is a Reaper artifact,” declared Mr. Aten.

Si’nn shook his head, “That’s why the captain ordered us to abandon ship.  We were ordered to stop by a research station out in Orthus. Okay, opening cargo bay doors. Cargo lifters engaged. Damn, it’s too heavy. Disengaging artificial gravity.”

Diverting all power to the FTL drive including inertial dampeners,” said Si’nn. Si’nn rushed to another panel. “You better grab on to something quick.”

Turtman did as he was told then radio the team on in the shuttle bay, “Sergeant Kratos, get your team back into the shuttle and hold on, we are about to jump,” radioed Turtman.

“But-“

“Just do it!” said Turtman.

“Dampeners at minimum power, navigation computer is online, jumping in three, two, one!”

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