E-publishing, circa 1974

farther out cover 72px 2x3

A Step Farther Out by Jerry Pournelle is a wonderfully optimistic, thought-provoking book. This is not a review of that book, but commentary on a small section of one essay that makes up one part of the book.

Electronic Publishing has been around for a while now, but I first read about it in Jerry Pournelle’s book, which was a collection of the science columns he did for Galaxy magazine. My copy was published in 1979, but the essay in question, Here Come the Brains, first … more

Calendar reform

I think it is time for another calendar reform. I want a lunar calendar.

Thirteen months of 28 days each: 13×28=364. This would have several advantages:

1) All months have the same number of days. None of this “30 days hath september” crap. We will still need a leap year, but it should be an invisible day. I nominate December 29th as the leap day. This would be an invisible day, skipped by all.
2) Each date will fall on the same day of the week. Each 1st of the month will be on Monday, or whatever


Daylight Savings Time

I don’t like DST. I think it should be abolished. It serves no purpose.

But for those people who say “I want my hour back” I have two things to say.

1) You’ll get it back in the Autumn
2) Be glad you weren’t alive in 1582/1752

Here is the output of the *nix command “cal sept 1752″

September 1752
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Notice the dates:  1 , 2 , 14 , … more

Quest for A Turn of Light


As you can see from my thumb, I finally have in my hands the new book by @JulieCzerneda , A Turn of Light. On Tuesday, I dropped in at the local chain bookstore, thinking that *of course* they would have the book on release date. They said they got it in the previous day and sold out. So I ordered it. I was told it would arrive in three days and they would call me.

Friday came and went; no call. Saturday came and went; no call. Sunday came and … more

23 in ’13 update 3/3 – 3/9

This past week I have added about 1300 words to a novel WIP.

wrote a blog post “Gun Rack”

Started a new steampunk short story, tentatively titled “In the ‘Yard”, currently at 800 words.

Played with a couple of 3D modeling programs. I’ve been trying to create a cover for my one finished novel. This will take some time to learn anything worthwhile, which means time away from writing. Is it worth it or should I pay someone else to create the covers? Of course, this is creating, so it should count for 23 in 13, but the learning curve … more

Gun Rack

Ok, I was following links and ran across this movie poster for Machete Kills.

This is not a review of the movie, this is a review of the poster. I am not a gun owner, but I’ve fired friends’ guns a couple of times, and I’ve picked up a few tidbits (that was TID) of trivia. We all know this wouldn’t work in real life (I hope!).

Those appear to be full-auto gatling guns and that would heat up barrels quite a bit, so she is going to burn off her nipples. Second, from her pose, she appears … more

23 in 13 update

I wrote a piece for @ChuckWendig’s Flash Fiction challenge on his blog
details here: http://pbaughman.com/blog/?p=33

I also wrote a review of Theodore Sturgeon’s Some of Your Blood
here: http://pbaughman.com/blog/?p=36

I also added about 2k words to my novel WIP.

So that is three more of the 23.

Score: 10/23 ( 6 blog posts, 2 stories, 2 updates to novel WIP)

Some of Your Blood – Theodore Sturgeon

Some of Your Blood, Theodore Sturgeon, 1956

Yes this book is old, but what can I say? I’ve never read it before, and Theodore Sturgeon is one of the greats. A quick glance through his bibliography revealed half a dozen familiar titles that I’ve read and loved, and while I’m not generally a horror fan, I read this on the strength of his name and reputation.

Warning: some spoilers ahead.

This is the story of George Smith, Infantry, Motor Mechanic, pulled from a forward staging area somewhere overseas and committed to a military mental ward when he punched a superior officer. The … more

Flash Fiction Challenge

@ChuckWendig at Terrible Minds, occasionally offers a writing challenge. Here is this week’s: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/02/22/flash-fiction-challenge-game-of-aspects-redux/

Foolishly, I accepted the challenge and grabbed the random elements. *sigh*  I will try to write a story using the following elements:  Erotic Fairy Tale, set in a King’s Throne Room, utilizing Artificial Intelligence. 1500 words, due 2/28, noon, eastern time.

Update: 25 February 2013

I finished my story for this challenge. It weighed in at 1540 words, a bit more than the challenge allowed. After some polishing, I decided I was pleased enough to submit it for publication instead of posting a link back to Chuck’s … more

The coward

So this morning I open the door to let the dogs out and the odor of skunk wafts gently into my nostrils. “Yuck,” thinks I, “there’s a skunk out there somewhere.”

Chance (AKA the coward) steps out the door before he realized what else was sharing nature with him, and stands there, staring at me over his shoulder with this pathetic look on his face, as if to say “You are abandoning me to the stinky one?”

Chance, who is coming up on four, has been hit by skunk twice and a near miss once. He also lost to a … more