Monday, 23 November 2020

Another Month Flew By

Another month has flown by. When I've not been painting miniatures to escape the world around me,  I've been noodling about rules for playing a tabletop miniatures game set in my Gate Walker universe.

It's a way for me going back to my non-fiction writing roots.

Having failed to market the previous rule set I wrote*, it's important to minimize the risk of my mecha combat rules getting lost in the churn. So, I've been asking myself, what do I want to achieve with these rules?

An important question, because I'm aware that there are several new sets of mecha rules out, or are about to be released to market. I want to focus on command and control, including the use of UAVs/drones.

Currently the UAVs are for laying out the deployment points on the game table.

But, I just had this idea about how to use them in the game as artillery spotters for fire-support. Besides that, I want the game to feel like a battle taking place in the future, where everything is interconnected.

What I'm hoping to do is make my game different from other sets of rules, with it's own unique selling points to encourage players to buy these and instead of BattleTech or Heavy Gear.

A tall order. But a worthwhile goal to have. That's all for now, catch you all next month.

NB: *OHMU War Machine : Oversized Heavy Mechanised Units.

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

On Lemons, Lemonade and Robot Tales

Life is still serving us lemons, and I'm overwhelmed with trying to turn them all into lemonade. but I found this article through my feeds on Defence News.

I also have a friend who is working on 5G connectivity for the Army, link in the picture below. 


So, as you can imagine from reading my books, these are both very interesting projects as they show I wasn't too far off extrapolating the tech needed for my near future Mil-SF stories.

Currently I'm wrestling with a short story, project title: Omake – Japanese for Extra –The story of what happens to the lost robot explorer team seen briefly in mt second novel.

I had planned to include this as an epilogue in Strike Dog, but readers thought it left too many questions hanging like a loose thread, and so I cut it out. Since then I've gone and expanded what was a couple of short paragraphs into several thousand words of odd snippets.

My plan is to turn these into a bunch of short stories about an android and robot dog.

But first I have to knock all the fragments I've written into a coherent narrative, rather than the number of short 'cool' scenes I have compiled.  So, I intend to use the Omake name for a collection of these shorts, as and when I can get my ass into gear.

And, I haven't thought of a good title for the first of the tales of  the android and his robodog, and what happened to them, their discoveries, and the consequences for them and mankind.

Keep well, stay safe, and catch you all on the bounce.

Saturday, 3 October 2020

October, September Flew By


I could ask myself where did September go, but what's the point? No posts here, but I did put one on my Facebook page. I usually post here and there, but what can I say? In a world where brain eating amoebas were found in water supplies in the United States, as just one example, it seems the best thing to do is batten down the hatches and ride out the oncoming storm.

So I just didn't bother.

However, I thought for those of you who don't follow me on Facebook, I'd post a link to my author page, which can be accessed by clicking the picture above.

In other news, I've been working on my models, which you can see on my other blog.

Meanwhile, I'm using the model making time to meditate on issues that perplex me, as one does; or at least I do. I'm boggled when friends say they think I'm trying to change their minds with my pieces because I thought I made it clear that they were my attempt to argue through and understand the baying mobs on social media.

As I said to friends, fact don't change opinions, and if I wanted to try and change a persons opinion I wouldn't start with facts. For a start one has to know if the other person wants to change their opinions or needs to for practical reasons.

Even when those criteria are met, it's hard to change people's opinions/beliefs. It just is. Otherwise how does one understand therapeutic outcomes being so low, or relapses after a successful course of treatment?

Emotions are the key to our beliefs.

These start when one is born, and the environment you're brought up in feeds your experiential growth. Leaven with classical and operant conditioning, and by around the age of four or so you have the foundations laid for who you grow to become.

As time goes by, more core beliefs are laid down, and we build our assumptions on them.

By your teenage years your thoughts are driven by hormones, genetics, and experience. This is why it's difficult to change beliefs and or habits.

Not impossible, just hard. Harder than you think unless one has an epiphany from a traumatic event.

Anyway, that's all I have to say for now. I must get my act together and write more, but one step at a time, because change is hard.

Monday, 24 August 2020

SF Furore Part 3: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Start left to right, top to bottom: Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Cordwainer Smith, A. E. van Vogt, H. P. Lovecraft, and Robert E. Howard; all favourites of mine.

Continuing my dive into the rage that is SF fandom.
Hey, look! A buzzy, angry hornets' nest! What could possibly go wrong if I jam my face into it!(Or: why the "science fiction canon" is already dead and people should just let it fucking die, already) from John Scalzi Twitter feed, link to his blog.
Yes but no, but maybe... 

Okay, let me clarify. 

Yes; because I agree that there's no need for readers to read the past, but without knowing the past it can be hard to understand the present.

No; because writers stand on the shoulders of those who came before. Readers read stories that are in dialogue with the past. So, no one has to read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, though I think she wrote Gothic Horror, which is not SF. However, her work speaks to the human condition.

Maybe; because, this is all just opinion, which is fine, but it's just opinion about things that one can't actually control. Furthermore, starting arguments by creating unnecessary confrontations will lead nowhere good.

I don't require everyone to share my views.

I don't shun people who have views antithetical to mine. That doesn't mean I go out of my way to socialize with them either, only that I recognize that other people's opinions are different to mine, and are not my concern.

I see the root of these confrontations as having stemmed from our cultures economy creating technology that has outgrown our ability to cope with the stress it generates. So, I get why that can be threatening, especially if one feels disempowered, or disenfranchised, these are strong emotional triggers.

But, real diversity means tolerating ideas antithetical to your own; arguing against them not with emotional outbursts, but reason. By all means, emotions will drive the discourse, but don't let emotions overrule reason.