Tag Archives: sci-fi

And then there were…ostriches?

Yes, I’ve been researching ostriches today, but only for their legs. In particular, I wanted to find out why their knees bend backwards.

Well, it turns out that ostrich knees don’t bend backward at all; the thing that looks like a knee is actually an ankle. But who am I to criticize a bird that’s capable of running between 60 and 70 km per hour!

If you’re interested in this amazing bird, you can find a really good article about it right here. For me, though, the point about ostrich legs is that they make the bird look as if it’s standing upright, more or less. This makes the leg structure perfect for the Vokh as I want them to walk upright as well.

I’ve only just started to work on the Vokh legs so you’ll have to use your imagination rather a lot. First I traced around a pair of ostrich legs:

[Note: I found the Corel Draw B-Spline drawing tool really handy for tracing the outline.]

Next, I found a picture of some black opera gloves, you know, the kind that go half way up to the shoulder. To my great joy, the elbows were shown as slightly bent. I traced around them too, but this time, I used the tracing to cut out the glove I wanted:

Yes, it’s the same glove flipped horizontally. ๐Ÿ™‚

Fitting the glove texture into the ostrich legs is going to take some tricky re-engineering, especially as I need to add ‘proper’ raptor feet complete with killing claws, but that’s for another day. I’m thrilled to have solved the problem of the legs so easily.

As always, thanks for joining me on these odd detours into research and graphics. ๐Ÿ™‚

cheers

Meeks

 


A review of Nabatea that almost made me cry

Forgive me if I reproduce this review in its entirety, but as a pantster, it’s validation of a sort I never expected to get:ย 

Oooh, I loved this series, and now that itโ€™s over, Iโ€™m suffering from a book hangover.

Nabatea is the final book in the Innerscape series. Book 1 primarily introduces the main character Miira Tahn and guides the reader through her entrance into the virtual world of Innerscape. During Book 2, sabotage, scheming, and political intrigue results in multiple victims including two people close to Miira. In Book 3, the search for truth commences and resolves amidst a cover-up that threatens Miiraโ€™s life.

The plot takes off quickly when Miira is confronted with disturbing information about the murders, and her prying questions raise alarms among those who want to hide the truth. A plot to silence her brings in two dedicated investigators who start gathering clues and unraveling the web of lies.

Miira is tenacious, a strong woman, but also vulnerable both physically and emotionally. Her character is compelling and consistent throughout the series, and I teetered on the edge of my seat as the danger to her life increased. Several pivotal new characters enter the action in this book, and though late in the overall story, the author pulled it off without a glitch. All characters are distinct, believable, and emotionally charged.

Flory did a marvelous job of tangling up the truth by loading the story with lies and misinterpretations. The unraveling of the events around the murders as well as the investigation into the cover-up required an intricate job of storytelling that was rather impressive. Several characters are investigating the truth simultaneously, and because theyโ€™re coming at it from different angles, their assumptions and conclusions are often erroneous and mismatched. I would recommend reading these books in a tight timeframe to help keep all the complex plot threads straight.

The worldbuilding is exceptional, the dialog natural, the writing and editing flawless. And the ending was highly satisfying as all of the threads tie up nicely. I will definitely read more of this author in the future.

Update April 4, 2019: I was so carried away that I totally forgot to add a link to the actual review. Here it is!

https://www.amazon.com/Nabatea-Innerscape-Book-3-acflory-ebook/dp/B076NN3FZD/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Nabatea&qid=1554248624&s=gateway&sr=8-1

My thanks to Cage Dunn for reminding me. ๐Ÿ˜€

The review was written by D.Wallace Peach. I forgot to mention that too. I really am good at being an idiot.

Thank you all,

love,

Meeks


Ani’s Advent stories – my Christmas Roast

Apologies in advance but the timezone differences always trip me up. I hope I’m still in time to point you towards Sue Vincent’s blog where Ani [the 2nd cutest dog in the world] is hosting a different Christmas related story each day. Hence the ‘Advent’ theme. ๐Ÿ™‚

Today, it’s my turn and Ani very kindly agreed to host my sci-fi short story – The Christmas Roast. You can find it here:

Aniโ€™s Advent Calendar 2018! Just chilling with a story from A. C. Flory

Huge hugs to both Sue and Ani. I’ve enjoyed the Advent stories others have told and I hope everyone enjoys mine!

Meeks


I finally went and did it!

This one’s for Frank Prem who’s been houndingย strenuously encouraging me to try and interest a bookshop in my books. Well, today I walked into the independent bookshop in Eltham and asked if I could leave a free sample of my work. ๐Ÿ™‚

The sample is my tiny book of sci-fi short stories:

The paperback of The Egg is so thin, there’s no room on the spine for the title! But when I realised how cheaply I could print it on IngramSpark, I decided to use it as my ‘calling card’.

Getting back to that bookshop, I’ve been carrying a copy of The Egg around with me for weeks, but the moment was never right. It was too hot, too cold, I wasn’t dressed ‘appropriately’, I was too busy with other things…in short, I was a coward. I’m still a coward, but something clicked in my brain today, and I did the deed. I was dressed to do supermarket shopping so probably looked like a deranged bag lady, but I did it!

The owner of the shop was very nice and said she’d have to look at the book before offering it to her customers, even as a free sample. I reassured her that I expected nothing less. In reality, however, I don’t expect her to read it at all, and I don’t expect her to get in contact with me for another sample. Why? Because looking around the shop, I realised that sci-fi, even from big, traditional authors, is only a very small part of the books offered for sale. So the Egg is not exactly a good ‘fit’.

I also realised that dealing with a self-published author would inevitably cause a disruption to the normal processes of the shop. Why go to so much bother for a genre that probably doesn’t sell very well? Realistically, that is the truth, and I suspect I’d probably feel the same if the roles were reversed.

Nevertheless, I’m not disappointed. I overcame my nerves and gave it a shot, and that was the real purpose of the exercise. To prove to myself that I could. Next stop will be a second hand bookshop in Warrandyte and a cafe that leaves books lying around on the tables for customers to read.

If you guys have any suggestions for real world ‘marketing’, I’m all ears!

cheers

Meeks

 

 

 

 


How to digitise real world objects for 3D printing

I’m stuck at home with a bad back and feeling rather sorry for myself, so this post by SV3DPRINTER was very welcome indeed. It not only gave me something else to focus on, it also gave me the tech that would make the world of Innerscape plausible rather than just possible.

Science fiction is always speculative fiction, so I knew that much of the ‘science’ in Innerscape was actually just magic based on tech that ‘might’ develop in the future. Nevertheless, I’ve always tried to make that speculation as close to reality as possible. That’s why I get so excited whenever something in Innerscape turns out to be ‘doable’.

Today, my discovery explains how all of Petra could be scanned and re-created inside a virtual environment. In the video clip below, the section on scanning terrain is only a small part of the presentation, but it made my day. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

And no, I didn’t know about these scanning technologies when I wrote Innerscape. I’m only an amateur techie, and I haven’t had a chance to explore the current Virtual Reality technology, so I simply assumed that a digital world would be produced the same way apps like Maya create digital models and gaming worlds now. Since watching this video clip, however, I’ve realised that re-creating the outside world for Innerscape will be a lot easier, and more accurate, than I originally thought, especially so far into the future.

Of course, the downside of each discovery is that my timescale for Innerscape becomes a little bit less likely. I mean, who would have thought ten years ago that 3D printing would become so commonplace so quickly? Or the internet. Who could have guessed that social media would become both a boon and a bane by 2018?

Honestly, the only thing any of us can say with any certainty is that the future will not be anything like what we imagine now. But that’s okay; perfect predictions would take all the excitement out of life. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, time to lever myself out of this chair and walk around a bit.

cheers

Meeks


The making of an Iron Age torc

In an earlier post I wrote about the Snettisham Great Torc, and how it had been created by artisans 2000 years ago. Well today I have something even more exciting to share – a video about how these amazingly beautiful objects were made using the simplest tools imaginable. And here it is:

Roughly half way through, the presenter talks about how she experimented with the technique by casting her own ingot of bronze and then patiently hammering it out into a thin piece of wire. The Iron Age artisan who made the torc must have been a master craftsman with a whole bunch of lesser journeymen and apprentices to help with the backbreaking work, but still, can you imagine how long it would have taken? And how many failures there would have been along the way? The skill, dedication and commitment of these craftmen is beyond my comprehension.

Once again, my thanks to Dawn of Dawn Gill Designs for finding this incredible video and sending me the link to it. If you haven’t yet guessed, Dawn is the blogger I call Silversmith because she makes beautiful pieces of jewellery. She’s also my go-to-person when I need information on crafting techniques. -waves at Dawn-

Okay, back to work. Today I upload Vokhtah and its new cover to Lulu! Vokhtah was my first book and the only one I have never been able to physically hold in my hands. Finally getting a print copy will signify the end of a learning curve that began in 2004. So excited. ๐Ÿ™‚

cheers

Meeks


Please join me on Myths of the Mirror today!

D. Wallace Peach is a sci-fi/fantasy writer that I have followed for quite a while now, usually by lurking around her blog – Myths of the Mirror. But she caught me and did me the great honour of reading Miira. And she liked it. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is a quote from her review:

The pace is steady and yet I flew through the book because I could NOT put it down. Exquisite writing, gorgeous descriptions, high tech science, and human pathos that grab the reader. Iโ€™m a fan and gladly recommend this book to readers of science fiction and anyone who enjoys an unusual human story.

And then she invited me onto her blog. Of course I said ‘yes!’, but I’m still gobsmacked just to be asked. Please come say hello to D. and all her friends. Partay… ๐Ÿ˜€

A Human Story: Guest Post with Andrea Flory

-hugs-

Meeks


I just became a fan of Twitter!

Still no news on the Amazon front but…Roger Subirana replied to one of my tweets about his music!

twitter-and-roger-subirana

I am trying to restrain myself – dance – but Roger Subirana is one of my favourite Indie composers! How can I not be excited when his music played such a vital part in the ‘feel’ of Innerscape?

I’m going to go calm down now. Happy Tuesday everyone. ๐Ÿ™‚

Meeks


Innerscape, Episode 3 – late but live. :)

At last! The price on Innerscape, Episode 3 has finally dropped to $0.00. It will stay free for the next 5 days [November 29, 2016 to December 3, 2016], so please grab your copy while you can. I know I shouldn’t say this but…Episode 3 will shock you. And that’s all I’m saying. ๐Ÿ˜€

You can download a free copy of Episode 3 from Amazon at the following URL:

https://www.amazon.com/Innerscape-Episode-3-C-Flory-ebook/dp/B01N69SI93/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1480406798&sr=8-4&keywords=kindle+Innerscape

And now for the competition.

Duration: 5 days from November 29, 2016 to December 3, 2016

The prize = a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift voucher.

The rules = read the Look Inside below, find the answer to the multiple choice question, also below, and write the answer in comments [either as a name or the number of the option]. Only 1 entry per person.

The question = Who was Alex Tang’s husband?

  1. Mei Lin?
  2. Barry Majors?
  3. Peter Ngugen?

You will need to use the back button on your browser to come back from the Look Inside.

And now that the official business is taken care of…LOOK!

innerscape-recommended

-blush- Sorry, I have never had one of my novels in the ‘Also Viewed’ list before. You guys must be doing something right. Thank you. ๐Ÿ˜€

-hugs-

Meeks


Episode 2 – last day

The 5 day free period for Episode 2 ends on November 25, 2016 in the US so Southern hemisphere type people still have a few hours to grab a free copy. And I would be so very happy if you entered the competition as well. There is no obligation whatsoever and you will have a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift voucher.

Anyway, here is the relevant info. again:

The answer to the multiple choice question can now be found in the Amazon ‘Look Inside’ feature below:

You will have to click the back button on your browser to exit the ‘Look Inside’.

To enter the competition, please read the first few pages [2? 3?] of the ‘Look Inside’ for Episode 2 [above] and answer the multiple choice question below:

Miira’s little black cat is called:

  1. Rosie?
  2. Golli?
  3. Timmy?

When you know the answer, please type the name [or the corresponding number] in comments HERE: http://wp.me/p25AFu-2tM

[I’ve turned comments off on this reminder so I don’t accidentally forget to count someone’s entry!]

On the other hand, if you simply want to download the free copy of Episode 2, you can find the link here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N1H5S1E/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1479624105&sr=8-3&keywords=kindle+Innerscape

And that’s it. In my next post I’ll be announcing the winner for Episode 2. ๐Ÿ˜€

cheers

Meeks


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