Tag Archives: sci-fi

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. πŸ™‚

 

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. I’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… πŸ˜€

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ˜€

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. πŸ˜€

-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. πŸ˜€

cheers

Meeks


#Innerscape part 10 – the thriller I had no intention of writing

I’m in way over my head! I write sci-fi, not thrillers or mysteries…so how did I get to a point where I’m having to work out time differentials for the plot?

Before I try to explain what’s been driving me crazy, I need to say that all of my favourite sci-fi books weave together a mix of history, culture, psychology, politics, technology, conflict and an element of mystery. Think Dune, and working out the relationship of the great worms to the planet’s ecology. All of that is normal because good sci-fi creates worlds, and worlds are full of people, and people do ‘stuff’.

I understand all that, especially the bit about people doing ‘stuff’. My problem is that I never expected the characters in Innerscape to finish up doing mystery thriller type stuff.

I’ve read mystery thriller type books by the boat load, but there is a world of difference between reading in a genre and trying to write in that genre. I feel as if I’m groping for the ‘rules’ on the fly, and it’s hard. Integrating the requirements of mystery/thrillers into a sci-fi environment is even harder, and at the moment I’m stuck on ‘time’.

To make the plot work, various people have to do various things, together and in sequence, so I have to know when things happen, right down to the last minute. But…in order to make the Residents of Innerscape feel as if they are living for longer, time in Innerscape runs faster than time on the outside. About twenty minutes faster.

As an aspect of science fiction, this time differential between Innerscape and the outside world is not a big deal. I do some hand waving and a bit of arithmetic and the time flows make sense. Easy peasey…until I introduce the twin elements of mystery and thriller to the mix. Suddenly the difference between Innerscape time and real world time matters, a lot. So does how I present this conflict between internal and external time.

Right from the beginning of Innerscape, I’ve worked hard to make the reader feel as if time really is passing, hopefully without hitting them over the head with dates and durations and elapsed blah blah. Now, though, I’ve reached a point where I really am going to have to elevate time to the position of Very Important Plot Element, and I’m struggling.

The pic below is a screenshot of the StoryBox navigation pane for Part 10. It’s one of the reasons I love StoryBox as it allows me to outline, more or less on the fly:

innerscape navigation time

 

As an outline, the pic only makes sense to me [just as well or I’d have to post a Spoiler Alert!]. But it does show how I’m trying to work out what happens when.

Sadly, the reason I’m writing this post is that I’m sort of stumped…and procrastinating. Once I finish the post, I’m going to have to resort to pen and paper to storyboard the exact sequence of events because at the moment, I feel horribly muddled. -sigh-

If there are any thriller/mystery writers out there with tips, I’d love to hear them.

cheers

Meeks

 

 

 


#Music to write by and give away?

This is what I’m writing to at the moment:

Evolicity comes from an album called ‘XII’ by Roger Subirana, a brilliant, self-taught Spanish composer.

I stumbled onto Subirana’s music via Jo Blankenburg via Thomas Bergersen [from Two Steps From Hell] via Soundcloud.

Just as an aside, I’ve discovered more music via Soundcloud in the last few months than I did in all the time I used to spend on Youtube. That said, I still go to Youtube to find most of the trailers and video clips I post here. -shrug-

Getting back to composers, Subirana is the latest in a growing line of composers who have played a vital part in the making of Innerscape. I know I’ve been writing about Miira for a very long time, but still, look at the list of composers I’ve listened to since November, 2012:

  • Jo Blankenburg [4 albums and some unpublished songs]
  • Thomas Bergersen [1 album, Two Steps From Hell]
  • Danail Getz [1 album, Audiomachine]
  • Roger Subirana [1 album]

Seven albums plus, and all by composers who are relatively unknown to the general public. I don’t know if all of those composers are Indies, or started out as Indies, but I suspect that many did, and that got me thinking about the type of marketing open to Indies in general and me in particular. Should I pay some huge corporation more money than I can afford, for advertising that probably won’t do much for the visibility of Innerscape anyway? Or could I do something a little different and use Innerscape to promote the music I love?

Honestly, that decision was a no-brainer. When Innerscape is ready to go, I will be giving away some of the music that gives the story soul. How I do that, however, still has me scratching my head as I want it to be fun as well as effective.

If you like any of the writing music I’ve posted on this blog, would you:

  1. like to receive it as part of some kind of promotion?
  2. would you prefer a promotion that used a random names-in-hat type approach?
  3. or would you prefer some kind of competition with 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize giveaways?
  4. assuming you ‘won’, would you be happy with me selecting the music on the basis of its relevance to Innerscape? That is, more of Jo Blankenburg and less of everyone else?
  5. Or would you prefer to be given a choice as to which composer/music you receive?
  6. As I would have to gift you the music via email, would you mind having your email address added to my [non-existent] newsletter?

Of all the questions, I found #6 to be the most vexatious. At a rational level, I understand the value of having a ‘captive audience’ of subscribers to send advertising material to, but at a gut level I also know that newsletters often induce anger rather than interest. And I really, really don’t want to do that to anyone who reads my stories. 😦

One alternative that does tempt me is to ask people to ‘Follow’ me on Amazon instead of signing up for a newsletter. The ‘Follow’ feature is something I use myself, and so far at least, I haven’t found it to be intrusive or annoying. Plus another benefit of using Amazon instead of a newsletter is that I wouldn’t have to worry about what to write in a newsletter – all the interesting stuff in my life already ends up on my blog.

So what do you think? Am I on the right track or way off base? Given how little real experience I have of marketing, any thoughts really would be appreciated.

cheers

Meeks

 

 

 


Sci-fi now with Holo Lens and Actiongram

In a previous post I talked about holograms as a thing of the near future. I was wrong, they’re here now. Watch the video below to see how Microsoft’s Holo Lens is being teamed with Actiongram to create sci-fi right now:

If that video clip is anything to go by, the interface is still in its infancy, but given the speed with which things like 3D printers have become mainstream, I expect real life holograms to become an everyday reality within five years…and that may be a conservative estimate.

One thing I am sure of is that hologram technology will change how we work, rest and play. I wonder how much money I have in my piggy bank….

Meeks

 


A very clever sci-fi short film

J.T.Carlton is a multi-talented singer, composer and writer who produced the music and sound for this short film. It’s scary and very clever.

Enjoy πŸ™‚

Meeks


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