Friday, September 28, 2007

New Reference on Governments Added

I just added a new link to the Sci-Fi 101 reference list in the right-hand column. A topic no red-blooded Sci-Fi/Fantasy author should miss...government! A great story demands a well-defined government to really muck things up for the protagonist, doesn't it?

Here you'll find an extensive list from Wikipedia of different types of government and links to more details on each. Ever heard of a Grand Duchy? A Grand Prince? What are the various types of Theocracies?

Go have a look here:

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I've Been Tagging

You might notice the new section on the sidebar at right calls "Labels." I've been busy tagging previous posts with category tags so blog readers can scan the list and pull up posts on any subject that interests them.

Since the point of this blog is to be a research site for Science Fiction writers, readers and anyone interested in the universe in general, I thought it would be a good transport to beam you back to browse past articles. :)

Now, at a glance, you can go directly to topics like Book Reviews, Nebula, NASA, Shuttle, Solar System, Science Fiction, etc., etc. Go browse and have fun. Oh, and be sure to let me know if you find this a helpful feature.

A Galaxy's Tail

Scientists have spotted a galaxy some 200,000 light years from earth that has a tail much like a comet, and--to quote a popular Sci-Fi movie--"It's full of stars."

The tail, another 200,000 light years in length, is believed to be full of incubating suns. Though this phenomenon is believed to have been common in the early universe, it's quite a spectacular find for modern day observers.

Check out the full story with photos here:

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Cycle of History and Storytelling

Yesterday, one of my horse breeder associates sent me a forward that made me think. It was slanted toward a particular presidential candidate (who I happen to support, but I won't get into politics on this blog--at least other than fictional politics LOL).

Comparisons aside, I felt this portion of the script was worth bringing forward:

About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier:

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

1. from bondage to spiritual faith;
2. from spiritual faith to great courage;
3. from courage to liberty;
4. from liberty to abundance;
5. from abundance to complacency;
6. from complacency to apathy;
7. from apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage"

This got me thinking about parallels in my soon-to-be-marketed Science Fiction Romance entitled P2PC. (If you follow this blog, you know the name of this blog came from the pages of this WIP. *wink*)

The back story (and future story, since it will be a series) follows this pattern. Two centuries before the story opens, the people were at 8. The plot of the first in the series covers 2 and 3, and future books will move through phases 4, 5, 6, 7, and back to 8. History does repeat itself. It's followed this same cycle in the past, and it will follow it 1,500 years in the future--at least in my fictional universe.

So how do I, as a writer, make my story fresh and interesting? By bringing in a character who arrives on the scene out of desperation, with no idea who or what he has stumbled upon--and then having him discover he's a major player in the conflict.

Steven King has a great quote about effective storytelling:
"I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose."

"Monsters" can manifest themselves in many forms. :)

Any thoughts?

Posting Days

In order to more effectively manage my time (i.e. have more time for writing and revisions!!!) I'm going to adhere to the following schedule going forward. (Really, I am. heh heh heh).

Draxian Trilogy

Spacefreighters Lounge

Toasted Scimitar

Weekends...OFF! :) But I may pop in if the mood strikes me.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Landmark for Spacefreighters' Lounge

1,500 hits!

It seems not that long ago, this blog was celebrating it's first 500 hits. Thanks to all who've docked their flagships and enjoyed a bit of galactic hospitality. Kick back and trade a space tale or two in celebration. The Billins is on the house!

--The Management

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Admiral Kel-Paten Stands for Questions

Linnea Sinclair has convinced her reluctant male protagonist of GAMES OF COMMAND to submit to questions from his readership (after much arm-twisting and bribery).

The brilliant human/cyborg Triad admiral captured the imagination of many a reader, according to Linnea's favorite character survey on her Intergalactic Bar and Grille website. Is there anything you'd like to ask him about his relationship with Captain Tasha "Sass" Sebastian? About his career as a Triad officer? About his state-of-the-art ship, the much-feared Vaxxar? Or his telepathetic conversations with Tank the Furzel?

Linnea will be accepting questions for Admiral Branden Kel-Paten this week, which he will begin answering next week.

Check out Linnea's post on the Alien Romances blog for more information.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Space Tornado?

An astronomical event was recently caught by the Spitzer telescope. It appeared to be a tornado in space! Read the story on Science Daily and see the video on this phenomenon here:

I admit it. I'm addicted to the fascinating images from Spitzer, Hubbel and some of our other deep space telescopes.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Spacefreighters Lounge in Cross-blog Contest

Spacefreighters Lounge will be involved in a cross-blog Scavenger Hunt which will hopefully kick off early Sunday morning. Contestants will be given a list of blogs to visit and 'collect' words and clues, then form them into a sentence. The first to post the correct solution wins.

The prize list for the winner is growing rapidly. Stop by Scavenger Hunt Central to check out the details, prizes and updates:

Hope you'll join in the fun. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Attention: Scavenger Hunters

EDITED: We have a WINNER! Thanks to everyone for joining the Great Scavenger Hunt contest. It was a lot of fun.

*whistles* Hey, over here!

Yes, you've found the post with another piece of our Scavenger Hunt puzzle, but you'll have to work for it a bit.

To collect this word, you'll need to know a bit of movie trivia.

In the movie Conan the Barbarian (the original), the hero loses his love interest, Valeria, after she is hit by an arrow that is really a poisonous snake. What does the villain whisper to the snake before he turns it into the disgusting projectile? That's your root word. Then add an "ing" to the end.

Oh, BTW, this post also includes a freebie. ;) There's another Scavenger word in the text above. Hints: We made a bold move. Do you think it might stand out? There could be a larger purpose to it. *winkwink*

Wondering what this post is all about? There's a cross-blog Scavenger Hunt underway. Read the details at
There are lots of great prizes for the winner. You're welcome to join in the fun. Just stop by the blog for rules and clues.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

New Slogan for NASA?

WiredScience is having a "write a better slogan for NASA" contest. Check out their website for guidelines and to check out some of the entries (some serious, some amusing, some scathing). You can find it here:

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Contest on Draxian Trilogy Blog

If you're up for a little contest, here's one that may be right up a Spacefreighter's alley.

Test your space knowledge. Name that heavenly body and win an "Alternate Universe in progress" mug from Cafe Press. Contest can be found here:

Have fun!