Sunday, July 30, 2006

1632 and all that!

(click for podcast)


The mystery would never be solved. It would simply join others, like the Tunguska event or the Square Crater on Callisto, in the catalogue of unexplained occurrences. The initial worldwide excitement waned within a few months, as it became clear that no quick answers would be found. For a few years grieving relatives would, with some success, press officialdom to maintain the studies and inquiries. But there were no lawyers to keep the fires stoked. The courts ruled soon enough that the Grantville Disaster was an Act of God, for which insurance companies were not liable. Within ten years, the Disaster had devolved into another domain of fanatics and enthusiasts, like the Kennedy Assassination. Thereafter, of course, it enjoyed a near-eternal half-life. But few if any reputable scientists in the world held out any hope for a final explanation....

Welcome to the Year of Our Lord 1632
Get your pickup truck and deer rifle -- We're joining the Thirty Years' War!

In May of the year 2000, a six-mile sphere, centered on Grantville, West Virginia, was displaced in space and time to Germany and 1631. When the inhabitants of Grantville decided to start the American revolution early the nobility of Europe were not amused.

This story, by Eric Flint, is the basis for a great deal of lively discussion on Baen's Bar on the Baen Book web site since 1999.

The 1632 universe has spawned sequels including an anthology, Ring of Fire, 1633, 1634: The Galileo Affair, and continuing issues of the 1632 universe's magazine The Grantville Gazette both as electronic and print editions. More books and magazines are coming soon including: 1634: The Baltic War, 1634: The Ram Rebellion, 1635: The Cannon Law.

Check it all out at:

The books (at least three of them) are free to download at the inestimable Baen Free library:

MUSIC: Bucketboy Bluegrass Band

Bucketboy Bluegrass Band's Newsletter

Genre: Country (Bluegrass)
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Bucket boy Bluegrass is a two piece street band seasoned by the sites and sounds of Michigan Avenue.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Star Wars on Trial!

(click for podcast version)

Now here's an interesting looking book - I've got
it on order - I'll let you know what I think.

Karen Traviss's next book is on the way - August 29th:
You can preview LEGACY OF THE FORCE: BLOODLINES - the prologue, in audiobook format , read by Marc Thompson.(Sounds Terrific).

Meanwhile, I'm listening to the audio versions of the prequel trilogy - I have to admit, though I read the books when they came out.... the audio experience is outstanding, maybe better than the movies!

Check out the Random House Audio podcast, It's a Big Universe!

iTunes URL (sorry it's the only one I have)

Don't forget's "Secrets of Star Wars" - been a while since a new episode, but still good!


Saturday, July 08, 2006

The MiitKad Project

(click for podcast)

MiitKad - Word Sword - a Minimalist Editor
This is a dead-simple editor, in the vein of DarkRoom and WriteRoom. I'd be very surprised if it is of interest to many people, but it is a fun little thing to play around with for me.

It is an ALIEN text processor, because if you install Aurek-Besh (see below) you can
edit just the way Luke Skywalker would!

For all your alien font needs - Aurek-Besh and MORE:

Alien Fonts Banner


BE sure to visit
for the latest about Mando'a and all of Karen's excellent books!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

New Worlds and Old

(click for podcast)

Korolev: How One Man Masterminded the Soviet Drive to Beat America to the Moon

James J. Harford

Book Cover

An amazing book:

A mysterious figure, virtually unknown even in his own country, Sergei Pavlovich Korolev masterminded not only the historic launch of Sputnik and the first intercontinental ballistic missile, but Yuri Gagarin's epochal space flight, and, ultimately, the Soviet attempt to beat America to the moon. Who was Korolev? Where did he come from? Why is so little known about him?

This is a great entry into the world of the Soviet space program, a fascinating history and an amazing man - recommended!

While it is common to consider the "Space Race" in terms of "US won, USSR lost," The Soviet space program was filled with triumphs. I think my favorite is their exploration of Venus -

Read about it HERE:

Venus Launches To Venus

NASA's free WorldWind program lets you expore Venus!

To learn more about the Russian/Soviet Space program - past and future, visit this excellent site:

If you'd like to build your own "table of languages," or "translator" take a look at this page for material in many many languages:

Jennifer's Language Page!


Music: Russian kamarinskaja