Saturday, November 15, 2014

The start of Book Four

...With the shuttle well into its automated re-entry, the pilot got up to stretch- nothing unusual on a routine drop. As he stood up, the shuttle was violently slammed from what seemed to be an impact. Taken off-guard, he was thrown to the deck and lay there unmoving, as a multitude of alarms sounded.
Wayne started moving to the pilot’s seat when he saw one of the other recruits headed there- a colonial pilot, Lieutenant Sally Gettings. He paused to let her take control and took the unmanned co-pilot/navigator's seat, while she quickly brought the pitching craft under manual control, he ran the damage assessment checklist.
"Grav drive down, comms out, ILS out- hull tight," said Wayne.
"Going to aero-brake profile, optimize a path to dry land, Nav."
"Aye skipper- we don't have reaction mass to land at New Zealand- looks like an overshoot to Australia- that's the big island next door."
"OK- listen up folks- we are going for a crash-landing in a neutral to hostile zone. Secure the casualty and get ready for a bumpy minus-gee ride- I'm using the deck grav planars to retro-brake, so they won't be compensating. Lumps and bumps in sixty seconds," said Sally.
For the next 20 minutes the craft continued its roller coaster ride, as Sally balanced braking against hull temperature. With the comms still down, Wayne's suspicions were all but confirmed- an impact that would do so much damage to these nearly foolproof systems should have destroyed them. Now his remaining instruments were starting to build a terrain picture of their projected LZ.
"Skipper- I have a clear LZ five kilometres past a small watercourse. Reaction mass margin 300 kilos."
"Copy Nav- in the pipe. All hands prepare for impact in 90 seconds."
With the small river in sight, Sally started braking hard with the reaction engines, while overriding the SWL on the deck planars, fighting the effects of the negative g's- then they appeared motionless for a split second and she fought to catch the shuttle on the low-powered planars. The shuttle settled with a jolt and they were down and intact.
"Start power-down- ring-lasers off, planars off, matching pressure. Nav- start a sensor sweep and all hands are clear to unlock."
"Environment shows green, small life readings, no human profile, no local RF emissions. Temperature 35 degrees, humidity low. Clear to unlock hatch."
"Hatch unlocked. Mr Jamieson, you are now the senior here. Will you take command?"
"Aye pilot, I relieve you- and thanks from all of us for a soft landing. Mr Phillips, take five volunteers and sweep the area. Watch for native life- everything here is reputed to be toxic and foul-tempered. Remaining detail- inventory our stores and let's have a look at our casualty," said Wayne. As the rest set off to their tasks, Wayne asked Sally; "Have you ever done an aero-brake re-entry before?"
"Only in sim- I joined up so I could get to do that sort of stuff- didn't think it would happen so soon into the program though."
"Well, if I was still in the business, I would offer you a job right now-ah- our sleeper awakens. How's the head Chief?"...

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Yes- there actually is some!

I have done most of the storyboarding done and now have a framework for the next book. This requires a rewrite of half of the stuff I have so far done, but that's only 30k words.

Now if my fan base could stop sending me these wonderful ideas that I want to use ;-)...

Friday, January 3, 2014

Reviewers that don't 'get it'

"...However, the characters are genocidal sociopaths, so I stopped caring whether or not they died or succeeded in meeting their goals. [SPOILERS] A character dropped a nuclear weapon on a city to eliminate a few leaders, despite previously having demonstrated the ability to fire a sniper rifle through a time portal and kill them individually. Some characters needed some prefabricated metal sheds. They had unlimited money, and had previously purchased metal barns in kit form. However, instead of just buying more, the characters hijacked a WWII Liberty ship and killed much of its crew, to get a few bulky, leaky, and generally inferior Quonset huts. A character wanted coconuts for drinks, so he and a friend went to a tropical island, chopped down the inhabitants' trees, and then shot them when they complained. As another character pointed out, they could have just gone to a supermarket instead of killing human beings…"

A bit of a comprehension fail here.

OK- the whole point of nuking the city was made quite clear- To impress on a primitive world that the reign of the church is OVER. They would waste a nuke otherwise?

The Liberty ship was already doomed- it was to be sunk by a U-boat with a loss of  all hands. This was mentioned in the story. With the intervention off the MIT team, most survived and the rest got a cleaner death that freezing/burning in the Atlantic.

As for the Coconut incident, the shooting was at & around, by way of discouraging the local headhunters from investigating. That probably didn't come across clearly in the book. As was said- "They usually run away when we fire a few shots."

"...I loved the technical aspects, such as building a base out of standard container units pre-kitted to meet mission needs. However, I'd like to see the characters hauled before a War Crimes judicial panel in The Hague and sentenced to imprisonment for the rest of their extended lifespans…"

Maybe one of them will be in the up-coming book ;-) Keeping these characters in jail though...