Friday, July 30, 2010

5 Ways Space Can Drive You Insane

And of course, knowing Mr. Sayell as we do, no weekend would be complete without a totally weird article Here we have no exception. From 5 ways space can drive you insane! Here we go!

  • 5. Space Loneliness At no time in space exploration has there ever been more than 13 people in is lonely...
  • 4. Gamma Rays and the Mind even normal radiation makes space exploration problematic, but without proper shielding exposure to the more energetic gamma rays may be a recipe for as the article puts it.... cognitive and emotional breakdown.
  • 3. Bad Air Amid the Stars One only has to look to mountain climbers to see what happens when the air gets a bit thin. Decreased cognitive capacity and comprehension, permanent damage to the brain regions involved in motor activity and even death.
  • 2. The Wages of Stress The constant worry about air quality, the debilitating effects of low gravity, gamma rays, mission parameters, navigation and equipment failures -- all the while knowing that a thin wall separates them from an environment that would kill them quickly can be extremely stressful.
  • 1. Crazy Co-workers in Space even under "normal" conditions, co workers often can drive you to distraction. Movies like silent running may be more accurate that we imagine when the stress becomes overwhelming.

DIY Kit Puts Satellites Into Orbit for $8,000

Now here is something that has just GOT to get you excited if you are the least bit interested in space. Tim Sayell sends me an article from that details how you can get your own personal satellite into Earth orbit for $8,000! That's right, not 8 million or 800,000 but for the price of a not so hot used car!

Now I know the first thing you are thinking is that the satellite cost 8 much to launch it? Fair question...launching any satellite into orbit is one of the more costly item. But that's 8,000....ah ha! you think, now we are up to 16 grand....nope...8,000 total. You get the bare satellite (circuit boards, solar cells, batteries, a combination transmitter-receiver, microcomputer, electronic components, blueprints and a structural shell that's about the size of a one-liter bottle.) and a launch for 8,000 period! Getting excited yet?

The program, called TubeSat and enthusiasm has been overwhelming Interorbital Systems' ceo Randa Milliron told Discovery.

Interorbital Systems will begin the first of four suborbital test flights of it's Neptune rocket, in August - people are so anxious to fly that I.S. sold customers space even on the test flights.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ask a Physicist: How long does it take for you to fall into a black hole?

In it's ongoing "Ask a Physicist, " series, the folks over at IO9 deal with the question, if a black hole warps time and space at the event horizon, how long does it really take to fall in and does anything ever REALLY take the final plunge?

The question has merit and the answer is really well informed though a bit lengthy, so I suggest that one meander over and read the complete article. That would be much better than me cutting and pasting and possibly taking something out of context.

complete IO9 article here

End of a Dynasty....

IO9 reports that nearly 1,400 space shuttle workers laid off in Florida and Texas, preparing for the imminent demise of the Space Shuttle program.

NASA contractor Space Alliance laid off 1,394 workers or about 15% of the contractor's workforce.

Somehow the rest of the story where Space Alliance thanks all those people for their commitment to getting people into space and hoping they find employment quickly, has exactly the opposite effect the sentiments were to engender.....As a matter of fact it leaves me feeling very empty.

Chakra Trance - Kohinoor Roy.mpg

Space music if there ever was any. Close eyes and drift along

Reasons why you will never store you "mind" online

Dvice blog has postulated that a person's mind will never be "living" online or digitally. There are some good arguments made...I am sure some counters are available as well? So here goes

Even the most reliable service crashes at the most inopportune moment. Without constant "backup" you would be in trouble in short order.

Digital storage media wears out alarmingly fast. Forget thinking.... constant backups, refreshes, and format updates, would be the rule of the day.

Power consumption. Your brain works on 25 watts. As the article states, Google takes 100 megawatts just to do a simple index, imagine what it would take just to power up the processing power of the human brain let alone enough power to let it think?!

Processing power. The brain in theory can do about 10 quadrillion calculations per second, or 10 petaflops. IBM's Blue Gene/P supercomputer has a maximum theoretical limit of around 3 petaflops. But you say...well get three and you have enough...well not really, neuro-scientists now are certain that a neuron does more than just flip on and off to store data, but may in fact process and encode the data which in my mind ups the anti in a BIG way.

People forget that the brain is a management system for the body as well. The nervous system collects data and feeds the brain constant amounts of high bandwidth data every fraction of a second of the day. Without this constant stream of data, the mind soon stops functioning in any useful way. So now we are up to huge data loads, massive processing and unbelievable amounts of power.....

So it soon becomes evident that with all of this infrastructure will not be available, even if it worked, to everyone...wana guess who goes and who doesn't?

soooooooo lets say that all the problems are solved and everyone goes over...who does maintenance? Robots? ok, so who maintains them? and so on .......and we are counting on it all working perfectly forever?

The article really goes a lot more into depth. Read more here over at Dvice

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Season of Star Gate Universe trailer

Hey Stargate Universe fans, here is a trailer for the upcoming season starting in September on Syfy

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hard to find sci-fi series? Now there's Scifinal

Hey, do you like your sci fi in small easy to consume mini bytes? One thing that places like Youtube have familiarized us to, is the Internet series. In the truest sense the "mini" series. Short episodic story lines that you don't have to spend your whole lunch hour catching up on. Shows like "The Guild" or "Woke up Dead" are 5 or 10 minute shorts that bring the story along in little manageable episodes.

The one thing that is often difficult though is just finding new series. especially the low budget independent series that are not well publicized. So along comes a clearing house of sorts for sci-fi called Scifinal. Here is what they have to say about themselves.
  • SciFinal is a web directory focused on providing information and links about independently produced science fiction web series. SciFinal is a way to learn about exciting sci-fi shows you may not be familiar with.
Here is a promo short from Youtube

Guess who is coming to "Chuck"

Are you a fan of the tongue in cheek spy series Chuck? If so then you know that the cast has been pretty deep from time to time. Adam Baldwin has been a regular since the onset, Scott Bakula has had some walkons as Chuck's dad, but we have never been privy to just exactly who was Chucks mom. Well in the upcoming season, that blank will be filled in with none other than Linda Hamilton!

According to Mark Wilson over at the About SF blog:
  • Hamilton will play Mary Bartowski, the long-time missing mother of Chuck and Ellie, joining the series as a recurring guest.
Look for this and other surprises when the series returns September 20th.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Quantum time machine 'allows paradox-free time travel'

From the article:


Quantum physicists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believe it is possible to create a time machine which could affect the past without creating a "grandfather paradox". 


Read the entire article. Click Here.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Could our universe be 150 billion years old?

The Daily Galaxy blog posted a rather interesting article that questions the conventional age of the universe. Instead of the commonly held age of 13 billion years, a team of the British, American, and Hungarian astronomers say that there is evidence that the true age of the universe may be as long as 150 billion years instead.

Their evidence? The group states that there are 13 gigantic "rivers" of galaxies that are so huge and so well organized that it would take upwards of 150 billion years for these structures to form, based on their speed of movement and using the standard Big Bang cosmology.

For more on this subject - check the posting on the Daily Galaxy site here

Earth's most pristine crater discovered

Using Google Earth, Italian researchers discovered what may be Earth's best preserved crater. The crater Kamil, is located in a remote area of the Sahara desert.

From the Gizmodo article:
  • The crater measures 147 ft at its widest point and 52 ft deep at its deepest. Using those numbers, scientists estimate that the meteor that hit Earth was only 4.2 ft in diameter (but was traveling at 8,000MPH!).
The crater is so well preserved that it still retains the bedrock splatter patter that one often only sees on airless bodies. Most craters on Earth erode fairly quickly due to the weather.

Another cool thing about the crater is that it is mostly likely only a few thousand years old!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Nuclear Explosions from 1945-1998

For such a simple short animated film, you will be riveted, appalled and frightened. It's simple maps and blips, but the net effect is wondering how we got out alive, or are we just holding our breath? Watch it. This is brilliant in it's simplicity and scope.

and it keeps getting better!!!

Crystal Wizard of Abandoned Towers fame continues to astound with the tweeks to the new Beam Me Up site!

Every time I log in I am astounded by how professional the board looks! If you have not been to the site for a couple of days, click the link. This has the old podomatic site beat hands down!

I feel like I got me a new 100 dollar suit and I just can't wait to show it off! lol



Thursday, July 22, 2010

RIP: James P. Hogan

From SFScope: Author James P. Hogan was found dead at his home in Ireland on 12 July 2010. According to his own bio, he'd been writing science fiction as a hobby since seeing the movie 2001 and not understanding the ending. Hogan won three Seiun Awards and two Prometheus Awards.

Hogan is survived by his wife, Sheryl and his six children.

more here

Reign of Death a short film by Matthew Savage

From the SFSignal blog I find this sweet ... what? Well kinda steampunk video but it's all most like what would it be like if the world of Bladerunner took place in the 1930s. It was written and directed by Matthew Savage and it its called "Reign of Death" for some reason that I would rather not expand will get the joke believe me. From the liner notes: It stars Noel Clarke (Doctor Who) as a detective in a retro-futuristic city with robots and flying cars. Also the notes mention that there is a possibility that this could become a full-length film. I would sit still for that!

Boeing Plans New High Occupancy Capsule

Boeing has announced its plans to produce a low-cost, high-occupancy passenger capsule called the Crew Space Transportation-100 vehicle. Early estimates predict that it could be ready by 2014. The new crew capsule would be used to ferry crew to the ISS and Boeing says that it would be compatible with and very likely could ferry people to the Bigelow's inflatable space stations

Dvice article

Beam Me Up is moving!

Check out the new Beam Me Up podcast site!!! The production people over at Abandoned Towers has been putting in mega hours to get the new domain going. For those that might suspect, Beam Me Up is in the middle of a move to a new site with its own domain. The new podcast site is and we are slowly moving shows over and also building a new archive site to complement it. We haven't set a date yet but the Podomatic site at some point will be shuttered so we can commit to the new site with higher quality and much more customizable. Thanks for supporting Beam Me Up!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Scientist Discover Star That Can't Exist

Tim Sayell brings to my attention a recently discovered star that is a very strange beast indeed. Up to this point scientist have put an upper limit on how massive a star can be. It had been determined that stars larger than 150 solar masses (150 times the size of our sun) could not exist. The reason? The energy that the core of a star produces exerts massive forces on the outer layers of a star's atmosphere. With out it, a star would collapse. However any larger than 150 sols and the force of the core will push the star apart and do so quite violently.

All was well until scientists recently discovered a star more than 300 solar masses, and no it has not and is not showing any signs of exploding!

From the device article:
  • The massive star is in a cluster of equally-massive stars called R136. Many of the young stars in this cluster were greater than 150 solar masses at birth, tens of times larger and several million times brighter. This particular one appears to have been born at a whopping 320 solar masses before shrinking to its current observable size of 265 solar masses. (stars shrink? who knew! pac)
From the Yahoo article:
  • Still, the mass of R136a1 and its ilk means they're tens of times bigger than the Earth's sun and they're brighter and hotter, too.
  • Surface temperatures can surpass 40,000 degrees Celsius (72,000 degrees Fahrenheit), seven times hotter than the sun. They're also several million times brighter.....
Still, massive stars do not enjoy long lives as compared to yellow dwarf or cooler stars. Usually only a few million years, making them extremely rare stars and very difficult to find R136 is in all likelihood already in late middle age and is in the process of blowing off huge amounts of mass.

James May take a ride to the edge of space

I know we have all heard this before, but I never get tired of seeing a fresh perspective of what a sub-orbital or in this case a U-2 plane traveling to 70,000 feet. In this short, James May of Top Gear fame, takes us with him as he rides the plane to twice the altitude of a commercial airline. An altitude that puts him above 95% of the Earth's atmosphere. At one point in the film he remarks that other than the folks in the ISS, they (meaning the pilot and May)were the only people at that altitude. Quite sobering when you start seeing, once again, the curve of the planet and how thin the lower 95% really is. Quite beautiful. Enjoy!

Thanks to the Kim Komando for the post

Monday, July 19, 2010

1000mph "Bloodhound" ssc in the works!

You thought the Thrust ssc was fast just because it broke the sound barrier? Well check out the mind numbing Bloodhound ssc that is in the works. This bad boy is is designed for speeds over 1000mph! Interestingly enough, several of the people involved in the Thrust vehicle also worked on the Bloodhound, including driver Andy Green. Builders look towards 2012 for completion and testing, though only a full sized model is all they have to show. But the video is damn cool. Check it out!

Thanks to Tim Sayell for the link!

$5000 dystopian short film "The Raven"

Here is a wicked sci fi short very much in the vein of an X-Men type of mutant. For a low budget (How about a scant 5 thousand?) independent you are going to be amazed at the quality of every portion of this. Possible long commercial version? Hey anything is possible, and I would be all over it. The Raven.

YouTube link

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Review: Dennō Coil A Circle of Children

Dennō Coil A Circle of Children
Director Mitsuo Iso
26 episodes

I have spoken about this series so much that I feel like I have reviewed it....Guess not, because I can not find it in the blog - so here goes...

Initially Denno Coil depicts a near future where augmented reality or virtual reality technology has just begun to enter the mainstream. The series follows a group of children as they use AR glasses to unravel the mysteries of the half real, half Internet city of Daikoku, using a variety of illegal software tools, techniques, and virtual pets to manipulate the digital landscape.

The series revolves around Yūko who has recently moved with her family to Daikoku. Yūko joins her grandmother's "investigation agency" made up of children equipped with virtual tools. As their research turns up mounting evidence of children who have been disappearing into the mysterious "other side" of reality. It soon becomes clear that they are entangled in a conspiracy to cover up the dangerous true nature and history of the new VR technology.

There are a lot of players and the plot often meanders off the track to center on some of the secondary characters, but often the divergences explain or uncover some hidden fact or information about the true nature of “obsolete space”, The plot often twists and turns and never quite explains clearly what is really going on. In truth nothing is quite what it seems. What is clear though is there was a lot of thought placed on extrapolating current trends and fads. Virtual pets for instants take on a whole independent existence. Miniaturization and virtualizing of computers and hardware are developed to the point that you find yourself, I would like my rig work like that!!!. (a completely different feel than what you get from the equipment from a series like Lain)

The ending is a complete twist and makes sense...and for once, the hints to the mystery are all over the early episode. If you are like me you will find yourself saying...OH I should have seen that!!!

Denno Coil at first glance looks like it should be a kids show, but in truth it houses some very adult questions about life and reality. Kids might like it, but for completely different reasons. Adults will find the twists and the plot line interesting. A good science fiction romp.

Check out the series web page here

Friday, July 16, 2010

Uhhhhhhhhhh WTF!!!!!!!! They are transplanting WHAT?

Ok, well it's weird medical science...does that count here? Ok for those of you that have been with me long enough know....I just couldn't let this one ride.... soooooooooooo

Poop transplants. (yeah, you read that right.....they are transplanting poop. you know...this is a funny co-incidence, but I used to get my mouth washed out with soap for saying that word and now is kinda weird... so, back to the ummm straight poop...OMG and there is no one here to stop me!!)

Doctors take diluted stool (tell me that you are ever going to read those two words together in an article see?! I enlighten as well as inform!) sample from a person with healthy gut bacteria and inject it into the colon of someone whose bacteria are floundering. The healthy microbes move in and spruce up the place, curing some intestinal diseases.....

(You just got to know this is fake! come on! If a doctor said to you, I have a cure! This is how it works....and you're going to are going to take what and do what to it and put it where? )

(oh and I get to say poop on the radio....)

If i'm lyin I'm dyin here is the link right here!

Gamma Ray Explosion Blinds Swift

Long before our sun and planets formed and massive star collapsed to form a black hole. On June 21 of this year, the gamma ray burst from this explosion reached Earth and promptly raised havoc with several satellite systems including the Swift Observatory.

"Light" from the explosion was was 140 times brighter than the brightest steady source of X-rays currently known making this the most powerful source of x-rays ever recorded.

The burst was so bright that it temporarily blinded the Swift satellite.

The Telegraph via Dvice

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Soda Can Shake-Up - Cool Science Experiment

How to shake up a soda can and then open the top and not get sprayed - scientific explanation and cool effects.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rosetta triumphs at asteroid Lutetia

From the ESA Rosetta page via Boing Boing is some absolutely stunning photos of the Rosetta spacecraft as it does a flyby of the asteroid Lutetia. I love the one with Saturn as the backdrop to one of the frames!

ESA's Rosetta spacecraft's main mission is the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko which it will reach in 2014. It will hold the distinction of being the first craft to carry out long-term exploration of a comet at close quarters. When Rosetta arrives at the comet it will release a small lander onto the comet's icy surface, then spend the next two years orbiting the comet as it heads towards the Sun.

click here for more Rosetta photos

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Nemesis not to blame for mass extinctions

We have all heard that the fossil records show a curious cycle of every 27 million years, Earth has been bombarded so heavily as to cause a mass extinction. Some scientists blamed a star dubbed Nemesis. In a recent IO9 article, Adrian Melott of the University of Kansas and Richard Bambach of Smithsonian Institution Museum of Natural History, say that the theory that every 27 million years, Nemesis would swing through the outer system bringing with it vast quantities of material from the Ort cloud. Melott and Bambach researched the fossil records and indeed found an extremely accurate record of mass extinctions every 27 million years, further back than anyone else had researched. And that accuracy it appears, is the failing point of the Nemesis as the cause. Because the occurrences are SO regular it can not be a Nemesis object, because it is SO regular!

Melott and Bambach postulate that if Sol had a binary companion, their shared orbit around a common central point would distort the regularity of each body around the system. This means that each time Nemesis swung in, its orbit would change and the occurrence would not and could not be the same as the one before and the one after. The change might be subtle but it would be enough for the regularity of the events to be wildly different instead of every 27 million.

You can read the whole article on IO9 here

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Review: Gunslinger Girl

Gunslinger Girl
Director Morio Asaka
13 episodes

The series Gunslinger Girl is set in modern-day Italy and is based in a some what shadowy organization called the Social Welfare Agency which purports itself to be a charitable institution. The Agency overt mission is to rehab the physically injured, but in truth is a military organization specializing in counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism. the covert section of the Agency is Special Ops. The series centers around sections 2, which employs young girls fitted with cybernetic implants as agents. The implants, which consist of synthesized muscles and carbon fiber bones, result in heightened strength and reflexes as well as high resilience to damage and pain. Each girl is paired with a male trainer, or "handler", who is responsible for the training, of the girl he is assigned. Each girl is subjected to brainwashing which the agency calls "conditioning", which produces a deadly assassin with unquestioning loyalty to her handler but also limits her life span.

Gunslinger Girl is most definitely an adult anime series that works on many levels. The science fiction elements are strong but are not used to beat you around the head and shoulders. I think that is what makes the series most disturbing. For the most part they are what they appear to be - young girls then all of a sudden they are almost mindless killing machines. And boy is there a lot of that! No hold is bared to show that the girls are ruthlessly efficient when on assignment.

Even though there is ample chases, gun play blood and mayhem, its the dichotomy of each girls between that killing machine and the devoted little girl.

The series has ample action but there is also time spend on character development. I can’t say you will come to identify with the main characters, but you soon learn what motivates each beyond their conditioning.

Gunslinger Girl is a series worth tracking down. I found the series on along with the second season reboot. It’s a twisted theme, and is very violent, but it is very much worth checking out.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

diamond bullets -Secret to fusion power?

Dvice blog lists an article stating that Chinese scientists say they've figured out a way to make fusion power work by using minuscule diamond bullets fired into crystallized methane.

Of course the biggest technical hump is that those diamonds will need to be fired at a speed of 2,232,000 mph to start the reaction.

The idea is to fire the diamond bullet into methane crystals. The extremely high speed would create a tremendous shock-wave, the high pressures developed would raise the temperature in the containment vessel high enough to start a nuclear fusion reaction.

So far, computer simulations agree with the scientists that this method would have a net energy gain, but work still needs to be done to develop a system to keep the reaction going once started.

Read more here

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

This Year's Locus Award Winners

From Science Fiction Award Watch

Here is a partial listing of the results of this year’s Locus Awards.

  • Science Fiction Novel: Boneshaker, Cherie Priest (Tor)
  • Fantasy Novel: The City & The City, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan UK)
  • First Novel: The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade)
  • Young Adult Novel: Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse; Simon & Schuster UK)
  • Novella: The Women of Nell Gwynne’s, Kage Baker (Subterranean)
  • Novelette: “By Moonlight”, Peter S. Beagle (We Never Talk About My Brother)
  • Short Story: “An Invocation of Incuriosity”, Neil Gaiman (Songs of the Dying Earth)
for a complete listing you can go here: Science Fiction Award Watch

Sunday, July 04, 2010

*Quantum Physics* The Reality As You Know It Does Not Exist

Quantum Physics: Everything you know is wrong

And we can prove it!

New Doctor Who Trailer featuring the Doctor and Amy! - BBC One

Review: Lain (Serial Experiment) anime

Lain (Serial Experiment) anime
Directed by Ryutaro Nakamura

This is my first foray into reviewing an anime series, but certainly not my first time watching one. I think I bit off more than I expected with this one. Serial Experiment Lain is an anime series that originally aired in 1998. In it's simplest form it is about interconnected networks and an internet analogue called the Wired. The main character Lain at first appears to be very technically inept but through pressure from several different directions begins to show an interest in the interconnected Wired. Weird deaths start to happen, bizarre thoughts and images become more and more prevalent which it would seem is all designed to make us aware that the main character Lain is much more than she seems. She may be real, she may not. the actions all about her by the same nature either really did or didn't happen. The main point that seems to be trying to be made is that everything in the world, people places things and history all owe their existence to memory. The more the series goes on (there are 4 dvds) the more convoluted this logic become and the more existential the actors and actions become.

My first impression was that it was all very much Matrix but in truth it is ever so much more complicated. There are levels upon levels many of which really are not explained. There seems to be a healthy bit of misdirection as well where character pronouncements seem to be nothing more than assumptions at times.

Add to this some very lawn mower man type graphics and at times you have a very confusing and disjointed viewing experience which never really clears up at the end of the last episode.

That being said, even if it were not a 10 year dated series, it is amazingly thought provoking.

Some of the statements about the form and function of history, say, are items that will get you thinking. The graphics are certainly not sumptuous as other animated features and that really has to be deliberate - stark is stark and form follows function.

Look, this is not powder puff girls or Astro Boy, Lain tends toward adult questions and even that they seem to spout from the mouth of a 13 year old school girl makes them that much more disconcerted.

But all in all, the series is good and certainly holds up well. Though the end of the last decade had the mind set that bigger is better and therefor pipes and wires are high tech. Really, from their perspective could they have truthfully foreseen the amount of computer power that would be crammed behind a 22inch lcd? See my point. Otherwise the series is very much worth the rental.

Its dvds so extras are pretty much non-exsistant and to be truthful, weirdly disturbing in the motion reference shots of real a real person. I can't for the life of me figure out why they felt the need to include them. But that is not even going to come close to me saying don't bother.

Its a good high 7 or 8 If you're like me you will have to resist tearing through the episodes.

Friday, July 02, 2010

IBM and the Jeopardy Challenge

Man vrs computer.
First, it was IBM beating the world chess champion.
Now, it's IBM beating the world class jeopardy

What's next

AntipodeanSF Issue 145 is now available

Ion, the editor of the Austrailian flash fiction online magazine "Antipodean" writes to tell us that issue 145 (Now there is dedication! Antipodean is a monthly magazine so that works out to over 12 years?!!! ) is now online for your reading pleasure.
Here is a list of the flash stories but there is poetry, 50 word fiction and much more! Enjoy!
  1. A Call Of Duty By Sergio Palumbo
  2. This Just In By Simon Petrie
  3. After The March By Julie Cohen Wornan
  4. Mnemosnye By Sarp Esin
  5. Summer Camp By Shaun A. Saunders
  6. Fantastic By Brendan Carson
  7. CSI Jehova By Guy Hasson
  8. The Critic By Jay Caselberg
  9. Paid In Full By Rodney J Smith
  10. The Best Of Intentions By Dr. Michael Schaper

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Abandoned Towers issue #6 is now available to purchase!

I'm really happy with this issue. The cover art is great, and the content inside is even better.

Anyone that would like to read a preview of the issue, or pick up a print copy, can do so by going here:

I thought I'd give everyone a taste of what's inside. so here's the table of contents:

Table of Contents

Featured Story: Magnificent Pigs By Cat Rambo
Editorial: Inevitable Change - Bill Weldon

Hello, Mommy By M. Lee
The Woven By Laura J. Sanger
Titan By Doug Hilton
Apollo’s Breath By Shaun A. Saunders
Illegal Aliens By Grady Yandell
Somewhere By Shaun A. Saunders
One Small Mistake By Rod Hamon
Zeno’s Paradox By Doug Hilton
Cold Comfort By Jason Kahn
Oaths By Bradley H. Sinor
Incident at Riverbend Pass By Gabriel Guerrero
The Real Enemy By Doug Hilton
Uphill or Down? By Shane Joseph
Othan, Leader By Kurt Magnuski
Rub Out by Jean Lauzier

Ring By Robert William Shmigelsky
A Magic Winter Moment By John William Rice
Night Artist By Carl Scharwath
Do Distant Sheep Have Gridlocked Dreams? By Norman Ball
Wallingford Inn By Emily Hayes
Pirates of Innsmouth By Scott E. Green
Fifty Years By Troy D. Young
A dream of life and afterlife By Harry Calhoun

Nonfiction & special features:
Robert the Bruce By Richard H. Fay
Interview with Grady Yandell
Excalibur Coloring Page By Richard H. Fay
A New Birth of Freedom - excerpt - by Robert G. Pielke
Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler’s Meal Onna Stick Fit for a Patrician recepies

And here's an excerpt from Zeno's Paradox, just to whet your appetite:

Somewhere over St. Louis, something happened. Tomcat felt it in the seat of his chair. A few seconds later, Jim Wong felt it in the controls. Flight 217 went from boring to deadly serious in about 1/100th of a second. A piece of space junk the size of a pea had passed through the left wing at 20,000 miles per hour on its way to the planet below.


“The Captain has turned on the seatbelt sign. The aircraft has experienced a problem. Please remain in your seats and await further instructions.”

Sister Mary Beth turned her eyes skyward and prayed.

Timmy hugged his teddy bear and cried.

Sue fished for her cell phone—she was going to send real-time videos of the rest of the flight to her friends, but out of range was all it displayed.

Tomcat and Jim were fighting the controls and trying to stabilize the flying brick. They couldn’t’ look back to see the three-foot hole in the left wing, so they didn’t know that fuel was spilling out—that they should shut off the transfer pump. The gauges weren’t acting normally because the shock of the hypersonic pea-sized missile had sent an instantaneous pulse through the electrical system that was still ringing up and down the length of the jumbo jet’s electrical system. Tomcat and Jim fought physics as best as they could, then Tomcat looked at Jim and said, “I can’t think of a way out of this one pal, how about you?”

**editor note** For an extra special treat, Crystal Wizard has produced Zeno's Paradox as an audio drama read by the author and embellished by Cyberwizard Productions. So if you would like a little added treat to issue 6, check out episode 215 of Beam Me Up. (Paul)**

Own your own Tron Lightcycle!

Hey, remember those cool light cycles from the first Tron movie? Ever wish that you could own one of those bad boys? Well the first Lightcycle were all CGA so there was little chance of anything but a knockoff that barely resembled the one in the movie. So, move up a few decades and tech catches up with construction. Add to that a brand new Tron movie and the time becomes ripe for a reintroduction of the Lightcycle. And so, if you have 35 large burning a hole in your pocket, you too can own a genuine Tron lightcycle. Not a knockoff but one of five that will be built for the new movie.

From the article:
  • The lightcycles are to be built by Parker Brothers Choppers, each will be individually numbered from 001 to 005, and each will come with a different color neon highlight. Only five will ever be built.
You will be able to specify the size engine you want or if you really want to crank up the tech you can go electric.