Looking at the Earth through different eyes: the GRACE mission

Adapted from a talk given at #CSIROTweetup by Dr Daniel Shaddock (laser systems) Dr Paul Tregoning (geo data) ANU, supplemented with data from the GRACE mission home page. Image snarfed from the NASA/JPL GRACE page Most people associate going into space with exploring objects not on Earth, but many satellites…

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#CSIROTweetup in photos

A few pictures of the Tweetup event (explanation of what this event is in this post) ETA: An official report of the event is now up here These are some general overview pictures. Others will follow when I cover some of the subjects we heard about and discussed. Seen from…

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Mars Curiosity Tweetup in Canberra!

On 25 November 2011, NASA will launch the Mars Science Laboratory mission in the form of the rover known as Curiosity, which will be the third such rover to be trundling about the red planet. Curiosity (follow on Twitter as @MarsCuriosity) is larger than the previous two, Spirit, which famously…

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How close are we to developing artifical minds?

The last few days, I’ve spent some time doing some research I’d been avoiding. It’s no secret that I am interested in astronomy, am not afraid of chemistry or physics, but I’ve rather been avoiding medical science, since I don’t feel particularly qualified to tackle it. But since I’m developing…

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Space flight in Science Fiction: getting off this rock

Image: the last Shuttle lift-off in May 2011. Image snarfed from the amazing APOD site. I’ve just finished reading a book I won’t mention, for the reason that it describes something that’s impossible and inaccurate, would never be practical in the way described, and I don’t want to single out…

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Fire & Ice – part 1 of the Icefire Trilogy

Fire & Ice is book 1 in the Icefire Trilogy series Where magic is dark and gritty, characters troubled and twisted, and victory comes at a heavy price. Deep under the City of Glass in the frozen southern land, an age-old machine called the Heart of the City radiates a…

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Growing crops in space #2

In truth, this post should read ‘Growing crops in artificial environments’, because it applies equally to crops grown in a hypothetical space station as it does to crops grown on the Moon, or Mars or any fictional celestial body. I’ll start off with a few open doors: – All crops…

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Growing crops in space

You are writing space-based Science Fiction, and have decided your world is going to have a self-sufficient space station, base or space ship. A lot of Science Fiction books have this assumption in common. Any human colony, whether on a moving vessel, space station or on the surface of a…

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Charlotte’s Army – novella

Charlotte's Army

Charlotte’s Army is a Novella in the ISF-Allion series An army of 7000 artificial soldiers accidentally received the same brain implant: they are all in love with the same woman. A space fleet with seven thousand artificial human marines hurtles through space at near-light-speed to an interstellar war… Doctor Charlotte…

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The ‘danger’ of writing in first person

When talking about point of view (POV) and writing in first person, inevitably someone will bring up that it’s OK, as long as ‘it’s done well’ and that ‘it’s not for beginning writers’. Invariably also people can’t quantify what is meant by these statements and the sentiment against writing in…

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