Seven years on: advice to new writers

Last week, on 9 December to be precise, was what I consider the anniversary of my writing career. In December 2004, I took the decision to take my writing seriously and joined SF-OWW. I’ve done my seven years in the vein of ‘It takes seven years to become an overnight…

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What the… on swearing, and adverbs, in writing

I have to admit that I am rather puzzled at people who declare that they don’t use swear words in writing. Oh, I totally understand why the decision is made, and this post is not to tell them that they should decide differently, or tell them that the sky will…

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Choosing a landing spot for the Mars Curiosity rover

Adapted from a talk given at #CSIROTweetup by Marion Anderson School for Geosciences Monash University. Marion is an incredibly passionate speaker and Australian ambassador for space science. Marion is a geologist, and was involved with site selection for the Curiosity landing. Our understanding of Mars has changed a lot in…

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Dust & Rain part 2 of the Icefire Trilogy

Dust & Rain is book 2 in the Icefire Trilogy series Fifteen years ago, a brilliant scientist built a barrier against the dangerous power that radiates from the City of Glass in the southern land, allowing the citizens of Chevakia to live without fear of their lives. Since then, the…

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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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