Dec 9, 2016

Random Articles - RAW 161209

Welcome to the weekend! Did you know Space Opera was Science Fictions not-quite-respectable little cousin? I didn't, I'm guessing it's because not many people liked talking to me about SciFi so wan't up with all the gossip.  So to increase your intelligence I've also added some advice from Robert Frost.  Anyway sit back with your favourite beverage and enjoy reading this weekend.



S. K. Dunstall on Why They Write Space Opera - Unbound Worlds

Sci-fi author team S. K. Dunstall dispels the once-popular belief that space opera is the not-quite-respectable little cousin in the science fiction family.



How to Read Intelligently and Write a Great Essay: Robert Frost’s Letter of Advice to His Young Daughter – Brain Pickings

During her junior year in college, Lesley shared her exasperation over having been assigned to write an academic essay about a book she didn’t find particularly inspiring. In a magnificent letter from February of 1919, found in The Letters of Robert Frost, Volume 1 (public library), the beloved poet gave his daughter sage counsel on her particular predicament, emanating general wisdom on writing, the art of the essay, and even thinking itself.



An Illustrated Interview With Maurice Sendak. You’ll Watch It Again and Again! – Crafty House

Back in 2011, Maurice Sendak did an interview with NPR’s Terry Gross on “Fresh Air”. Artist Christopher Niemann was so touched by it he put the interview to pictures. It is so beautiful!



10 Things Every Writer Should Know About Amazon Publishing | WritersDigest.com

In 2012, right before my third novel, Forgotten was released, my agent let me know that my US publisher, William Morrow, would not be picking up my fourth novel, Hidden. I was, to put it gently, upset. My first (Spin) and second (Arranged) novels had published with them that year, had been well-reviewed, Target Emerging Author Picks and mid-list sellers. Also: no one ever talks about being rejected after getting a book deal!



The Hottest Trend In Digital Publishing are Serialized eBooks Good E-Reader News

The big new trend in digital publishing in 2016 is serialized novels that are delivered to you via an app or directly to the email inbox. Large publishers and a number of startups believe that most people do not read complete novels on their phone, but do have time to read a chapter a day.



NASA's Physics-Defying EM Drive Passes Peer Review

The reactionless thruster known as the EM Drive has stirred heated debate over the past few years. If successful it could provide a new and powerful method to take our spacecraft to the stars, but it has faced harsh criticism because the drive seems to violate the most fundamental laws of physics. One of the biggest criticisms has been that the work wasn't submitted for peer review, and until that happens it shouldn't be taken seriously. Well, this week that milestone was reached with a peer-reviewed paper. The EM Drive has officially passed peer review.



The funniest wildlife photos of 2016 - Australian Geographic

We're pretty certain that animals being either hilarious or adorable make up 99 per cent of the internet. So it can be difficult to sift through all those viral gifs, memes and YouTube clips of cats playing keyboard to find the cream of the crop. Thankfully, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards have taken care of all the hard work with their annual competition, and last week they announced the 2016 finalists – 40 chuckle-worthy photos ranging from clumsy pelicans to romantic ants.




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Dec 4, 2016

The Time Machine, The Robot and Regrets

[Christian devotion]

When my two oldest son’s were five and three years old I gave them a cardboard box and an old radio to pull apart, I never expected that I would end up in trouble from them for withholding critical information about the inner workings of the time machine they were building. It wasn’t working and they were very unimpressed when I wouldn’t provide the technical knowledge they required.

How could I tell them that robots from the future would come back in time and try to kill us if I allowed them to create one? Because the way things are going I know one of the boys will be creating a killer robot soon, no point in giving it a Time Machine as well.



If you’re like me then there will be times in your life that you wish you could to travel back in time and knowing what we know now, make different decisions. These points in time generally involve feelings of regret especially if we believe those times changed our lives for the worst.

The reality is that we all have to live with the mistakes we’ve made. We don’t have a Time Machine to go back and undo our mistakes. So where do we find hope and rest in our regrets?

We Can Do So In The Good News Of The Gospel.


Paul is a great example of how the good news of the gospel affects our past mistakes and sins. I’m sure Paul regretted his former actions as a persecutor, murdering innocent Christians but he recognises that the gospel is so powerful, and God’s grace so deep, that the actions of the worst sinners can be redeemed for good.

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
1 Timothy 1:15–16


Jesus died for our past, present, and future sins. We can remember our mistakes and how we’ve sinned against God, but still have daily peace because of this one truth that Paul reminds us of: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

We can thank God that Christ’s blood washes away our sinful past and now instead of focusing on what lies behind we can now and strain forward to what lies ahead, press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:13-14).


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Dec 2, 2016

Random Articles - RAW 161202

Welcome to the weekend. This edition of R.A.W is built around lists: 5 books with inspiring storytelling, 17 Science Fiction Books that Forever Changed The Genre, 10 Best Books of 2016, several fictitious dishes etc. Why not sit back with 2-3 cups of coffee and enjoy reading.

Gavin Chait on five books with inspiring storytelling

Beneath and imposing upon that first empty page are all the books written before, and all the anticipation and terror of the writer staring at a blank space and waiting to bleed. Finding an original way to tell a story - the sense of which you have probably heard in some form before - can be a tad intimidating.



17 Science Fiction Books That Forever Changed The Genre | Lifehacker Australia

Speculative fiction is the literature of change and discovery. But every now and then, a book comes along that changes the rules of science fiction for everybody. Certain great books inspire scores of authors to create something new. Here are 21 of the most influential science fiction and fantasy books.




The 10 Best Books of 2016 - The New York Times

The year’s best books, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.



Fictitious Dishes: Elegant and Imaginative Photographs of Meals from Famous Literature – Brain Pickings

Food and literature have a long and arduous relationship, from the Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook to Jane Austen reimagined in recipes to Alice B. Toklas’s literary memoir disguised as a cookbook to those delicious dishes inspired by Alice in Wonderland. But nowhere does that relationship come alive more vividly and enchantingly than in Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals (public library | IndieBound) — an ingenious project by designer and writer Dinah Fried



BBC - Future - The amazing cloud cities we could build on Venus

Science Fiction writer comes up with ingenious solution to colonising Venus...



Let's Colonize Titan - Scientific American Blog Network

The idea of a human colony on Titan, a moon of Saturn, might sound crazy. Its temperature hovers at nearly 300° below zero Fahrenheit, and its skies rain methane and ethane that flow into hydrocarbon seas. Nevertheless, Titan could be the only place in the solar system where it makes sense to build a permanent, self-sufficient human settlement.



Bringing the stained glass Dalek to life...

The Daleks are pretty awesome, iconic and well… unforgettable! Unlike the Cybermen where redesign and evolution is almost expected, the Dalek has remained the same for over 50 years with only a few alterations. Deviating from the classic silhouette (as was attempted back in 2010) is often met with anger and disappointment.




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Nov 27, 2016

Behind The Scenes And Outtakes from the 2016 Videos


I had a fun 3 month journey trying my hand at vlogging and video production again. I enjoyed doing this and am hoping to do more in the future.

I think the hardest video for me was The Wheel of Time one trying to answer a question on a series I'd never read as well as trying to do something different instead of standing in front of a book shelf.

It's difficult to say which one was my favourite, it would be a draw between the Star Trek Kelvin Timeline as well as the Shakespeare one.

As a way of saying thanks for joining me in this journey here is a  fun video. Thanks again for your support, your views and your comments, not just over the last three months but to all my regular readers.  I really appreciate it.



If you have any ideas as to content you'd like to me explore I'd be interested in hearing from you.

Thanks heaps.

Nov 25, 2016

RAW Special Edition - Sherlock Holmes


I love reading Sherlock Holmes stories, every few years I'll revisit some of this stories. Just this week I've just finished reading The Hound of the Baskervilles and after the 4th or 5th time still love it. I'll also watch the film and TV adaptoions as well but I would encourage you to put aside sometime to actually read the source material.

Following are a few random articles that I've been saving up about Sherlock Holmes.  Enjoy them with a pot of Earl Grey Tea.  If you want to show your Fandom and support me as well, why not head on over to my TeePublic page and grab a Hound Of The Baskervilles T-shirt.  You don't have to stick with the colour I've chosen you can choose your own colour, shirt style or even get the design on a mug if you wish. Head on over and take a look. [link]

 Hounds Distressed


Nov 20, 2016

Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2016 - Amazon's View


It's that time of year when Amazon releases their list of The Best Books of the Year 2016. Among the top list was one Science Fiction and Fantasy Novel called The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis, which was nice to see.


 A dystopian adventure, of course, The Wolf Road is an intimate cat-and-mouse tale of revenge and redemption, played out against a vast, unforgiving landscape—told by an indomitable young heroine fighting to escape her past and rejoin humanity. 

That story does look interesting, but what about the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2016? True to form Amazon had list of the best of, for most genre so I headed over to see what was there and was surprised.  I only knew about 2 or 3 of the twenty books in the list.  I took a look through and saw four which interested me.    Ninefox Gambit (Machineries of Empire Book 1) by Yoon Ha Lee was on that list so I haven't listed it below. You can find an entire post dedicated to it here (Up And Coming Reads | NineFox Gambit) and it's also part of a YouTube compilation I created here Book Highlights 2.

Special mention goes to Company Town & All the Birds in the Sky.  If you want to see the entire list you can by clicking this link here: [link]

Without further ado, my Top Picks from Amazon's Best of Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2016 list are:

Nov 18, 2016

Up and Coming Reads| Vigil: Verity Fassbinder Book 1


Here's an urban fantasy which looks interesting, firstly because it's set in the City of Brisbane and secondly because one of the plot devices include and illegal wine made from the tears of human children.  A book to enjoy with maybe an Australian Riesling?

Vigil is the first book in award-winning author Angela Slatter's Verity Fassbinder series.