I’m running field coordination for my SCA barony’s event next weekend, which is happens to be the latest coronation for my SCA kingdom. That means I spend this weekend playing Land Allotment Tetris… which will be promptly folded, spindled, and mutilated when we have a walkthrough on Sunday. Which is awesome! We still need to have the rough draft to beat into the ground, though.
That’s not the only thing I gotta do, though. I could give you a whole list, but the only potentially thing of outside interest is: my birthday’s next week! Fifty-three! Huzzah. Yes, yes, it definitely beats the alternative. So if you want to celebrate it with me, buy my books. That is always an appropriate gift for an author, by the way: buy a copy (or more!) of their book and give it to somebody. We love that.
I should just note now that I am attempting to write a viewpoint character who disagrees with me on things, without making him too much of a caricature. Alas for him, this is also a horror story.
We tested the capacities of the repaired software today, and wow. That doesn’t come across as very scientific or dignified, I know. Still: wow. How’s the software doing, now that it’s taking full advantage of the drones we were given? Well, does anybody want a good surface map of Antarctica? Because we’ll have an accurate one within two weeks.
To be fair, it’s mostly going to be a map of ice and snow. But these survey drones are amazing; with the upgrades, they can detect significant metal deposits through up to two hundred yards (rolling eyes) of ice and snow. I’m told that’s deep enough to find some old meteor strikes, which is obviously making the astrophysicists and geologists sit up and take notice. Hooper and I haven’t promised anything to anybody, but we’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for anything worth a closer look.
It really is cheating, doing preliminary surveys like this. The drones are designed to go anywhere from the void of space to the surface of Venus, so an Antarctic summer isn’t even a challenge for them. I can see why the UN wanted to keep ultimate hold over the drones; all alien tech is valuable, but things like the drones are priceless. They’re also politically dangerous, which is why we’re testing their capabilities down here, instead of somewhere more touchy.
Communications with the NSF are down again. First time this year! Besides, that gives us the chance to figure out more about the drones without having bureaucrats breathing down our necks. …Not that I would ever give the other side ammunition by admitting that in public. They’re annoying enough as it is.
The hallway ended in double doors. They were Amalgamation-made: the padlock and chains keeping them shut were distinctly human. We contemplated the scene for a long moment. Finally, Oft spoke. “If it makes you feel any better, Pam — I would also rather like to go back the way we came.”
“Yeah,” I agreed, readying my gun. “That lock’s pretty damned solid. It’ll hold, no problem. I think everything looks fine. We can just go back, hop on the lander, be back for a late lunch or early dinner. I’ll even buy the first round.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Oft replied as the Anticipant glided to the padlock. “Obviously I would cover the tab for the night. I could do no less, seeing as I wasted your time with this needless side trip. After all, we are sensible people, are we not? If we see a locked door, and know not why it is locked, it would be absurd for us to open it anyway.”
The lock popped off. The Anticipant grabbed it out of the air before it could fall, then reattached it to one edge of the chain in one deft motion. The other end, she wrapped around her wrist and arm, idly twirling the lock around as she stepped back and pulled open one door.
“Exactly.” I stepped forward, into the deeper darkness. “Look at us, being absolutely sensible people.”
Maybe, you will be happy. Maybe, you will be sad. Maybe, you will be feeling an involuntary feeling of cosmic terror as you realize that having children meant that you watched all or most of these shows, whether you wanted to, or not — and now it’s back. However it goes… behold. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always trailer.
Oh, this is interesting: “Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Night Watch) is officially set to direct and produce a passion project of his that he’s been trying to get off the ground for years. This is an animated project that will tell a story inspired by the iconic Middle Eastern, Balkan and Asian folk hero Hodja Nasreddin.” At least, it’s interesting to me. Being in the SCA, I know a few Nasreddin (or Nasruddin) stories myself. In fact, you probably know this one:
Had this thought before I went to bed; woke up, and had 1000 words done without raising a sweat. Nice.
December 22, 2078
Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station
Finally got the suborbital delivery of the special equipment from up north. I wish to say that it “took ‘em long enough,” but that would be unfair. We all decided that the Survey’s work would benefit from incorporating the new stable superconductor technology into the image resonators, and Monitech actually upgraded the product on time, and within budget. I shouldn’t blame them for the Argentinian separatists rising up again, however briefly. At that, we are lucky that the Brazilian personnel in the Survey are all politically reliable Brazilian-Brazilian themselves.
Although ‘luck’ probably had nothing to do with it. Everyone remembers the wretched way the Grabiński affair ended, back in ‘77. It may be more difficult to acquire firearms in Antarctica than it was to the Empty Quarter, but archeological expeditions still have a remarkable number of items that can be turned into deadly weapons. It’s best to leave the more excitable political fanatics at home.
Still! We carry on. The image resonators are here, just in time for Christmas, and soon there will be a proper drone fleet for the Survey. I expect wonders from the new year.
There were quite a few arguments over when exactly the new year would start, but eventually everyone agreed on New Zealand Time. According to one of the old hands at the Station, this happens every year. She also said it usually didn’t devolve into an actual fistfight. I got the impression that the incident didn’t reflect well on the Survey, even if watching two scientists take awkward swings at each other did have its own entertainment value. Fortunately, I was able to convince her that I was above such crudeness — or at least that kind of crudeness. She had nothing to complain about the way we rang in the New Year.
January 3, 2079
The drones were retrofitted, checked out, sent up in the air — and the software promptly crashed. Ah, technology. How useful thou art! Fortunately, Ted Hooper spent a couple of years at CHARS before the Canadians shut it down for refurbishing; he figured out where the code was getting hung up before the coders themselves did. Apparently it was a common problem in Nunavut. We’re lucky to have him.
FrightReads Book Fest is a Maryland book festival that I’ve been attending for the last two years. It’s a lot of fun, and very vendor-friendly: I sell a decent number of books, and get to meet a bunch of other indy writers there. It’s pretty successful, too. This year, FrightReads has been expanded to the whole weekend (Sept 30 – October 1st), and they’re coming up with other ways to expand their reach.
One of these is their Author Talks program, in which they, you know, talk to an author via Facebook Live. I’ll be on it on April 6th, from 7 PM until whatever. The link is here: be sure to check it out, on the day!