Monthly Archives: May 2014

To Split Infinities or To Not Split Infinities…

That is the question, to misquote the Bard.

This post is on the computer, as I was looking at webpages when my blogging reminder came up. I’m still getting used to the iPad (last night, I learned how to enter multi-tasking mode, which also was the key to figuring out how to actually close out programs), and sorting through programs. Before I bought the iPad, I had read about a fair number of apps that looked useful, and I’m still going through them to figure out what to keep and what to discard.

One of the things I enjoy about having a device like this again has been listening to podcasts. I have about two years of podcasts to catch up on, having lost my old iPod Nano when I was working at the IRS in 2012. Probably the one I enjoy the most is Critical Hit, a Major Spoilers Dungeons and Dragons podcast, a live-play D&D4e campaign. The guys and gal there are a great group. I haven’t been able to listen to any podcasts since the loss of the iPod. I’m always doing something that eats up RAM and bogs down the laptop without the addition of iTunes. However, with the amount of time I spend driving (especially this week, as I worked four days with plenty of trips out of town), I’ve been able to get back to them. I have a number of other podcasts I’ll want to catch up to, and I’m thinking I’ll be unsubbing a couple eventually as well, as they cover subjects I’m just not as into any more (such as the Numenera podcasts I was following).

I got a couple of stray thoughts running through my head about the StarSea from the Critical Hit podcast this week. I was inspired to think about the presence of planes beyond the mortal one. Contrary to my usual, I’m not likely to include alternate realities. While I usually like other planes of existence, but I think the StarSea will be complex enough without other planes. Except for maybe a hyperspace-style plane, although I’m not enthusiastic about that one. I thought about a sub-space, or some other Phantom Zone-ish realm which is the “hell” the demons now inhabit…

Oh, didn’t I mention the demons before? I might not have, but they are there. I think I have mentioned them before, but I think it’s been a while. Maybe I’ll return to that later.

The transitive plane might solve some of my problems with the mechanics of the ships’ engines. I know how most engines work, in their simplest terms. Car engines turn wheels, boat engines turn propellers, jet engines push out air. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I have in my original notes a mention of Ether, and starship engines could work like jets, providing thrust through Ether. Or, they could work like Star Wars hyperdrives, shifting ships into a sidereal dimension that allows FTL travel. That idea only works with my empty gulfs if I assume a more Babylon 5 hyperspace in which travel is between beacons, which I already have in place. However, piracy becomes more difficult if you have to follow the beacons.

So, it comes down to which concept of reality do I use: hyperspace is necessary for space travel; or a flow of Ether that ships ply like an ocean. I think my choice is clear.

That’s about all I have for this week. Later.

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First iPad Post!

So, Thursday afternoon, I went into the local Apple Store and purchased the iPad Mini I could afford. 16 GB, wireless only. No add-ons yet. I simply couldn’t afford more. I’ve spent most of the past few days updating the OS, getting software, playing games, and just getting used to how the device works. I’ll be working on getting the stuff I’ve filled notepads with typed in and turned to an electronic format. I’d like to be able to put it into a database, but I haven’t found one for the iOS, yet.

I also completed the first four Hawkmoon books, which tell the complete the story of The War Against Granbretan. I realized that some of it is really poorly written. I noticed the truly sloppy clean-up of a poorly conceived character most, as well as the general lack of depth of all of the characters. The setting is rather interesting and would work well as a setting for Numenera, the all its weirdness.

I otherwise haven’t had much time (or more correctly, haven’t made much time) for work on the StarSea this week. A friend made an interesting comment on my Facebook post announcement from last week, but I haven’t been able to give it the thought it deserves.

So, I’m pretty much done for this week, so I’ll post this now and see how it looks. Later.

Stuck in the Mud…

That’s where I’ve been for the past couple of weeks. Stuck in the mud. I’ve let some StarSea stuff ramble around my head, and I actually recorded some of it, but right now, I’ll be damned if I can remember any of it.

I delayed getting my iPad until this coming weekend. Last Monday, I cleaned out the interior of my car. While doing that, my car’s computer glitched and decided it needed to turn my “Check Engine” light on, forcing me to reset the computer. I’ve now driven the car for a week and the light hasn’t come back on, so I think it’s okay, but I wanted to take some time to be sure. With my dumb luck, I expected it to be worse, and that I’d need the money for repairs. Hasn’t been a problems since, so this week, I’m picking that iPad up.

And now I remember what I wrote about. So, I did a little thinking about the StarSea-ships, how they move through the StarSea (that is, what’s the medium, if there is any), and how do the engines work and what effect does that have on the economy. I’ve commented before that wyrdtechnology is strongly connected to crystals. My original idea was that the engines are huge, single crystals. But in thinking of that, I came to the conclusion that single massive crystals would be next to impossible to find, just like they would be on Earth.While I have no issue with the crystals being rare and therefore having value (plotpoint, anyone?), but large stones that are impossible to find would limit the numbers of ships wandering from world to world, which I don’t necessarily want. So, engines have become matrices of stones, as is most of the other technology aboard the ships and vehicles.

As I mentioned, I also got to thinking about the idea how ships travel throughout the StarSea. While I haven’t got the exact mechanism, the ships’ engines will drive them through Ether. I’ve had Ether in my notes since I first started brainstorming this idea a few years ago, and now I have a reason for Ether to exist. Ether is the interworldly (yeah, I just made that one up) gas that gives me nebulae and the empty gulfs that can serve as obstacles that force travel in different directions. How the engines move ships through the Ether, that I haven’t gotten to just yet. I don’t really want corkscrews or propellers. I’m currently envisioning glowing thrusters on the backs of ships, but as they stand, thrusters don’t necessarily need a medium, so I feel a different explanation is needed.

Outside of that, I’ve read the second and third books of the Chronicles of the Runestaff, and started the fourth. The third part is almost a distraction from the main story, which the author seems to realize about eighty percent of the way through the book. I’ve also played a bit of Card Hunter as well. I’m enjoying the direction the metaplot is taking, with the developments between Gary, Melvin and Karen being as entertaining to me as the game itself. I could probably make a post just on CH. Maybe sometime I will.

That’s about all I have for now. Maybe next week I’ll be posting from a new iPad. Later.