Tag Archives: tech

Terminator: I know now why you cry, but it is something I can never do.

So much about the newest and coolest robotic technology coming out these days seems centered around how to make war.  No doubt, government research agencies like DARPA play a big part as they fund much of the research in robotics.  But every once in a while, we see a cool technology that actually helps rather than seeks to harm people.

Take for instance the BrainGate neural implant that is helping those that suffer from paralasis to learn to control a robotic arm with their mind or help navigate a computer mouse around the screen so they can browse their e-mail.

This is what technology’s highest ideal should be – to help people.  I love it!

I even did some poking around to see who was funding this project, the only military funds were coming from the US department of Veteran Affairs, which I assume wants the technology to help it’s wounded veterans.

Somebody tell my inner cynic to shut up. I really want to believe in the goodness of this story.

“They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”

Isaiah 2:4

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Asteroid Mining, Dyson Spheres, Glimmers and Aches

Two recent news stories have captured my imagination of late – or more likely, confirmed an imagination already groomed for the news by having read sci-fi novels since I was eight years old.

Asteroid mining has been a staple of Science Fiction novels for decades – even the video game inspired Halo novels mentions mining colonies built into asteroid belts and supplying the UNSC fleet with precious metals for war.

And what seemed so far away from possibility from when I was a kid is now the very near ambition of  private industry who has  been leading the way into making this a reality, by sending a bunch of satellites  into space in the next couple of years to search out the best targets for mining.  Amazing.

Then I read another article that some people believe the technology is there to start the early stages of building a Dyson Sphere – or at least a Dyson swarm.  So what the heck is a Dyson thingy?

Well, for who don’t share my particular nerdish fascination with sci-fi or old Star Trek: Nest Generation episodes,

or never read Larry Niven’s Ring World, or played the video game Halo (which is a Dyson Ring)or know what the heck a Dyson Sphere is – just go here.

I love the collective imagination of our species and that we live in a time to see some of the strangest and most ambitious of these innovations come to fruition – perhaps even in our lifetime.  It’s nice to get a peek through the smog and catch a peek at something brighter that glimmers with hope and calls us to something better.

I know the solution for humanity will never come from the stars or Dyson Sphere’s or asteroid mining, but maybe these glimmers  and wild flurries of imagination, will remind us of something lost and something just beyond our reach.  And that the ache of it will call us forward into a startling place or an unexpected truth.

Now, to world build my new sci-fi fantasy apocalyptic space opera that takes place in a Dyson Sphere that is falling apart due to old age!  Actually, never mind.  Dystopian future’s are too easy.  It’s always been the optimistic sci-fi that has sparked our collective imaginations, don’t you think?

Cheers!

R.

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So, you wrote a novel. What’s it about?

It’s frustrating how hard this question is to answer without inadvertently making people’s eyes glaze over.  So, as an exercise I’ve been trying to write an elevator pitch for this book – or you know, the back of the book blurb that’s supposed to wet a reader’s appetite and get them to buy the darn thing.  It should be simple, right?

It’s not. At least for me.

But, that said, here’s a couple of the blurbs I’ve been working on – all for Pandora Mech, the story I just finished.  And these are in no way done – I’m probably going to go through a hundred variations of each just to get the right one.

1.)Thorpco has designed the perfect killing machine for the military but has one problem: not enough operators with the talent to push the tech to its limits.

Desperate and in need of operators to help land a high-profile military contract, Thorpco looks to the competitive gaming community for talent and recruits a handful of legendary pro gamers down on their luck and in need of a job.

Little do they know if they’re successful, it could change the way the world plays and makes war, forever.

Bleh, here’s another:

2.)Titus Kane, a legendary pro-gamer in the decline of his career is thinking of finally hanging up the game controller for a regular nine-to-five, when an old rival and ex-military drone pilot offers him a contract to work at an unmanned combat military robotics developer, for really good money.

The money could change his career for the better, but the job, if successful, could change the world for the worse.

Meh.  Here’s a longer one:

3.)In a world where warfare is rapidly changing and being fought from remotely operated military drones,

One weapon company has finally developed the ultimate in remotely operated vehicles; a sophisticated Battle Mech that could one day do the job of the everyday foot soldier.   But the company lacks one thing: talented operators to control them and in desperation, look to the competitive gaming scene for operators.

Titus is a legendary professional gamer, worshipped within the niche’ gaming community, but his career has been in slow decline with less wins and less sponsor’s he is forced to consider retirement – until a weapon’s developer offers him a job he can’t refuse.

Thrust into a war he didn’t know he had been recruited for, and bound by contract to continue, Titus and his team of other ex-pro gamer Battle Mech operators come face to face with the blurry boundaries of war and realize that war is not a game.

Yeah, I know, that last one there was a mess!  (sorry!)

Well, back to the drawing board.  My goal is to try to get three variations a night until I get a winner.  Also, during this time I’ll be revising and polishing what I wrote – my goal being to go through the manuscript at least 7 times before handing it off to beta readers.

So that’s kind of what my book is about, anyway.

Cheers!

R.

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