March 30th, 2011


Poem: "Icewater"

This poem came out of the February 8, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by tabard.  It has a bifocal perspective -- you can read it as applying to an alien race, or to humanity.


They roll their eyes heavenward
and mutter about God
as their gaze slides off the silvery moon.

They have been there,
some of them,
to that moon: but no further.

The stars are visible,
like tiny whitecaps glinting
in a black lake.

Even entire galaxies are visible,
their bars and spirals and ellipses mapped out,
their names known.

Some speak about space
with longing, and point at the stars,
but they are ignored.

Huddled masses cling to their globular island,
unwilling to dip a toe into the black lake of space.
The water, they think, looks terribly cold.


Messenger sends imagery from Mercury

This news crossed my desk today:

MESSENGER Mission News
March 29, 2011

MESSENGER Sends Back First Image of Mercury from Orbit

MESSENGER has delivered its first image since entering orbit about Mercury on March 17. It was
taken yesterday at 3:40 am EDT by the Mercury Dual Imaging System as the
spacecraft sailed high above Mercury's south pole, and provides a glimpse
of portions of Mercury's surface not previously seen by spacecraft. The
image was acquired as part of the orbital commissioning phase of the
MESSENGER mission.  Continuous global mapping of Mercury will begin on
April 4.
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Hail Caesar: Creative Commons and the Small Press

This crossed my desk today...

Brandon H. Bell About 950 Words



 Hail Caesar: Creative Commons and the Small Press

Brandon H. Bell

"*It is not these well-fed long-haired men that I fear, but the pale and the

            --Julius Caesar

1. Write story

2. Get said story published

3. Profit! Karma!

I believe short fiction is important. The small press magazine I edit
(Fantastique Unfettered, aka FU) uses a Creative Commons license, CC-BY-SA*,
for reasons related to this view, and in service to the dual end-goals of
money and karma on behalf of the writers we publish.

Our alignment is not indie against corporate, small against large, or fan
against pro. Those are foolish stances. Our alignment is one against
obscurity**, expressed via a pragmatism that acknowledges money may or
may not follow our good karma. We certainly hope it does: our goal, after
providing quality fiction to our readers, is to pay writers professional
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When is an Asteroid Not an Asteroid?

More space news appears below.  I think I'd use a term like "layered microplanet" to identify bodies by composition characteristics rather than size.  Because that's sort of a crucial thing to know, if a body has a crust and core or is just a lump of undifferentiated stuff.


News release: 2011-100
March 29, 2011

When is an Asteroid Not an Asteroid?

On March 29, 1807, German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers spotted
Vesta as a pinprick of light in the sky. Two hundred and four years later, as
NASA's Dawn spacecraft prepares to begin orbiting this intriguing world,
scientists now know how special this world is, even if there has been
some debate on how to classify it.
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Read "Shrine of the Stone Lions" in Torn World

You can now read my poem "Shrine of the Stone Lions" in Torn World.  It came out of the March 2011 Muse Fusion and was inspired by a prompt from haunted_blood.

Little remains of a lost culture before the Empire, save for a mysterious shrine.
If you like this poem and want to see more like it, please consider sending me credits or karma through Torn World's crowdfunding options.  Not a Torn World member, but still want to support the work? I have a permanent PayPal button on my LJ profile page.