Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Captain Jack Carver

Meet the newest member of the Starrigger Ranch! Cap'n Jack is a border-collie/lab mix, probably with some other seasonings, as well, who joined our family just three days ago. Jack came to us from a shelter in Connecticut, courtesy of the rescue group Guesses vary on his age, but average out to about two years.We know that he came from West Virginia, and that he'd been hit by a car and lost or abandoned. But his leg injury is all healed up now.

Jack is a terrifically sweet guy, and has made himself right at home. Our cat Moonlight isn't so sure yet. She was a bit alarmed, at first, but stood her ground. Now, she seems to regard him as a big oaf who is all too often between her and where she wants to go. They're not yet to the point where she can just walk past him. But I was cheered yesterday to see Moonlight curled up on the sofa, and Jack crouched on the floor nearby, woofing an imploring "Please play!" Moonlight was unperturbed, and declined the invitation.

The only big problem so far is that Julia's having some allergic reaction to his dander, so we're swabbing him down with Allerpet/d to try to minimize it, and the Roombas are working twice as hard. And I keep calling him Hermione, which was the name of our boxer who died back in January. (Even though he really looks way more like our old dog Sam—not the beagle of recent years, but the border-collie/lab mix I had about twenty years ago. I don't seem to have any of old Sam's pictures scanned in; I really must dig through the photos piles and find some.)

This weekend, we're going to meet another rescue dog named Igby—don't ask!—and see if he might be a good brother to Jack. (I almost said Sam just then. I'll get it straight eventually.)

Update: Igby was a charming little guy, but didn't seem like the right fit.  So for now, at least, it's Captain Jack and his cat-friend(?) Moonlight.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunborn — World Edition Ebook

I've known for a while that folks outside the U.S. have been unable to buy the Sunborn ebook, at least in the Kindle store. All this time, I thought it was a glitch at Tor. Turns out it was a glitch here at the Starrigger Ranch. It seems Tor only holds U.S. ebook rights. This discovery has caused yet another flurry of consternation and ebook production here at Starrigger Central, as I gear up to publish an international edition, for readers in the rest of the world.

This involves several steps:

  1. Preparing the actual ebook. (I can't just put up the Tor-designed ebook, and I've learned a lot about formatting since I put up the free edition, a couple of years ago. So there's work involved.)
  2. Preparing a cover. My designer, Pat, is booked up until mid-August. I don't want to wait that long to release the world edition, so we'll have a temporary cover until then.
  3. Figuring out where to publish it. There's Amazon.UK and Amazon.DE for the Kindle editions. But the ePub version is trickier, especially if I have to block sales in the U.S. I'm exploring some options right now.

That said, I hope to have it up in a couple of weeks. So if you're outside the U.S., and you've read the first three Chaos books and have been wondering why the hell you can't buy the fourth, please be patient just a little longer!

Starrigger HQ out.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Spaceship Two Does the Wobble Dance

Here's a video of a recent test flight of Spaceship Two, which by this time next year could be offering rides into space to the public. (Got $200,00 I could borrow? I'm good for it. I promise.) The amazing thing about this video isn't the test flight per se; it's the mode of reentry. Watch it, and you'll see the spaceship raising its tail feathers and bobbing like a badminton shuttlecock—intentionally!

I'm going to try to tweak this so that it'll fit on my page here. But if you want to read it with some explanation, view it here, again courtesy of the Bad Astronomy blog.

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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Stunning Time-Lapse Video of the Milky Way

Treat yourself to a few minutes of gorgeous meditative video and watch this time-lapse sequence of the Milky Way from South Dakota, by Randy Halverson. You must pop this up to full-screen to get the full effect.

Plains Milky Way from Randy Halverson on Vimeo.

Thanks to Phil Plaitt's Bad Astronomy blog for this one. Here are more links to similarly amazing vistas.

Well, like this one.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Excerpt of Eternity's End at Marsha Canham's Blog

Speaking of Eternity's End, I'm about three days late in noting here that I, or rather Eternity's End, am part of Marsha Canham's Sunday Sampler, with an excerpt from EE. Marsha wanted an excerpt not found elsewhere online, one that would convey a sense of the book in a fairly short sample. After much cogitation, I decided on the scene that leads into a hot romantic encounter between star rigger Legroeder and the sexy but dangerous lady pirate, Tracy-Ace/Alfa. Complete with cyber-implants. Read it here.

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Eternity's End — Corrected Edition

If you bought a copy of the ebook of Eternity's End prior to May 25 or so, you may want to download a fresh copy from wherever you bought it. I discovered, belatedly, that some of the text formatting had gotten lost in the final preparation for this newest ebook edition. Mostly, this consisted of italics that were lost. But there was a lot of it, erratically sprinkled through the book. And because this is a Star Rigger book and communication between riggers is denoted by italics, these was an egregious error that brought quite a tongue-lashing, by me, down on the hapless production people (also me), who then went through the whole blasted book again, comparing the e-text to the printed edition. The production department has promised not to let this happen again. Also, we're sorry. 

I think most stores will allow a fresh download without hassle. But if you have trouble, please drop me a line and tell me where you bought it and in what format, and I'll get a corrected copy to you right away.  You can always reach me at jeff at-thingy starrigger point net

(If you downloaded the book during the free period prior to this year, your copy shouldn't have this problem. It was during the reformatting for Smashwords, Kindle, and Nook that the devious little gremlin crept in unnoticed, as gremlins are wont to do.)

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The Graduate (2)

I still haven't gotten the still photos of Lexi's graduation off the camera, but here's a 20-second video of her receiving her diploma from Bard College. For Facebook readers, this will be a repeat. Like watching Star Trek in syndication, sort of.