07 March 2013

Xenomorphosis Merchandise!

Want a really cool military/dark sci-fi shirt for your next bug hunt on LV-426? Want to snap your your appearance and help spread the word by making a billboard out of yourself for a very cool dark science fiction blog? Then this new and kick ass xenomorphosis t-shirt is just for you! Designed by the founder and creator of the Xenomorphosis.com blog, it will give you just the touch to set yourself apart in the world of iphone slaves and sports team logo-wearing whores! After my buying/research trip to Star Base 21 in Tulsa next week, I'll be buying the rad baseball t-shirt and sporting that in the hellish summers in Dallas! And yes, I'm already at work on a FWS t-shirt.
Here is the link and get buying!


  1. Thanks so much! Can't wait to see your shirt!

  2. Christopher PhoenixMarch 8, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    Ha ha, awesome t-shirt!! :D That FWS t-shirt better be really cool, or I'm gonna have to Vader force-choke your ass. "You have failed me for the last time..." LOL Just kidding. But FWS needs a cool t-shirt. Are you going to commission a good artist for the job?

    By the way, how goes the "killing light" blogpost? One thing I've noticed, is that since the dramatic depiction of death beams in SF often differs from the behavior of real lasers, especially in regards to off-axis visibility and speed of propagation, some people have actually come up with weapons that are stylistically "laser guns" but aren't actually lasers.

    Gundam had particle weapons partly because the creators felt that mostly invisible light-speed beams wouldn't be visually exciting, from what I've heard, for example. Babylon 5's creators toyed with using ball bearings ejected in the path of enemy ships, but settled on plasma fire because plasma makes pretty colors (but plasma weapons bring their own troubles by uselessly dissipating before they go any significant distance). And the starfighters in the new BSG uses tracer bullets that are color-coded according to the colors of the lasers used by the respective factions in the original BSG, which kind of counts even though the weapons are plain old guns.

    The trend, however, goes back earlier than that- back to Arthur C. Clarke's "Earthlight", where the mystery weapon used by an armed lunar fortress is revealed to be a spear of magnetically accelerated molten iron that pierces enemy ships through sheer kinetic force. There isn't really any reason the iron need be molten (indeed, a mass driver won't work if the projectile is molten), but if the cannon uses magneto-hydrodynamic forces (the forces caused by magnetic fields on conductive fluids) I suppose something like this might work.

    That was the unusual, secret weapon- both the attacking spaceships and Moon-fortress use photon beams as weapons, and since lasers had not yet been invented when Clarke wrote the story, they obeyed the inverse square law. So spaceships got REAL close to their targets to ensure maximum damage, making for an exciting short range battle. XD With invisible beams, naturally.

    An excerpt of the space battle in Earthlight can be found here: http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/planetaryattack.php#id--Planetary_Fortress

    So, if lasers don't quite pew-pew in the way we want them too, some writers and artists just substitute something else that hopefully goes pew-pew. Usually hot stuff that goes really fast, like streams of molten metal etc. And, this accounts for the popularity of plasma weapons.

  3. That Killing Light blogpost scares me a bit, but with your help Mr. Phoenix, it was be one of the best Laser-based weapon posts on the internet!
    The T-shirt idea has been in the works since the founding of FWS, but with Xenomporhosis's kick ass job, that idea is going to be come reality.
    The art for the shirt is still up in the air, I have a very talented ex-girlfriend from high school that could do it, but she needs a basic idea. Any suggestions?

  4. Christopher PhoenixMarch 8, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    Kind of scares me too, just think of how many ways SF has portrayed ray-guns, that is a big topic to cover. Unless you focus primarily on lasers with this one. One question that kind of plagues me these days is, exactly how does a ray-gun kill?

    The whole issue is made more complicated by the range of lethal radiations available, ranging from longer wavelength radio frequency, microwave, and infrared radiation that most shake up molecules and cause simple radiative heating without changing the electronic states of atoms, all the way through more penetrating visible and UV light to the highly penetrating and ionizing X-rays and gamma rays. And we can also throw particle beams into the mix with electron beams etc.

    If you are speaking of simple radiative heating, you can burn a hole through someone with a narrow beam carrying a few tens of kilojoules of energy. Dr. John Schilling says that a laser pistol would use a series of short, intense pulses that cause steam explosions to rip through flesh in a manner not unlike a bullet, requiring only a few kilojoules of energy, but this sort of mechanical damage may be a bit iffier than thermal kill. And shorter wavelength radiations can also cause chemical changes in cells that mangle chromosomes and kill irradiated tissue, possibly deep in your body if the radiation is penetrating enough- this is what ionizing radiations can do. Longer wavelength radio frequency waves can heat someone from the inside out, causing organ failure or even cooking them.

    If you look at the biological side of things rather than insisting on emulating a bullet, some rays can be pretty alarming- kind of reminiscent of the coagulators or poison rays from some pulp stories. The military speaks of both "hard" and "soft" damage, where hard is simply melting or vaporizing a target and soft is causing an internal upset, like damaging a computer with a microwave pulse. I guess that kind of works with antipersonnel weapons, too, you can either completely vaporize someone or you can try disrupting their internal chemical processes and cellular structure.

    These web pages are worth a look. The first is about energy weapons and hard science, and discusses how much energy a laser might require to kill someone.
    This one is an excerpt from a book about hypothetical alien civilizations, it is discussing possible alien weapons. The paragraphs on photonic radiative weapons are pretty interesting if you like lasers.

    I think I'll give my suggestions on the t-shirt at the blogpost on the t-shirt, this is getting kind of long. Have you spoken to your ex-girlfriend about the t-shirt yet?