21 December 2013

Happy Holidays 2013!

Happy Holidays to all! I hope that everyone as a happy holiday season with lots of presents, family, food, and Egg-Nog! I will be spending the Xmas holiday similar to last year, breaking in a new Call of Duty game...GHOSTS. Also, since it is that holiday time again, it is also time as well for the annual FWS holiday blogpost. During these blogposts, I like to take the time to discuss business around the FWS offices, some personal items, and the past and future of FWS. Let me just say that 2013 has been the biggest year in FWS history. Traffic, comments, and requests are all up to record levels. That is all due to all of you that read, comment, tweet, shared, and google + FWS blogposts. Seriously, thank you very much to everyone for your support and comments this year and in the years to come! What can you expect from FWS in 2014? Nothing too radical. There will be no major changes to the look or format of FWS. The biggest news for FWS in 2014 is the joint web-comic project Regicide between FWS and Derek Restivo of Xenomorphosis.com that should be out in January. Below is a teaser of what you can expect from the talent of Derek...and if you are in need of an illustrator or artist, than get in contact with him. Believe me, you will not be disappointed! In other news, I recently received a number of books to review, and in turn, there more book reviews on the blog in 2014. There will a new blog-series called Our Enemies, which will breakdown the common types enemies of mankind seen in science fiction. Our first entry in this new series will be exploring and explaining killer space tigers. Also, I've been updating some of the older FWS blogposts, reformatting them and updating these older blogposts to the standards of FWS today. This started when I reviewed a comment on the 2011 Gauss Gun blogpost recently and was horrified by the sight of how FWS used to look and read. Ugh. In personal news, I am submitting the book to another publisher, and I beginning work on another MSF novel. Even though this novel was finished in 2010, it has been rewritten several times, and now it is time number five. It is my hope that next year will find me being published. Again, Happy Holidays, drink some Egg-Nog, and thank you for everything this year. FWS will return after the New Year...


  1. Christopher PhoenixDecember 22, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Happy Holidays to you too, William, and thanks!! :-) I have taken this holiday as a good excuse to make gingerbread baked goods. Nothing beats gingerbread...

    Yeah, it is cool to see how FWS has evolved and improved. Except for that "ugh" feeling one always gets looking at stuff one wrote a year ago- I think I am way better at making concise comments these days, when I have the time to make them. Looking forward to reading the updated topics!!

    Space tigers actually seem a bit more unfamiliar, as compared to the common "scary" humanoids (Independence Day), reptilians (V), rubber forehead humanoids (Star Trek), and insectoids (Alien series, LEXX). Can't say I've ever seen one in a movie or TV show. Maybe filmmakers are worried furry space tigers would seem silly, or just too kid-oriented to be scary, like Chewbacca?

  2. My wife maintains that Shortbread cookies are the best, but some nice fresh gingerbread cookies are pretty stellar, especially the smell they fill the house with. I am always glad to read your comments! They have helped and shaped the evolution of FWS.
    Lately, it seems that some of the older blogposts have been getting attention, and when I go back and review these older blogposts, I am forced to update them. I don't know if there will an massive attempt, similar to what Jonathan Mathers is going with Foamy and the gang from Neurotically Yours. He is slowly updating videos over the last three years to HD standards.
    The Our Enemies blog series is something I've been looking forward to and shaping over the last year...and I could adding type of blog series soon....more on that later. The killer alien tigers from outer space will be an interesting one and they are scarier than you think! Oh, and I'm working on a Forgotten Weapons blogpost on the British Martini Henry rifle.
    I think you will like the next Armory blogpost, it is about Laser. Yes, finally, I'm going to write it...I actually had to go to the Dallas library and check out a few books on lasers to make sure the blogpost was up to the standards of FWS. Ugh.

  3. Christopher PhoenixDecember 23, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    This time it was gingerbread cupcakes, seriously awesome recipe- nothing beats soft gingerbread! I plan to make a gingerbread-with-pears recipe for the Eve, with apples instead of pears because it is hard to find good pears this time of year...

    And thanks, glad I could be of help in the continuing adventure of FWS! I believe that the ür example of killer space tigers are the Kzinti from Niven's work, right? Of the Kzinti Lesson? Looking forward to the Laser post, we've been waiting a long time for that one!! It is funny how writing about something forces you to learn all about it. Which titles did you check out?

    Oh, and you mentioned a multigenerational spaceship blogpost a bit ago. How has that one been coming along? If you are having trouble finding resources beyond the SF world, I've read some books that exclusively discuss or at least touch on the topic of realistic interstellar travel. Some get a bit technical (calculus!) but others are a bit more general audience.

    It is a wide-ranging topic, covering everything from propulsion technology to biological, psychological, and social issues, so finding a good overview can be challenging.

    Powers, Robert M. "The Coattails of God" Warner Books, 1981 -a good overview of interstellar flight via multigenerational starship, with more of a SF-writers perspective. The author discusses various topics from propulsion through construction, life support, and shipboard society, describing the imaginary voyage of the generation ship Agamemnon to Epsilon Eridani. A bit out-dated, though- the space shuttle is optimistically predicted to open the way to asteroid mining, and the field of astronautics has advanced since the 80's!!

    Harrison, Albert A. "Spacefaring: The Human Dimension" University of California Press, Berkley, 2001 -Fascinating discussion of the human side of spaceflight- from the psychological challenges of isolation and danger in space to the way the spacefaring experience impacts us back home. Mostly geared to nearer term spaceflight, but also includes chapters on further out subjects like space tourism, space colonization, and interstellar migration.

    Kondo, Yoji (editor) and others, "Interstellar Travel & Multi-generation Spaceships" Apogee Books, 2003 -Basically a collection of papers presented at the AAAS symposium on star travel held at Boston in 2002, by various big names and of varying quality, and with relatively little cohesion as they were all separate papers and speeches. Does try to pay attention to more than just the propulsion aspects- a few papers were written on the necessary genetic variation of interstellar crews and linguistic issues.Joe Haldeman's contribution as the nominal SF writer public outreach person is rubbish (sorry!!)- there are no such thing as sanitary engineer genes. Consider this a snapshot of our "present state of knowledge" of interstellar flight- we are pretty much at square one.

    Hunting through the bibliographies of these books, especially the Harrison one, helps in finding more resources. I keep my library busy, ha ha...

    And of course Atomic Rockets, the Warp Drive When NASA site, Tau Zero Foundation site, etc. are worth checking out. Check out the Tau Zero Foundation's bibliography- helpfully color-coded to distinguish between general audience, college, and graduate level texts! Forgot about that one.


    Seems to me that your FTL travel post should have a counterbalancing RealPhysiks look at how interstellar travel might be achieved, if you agree then I hope this small list can be a help!