Filed under: Climate Change, Comics, Connections, General Musings, Global Warming, Predictions, Preparedness, Science, Science Fiction, Society, Survival | Tags: blogging, climate change, Dune, Frank Herbert, gom jabbar, jim downey, predictions, Randall Munroe, science, Science Fiction, survival, xkcd
Today’s xkcd triggered a thought: that we can think of the challenges of climate change as being akin to a planetary gom jabbar. Do we have the ability to endure short-term pain and survive, or do we give in to our immediate short-term desires and suffer the consequences?
Filed under: Augmented Reality, Brave New World, Civil Rights, Comics, Connections, Constitution, Government, Humor, Politics, Predictions, Preparedness, Privacy, Science Fiction, Society, tech, Terrorism, Writing stuff | Tags: augmented reality, blogging, comics, Constitution, Edward Snowden, government, humor, jim downey, Non Sequitur, NSA, politics, predictions, privacy, Science Fiction, St. Cybi's Well, technology, Washington Post, writing
As I’ve noted before, it’s hard to keep up with the steady trickle of revelations about what the NSA has been up to, and how the reality of what has actually been going on keeps surpassing the dystopian aspects I have been writing about in St. Cybi’s Well. For example, here’s this passage from the beginning of the book:
He turned the hand-held on, did a quick check to make sure it had the software and apps he’d asked for. Everything was there. He’d pick up a burner phone later, and swap the SIMM card into the hand-held. He turned off the hand-held, dropped it into a special pocket inside his vest – one which was RF-blocked. He had another such compartment in his satchel. These, like the wallet/holster, were prohibited items and grounds for arrest in the States, but while they would raise an eyebrow in the UK they weren’t technically illegal.
With this item from yesterday’s Washington Post revelations that the NSA and related agencies are basically tracking every cell phone on the planet:
The NSA’s capabilities to track location are staggering, based on the Snowden documents, and indicate that the agency is able to render most efforts at communications security effectively futile.
Like encryption and anonymity tools online, which are used by dissidents, journalists and terrorists alike, security-minded behavior — using disposable cellphones and switching them on only long enough to make brief calls — marks a user for special scrutiny. CO-TRAVELER takes note, for example, when a new telephone connects to a cell tower soon after another nearby device is used for the last time.
Now, see, I was thinking I’d use something exactly like that as the ‘rude surprise’ which would trip up my protagonist later in the novel, since he wouldn’t expect that the NSA would have that level of data-collection ability.
*Sigh.* So much for my trying to come up with a dystopian reality …
And this is timely:
Filed under: Amazon, Art, Augmented Reality, Comics, Connections, Humor, Kindle, Promotion, Publishing, Science Fiction, tech, Writing stuff | Tags: Amazon, augmented reality, blogging, Communion of Dreams, Danielle Corsetto, Darnell Sidwell, direct publishing, Girls With Slingshots, humor, jim downey, Kindle, promotion, Science Fiction, St. Cybi's Well, technology, Tweet, Twitter, writing
Lots of fictional characters have Twitter accounts — usually, one created by a fan to have a little fun. Well, the idea* occurred to me today to set up an account for Darnell Sidwell, who is the main character of St. Cybi’s Well.
If you’ve read Communion of Dreams (and if you haven’t, why not? I mean, seriously, go read the damned thing.) you know Darnell as the crusty old prospector with a colorful history. St. Cybi’s Well is the start of his story (OK, not really — he’s already middle-aged — but for our purposes it is), and you get to meet a man who is 40 years younger with a lot of changes ahead of him. Personally, I love the character, even if I’m going to put him through hell in this book.
Anyway. St. Cybi’s Well is not being written from Darnell’s perspective. Rather, like Communion of Dreams, it is written from a third-person narrator’s perspective.
But the Tweets are going to come directly from Darnell, from his perspective. He’ll be writing about his thoughts and experiences as the story of St. Cybi’s Well unfolds. Sometimes there will be hints about the story. Sometimes he’ll give away some insights. Sometimes he’ll (unintentionally) mislead, because he won’t understand exactly what is going on in the bigger picture.
This will be fun — and somewhat useful for me, since it is always a good thing for a writer to completely get inside the head of a character, to understand how they view the world. To a certain degree I go through this exercise with any major character, but this will be a way I can share some of that process. When all is said and done, it will form something of a supplement to the novel, and I’ll probably figure out a way to have those Tweets collected/linked in the final version. In the meantime, you can ‘follow’ him @DarnellSidwell, and we’ll put up batches of Tweets on the St. Cybi’s Well site. He’ll probably Tweet every day or two, as my schedule allows.
Now I need to get back to work. Toodles!
*Credit where it is due: this idea came to me when reading today’s Girls With Slingshots strip — note the ‘hover text’.
Filed under: Art, Comics, movies, Violence | Tags: art, blogging, Death, Edson Oda, guns, jim downey, Malaria, movies, video, violence
This is exceptionally well done.
Filed under: Art, Book Conservation, Comics, Connections, Marketing, Promotion, Publishing, Science Fiction, Writing stuff | Tags: art, blogging, bookbinding, Communion of Dreams, direct publishing, jim downey, promotion, Science Fiction, writing
Wow — this hits close to home: Making Things.
We should pick up the printed sheets for the special edition of Communion of Dreams tomorrow. I’ll post pix!
Now, back to work for me.