Where I’m At / Signing Off, February 29th, 2020

I was going to make a post for the 29.2.2020 leap day, but was messing around and missed the midnight cut-off. Classic.

I’m not, of course, completely signing off on the blog. Too many debates still to have, and you never know when I’ll need to get something down in the ol’ journal. April 2020 marks fifteen years since my first post on this blog, which ain’t nothin’.

But in the meantime, there doesn’t seem much point putting original material on here. It’s just not being viewed so it’s a waste. I’ll put it in the books, and it can be not-viewed on Amazon, hah.

Where am I at?

I’m about halfway through Tales of the Always Night, that’s 12 chapters in Part 1, 4-and-a-bit stories (out of 10) in Part 2 done, and then the stories of Part 3 still to write. 130 pages, 50,224 words so far.

I’m a measly 12 pages, 6,348 words into Part 2 of The Last Days of Earth (actually about 17,500 words done in the part altogether but the rest is notes), and lagging critically slow because it’s a really hard book to write. I have a great ending set up for it though. I still want to get it done for Ropecon’s “End of the World” theme in July but I have so much other shit to worry about and – yes – I’m still working full time and doing my best to be a good husband and father. Those are my priorities.

I’m not ready to stop writing, as it looks like my old chum Lucas Thorn has done for the time being. My demons won’t let me stop. But right now I’m getting encouragement from Wump so Tales of the Always Night is the story I’m working on.

I have high (higher than it should be) blood pressure, which from what I hear may actually be a medical prerequisite for becoming a Finnish citizen but it still sucks. Nothing helps reduce stress like learning you have a health issue that’s made worse by stress, am I right? It’s also caused by poor sleep, too much salt, and lack of exercise. So it’s probably more surprising that I’ve had normal blood pressure all these years.

I’ve gotten steadily worse since 2015 or so, though, no point denying it. I feel healthy enough, aside from the fatigue and the dark moods. But … going from job to job, trying to balance too many plates, it catches up with you. And almost daily now I find myself looking at the way I feel, the way I act, and wondering when I turned into this tense, angry, crappy person. I hide it pretty well, but not from anyone who knows me.

So, for a while, I’m going to switch off the computer. Go to bed. Take a walk. Not buy chips while I’m on said walk. Enjoy my incredible kids (Wump beat me at chess again tonight, and unlike her first victory I was dead sober this time!) and my impossibly wonderful wife.

I’ll still be writing, though. On my phone.

Demons won’t let me stop.

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Tales of the Always Night: Chapter 12

Like I said (again), I won’t be posting every chapter of this because it’s going to be a book (and fairly soon by the feel of it). So I’ve skipped a few chapters, including basically all of the introductions of the six main characters, and am launching us into the adventure head first.

Here is a brief summary:

  • The Molran (XO): AstroCorps Commander platinum-class Galana Fen. Female. 119 years old on departure
  • The human (Captain): AstroCorps Captain gold-class Basil Hartigan. Male. 35 years old on departure
  • The Blaran (Chief Engineer): Able Belowdecksman and non-Corps engineer Devlin Scrutarius. Male. ~700 years old
  • The Bonshoon (Doctor): AstroCorps Veterinary Medical Officer platinum-class Bonjamin Bont. Female. ~3500 years old
  • The Fergunakil (Tactical): AstroCorps Tactical Officer obsidian-class and Special Weapons Division Consultant Wicked Mary. Female. 17 years old on departure
  • The aki’Drednanth (Comms): AstroCorps Bridge Officer imperium-class Chillybin. Aki’Drednanth. ~200 years old

Wump has been enjoying it. Chillybin was automatically her favourite character and every new aki’Drednanth feature (“oh, and she’s telepathic … oh, and she wears a cool refrigerator suit … oh, and she’s immortal”) just made her more excited. The Fergunakil character (I didn’t actually think very much about saying all these words out loud, and I alternate between the Finnish and the English pronunciation of Fergunakil while reading), Wicked Mary, is also a lot of fun to write and Wump suggested nicknaming her “Bloody Mary”, and that just worked on so many levels I have to give her co-authorial credit at this point.

I’m trying something hopefully new and fun here, as I launch into Parts 2 and 3 of the book which are the actual adventures (Part 1 was just getting the crew together). Basically, I have the chapter, and then a sort of “coming up next” where I launch into a sneak preview of the next adventure and then end it on a cliffhanger, and then go on in the next chapter directly where I left off. All it really means is that I take the first page or so of the next story and copy-paste it into the end of the last one.

Something I need help with, though, is how to introduce that. Because the end of one story and the beginning of the next story don’t flow automatically – you get that assumed break-between-stories that you don’t get between paragraphs. I don’t want to make it into just a new end-part of the previous story, I want it to be very clear that one story has ended and this is the beginning of the next one. Something like “Coming Up Next” or “Next Time” or “In Our Next Adventure“.

Or maybe just something as simple as a “***” line break, and then the next few paragraphs in italics?

Let me know what you think. It can be as cheesy as you like, but I’m stuck as to exactly how I should do it. Suggestions welcome.


 

Departure for Parts Unknown, and Adventure

There was little for them to do on Declivitorion-On-The-Rim once their crew was complete. They took on some more cargo and long-term supplies, confirmed their route as much as possible considering how little was known about the galaxy outside Six Species space, and made sure the Conch was running at peak efficiency.

As far as supplies went, Hartigan and Scrutarius kept themselves busy for several days collecting on a wide range of side-bets. After his good fortune with the cigars, Hartigan made a point of looking up a lot of other artisans and luxury goods suppliers to find out if they had anything riding on the success of their mission.

They were, Galana was surprised to learn, becoming increasingly famous. The journey of the Conch had captured the imagination of the general public of numerous worlds, and had of course come to the attention of AstroCorps’ higher authorities and the Fleet. A few of them had been at the disastrous party Stana Kotan had thrown on their arrival.

Reactions to the Conch mission were mixed, which was nothing Galana couldn’t have guessed anyway, but which she had confirmed during her desperate attempts to mingle and talk in the grand reception hall. Some parts of AstroCorps disapproved of the foolhardy nature of the tour, but there was little they could do to limit the mission once it was fully crewed and a ship assigned. Leaving Six Species space was prohibited by the charter and Fleet law, but when an exception was made, it was made.

Some parts of the Fleet were delighted in the bet, all for reasons of their own. Whether it was out of hope they would fail or hope they would succeed depended very much on the different groups. And the general planetary populations were even more diverse, but mostly seemed entertained and excited by the prospect.

Whether they would still be interested several decades from now, after receiving no word from the Conch and her crew, remained to be seen. Galana had her doubts that anyone would even remember them when they returned. The average attention-span of the Six Species at large was about twelve minutes, so her hopes of them continuing to care about AstroCorps and its crazy mission fifty or more years from now were not high.

All the more reason, her crewmates decided, to take what they could to make their mission a bit more comfortable. Soon the Conch’s crew cabins and any hold-space not given over to aquarium or icebox were crammed to the ceilings with storage containers. Even the aki’Drednanth and Fergunakil spaces had their share of supplies for Chillybin and Wicked Mary.

Galana took some time to travel the city and the small scraps of countryside that still existed inside it, taking in the sights and the comforting, familiar bustle of Molran and Blaran, Bonshoon and human, the occasional scuttling Fergunakil giela. She climbed Mount Arbus, the small artificial mountain at one edge of the city, and watched Taras Talga rising glorious and blue-white over the seething city.

There was an ancient monument at the top of the mountain, a wind-worn stone shape like an old-style drinking goblet. The inscription on the base of the monument claimed that mountain and monument alike had been raised to honour Rosedia, the founder of the city, and the fact that on this site he had been given a goblet of poisoned wine by a mythical trickster of some kind, and had died as a result. Whatever lesson this bit of local folklore was supposed to provide, Galana couldn’t see it.

She wasn’t even sure if there was any truth to it, but she was certain nothing of the sort had happened on this site, because this site had been a couple of thousand feet up in empty air before the Rosedia City Council had decided to build a monument here.

Still, she watched the sun rise, and watched the orbital and air traffic come and go. She didn’t have to share the space with anyone, which was nice. It didn’t look, from the run-down and neglected look of the place, as if it was a very popular tourist destination.

“What ho, Fen,” Hartigan greeted her when she returned to the Nella that afternoon. “We were just about to ping you. We’re all set.”

She glanced at Bonty, who was the only other person on the shuttle. “We are?”

“Devlin went up on the lander with Bloody Mary last night,” Hartigan confirmed, “and Chillybin went up this morning in a very swanky private shuttle with a bunch of swooning Molran fanboys and fangirls,” he gave Galana an insincere smile. “Not meaning to insinuate that your species could use a good bally cold shower when it comes to the whole wacky-wacky admiration thing,” he added.

“But I do get the impression Chilly’s going to be happy to get out of Six Species space and into some unexplored corners where people don’t worship the very ground her species walks on,” Bonty said delicately.

Galana flicked her ears in amusement. “Why do you think she keeps such a low profile?” she asked.

Hartigan gave a chuckle. “Well, she should be wrapping up her little worshipper-tour and sending them all bowing and scraping for the airlock right about now,” he said, and tapped at the console. “If you’re just about done with this big crowded stone, we can get going.”

Galana crossed to her controls and sat down. “Ready when you are, Captain.”

“There is a message from Ambassador Kotan,” the Conch reported, “but it is intended for the entire crew, with a request that I play it before we embark.”

“Sounds like just the kick in the pants we’ll need to get moving, what?” Hartigan said merrily. The Nella surged to life underneath them, and a few minutes later they were swooping into the star-speckled blackness of space where the Conch waited in orbit.

And so it was, another couple of hours later, the crew of the Conch sat or stood at their bridge consoles, fresh and crisp in full uniform. Human Basil Hartigan at the helm and command seat; Molran Galana Fen at the Executive Officer controls; giela of Fergunakil Wicked Mary at the weapons console; Blaran Devlin Scrutarius at the Engineering controls; Bonshoon Bonjamin Bont at Medical and Sciences; and aki’Drednanth Chillybin hulking massively at the Communications console.

“Righto,” Captain Hartigan said, “let’s hear this message from Ambassador Kotan, then.”

“My esteemed AstroCorps colleagues, allies of the Molran Fleet all,” Kotan’s painfully self-important voice filled the bridge. “May your journey be a testament to the spirit and tenacity of the Six Species and the dream you wish so fiercely to bring to life. Fail or succeed, return or perish, today you enter the pages of history. Today you make your mark on the ledger of your proud institution. Whether it is destined to become a cautionary tale on the hazards of disregarding the older and wiser voices flab glab gloob blub.”

Galana and Hartigan exchanged a puzzled look.

“I am so sorry, Basil,” the Conch said. “It would seem the remaining twenty-three minutes of the Ambassador’s speech have become irreparably corrupted due to a storage error.”

“Ah well, can’t be helped,” Hartigan said carelessly. Scrutarius sniggered. “Let’s see what’s out there, shall we?”

“To parts unknown,” Devlin said, and raised a cup he had resting on his console. Galana sighed. It was an ornate teacup with a Fleet Council of Captains emblem on it.

“To parts unknown,” Hartigan said, and tapped his controls.

The five overlapping armour plates on the Conch’s hull opened and the rings of the relative field generator curled out. Each one fired up in sequence, finally activating the field around the ship and projecting her into soft-space, ten thousand times the speed of light.

The ACS Conch plunged into the grey. Destination: parts unknown, and adventure.

later

Commander Galana Fen was just beginning to wonder if there were any inhabited planets at all outside Six Species space, when they dropped out of the grey into orbit above an inhabited planet.

“Atmosphere and gravity read within tolerances,” the Conch reported, “although of course Chillybin will find the polar ice caps more to her liking and Wicked Mary will be more at home in one of the two oceans. The salt content and levels of-”

“Never mind the tourist brochures, old girl,” Hartigan said eagerly. “Tell us about the aliens.”

“Giant bugs,” Scrutarius said in an undertone to Chillybin. “I bet you. Googly eyes and slimy mandibles, you mark my words.”

“I am not finding any sign of giant bugs,” the Conch said, “or advanced civilisation, for that matter.”

“Oh really? Then what was that signal we followed here from our last stop?” Hartigan demanded.

“Give me a moment, Basil,” the Conch replied.

“There is sentient life down there,” Chillybin confirmed, her great gauntlets moving easily over her controls. “Intelligent, but not advanced. The signal…” the Comms Officer paused for a moment as the ship relayed the data. “It has a number of sources.”

“Let me guess,” Scrutarius raised his upper hands and spread them dramatically. “An assortment of derelict starships, none of them native to this planet, almost as if they’ve been lured here by something. The crews, killed by giant bugs, left their ships behind to send their forlorn messages into space…”

“There is still no sign of giant bugs, Chief Engineer Scrutarius,” Chillybin said, “but the signals do appear to be emanating from three vessels on the surface, none of which seem consistent with the local life-forms and their level of development.”

“There are seven ships, or at least something like ships, all within a small area on the surface,” the Conch added. “Only three of them are emitting a signal. They seem to have been doing so for some time, judging by the distance from which we picked it up.”

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Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (a review)

This review has some spoilers. So here’s your warning.

birds-of-prey

I did a lot of directionless ranting and waffling in this post. Without even any pictures to break it up. But here’s one.

Continue reading

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The Wheel of Vine

Another little treat from a friend, this time Robert “Beer ‘General Moral Decay (Alcohol)’ Rot” E.

This was hilarious. Particularly the Forsaken / Dark One part. But there were some other highlights. Perfect.

 

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George RR Martin’s Next Book

My esteemed associate and friend Mr. BRKN shared this with me this morning. It seems George RR Martin is delaying his next A Song of Ice and Fire book (which totally would have otherwise been coming out this year, of course) in order to make changes to the ending.

This is amusing on a number of levels. First, obviously, is the idea that anyone believes the estimated delivery times anymore. I know, there’s a strong likelihood that one day those estimates will be correct and there will actually be a book, and anyone who scoffed at that estimation will have egg on their face. This series has dragged out a lot, but it’s had some pretty unique delaying factors. And at least Martin is still saying he’s working on it, and plans to finish, even if (as I think is entirely reasonable) he can’t say when it will be ready.

So sure, it’s delayed. Big deal. Fire and Blood was pretty cool, and at least he wrote that. I have said many times that Martin can tell us whatever story he likes, at his own pace. I consider our contract fulfilled with each book I pay money for. If the story doesn’t end, so be it. That will be sad, but not as sad for me as it will be for Martin.

This brings me to my second point, which is of course he’s re-working the ending. Did you see what people thought of the ending of the TV series? If he didn’t take at least the general reaction on board, he’d have to be clinically insane. Sure, maybe don’t read every angry little nerd essay on the Internet about what should have been done differently, but get an idea of the broad strokes.

I think he was already all over this, and always intended for the books and the series to tell divergent stories. They’d have to, given the mass of differences between the two right from the start, and particularly in the latter couple of books. But what a great opportunity the TV series has given him, to actually test out one ending and see what things he needs to tweak. And he’s been at it this long, it’s not as if another year or two (or five) is going to make any difference.

The last A Song of Ice and Fire book came out when I still had a butthole. Let’s see if I can write twenty books before the next one arrives.

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Tales of the Always Night: Chapter 4

Like I said, taking a bit of a break and trying to get more of this written. I won’t post two chapters this weekend, just the one.

There’s a couple of mini-references here, and I haven’t gone through and edited it for waffle and over-referencing and to add humour yet. I don’t want to overdo the jokes anyway. But some of it, I think, is important so I’ll probably keep it. I was debating whether to say very much about Molran-Blaran segregation, but I think I’ll keep the little hints I’ve put here, so there’s room to do a bit more exploration of discrimination and bigotry throughout the book.

Anyway, enjoy. Haven’t read this part to Wump and Toop yet, so don’t have any editorial feedback.


 

The ACS Conch

Galana stood in the rain next to the manically grinning human, looking up at the ship with what must have been a doubtful expression on her face.

In that moment, in the dark and foggy Grand Boënne night, she had a disturbingly vivid glimpse of the future.

It wasn’t anything in particular. It wasn’t a prophecy or a vision. It didn’t tell her anything specific or useful about what was to come. But she knew that this scene – Hartigan and Fen, human and Molran standing together, her looking dubious and him grinning like a madman – was playing itself out for the first time, and would play out again many, many times before they were done.

She didn’t know whether their mission would succeed. But she knew at least one member of the crew was going to have a good time.

“Well?” Hartigan asked.

“It’s a very nice ship,” Galana said. “Where is the rest of it?”

The AstroCorps Starship Conch was a long, slender needle of a ship, all sweeping curves and dynamic fins. She had jets and thrusters but no sign of any proper engines, let alone machinery for faster-than-light movement. There were a couple of big gleaming fixtures with armour plating that Galana didn’t recognise, but they weren’t propulsion or guns. She couldn’t see any weapons placements at all, for that matter. The vessel looked just about big enough to carry six crewmembers, although the Fergunakil would be a challenge.

Big enough to carry them, but not for anyone to live in for more than a month, let alone fifty years.

“She’s up in high orbit,” Hartigan answered her, still grinning. “This is just the command deck and the computer core, she detaches and acts as a landing shuttle, don’t y’know. We call her the Nella,” his smile faded slightly, but remained … fond? Nostalgic? Galana wasn’t good at alien facial expressions. “Named for my wife.”

“Lolita Nella Hartigan,” Galana said.

“Ah,” Hartigan nodded. “In the file, I expect.”

“Yes.”

“Her parents were keen on the idea of ancient literature but not big on the actual reading part of it,” Hartigan said. “She used her second name.”

“I regret that we did not have the opportunity to meet,” Galana said. Hartigan glanced at her. “Her death was mentioned in your file too,” she reminded him.

“Ah,” he repeated, a little humour returning to his voice. “The whole ‘getting my crew killed’ thing, what?”

“I apologise for my wording,” Galana said. “It was intended to provoke a response from patrolman Buck Spunko, in continuation of the game you were playing. It was poor judgement on my part ‑ ”

“It’s alright,” Hartigan said, and turned to look up at her frankly. “I think you judged it perfectly. You’re … not like other Molren.”

Galana lifted her ears and glanced down at him. “How many other Molren do you know?”

“Well, that’s kind of the thing,” he replied. “Up until now, I thought I only knew one.”

“Indeed.”

“You know, because you’re all kind of same-y.”

“I get it. Very clever.”

Hartigan waved a hand. “Shall we go? Or do you want to enjoy the bracing Grand Boënne dampness a while longer?”

“We have no time to waste,” Galana said, and pulled her cases from the skimmer. “Why did you not just dock with the Porticon when we exchanged mission data?”

“Oh, I’ve been down here for a couple of weeks, taking care of some things,” Hartigan said vaguely. “Please, allow me to take your-” he stopped as Galana set one of the cases on the wet pavement for him, and he struggled to lift it two-handed for a few seconds before giving up with a chuckle. “Well that just weighs a bally ton, doesn’t it?”

“It’s mostly research equipment and data cubes,” she said, lifting the case in her lower left hand again. “I appreciate the offer, though.”

“Anytime,” at a touch of a device Hartigan was wearing around his wrist, a boarding ramp extended from the Nella‘s undercarriage. “Anyway,” he went on, “we had political reasons for not docking.”

“Oh?”

“My – well, he was my Executive Officer, if you can call us a Captain and XO when it’s just the two of us footling around in space,” Hartigan explained, “but I guess you’re the XO now, so that’s the end of it. You’ll want to sort that whole mess out, by the way.”

Galana frowned down at the human. He was, she estimated, above average size for a human of the Grand Boënne Dominion, but that still left him a head and one set of shoulders shorter than she was, even with his dark hair styled up the way it was. He returned her look blandly, before starting towards the ramp. She followed, carrying her cases. Behind them, the skimmer closed up and rolled away slowly on autodrive. “What do you mean?” she asked. She hadn’t anticipated having to replace an existing crew. According to Hartigan’s file, he was flying alone.

“He’s going to want something to do,” Hartigan replied. “He’ll be our Blaran crewmember, after all, and since they’re not allowed to be officers on proper AstroCorps missions … ”

Ah. Galana nodded to herself. Right. “I had not secured a Blaran crewmember for the mission yet,” she admitted, “so this is a stroke of luck.”

“Isn’t it just, by jingo,” Hartigan agreed cheerfully.

“I assume he is Academy qualified with a non-Corps rating ‑ ” she said.

Hartigan, who had stopped at the top of the ramp to welcome her aboard with an extravagant bow, waved a dismissive hand. “Yes yes, he’s got all that and a bag of krunklets. Centuries of experience, and doesn’t get all bent out of shape about not being allowed to wear the stripes, either. But docking with a Worldship is a bridge too far, if you follow.”

Galana didn’t follow, not really, but she accepted that Blaren – descended from the same root as her own species, but culturally very different – had a … special relationship with the Fleet. And now, sadly, with AstroCorps as well. “I hope this mission will help us all to understand one another better,” she said, “and work together more effectively in the future.”

“I can see we’re going to have brilliant speech-making contests,” Hartigan remarked. “The months in soft-space will just fly by.”

The Nella was positively luxurious for a shuttle, and powered up smoothly and quietly even as the ramp sealed behind them.

“Good morning, Basil,” the ship’s computer said in a warm voice that Galana guessed was a synthesised human female. “Good morning, Commander Fen. Welcome aboard.”

“Thank you,” Galana said politely. It never hurt to be courteous with ship computer systems. Some of them had feelings. “Machine mind?” she inquired.

“No,” Hartigan said, “the Conch doesn’t link up with the big machines. She’s an … independent system. SynEsDyne prototype, one of their last. You saw the big armoured extensions on the hull out there?” Galana nodded. “Those are the synaptic difference engines. When the Conch is separated, the computer comes with us. When we’re connected with the main vessel, she integrates the rest of the systems. But she doesn’t play well with other artificial brains.”

“That might be an advantage in unknown interstellar territory,” Galana allowed.

“It’s certainly an advantage when flying with a Fergie,” Hartigan led the way forward onto the spacious command deck. “You may not need to sleep, but I do.”

Galana looked around, and nodded in approval. There were stations for Captain, Executive Officer, and four other posts that would be customisable for tactical, communications, sciences and engineering control. There was no separate helm but she guessed that the Captain would insist on piloting. It was a good setup.

The Nella sliced up through the clouds effortlessly, and by the time Galana had familiarised herself with the XO station they had cleared Grand Boënnia Orbital Control and were speeding through the black towards the ship. By the time she’d run through the basics and performed a couple of test commands – with the surprisingly helpful computer’s assistance – they were there.

“Seven decks,” Hartigan proudly listed the starship’s features as they approached. “Detachable command and landing shuttle, as you’ve seen. Quin-torus cumulative relative field generator,” at this, he gestured at the five heavy arcs of armour plating the Conch‘s back like overlapping scales. “Fully-integrated nutrient and OxyGen crystal core chambers. High-yield webscoop power plant and twin Nova-Bridnak energy cells. Megadyne albedo shielding. Modular rail cannon and pulse turrets designed by none other than AstroCorps Special Weapons Division.”

AstroCorps SWD, Galana thought with a little shiver. It was a part of AstroCorps she could have lived without, but the sad fact was you couldn’t have a spacefaring military without weapons. Special Weapons Division was new, even by AstroCorps standards, but they’d already earned a dark reputation. And a grim nickname.

The officers and mentors at the Academy called them the Monsters.

“And of course,” Hartigan was concluding, “plenty of hold space ready to be converted into a big old Fergunakil tank.”

“She’s a better ship than I could have dared hope,” Galana said sincerely. Hartigan glanced back at her and she added, “I’m not being snide. AstroCorps can’t field a long-range armed and armoured research vessel of this quality from their own yards. I would never have gotten a warship. The Conch … she’s perfect, Captain.”

“I rather think so,” Hartigan agreed.

“One does one’s best,” the computer added modestly.

Hartigan tapped at the controls, sending the Nella curving smoothly around to connect with the sleek bulk of the starship.

“So … your Blaran XO,” Galana said hesitantly, “he’s just been sitting up here in orbit, guarding the drive and life support and – and weapons segments of the Conch?”

“Yes, let’s say that’s what he’s been doing,” Hartigan said easily.

“What is his name?” Galana hadn’t been able to find any information on the command systems, which to be fair weren’t officially signed over to her as Executive Officer yet. “I should familiarise myself with his files, if we are to work together.”

“Scrutarius,” Hartigan replied with a stroke of his moustache. “I should imagine there’s a file.”

“Scrutarius?” Galana felt her ears drop. “Not … you don’t mean Devlin Scrutarius?”

Hartigan beamed. “You’ve heard of him!” he exclaimed. “Oh, he’ll be so pleased.”

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Blackmouth

No, this is nothing to do with blackface. Nor is it intended to shame anyone for their sexual habits, or even comment on sex as anything but a metaphor.


Yesterday I had a fun random inspiration that I thought I would share with you.

It’s difficult to be certain of anything thanks to false information and the echo chamber / social media bubble effect. But the following three points seem fairly clear:

  • A lot of regular people want human civilisation to continue into the next century.
  • A lot of scientists seem to think it’s not going to happen unless we dramatically reduce our carbon emissions.
  • lot of the politicians and industrial leaders responsible for making this happen aren’t going to do it.

To cut a long story both short and graphic, too many of our so-called leaders would rather give the fossil fuel industry another blowjob than save our fucking species. And, you know, all the species that we eat and / or think are cute.

So I came up with a quick and easy way to shame those leaders. It probably won’t achieve much, but I already have solar panels on my house, fruit trees in my garden and I recycle, so short of becoming a corporate billionaire or dictator of an irresponsibly industrialised nation, I think I’m just about tapped.

Whenever you find a likely photo of a politician or CEO who just loves them some coal fellatio, just put it in Photoshop or applicable program, throw down some black paintbrushing at about 65% opacity, and call it good. I was fancy, and made a new layer so I could delete smudges, but you don’t have to.

Here’s s few I rattled off in my lunch break, featuring Australia’s beloved “Scotty from Marketing.”

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