Just this week I got an advance copy of Ian Healy and Allison Dickson’s upcoming novel The Oilman’s Daughter. Steampunk adventures in space, with pirates and – I am told – atomic steam forklifts. How awesome is that? Pretty damn awesome. As a beta reader, it is my understanding that I am to resist my temptation to make edits and only make general comments on the story. Nice ones, so Ian’s feelings aren’t hurt. Should be fun, and this will be only the second novel I’ve read since last fall. So I guess I’m coming at it fresh.
And speaking of Ian and Allison – if you haven’t, check out their Really Big Idea posts. (And all the others. And then buy all their books.) Click here for the series list. Lots of good stuff in there, and a long reading list for me once I finish Veil War.
Of a different sort:
Not the kind of dragon I normally write about here, but an awesome one nevertheless. That’s a pic of SpaceX’s dragon capsule approaching the ISS for docking – the first commercial craft to do so. Dragon is not currently man-rated, but it won’t be long before vehicles like that are ferrying astronauts to and from orbit.
SpaceX is, I think, poised to make real changes in how we get to space. Cost most obviously – Musk is pushing hard on the $1000/lb to orbit barrier. But also in a philosophical sense. If we are no longer dependent on a hidebound, design-by-committee bureaucracy for our access to space, then (miraculously!) we will have access to space on a far wider scale than we’ve seen so far.
And when the goblins do invade, it will be well for us to be able to nuke them from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.