Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tropic daydreams, cold feet and ... so on

Editing a book set in a warm, balmy, tropical future ... and doing it in the middle of winter ... makes you feel COLD. I never noticed this before, but I'm working on the new version of AQUAMARINE (obviously), putting the final polish on the 2008 edition, getting it ready for the DreamCraft issue (due in August), and I have a four-bar, fan-forced halogen heater blowing on my feet. Of course, my feet are bare. They always are. (More information than you needed about Keegan's feet, right?) That's not the point.

I have a theory that our perceptions of temperature are comparative, and come the middle of summer, I'm going to test this out. The mercury will be reading 40 degrees C, and I'm going to put on something like LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, or FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX, or SECRET OF THE SAHARA, and see if the reverse-logic works. If editing a book about the tropics in winter makes you feel the cold more, then watching movies set in the blistering desert should make you feel the heat less. And if that doesn't work, I'll put on SNOW DOGS, and ASPEN EXREME, and THE EDGE, and see what happens.

The spirit of experiment is one of life's most piquant spices. We did a great experiment a while ago, to discover the compative sinking and floating properties of olives immersed in gin, tequila, or gin+tequila. It was a great experiment. I don't remember much about how it turned out, but I do recall it being great.

The good news is, AQUAMARINE is plain sailing. It'll be wearing a fresh layer of polish when it comes to you in its brilliant new covers, and we'll be having a book launch for both paperback and ebook. Stay tuned --

Speaking of which, we got the RSS feeds for the boog and the website up and running. You should be able to bookmark and get feeds at a click. Technology to the rescue yet again.

Strange, how reality catches up with science fiction. When I wrote AQUAMARINE (way back when, in the last century. Seriously, ten long years ago), the concept of an artificial island was fairly outrageous. Now? It's been done -- and of necessity. The islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans are perilously close to going under, and at least one nation -- Maldives -- has tackled the problem of keeping their lower lips above water. Their home island is a patch of sand, less than three meters above sea level at its highest point, and it won't be lasting much longer. Their solution is to build themselves a new island.

They've actually done it, and are in the process of building a new city for 150,000 people on it. Check out this website:

The Sinking Maldives Artificial Island. It's a slow-loader even with broadband, so be patient.

SF and reality in collision. Amazing stuff. Mind you, much of what's happening around us at the moment would once have been called SF. We don't notice it, since it snuck up on us ... the 'Boiled Frog Syndrome.' (There was a somewhat depressing gay novel of that title, if anyone remembers.) One of the SF concepts which has already become reality, which I like most, is the compressed air car engine. This comes as excellent news, since the long-range forecast is that gasoline will cost $36 per gallon in ten years. It'll cost a dollar to drive one kilometer. (There's a good feature article at CNN.comon this, but I can't get the page to load for love or money, so I can't give you a link. Go to Google and search on "pneumatic car engine," and plenty of results come up.)

Speaking of the comparative cost of things ... I noticed the exchange rate this morning. The Aussie dollar, which at one time used to buy .48c's worth of American currency (!) is now worth 98.1c. Like the rest of the world, I'm agog, waiting to see what happens next. This would be the perfect time for Aussies to visit the US. Not so good for US'ns coming down here.

One can't help wonderering how far the trend will continue. The last time the Aussie dollar was worth more than the Greenback was way back in the 1970s (we were worth about $1.10 - $1.15 at the time), but you have to remember, the Australian dollar was 'fixed' back then, not free to trade. In other words, it was worth what somebody in Canberra decided it was worth! So, in those days, being worth $1.10 didn't mean a hell of a lot, whereas the current exchange rate leaves one ... curious.

Got to go, folks. Thanks to all who are visiting here, and on the website. I do have your latest questions in hand, and will try to answer tomorrow.


No comments:

Post a Comment