Basic elements – Air

Original post at http://richardabbott.datascenesdev.com/blog/index.php/2016/01/13/basic-elements-air/

Today’s basic element is Air. Totally necessary for life, but invisible in its natural state, air is easy to forget until you suddenly feel the lack of it. Human societies in the past have by and large recognised air by means of its effects – the refreshing breath of wind on a still day, the almost-living force in the sails of a boat, or the abrupt violence of a storm…

…read the full post at the link above.

Rosetta probe image of water being discharged from comet 67P - ESA Rosetta probe image of water being discharged from comet 67P – ESA picture

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Back in the past – the first known use of end-rhyme

Original post at http://richardabbott.datascenesdev.com/blog/index.php/2016/01/05/back-in-the-past-the-first-known-use-of-end-rhyme/

I thought for today I would jump back into the past, and in particular writing. I recently visited the British Museum’s “Faith after the Pharaohs” exhibition. This is well worth a trip if you get the opportunity – it is on display until February 7th, so there’s a bit of time left yet.…

…read the full post at the link above.

Horus in Roman Costume - British Museum picture Horus in Roman Costume – British Museum picture

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Basic elements – Water

Original post at http://richardabbott.datascenesdev.com/blog/index.php/2015/12/16/basic-elements-water/

Writing Far from the Spaceports got me thinking about the really important ingredients which are essential for life – the elements if you like, but in the classical sense rather than the modern chemical one. So over the next few blogs I’ll be thinking about water, air, food and so on, in both worlds which I write about. Today it is water.

In the ancient world, water governed life…

…read the full post at the link above.

A view from the 'Kimberley' formation on Mars taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover A view from the “Kimberley” formation on Mars taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover

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A busy few days

Original post at http://richardabbott.datascenesdev.com/blog/index.php/2015/12/10/a-busy-few-days/

It has indeed been a busy time, with all kinds of things going on. Monday evening saw a lively Facebook event celebrating the launch of Far from the Spaceports, with a lot of people joining in, and a lot of questions, comments, and general good humour. The paperback giveaway is still up for grabs…

…read the full post at the link above.

NASA image - near the south pole of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus NASA image – near the south pole of Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus

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Human-machine relationships (3)

Original post at http://richardabbott.datascenesdev.com/blog/index.php/2015/12/01/human-machine-relationships-3/

Today’s topic is anticipation and context, two themes which drive a great deal of our human interactions. Even when two people don’t know each other very well, a shared context gives them an enormous head start in mutual understanding. As I started to write this, I carried out a little experiment…

…read the full post at the link above.

As an aside, and I’ll be saying more about it later in the week, there’s a Facebook launch event for Far from the Spaceports next Monday, December 7th, 7pm-9pm UK time.

Facebook event banner Facebook event banner

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A first review for Far from the Spaceports

Original post at http://richardabbott.datascenesdev.com/blog/index.php/2015/11/30/a-first-review-for-far-from-the-spaceports/

I was thrilled to see this review appear on the Breakfast with Pandora blog, at http://myth.typepad.com/borschland/2015/11/far-from-the-spaceports-among-abbotts-best.html

Far from the Spaceports is vintage Richard Abbott, a splendid good read…

…read the full post at the link above.

Asteroid Ida with moon Dactyl - NASA picture Asteroid Ida with moon Dactyl – NASA picture

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Human-machine relationships (2)

Original post at http://richardabbott.datascenesdev.com/blog/index.php/2015/11/26/human-machine-relationships-2/.

Carrying on the series about human-machine relationships, today’s topic is intimacy. I’m not proposing to talk about sex specifically – nor do I in Far from the Spaceports – but a much wider spectrum of close relationships.

In the book, Mitnash has a long term human partner back on Earth. She’s called Shayna, and we only actually meet her in one scene near the start, though she is a regular background presence throughout.

The main relationship that we see is with Slate…

…read the full post at the link above.

Don’t forget – Far from the Spaceports is now available on Amazon: follow links to

Microsoft Office Assistant Clippy Microsoft Office Assistant Clippy

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Human-machine relationships (1)

Original post at http://richardabbott.datascenesdev.com/blog/index.php/2015/11/19/human-machine-relationships-1/.

I thought for the next few blogs I’d talk a little bit about artificial intelligence, seeing as how the relationship between the human investigator Mitnash and his virtual partner Slate is at the heart of Far from the Spaceports. Quite a few years ago now I used to work in AI, though at the pattern recognition end rather than personality creation.

AI has been a key strand in science fiction for many years…

…read the full post at the link above.

Don’t forget – Far from the Spaceports is now on preorder: follow links to

Far from the Spaceports cover Far from the Spaceports cover

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Preorder time

Original post at http://richardabbott.datascenesdev.com/blog/index.php/2015/11/14/preorder-time/.

Well, here we are. Far from the Spaceports is now queued at Amazon for preorder in Kindle format.

Preorder links are:

The actual release date is set at Monday November 23rd…

…read the full post at the link above.

Far from the Spaceports cover
Far from the Spaceports cover image

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Distance and transportation… part 2

Original post at http://richardabbott.datascenesdev.com/blog/index.php/2015/11/04/distance-and-transportation-part-2/

This is a development on from my earlier blog on this topic which generated a number of interesting comments at different places. The issues which aroused comments were mainly to do with the numbers quoted:

Dawn achieved an acceleration of around 1/100,000 that of Earth’s gravity…I am assuming that advances in technology bring that up to 1/20 gravity, which leads to a top speed around 130,000 m/s.

First, the top speed I was thinking about relates to my Earth-asteroid belt journey, not any sort of absolute maximum. My main concern when I wrote it was that it was a tiny fraction of the speed of light…

…read the full post at the link above.

NASA/JPL image - Artist's impression of Dawn

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