Orion’s Articles : Municipal Feedstock Utilities

And now, another addition of Orion’s Articles.  The series of community commons licensed sci fi licensed material written originally for the shared Sci Fi community of “Orion’s Arm”.

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Municipal Feedstock Utilities

One of the major challenges of widespread nanofabrication is keeping a consistent flow of feedstock to the nanofabrication units and protecting the local environment from becoming depleted. To combat this, many societies developed Municipal Feedstock Utilities that keep a constant flow of refined feedstock accessible to the public and industry on demand. Similar to municipal water works or ancient gas systems, the flow of feedstock solution is pumped from central holding reservoirs
and towers through pipes and into a reclamation system that then cycles back to a refinery that breaks down the “waste” feedstock and reintegrating it back into it’s reservoirs. These pipes are commonly subterranean or underwater in nature or coupled with other utility lines. Reservoirs are commonly built in sealed or underground lakes and pools to prevent contamination of the solution. In megastructures or tall buildings these reservoirs are often placed in the top floors of the building to assist with pressures and regulating speed of distribution.

The central benefit of this system is that it ensures all connected nanofabricators have access to the full spectrum of elements allowed by law, while preventing consumption of the local materials or property. Often this removes the need for citizens to gather or purchase feedstock on a separate basis, offering access for nominal exchange or fees. Some Feedstock Utilities offer a credit system for recycling and preventing material loss.

The typical system is designed to have a centrally located refinery and processing plant. From here, pipes are constructed that lead to reservoirs and tanks placed for optimum levels of distribution in the supplied municipality. These tanks are then routed through subterranean pipes to all customers, buildings and locations that require feedstock. After flowing through the nanofabrication suite, the feedstock effluent pipes then flow back to holding pools and then into the refinery where processing begins for re-integration into the reservoirs. The solution is magnetic in nature, and can be pushed smoothly by linear accelerator pumps. Even the nanofabricators are designed to not stop the flow or divert it completely but rather filter off any elements required by nanofabrication at time of operation. This constant motion prevents any chance of settling happening outside of designed traps and pools.
Feedstock Utilities can be of very small local design like a single building, or massive megastructures and even weaving their way through an entire Jupiter sized brain! How the system is fed varies greatly, but usually break down into three formats: Local, System or Wormhole.

A local style Utility relies totally on resources mined from the stellar object it is built on. Mines transport the base material from parts of the planet or asteroid to the refinery. There the raw
material is broken down, filtered out, or Pico-converted to essential matter and stored in large hoppers used to supplement the reservoirs at a rate that keeps the feedstock solution at a constant “richness” and proportions.

A System style supplied Municipal Feedstock Utility usually gains its raw materials from off-world or long outside of the municipality’s orbit. Although the matter still is in the orbit of the local star or
Oort Cloud. These items are mined, and usually refined out at its mining site. These items are then shipped back to the Utility via a magnetic accelerator or coil system similar to that used by Dusters or Squirts. The loose material appears like a stream a few millimeters to a few meters in width depending on the demand. These streams are then ducted through “targeting pump satellites” to an Orbital Receiving Facility. This is usually found in a stationary orbit or attached to an orbital station itself. It then prioritizes feedstock for where it needs to go and organizes delivery via a variety of systems and networks.
Wormhole Style Utilities are very similar to system fed utilities, but include small (5cm to 5m) wormholes to allow material being broken down in another system to be shipped similar to beamriders or linear accelerator to the purchasing utility. Once it exits the wormhole link, it then is treated and moved about like a normal system fed utility. Often these wormhole stations are located near or at the solar “poles” of a system so orbiting mines can always see them and
control streams better.

Once a society has access to stable Picofacture (The ability to manufacture atoms to order by mechanical control of sub atomic particles), and can manufacture their own elements, the supply systems quickly become local in nature and only deal with occasional loads of off site matter when they run low on total available matter to continue growth.

Twenty One Scenes and Other Thoughts

That’s all I have left.

Approximately that is.

I always weird out when I start thinking about word counts and words per day.  2000 seems like a lot, but saying how many scenes I have to write doesn’t seem so bad.  In fact, it’s more organic to my mind to think in writing scenes over words.

Screw the count!  I just want to get full ideas out on the page.  From there I can work on them and see what’s what.  Some scenes I might figure out how to do faster or better.  Others might need to be dragged out and lingered over.

The point is, I don’t like stopping mid idea.  Mid story as it were.  Every chapter is pretty much one or two scenes to me, depending on how tightly related they are.  If I stop and come back later, they don’t fit together right, you know?  It’s like I have to re-break it and allow it to heal right.

No… that’s not the correct metaphor.

Or maybe it is.  I dunno.

So my goal was end of the month.  Last Thursday, I mapped it out and came up with 19 “new” scenes that needed to be put in to complete the finale of Book One of Reimarsoga.  I’ve gotta come up with a good sub title.  I mean I’m dealing with three layers of names here.

I’ve got “Akiniwazi”  The name of the land, or really the whole fictional universe.  Then I have this book series, which follows primarily my main character, Reimar.

Hence the name “Reimarsoga”.  If you’re going to steal (or do I mean research?) appropriate big or go home.  So I took the old Icelandic concept to this for dat extra flayvah.

And now, for Book One.  It needs a sub title.  I ain’t got one yet.  But maybe something will pop up by the end of the edit.  I’ll probably have a poll of a select few to work with.  That way when I publish, it will be “Reimarsoga:  Book One’s title replacement here  – An Akiniwazi Novel”.

Or something like that.

Good Lord don’t make me think about hiring an artist yet.  I’m not quite ready.  I think I’ll wait till after the beta readers return what they think are the most exciting scenes to use that as the inspiration of the cover image.

Sigh…. so much coming soon.

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Timeline of Akiniwazi: 1205-1266AD

A continuation of the alternate history timeline of the Land of Akiniwazi.  As always, these are letting you in to see my background notes of how the fantasy setting came to be.  That means they’re rough, probably with typos and not generally edited save for contradictions.  I hope you enjoy getting to see “behind the curtain of my setting” and share your discovery with others.

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1205AD – The Church of Akiniwazi or Kyrkja, is established in the new capital of Dyrrvatn Kastali. The new capital suffered under many disputes over who was to rule from this central point and many skirmishes and feuds were fought between the budding Aettir. The Kyrkja begins construction of a cathedral in the city.

1222AD – The new Cathedral and monastery of Dyrrvatn Kastali are christened and founded.

1225AD – The first census is taken. There are 2 million Nordics in Akiniwazi. The rich mineral reserves and rumors of the Garden of Eden draw people from all over the Norse lands. Most of them lived in ever growing ports on the Kisiina Sea. The Nordic Kingdoms of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark grow very rich as more of their population push to resettle overseas. Threats come from other nations on keeping the route to Akiniwazi secret. The penalty for revealing the secret is death by torture of themselves and their entire families. Many captains and pilots develop false routes that increase time of passage but hide their routes. A sophisticated relay of partial routes are set up as well. With control over the points for resupply. Only those approved by the Nordic Monarchy and the Church are allowed passage over. The church, concerned with the degree of miraculous occurrences begins to hide the rumors and only send over their most devout and loyal priests and retainers. The strain for control over Akiniwazi puts the church and the Nordic Monarchy at odds with each other.

1229AD – To consolidate power officially, King Haakon decided to unify the fractious colonies of Akiniwazi by creating the Visekonge of Akiniwazi. He sent his youngest son, Svienn to rule there on behalf of his brother, Magnus VI.

1231AD – The Visekonge’s palace is completed in Dyrrvatn Kastali.

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1245AD – Den Hellige Avtale (The Holy Appointment). During a battle at the prosperous whaling port of Hvalrauga on the shores of the Kisiina Sea, a deadly new turn had happened as the Skaerslinger shamen were now calling forth supernatural beings of great power to slay the people and channeling the forces of nature through their bodies.

This battle was lost if not for the appearance of an Angelic Host that destroyed the Skaerslinger and hauled away the demonic creatures in chains. This was done as the people of the town were driven into the storm charged surf on the shore in a small grotto, by the enemy. After the town’s remaining people were saved, the last angel, a magnificent Herald gave a proclamation to all who witnessed:

People of God!
You are the inheritors of This Land!
He has given over to you!
Go Forth, and bring it under dominion for His Greater Glory
Spread His Word to all that live in it.
Bring into His Fold those who accept Jesus as Lord.
This is the Lord’s will.

1246AD – The Sanaadian Order is founded by Saint Sanaa.

1251AD – The Ragnarites initiate their great crusade to conquer or destroy the Skaerslinger begins. Backed by many Jarls and permitted by Visekonge Svienn the I to be handled locally.

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1266-1269AD – The Great Cataclysm, “Den Lange Vinteren” and the Isolation Era.

Den Lange Vinteren will be the subject of the next Timeline of Akiniwazi as there is much that happens in a 2 year period.  I look forward to teasing you more with upcoming timelines on how Akiniwazi came to be the way it is!

As always the complete published timeline is being archived here.

Surprise Update!: Timeline of Akiniwazi

Interested in learning a bit about how my fantasy setting, the Land of Akiniwazi came to be? I’m sharing my notes of the land’s history for those interested. Check it out here and watch for more posts of the events to come! Don’t forget to subscribe if you like what you see.

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All Over the World

I love that I have an international audience.  Seriously guys, it’s fantastic to see how one little thing, and yes I’m little for now (wish the scale would agree with this) but growing and that makes me so happy.

International

 

So thank you to my followers and guests from all over the world.

Also in relation to this, I realize that my setting for my novel may have part to do with any interest.  A long time ago, a friend of mine who is Native American pointed out to me that in my area, (Wisconsin USA) southwest Indian stuff sold very well.  On the other hand, down in other parts of the US, woodland Indian stuff sold well too to people who lived there.  Of course, this is in addition to what they have native by them.  It is a flavor of the culture.

That got me thinking about it internationally.  What I see as boring and every day is strange and exotic once you start crossing boarders and travelling.  To me, Europe and Australia is exciting, for their culture is similar in many ways, and more familiar.  On the other hand Asia, South America and Africa are far more exotic.  I supposed after a bit, that the converse might be true.  My boring going to a supper club for a fish fry, up at the cabin and watching a Packer Game is a far different life than someone say in Malaysia or New Delhi.

This has made me both more proud to be where I’m from, as well as more interested in sharing about my home.

Hey, that gives me an idea for another type of article to write!  Huzzah!

(We’ll try that tomorrow.)

 

 

 

ISTMPOTI: Future Fun for Fans

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Yes, I summon the mighty power of the Internets for your thoughts!

First off, I know it’s Wednesday and I normally do not do daily posts, I’m just trying to learn when are the best days and times to post.  So get ready for a lot of shorter posts for a while. I know I know… how cheesetastic of me.  I’m a Wisconsinite, cheese is in the blood.

…and bratwurst.

…and a significant amount of beer.

BUT I DIGRESS!!!!!

As the 2nd edit swoops in for a close, I am curious to what things you guys think are of value to drop in, keep in touch and sound off.  To that end, I am considering on adding a few new “features” to the mix.

  1. Twitch feed.  Yes, I’m toying with adding a live stream of my gaming stuff and perhaps allow for live chatting.  I play World of Warships, DC Universe Online and Guildwars 2.  Maybe it would be a fun way for others to socialize with me.  Watch the feed, text me stuff, or even find me in game to run together.  :::shrug::: What do you think?
  2. Moar content!  Do you guys like the freebie, behind the scenes notes and articles I’ve been putting up for my novel and for other things?  IF you don’t care, that’s cool, just well, tip me off what you’re thinking.  I’m not going to be wanting to post stuff nobody wants to hear about.  Why be masochistic to both of us, right?
  3. Something else I haven’t thought about yet that’s even more awesomerer you can suggest!  No really.  I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing, but I’m always open to good ideas.  What is something cool you would like to see.

As always, comment below your thoughts.  Let’s have a dialogue here.

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus Musings: A Craving to Edit

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I didn’t think this would happen.

After listening to a few podcasts from Rockin Self-publishing Podcast, I started seeing my work in a slightly different light. In an interview with Seeley Booth, I started realizing that I need to pay attention a little more to me grammar and composition.

Although Seeley Booth and The Rockin Self-publishing Podcast had inspired this, I was given also a fit of hubris. What I realized was I wanted to compare myself to other online self-published authors. I wanted to see if what I saw on my page that I had created compared with some of the best of the e-book Market. Pretty arrogance right? So I looked and I compared and I judged coming to the snotty believe that I could stand up with the best of them.

Then I saw that one of the authors I had taken a look at partnered with Clive Cussler. That he brought me a bunch of humility. Now I know what a real Pro can do in a few pages that I hope to get to soon in my life. Consider it a goal that I don’t know if I will ever reach. No, that’s not really true. I think that if I do push myself and I do try with all my heart, I could have that level of talent. Arrogant? Sure thing. But a goal that is worthy of having none the less.

Having my humility brought back into alignment with my confidence that had grown through the experience, I looked once again at my own words. They were far from what I wanted. When I took a look again at these passages, which I did not spend too much time in, but spent enough time to realize what it is he was talking about. I started grabbing a hold of sentences and throttling them like a kid grabbing a garter snake. Grabbing it behind the head and shaking it like a bobble doll. There was a certain amount of Glee that I gained from looking at my phrasing and going nope. I realized how weak some of my sentence structure and phraseology sounded in my head.

The earliest chapters of my book that I had finished left a lot to be desired.  I began having an experience looking at those words similar to Howard Roark fixing the design of the Cosmo Slotnik Building.  I could see what I needed to do under the crap and wanted to start dragging it out cleaning it and putting it all in its rightful place.

And throughout it all now, as this desire to edit, I keep hearing the song Midlife Crisis in my head.

“Go on dig your thumbs in, my head is like lettuce.”

That is what I want to do.  Dig my thumbs in and pull this thing apart and make something grand with the threads.

BTW, this blog is not edited much, sticking to stream of consciousness writing by dictation and the voice recognition and editing via my phone is well… rough to do.  That is part of its style and perhaps charm.

I hope that’s considered charm at least.

 

Cooling Down

For the first time in a month, the air is finally pleasant at night. I cannot believe how long it has been since I have wanted to have a window open to experience the night there. The constant drone of the air conditioner is no longer a comfort. It had been like a jailer for me for so long.

My life is lived overnight. While the rest of the world is awake and moves around doing their chores, I sleep. There are times that I wish I was up during the day, but it has significant downsides for someone who is not a big social person. That isn’t entirely true, because I do like the social aspect of life in some respects, but on my own terms. In a way I guess this is a very mild form of agoraphobia. Then again, I am not qualified to make any sort of diagnosis.

The cooling also seems to come in concert with the cooling of my creativeness. Over the weekend I had written two new chapters and upon listening to them again I discovered how poorly they sounded. It was quite a shock after filling a little hubris I guess is the right word. I have never purchased an independent published book before, let alone an ebook. Odd to say probably, particularly since I will be publishing e-books in the near future. But that’s the way it is. It’s my own fault, my own work to enjoy reading a book in paperback or hardcover over and you look. That’s not to say that it might not change, but when I am dealing with an electronic device, it seems to be more comfortable to me to listen to a book on tape instead.

I threw out recently on my Facebook feed that I ought to look for a native Norwegian speaker when I decide to make my book into an audiobook. Then they could get the names with the proper pronunciation I can get a hint of the true accents of the characters that even I cannot do properly. Do you know how insane it is sometimes when you realize that as the author you cannot even truly pronounce the names correctly that you needed for your book? I’m sorry, but in my mind that is a tad nutty. If I had money, at least I could say I was eclectic.

I had not really planned what to say this blog as the Meandering probably gives away. I’ve been wondering though, what people are curious about? I get very different feedbacks from my blog posts and it seems that the statistics are working quite properly or something. I have people telling me they love the blog that have no indication of reading it but they talked to me about it. I know I went through Facebook but I have absolutely no idea how they’re reading the whole thing through Facebook. I don’t want them to be able to do that. But then again I’m so ignorant in the methodology and functionality of sharing links and things like that with blogs that I have no idea how this is supposed to work.

So I’m starting to experiment a little bit with times and days blog Publications. Seeing what time’s work better for exposure. Currently releasing new posts at midnight on Monday and Friday seem to be very good for overseas circulation. But I have not found a time that bolsters the North American time zones. I started with doing this on Mondays and Fridays, I’m starting to wonder if there are better days in which to do new information. What do you guys think? I would love to have your opinion. Go ahead and comment below.

That’s all for now. I think we will try to put up something more creative regarding my book on this coming Friday. And if any of you guys have good ideas please share them on what are good posting times and what is interesting stuff you want to hear about let me know!

 

Alpha Readers & Whole Cloth

As I’ve mentioned, I use a few alpha readers to help me along with my second edit.  They’ve been a real Godsend.  This last week I sent off to them the middle build and have gotten some feedback so far that has been… well… overwhelmingly positive to say the least.  That’s a very hopeful sign in my book.

I keep mentioning that I’m too close to know if my work is any good, and its hard to be humble when you have a passionate desire for it to be fantastic and think maybe, just maybe it is.

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But now, with less than 2 weeks left in my self imposed deadline, I am writing new material again.  Creating from whole cloth, and it is stuff I do not want to write at the moment, or I keep feeling like I’m being sidetracked.  Its setting up what is to come and be the big finish of the 3 act structure.  All the guns drawn as of the first and second acts will ultimately go off or be explained or be set up for the next novel.  (Yes, next novel.  The way the story is progressing, I suspect it may be a 7 novel series I’m in for.)

I have whole characters I have to create too.  Earlier this week, I was not sure how this was going to happen, but a set of wild inspirations happened on the scene, and birthed a whole herd of notions.  I now know the set up I have for specific things, and how the key events will occur and even how, (after reversing course entirely on what I thought I was going to do and back to the original idea, but with a twist) they are going to get out of it.

What has me worried is that the two chapters I wrote today do not advance the story to my satisfaction.  Or rather it might be going down a bunny trail I should have left alone.  On the other hand, if I do not lay this groundwork, I cannot have a proper climactic battle with internal struggles, and the denouement becomes… well flaccid.  Come on now.  It’s a fantasy novel in the end!  You gotta have more fantasy to it, not this more common world building stuff and building up the backstory and motives.

“Cast Magic Missile and be done with it!” screams the emotional ‘get to the good stuff’ portion of my brain.

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“The times are past where you just lop off someone’s head and blame it on the Vikings.” the Blackadder rational mind part reminds me

“You can’t?” asks  the stupid prince part of my brain again.

“No.” Rationality says disapprovingly.

“Bollocks.  I am being asked to eat 10 raw pigs for breakfast.”

“Worse.  You’re writing.”

“Double bollocks with a side of bugger on top.”

So…

For now, I’m going to rest in the comfort given me from the early reviews back from the Alpha Readers that I’m doing something right, and using that to fuel my drive to finish this bad boy off so I can hire an editor, and cover artist and hopefully… Dear Lord help!  Publish by Christmastide.

Hope springs eternal.

 

 

Remembered for Something

I do not know how I would be able to handle such brutal… Honesty. No, it is honest from a publisher to tell any aspiring writer they have no chance because in their eyes you have no value. That is repulsive to me on a spiritual level.

This is also why I am not looking for a publisher. Or an agent. Till such time as an agent or publisher sees value in my work once I publish, I am going to do this on my own. Thank you to The Renegade Press who shared this little tidbit about the formerly all powerful gatekeepers to the craft of writing.

The Renegade Press

“We have been to the moon, we have charted the depths of the ocean and the heart of the atom, but we have a fear of looking inward to ourselves because we sense that is where all the contradictions flow together.”

-Terence McKenna

It’s no secret that I have been struggling to write lately. Over the past few months the aggressive creativity that usually floods my mind has dissipated and become more of a slow leak than a torrent. Despite my absence of inspiration I have persevered as best as I can, producing a handful of blog entries, and fleshing out the admittedly shaky blueprints for two separate novels. At first I thought that this writer’s block was stemming from a sense of nostalgia as I finalised one manuscript and began to transition into the next. But it turns out that I was wrong. My inability to write had nothing to do with nostalgia; I have…

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