It’s late, and I’m blah, and I should be writing….
I blame the cats for enticing me back to bed once I’d got up.
So this is a sorry excuse for a post, in which I’m going to give you a bunch of cool stock photos, then links to some blogs you should be looking at if you’re not.
Strangely, though in general superior, Pexels seems to have fewer “could make a cover out of this” illustrations than Pixabay. I suspect this is because I haven’t found the way to search it that will unlock them. As in “illustrations, not pictures.” https://www.pexels.com/@mikhail-nilov/ has a series of “woman in spacesuit” though that should be suitable for anyone doing space opera with a female protagonist, and they’re free.
This one is also nice, I suppose, though I get an “SF thriller” vibe from it, and it’s the only one of its kind by the photographer, so…. you know?
I mean, there’s lots of cool abstract things that look a lot like the science fiction covers of the 50s through 70s in Portugal. (Might still do. Portuguese publishers are CHEAP.)
And don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty. Just doesn’t signal genre as well as I personally like for my covers. Now could be totally used for a background, with, say, a fairy in the foreground, of course.
Pixabay, as usual has interesting stuff, though nothing so far that screams out “I must use this” (I’m also not looking for a cover, as such, more looking at things while the caffeine comes onboard.)
Though no offense, but some of ya’ll looking for a cover might do worse than this sort of generic thing:
Or this for your more woo woo SF:
I mean, I can totally see that for some of Clifford Simak’s stuff about aliens.
This for more generic:
Add a spaceship:
like this. Or this:
or even this:
(All from Pixabay) in that lower left corner, adjust the color to match, and you’re in the business.
Then are are some lovely, lovely images that can be used as is, but not (alas) for books I write. Like this one:
I think it could work very well for a Dave Freer book, mind. One he hasn’t written yet, of course.
And this would be perfect for a YA Science Fiction.
And if I ever write anything even vaguely Phillip K. Dick-esque (I have, but only short stories. I don’t think I could do a novel.) I will use this as a cover, mostly because it reminds me of the covers of his books. (In Portugal, at least.)
And okay, I’ve wasted enough of your time looking at pretty pictures, so for more substantial (and not mine) fodder.
If you’re not checking out Tilting at Windmills, by Tom Knighton, at substack, you should be. He’s a friend, yes, but also one of the people to whom I dole out my limited funds in subscription. Because he’s worth it.
The other two people I subscribe to are Frank Flemming’s Frank Talk (also at Substack.) Remember he’s the guy who started IMAO. Though here he mostly shares his fiction, you still won’t be disappointed.
I also subscribe to BillWhittle.com and have for years. I really need to figure out where I put my password. Since I can’t find it, I mostly watch the public stuff, but I still think the endeavor is worth supporting.
Speaking of that, and supporting, and subscriptions, the boys have been at me again, on “you need to have an annual fundraiser on the blog.” Sigh. They’re probably not wrong, since this costs me a couple of hours or more a day, and 2k a year seems paltry for that. (And that’s about what I get from subscriptions. Okay, there’s another 1 to 2k from the Amazon associates account, but still.)
Reluctantly, I think I am going to do it. Mostly because people like Jerry Pournelle tried for years to get me to do it. (As does Chris Muir.) But also because husband needs to stop working sixty hour weeks. That’s fine when you’re in your twenties but when you’re staring sixty in the face it gets old. Also leads to car-fixing expenses. (Don’t ask. Truly.)
No, this won’t be an emergency like the last one (You guys have no idea how much you saved my bacon. Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to extricate ourselves from the house, as we had to have stuff done for the deal to close. Thank you.) And it will be a scheduled thing.
Son suggested I do it on the 4th of July. Or at least that week. And that makes sense. There will be prizes and stuff, too. But absolutely no balloons and face painting. Unless you guys want virtual face painting. (Have paintshop, will not travel.)
So anyway, that’s something I’ll do. Er…. unless all of you think I’m out of my mind.
The “Boxes from Sarah’s Garage” are coming. What happened is that we had to pack them and move them, and son has spent the last month and a half sorting and organizing the contents, so we can DO something. Right now we’re doing the “How much do we even charge?” (December, January and February son was attempting to cough up a lung, which is not conducive to doing much of anything. Eh.)
And this weekend I need to finish Bowl of Red (Maybe it IS cursed) while hampered by prednisone, which makes me sleep. (Apparently this is contrary to everyone else. Well, you know, 23 and me says part of dad’s genetic contribution is “from unknown origin” so maybe I am part alien?)
Which bring us back to interesting or in this case weird links.
I again re-iterate that going to zerohedge is what I do in lieu of climbing into a filled bathtub holding a plugged-in toaster. You can tell how crazy I am by how much I check it. So…. three times to five times a day is probably not good.
But this is weird even for zerohedge. And to be fair, it’s not THEIR weirdness.
And if you just said “What in the name of light fandango?” yeah, that’s what I said too.
I’m just going to say that whenever Democrats are fully in charge everyone starts seeing UFOs or talking about UFOs. Maybe it’s a “Beam me up, Scottie,” effect/wish.
Moving right along, you should probably check Spin, Strangeness and Charm at least once a week.
Samizdata is often interesting.
I’ve been reading Neoneocon for decades, and when I disagree with her it’s because we followed different but equally valid tracks. I sympathize with her — what now would be called red pill — experience of political conversion, because even though I was never leftist, I did grow up in Europe, where the center and even the right are leftist. So it took me a long time to figure out “Liberty-right” or American right. So we have commonality.
Kim Du Toit, whom older son (who greatly likes him) refers to as a “retired space pirate” (It fits, somehow) has Splendid Isolation. If you’re going to pearl clutch over semi-clad or wholly unclad women don’t go over, but he often has insights combined with devastating humor. And he’s almost — almost — as angry as I am these days.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t direct you at Behind the Black. Some politics, but a lot of space news. Now if I could find the like site for dinosaurs, my life would be complete. 😀
As for the state of the writer, in case you’re wondering, other than sleeping a lot (mostly prednisone, though I suspect also healing from all that’s been going on) I’m getting better. I mean, I’m not reading dinosaurs, true crime, or fan fiction. I’ve clawed my way up to (clean) regency romances. Next up his mysteries, historic mysteries, and eventually science fiction again. (Look, guys, it’s a slog once I fall all the way to true crime, which I did mid-last year.)
The sun is shining. I have flowerbeds to build. But first I need to finish Bowl of Red which is a …. very weird book. No, I mean, even for me.
Bows. Exists stage left.
Don’t even think of sending the bear after me. Not even if it’s just a guy in a bear suit. PARTICULARLY not if it’s a guy in a bear suit.