The Week in Review – 3/27/2009

At Kitt Peak

This week, I returned to Kitt Peak National Observatory on Sunday, a day before my work shift began. My wife and daughters came out with me. Verity and Myranda were at the start of spring break, so this was an opportunity to spend some time together. On Sunday night we watched movies and then on Monday afternoon, I walked up to the 4-meter telescope with Verity, my six-year-old. It’s a bit of a climb from the observatory parking lot to the telescope, but she was a real trooper. On the way up to the telescope, we talked about the sun and how it’s really kind of a small star. Then, we went up to the visitor’s gallery, which gives really great views of the area surrounding Kitt Peak. There are also some great photos taken with the 4-meter. We looked at a photo of a galaxy and talked about how all the pinpricks of light in the photo were stars like the sun. Next to it was a photo of a galaxy cluster with hundreds of galaxies. We talked about how each one of those galaxies was like the one we lived in. To this day, the scale of the universe never ceases to amaze me.

Later that night, my thirteen-year-old, Myranda, was able to come to the telescope with me and watch me work, which isn’t always that exciting. To get the kind of detail we’d like from the telescope, we have to take exposures with the camera shutter open for a long time. So, she read a little while. On Tuesday, Kumie and the girls went back home to Las Cruces.

This week, I helped scientists use the Mosaic camera on the Kitt Peak 4-meter to observe recently discovered X-ray star clusters and planetary nebulae, which are the discarded gas shells of stars, formed in their death throes.

Chronicles of the Planeswalkers

In addition to my work at the telescope, I’ve been editing Chronicles of the Planeswalkers 2: Alignment by B.T. Robertson. I have to say that I have been rather impressed with how B.T. has grown as a writer in the time I’ve known him. I also edited his second book, Chronicles of the Planeswalkers 1: Alliances, which earned praise from none other than David Farland. Click on the pictures below to visit the first two books’ pages at Amazon.com.

Chronicles of the Planeswalkers, Part ZeroSpacerChronicles of the Planeswalkers, Part One

The Mogollon News at Fictionwise

Another book I edited was The Mogollon News by Uncle River. Not only did I edit this book, I also took the cover photograph. The book contains fictional news stories set in the real town of Mogollon, New Mexico, told with wry humor much like Garrison Keillor’s News from Lake Woebegone. I see that the book has now appeared at Fictionwise.com. Learn more by clicking on the book’s cover below:

The Mogollon News

The trade paperback edition of the book is also the featured title at hadrosaur.com

Mike Allen interviewed at Tor.com

Tales of the Talisman contributor, Nebula nominee, and Mythic Delirium editor Mike Allen was interviewed at Tor.com. The direct link to the interview:
http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=blog&id=19220

Mike’s story “The Blessed Days” will appear in Tales of the Talisman volume 4, issue 4, which is scheduled to go to press next week.

Heirs of the New Earth mentioned on the Podioracket Podcast

The audio edition of my novel, Heirs of the New Earth was mentioned in the first episode of the Podioracket podcast. You can download the episode at:
http://www.podioracket.com

The audio edition of Heirs of the New Earth is available at:
http://www.podiobooks.com/title/heirs-of-the-new-earth

New Suzy Solver Adventure

Look for a new Suzy Solver adventure to start tomorrow, March 28, on the Tales of the Talisman web comics page at:
http://www.talesofthetalisman.com/comics.html

Thought for the Week

I love to travel, to see new places and meet new people. When I look out into this vast universe, I see more places to visit than any human could ever visit in a lifetime. However, getting to even the closest places is an admittedly daunting challenge. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!

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