Photon: more than just torpedoes #astronomy #wotd #scifi

“Photon torpedoes! Fire!” If you thought that was a line right out of Star Trek, congratulations. You were right. The show has been on television, in movies, books, and other media for fifty years now. The imaginative people who created and wrote it have amassed a galaxy-sized universe in which they can release stories. There are entire wikis devoted to the Star Trek series.

Writing good Science Fiction is more than the product of a good imagination, however. Along with writing and editing skills, marketing, networking, and willingness to work hard, a scifi storyteller also needs science fact on which to base that fiction.

When I’m researching a story, I start at the bottom and work my way up. I subscribe to Astronomy Magazine and read it both digitally and in print, skipping few words in either edition. Because I’m no science expert, I depend on material created by those who are. When I don’t understand a concept, one way to grasp the basics to start with a book or website geared toward young readers. A good one is Ducksters which has a science section called Physics for Kids. It contains simple information in an interesting way and suggests other places to continue research. According to them, a photon is not made of smaller units, which means it’s an elementary particle. It has no electric charge or mass, and it’s stable. There is a list of other qualities. To read more, visit http://www.ducksters.com/science/physics/photons.php

There are numerous other resources a writer can use to research and learn. In the Astronomy Word of the Day series, I’ll be sharing material I’ve gleaned over the years, as well as resources where I’ve found them. While I won’t share a word every day, there will be one at least once a week. Be sure to bookmark this page and follow the blog for more.

Photon: more than just torpedoes @kayelleallen #astronomy #wotd #scifi

Photon: Astronomy word of the Day

A photon is one of the basic units of light. It has properties of both a particle and a wave, which allows light to be diffused and refracted. A photon has no mass and does not carry a charge. They form the most visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The word comes from Greek (phos or phot) meaning light. Combined with electron (an English word), the word photon means “particle representing the smallest distinct and separate amount of light.”

In the Star Trek universe, there are multiple types of photon torpedoes and were fired in a tube-shaped case. The warhead itself contained a detonation chamber filled with antimatter. When detonated it created a a matter-antimatter explosion and ion radiation (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan).

So are there really photon torpedoes? Would they work? Not according to theoretical physicist Michio Kaku. He says a photon torpedo would have as much power as a flashlight. I can see the battles now… Captain Kirk (or another Star Trek captain – take your pick) orders the photon torpedoes to fire, and the entire crew of the ship whips out flashlights and shines them on the enemy. That would, in truth, be as effective as a “real” photon torpedo.

So while “photon torpedo” sounds good in scifi usage, the actual definition of photon means torpedoes won’t be in our future. At least, not like the ones in Star Trek.

Like this type of post? Want to see more? What other words would you like to see? Please leave a comment and let me know.

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SciFi on Veterans Day? Why not? #Veterans #SciFi #NerdaCon

In 2016, Veterans Day is Nov 11th which is also the first day of NerdaCon in Columbus, GA. As a US Navy veteran myself, I celebrate this holiday. This year, I’ll be celebrating it at NerdaCon as a guest author. I’m presenting three panels on writing. Science Fiction authors owe it to their readers to create believable worlds. World-building is an essential part of what I do. But the most amazing planet in the universe won’t hold the attention of a reader unless the people on the planet are interesting. For this convention I’m sharing panels on how to create great characters.

SciFi on Veterans Day? Why not? #Veterans #SciFi #NerdaCon @kayelleallen

Writing Panels

I’ll be leading the following panels. All will be open for question and discussion. See the full schedule of all panels here: http://nerdacon.org/panel-descriptions/

Adding Action and Emotion to Characters

People respond emotionally in every situation, even if it’s only reading a list of workshops. Should they take this one? That one? Why did they choose a particular topic? What influenced them to make the decision? In a story, characters should make the same kinds of decisions, influenced by their needs. The secret to writing a great story is to let readers inside the character’s head to experience that emotional response.

Creating Characters Readers Love

In any story, plot is the spine, the various settings are its bones, conflict is its muscle, and characters are its flesh and beauty. Together, they create a framework on which to build a beautiful story full of living, breathing characters. Here are some basic tips on how to make characters readers will love.

How to Critique Yourself

How do authors re-read their own writing and find typos, point of view changes, continuity issues, and character inconsistencies? This panel will discuss tips.

Want a personal critique?

I’m setting aside six half-hour sessions for personal, one-on-one critiques, with any type of writing. Here are the requirements:

One read through of the material plus a quick overview of grammar or typos; discussion of character development; use of active or passive wording; and an overall impression of the story. I will offer my opinion only — it is up to the author to accept, reject, and decide how to proceed.

Authors must submit the manuscript in print format with these criteria:
Any topic, up to PG13 rating, up to four (4) pages, single-sided, double spaced, 12 points, in a simple font such as Calibri, Times New Roman, or Arial, with 1″ margins. Using these parameters makes it easier to read and add notes.

Fanfiction or Writing for Publication

No matter what you write, you need more than a great idea. Just as veterans have what it takes to succeed: dedication, skill, and commitment, so authors need the same qualities to complete a great story. Never let anyone take away your dream. If you want to write, begin now. Read good writing. Study the craft. Write, write, write. Come to NerdaCon and attend some panels. Talk. Listen. Learn. But always write.

Even a military and veterans discount!

All the NerdaCon info you could want, including a discount for military and veterans, and for children. http://nerdacon.org/

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NerdaCon: Meet Kayelle Allen Nov 11-12 #cosplayer #gamer

Come Say Hello in Columbus GA

I’ll be an author guest this year at NerdaCon and I would love to meet you! I’ll have print books with me, including Bringer of Chaos, At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, For Women Only, and An Immortal’s Guide to Tarth, or I’d be happy to autograph books you bring with you.

NerdaCon - Columbus GA Nov 11-12 #cosplayer #gamer @kayelleallenWhat is NerdaCon?

NerdaCon is the brainchild of the Campus Nerds, the largest organization at Columbus State University, in Columbus, Georgia. This organization embraces all special interests and gives its members a community of like-minded individuals. They created the Science Fiction, Anime, Cosplay, and Gaming convention in March 2007 and had 1500 attendees. An outstanding achievement, considering they advertised for only one month.

Now, seven events later, they have a polished set up and a well-organized program. They’ve lost none of their charm.

Getting In

In order to attend NerdaCon, you may either pre-register or purchase a badge at the door. Pre-purchase your NerdaCon badge online through our online registration system. These badges will allow access to all events as stated by the dates and/or times printed on them.

There are several types of registration options:

  • One-Day Registration – $10 for single day (walk-in only)
    Friday or Saturday options available.
  • Two-Day Registration – $15 for both days
    Allows access to both days of the convention.
  • Two-Day Registration + T-Shirt – $25 for both days
    Allows access to both days of the convention and a t-shirt at a reduced rate.
  • Children age 6 and under are admitted free of charge with a paying adult (parent or guardian ages 18+).
  • NerdaCon also has a military discount available for all military members and their families. One-day badges are available for $8 each and two-day badges are available for $12 each when you present a valid military ID. These discounted badges are available as walk-in only.

Attendees who pre-register for the event will be able to pick up their badges and any other merchandise must faster at the registration desk. Attendees who are buying a badge as a walk-in will also be able to purchase their badge and other merchandise at the registration desk.

I’ll have more to say about NerdaCon over the next few days. I want to take pictures while I’m there and post them on my NerdaCon Pinterest page. https://www.pinterest.com/kayelleallen/nerdacon/ Let me know in the comments if you’re a cosplayer, and what fandom you’ll represent.

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Daredevil Immortals and Extreme #sports

I write about immortals, so I think about things that might affect them. My characters often do daredevil things that mortals wouldn’t dream of doing, such as walk toward someone who’s shooting at them. Superman much?

That made me start wondering what I would do if I knew I wouldn’t die? I might be quite daring. I might even take financial risks if I knew I’d recoup my losses and not die penniless. No — none of that is true. I’m a scaredy cat. :) But I live a vicarious daredevil life through my immortals.

My daredevil immortals would try…

Daredevil Immortals and Extreme #sports @kayelleallen

An Immortal’s Guide to Tarth

Dancing on a rooftop during a thunderstorm.
Fire walking — the act of walking barefoot over a bed of hot embers or stones (my immortals can only die permanently from fire, being vaporized, or completely torn to pieces.
Parasailing — being towed behind a boat or other vehicle while attached to an oversized kite.
Skydiving – jumping out of a perfectly good airplane — on purpose.
Bungee jumping — jumping off something high while tied by the ankles to a springy tube.
Glacier Surfing – wait for a chunk of a glacier to break off, and then ride a surfboard along the wave it kicks up.
Mountain climbing – especially mountains like Everest, K2, and any place where you hang upside down while clinging to rocks with your fingertips.
Extreme Surfing – you have to be especially crazy to be towed out to the biggest waves.
Anything having to do with bulls — riding, running, fighting, etc.
BASE jumping (Buildings, Antennas, Spans, or Earth) which in some circles is called “attempted suicide”.
Storm chasing – find a tornado or other storm to follow and get as close as possible to watch or record it.
In the Tarthian Empire, there’s a sport called Ruckball. It’s played on a low gravity field and is a cross between soccer, football, and wrestling. Not for the faint of heart even to watch!
Finally, a sport I can’t imagine any sane person doing in any empire: cave diving. First you have to scuba dive down to the cave, then swim around in it without getting lost or running out of air. If the lights go out, you can’t even see. Who is crazy enough to do that?

Even if I was immortal I don’t think I’d try any of these, because they all tend to freak me out. I am NOT a daredevil. I play it safe. What would be on your list if you were immortal? How much of a daredevil are you? Which of these sports have you tried? Share it in the comments.

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Getting a new homeworld and features #scifi #wotd

I’m moving to a new homeworld for the kayelleallen.com site. The new server and hosting are better than before and will allow a more feature-rich experience for readers. I’m excited! Can’t wait to have it go live. Because my site uses the blog as its homepage, you’ll see this message first until the site is completely moved to its new home. I’ll pop up a welcome to the new digs post once we’re settled.

New Homeworld Feature

Getting a new homeworld and features #scifi #wotd @kayelleallenI have a new homeworld feature planned called Astronomy Word of the Day. While it won’t be an every-day post, I will use that phrase to identify it. I use a number of sources for information, including Space.com and Astronomy Magazine, among others. I hope you’ll enjoy the series.

Working on a sequel to my Christmas romance as well. It’s such a fun story and I hope to have it done shortly.

Please sign up for my newsletter — Romance Lives Forever Reader Group. I send out a new one about once a month. You can sign up right on this site. Here’s how to find out when I have a new book.1) Join the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group Download free books and get news about books coming soon. One book downloads immediately and two more full color illustrated books arrive the next day. You can unsubscribe at any time. 2) Follow my Amazon Author Page and get one alert from Amazon when a new story is available. 3) Sign up for AuthorAlarms and the app will send you one email when I release a new story. You can add and remove authors at any time.

Have you read one or more of my books? Would you like to leave a review? Please post it on your site, Amazon, Goodreads, or another site, and share the link with me. I’d love to know about it!

For those curious to know, my new hosting is with Personalized Marketing, Inc, owned by Dee Owens. You can learn more about her services at her site, and see who else she hosts. She also does design, including Coffee Time Romance’s wonderful Coffee Thoughts blog. I bet you’ll be as impressed as I was.

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Immortal warriors don’t take orders. They take over. #scifi

Imagine immortal warriors who spend eternity alone, watching mortal friends age and die, century after century, thousands of years on end, battling untold wars. Recalling lovers brings such pain, it’s better to forget. Why would anyone want to go on?

Immortal Warriors – and Gamers

Immortal warriors don't take orders. They take control. #scifi

New cover for Bringer of Chaos

Humans created genetically-designed creatures to make life easier. Humans themselves disdained such enhancements, and within a few generations, the title Human Pure identified those who had never commingled blood or accepted genetic changes. Genslaves did the work; humans reaped the benefits. Depending on the job required, each genslave could be telepathic, empathic, shape-shifting, half animal, or a pleasure giver, and some were illusion casters. However, genslaves were also the finest scientists, healers, artists, and teachers.

Nothing normal described the warriors. All had various enhanced skills. Too powerful to kill, they regenerated no matter how catastrophic the wound. Immortal warriors do not take orders.. They take control.

It took many centuries before a traitor within their ranks helped trap the invincible army. Imprisoned on a world dubbed Sempervia, far out on the galaxy’s rim, these immortal warriors had no way home. With little more than a handful of farming tools and a few crates of seeds, the exiles faced a battle unlike any that had come before. In a twist of irony, the ragged and starving immortals died, only to rise again and face one more bleak day of survival.

Thousands of years later, those same half-million now live as one with the world they’ve transformed into a paradise. There are no children. All are barren. Calling themselves Reborn, they take pains to hide their world from outsiders, and are peace-loving, docile, and content.

Except for one hundred renegades and their leader, Pietas. They refuse to forgive their expulsion from their birthright — their loss of freedom to roam the galaxy. One hundred and one live for revenge. Rejecting the pacifist name Reborn, the exiles called themselves Sempervians. The name means ever living.

Immortal Warriors on Sempervia

Pietas held his people together by preaching a doctrine that only death made life meaningful. Peril is a real-time role-playing game lived out in forty-year increments. As the Gamemaster, Pietas oversees details of his followers’ lives. Players strive during each lifetime to achieve goals against friends who are adversaries or allies, depending on the toss of the dice. They crave wining at all costs. Peril pits empires and worlds against powers far beyond any mortal’s ability to know, understand, or even glimpse.

To fail means a solid year of Penance at the hands of the Gamemaster, Pietas. Repeated, daily deaths. Dying and coming back at their peak age. The Gamemaster plays no favorites, grants no mercy, even to the one he loves — the one follower who has challenged Pietas throughout the centuries but cannot bring himself to love Pietas back the way he himself is loved, yet defers to the Gamemaster’s power. Cyken Tomarus, known in this lifetime as Luc Saint-Cyr.

No one leaves Peril. If the others don’t hunt you down, or the android referees can’t find you, the galaxy is full of bounty hunters eager for a scalp, and no price is too high to pay for a traitor. No mercy awaits immortal warriors dragged back for Pietas’s wrath.

Assisting in the game are the Chosen, generations of mortals who know the secrets of the Sempervians and vow to make their transitions from life to life possible, a rare few ending up as lovers of their immortal masters. Two such Chosen were Wulf, once belonging to Luc Saint-Cyr, and Alitus, once belonging to Empress Rheyn Destoiya. These Chosens’ unforgivable sin was to fall in love with each other, thereby pitting the two strongest players — former allies — against one another.

Immortal warriors don't take orders. They take control. #scifi

Pietas declared the two Chosen untouchable, safe within his keeping, and he watches from afar. The story plays out among the worlds of the Tarthian Empire. He reveals that a few decades earlier, he created a group of “Changelings.” Death or an infusion of immortal blood awakens dormant cells to begin their transformation into an immortal. The Chosen Alitus is one. Others wait, reared by mortals as mortals, without knowledge of their rightful heritage.

Who is next?

Who are the next Changelings? Will they be immortal warriors? Or perhaps they will bring Peril to a riotous end. Subscribe to the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group and find out as each new book reveals more of the truth.

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