Limits on Spin

Spinning stars hit cosmic speed limit
No, not the political kind, but the kind that pulsars undergo. It seems that there is evidence that gravitational radiation, the rippling of space-time, keeps the stars from spinning so fast that they disintegrate.
It’s a double coup if this is proven out, since gravitational radiation has never been directly observed. This would help establish its properties and existence…

Mysteries of Amber: Coral

Mysteries of Amber
Section 18.7.1 :: Coral

“What might she see?”
“The Cold Clear lines of reality. No mortal could bear it for too long.”

–Discussion of Coral’s new eye
In the second Amber series, Zelazny introduces several younger Amberites, including the mysterious and impetuous Coral. Convinced of her heritage, she walks a Pattern and lets it decide her destination. Said Pattern lures Merlin to her, and seemingly has them perform a tantric ritual. But for what end? A child? Some sort of arcane power?
And what of her eye? Why does Dworkin implant the JOJ into her eye socket? To what ultimate end? It is well known that in Shadow Knight that Zelazny originally had a scene in Prince of Chaos where Coral’s pregnancy is revealed to Merlin by Luke.
If the pregnancy was directed by the Pattern…what does it intend with the child?
Some of these things are part of the reason some people dislike the second series. If you are going to take the second series as canon though…what does all of this mean? And how will the Logrus/Serpent (as inevitably it must) respond?

Mindscapes

Mindscapes, a Psionics Supplement by Bruce R. Cordell.
In D&D, probably the second most fudged die roll for character creation besides the old “percentile bonus” for strength 18 (which they have gotten rid of for 3E) was the roll for Psionics. Even though the rules were clumsy and shoehorned into the game, Psionics were and are very popular.
I was delighted when they came out with a Psionics rulebook for the Third Edition D&D, and more delighted when the writer of that book, Bruce Cordell, decided to do more supplements for Psionics for Monte Cook’s Malhavoc Press.
Mindscapes is his second supplement (the first being If Thoughts could Kill).
I was rather surprised, though, when I began reading it and found that Bruce proposed an alternate Psionic combat system for Third Edition D&D. Let me, via the fair use law, quote:
“When two or more psionic individuals knowingly encounter each other within 60 feet, a plane of the mind (a mindscape) instant springs into existence if at least one of the psionicists desires mindscape contact. Mindscapes depend on the psychic resonance created by two or more psionic creatures that are aware of each other…” It then goes on to describe avatars, landscapes and so forth.
Sound familiar? Long time readers of my stuff should recognize a kindred spirit to this on my pages. Psychic Combat Although its for a different game, and there are some differences between his vision and mine, it was a scary convergence. Do I think he borrowed any of my ideas? No, after all my own ideas came from earlier sources and such, and while my page on psychic combat has been up for years, its not likely to be a primary source. I am sure Mr. Cordell would have contacted me in that case.
Other than that, the book is interesting, giving some new creatures, feats and so forth for psionicists in Third edition D&D. And you never know when such ideas will make it into other games I run.

Yes, yes I’ve been quiet

I know, I know, its been pretty quiet here for a few days. Not that it was a hugely busy weekend, but we did do some things–including visiting Como Park and its charming, small zoo down in St. Paul.
My Amazon order came in, and one of the books is going to be the subject of the next entry…