Transparent Aluminum

Air Force testing new transparent armor
The Air Force is testing a ceramic compound, Alumimum oxynitride, as a replacement for multilayered glass in armored vehicles.
ALON´┐Ż is virtually scratch resistant, offers substantial impact resistance, and provides better durability and protection against armor piercing threats, at roughly half the weight and half the thickness of traditional glass transparent armor.
Many readers of this blog, though, like myself, will immediately think of Star Trek IV, and Scotty giving away the formula for “transparent aluminum” in exchange for enough plexiglass to house the whales and their water on board their bird of prey.
We do truly live in a Science Fiction Present.

Wolves, Cats and RP Characters in Strange Bedfellows

A bit of backstory to this entry.
On my livejournal, I made an observation:
“Cats” are player characters who are loners, who do not stick well with others, who prefer their own agenda and their own terms. Other characters which get near them wind up getting scratched.
“Wolves” are pack player characters, who prefer stickiness, who like to do things with other player characters/family members.
Ginger and Michael’s House of Cards has a lot of wolves. My own Strange Bedfellows, on the other hand, has a lot of cats. Single Player threads in HOC are the exception. In Strange Bedfellows, threads with multiple players are the exception.
Jim, one of the charter members of Strange Bedfellows, said in a reply to me:
“I thought about
it and I agree with the sentiment that is being put forward. That is,
Cats versus Wolves as a metaphor for play styles without making any
reference to any specific game.
Now I’m wondering if you would elaborate on why you think that is the
case specifically in Strange Bedfellows.”

And so, here, I shall.

Continue reading Wolves, Cats and RP Characters in Strange Bedfellows

SF invades the Literary World

NPR : SciFi Themes Invade the Literary World
NPR talks to Terry Pratchett, Susanna Clarke, and Kazuo Ishiguro, about how SF themes and tropes are slipping into non-genre literary fiction. As Clarke points out, SF and Fantasy provide opportunities for literary writers to branch out.
While some of these writers classify their work as science fiction or fantasy, others eschew the label and genre conventions. You don’t find Roth’s “Plot Against America” in the SF section of the bookstore!