Author Archives: Confutus

About Confutus

I am a native and resident of Arizona who doesn't thaw out until it hits 90 degrees. I call myself a self-educating generalist and my lifetime goal is to slowly and methodically learn everything. For fun, I read Science Fiction and Fantasy, and sometimes attempt writing it, although I occasionally foray into westerns, mysteries, romances, and thrillers. I'm working on writing the SF. I'm a politically conservative Latter-day Saint. I have two adult boys and a friendly ex-wife who live up north. I'm a somewhat unconventional creature of boring habit who occasionally makes unexpected sideways leaps into something different.

Maybe I am dead

My resolution to write every day fell down a cliff. I was working on my science fiction story, and it was going much too slow, as I fell down a rabbit hole of developing too many minor characters. I did get to the rocket launch, and may post a couple of pictures. I picked up playing Elite: Dangerous and spent too much time with it. My computer can’t quite handle it, and kept crashing. Part of the problem was that it clobbered Firefox, which I managed to recover by refreshing. I also started picking up threads of the Computer programming I set aside a couple of years ago, and today worked through a refresher of the Windows version of “Hello, World”. It’s going to be pricier than I like to update my development software, the hardware is even more so. We shall see what we shall see.

Eep

No, I’m not dead yet. I have been continuing to work on early classical history and should be ready for tomorrow. Also working on my novel. I have the first chapter written and am into the second. I’m still working on potential friends and enemies at a fairly slow pace. Sleepy.

One more time

A few years back, when I moved back to Arizona from West Virginia, I was interested in model rocketry, so I already had the idea for the story I’m working on now. I looked up the Superstition Space Modeling society, which at the time was having trouble finding a launch site. I tried again, a few years later, and this time got as far as visiting what was supposed to be their new launch site out west of Phoenix. After much trouble to find the place off in the desert, I found it occupied by an astronomy group, with nary a rocket or rocketeer in sight. I was disappointed, and then COVID 19 came along. So, with the novel reviving, I am again interested in attending a launch. For authorial research purposes. Yes, the society is still active, and yes, they have a launch planned in November, not too far from where the old site was. So think I’m going to try to go. This time, I’m going to call to make sure it’s going to take place when and where It’s supposed to and I have someone to meet.

Surfacing for Air

The writing is going slow. I’m doing a lot of detail (perhaps too much) on the social structure of the school in my story. I got to a certain point in my star mapping, and decided that it was too easy to get ahead of myself and have to revise later, so I’m slowing that down a bit. In the meantime, I watched “I Used to be Famous” on Netflix, and liked it. I also saw “The School of Good and Evil”, and liked that not so much: It had some nice ideas about good and evil being stereotyped, but otherwise my ideas of good and evil are rather different than in the story.

Where did Friday go?

It went by, I suppose. I took a look at my computer’s time-and-date display and was surprised to see it was Saturday already. I guess it just snuck up on me. I have slow progress on all forms of history; especially since I decided to break down my category of Northeastern US cities into Mid-Atlantic, Midwestern, New England and Northeast Plains cities.

I have also begun work on an alternate SF history, a coming-of-age story about a pair of freinds who combine to develop the space program as it should have been. I begin with them starting high school in 1970. Rather than tell about it, I have been advised, I should write it. It’s going slow, but I think I can manage it. Later stories in this same universe will deal with the human exploration and colonization of the Solar system.

I had been working on a historical fantasy, but I want to begin at the beginning, or as close to it as I can get, and I am too far removed in time, space, and culture from East African Paleolithic hunters and gatherers to the story justice, so I’m putting that one back to sleep.

A question on the Traveller Mailing List (devoted to the Traveller role-playing game) about doing it in 3 dimensions revived an old project I had set aside. I am using the AstroSynthesis program by NBOS software for three-dimensional star mapping. I had reached a certain point, and set it aside because it had become unmanageable. I decided to start over. Since I began the first time, various brown dwarfs substars have been identified, and the locations make a difference in the routes and timing of my science fictional colonization. So far, the direction of development is somewhat resembling the early Alliance-Union universe in the work of C. J. Cherryh, in her “Hinder Stars” region. I haven’t yet quite reached Tau Ceti (which is Pell’s Star, in her universe), but I’m getting close. I also haven’t read her latest in that universe “Alliance Rising”, but I might.

Late Classical history #1

This period covered developments 1 AD to 500 AD, although I personally prefer to use CE, for Common Era or Christian Era. The primary focus shifts from the Greek and Hellenistic peoples to Latin peoples. The Italian peoples with the Roman Empire were most prominent. The French peoples are also significant. I am still working back other Latin peoples from later periods. Greek and Hellenistic peoples were also important in this period, but were conquered by the Romans, and were gradually outnumbered and eclipsed in later periods. Germanic peoples also appeared in written history, as they were contested by the Romans. British peoples also appeared. Northeast European and Nordic peoples are less well known.

Among Persian peoples, the Parthian empire was succeeded by the Sassanian empire. In Anatolia and in Egypt, the Eastern Roman empire prevailed. From this point on, Oriental peoples began to outweigh those of South Asia. In China, the Han empire was followed by the Jin. In South Asia, there were the Indo-Parthian, Kusha, and Gupta empires.

In Ethiopia, there was the kingdom of Axum, and the peoples of interior East Africa were also significant. I am still working back interior Western Africa, In South Africa, Bantu speaking peoples were continuing to move into the region.

I still do not yet have details for Middle American Indian, South American Indian, or North American Indian peoples.

From this point on, I have more information for particular religions. Abrahamic religion began to displace Pagan religion. Asian religion was also important. Secularism was barely noticeable, except that it began to have an influence on Christianity.

Now I’ve Gone and Done It

That is, restarted a writing project. A few years ago, inspired by the Traveller role-playing game, I envisioned an alternate history in which the efforts to achieve low-cost space travel were more successful and done by private enterprise than NASA. The project got too complex too quickly. I was attempting a NaNoWriMo compeition, and my writing pace fell behind. I kept the idea. I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year…but I’m bringing my own project back from the dead to work on at my own pace.

I should have my next installment of world history (Late classical) ready to put up tomorrow. And, since I just can’t leave it alone, I’m also working on a draft for Version 2 of early prehistory.

While I’m Working

I got about halfway through my next period of classical history, the late classical period, when I fell down a rabbit hole. An e-mail message on a list I follow reawoke an old interest in SF role playing, the Traveller, in particular, which I had set aside because I was unhapply with 2-dimensional mapping. I had tried out a program named Astrosynthesis, and mapped out about 100 nearby stars, but set this project aside for a while. I still have it. I also tried out some mapping on the Cosmographer addition to my Campaign Cartographer, and there fell into a problem where I couldn’t figure out how to save certain changes I made. This is where I ask for help, I think.

Early Classical History #1

Beginning in this period, I have chosen to shift the primary emphasis from Asiatic peoples to Western Civilization. This was the period of the classical Greeks. Other Balkan peoples were present, but these are being examined in later periods for now. Latin peoples were also important: The recorded history of Rome also dates to this period, but again, will be considered later. Other European peoples also began to emerge from obscurity.

Middle Eastern peoples were still the most advanced and influential. Persian peoples remained important. Egypt and Mesopotamia were at first under Persian rule, and then came under Greek and Roman rule. India and Pakistan were influenced by Greeks and Persians, and the Mauryan empire arose. In China, the Warring States period ended and first the Qin empire, then the Han empire became prominent.

African peoples are being traced, largely because they were important in earlier periods. In Ethiopia, the poorly known kingdom known as D’mt was present, but there were also significant peoples in Interior East Africa. I am starting to consider Interior West Africa. In South Africa, it is believed that Bantu-speaking groups began to enter, but since African peoples were generally less developed than their Asian or European counterparts, I have not yet examined them in sufficiently close detail.

Slow to go

Although I have been working on the review of early classical history, this has been going slower than I wanted. For one, the review of African and American Indian peoples took longer than I expected. I have also been working on what I call the lower end of the Knowledge Base, most productively on the inter connections of the areas I call anthropology. For a third, I was working toward New York City as a target for historical investigation.

So, I’ve watched all of the first season of the Rings of Power. I don’t think it lives up to the hype, but it’s not a complete turkey. I’d give it a rating of three stars out of five.

The sixth and final entry of a series I’ve been reading, the “Ageless Mysteries” by Vanessa Nelson came out. This is a sort of police procedural in a fantasy realm, where the heroine is a city watchman who is tasked with investigating a series of murders and other crimes, many of them involving magic, in a city which is ruled by a class of powerful winged beings known as the Ageless. I can’t say much about it without giving spoilers, but I considered it a decent read. The machinations, motives, and fates of the principal antagonists, were finally revealed, and their ends satisfactory. I expected the relationship between Thea and her closest supporter to turn romantic, and it didn’t. Three starts of out of five, for plot threads not quite resolved, and not quite credible politics among the Ageless.