Monday, 21 December 2015

Deck the Halls

We have put the tree up and decorated the house, just after taking these pictures the lights on the bottom of the tree packed up and I couldn't get them going again.

So we had to strip all the stuff off and re-arrange it all with two sets of lights. It looks good though and has got us in the mood.

I made some caramelised nuts for a snack, 75g of Icing Sugar per 100g of nuts and Sweet Paprika to taste. The nuts were rinsed in water and then mixed into the sugar/Paprika; then spread onto a large baking tray. I sprinkled with salt and sprayed with EVOO then baked at 160°C for 15 minutes.

And very tasty they were too.

And I have found a new drink to replace black coffee.

made with milk and served hot it's absolutely delicious.

I've been striving for inspiration for the new set of articles on my author website. As you might know I'm toying with the idea of a magazine from the future, the successor to National Geographic. I've called it "Galactographic" and I'm trying to set up a series of articles in the style of NG, without any illustrations it's tricky and a bit limiting though.

Anyway I was searching for inspiration and in time honoured fashion I closed my eyes to see what my imagination could come up with. You might find what follows to be slightly weird.

I saw a planet, just like that! I was in space and the sky was filled with stars. In front of me, a huge planet filled my vision; it was a swirling mass of yellow and orange clouds with rings like Saturn. These were laid out below me. Almost like stepping stones and it seemed that I could just walk across them.

Looking to my left I could see a large oval space ship, like a rugby ball on end. Small craft moved about the rings, it looked like they were scooping up the rocks and dust that make up the rings and taking it back to the oval. I think they were mining the rings for something.

I opened my eyes and it was gone, wow I hadn’t been expecting that. The memory remains though, like the memory of a day at the beach or on the moor, as vivid as if it had been real.

I wonder if I could make that brief vision into an article. I thought about a possible angle, how about if the miners were unhappy; perhaps they had been stuck there for years without pay or any family contact. Maybe they were convicts or prisoners of some war, forced to work. There could be a mutiny or an accident that needed investigating. That would give some human interest and a chance for some science as well.

Or looking at it the other way the scene might be disrupted by an attack on the ship, some scavengers wanting the results of the mining without doing all the hard work. Of course the ship would be protected, there could be an escort lurking about and a fight would ensue, with unknown results. All good journalistic stuff.

As you can see the possibilities are endless, the only limit is my imagination. 

Meanwhile I have had two more five star reviews for Ribbonworld. Here's the first one,

Review: "Ribbonworld" by Richard Dee
December 20, 2015
Genre: Sci-fi
Available at:
My Verdict: ★★★★★

Miles finds himself in trouble when he stumbles upon a dead body. He is on Reevis, a planet that has no days and nights. However, that is far from being his only concern. He is trapped in the middle of a conspiracy involving interplanetary corporations! Uncovering shocking facts and notorious plots, Miles faces a battle where survival becomes increasingly difficult.

Sci-fi has always been one of my favorite genres and I’m going to include Ribbonworld in my ‘favorite sci-fi books’ list. Reevis is a planet with numerous problems, much like our earth itself. Sci-fi happens in situations and places that are not real but in spite of that, they are pretty close to reality.  The powerful owner of the interplanetary corporation is a very believable figure and so are the plots and conspiracies that feature in the novel. I recently read a book about a group of people’s adventure in a planet quite akin to Reevis. But this book was marred by the presence of too many characters who were unsure about their own position in the storyline. I am making this reference here just to highlight the fact that I was really impressed with characterization in Ribbonworld. Everybody fits in perfectly and Miles as the protagonist is admirable. It is well written and without too many excesses that only serve to damage the events unfolding in the fictional world. I’m sure all the sci-fi fans out there will love Ribbonworld!

and here's the other.

By Amazon Customer on 20 Dec. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm not usually a fan of Science Fiction but Ribbonworld is a thriller that would work in any genre. The characters 
are believable and engaging and the Writer has imagined and created a fascinating environment and setting in 
which to play out the plot. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from Richard Dee!

All in all a good couple of days.

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