Archive for April 8, 2013


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West YardThe sun rose at 6:40 this morning, and it won’t set until 9:07 this afternoon. The season of light is certainly here, with 14 hours 27 minutes of daylight. In compensation, we have lost astronomical night: the sun never goes more than 18° below the horizon.

I can’t really say that spring weather is here; the forecast lows are still barely above 0° F and the forecast suggests no thawing, at least in the first part of the week. It was snowing yesterday, enough that I had to scrape the car windows, and to put a slick layer of new snow on the previously dry pavement. Still, I can hope. The weather report suggests a rather unstable (hard to forecast) situation, so it might be warmer – or colder – than the forecasts are saying. I hope it’s warmer; I’m tired of winter, pretty as it is. The snow is still more than 20” deep.

A little melting has started where the snow faces south, as you can see on the south (left) side of the snow covering the berm Friday.

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Tourist Trap cover

Tourist Trap: 2012 fiction book of the year, Reader Views.

Galactica is the lingua franca of the Jarnian Confederation. It is a language based on sound and hearing, and one almost all humans can learn to produce and understand.

Certainly there are variations. On some planets the language has drifted so far that they have developed their own languages, and Galactica has to be taught as a second language. But all children who are taught to read are taught to read Galactica, though planetary dialects may make Galactica spoken on one planet very difficult for the native of another planet to understand. (Think of the varieties of English before radio or television.)

Natural linguistic drift has been balanced by the very long life spans of the R’il’nai and many R’il’noids. When there is a living speaker of a language who learned it several millennia before, pronunciation shifts are very slow. New words, however, are readily incorporated. Probably not as fast as in English, since the pace of technological change is much slower. This relative technological stagnation is also due to a R’il’nian talent: conditional precognition is invaluable in recognizing unforeseen consequences.

I’m doing my A to Z blogs from my books, both characters and background information. For characters I’ll introduce them quickly, say what point of time they’re talking from since their situations change drastically through the books, and let them talk. Background information will vary according to what I’m talking about. All of these blogs will be scheduled to go live just after midnight Alaska time.Banner AZ logo