Not idle.

I was up several hours before the break of noon today for an early start at work. This did not mean an early finish, I was there until 9 pm. Longest shift I’ve done in a long time. Tomorrow is back to normal hours, then short shifts Saturday and Sunday then a week off. I need that – I have to make some progress on the science-fiction book.

Thanks for all the problem-solving suggestions. Faster-than-light is out, the forces involved would turn the occupants into nicely spreadable toast toppings and even if you had a computer fast enough to cope with navigation, the time reversal beyond light speed would be impossible to compensate for. Since nobody has exceeded light speed, nobody can know whether time is even linear in reverse.

A space bender is the solution. It can cross the required 18 light years in a moment but it has to be outside the solar system first. Any nearby gravity wells can throw the drive way off course or even rip the ship apart. Even with fast engines it’ll take a couple of years to get right out. Then activate the drive and arrive instantly at the outer edge of the other star system. Then a couple more years to get in as far as the target planet. The prisoners on board don’t feel the drive as they would if it accelerated to light speed.

How to make it useless? It needs a massively powerful power source, one that will fit on board a spaceship, so it uses antimatter. When you turn it on you jump 18 light years to your target – but all the antimatter on board jumps 18 light years in the opposite direction. So you are 18 light years from Earth and 36 light years from your fuel. An insoluble problem since it’s an inherent property of antimatter, so even though it’s used to ship the prisoners out, there is still no useful FTL or space bender 600 years later. Now that’s done, I can get this book into rough draft shape next week. That was the main issue I had to solve.

I have not been entirely blog-idle. I have written a long and rambling tale for the Octabber Resistance. If you are reading this in the future, I am Day 18, The Night of the Full Moon, with the gurning face at the top of the post.

Who will be next? You don’t have to use as many words as I did, it can be just a few paragraphs. Even just the one. You can do ‘concise’ which I would explain if I had any real concept of what it meant.

Get those tabber’s tales in. I have a dream of doubling the ’28 Days Later’ nonsense of the antismokers.

How about this? When this book’s finished, I’ll send an e-version (any format you like) to every Tabber’s Tale on the list. I would promise a print version but I’m a minimum-wage janitor at the moment so can’t promise that many print books. I can include a PDF for printing out although it would take a lot of printing. Unless I make a special A4/US-letter version which would take fewer pages. I can do that.

So. Free eBook for every tabber with a tale to tell.

Go on. you know you want to.


17 thoughts on “Not idle.

  1. Loved your story, I might have stopped too if I had been left alone. Right up until It happened I didn’t believe they would really ban smoking in pubs, I couldn’t see how it could be enforced. I did not foresee that landlords would be made unofficial tax collectors, more fool them for not fighting that but then we were all taken by surprise when the ban was not as originally proposed. Logically I should have stopped after the lung cancer surgery but I knew of too many who had stopped after a lifetime of smoking and were ill or died soon after and anyway if you can’t live life the way you want to at my age what’s the point? Can’t say my doctors are too pleased that three years later I am doing fine, it challenges all their preconceptions and long may it last.


    • I agree – I’m over 50 and have done all I want to do in life, including the novel-writing I planned to do in retirement. The one thing I do not want is to waste away in a care home. So fire up the bad habits and let’s go out laughing!


      • I only want to live as long as I can take care of myself if I can’t I am out of here. Even saved the morphine I didn’t need just in case, there is no way I would ever go into a nursing home. My last words will be have I time for another cigarette !


  2. I hope that the guys from N2D (Smoking Hot & the ‘Ph0d) will write their tale and if FT -the complete Master Of The QWERTZ keyboard- doesn’t contribute I shall be sorely disappointed. There is no lack of writing talent around here.
    However the Tale I really want to read is Anna’s but I fear she’ll not be well enough to write yet (I know everyone here is praying she got through the OP ok and like me checks her site daily).


  3. Brilliant Octabber piece. They won’t like it you know. It’s only one small step from ‘health sceptic’ to ‘climate change sceptic’. This makes you a particular threat, so expect some special treatment soon.

    As a matter of interest, did you also sign the Manhattan Declaration?


    • I am a full-on climate heretic as well. They won’t dare burn me though. ‘Second hand smoker’ makes nuclear fallout look as dangerous as autumn leaves… at least, that’s what I like to tell people. One day there will be an exclusion zone around smoker crematoria and it will be my fault.


  4. I am interested in folks thoughts on the following. My wife was asked this morning, by what looked like to be a 14-15 year old, to buy them fags from the shop. Should she have done so?


    • Although technically, it is not illegal to give tobacco to those too young to buy it. In the case you describe though, she would not be ‘giving’, she would be ‘buying by proxy’ which is different. Also there is likely to be a difference between giving to your own children and giving to other peoples’ – as is the case with alcohol.

      In the current climate of frenzy against all forms of smoking, she would, no doubt, be prosecuted for something. Best to just not do it.


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