Wild World of Thoughts

Here lie various thoughts on a variety of subjects. Expect travel entries, random literary musings, TV show reviews and stuff I simply made up.

Recent Posts

  • Escape Velocity: Chapter 1 – Moonlake
    Tales from the Outer Rim: Book 3 They filed out of the hall, bustling with excitement. A bearded young man in hipster jeans, brows furrowed, chatted to a young Sirian woman, who gave him her full attention. Everyone gives Zeen […]
  • Alpha Centauri: Two bright princesses and a red dwarf
    I remember as a teenager, blinking though binoculars, excited that I could just make out Alpha Centauri as a double star. Then I borrowed a low-end refractor telescope and could more easily make out the binary nature of the pair. […]
  • Epsilon Eridani: Already in the sights of asteroid miners
    Although known to early star gazers, Epsilon Eridani does not figure heavily in myth. Claudius Ptolemy was the first astronomer to pay this star any sustained attention, cataloguing it in his famous 2nd-century Almagest. Indeed, […]
  • The Human Factor: Greene’s existential world of espionage
    “A crumb could contain a microdot.” (129) The first Graham Greene book I read, Our Man in Havana (1958), followed the adventures of a vacuum cleaner salesman after being recruited by British Intelligence (and his […]
  • Teegarden’s Star: A nearby red dwarf with two rocky planets
    While Teegarden’s Star is rarely talked about at dinner parties, it’s only a matter of time. Why? Two words. Habitable planets. At only 0.09 solar masses, Teegarden is a very small star. With less than 1/10th the mass […]
  • The Luhman 16 twins: Why brown dwarfs are cool
    If you’ve heard of Luhman 16AB then I salute you. And if you haven’t, then I despair at the state of astronomy education in schools today. What? They don’t teach astronomy at school? Well, if they did, how would […]
  • John Pilger – Voice for the voiceless, champion of the oppressed
    “It is not enough for journalists to see themselves as mere messengers without understanding the hidden agendas of the message and the myths that surround it” This is the strap-line on the X (Twitter) account of John […]
  • You can’t be Sirius? Actually, I’m Sirius B
    Sirius is really two stars. A faint white dwarf, Sirius B, is locked in a dance with Sirius A, and it takes 50 years for them to orbit each other. Sirius B used to be a big guy: it was once a red giant. Except it doesn’t […]
  • Betelgeuse: Life as a Red Supergiant
    You’ve heard of Betelgeuse if you’re an amateur astronomer. It’s that flickering red star at the bottom right corner of the constellation of Orion, as viewed in the southern hemisphere, and top left viewed from […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 40 – Great Elevator
    Previous Chapter.. “Damn! By the red sludge of the Zorgons, where am I?” Chuck Marley thought he must have slept 20 hours. Or overdosed on Gelsem X, the equivalent of falling into a coma. His previous record asleep […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 39 – Friend of Man from the Stars
    Preceding Chapter.. They braced themselves, trying to remember the instructions given to SpaceBus passengers in an emergency. The warning system told them to do it anyway, though it was probably useless: “Brace position! […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 38 – Visualising your ideal state
    Previous Chapter.. His loneliness lasted a second, snapped by the vibrating flablet. It was Thuris Thranganis, without his glasses. He stared at Chuck Marley from his terminal, his eyes larger without his lenses. “Mr […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 37 – Sleep mode
    Previous Chapter.. Four minutes left. There were more controls here than in a Jovian Sports Coupe, where half of them were for display only. None of the buttons had labels. …Except for one. In the bottom left corner a […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 36 – Death dance
    Previous Chapter.. “Watch and know.” The source of this voice was not Rothball Hazard, Acting Chief Scientist, Head of Roboto-Genetic-Engineering, madman and pantomime villain… It came from within, and Marley […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 35 – Countdown to destiny
    Previous Chapter.. Chuck Marley descended further into the dungeon laboratories. In his mind’s eye, Professor Gaston Dimble and scientist Thuris Thranganis followed him as guardians. Perhaps, after all, they were friends. […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 34 – Rhonda and her rosemary perfume cloud
    Previous Chapter.. Chuck Marley plunged down the stairs next to the lift. The thudding door reverberated behind him. He could now barely hear the alarm. On level 20 he ran headlong into a sudden opening door. If he had had time […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 33 – Move over Cretan Special Forces
    Previous Chapter.. Chuck Marley approached the door panel. He pushed the button below the palm scanner. “Authorisation required.”“This is an emergency!“Authorisation required.” Rothball Hazard must […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 32 – Hazardous bouncing head
    Previous Chapter.. Sensing the forcefield down, Nexus stumbled forward into the Zorgon throng. He was not going to lie down like a good dog. He opened his jaws and howled. The high frequency of the howl dropped Gaston Dimble to […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 31 – Commando Marley
    Previous Chapter.. Marley got down on one knee, ready to unleash more slugs from the arm-gun. The mad scientist pointed at him in grim satisfaction. “Ah! It’s all over for you, Mr Protector.” Rothball Hazard […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 30 – The Conductor
    Previous Chapter.. As with all peaceful protests, the act of protesting eventually becomes tiring, with the endless chanting of “What do we want? Stop the whatever it is! When do we want it? Now!” Arms tire of holding […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 29 – Sweet Executive
    Previous Chapter.. “Level 50 please,” he said to the lift speaker.“You want level 50?” A sonorous voice sounded.“Yes, 50 please.”“Are you sure?”“Quite sure. 50!” […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 28 – Muffin Man
    Previous Chapter.. Marley waited outside the elevator doors. He watched the readout change from “Rooftop–57” to “Executive Suite–50”. He pushed the button. When the elevator arrived he could go […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 27 – Rooftop sabotage
    Previous Chapter.. It was an unaesthetic weapon but better than nothing at all. He approached the Jovian Sports Coupé and slid underneath it. Cocking the arm with the little finger as Jed had done, he readied the weapon. […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 26 – Armed and ready
    Previous Chapter.. Chuck Marley reached over and desperately fumbled with the ‘decrease’ button above Jed’s heart, made all the more difficult in the turbulence. Jed’s eyes rolled into his head. He fell […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 25 – A desperate cry for help
    Previous Chapter.. Nexus and Plexus vigilantly observed the Zorgon protest. Red alert lights flashed and rotated on their heads, as the labradroids paced back and forth inside the perimeter surrounding the cylindrical lab tower. […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 24 – The Eye’s Mind
    Previous Chapter.. Chuck Marley couldn’t sleep. He turned to and fro on his sand bed tossing himself about trying to meld his body but couldn’t get comfortable. He longed for a mattress. Even if it was infested with […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 23 – Prisoner
    Previous Chapter.. “What off earth are you holding?”The Hierophant weakly clasped something under his arm. Chuck Marley lent over and prised away an orange box that was the same colour as the Hierophant’s fur. […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 22 – Challenge!
    Previous Chapter.. Marley, Dimble and Zorgeous hid behind the Tower as the Guardian addressed his people. “I am glad to feel your warmth again. It’s good to see you’re so organised, thanks to the Hierophant. […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 21 – Unbreakable Antlers
    Previous Chapter.. The rain stopped. Only a few lumbering clouds remained in the sky. A miniature whirlwind whipped sand into the air and collected some refuse, threw it away, then jerked off to another street corner. “I […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 20 – A lecture on idleness
    Previous Chapter.. The Tower of Guardians loomed in the distance. With its ruddy stone terraces it resembled a wedding cake. On each level, inward leaning stone buttresses supported the next terrace. But room was running out at […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 19 – Pilgrimage without a plan
    Previous Chapter.. The clictus was as important to the Zorgons as red dust. Apparently it became even more potent when its juice was mixed with red dust. When the Old One spoke of this concoction Marley’s heart raced. As if […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 18 – An ignorant lesson
    Previous Chapter.. Three days of trudging through sand might only have been two with just Zorgeous, but a couple of Zorgon children accompanied them. Why the Old One allowed them along was anyone’s guess, but the Very Old […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 17 – The Exile
    Previous Chapter.. Zorgeous was sand bathing behind the obelisk. He had been there for two hours. Chuck Marley couldn’t tell whether he was moaning in satisfaction or exhaustion. Overwhelming fatigue enveloped him. It […]
  • hooded shadowy figure in dark doorwaySpace Juice: Chapter 16 – High on clictus
    Previous Chapter.. The sun set. Unfamiliar stars glimmered over the cloudless plains. The Old One ordered a communal meeting and the Ungarlootons formed a circle. Chuck Marley and Gaston Dimble squatted either side of Old One. […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 15 – A warm bath
    Previous Chapter.. Chuck Marley summoned Jed and his cybernetic hovercab. Jed knew little of Ungarloot, except that it was a collection of hovels scattered loosely at the bottom of an arid slope beneath a mountain ridge. Jed made […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 14 – Jellyfish of Europa
    Previous Chapter.. A steady breeze buffeted the red sand. A mild sandstorm gripped the continent. Red sand was totally useless, unlike its dusty namesake: red dust. The dust felt fine and powdery, red sand was coarse. The only […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 13 – Blackout
    Previous Chapter.. The lights dimmed. Rothball Hazard quickly unzipped the bag. Marley perceived a faint, slightly furry body. Nono attached its limbs to the hooks and wrapped chains around its torso. Marley’s suspicions […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 12 – Test subject
    Previous Chapter.. The patting of feet did not last long. Rothball Hazard had reached his destination. Chuck Marley and Gaston Dimble advanced down the corridor to Frint Nono’s lab. Hazard waited around a corner, looking […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 11 – Red dust overdose
    Previous Chapter.. If Chuck Marley wanted to know more, now was a good time to execute his plan. It had only been a skeleton thought, until he’d seen the salad. As Rothball Hazard voraciously tore at a piece of dodo flesh, […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 10 – Venus Flytrap of Venus
    Previous Chapter.. After what seemed like an hour’s hike up the spiralling corridor, Marley and Dimble arrived back at the exhibition hall. They could not see Rothball Hazard. But something was going on behind the giant […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 9 – Red dust
    Previous Chapter.. Thuris Thranganis gazed for a while at the air vent. “I’ll have to put my pet cloud experiments on hold.” “Pardon? Wet cloud experiments?” Marley was beginning to suspect he had a […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 8 – Studier of useless things
    Previous Chapter.. The corridor curved constantly to the right, flanked with steel doors, some with thick glass windows through which a flurry of movement could be seen: A lab assistant carrying a test-tube, a cage with a […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 7 – Small man big statue
    Previous Chapter.. Two large glass panels silently opened on approach. Marley looked at Dimble. He roughly grabbed the wig and properly arranged it on Gaston’s head, giving it two firm pats. They walked through a lobby. […]
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA): Is it worth the hassle?
    Locked out of my Amazon account. Locked out of a crypto account. Why? Because I set up two-factor authentication on both these accounts and have lost access to the second factor. In the case of my crypto account, I can get back […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 6 – Labradroids
    Previous Chapter.. Located in the heart of the human settlement, the lab sector pulsated with lights, billboards aerial drones and ground vehicles. The humans had their own tower, although this didn’t have a fanciful name […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 5 – Special sauce
    Previous Chapter.. Gaston Dimble was lying on his back next to his fifth Betelgeuse Burger when Marley found him in the buggy park outside Jinko’s Takeaway. “My Betelgeuse Burgers were spiked. You look blurry Chuck. […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 4 – Comfy chair
    Previous Chapter.. Marley berated himself for choosing the cheapest room. For a few more credits he could have got something bigger than this shoebox. It had no windows. No fridge stocked with strangbrew. No complimentary tea. […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 3 – Trouble at the Tower
    Previous Chapter.. Mountains capped with red snow poked through the clouds. Jed was on the watch, maintaining a safe altitude and distance from the mountain peaks. He kept the craft above cloud cover. It would be hard to spot […]
  • Space Juice: Chapter 2 – Seek, watch, believe
    Previous Chapter.. One person was unaccounted for. Insomniac Fluton. Chuck Marley found him in the sleeping quarters. Amazingly, he was actually lying on one of the two bunks in the narrow quarters, fast asleep, on his back, […]
  • Space Juice: A Sci-fi Misadventure
    Chapter 1: SCR 1845-6357B The ship thundered through the cosmic ether breaking all known laws of physics, except the law that allows science fiction writers to make a living speculating about laws being broken. To be precise, the […]