I'm a novelist and have an interest in space science and physics. I've been a programmer for more than 30 years and I like reviewing new and up-and-coming authors.
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The Bluffers Guide to the Quantum Universe is a very funny guide (read: hilarious) to things surrounding quantum mechanics. Who the major players were, how the major theories won out over each other… or didn't. Tons of interesting facts you can toss around at parties and make it look like you know what you're talking about when discussing anything to do with quantum theory, quantum mechanics, who was who and who had breakfast with whom at which conference. It even reveals which Nobel winning physicist was Olivia Newton-John's grandfather (although I suppose you could just Google it now I've put the idea in your head).
All these facts are presented with a delectable sense of humour that'll be tickling your ribs from the inside.
This pair of novellas comes courtesy of Zombie Pirate Publishing, and indeed the stories themselves come from the publishing house's founders and resident editors, Sam M. Phillips (Into the Eye) and Adam Bennett (Phosphorus).
Since they come as a pair it is necessary of me to review each in turn before giving an overall impression, and I've chosen the order they appear between the covers.
Added three new calculations:
Hohmann transfer orbits allow migration from a lower to a higher orbit or vice-versa. When used for interplanetary travel, these are solar orbits, but this kind of orbit can be used to move satellites to a higher altitude (or bring them back to a lower one).
The distances between stars is calculated from star-chart coordinates by first converting from the spherical coordinate system to a rectangular one. The apparent magnitude of the two stars (from each other) is calculated at the same time.
I've updated the format of the Temperature Over Time chart on the page to make it more readable. The sol numbers were overlapping each other, despite being broken into two rows. The chart is now interactive, in that you can use your mouse (or other pointing device) to select a position on one of the temperature graphs, and the sol number will be displayed at the bottom.
Silvertongue is the first in a series named “Remnants of Magic”, and both the title of the novel and the series become readily apparent in the first scene. Speaking of the first scene, it's a big one at 100 pages spanning eleven chapters, but don't let that put you off - it's one hell of a scene. The story kicks you straight into the action and that first scene is a long and continuous battle - and the poor protagonist (Jon) hasn't got a clue what's going on or why he's roped into this.
It's hard to talk about this story without spoilers, but there's a familiar theme here - Jon has to accrue allies, all of which become useful as he is attacked again and again by different groups. It's a big story, spanning 586 pages, most of which depicts life-and-death battles for survival, so hang on to your hats for a wild ride!
Casey writes her novels by first writing them as serials published on her websites before collating, editing and polishing them. Andy Weir's The Martian began life this way - it worked for him, and it seems to work well for Casey too.