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This is a sitemap over all available pages ordered by namespaces.

      • Description or Teaser?plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Description or Teaser?

        When you write the blurb that goes on the back of the book, should you write a description or a teaser? This article explores that question, explaining why each of them work and what their effects are, and why sometimes one is a better choice than the other.
      • Oh, The Facts!plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Oh, The Facts!

        [Only the facts, ma'am]There was a litany that writers used to be told, but is rarely heard these days. If you've been a writer for more than ten years you will probably recall it: “Stick to the facts!”. Does that mean your story ends up a dry, soulless, sequential list of equally dry, soulless facts? Of course not.
      • Self-Publishing Trapsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Self-Publishing Traps

        Sometimes it's a while before I post a new book review. Usually this is because I've read some self-published novels that I don't want to review. When I post a review, I'm telling readers about a book I'd recommend. This is good for readers, and it's good for the authors who get the recommendation. I'm not out to harm someone's writing career - which can always be turned around in the future - and I'm certainly not the sort of pompous umm, donkey, that simply lets my mouth…
      • Smart but Dumb Aliensplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Smart but Dumb Aliens

        We all know the problem, especially from video games and movies, where the super-smart aliens turn out to be really dumb. This is usually because the creator hasn't put much thought into it.

        So, you're creating a super-intelligent alien or species or civilisation for your short story or novel or whatever. How do you avoid the pitfalls of dumbing them down?
      • Proper Paragraph Spacing and Indenting on Web Pagesplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Proper Paragraph Spacing and Indenting on Web Pages

        This is a short article on how to setup the correct CSS in order to replicate the paragraph spacing and indenting displayed in a book on your web pages. It will also enlarge and embolden the first character in the scene.
      • Articles on Writingplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Articles on Writing

        I'm not an expert on writing, and don't claim to be. Like most people I can get opinionated, but when I write an article about the art or craft of writing, I try to remain as objective as possible. To achieve this, my articles tend to offer things to think about, rather than saying
      • Story Structure (Hero's Journey)plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Story Structure (Hero's Journey)

        The Hero's Journey is an overlay for the 4-part story structure. See how they work in conjunction with the character arc.


        Click on this image to review it, then click it again to see it full size

        Other Structures
      • Voices in the Darkplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Voices in the Dark

        A scene that is all dialogue and no action creates the dreaded “voices in the dark”. Perhaps they're at a conference table, or standing around talking things through before making a decision that will propel the story into its next phase.
    • Blogplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Blog

      This is my blog. It is an eclectic mix of book reviews by new and up-and-coming authors, articles, science news, random topic monologues and stuff about my software. Sometimes I talk about my fiction writing too.


      Aardvaark (articles with nowhere else to go)
  • startplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big 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.

    If you want me to review your novel, please look at my Rules on Reviewing page.

    Please consider registering (see top of page) to help support this site. Your personal data isn't shared with anyone, but it makes me feel good.
  • topbarplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big * Home * ISS * Mars Weather * Downloads * Orbital Calculator * Cookie Policy & GDPR * Book Reviews * Contact
blog/articles/general/orbital_shenanigans.txt · Last modified: 2019/08/03 12:25 by Phil Ide

  • ISSplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big International Space Station

    This page has a portal through which you can view the current location of the International Space Station, updating in real-time. The tracker itself comes from the European Space Agency (ESA).

    Part of the tool doesn't seem to be working properly yet, raising an error when the widget first loads. A possible explanation for the error is detailed below. There is also a handy link to get email notifications direct from NASA when the ISS is visible in your night sky.
  • Mars Weatherplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Mars Weather Reports

    These reports are provided by NASA's InSight lander in the south-west corner of Elysium Planitia. Daily readings are usually a couple of days behind reality (it takes time for the lander to transmit its data back to Earth).
  • Downloadsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Downloads

    Orbital Calculator Current Version This is a portable application, meaning there is no installer. Just unzip into a folder and run the executable. Since it is portable, it can be run from a USB stick.

    A full description and a list of the features are available
  • Orbital Calculatorplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Orbital Calculator

    I needed to calculate orbital characteristics for any orbit around any gravitational mass (because I write sci-fi stories), so I wrote this program because I'm a programmer and I'm too lazy to do it by hand all the time. The program has expanded over the last few years, sometimes from suggestions by other writers. I make it freely available and as simple to use as possible. It now has a list of functions as long as your arm (assuming you're not a tentacle user), and the numbe…
  • Cookie Policy & GDPRplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Cookie Policy & GDPR

    There are NO tracking cookies on this site!

    The Cookie policy is straightforward. This site only uses cookies that are required to make your experience of using this site better, and only uses session cookies (see exceptions below). Session cookies are deleted when you close your browser.
  • Book Reviewsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Book Reviews

    Here you can find all the book reviews, broken down by genre, and further subdivided by author. If you want me to review your novel, please read my Rules on Reviewing.

    * Science-Fiction * Fantasy * Non-Fiction
  • Contactplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Contact

    If you have a burning desire to contact me, use the discussion form below. Anything you say remains private between you and me.