Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Beautiful Red

I am hooked and waiting on new episodes for Beautiful Red podcast by Darusha Wehm, hosted at podiobooks. I started listening and before I knew it I had listened to all 6 episodes which have been released so far, and am anxiously waiting for more episodes to be released. The story is set in a near future Technical Utopia, where technology has made crime mostly irrelevant. But then you start to be immersed in this technological utopia, and start to see some of the cracks where everything is not so nice and utopian.

Great science fiction podcast!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Nathen Lowell Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series

Recently I've been listening to several books posted on Podiobooks. This week I'll tell you a bit about Nathen Lowell's series Quarter Share, Half Share, and Full Share. Which is a series of Trader's Tales from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper. His website at http://durandus.org/golden/ provides even more tidbits and supporting information about the stories. The first book Quarter Share, you are introduced to Ishmael who through an unfortunate accident finds himself in need of a way off the planet and in need of work. He finds it in the form of a job on a solar trading clipper ship the "Lois McKendrick" as a mess attendant, in the galley. I found myself drawn in by Nathen Lowell's writing style which just draws you in and holds you transfixed while you feel like you are actually there sitting at the pub listening to the story unfolding. I don't think I'm alone after hearing that Quarter share was nominated for a Parsec Award in Best Speculative Fiction Story (Novel Form).

I would have to say these stories have been of the type that you can't put down. I have listened through all three of his podiobooks multiple times now, and am waiting for the final episode of Full-share to be released. Then I will truly be in withdraw till the spring of 2008 when he expects the next book in the series to approach completion and release on podiobooks.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Mapping for the masses

Open Street Map project is an interesting open source project. Where the community is building a collection of mapping data, which is licensed CC by SA . The project which has a large following in Europe is just starting to expand in the USA with the start of integrating the freely available TIGER data sets, which promise to provide a good base coverage for the whole USA. Supporting the project many innovative tools have been built and function, including a google style map browser known as Slippy Map, an web based editor Potlatch, and a very capable java based editor JOSM . Go check out their maps at either http://openstreemap.org or http://informationfreeway.org