Hankering for some Sci-Fi

I caught a look at this really awesome and interesting Scale of the Universe site the other day via Facebook — which I recommend you check out, too. In case you ever thought you were a big deal, or knew it all, here’s an FYI: you’re not and you don’t, because my god is the Universe huge. And beautiful. And I love the music they set to that page. Which brings me to…

The breathtaking beauty of a star being born in the Carina Nebula.

A hankering for some sci-fi! I’m largely a fantasy reader when it comes to the good ol’ SF&F section of the bookstore; in the last few years, that’s focused even more directly on urban fantasy and modern-day paranormal stuff. But after that website, I’m looking for some recommendations on some good science fiction literature to check out.

Now, I’m not talking hard sci-fi. Interesting but understandable jargon and science and ideas are perfectly fine, but I’m not a scientist and I’ve no aspirations to be one. Something that’s interesting, different, has good story and characters. Something that appreciates not only the fun of a space adventure but the beauty of the universe would be extra great to get my hands on.

Suggest away!


Photo Challenge: Sunset

Last week’s photo challenge theme: sunset. I was hoping that while persuing the photos posted, I might come across one with a different interpretation of the theme, but sunset is fairly straightforward, and let’s be honest, they’re so pretty! Who doesn’t love a  good sunset?

Then I found a simply wonderful photo by celoteh. The third photo down is fantastic (the others are also lovely, but this is the one that caught my eye). I love it–the hand outstretched, the sun just sitting above the palm…wonderful composition. So that’s my inspirational photo for this week.

I’m not entirely satisfied with the blurb–I vaguely revisited some ideas from years ago for a character in a scifi story, and the eyes thing is problematic at best–but I’m less concerned with the wonky details than with conveying Shira’s emotions here.


Wrapped in a fur coat, Shira perched on a grey stone and watched the sun’s descent behind the mountains. Waylen quietly came and joined her, crouching next to the woman with copper eyes . Silence settled in for a time, a few minutes while the orb continued to drop and the sky steadily dimmed.

“Why do you do this?” Waylen finally asked her.

The corner of her mouth pulled into a smirk. “How long have you been waiting to ask?”

“Since you came here and I saw you watching the sunset every night.”

“That’s a whole…what, two months? I’m impressed,” she replied.

“Nine weeks,” Waylen said. “So, why?”

Shira nodded, as though agreeing with herself that he could know. “I don’t see things like everyone else. The copper filaments my father gave me saved me from being blind, but they also meant I would never see like other people. My world is dim tones of green and grey and black and white. I see more color from heat signatures than anything else. So when the sun goes down like this…it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” She stretched out one arm, turning her hand like she might cup something in it. “This little distant ball, burning so brilliantly, and streaking the sky with heat…it gives the world a new sort of color. It gives it color period. When I was a kid, I’d try to grab it out of the sky so I could bring it with me, use it to look at the rest of the world with color, real color, or as real as it gets for me.” She closed her hand over nothing, and let it drop back to her side.

“That’s why I do this.”