Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Continuing Mission: Year Six

If this blog were original Trek, it would presumably be heading back to Starfleet Command at the conclusion of its five-year mission. (Well, if it were really original Trek it would have been canceled by the network two years ago.)

I am still not caught up, so will again have to a) beg your collective indulgence, and b) rely on the commenter community to bail me out of a lame post.

According to Blogger analytics, through yesterday Rocketpunk Manifesto has had precisely 271,284 visits, and just over half a million page views, from 79,641 unique visitors. I don't know if there is a statute of limitations on being unique, and if you read this blog on two different machines the analytics probably count you as two 'unique' people.

In any case, over the past couple of years traffic has been fairly steady at 2500-3000 'unique' visitors each month. Monthly visits have fallen off slightly - since I haven't been posting as frequently - but 'unique' visitors have held steady or even very gradually risen. Roughly 1700-2000 of you seem to be regulars. Thanks for hanging around!

Again according to the analytics, just over half of you are from the US - the international contingent gradually expanding toward the 50 percent mark. And in the last year or so, I am happy to note, I've picked up a regular Russian readership.

On the production side, this is the 277th published post here, including an initial test post to make sure things would actually show up. The next post, and first substantive one, defined rocketpunk. As it turns out, though, this blog's name has turned out to be a bit of a misnomer. I have talked often enough (but not primarily) about midcentury SF, and have made practically no effort to further define or create an SF subgenre around the midcentury vision, analogous to steampunk.

As it has from the beginning, this blog tends to waver between being about space travel and being about space-oriented SF, conjoined topics that it shares with Atomic Rockets. With occasional broader excursions into the great super-genre of Romance, to which SF belongs.

Expect this general pattern of digressions to continue, perhaps with a little more focus on the literary side, since there are plenty of 'nonfiction' space blogs out there. Last post's comment thread suggests no lack of interest in the meta-fiction side of things.

On the other hand, when I think of new zaps or whacks to be made on the subject of space warfare, I will make them. We should all be ashamed of ourselves, but admitting it won't stop me from doing it.

If anyone wants to suggest topics they'd like to see discussed here, I make absolutely no promises, but suggesting them is one thing the comment thread is for.

As always ... Discuss!

Yeah, I recycled the image of the Enterprise from last year. Why not?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ten Laws of Good Science Fiction?

No, I have not fallen into a hyperspatial rift, such as jollyreaper has proposed as a story setting. Presumably this is good news to readers of this blog. Minor but multiple intrusions of Real Life have merely delayed my posting a bit more than usual.

Even this post is something of a placeholder, in that I intended to discuss the topic more thoroughly. But one advantage of a great commenter community is that I can count on you to do most of the work of making this blog read-worthy.

So: I invite your attention to this item on Laws of SF that turned up in my Google+ stream a week or two ago. My first reaction is that ten laws is at least seven too many. Yes, the Abrahamic God promulgated a set of ten, but those were to govern human behavior. For world building, both Kepler and Newton got by with three. We don't provide a list of Einstein's laws at all; my distinct impression is that E=MC^2 provides all the information needed to reconstruct special and general relativity.

At least if you can do tensor calculus backwards and in your sleep.

My original intention was to provide full edification and entertainment value by discussing each of the ten laws in turn, with links to relevant previous posts. That is the part I am instead leaving to my able commenters.

Instead I will merely point to Laws #7 and #3, in particular, and ask: Where does FTL (and its pervasive use in the genre) fit in here?


(I do promise not to make quasi-posts like this one the rule here!)

The image, from Astronomy Picture of the Day, really has nothing to do with the topic. Except, perhaps that vistas like this are a big reason why SF emerged in the first place as a distinct subgenre of Romance.