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Posts published in “Science”

Clockwork Alchemy Schedule

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Ahoy, fellow adventurers, if you’re interested in tales from a traveler who’s voyaged far and wide across the sea of unending stories, yet somehow returned to the shores we know, you can come listen to me talk at Clockwork Alchemy this year - I’m on four panels!

Saturday
4PM: Overcoming Writer's Block
Scheduled Presentation Time: Saturday 4pm - 4:50pm
Location: Author's Salon (Monterey Room)

Sunday
10AM: Writing Victorian Sci-Fi
Scheduled Presentation Time: Sunday 10am - 10:50am
Location: Author's Salon (Monterey Room)

12 Noon: The Science of Airships
Scheduled Presentation Time: Sunday Noon - 12:50pm
Location: The Academy (San Martin Room)

2PM: Organizing an Anthology
Scheduled Presentation Time: Sunday 2pm-2:50pm
Location: Author's Salon (Monterey Room)

I’ve given the "Science of Airships" before, and have done panels similar to “Writing Victorian Sci-Fi” and “Organizing an Anthology”, but “Overcoming Writer’s Block” I’ve not presented before to a public audience, so it should be interesting!

Come check it out!

-the Centaur

At Clockwork Alchemy this Memorial Day

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This Memorial Day weekend, I'll be at the Clockwork Alchemy conference in the Author's Salon. I'll have on hand the new steampunk anthology TWELVE HOURS LATER, plus of course the newly released third Dakota Frost, Skindancer book LIQUID FIRE, which, despite the presence of an airship, is firmly an urban fantasy novel.

If I'm not at my table, I will likely be appearing at:

  • The Science of Airships Saturday, May 23 from 2pm - 3pm in the San Juan Workshop Room
  • Steampunk Comics Saturday, May 23 from 6pm to 7pm in the Author's Salon.
  • Writing Steampunk: Sunday, May 24 from 2pm to 3 pm in the Carmel Fashion Room

In addition to TWELVE HOURS LATER and LIQUID FIRE … I may have something else at the table. Stay tuned.

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-the Centaur

Sunday’s Events at Clockwork Alchemy

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Today's talk on Real Women of the Victorian Era, led by the redoubtable T.E. MacArthur, went well. In a weird bit of synergy, an audiobook I was reading, Victorian Britain in the Great Courses series, had a section on Florence Nightingale which was not just directly relevant … it played just as I was driving up to the hotel. Perfect.

Tomorrow, Sunday, May 25th, I will be appearing on the panels Avoiding Historical Mistakes at noon in the Monterey Room (it is rumored that Harry Turtledove will be on the panel as well) and Victorian Technology at 2pm in the San Carlos room (not 1 as I said earlier), and giving a solo talk on The Science of Airships at 4pm also at San Carlos.

The rest of the time, I will largely be at my table above, which will look more or less like you see it above, except I may be wearing a different outfit. :-D

-the Centaur

The Science of Airships, Redux

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Once again, I will be giving a talk on The Science of Airships at Clockwork Alchemy this year, this time at 11AM on Monday. I had to suffer doing all the airship research for THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE, so you should too! Seriously, I hope the panel is fun and informative and it was received well at previous presentations. From the online description:

Steampunk isn't just brown, boots and buttons: our adventurers need glorious flying machines! This panel will unpack the science of lift, the innovations of Count Zeppelin, how airships went down in flames, and how we might still have cruise liners of the air if things had gone a bit differently. Anthony Francis is a science fiction author best known for his Dakota Frost urban fantasy series, beginning with the award winning FROST MOON. His forays into Steampunk include two stories and the forthcoming novel THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE.

Yes, yes, I know THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE is long in forthcoming, but at least it's closer now. I'll also be appearing on two panels, "Facts with Your Fiction" moderated by Sharon Cathcartat 5pm on Saturday and "Multi-cultural Influences in Steampunk" moderated by Madeline Holly at 5pm on Sunday. With that, BayCon and Fanime, looks to be a busy weekend.

-the Centaur

The Science of …

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I've finally put up the presentation for The Science of Airships onto the site. Right now it's a ginormous PDF presentation linked off that page (no, really, it's huge, be warned, that's why I'm sending you to the parent page and not giving out the direct link), but I'm planning to break it apart into pieces that are easier to digest, which I'll work into the regular flow of the blog.

This is part of a more general The Science of... series I'll be starting on this blog. The pages are skeletal right now, just HTML, but I'm going to integrate them into the WordPress engine so that I can add to them more rapidly.

The plan (ha! ha! I kill me!) is to first I'll go through the +500 or so articles in this blog and reblog articles that fit under this description and link them of http://www.dresan.com/science/, then I'll start adding presentations. I'm thinking the next presentation will either be The Science of Steam or The Science of Rayguns, suitably steampunk titles ... though the Science of Spacecraft and The Science of Spacesuits won't be long in following.

-the Centaur

The Science of Airships at Clockwork Alchemy

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I'll be giving a presentation on The Science of Airships at the Clockwork Alchemy steampunk conference on Sunday, May 27th at noon. UPDATE: The panel description is now up:

Science of Airships Anthony Francis Steampunk isn't just brown, boots and buttons - our adventurers need glorious flying machines! This panel will unpack the science of lift, the innovations of Count Zeppelin, how airships went down in flames and how we might still have cruise liners of the air if things had gone a bit differently.

I started researching this topic for THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE and it's fascinating! Come one, come all and find out how much each of you are buoyant!


The Earth v1 air cubic foot weight.png

-the Centaur

P.S. The first diagram was generated in Mathematica using the following code:

sphere = SphericalPlot3D[1, th, phi, PlotPoints -> 5][[1]];
Zeppelin =
Function[{length, width},
   Scale[Rotate[sphere, 90 Degree, {0, 1, 0}], {length/2, width/2,
   width/2}]];
Graphics3D[Translate[{
   {LightGray, Opacity[0.6], Zeppelin[7, 1]},
   {Yellow,
Table[Sphere[{i, 0, 0}, 0.2 + (2 - Abs[i])/20], {i, -2.7, 2.5, 1.0}]},
   }, {{2.5, 0, 0}}], Ticks -> Automatic, Axes -> True,
Epilog ->
Inset[Framed[Style["Zeppelin", 20], Background -> LightYellow], {Right,
Bottom}, {Right, Bottom}], ImageSize -> {800, 600},
ViewAngle -> 4 °]

The second diagram was generated in Adobe Illustrator based on calculations done in Microsoft Excel.

P.P.S. And yes I know that it's a bit weird to do calculations in Excel when I have Mathematica, but (a) I didn't have Mathematica when I started working on this problem, but someone donated me a free copy of Mathematica Cookbook and that convinced me to give Mathematica a try for some of my diagrams, and (b) after having worked with Mathematica's notebooks and with Microsoft Excel I'm still using both, each for different things, and have come to the conclusion that an Excel spreadsheet model powered by Mathematica's symbolic reasoning engine would be thirty-one flavors of awesome!

One day.