I have been painting panels for the next issue of Salvage (Issue #2), and I am leaning toward a more painterly style, no hard lines, no pencils visible. Issue #1 on Comixology: https://www.comixology.com/Salvage-1/digital-comic/175314 –Based on the book Salvage (Masque Books, 2013) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ED0081O
I shot my favorite nebula tonight, the Orion Nebula (M42), using the Astro-Tech 6″ f/9 Ritchey-Chrétien–prime focus with the Nikon D750, all of it sitting on an Orion Atlas EQ-G mount. 40 stacked frames, 30 second exposures. And I was doing all of this camera and telescope stuff in a nice brisk 15°F/-9.4°C, has to be the coldest night I’ve been out with a telescope.
I spent a good chunk of the weekend painting, most of it on the cover art for Mike Reeves-McMillan’s novel Auckland Allies. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of my original concept sketch and something close to the final painting on the right. I’m very late on this one, but I love the way it’s turned out!
I’m just starting out on this astrophotography adventure, with a nice camera and a nice scope. I’ve been using Nikon DSLRs for a while, moving up to my current main camera, a D750–full-frame, 24MP. I just got a William Optics GT-81 refractor, a beautiful piece of equipment. I’ve added a pic of my camera before putting it on the scope in case you’re wondering what I’m using for the setup. The second pic is my GT81 set up for viewing, with red dot finder, mounted on the AltAzimuth–that’s what I use for the moon because it takes some time before it wanders out of frame, and you’re probably not going to be shooting exposures longer than 1/30.
Here’s my setup for visuals:
And here’s shot of the moon (Nikon D750, 1/1600, ISO 4000, single shot–no stacking, prime focus with the William Optics GT-81)
Tear Apart Worlds – PDF
Tear Apart Worlds – EPUB
Tear Apart Worlds – MOBI
Several readers have asked for details on how the “seaborn books” are connected, and in what ways. Most of the books and stories I have written over the last ten years are tied together in one timeline, sharing characters, a couple of them extending over a generation. A few clearly share the same setting–our near-future world, with seaborn characters, but without Kassandra making much of an appearance–or not at all (Salvage).
You may have noticed that there’s a genre mix, from what would neatly fall into fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, etc. to stories that could legitimately be categorized as science fiction or tech-thriller (Nanowhere, Salvage), to stories that may not clearly fall into any bucket (Winterdim). Futuristic fantasy?
You may have noticed that most of these stories take place in the future. That’s on purpose. You could also look at the stories in this timeline and see the advance of technology from one to the next–especially when you get twenty or ninety years into the future, from Nanowhere to Teller and finally to Winterdim. I am a software engineer and technologist, so I am always interested in the progress of technology, where it will lead us, and where it will be applied in the fields of health, culture, military, and–very important to me–in or on the ocean, in support of preserving ocean wildlife as well as how we will continue to provide enough seafood for the world’s every growing market for it.
Want to print out the timeline, or get a closer look? http://www.saltwaterwitch.com/img/TheSeabornBooks-ChrisHoward_rev9.pdf
Let me know if you see typos, problems with the order or dates. I threw this together quickly, a lot of of it coming out of long email discussions with Georg (https://www.facebook.com/gtrimborn), Lorena (https://plus.google.com/117462233542667604483), and others. Also, I mention characters, plot direction for future books, and other details that you may consider spoilers, so read some of the longer blocks of fine print at your own risk!
I want to show off some beautiful aquacultured (not taken from natural reef formations) live rock I purchased from Tampa Bay Aquaculture. They picked out the perfect pieces for my tank, and sent them via Southwest Airlines cargo to Manchester–air cargo is the only way to go when you’re getting live rock. It’s in the warm Gulf waters one moment (on the farm so to speak) and several hours later it’s in your home. Live = fresh = intact bacteriological system. Take a look at the pics–five days after placing the rock in my tank. This rock came with some nice tube coral colonies (Cladocora arbuscula), several different kinds of Ascidean sp. (Sea squirts), and various other clusters of mollusks, sponge, coralline algae.
I’ve had a nanoreef tank going for a while–let’s just say a minimalist setup (after being away from the hobby for a decade). Over the last several months I’ve been building out a nice compact (12g total water volume) system for my home office (where I write) and my son’s work space–with everything I want in a reef tank–nice lighting, not too big, self-contained, battery backup for all pumps, skimmer, reactor. It will be a mixed tank–aquacultured coral species from both the Caribbean and Pacific, refugium for macro-algae, sea-plants, and a couple groves of mangrove trees.
Except for live sand for the bed, some coralline algae rubble, and six Mangrove trees, everything you see behind the glass came in the big box from Tampa Bay Aquaculture.
I’m loving this new tank, and I haven’t even moved in any of my corals yet!