Science Fiction Writer

dmk

Today, I’m pleased to announce the release of my latest S.F. novelette, Fenton Treeby Is Missing. This one came about under unusual circumstances. Free copy to the first person who guesses where the name Fenton Treeby comes from! It was fun to write and I hope it’s equally fun to read. Here are the cover and back-cover description.

An entire town has vanished. And so has the world’s greatest scientific mind, Fenton Treeby. The Internal Security Bureau wants answers and fast.

ISB Agent Steve Boardman is assigned to the case, but it’s his first week back on the job after recovering from severe PTSD. To make matters worse, his assigned partner, Lynna, is as busy trying to prove he’s crazy as she is looking for a way to pin the disappearance on the Pan-Asians.

Boardman has another theory. One that might be Continue reading

I live in a small city called Sudbury in Northern Ontario, Canada. How that came about is a bit of tale in itself, but not the subject of this post. Needless to say it’s often seen as an eccentric choice by many when they hear about it. (“You’re moving to where?” Said the immigration officer at Pearson Airport in Toronto.)

SudbThe Big Nickel, Sudburyury is what a lot of people would call a “working town.” The main industry here and the reason the town exists is mining. In the past they mined gold and diamonds, but the real mineral power houses have always been nickel and copper–produced here for well over a century.  On the west side of town stands a giant Canadian Nickel as testament to the wealth hard-rock mining  has brought to the area and many areas and streets around town are named after mining and mining companies. Even Edison got in on the act and moved to Sudbury as a prospector in 1901, discovering the key Falconbridge ore deposit.

The legacy of such endeavors isn’t always Continue reading

When I’m writing a story I build up a collection of images that act as references for what’s in my head.  Much of the time these are things I find on the web, but as I write science-fiction sometimes I just can’t quite find anything that looks right. Or sometimes I want to work through how something might work if it were real.

When that happens I often build the object in 3D. This allows me to get more of a feel for the object in question and can help solidify my ideas and furnish me with details I otherwise might not think of. Many times very little of this detail makes it into the actual writing–it’s really background for myself. But sometimes these designs see the light of day in my book covers, such as the Three Lives Of Mary cover and the additional “character image” of Ben.

With Ben I had something very deliberate in mind Continue reading

Mary-r02-01-600Three Lives Of Mary

 By

 David M. Kelly

Copyright © 2016 by David M. Kelly

Mary gasped as her legs were ripped from under her and she slammed face down into the ground. Several tendril-like vines wrapped around her arms and legs and she instinctively pulled against them. Thorn-like bristles clawed at her burnished skin as the vines coiled tighter around her, despite her struggles.

She rotated her head one hundred and eighty degrees and simultaneously reversed the movement restrictions on her joints. She was now effectively lying on her back, which she hoped would give her a better idea of what was happening.

She was only forty-three minutes into her ground survey of ST2398-5 and had seen nothing unexpected—just the ever-present vegetation they’d detected from orbit. Plant life wasn’t unusual on planets inside a Continue reading

Today, I’d like to reveal the cover and description for my forthcoming short-story Three Lives Of Mary. Click the image to see a bigger view.

Mary is part of an elite CySapient team, surveying planets looking for potential worlds to colonize. Her partner, Ben, is a total conversion sentient spaceship—and her husband.

While investigating the surface of a rare, potentially habitable planet, Mary encounters a strange plant-animal hybrid that threatens to destroy her despite her near invulnerable Continue reading

Recently I’ve been researching and world building for an upcoming novel and came up against an interesting problem. If you’re writing science fiction that’s set in a galaxy “far, far away” then you can just make up any setup you want, but my novels are intended to be more realistic than that and so I need to reference real star data.

If it was just a case of setting the story on another planet around another star, this also wouldn’t be too much of an issue. There are numerous very good star charts and Continue reading

A little while ago I set myself the challenge to only use open-source tools for all my graphics work. The reasons for this were varied. Some tools that I’ve used in the past such as 3DS Max are simply way beyond my reach, while some others (Adobe’s Creative Cloud)–while not completely unaffordable– are still expensive and have numerous usability issues (over-riding Windows settings for someone with visual impairments being the most insulting). Plus I don’t like the endless Pay-To-Play syndrome where you’re treated as nothing but a cash-cow to be regularly “milked”.

The replacements I chose were Gimp for image processing and Blender for 3D Modelling/Rendering. I’ve been working on them over the last few weeks to try out their features, stability and overall functionality.

The best proof of any software is in the results you can achieve Continue reading

In recent months we’ve seen the historic flyby of Pluto by the New Horizons probe, a remarkable achievement in space exploration that has produced some amazing imagery and scientific information. A little known fact: the probe carried with it a small portion of the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who first discovered the planet (Okay… dwarf planet–happy?)

tombaughTombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930 while Continue reading

The New Age of Medicine (continued from part 1)

ConstantinopleWhen Constantinople (Istanbul) fell to the invading Ottoman army in 1453 many scholars and physicians fled to Europe, carrying with them scientific medical knowledge that had been “lost.” This led to a European resurgence in medical developments.

The 18th and 19th centuries showed steady progress in medical knowledge leading to the establishment in England of the Continue reading

The recent news that Kepler K2-72 may be home to two earth-sized planets in the star’s habitable zone make it an exciting time for astronomers and fans of exo-planets. Whenever I see these stories I always wonder what the star systems might look like if we could travel there.

With that in mind I decided to have a go at something I’ve had in mind for a while–simulating a star-system!

I made use of publicly available data regarding the star itself and newly discovered planets. The data we have is a little sketchy, but enough to get a reasonable approximation. Throw in a little computer simulation wizardry and we have:

As part of my open-source challenge I made use of Blender to do the video editing, with a little help in the titles department from Gimp. The music is a royalty free piece I found on Incompetech. This was assembled (roughly!) in the Blender video editor and I’m pretty pleased with the results.

I’m not sure if this is 100% accurate, but I think it’s reasonably close given the software and data limitations I worked with. It makes me tingle thinking that this is an actual idea of what the real system might look like!