Well done Captain Kirk!

The drawing of Captain Kirk I did years ago. Now William Shatner, who played him in the Star Trek sci-fi series in the 1960’s, has flown up in a rocket and reached the edge of space.

60 miles up, a ten minute flight. But he’s 90 years old and he has done it! The oldest person/ actor/ sci-fi star to hitch a ride above the Earth. Well done x

Feeding the Maw

I just remembered this word ‘Maw’, it sometimes feels like social media is a voracious maw, gulping down tons of information and generating a lot of waste or rubbish alongside useful information.

Take the moon landing for instance. There are people today who think it didn’t happen. Some of those people were not born when it happened.

I remember being allowed to stay up to watch it. The grainy pictures, the slow step of Neil Armstrong off the lander. Later visits where other astronauts drove the lunar rover. And bouncing across the surface and one of them tripping over slowly in the 1/6th gravity of the Moon.

Talking about Maws, I remember a Star Trek episode where a giant world eating machine threatens to engulf the Enterprise. Somehow they defeat the monstrous killer.

So why write about Maws? I guess it’s because I keep blogging here. I feel like I’m feeding an insatiable need. Perhaps what I churn out is rubbish? You decide X

Book Review ‘They walked like men’ Clifford D Simak

I’ve just finished an old book from 1962 by Clifford D Simak. It’s called ‘They Walk Like Men’.

A newspaper reporter is caught up in a mystery when he comes home after a night of too many drinks. Something is happening and he is pulled into a weird situation where aliens create substitute human beings. They are trying to take over the world, but it’s less great big monsters and more subtlety mixed with a type of film noirish storytelling.

Each time you think you are getting somewhere the plot twists. It could just be a shaggy dog story? But it’s deadly and serious…..

If you like old sci-fi (originally published by doubleday in 1962) you might like this. My edition is second hand. It’s a good read. X

Ariel

Received from space? Old photo mirrored. The original photo was about a stormy sky but the effect of mirroring this has bought the attention to the (seemingly) floating TV Ariel.

What is it for? Is it an alien Ariel? A communication from beyond the stratosphere? An energy collector or scrambler of radio waves? Something from a Sci-fi movie. Could it tune in to the high pitched sounds of bats? Imagination can take you anywhere!

Jack of all trades

I looked at all my book cases and realised how eclectic my reading must be. I’m not sure exactly how many booked I have but I gave up counting after I reached over 1000.

Sci-fi, science (biology, chemistry, physics) novels, biography, art, graphics, illustration, history, old books, new books, even magic Eye books from a couple of decades ago.

Can your reading be too chaotic? I’ve got a book about chaos theory… There are a few cookery books and travel books. There are books that were Christmas presents, birthday presents, and ones I bought for my college course. Too many? I don’t know….

What is it?

That tree doesn’t look right? She said. It’s growing in a funny way. The left side could almost be a cage.

He looked across to where she was pointing, it did look strange. But then these were old trees. There almost seemed to be a pattern to it.

They sat on a bench in the graveyard and watched the sunset over the victorian houses beyond. The tree seemed to slump slightly as the sky darkened, but they didn’t notice as they were in deep conversation.

The top of the tree gradually brushed the ground and slid sideways towards them. The cage of twigs and branches shaking gently although there was no breeze. The boughs crept forward, the front twigs lifting up like fingers on a huge hand. Then, Drop! The branches encircled its victims, squeezing them. There were twigs piercing their veins. No chance of escape. They were plant food!

The Kraken Wakes

I don’t do book reviews, but I’ve started rereading ‘the Kraken Wakes’ by John Wyndham.

It’s not the most comfortable book to read in the midst of a global pandemic, and like his better known book ‘the day of the Triffids’, it is the story of an alien invasion of global proportions.

The book was written several decades ago when the threat from communism and the Cold War was at its height. Part of the story is the arguments between the west and the east and them blaming each other for losses of ships over deep ocean trenches.

The narrator and his wife are involved from the start, seeing fireballs hit the sea during their trip on a cruise ship.

It continues in three phases, one two and three, that gradually describe what happens as the invasion continues. Some of the language and attitudes are old fashioned because of the age when the book was written. But the book builds tension gradually and as I’m about half way I don’t know how it will turn out.

If you want to read an interesting sci- fi book have a look. There are others including the ‘Midwich Cuckoos’ and ‘The Trouble with Lichen’ that Wyndham wrote.

Third set…

Probably my final version of a landscape imagined from a set I made in a box. There are two previous ones. This time the figures are further forward and one couple have been switched round, the Dalek and the Alien Goat are differentiated by colours. The Buddha has become more of a geological outcrop in the landscape and the boat has less detail. Finally it is set at night..

Drawing a set

My college course is getting us to make sets and draw from them. So I’ve created this bizarre landscape. The figures were decorated at a pottery workshop. The goat figurine was made by my friend Rie. The baby Buddha was a gift from a friend. The plants are from the kitchen as is the grater. Now I’ve got to redraw it but use my imagination to change it…. M