Bunny and Briers

Jul. 24th, 2017 08:42 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Bunny_2


Adult now, the audacity and flippancy of youth left behind, he stared at the unfathomable vastness stretched before him – of land, of time, of thought, and of choices yet unmade – and remembered those he’d lost to time, missing his dear old brier-patch.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Walkway

Jul. 24th, 2017 03:53 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Walkway_1


Since the drought broke in southern California, they’ve had to add fences to keep the plants from taking over the roadways.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Goose

Jul. 24th, 2017 12:23 am
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Geese_7


The left wing isn’t unified, rife with contrasting opinions and textured nuance covering the entire span from the center to the far fringes. Yes, there is some darkness, but if you look, you can find some light.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Kellet's Whelk

Jul. 21st, 2017 11:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Kellet's Whelk


I posted this on Facebook a while ago, but I’m re-posting here so everyone can see it.


This is one of the coolest exhibits I’ve seen in quite a while. What you’re seeing is a lucite box with whelks on the top and a piece of fish screwed to the bottom. The whelks are adapted to live on the rocky ocean floor, and send their long flexible mouth things down in between the rocks to feast on whatever things they can scavenge. In this exhibit, you get to see a behavior that is extremely interesting and that, gives you a very different understanding seeing it than reading about it.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Scaly Tube Snail

Jul. 21st, 2017 06:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Scaly Tube Snail_1


I hadn’t heard of these guys before, so I looked them up.


Apparently you can’t really find them in subway systems.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Two-spot Octopus

Jul. 21st, 2017 02:00 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Two-spot Octopus_5


I got a paint-by-numbers book of octopuses once. That was a confusing day.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Nudibranch

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Lion Nudibranch_5


The wikipedia page for the nudibranch boasts the only occurrence of the phrase “Apparent production of sound” on the entire site.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Acorn Barnacle

Jul. 20th, 2017 06:00 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Giant Acorn Barnacle


In case you ever wondered what was inside a barnacle.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Blue Morpho

Jul. 20th, 2017 02:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Butterfly_6


In reading about these guys, I learned that, like all* butterflies, it can’t chew so it has to suck fluids from through it’s proboscis. Unlike most butterflies, this one lives off of “rotting or fermenting fruit.”


That means you’re looking at a photo of a carrion eater.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

John McCain and tumors

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:48 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat
I'm seeing some people feeling bad about making jokes about Sen. John McCain's health now that news about his tumor has been made public.

Here's the thing ...

Every one of us is going to, at some point, die - all of our friends, our family, everyone we know. It not a fun thing to acknowledge, but it's inevitable. McCain represents a bunch of people who are publicly taking a stance that if you don't have enough money, you somehow deserve to die sooner, and with far greater pain and suffering, than everyone else. McCain having a brain tumor does not change this fact.

Cancer sucks whoever gets it, but just as pre-existing conditions do not indicate moral failure, getting sick also does not absolve past sins. Every Republican "repeal and replace" option that's made it to a vote has been designed to systematically kill people, if not you, then people you know ... people you love.

If we were living in a story, this would be the point in the narrative where one powerful man comes to a realization, has a change of heart, and switches sides. Alas, we do not live in a story. We are not characters, despite the attempts by ideologues to turn us into bit players in their self-aggrandizing stories about how life should be. We have some control over our lives, not everything of course, but some things.

McCain will either recover or he won't. We have no control over that.

The healthcare bill will either pass or it will not. We do have some control over that. If pointing out the hypocrisy between our representatives' words and deeds helps to save lives, if using irony to make a point reduces suffering for all, if dark humor can help us avoid dark fates ... say what you will and don't feel guilty about it.

We do still have free speech in this country. Use it.

Mealworms

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Mealworms_1


Because they all hatch at the same time, mealworms have to share their birthday.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Crab

Jul. 19th, 2017 06:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Crab_4


TFW that interesting person you’ve been talking to for the last hour suddenly shows their true colours.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Giant Tiger Beetle

Jul. 19th, 2017 02:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Giant Tiger Beetle


This is a giant tiger beetle.


A giant TIGER beetle.


You see the resemblance, right?




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Monarch Caterpillar

Jul. 18th, 2017 11:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Monarch Caterpillar


Apparently the bits in the middle taste bad.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Egg Yolk Jelly

Jul. 18th, 2017 06:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Egg Yolk Jelly_5


I think we should stop calling certain types of people “snowflakes”.


The term “jellyfish” is much more apt, as it seems they just spend their time floating around the Internet stinging people, but whenever they encounter anything that isn’t exactly like themselves in their specially-designed jellyfish-bubble of safety, they start falling apart – whining about how unfair life is.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Metallic Frog Beetle

Jul. 18th, 2017 02:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Metallic Frog Beetle_3


It’s pretty clear that these beetles are not ferromagnetic, but the zoo didn’t let me bring in the right equipment to test for para- or diamagnetism.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Leaf Cutter Ants

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:00 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Leaf Cutter Ants_6


Leaf cutter ants take leaf bits down into the colony where they cultivate a particular sort of fungus that grows on the leaves.


So you’d think these two ants would be moving in the same direction.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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[personal profile] davidlevine

IMG 7163
My second novel,
Arabella and the Battle of Venus
, sequel to the Andre Norton Award winning
Arabella of Mars
, comes out this week! The official release date is July 18, but I have seen copies in two bookstores already. You can buy it from Powell's, University Book Store, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Your Local Independent Book Store, or Amazon.

Is there an ebook? An audiobook?

The ebook of Arabella and the Battle of Venus should release simultaneously with the hardback, from all the major ebook vendors, without DRM. I haven't seen any sign of the audiobook yet, but for the previous book it followed the hardback release by a few weeks.

Are you planning a book tour?

Yes! Here are the planned stops:

If any of these events is local to you, please come if you can. There will be music, costumes, and giveaways! Come in costume! Tell your friends!

What's the book about?

From the publisher: The thrilling adventures of Arabella Ashby continue in Arabella and the Battle of Venus, the second book in Hugo-winning author David D. Levine’s swashbuckling sci-fi, alternate history series!

Arabella’s wedding plans to marry Captain Singh of the Honorable Mars Trading Company are interrupted when her fiancé is captured by the French and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp on swampy Venus. Now, Arabella must find passage to an enemy-controlled planet in the middle of a war, bribe or fight her way past vicious guards, and rescue her Captain.

To do this she must enlist the help of the dashing privateer, Daniel Fox of the Touchstone and build her own clockwork navigational automaton in order to get to Venus before the dread French general, Joseph Fouché, the Executioner of Lyon.

Once on Venus, Arabella, Singh, and Fox soon discover that Napoleon has designed a secret weapon, one that could subjugate the entire solar system if they can’t discover a way to stop Fouché, and the entire French army, from completing their emperor’s mandate.

What can I do to help?

You should buy the book, of course. Buying it on the release date is helpful but not necessary. If you can't buy it, borrow it from the library. If you can't find it at your local library or bookseller, ask them to carry the book. Also, it's extremely helpful if you post a review on Goodreads, Amazon, your own blog, or anywhere else people might see it. It's okay if you don't like the book! Even a negative review can be helpful if you say why you didn't like it. (Reviewer: "I hated this book! It has Martians and airships and girls dressing as boys! Yuck!" Reader: "Cool, that's just what I love!") And please mention the book to your friends online and off. 

Where should I buy the book? Is paper better than ebook?

Wherever and in whatever format you like to buy books. I get the same money wherever you buy it, and I don't care whether you read it on paper or on screen. There are benefits to me if you buy it on Amazon, but personally I'd prefer it if you would support your local independent book store. Or you could get it from Powell's, which is my local independent book store. You can even order a signed edition from Powell's, which I will sign for you at my reading on July 18.

How is Arabella of Mars doing?

Very well, thank you! It won the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy and was nominated for the Oregon Book Award, Locus Award, and Compton Crook Award. Sales have been quite satisfactory, and the mass market paperback was released on May 30.

Will there be a book 3?

Yes! I just submitted the first draft last week, and it should be out about the same time next year. This third book, which is currently titled Arabella and the Winds of Phobos but might be called Arabella the Traitor of Mars, concludes Arabella's story, but there are more tales which could be told about other people in other times and places of Arabella's world.

How are you doing?

As you know, the last year has been an extremely difficult one for me. But I am doing better, and Arabella's success has been a great comfort. I thank all of you for your support of me and of the book.

Hornyhead Turbot

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:51 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Hornyhead Turbot


This hornyhead turbot is somewhat untrusting of my new wide angle macro lens.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

White Spotted Longhorn Beetle

Jul. 17th, 2017 02:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

White Spotted Longhorn Beetle_1


Turns out it was a cookbook.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

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