And that's all he wrote.

For now, anyway. I may eventually, when things are slow, revise this and put it on Lulu, but it hasn't generated much interest so far and I have other projects to move onto.

It's short by probably 10,000 words of even a short novel, too.

At the moment I think it will just sit and be background for another future project - Up the Line, a space-elevator novel which is totally not about the engineering in any way.

I hope you've enjoyed reading, and thanks to those of you who subscribed to my RSS feed.

Further announcements about other projects will be made on my other novel blog, City of Masks, for now; please subscribe there to be kept informed. At a later point I will probably shift the action to my own website, but for now, City of Masks is the place to go.

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4 Responses to Afterword

  1. Sid says:

    Okay, here’s my first question (of many?), which is about the technological basis of Gu. Now I ask it realizing that the technology is not the point, this is an exploration of a hypothetical future culture, not a science manual. :)Anyway … how does Gu work from the point of view of energy balance? The original description of Gu suggests it is kept in it’s current form (and moved) by the constant application of an internal holographic field, without which it would either (a) freeze or (b) collapse. So Gu in use must be constantly consuming power (which you imply by requiring power and water at every Gu campsite).So Gu is a constant power using substance, which must mean that your Gu culture requires vastly more power than stiffstuff society, probably orders of magnitude more. Which suggests that all those people who lost their jobs in manufacturing should be employed in power generation instead, or laying power lines, or designing better batteries (which can’t be made of Gu unless you accept free energy).If not then where does all the power come from? If it’s an assumption of the story that there is limitless cheap energy from fusion or the like then that should be implied, like the Greyware is implied, as a required enabling technology.

  2. Mike Reeves-McMillan says:

    Jason Morningstar asked a similar question, and my answer was that for purposes of the story, Gu is powered by not-germanium.Actually the idea is that Gu stays in the shape it is in until moved by a new holographic signal, so it isn’t continually consuming power.But I am assuming that power is not much of a bottleneck, yes.

  3. Sid says:

    Hmmm … if that’s the case how does a laser disrupt Gu? We are told that you can cause Gu to melt on the spot by zapping it with a laser, which disrupts the holo field. If that is the case surely Gu needs a constant field, which implies a constant power drain?Which brings me to Question 2 … Driders. How on earth do Driders work as a weapon if they will turn to slime if you zap them with a pen laser? Why do the enemy bother with guns when they can laser all your Gu?

  4. Mike Reeves-McMillan says:

    That is a bit inconsistent at first glance, isn’t it? The key is in the words “sufficiently powerful laser”. Normally, a laser mounted inside the Gu is generating (intermittent) holograms to control it. But if a sufficiently powerful external laser of the right frequency is used, it can overload the control mechanism and force Gu out of shape.It’s difficult to build such a laser in a back-street weapons shop in Kabul, and power it in a village with no electricity.

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