Welcome to the New Year

Once more around the block for all of us (as based on some random point in space-time picked by someone in ancient times as being significant, and now carried on by thousands of years of tradition).

This last year has been a serious change in my personal focus, as I picked up some new skills as an indie writer and publisher.

And of course, I spent a lot of it pounding out a crap ton of words…

Unfortunately, December has turned out to be a cap on the year that I could well have done without. On December 10th, I blew up my main computer (and those of you who have seen it, know it is my one true indulgence … I am kinda a computer size-queen).

The problem is that it had all my work on it. ALL OF IT.

And before anybody says I should have it backed up … I did. I can’t really effectively use cloud storage because I use satellite for internet (and there are all kinds of technical issues we could discuss about what problems that poses, but let’s say, you will never convince me to give up my pine trees and solitude for better internet).

So anyway, I do have an in-house server onto which I back things up.

It is a nice computer with a couple terabyte of external storage, and it does the trick. Because I have this system in place, I wasn’t worried about loosing much more than my desktop and maybe a few of my bookmarks for my book research. It would be inconvenient, but not insurmountable, and I can always use the server as a workstation while I get my main machine back up and running.

I order my replacement parts for my personal computer from the Mighty Zon (before Christmas … sigh), and I anxiously sit here tracking the packages as they are shipped by carrier pigeon (that was probably duct-taped to a  turtle … that is riding piggyback on a snail … into a headwind … uphill both directions …).

Obviously, everything got delayed over the holiday, but even though I ordered it all with expedited shipping, it ends up being the day after Christmas before the stuff gets here. I’ll have to run to town to pick them up since they don’t deliver packages to the mailbox out in the sticks, where the hills have eyes (and the neighbors have crowbars to get into the parcel boxes).

No biggie … RIGHT.

THEN, the day after Christmas the Universe, with its typical ironic sense of humor, decides to call a snow day. With like two feet of wonderful fluffy powder for good measure.

BUT I’m ready for that game…. and so I’m one to NOT to let the weather gods get in my way!

I break out my earth-mauling, 1-Ton, 4X4 dually, behemoth of a pick up truck (mind you, it IS a survival tool in the wilderness, and not another compensation mechanism) and with this growling beast of a truck, I get my butt into town to get my damned parts.

YAY! Success.

(And I did get a bit of amusement watching people in lesser trucks playing bumper cars in the grocery store parking lot when I got there … I do have a sick sense of humor after all).

So anyway I digress…

I get myself, my parts and some extra bags of dog food home from the store, and I put my wonderful computing machine back together. I get it booted up, and the operating system installed, and all my software installed … and then …

Oh shit!

The server dies.

Well, not the server, but more importantly the external drive that has ALL MY BACKUP FILES ON IT! (and the backup files of my editor Ducky, since we use the same network.) At this point we are less than a week from launching my new book trilogy and everything is gone. That is book covers, and promotional artwork, and all the writing I have been banking so I can launch a lot of books this new year.

It’s gone … all of it.

It is a freaking apocalypse.

Several beer, and many gallons of coffee later, I start trying to rip into the dead drive with every software crowbar available. After learning what the tools do and how they work, and I figure out that somewhere along the way, the file table got corrupted. For the last several weeks it has been dumping backed up files on top of old files and then stomping them into a tangled mess of data-trash.

But one little piece of freeware software that I found online, steps up and says, “Let me see if I can collate your spaghettified data.” (Spaghettified is really a word for those of you who aren’t familiar with the physics of black holes.)

It warns me that it will take some time, and in this fact it wasn’t lying. I started this program running FOUR DAYS ago and it is still grinding away at it.

Finally, this morning when I got out of bed and looked at the screen on my computer, all my writing, and all our important artwork, was sitting there as pretty as anything. It is still repairing other things, but I HAVE NOT LOST A YEAR’S WORTH OF WORK.

I actually have to admit, I shed a tear or two when I saw that.

So now, I will start 2019 with my work magically restored on my new computer.

Today I am sitting inside watching the snow come down again (another foot on the ground already) and keeping track of my new books as they make their way into the world (check them out if you haven’t yet). If the weather holds, I’ll get a lot of writing done before the mud season starts.

And I can finally wave goodbye to 2018 (and honest, I am trying to use ALL my fingers as I do it … really).

Make the new year better than the old one.

Burn the boats behind you, and keep moving forward.

Dream well.


(And finally, I don’t do endorsements but holy crap, Recuva walks on freaking water.)


There are many words implied throughout book one that are not actually used in dialog, so I am not including them in this vocabulary list. The usage of the vocabulary is something that the characters struggle with, and interpretations of words with multiple meanings is a process that requires them to have a degree of experience with the language.

Ian Whitewind uses the language fluently but he does attempt to “dumb down” what he is saying so that the others can figure out what he means (the reason for this becomes obvious as the story progresses). EMC

General Vocabulary:

  • Ahn — Equals. Most common word used in the language of the Un Shan Takhu. It is often used to indicate connection to, or in the location of, an object (i.e. Ian ahn Hector = Ian is in the Hector, or Ian belongs to the Hector). Also commonly used as, “to make into the same as.” In this usage it does not clearly act as a verb but might be loosely interpreted as implying action (Oola ahn wath is, “make the outside the same as the inside” or “open the door.”). Can also mean understand when used as a standalone word.
  • Che — Child. Younger. Smaller. It can also be used as “less than” in the middle connective position of a sentence structure.
  • Cata — Under. Beneath.
  • Da — Absolute negative modifier. Not.
  • Ekahta — Gravity.
  • Nu — You.
  • Oola — Outside.
  • Shada — Message. Words. May also mean to talk or  speak. (although this violates a basic aspect of the grammar of the Un Shan Takhu language as it appears to be a verb word form).
  • Shan — Star.
  • Tacra — Archive. May also be used to indicate the Archivist.
  • Takhu — The name of the star of old ones. (used as “Shan Takhu”)
  • Tarah — The name of Earth’s star. (used as “Shan Tarah”)
  • Trana — Not like, is dissimilar. (Apparently different than the concept of polar opposite as meant by da-ahn)
  • Un — Before. Greater than. Bigger. Higher. Older. When capitalized, is also used as shorthand for “old ones.”
  • Wath — Inside


  • Dra — One.
  • Oka — Two.
  • Para — Three.
  • Lor — Four.
  • El — Five.
  • Et — Zero. (Not used in this novel but mentioned here for the sake of being thorough. EMC)

    The Un Shan Takhu numbering system is base six.

Common Compound Words:

  • Tacra Un — Archive of the Un.
  • Un Shan Takhu — Old Ones of the Star Takhu. (The name of the race that built the Tacra Un) also commonly used as used as simply Shan Takhu.
  • Oolawath — Door.
  • Da-ahn — Not equal.
  • Da-nu — Not you. Me.

Jakob Waltz Charter

Mission Objectives:

The Jacob Waltz was chartered on 2235.156 as a joint venture between DevCartel and SourceCartel to explore and retrieve Kuiper Belt ice trapped in the Neptune L-4 Trojan Cluster, as well as to assess the viability of retrieving large-mass cometary ice. Long range surveys of the Neptune Trojan clusters indicated these regions contained extremely large concentrations of large-mass cometary ice suitable for harvesting.

From the Original Charter Proposal Document:

“Unfortunately, short of establishing a large infrastructure in the Trojan Cluster, existing techniques for ice harvesting in this region are resource prohibitive.  Thus, rather than processing ice in situ, the Jakob Waltz is to be equipped with mountable thruster pods that are designed to be anchored directly to target cometary ice masses. These Thermal Impulse Control Systems (TICS) create vectorable steam jets from the ice mass itself to move the entire object at once.

“This unique approach will allow large cometary ice bodies over two kilometers in diameter to be migrated intact inward to the water processing center at 107 Camilla in the Cybele Cluster of the main asteroid belt.

“Thermal mass of the exponentially larger ice bodies reduces loss due to sublimation as they migrate toward the Solar Frost-line (in comparison to the typically smaller ice debris harvested from the Saturn system, which would not survive such a process). Rather than having to shield the ice from loss due to solar radiation inside the hold of a ship, it can be simply taken as an acceptable mass attrition.”

Jakob Waltz Design Parameters:

Again, from the Original Charter Proposal Document:

“The relative distance to the L-4 Trojan Cluster means that the Jakob Waltz has to be outfitted with the necessary equipment for a long-duration mission. In this regard, the Waltz will be by no means a typical low-resource expense ice hauler. The crew must have accommodations maintain adequate physical and mental condition, including upper level medical facilities, and life support and food production automation. A larger per person internal volume, essential to maintaining mental health on a long-duration mission, must also provided with individual staterooms with a fully outfitted recreation center and gymnasium in the design.

“Additionally the ship is to be built around the latest vessel architecture and outfitted with a level seven AA hybrid (To be identified by the moniker “Dutch,” as suggested by the historical prospector Jakob Waltz, AKA “The Lost Dutchman”). The AA Hybrid will be fully integrated to the ship through the NavCom grid and should be capable of autonomous control of the vessel in the event that critical crew loss would otherwise render the ship unrecoverable.”

Crew Considerations:

Ship compliment requirement for standard D-class keel operation (Per FleetCom):

Minimum Commander Specification: FleetCom Ship Master Class-6 Certification

  • Applicant Selected: Cochrane, Jephora S., CMDR Class -7.
  • Affiliation: FleetCartel (FleetCom Service Ret.)

Minimum Ship Systems Engineer Specification: FleetCom Ship Engineer Class-5 Certification

  • Applicant Selected: Rocovicz, Petra T.V., SE Class-8.
  • Affiliation: FleetCartel (DevCartel ret.)

Minimum Pilot Specification: FleetCom Pilot Class -6 License

  • Applicant Selected: Kamoto, Kiro, PL-7.
  • Affiliation: FleetCartel

Minimum Navigator Specification: FleetCom Astrogation Class-4

  • Applicant Selected: McKeigh, Shona A., Astrogator-6.
  • Affiliation: FleetCartel

Additional long-duration mission requirement (per WellCartel):

Minimum Medical Doctor Specification: WellCartel Space Medical Doctor, Surgeon Class-1

  • Applicant Selected: Soresh, Anju SMD/S-3 (with Class-9 Surgical Augment Implant).
  • Affiliation: WellCartel

Additional Charter specific requirements (per charter negotiation):

Geophysicist with Structural Specialization DevCartel MS – GP/S

  • Applicant Selected: Cross, Danel, A. PhD Geophysics-structural.
  • Affiliation: SourceCartel

Minimum HDA Sensor Systems Specialist DevCartel HDA-3SWP

  • Applicant Selected: Donegal, Alyxandria, HAD-3SWP/NMR/SAR.
  • Affiliation: DevCartel

Minimum Thermonuclear Systems Specialist (application specific certification)

  • Applicant Selected: Lu, Chei R., TSS-i/TICS.
  • Affiliation: Unaligned

Minimum Heavy Fabrication EVA Specialist (PodPilot Level-4)

  • Applicant Selected: Johansen, Seva PPL-8, EVA-6.
  • Affiliation: DoCartel

Minimum EVA Operations Technician. (EVA-2)

  • Applicant Selected: Stone, Corin T. EVA-6, Sec Class 5 license.
  • Affiliation: DoCartel 

Union Government


2097.181 is often considered the date that the Union began, but the Accords of 2097 were actually only the foundation document that established the principles and the process of creating the Charter of the Union. The Union Charter was drafted by representatives of the remaining governments of Earth and the multinational corporations that retained much of the economic power at that point.

The Charter of the Union was actually ratified by unanimous endorsement on 2100.001


The Union Government is a hybridization of the principles of a Meritocracy and a Technocracy, wherein those who administer are qualified technical experts and are elected by qualified members of the electorate. Further, any member of the population is eligible to be qualified to vote without restriction (providing they pass minimum competency requirements), and they may possess multiple qualifications and therefore vote for representatives in multiple areas.

Those who do not possess qualification are also entitled to vote for representation in a position within the government that serves as a check against special interests of leaders dominating the main government.

Decision making is done by an Executive Council of elected members of the six primary divisions of the government. These six Chancellors enjoy a great deal of autonomy within their own administrative branches of the government (called Cartel) and meet frequently to address decisions that reach across their jurisdictional areas of specialization.

The Executive Council is overseen by an administrative Prime Minister who moderates sessions and votes on Executive Council matters. This individual carries one equal vote on the Council, thus creating a seventh voting member to avoid potential deadlock. The Prime Minister is elected by the members of the Executive Council, but must not be an individual that has served as a previous, or current, Chancellor.

The eighth member of the Executive Council is the Steward of the Union. This individual is elected by majority of the unaligned (unqualified) members of the general population, and does not vote on Executive Council matters. Instead, this person is the only member of the Council authorized to bring agenda items to an Executive Council Session. The primary function of this position is to act as a throttle mechanism on the Council. If the Steward does not believe a matter is representative of the needs of the larger society, no process can bring a matter before the Executive Council (other than in an administrative Sealed Docket Session).  Any Chancellor wishing to put a matter on the agenda for a session therefore MUST bring it before the Steward.

The final element of the Union Government is the Grand Assembly. The Grand Assembly is a representative body that convenes semi-annually to advise the Steward of the Union as to what issues and concerns are relevant to the general populace. This body is loosely structured around representing local jurisdictional requirements, and may be made up of appointed or elected representatives. The structure and membership of the Grand Assembly will vary from session to session as it is an informal advisory organization that serves at the discretion of the Steward.

Funding of Operations:

No taxes are collected from the populace for the operation of the government, and all administrative expenses are negotiated and paid by the specific Cartels requiring service.

Expenses incurred to provide services to the unaligned population are borne by the cartels, proportionate to the gross portion of the economy produced by each Cartel.

Executive Council Elections:

Cartel Chancellors (aka the Chancellery):

Chancellors serve for ten years and may be elected for an unlimited number of terms providing they remain qualified and have the support of their specific Cartel Membership. Each Cartel holds an election in the year prior to the end of their current chancellor’s term and the elections are offset between the Cartels so that consistency of purpose is not disrupted by the entire Executive Council being changed simultaneously. This means that for six consecutive years, a new chancellor may be seated every year.

The Prime Minister:

The Prime Minister is elected for a ten year term by 2/3 majority of the Executive Council on the seventh year of the term cycle and may serve for no more than two terms.

The Steward of the Union:

The Steward is elected in the eighth year of the term cycle by simple majority of the unaligned populace and may serve for no more than three consecutive terms.

Shipyard Journals

I had planned a regular feature of Shipyard Journals to be released in small episodic installments on an earlier version of my blog. This journal would cover the time while the Jakob Waltz was being assembled at the Ceres Alpha shipyard. I intended to use it to explain some of the details of the ship and I liked the character of Lukas Rodriguez that I created as the Shipyard Master.

I wanted to include more of him in the the mainline of the story but he nearly got edited out entirely as I had to pare down what was originally a 150K epic tome. As it ended up, he appears in only one scene, and is referenced in several other places … including a bit of backstory that exists between him and Admiral Nakamiru that ties the two of them to another major event in the history of the Union.

This journal entry was also the first time I wrote anything in the pidgin speak patter of “slango” and it was something I really wanted to keep in the final version. My concept was that it would be a “dock worker” shorthand and that it would be common in casual conversation in much the same way that some of the “val-speak” and “Spanglish” speech patterns have infiltrated mainstream American English.

Those that pay attention will also notice there’s a reference to Seva Johansen in there… she was actually one of the characters that stayed with the story through all its incarnations, even though she was mostly a supporting player in the bigger picture.



Ceres Alpha Shipyard


Operations log: Lukas Rodriguez

“Item One:

“Orders came this morning to prep fabrication berth A-5 for a new keel. Don’t know much about what we be building, other than it be a custom-designed, medium hull. A-5 is always holding for large transports or ice haulers, so it seem odd they’d assign a big berth to the project.

“Sent no specifications other than estimated total mass and fab-power loads. I expect they be sending detailed juice in few weeks, but in the nowtime I’m supposed to torque up the shops and staff the pods.

“I hate when they give me no data, but I been thirty-seven years doing this shit, you think I be used to it.

“The only thing interesting to grab from the file is that the ship will be chartered under the name of Jakob Waltz. I scanned the nodes to see if it cough me out an idea what we be building. Only hit is Waltz was the name of a hard rock prospector from the old American Southwest. He pulled a line of bad luck for a lot of years tils he struck rich in a place called the Superstition Mountains. Don’t know much about the old west, since the area’s burnt wasteland now.

“Seems odd they’d name something after this flatch.  Story says he be fruity as a poundcake and ended up lost in the mountains along with his goldmine.

“Don’t know if that’s the right story for who they’re naming this barge after, but if it’s a clue as to what this new keel will be, then maybe it does float.   Why we be building something this big to do what we’ve done with robots for the last hundred years? Prospecting with people is a no thinkin’ idea, but maybe that’s why they named it after The Lost Dutchman.

Item Two:

“Team-Rigger Tandu didn’t show for shift.  Not like him to be hung so bad from a night bingeing to miss his duty.  Problem be, that his crew all tell about him getting into a pissing contest with the Valkyrie-Bitch Johansen last night.

“I’d hate thinking she vented Tandu, he was a pretty straight crewrunner, but damn clear had no idea when to shut his windhole.  You don’t pick a goto with a two-meter heavy-worlder. Damn Meso can make your arms into origami.

“She be working all normal today running a podshuttle over in Fab-8, so maybe I need to call Sec in and have them yak at her a bit.  She be a pretty real handful when she gets wound up, and I don’t want to be trying to hammer with her.

“We’ll call them in and have them push her buttons. No way this one’s not going to stink deep.

“End File. Store to records.”


Log Entry 1

This entry precedes Chapter One. This log entry is a bit heavy in exposition and so didn’t make the final revision of the story, but it gives a bit more background on the character of Jephora Cochrane and what they are doing at the point the story starts.

Sometimes as I have looked over these logfiles I have had to remove dates because the sequence of events changed a bit in the final revision.


Jakob Waltz: Neptune L-4 Trojan Cluster:

Personal Log: 2243.104: Jephora Cochrane, CMDR

“Yesterday marked the four year anniversary of our launch. We’ve been out here in the Neptunian L-4 Trojan cluster for over three, and we’ve probably got at least three more before we can head home.

“Nothing ever changes. We’re six days from having pulled up stakes on Payload Four. That puts us about eight million klick from the chunk of frozen crap that was our last target, and maybe twenty-six million to the chunk of frozen crap that’s our next one.

“At this point I have to say, I don’t know why I took this charter. Wait, yes I do. It’s because, even after twenty years spent working my way through FleetCom postings, this was the only command seat they offered me. The command board would deny it, but I know it’s my light-world ectomorph physiology that kept me off the command list for a Multicruiser.

“There’s no place in the big chair for weak bones and muscles, but by now I’m surely qualified to at least captain a hospital ship. And because I always wear my Pressure Support Exosuit I am at least as strong as a Mesomorph, when I’m suited. It’s simple prejudice. Bureaucratic bastages.

“I shouldn’t bitch though, we’re doing a good job. Because we’re the first to ever try ice harvesting this way maybe we’ll end up recorded somewhere in a footnote of history.  SourceCartel wants us to succeed and they invested a lot more into the Jakbo Waltz than they do into most ice harvesters, but still six to eight years in the deep is a tough run. It’s good that this is a cushy rig.

“We may have only boosted four icebergs so far, but that means we’ve already moved more water than the last three years of ice hauling from Saturn combined so I am sure the bottom line of the charter will be deep in the black. Twenty years from now, when these icebergs finally make it back to the belt, some fat old flatches down-system will be trying to figure out how to make a swimming pool on an asteroid.

“What we do is bone-numbingly simple work. There’s a little science when we pick a target, but once that’s done it’s all grunt labor from there. We mount a set of thermonuclear steam engines to a cometary iceberg, and then using the ice itself as reaction mass, we slow it down just enough that it falls inward toward the asteroid belt and the receiving station at 107 Camilla in the Cybele Cluster.

“You’d think somebody’d have come up with a better way to find water that was closer to home, but I guess not. At least we didn’t get all the way out here only to find there wasn’t enough to be worth the trip.

 “Fortunately they also staffed the charter with a good crew, although I have to wonder how they talked most of them into taking a long run so far from home. We’re a good fit most days and it’s a bit more like being the head of a family than the commander of a crew.  Once in a while I have to spank the kids, but most of the time it’s just trying to keep them entertained and out of each other’s hair.

“The problem is, now that we’re almost half way through the mission, we’re in the doldrums. In the mariner days of old-Earth, naval vessels would sometimes find themselves becalmed. Trapped in the middle of nowhere with no air to fill their sails and no hope of getting home unless the waves of wind moved favorably for them. We’re no longer at the whims of nature, so we never face the risk of becoming lost at sea, but the becalming of the soul can be just as terrifying as the fear of never being blown back to land was for them. Out here, there is only monotony, the endless black, and each other.

“It would be nice if something did change once in a while, but maybe I should just be thankful that everything’s still swinging in spec.

 “End log. Annotate. Zip and link.”



AA – Artificially Aware Hybrid Computer Systems

Artificially Aware Hybrid Computer systems are largely autonomous computer systems that have a sense of ‘self’ and operate within a limited set of safety protocols. They are existentially dependent upon a specific quantum processor core configuration and do not function as solely code.

Artificially Intelligent Computer systems are complex code based programs that self modify through advanced learning algorithms, but have no sense of ‘self.’ Although they can resemble AA systems in how they interact with humans, they do not have a high degree of autonomy in their actions.  Continue reading

Jephora Cochrane

Full Name: Jephora Stephen Cochrane

Current Situation:  Commander Jakob Waltz. Assigned to ice harvesting Neptune L-4 Trojan Cluster.

Born: 2197.033

Age: 46 (standard)

Place of Birth: Juno Commons, Juno (Ectomorph Physiology)

Education: Galileo Polytech, Galileo. Degree: Engineering Administration.

Current Affiliation: FleetCartel, SourceCartel

Career: Entered FleetCom 2218. Retired FleetCom 2238. Applied and accepted to Jakob Waltz Charter (SourceCartel) 2238 Departed Ceres Alpha Shipyard 2239.095

Physical Description: Like all Ectomorphs, Commander Cochrane is long-boned and thin, standing 2.1 meters tall and with a body mass of 76 kilograms, he has dark skin and short hair with sharp angular features. Continue reading

Universe building in progress … Please stand by.

For the last year I have been heads-down on a new project.

Starting January 1st, I will release a new trilogy of science fiction novels, and then a veritable wall of other titles set in the same universe.

As a result of this insane amount of writing, I have been notably absent online … and so it is time for me to rework this place a bit.

This website will be undergoing a big redesign, and I’ll be rolling out changes on an almost daily basis from here until the end of 2018 (and for a long while after that, too).

One of the new things I’m adding, is a section with special features  and behind the scenes content to support the universe I’ve created. (It’s a massive concept that will expand into an episodic series of novels that I will release regularly for at least the next couple years … did I say I have been heads down and WRITING?)

The Shan Takhu Legacy:

This trilogy is set 220 years in the future and lays the foundation for a much bigger universe of stories that will follow.  Basically, I chose to write the origin stories for a series I’ve been kicking around for more than 20 years and I needed to flesh out the backstory before I started wandering the stars (I know, it’s a crazy idea to write the Prequel first).

Fans of the Expanse will get into these books, as they’re a political, hard SciFi, Space Opera, set in the medium-term future Solar System.  They tell the story of a discovery that will alter the trajectory of human civilization forever.

Imagine normal people, working in space, who uncover a secret that will change them in extraordinary ways.

The first of the three novels is available for pre-order on Amazon and the second and third will release every ten days starting on January 1st.

The Wings of Earth:

This second series is set 125 years after the end of the Shan Takhu Legacy and although I can’t say much without massive spoilers, lets just say these books will take off and cover a LOT bigger universe. 

These books will be more like Star Trek and will still retain a harder edge of science fiction (like I could write something that isn’t at least fundamentally connected to the real universe?!?).

These stories will follow a group of characters (okay, maybe a few groups of characters) much further into the universe.  Each novel is episodic in nature, in that most of them will be one to two book story arcs that don’t require that you’ve read all of them to enjoy any of them … but of course you can read all of them if you want.

Keep an eye out for these novels starting in late February or early March.  I’ll be announcing things here when I kick off The Wings of Earth.

Atlas and the Winds:

Of course, my first two novels are still available and they have spiff new covers. 

I spent a bit of time last year working on a follow up to these books (not sequels as much as a second series in the same world), and although I have the third and fourth stories done for the most part, I have decided not to release them yet (and I know that is going to send at least a couple of my fan’s into a tizzy … but well … I have my reasons). 

Sometimes you have to say the real world is dark enough, and for those of you who have already read Stormhaven Rising and Prometheus and the Dragon, you will understand when I say, five years later was bound to be a lot tougher for everyone in that universe.

So, the second two book set is on production hold until the real world can support a bit more darkness without collapsing into a singularity.

Check out Stormhaven Rising (or if you’ve already read it, Prometheus and the Dragon).

Now, back to work for me. Stand back and pardon my dust …

(the Big Bang is such a messy proposition.)


Syntax and Structure

These notes are based on what a reader needs to know to understand the very basic levels of the language of the Un Shan Takhu as it is presented in Legacy of Pandora.  EMC

No Verb Forms:

The language of the Un Shan Takhu is based on a syntax structure that is relational in nature, rather than transitional in structure (like most human languages). Where our normal thinking in speech is based on the idea that, “A, does something to, B,” the Shan Takhu thought process is, “A, with respect to, B.”

In this regard the essence of Shan Takhu thought appears to be more akin to mathematical equations.

There are words in the language that do seem to have some temporal aspect (in certain usage). This might be implied as action, but these usages are generally rare and subjective. For example, in the sentence, “Oola ahn wath” the word “ahn” can be implied to mean “make this event happen.” In this case “ahn” would function loosely as a verb form modification to the word Oola.

Strictly, in that sentence, the words mean, “outside … is EQUAL to … inside,” but in thought it functions to mean, “MAKE, the outside … equal to … the inside … or “Open the Door.” Thus there is the implication of an action.

Structural Triplets:

In common use, Un Shan Takhu words generally form as groups of three (structural triplets), although much more complex thought can be formed through the addition of modifiers.

For example, it is possible to construct a correct Un Shan Takhu thought as, “Un Shan Takhu da-ahn nu-che.” This translates as, “The old ones of the Star Takhu … are not like … you children.” (This aspect of A … is not equal to … this smaller form of B.)

Additionally structural triplets may be fused together, through relational linkages to additional object or concept words, and thereby create groups of five words or more. (i.e. this word  … is like … this word  … but not … this word, etc.)

Focus via Emphasis:

A word will sometimes be used as a standalone word, in a following sentence, to indicate the focus of the previous thought.

This form used to direct where the emphasis of attention on the previous sentence is to be. “Joe … is greater than … Steve. Steve.” means “think about how Steve perceives Joe as greater” and not, “Joe thinks he is greater than Steve.” This is often a subtle difference in perception that is hard to nuance out of the structure, but it is essential to controlling interpretation of Un Shan Takhu thought.

Interpretive Translation Versus Literal Translation:

The Shan Takhu Language, while deceptively simple in vocabulary, is challenging to understand without applying a high level of interpretation. Because all words in the language have multiple meanings, some understanding of relationship is necessary to understand usage (position in a sentence also affects word meaning).

Initially, this is extremely challenging for those who are learning the language, but it is not uncommon in human languages so with experience it does become easier. However, in the case of the Un Shan Takhu it appears this assumptive knowledge of intent is more fundamental to understanding how to translate the sentence structures.

Thus there is an intuitive aspect to speaking and understanding the language that is essential to becoming fluent.