Lost Tribe of the Sith author reacts to ebook news

May 10, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Posted in Books, Star Wars News | 1 Comment

In light of the recent Star Wars catalog news, I contacted Star Wars authors for their opinions. Knight Errant and Lost Tribe of the Sith author, John Jackson Miller, commented on the Star Wars catalog e-book plunge:

How do you feel about Star Wars novels going to the e-book format?

John Jackson Miller: I think it’s great that the Star Wars fiction library is going to be available in e-books format. It’s something people have been asking for, and I’m glad that it’s come to pass.

Do you think the Lost Tribe of the Sith e-books played a part in this?

John Jackson Miller: As to the Lost Tribe stories, yes, I do believe they expanded the audience reading Star Wars fiction — but it’s fun to note that the number one question we got with those was when the printed version was coming out. (The print anthology for Lost Tribe of the Sith, along with new material from me, is slated for August 2012 publication.) I think there will continue to be demand for all formats — the addition of more just adds to the choices.

I reached out to other Star Wars authors for their opinions, but no replies have been received at this time.  We hope to hear more from them soon.

The Roqoo Depot staff would like thank John Jackson Miller for sharing his thoughts with us.

Read what Joe Schrieber, Sean Williams, Christie Golden and Walter Jon Williams thought about the catalog news here.

Posted by: Dancelittleewok for Roqoo Depot
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Entire Star Wars novel catalog going to e-book format June 28, 2011

May 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Posted in Books, Star Wars News | 1 Comment

Star Wars Books on Facebook just announced today, linking to a USA Today article:

BREAKING NEWS: Random House, Inc and Lucasfilm have announced that the entire backlist library of Star Wars novels published under the Bantam and Del Rey imprints will be available in ebook formats on June 28, 2011! (ES)

With each Star Wars e-book, there will be extras:

All STAR WARS eBooks from Del Rey and Bantam Spectra will include additional content at the back of the ebook. The extra content will include the following:
• An updated STAR WARS novels timeline
• An introduction to the six major STAR WARS eras: The Old Republic, Rise of the Empire, Rebellion, The New Republic, New Jedi Order, and Legacy
• Over half a dozen additional excerpts from some of the most popular STAR WARS books of the last thirty years.

At StarWars.com, the Presidents of Lucas Licensing and Random House expounded more on the upcoming release.

Posted by: Dancelittleewok for Roqoo Depot All the latest Star Wars News

Boba Fett at Disney Star Tours

May 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Posted in Events | Leave a comment
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We may not know whether Darth Vader himself will be at Star Tours, but his favorite bounty hunter, Daniel Logan, has tweeted he will be appearing at week 1 of the re-opening.

Posted By Synlah for Roqoo Depot
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4 Non-Astronaut Professionals Needed In Space

May 10, 2011 at 9:13 am | Posted in Humor, Regular Feature, Science News | 4 Comments
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We have all heard of one famous astronaut or another in our lives. Whether it was Neil Armstrong’s first words on the moon or when that famous astronaut Tom Hanks uttered the classic line, “Houston, we have a problem”, on the Apollo 13 moon mission.  We have all looked up to and admired these brave men and women at one time or another.

Very famous. Not really an astronaut.

Today however, with the “space race” largely a thing of the past and an emphasis on international cooperation (and shared expense) the volume of people who wind up in space tends to dilute the fame aspect of being a modern day space man. These days astronauts come in over fifty flavors of nationalities, are represented by both genders, and in the case of Cady Coleman (I love her) can play a mean flute duet with rock legend Ian Anderson and still be pretty as a picture with her hair standing straight up in zero gravity. The one thing these people all have in common is that they all still have “the right stuff”. They are all still well heeled, well educated men and women. Some of the finest examples of dedication and integrity their respective nations have to offer.

The thing is, every so often something happens in space that requires people of a little more “blue collar” kind of background. Folks who grew up with zero advantage but know how to make things work anyway. People who won’t tend to over think the problem. The following are 4  non-astronaut professions that should be represented in the crew of the space station.

4.  A Plumber

What’s that now, a plumber in space? Absolutely. It would have come in mighty handy to have one spinning in circles up there with the crew of the International Space Station back on July 19TH 2009, when one of two toilets aboard the facility stopped working while the crew was engaged in what mission control called “delicate robotic work”. It seems a pump separator got flooded. That was the official explanation. It sounds like a fancy way of saying that the toilet stopped up but I try not to criticize.

Just-a jiggle-a the handle. You be-a fine.

Mission Control instructed the astronauts to put an “out of service” sign on the toilet until it was repaired. In the meanwhile, the space station’s compliment of six crewmen got to all share the one remaining commode. The task of repairing the uncooperative hopper fell to Belgian Frank De Winne and American Michael Barratt. who had to work well into the night. Mission Control finally instructed them to call it a day and repairs were finally completed the following morning.

This wasn’t the only time the space station latrine failed. In 2008 it broke down and was the only working unit at the time. Luckily the Space Shuttle Endeavor was docked with the station at the time and everyone was able to use the bathroom on board until repairs were made.

I would like to think that if NASA and the other world space agencies weren’t all hung up on shmancy degrees, mental acuity and physical fitness, that someone like the fellow pictured on the left might not have only been able to solve the problem by “bending the rod” as it were, but could also pull double duty by ensuring the International Space Station remain a “Koopa Free Zone” at all times.

3. Crane Operator

They don’t have cranes on the station but they do have two robotic arms that do a lot of the heavy lifting in …. umm…. zero gravity. (Makes more sense the less you think about it.) The robotic arms are known as the Mobile Servicing System (MSS), or referred to by its primary component Canadarm2. Officially known as the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS), it is self-relocatable and can move end-over-end to reach many parts of the Space Station in an inchworm-like movement. In this movement, it is limited only by the number of Power Data Grapple Fixtures (PDGFs) on the station. PDGFs located around the station provide power, data and video to the arm through its Latching End Effectors (LEEs). The arm can also travel the entire length of the space station truss using the Mobile Base System.

Probably not these guys though.

All that to say it’s a big fancy crane that moves stuff around outside the station. While this is an important and necessary function to the station, it seems like the sort of task they might be willing to let your average construction crane operator take a crack at. For that matter, most gamers these days would probably be as adept at moving large objects with a device they operate with a hand controller and using a graphical user interface than most astronauts, Not only that but the gamers can do it in full gravity and the lightless hope void of their mom’s basement well into their thirties. Take that mission specialists.

2. Pizza Delivery Guy

OK, I know this one is a stretch but you have to ask yourself two things. First of all, whenever you are away from home, what is one of the things you miss the most? Your local pizza shop, right? I just know a good pizza night on the ISS would do wonders for morale. It might not do wonders for those balky toilets though so it’s a good thing we are sending that plumber too.

Yeah how about that, this one is free too you jerks.

The other thing is the guarantee. I mean come on! You must have wondered at some point if the 30 minute guarantee was still good when the address is:

International Space Station
Destiny Module
High Earth Orbit

You would think it wasn’t but as a promotional thing it could be priceless.

Not only could we get the pizza delivery guys to make dinner in space a treat but it is almost certain they know where we could find all the gamers with the mutant seven fingered hands we would use as the robotic arm operators. I mean this idea just keeps getting better. Pass me the Xbox controller and another slice of pepperoni.

Last but not least:

1. Trash Men/Sanitation Workers

This guy may be most important of all. It seems that like everywhere else we silly humans go we have left our mark on Earth by encircling it in trash. Metal, fabric mesh and plastics comprise a layer of detritus around the planet so scary it nearly acts as a global defense system.

Yup, it's this bad.

We here on Earth have set up a tracking system, operated by the United States Air Force, designed to track objects in orbit larger that four centimeters in length. As of this moment nearly twenty thousand objects are continually tracked and data relayed on their whereabouts to the appropriate agencies.

There may however, be ten times as many objects smaller than four centimeter up there hurling around the planet at speeds between 17,000 and 25,000 miles an hour. Let’s put that in perspective, shall we? A four centimeter wide object is roughly 5 times as wide as a .50 caliber bullet, the largest bullet current used by the U.S. military. At a speed of 25,000 miles an hour an object would be moving roughly ten times faster than the bullet that killed Bin Laden. So basically we’ve encircled the planet in what amounts to gigantic, super high speed projectiles. No wonder no aliens have landed lately. They can’t find a parking spot without being shredded to ribbons!

And a lack of proper signage in space.

How did all that trash and debris get up there in the first place? Well besides our own slovenly nature as a species there is also the fact that we the simple primates of planet Earth didn’t always enjoy a global space faring community like we have in recent times. In fact, during the previously alluded to space race, it is entirely possible that we left junk up there intentionally just to get in the way of anyone else that might try to beat us to the latest space accomplishment that was the hot topic of the day. There was a time when it was just the U.S. and the Soviets running around up there and the emphasis was on the first anything we could launch. First chimp, dog, man, women, couple or Eskimo Astronaut were all major headlines.

"Now I'm just gettin' pissed off!"

In fact, according to a Space.com article, in February of 2009 an Iridium LLC satellite of U.S. origin, was involved in a massive collision with a Russian Cosmos 2251 Satellite approximately 490 miles above Serbia. The 25,000 mile an hour collision completely destroyed both satellites and resulted in over 500 pieces of additional debris that needs to be tracked as it hurtles around the planet.

Even that disaster was nothing compared to what the Chinese did in January of 2007. In order to test a missile they built that was designed to shoot down satellites in orbit, they intentionally targeted and destroyed one of their own. The test was a smashing success in that the missile shattered the target into over 2,500 new chunks of space trash that are now spinning around Earth at hyper-ballistic speeds.

So I guess the question becomes, who do we get to clean up this mess? It seems like every advanced nation on Earth is now up there dumping their trash and in space there are no retired Scottish grandfathers to wander around in cut off suit pants and wearing sandals with black socks, while holding a metal detector, to keep space clean like they do on the New England beaches.

We need some sanitation workers in space. We need NASA to build the first space vessel with a twelve ton hydraulic packing body and a 2,000 lbs per square inch hopper. Get a couple o’ guys in pressure suits to stand on the step at the back of the ship and hop off and load the trash. It seems like a dopey idea but so far it is the only idea on the table where as of this writing there are no projects in the works or proposals being considered to deal with this problem.

There is always this plan. What could go wrong?

So it’s time we get some blue collar guys up there to do the chores, bend the rods and do all the little jobs that would free up our astronauts to do the important work they do so well. Come on NASA!

by Revmacd with special help from CCF – for Roqoo Depot
All the best in Star Wars news.

NEXUS Festival in Melbourne and Aurealis Awards

May 10, 2011 at 8:57 am | Posted in Comic Books, Events, Star Wars News | Leave a comment
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For the fans down under, Star Wars comic writer Tom Taylor and comic artist Colin Wilson will be at the NEXUS Festival of Animation, Comics, Graphic Novels, and Moving Image today. Both will be attending a panel discussion from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM, and later will be running a Master Class on comics writing and drawing from 3:00 PM-6:00 PM. The festival will continue tomorrow and Tom and Colin will be there as well for another panel, book fair, signings and possibly taking commissions. You can find out more by visiting Tom Taylor Made.

In other Australia news, Star Wars author Sean Williams will be attending the Aurealis Awards in North Sydney. If you’re thinking about attending, you can check out Sean William’s livejournal for reasons why you should attend.

Posted By: Skuldren

Digital Downloads of Dark Horse Free Comics

May 10, 2011 at 8:31 am | Posted in Comic Books, Dark Horse, Star Wars News | Leave a comment
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For anyone who missed out on Free Comic Book Day, Dark Horse is giving you a second chance, and this time with digital copies. On Wednesday May 11, you will be able to download a digital copy of Criminal Macabre, Baltimore, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars for FREE! The downloads will be available till the end of the month. For more information you can check out Dark Horse’s website.

Posted By: Skuldren

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