This weekend, Jo and I were in Germany at FedCon, soaking in all things Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica with a little sprinkling of Spaceballs, Gremlins and Stargate.

A great many topics were brought up during the talks, anecdotes from the various sets and even a presence from the European Space Agency, including a talk from a real life astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti, about her time on the International Space Station.

All in all, it was an awesome convention which was really well organised and allowed for all manner of good things to be experienced. There had even been some attempt to lessen the horror that is inevitable at all events of this kind, the queue.

Being from the UK, we all love a good queue. It’s one of those national clichés, like our love of tea, which somehow sticks with us. The convention was a great example of one ‘expected’ trait of Germans, amazing organization.

So are we just the expected bits of our nations when we go abroad?

When Brits are in other countries, do we imagine that locals view us as being the stereotype? Tea drinkers or lager louts? Do the French get tired of the questions about berets and onions? The Spanish and their maracas?

We all have similar traits to each other no matter the country we come from. You can find all kinds of examples of videos on YouTube of people from all over the globe doing exactly the same stupid things. Shaky footage filmed on a phone of activities in a desert, in snow, in cities and in countryside, all giving examples of the same things, but done by all different peoples.

Why just look at the differences and poke fun at the things that others do which we may not? Why not just recognise that we all do so very many things the same?

So very much of the science fiction which we all know and love explores so much of what the human race is as a whole and how we all need to work together to achieve the great wonders we’re capable of as a species. By just holding tightly to the differences, so very many doors are closed to all of us.

Shared success is the goal.

So Say We All!



Just how many of us are trying to get our voices heard?

Every day at work, at school, at home and at everywhere else in between, we all want our voice to be heard.

We want to know that what we say is seen as having value. We need to have that feeling of validation. That our ideas, and by extension, us in general are viewed as having worth.

So why do we all need to be clamoring to be heard?

As the world we live in changes and our interconnectedness as a species evolves with the addition of each new way we can share what we’re up to, there comes with it the new horror. If it’s so simple to connect with anyone and everyone, if any talentless wannabe with a webcam and a silly idea can become the greatest sensation the world has ever seen (at least for a minute), how could any of us struggle to be listened to?

The speed that communication works can make us all feel that the torrent of words is washing us away as we do everything to stay afloat. We need to know that our ideas have been noticed as they’re cast into the rushing waters, that someone out there just happened to be looking in just the right place at just the right time and agreed with us. When we see the ‘likes’ flashing up, it goes far beyond just being a fix to an addict, it can become the lifeline to a drowning man. In that instant when the thumbs up or orange dot appear, just for that second, we can know that somewhere out in the darkness that there was someone who didn’t think we were talking nonsense.

But this brings up another issue.

What if just being noticed is the goal and agreement with anyone is irrelevant?

Why do we see so many examples of people putting forward awful ideas just to provoke a reaction? The negative game of just trying to draw as many people as possible just to pay attention to what you say by being as vile or provocative as you can is a tactic readily used to shine a light on a given topic and all of the anger and blazing outpouring of righteous indignation play directly into the plan. So many people then start talking about all of the terrible things said and all of a sudden, the narrative is spread wider than with just a comment about something ‘positive’.

I have this great fire in me that wants to reach out to others. I can recognise that the world is a place where you can be left to feel as if you’re drifting alone and I’d love to reach out a hand to any and all who need it.



For this post I only have a single point to make.

I feel that after the 2016 we’ve all witnessed, where division and anger seem to have exposed the gruesome heart of the human race to the light, I open my arms to everyone out there, regardless of all those defining characteristics we all cling so very tightly to, and which seem to be always pulling us apart, and say to each and every one of you,

“Let’s celebrate our humanity and do what we can to make the lives we touch every day a little bit better. Let’s make sure 2017 is the perfect antidote to what we’ll soon be leaving behind us.”

Have a good ‘un all.


“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Arthur C Clark gave us this thought and I like it.

At a very low level, stage magicians with the ‘sawing someone in half’ trick or the ‘disappearing person from the box’ trick use a manipulation of mechanics to give the appearance of supernatural powers and channeling the beyond. We can consider the daily lives we all lead through the lens of someone with no knowledge of how cars and phones etc function and it’s easy to imagine that they could fall down on the side of witchcraft.

So it made me think, a dangerous proposition I know but, when I write, where should the lines potentially be drawn in terms of magical powers or technology?

I’m working on a short(ish) story about a future set space adventure but having looked into a great chunk of the science we have available as a species, I’m effectively making things up in terms of the machines, but who’s to say that in the future, some of what I’m making up doesn’t come to be? We’ve all seen the technology which was used in Star Trek which now exists in reality. Hyposprays and hand held communicators were the stuff of science fiction back in the early sixties but here we are in 2015 and almost everyone has a mobile phone and all those phobic of needles have an easier way to have a ‘jab’.

The number of inventions which have come about because people looked beyond where we are at any given moment in our history is gargantuan. In fact, it has to be all of them. Someone has always had to push the boundaries when it comes to what we all have in our daily lives.

Deep space travel is currently limited by many factors meaning we can only reach so far away from our planet, at least in person, and indeed our technology still hasn’t traveled that much further. But, five hundred years ago, the thought of supersonic air travel, in fact flight in general, was nothing more than science fiction, yet today we can easily jump on a plane and travel close to the speed of sound, through the thin air all the way up there without asphyxiating, freezing or just suffering death in general. What could we do in five hundred years time?

Another of Arthur C Clark’s laws is “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible,” and that just shows that everyone could make up the great idea which pushes the envelope. One idea from a story could be something which fires the mind of a particular person to actually build it.

The ideas in so many stories are so outlandish to many but you never know, there may be one little object or system which could be the vital part of advancing the human race, just nudging someone in the right direction to then do all the hard work. Having read my own story about space, it would be interesting if any of those things come true.