June 25th, 2007

star-forming nebula

Astro-image of the day: the Grand Design galaxy

The sharpest image ever taken of the large "grand design" spiral galaxy M81:

Click the image for the full story or to download a massive, 75-megabyte image.

This is one of the first galaxies I ever observed with my Crown Optics 6" f/8 Newtonian reflector on its German equatorial mount, back in about 1983. Though it was breathtaking to see with my own eyes, to find with my own instrument and my own hands, it was not nearly so gorgeous as in this photo.

If you have a fast connection, do take a look at the amazing downloadable image. Now, off to dinner with the Workshoppers!


new story going into a RUINS anthology

Okay, ericreynolds has given the okay to announce it:

The story I just sold is "The Empty Utopia," and it's going into one of the RUINS anthologies to be published by Hadley Rille Books later this summer.

Because it takes place mostly on Earth but a little offworld, too, it might go into either of the books. We'll have to see! Here are the covers:

Ruins Terrestrial cover art copyright (c) by Bob Eggleton, used with permission.
Ruins Extraterrestrial cover art copyright (c) by Guillaume Le Tual, used with permission.
Cover designs copyright (c) by Hadley Rille Books.

An interesting note about synchronicity: I wrote the basis for this story for Jim Gunn's SF Writers Workshop several years ago, but it didn't quite work then and I set it aside. I revised it a few years ago, but it was still missing something. Then I heeded Eric's call for submissions a few months back and dove back into the story. It now bears very little resemblance to the original except for the basic idea and about a quarter of the words. Now (apparently) it works, and I find out it'll be published while I'm co-teaching the SF Writers Workshop with Jim.

The wheel, it keeps on turnin'.