Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Watch The Signs! Watch The Signs!

"A book of pub signs? That's nice. A well illustrated book of pub-signs linked by Mythology, Fantasy and SF, by a poet who knows his genres and history. That's petty damn COOL!  Nice cover too!”   Smuzz - Science fiction book and magazine illustrator.http://www.smuzz.org.uk/
That's the verdict on my cover work for the new book by Arthur Chappell. It's called "Watch The Signs! Watch The Signs!" and you can get a copy over at Shoreline of Infinity.

Arthur has spent many years collecting images of pub signs inspired by science fiction and fantasy and the best of these are presented in this lovely book. If you like pubs and you like sci fi, this one is definitely for you and it has a brilliant cover.

Monday, 1 April 2019

Book Of The Month - Rossum's Universal Robots

It's the first Monday in April and we're starting a new feature here on the Space Pilot Blog. Each month, on the first Monday, I'll post an eBook here that we can all read together over the following weeks. It will be a public domain story that you can share with your friends and be an early example of a popular Science Fiction trope.
Over the Summer, I'll post a few lunar voyages as we commemorate 50 years since the first people walked on the Moon, but this month we have the first ever story about robots.
"Rossum's Universal Robots" is a play by Karel ─łapek, which was written in 1921. So, be warned, that there are attitudes that were common in that era between the world wars that are unacceptable now. The description of Mr Busman jars with my sensibilities every time I see it. However, this story is an important part of science fiction history, and it addresses a number of social issues of its day through the science fiction concept of a company that makes artificial people.
Click on this link to download an ePub version of the book.
 If you don't have a reader for ePub files, never fear. Linux users probably have FBReader in their distribution but you can also get it here, where it is available for just about every computer system, phone and other device too. Also, there is an Adobe reader for Windows, Mac, IOS devices and Android called Digital Editions that you can get here. iPad users can read the file in iBooks.
I hope enough readers will visit this post and read the book, so that our comments feed can help us explore this area of science fiction. So don't be shy. Share this with your friends and make some comments below. And maybe I'll post some illustrations there too.

The Book of the Month comes to you with the invaluable assistance of  Project Gutenberg. You can read the eBook with FBReader on just about anything.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Things To Come - Movie Night

Space Pilot Comics brings you movie night in its new schedule of the last Thursday of every month. I have to draw the comics sometime. 

Tonight's SF movie is Things to Come, a great H G Wells story making a classic motion picture.



TRIVIA: This movie was a collaboration between a great director, Alexander Korda, and a great science fiction author, H G Wells. Name another classic sf movie created by such a collaboration.

Movie Night comes with the assistance of archive.org.

Monday, 25 March 2019

How Did We Pass The Test?

Chocolate Fudge CakeThis chocolate fudge cake was huge! Half of the cake slice looked like a whole one on its own. It tasted yummy with a great, oozy sauce. The ice-cream was delicious - very creamy and vaguely vanilla.
I would give this warm chocolate fudge cake 6/10
[Life According To Lucy, blog post]
Lucy TonerYesterday was the sixth anniversary of the death of my daughter, Lucy. My wife and I went out and bought chocolate. My son and his girlfriend went out for a sunny day in the park and a nice meal. We all met up at the end of the day by video-link for a good family chat.

These were all good Lucy things to do and in a way brought us closer to her.

At this time I've been reading a series of books that Lucy particularly enjoyed. These are Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching books about a young girl in the Discworld discovering the secret empowerment that her granny had had and that she was in the process of inheriting. I can see why Lucy enjoyed these as Tiffany is very like her - clever, talented and a girl finding her own viewpoint in a skewed world. The witches of the Discworld are used as an example and a warning to us in the way we bring our children up with stories in which strong women are always evil and the good ones need a handsome prince to rescue them.

Anyway, here is a wee quote from Terry Pratchett that means a lot for now.
'The thing about witchcraft,' said Mistress Weatherwax, 'is that it's not like school at all. First you get the test, and then afterwards you spend years findin' out how you passed it. It's a bit like life in that respect.'
[The Wee Free Men]
I wonder today how we passed the test of losing Lucy, how we even survived that. This is a lesson that life is still teaching me.

Now I'm thinking that, somewhere in the Multiverse, Lucy and Terry are enjoying a storytellers' afterlife entertaining each other with wild stories that carry a lot of meaning.

R.I.P. Lucy Toner and Terry Pratchett.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Learn to Draw a Comic with Space Pilot


Tomorrow is the big day. We are taking over room 2 at The Stove in Dumfries High Street and making it into a comic and illustration factory.

You can sign up on our Facebook Event.

Here's the blurb.

A spin-off from last year's Drawing Stories. We're trying it out as a one day event which might suit the folk who can't commit to a full run of evening classes.
Taught by Mark Toner and Steve Pickering, illustrators from Shoreline of Infinity magazine, this day workshop will cover basic drawing skills where needed and aims to have all participants creating a fully illustrated work by the end of the day.
It runs from 10am to 4.30pm, costs £38 and it would help us if you'd sign up here to give us an idea of numbers. Under 16s must be accompanied by a supervising adult (or why not take the course too?).