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Torline Valanhavhi

June 2017



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Jun. 23rd, 2017



Second reminder -- I'm posting beta stuff on Dreamwidth now!

... so don't look for it on LJ. If you haven't joined https://rykspoor-beta.dreamwidth.org/ and started following it, now's the time.

May. 1st, 2017



A reminder...

... I've started posting everything on rykspoor_beta on DREAMWIDTH now; I am no longer using the Livejournal communities or main journal. If you haven't moved over to Dreamwidth, now's the time at least for anyone who still wants to be part of the beta-reading!

Mar. 30th, 2017



My LUNACON Schedule!

I'm also going to be at Lunacon -- next week -- and here's my schedule for that!

Signing (~7:30? Not sure of location)
8PM: Meet the Pros
10PM: (Duchess Room) I do a READING!

10AM: (Hudson) The Plausible Impossible (how you worldbuild and write to make readers accept stuff that's ridiculously impossible)
11AM: (Grand Ballroom D): GODZILLA- Returns and Returns and Returns
Noon: (Grand Ballroom A): Religion, Magic, and the Occult in Anime
1PM: (Grand Ballroom G): The Allure of Sherlock Holmes
4PM: (Grand Ballroom G): World Building, Interactive VS Narrative (literature VS film VS videogame VS tabletop game)
7PM: (Sleepy Hollow) Children are Afraid of Monsters (writing monstrous beings)



My ALBACON Schedule!

I'll be at Albacon Friday and Saturday! Here's my Schedule!


10AM (Troy Room) Writer's Workshop: What publishers -- and readers -- want
1PM: (Troy Room) Writer's Workshop: Writing Techniques -- revising, editing, outlining
2PM: (Troy Room) Writer's Workshop: Self Publishing VS Traditional
4PM: (Troy Room) Writer's Workshop: Critiquing Panel
8PM: (Colonie Room) Ice Cream Social
9PM: (Latham Room) Art Show Reception
10PM: (Troy Room) Improv Storytelling Panel


11:30AM (Hotel Bar) I do a READING!
Noon: (Troy Room) We're Off To See L. Frank Baum!
3PM: (Troy Room) Games into fiction; Fiction into games
4PM: (Lobby) Signing
6PM: (Troy Room) The Most Influential Games of All Time

Sep. 21st, 2016



Hey, has anyone heard from...

... Brett tamahori? The most recent message in LJ I can see from him is from 2013. I don't find anything saying he was going to be away. The most recent post on his LJ was also from 2013 about the death of his grandmother, but nothing there implied he was vanishing. I've been missing his input but didn't realize it was so long since he'd posted.

Nov. 13th, 2015



If any of you are so inclined...

... consider helping out Lunacon, which needs some support to get re-started.

If you don't recall, Lunacon gave me my first (and thus far only) Guest of Honor slot, and did so wonderfully. Lunacon is also one of the oldest conventions around and to see it die off would be a real tragedy for fandom.

Nov. 9th, 2015



The French cover...

... for Grand Central Arena is here, from publisher L'Atalante!


No chapter today...

WFC took out both Thursday and Sunday as writing days.

Oct. 20th, 2015



C-fractional vessels...

... especially giant ark-type ships, have LUDICROUS power capabilities.

For something I'm working on with Eric, I have been trying to work out aspects of such a vessel. According to my calculations, such a vessel about 30km across with an average density of porous rock would, at 2% of lightspeed, have kinetic energy of something like 4x10^29 Joules. Even if it slowed down at an acceleration of 1/100th of a G, it would have to be putting out around 6.4x10^21 Watts -- or if I look up references right, about one hundred-thousandth as much as the output of the Sun!

Is there some site where I can put in various distances and determine how bright the thing would look from that distance, given size and energy output?

Aug. 18th, 2015

antenna girl


Maybe Boundary isn't as fictional as we thought


Jun. 15th, 2015



I'm back with Marisa...

... Corvisiero as my agent for all non-Baen work, just FYI!

Nov. 14th, 2014



The eARC for Castaway Planet...

Is now available! Of course, you guys already know the ending. :)

Aug. 15th, 2014



Challenges of the Deeps...

... is the working title for the now-contracted-for third Arenaverse novel!

Jul. 30th, 2014



Phoenix in Shadow cover!



Apr. 13th, 2014



Last Four hours of the Polychrome Kickstarter...

... is underway! Any of you thinking about supporting who haven't (probably none of you, I'd guess -- you jumped on early!) now is the time!

Here's the link!


Mar. 31st, 2014




... due to my illness, Kathy's operation, and the basement flood, I got nothing written this entire week.:(

Mar. 24th, 2014



Originally posted by kjn at Filk

This pushed itself into my head once I realised that the draft title of the sequel to Phonix Rising could be sung to the tune of Camptown Races.

Now, the sequel will have a different title, and the filk (with the exception of the first line) is a re-telling of chapters 4, 5, and 6 of Phoenix Rising, so the beginning is somewhat cryptic and nonsensical, not that it matters much.

[Demon Dragon Phoenix Toad]
Demon Dragon Phoenix Toad -- Poplock! Poplock!
Demon Voorith hits the road -- Jump! Poplock jump!
Enter dah cave of demonkind -- Poplock! Poplock!
Go back home wid all I find -- Jump! Poplock jump!

Goin' to hop all night,
Goin' to hop all day,
Find some essence and work some clock
Wid de demon on the way

De big mazakh and de demon ant -- Poplock! Poplock!
Pentagram and a horrid chant -- Jump! Poplock jump!
Bringin' de demon to our ground -- Poplock! Poplock!
Prowl da cave and look around -- Jump! Poplock jump!


Clocks and gears and springs and latch -- Poplock! Poplock!
Set the timer and hurry out -- Jump! Poplock jump!
Forgotten cracks to squeeze through -- Poplock! Poplock!
Waitin' for demon or de big boom -- Jump! Poplock jump!


Burnin' essence wid plenty o' heat -- Poplock! Poplock!
Cultist not knowing he's been beat -- Jump! Poplock jump!
Show my style wid a knife in da neck -- Poplock! Poplock!
Get a new name amidst de wreck -- Jump! Poplock jump!


Feel free to continue to share, adapt or perform it! But please leave a comment if you do so.

Mar. 19th, 2014



Just posted pics of Sun Wu Kung...

.. on the Media page for GCA. Take a look! These are done by Morineko-Zion, as were the others.

Mar. 14th, 2014

Commissioned sketch from Isabelle


The Kickstarter for Polychrome IS NOW LIVE!!!

All of you who wanted to see this become real... now's the time.

Here's the link!

Dec. 28th, 2013



LJ is not Emailing comments, just FYI...

... There were three comments on yesterday's post, and I wasn't notified of them. 

Nov. 5th, 2013



Spheres was released today...

... and my fourth The Big Idea column is up, this one talking about the writing of Spheres...

Jun. 12th, 2013



For those who may not be online elsewhere...

... tonight at 7PM Eastern time, I'll be interviewed by host Klarque Garrison on his show The Conversation!

Jun. 7th, 2013

antenna girl


Not toads but...


Apr. 15th, 2013

Sasameki Koto Anime


A Boundary-verse curiosity

I was re-reading Boundary and Threshold recently, and I noticed something.

Do we ever get a scene explaining why Jackie Secord left NASA and decided to go to work with AJ and the rest? I mean, in Boundary she was happy working with NASA and actually didn't seem as enamored with ARES project and so on. Tho admittedly she's getting a chief engineer promotion.

Mar. 21st, 2013



Forthcoming Interview!!!

I'm going to be interviewed by Klarque Garrison on his call-in show "The Conversation" on Sunday, April 21st at 4pm!

Call-in number is (917) 932-1078; the show's web link is www.conversationswithklarque.com .

I'm very much looking forward to this!

Mar. 20th, 2013



For anyone who happens across this community...

... in case you wonder about it, this is a fairly active community, but as it's beta-reading stuff I'm writing -- and thus which is not yet published and may not even be ready for publication -- virtually all posts are locked so that only someone who's joined the list can see it. If you're interested in being a beta reader, you can always request to join!

Oct. 30th, 2012



Shana, you okay?

We didn't get much up here but I see what happened in NYC and NJ.

Aug. 22nd, 2012


Demons of the Past (1)

Subtext for cover page.

My suggestion

Demons had closed the source of magic.
Thousands of years later, they still haven't won

Aug. 18th, 2012

Sasameki Koto Anime


TV Tropes?

While much, MUCH less important than Wikipedia, there is a TV Tropes page for our fave author too.


Anyone wanna expand on it?

Aug. 13th, 2012


Hey, Ryk's Fans. Please

get involved in the Wikipedia thread.

We get more out of his beta forum than he does. Time to pay forward.



Aug. 7th, 2012


Fall of Saints - Pheonix Rising

Just for newbies as I was a few scant weeks ago.  This will appear as the top entry in Fall of Saints.

Ryk wrote Fall of Saints between Feb and Oct 2009.

It was submitted to Baen Books and accepted subject to some changes.

Name change: Phoenix Rising.

Presentation changes.  To Quote Ryk -
http://rykspoor-beta.livejournal.com/tag/phoenix%20rising at bottom:
  • Some revisions were requested by Baen when they accepted Fall of Saints and renamed it Phoenix Rising. So I'm posting the revised version in chunks.
  • As you can see, there are several minor but significant changes here. First, the Saints are now the Justiciars (and the former Justiciars are now the Adjudicators). Michael is now Rion, which derives both partially from MyRIONar and also from the Ancient Sauran R'ion which is an old name meaning Lord of Stars. Both of these changes are due to a request that I tone down or remove material that would seem obviously Judeo-Christian in origin (given that a large proportion of the Baen readership are from areas which take Christianity seriously, and sometimes without much humor). In later books I won't be able to avoid the parallels, but for now I can handle it.

    The major change, of course, is that we've whacked out a huge honking chunk of text right at the beginning and got us much farther along.
It's interesting to read both and see the changes, particularly if you are doing so to learn the sorts of comments Ryk seeks.

Of course, Phoenix Rising is now a published work at Baen Books, so don't forget to go there and buy a copy :-) .


After Portal

From http://www.ericflint.net/index.php/forthcoming/

Portal, with Ryk Spook. This is the third and last book of the Bemmie trilogy, and is the sequel to Threshold. There will be no more books in this series, but Ryk and I are planning to use the setting for novels set a couple of centuries or so after the events depicted in Boundary, Threshold and Portal. We have a contract with Baen for two novels in that setting. The first of them will essentially be an SF retelling of Swiss Family Robinson.

Any idea when we may be seeing beta snippets?

More Spoor. More Flint YEAH



Aug. 1st, 2012



I'm sorry Ryk, but after three chapters its already hitting my "Oh Christ, this is crap" button.

Arena et al are Doc Smith and similar written in modern form.

You are being congratulated for writing Polychrome in the original 1940's form.  I tried to read the stuff in the 1950's, but had a Y chromosome.

I'm sorry, but just as I couldn't stand the original, your modern story gloss adheres too much to the "gurly" story origins. I will continue as I can, but would never purchase it.




Appropos of nothing: Avoiding back pain

Another author who's site I devour mentioned today he had back pain.

Having been an ergonomics lecturer for 35 years, I thought I would bring my advice to him here as well. The more people whom I can get to understand the oxygenation factor in muscle use, the more people I save from back pain.

If this is a nuisance to you, I apologise, just move on the the next message.

As posted to Dave Freer, Dr Monkey:
Susie loves my ancient computer chair, it squeaks, moans, groans, dislikes being moved, bounces to maximum height at every opportunity, whines as its forced back to correct height. Susie says as long as she hears the chair, no matter if she's asleep, she knows exactly where I am.

One of the major causes of back pain for people who spend a lot of time in front of their computer is the swivel pickup. As an ergonomics lecturer for each of my employers (sequentially), I got to demonstrate what people do wrong. And suffered the back pain I was trying to teach people to avoid. I was the stable income for several chiropractors in various towns and States.

Picking something off the floor without first turning to face it is treating your spine as if you are an anaconda. Yes, I know you climb cliffs, in which case your are oxygen infused and have a high transfer rate (ie pulse) due to effort.

Sitting in a chair for hours your oxygen transfer rate lowers, your muscles become largely lax except for the lower spine. Write an "Incident Diary" for two weeks. You will be astonished how many times you twist yourself in your chair to pick up something from your desk, and especially from the floor.

What's so special about the floor, well that's when you use muscles that are low oxygen to twist in multiple angles simultaneously, and the lower back receives a multitude of unexpected tugging, and instead of flexing your muscles it flexes your spinal chord. Thereby "Ouch".

If something is on the floor, move your chair out from the desk then aim your body directly towards the object. Follow the rules of heavy lifting, for even a paperclip requires use of the lower back lifting muscles, which are not energised and flexible at the time. Remember, you are not just lifting the paperclip, you are lifting your body.

If you want something on your desk that is out of reach without leaning forward, move back, stand up, face the object and then lean forward. The act of standing up will have started reoxygenation of the muscles and no spinal twist will be involved.

regards, Ian


Demons of the Past: Retribution

When may we see some more chapters. Most eagerly awaited.

I asked earlier and you responded, but as it was within the Demons message tree most would probably not have seen it. For all Ryk fans, what is the status of sale of the series?



Jul. 30th, 2012


Arena 3

Hy Ryk, just some issues you might think about (or already have answers for)

1) I assume by the time she returns, Mentor and Ariane will have set a communications schedule and encryption scheme.  How is Ariane to know whether or not Mentor has been taken over by any one or all of the three rogues?  ANY agreed signatures will have been read from Mentor's memory by the rogue.

Suggestion: a human must cosign any message from Earth. Its still subject to suborning, but better than nothing.

2) The human propensity to take long odds sort of got lost in book two. Yet it was the basis of book 1. NEED MORE ACTION.

3) The Faith and the Shadeweavers are going to be astonished that Ariane could override their binding in any way.  PLEASE, let this be just the start of a progression of power, because both of those groups have really NOT been faithful to our protagonists, and need a clear kick up the arse.

4) We've been infodumped (tm) that there are a limited number of "persons" who can be enabled to use the Arena's facilities in full form.  We've been similarly "infodumped" (hey, I LIKE infodumps) that behind the arena are a bunch of beings, good and bad, each's state being measured by YOUR point of view. Let Ariane negotiate with the background and get additional earthlings enabled, and to teach them more about use. 

Lets face it, Arisians were the ultimate fascists. Eddorians were the ultimate sadists.  If either had stopped to think, they'd never have been in a disagreement, they just had to work out the distribution of "subjects".  Lensman were SS, follow my ideal or die.

At this stage, we KNOW the number of places for "Arena Enabled" wasn't full, that's how Ariane became one.

The Faith and the Shadeweavers don't grab an available spot immediately. They have rituals to go through.  Ariane knows that if she just spills a drop of her blood on another person and they say the words, she can STEAL any available slot.  Do it twice a day, keeping a vial of Ariane's blood in the fridge.  A few centuries go past, there will be no one other than earth humans able to use the Arena Powers.

Give a vial to Orphan. Confuse everyone.

enough for now, back tomorrow.




Found it.

Empty Spheres

    Ryk, I'm puzzled.

    If necessary, I'll go back through both books to find the references, but first I'm hoping they are still in your memory.

    1) I thought the only individual who could keep a sphere without having a thinking member of the sect/faction/what you will in it secure was Orphan.

    2) So, Orphan's sphere was secure without him in it, because he was the sum total of his faction.

    3) Orphan is No Longer the sole member of his faction, so he or his co-orphan must now occupy the inner sphere to maintain their rights.

    4) so what's_'is_name, the new member couldn't be at the meeting/celebration. He'd have to be occupying the sphere.


    a) Now Ariane has given them another sphere. How do they protect it? The implication of the way the giving of a sphere by Ariane to Orphan read as if it was their first sphere. It isn't, it's their second. Two people, three sphere's, need to see the Arena's rules on that one.


    Now we get to the real question.

    i) How do the humans find their new spheres?

    ii) How much time do they have to get people into their new spheres?

    iii) How long do the givers of the sphere's have to vacate?

    iv) How much leeway for the humans to set up protection of the outer spheres? How long does it take for the environmental changes to take place should any be needed.

    v) What happens to a new emergent race if their outer sphere is already occupied? Tough shit?

    Then theres the Minds

    ~) Of what use is an additional sphere to that faction? Orphan has already proven that give their slaves a planet of their own, they become independent.

    @) A Mind copy could of course be carried inert to the new sphere, but the minds on the origin planet could not trust that mind to not go its own way.

    So why do they have thousands of spheres? They cannot use them. Anyone, mechanical mind or biological cannot be trusted in an open growth situation.


I just made a post. I'm wondering where it went. {no text}


Jul. 23rd, 2012


Spheres of Inluence.

Hi Ryk,

Two posts you may have missed.

http://rykspoor-beta.livejournal.com/240875.html  draft 2 chapter 53

http://rykspoor-beta.livejournal.com/241058.html  draft 2 chapter 54

It is very rare for me to suggest shortening a book, but in this case I just feel your final denouement would serve better as the opening for book two.

Eagerly awaiting your response.



An aside to the person who corrected my spelling of "embarrass". Thanks.  I was wrong and the spell checker was wrong.  As we Australians say, "bugger".  :-) :-)

Jul. 22nd, 2012


Assistance with LJ please

Hi all.

Newbe questions. 

Is it possible to select all posts you made to see what replies you've received?

Is it possible to select all posts since a certain date?

I received a response from Ryk via LJ in my email today.  It wasn't until I was searching through a book trying to find the point which I wished to bring to his attention that I realised that when I stayed up late last night to finish the gleaming tome, that I'd made quite a few posts (thank gosh, none embarassed me :-) ).  {Bloody American spell checkers, "embarass" has two "s's". It is not Em Ba Rased. Ptui}

I used the search engine at top right, which reported only one post, which wasn't even the one on Ryk's home page here. So, that's useless.

Is it possible to make a copy of a post go to your own LJ inbox at the same time as it goes to the other person's site?



(Very much enjoying Phoenix Rising at the moment.)
(As its too late for any comments I might make to matter, I'm just luxuriating in the story. Very BIG smile.)

Jul. 16th, 2012


Your site structure.

Sorry {Rike) Ryk {A self reminder}

I've got some suggestions for your site structure.  Obviously, others are too pleased to be able to help you to consider annoying you. Having been a systems developer for some decades, I cannot resist suggesting improvements. If I annoy you, and you cut me off, well fair's fair and no offense will be felt. But, do email me and tell me, please.

The site has no book structure.  I cannot find where to start.  NNTP structure, as copied by Baen's Bar (at Last) is a minimum.  But still doesn't reveal enough information.

Past projects
  thread 1
    thread 1.1
      lets new members read the development of a chapter or a book, so they may know what you wish and what you don't

Current projects
    Book A
      Ch3 as written
        first updated
        second updated
        as I'm working on.

I'm sure you can see the systems analyst viewpoint of what I'm saying.  Highlight in a different colour those items you presently wish considered.  A few defined colours gives you total control of the areas of your writings in development you wish to have attention at this time.

As a newbe, I haven't the vaguesed idea which of your files I should examine, and there is no structure I can follow to read earlier points.

Sorry. But If I'm going to help you, I must start at the beginning and work to the end, then not stop, because that end will be the door to the next future.

Grouchy Aussie, who very much enjoys your works, has historically improved people's lives, is nuts, but cannot stop trying.


Ian Clark
Gladstone QLD

Mar. 5th, 2012



I am now...

... officially into novel territory with Stuff of Legend. Well over 40,000 words now.

Apr. 13th, 2011



Welcome to new members...

We've had a few new people join the beta list in the past few weeks, so welcome to you all. There's a lot of stuff that's been previously posted here -- the beta list goes back several years. Feel free to read and comment on any of it.

The only requirement of being a beta reader here is that you *are* expected to comment to some extent on at least some reasonable number of the posted chapters and such; that's the utility and reason for my posting this stuff as I write it, to get reactions from readers before things get set in stone. I periodically go through and prune people who are inactive from the list, and the last time the pruning was something like 3/4 of those who had signed up originally.

Feb. 22nd, 2011



Ping to the Kiwis on my list...

... of which I know there's at least one and maybe more, you okay?

Sep. 8th, 2009

Arrival HKF


(no subject)

For those who don't follow my regular LJ, I am currently in the hospital with diverticulitis. Here until tomorrow at least.

Jun. 29th, 2009

Battle Janus


Rykspoor_Beta member list HAS BEEN PRUNED!

Now that a couple of months have gone by since I asked all those who were in the list to post or be dropped, I have now actually performed the pruning. I cut out everyone who did not post to that thread, with a couple of exceptions for people I knew were active on the list.

YOU CAN ALWAYS GET BACK ON THE LIST by emailing me. I will probably prune the list of inactive people every couple of years.

This pruning cut me down from about 160-200 people to less than 40, just FYI. So of people who initially volunteered to be part of this beta-reading activity, about 1 in 4 or 5 stuck with it. This may be a useful datum for those looking for beta readers of their own.

And again as a reminder to both those still on, and anyone interested in being on it, my requirements aren't very onerous; just comment on what you're reading at some reasonable frequency. You don't have to respond to every posted snippet, or even to every second or third. And many of the comments don't have to say much; you can say "I had no problems" or "I agree with XXXXX's comments", and that's it. For me, the value comes from knowing people are reading it, and from getting some idea of whether what I'm writing is having the effect I want -- which means that sometimes it IS a good thing for you to repeat the same comments others have made, because it reinforces that reaction.

May. 10th, 2009


Oz books on Project Gutenberg

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/55
The Marvelous Land of Oz http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/54
Ozma of Oz http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/486
Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/420
The Road to Oz http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/485
The Emerald City of Oz http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/517
The Patchwork Girl of Oz http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/955
Tik-Tok of Oz http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/956
The Scarecrow of Oz http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/957
Rinkitink in Oz http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/25581
The Lost Princess of Oz http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/24459
The Tin Woodman of Oz http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/960
The Magic of Oz http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/419
Glinda of Oz http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/961

In case anyone wants background for Polychrome.

[Edited to correct URL for The Lost Princess of Oz.]

Apr. 10th, 2009



Been on vacation...

... since Saturday, in Florida. This has meant spotty internet access and, despite my best intentions, very little writing for various reasons.

So, alas, I think I'm going to have to go with Poplock for PSTPW day. I may start working on the Jason Wood story off and on, though, as I'd like to accumulate enough for a book.

Mar. 12th, 2009

Battle Janus


PRUNING the Beta-Reading List! Read AND RESPOND.

Hi, all --

As the point of this community is the beta-reading, noodling, critiquing, etc., of my material which is not yet released or in a finished state, it is fairly important to me that the majority of the members are at least somewhat participatory.

Currently, I have listed over 130 members of rykspoor_beta, and of those I think that a large number have NEVER commented at all, and perhaps 20, total, have posted with reasonable frequency.


Yes, there are several people out there who respond so regularly that I wouldn't delete them even if, somehow, they failed to respond to this. Most of those probably know who they are without even asking. But it's probably wisest to respond in case I have a brainfart when I go through the list and start jumpin' up an' down a-yellin' kill... kill...KILL...

I really don't require, or even ask, that you respond to every single post. But when I have 130+ people in what is a private, invite-only list, and the average post gets between 3 and 5 people responding, this indicates that MOST of the people simply aren't participating. And as I said whenever I let people join, the fee for being here and seeing the process of my working things out is to participate to some extent.

Jan. 25th, 2009




...4,000 words written today!

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