These days, when I awake in the middle of the night after barely a few hours of sleep, I let myself stay in the moment for a bit.

Whilst the world is still dark, and my mind slightly groggy, I can almost believe that everything is normal.

For those few blissful moments, it’s like the nightmares aren’t real.



Five years before the completion of the first commercial deep space warp-travel system, surface photographs of a distant dwarf planet designated for future colonisation, came back.

There was no mistaking: it was a small city. And, from the looks of it, human.

The surprise and shock of that discovery led to several serious questions:

  • Who were they? Human? Alien?
  • If human, how did they get there?
  • And most curiously, why did they let us take so many photographs and leave? The presence of our probe should have stuck out like a beacon of light in a sea of darkness.

Curiosity turned to obsession, and unsurprisingly, suspicion.

What if they were hostile?



A loss is most painful when something was once yours. But the reality of it is everything is on loan, and we live on borrowed time.



Zandelf burst into the room, equipment hanging from his shoulders, shoes muddy and scuffed. His entrance brought with it a surge of energy and excitement, along with the faint smell of damp vegetation and something earthy. He flashed his wife a wide grin and her heart skipped a beat, like it did ten long years ago when they first met.

Carefully, the cameras, tripod and bags of who-knows-what were deposited at their respective storage spaces. Tossing his hat onto his desk, Zandelf pulled his wife in for a big, sweaty hug.

“Oh God, no!!!” she screamed and half-heartedly fought back. He loosened his grip and she tiptoed to kiss him on the cheek.

“Good? Excellent? Am i right?”

That grin again, and he all but bellowed, “MAGNIFICENT!”

He started pacing, her cue to grab a seat; he was in high spirits and could go on for nearly an hour.

“So the last time we only caught a glimpse of the family, but today we got lucky. They were out in the sun and we had the perfect vantage point. Chris did a good job with his scouting and all, by the way. And we had our hypotheses about their dynamics and hunting styles, but boy were we in for a treat. Everything was so… So complete, so beautiful. All those pieces came together perfectly. I just…”

His chin started to tremble, and a fat tear rolled down his left cheek.

“Honey, it was all so beautiful. Perfect. Everything falls into place somehow. I got to see it. We saw it all.”

By now the tears were flowing freely and he kept shaking his head. Rina felt it too; she got up and they embraced again.

“It’s so beautiful… so beautiful…” he kept whispering.

She understood. And her eyes were wet too, because she knew what it felt like to observe nature with open eyes and heart, and be overwhelmed by the unimaginable harmony and magic of it all.



I agree it’s nice to want to make something affordable or cheap so it is within reach of the masses.

But when it comes to serious self improvement, something that takes discipline, or quality work, then forget about accessibility.

To understand why, ask yourself this: does the average person in your community strive to become more than average?

If the answer is no, then don’t hold yourself back from pricing your work according to its value. It’s worth something, is well made, and you believe in it…

…so let the price reflect it.



If a person reaches the conclusion that the whole world is messed up, then he must realize that it is in fact him who is messed up.



He was dangerously close to giving up. The only thing that kept him going was the cost he had suffered to obtain the tools and materials: 5000 credit… And his left leg.

Buckets and buckets of plasteel chips sat around his room, as Eazon Grail found himself obsessed, yet again down some rabbit hole. This time it was dual-state substrates, which definitely existed, but whose synthesis was still much too complex and drawn out.

As his droid rolled in with a globule of Nutrient Mix, Eazon slammed a first into his generator, sending black sparks flying. He meant to take a walk to cool his nerves, but the cheap prosthesis he had buckled and sent him sprawling. As he lay on the ground, it twisted and flailed awkwardly, causing him a curious mixture of anger, pain, and comic relief.

The droid made a clucking noise and approached to help, but was frozen in the spot by a firm gesture from Eazon.

“No, don’t, I got this,” he said mostly to himself. The droid clicked its understanding and watched him silently.



However many times you witness an imploding extraction, your mind never wraps itself around it. To see a human being compress and disappear before your very eyes is apparently worse than the sight of a most gruesome execution.

It’s not the gore; there’s none of that. Rather, the bending of the unbendable and the warping of all familiar measures of a man.

To be frank though, the experience of going through and imploding extraction is rather mild in comparison.

First, your vision rapidly fades to black, as though you were losing consciousness. And immediately after you ‘wake up’ without the attendant groggyness nor loss of bearing that sometimes occurs post-sleep.

There is a slight plunging sensation in your belly, almost like you were falling, but it is really quite tolerable.

And immediately after, you are able to resume walking, talking and acting as you were.

Contrary to popular belief, imploding extractions are actually used exclusively by the military because of the high energy efficiency and rate of success. It is, in fact, much safer than phase travel, which the public uses occasionally. It really is the witnessing of it that repulsed the common man so forcefully.

Maybe generations later, when people have forgotten what imploding looks like, will a covered implo-ex booth finally be used without severe protest.



Words must be felt, both when writing and reading. That is how you craft a piece that reaches into the heart of your reader; a connection from soul to soul.

Do it right and your words will do more than express your thoughts and emotions; they will be a snapshot of your soul at that moment when you were sat, engaged in an outwardly unimpressive task… But the hidden reality is magical beyond comprehension. After all, don’t the results speak for themselves?



Someday you will grow up and realize that all the stories and fables, fantasies and dreams that you held onto as a child, are as distant as the stars that dot the night sky.

But what you must then do is overcome your disappointment, and craft your own reality. Find a way to get to the depths of the cosmos, because it can be done.

Make real those seemingly-impossible ideas, or resign yourself to a mundane and pale existence like so many others have.