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Concept art for The Glimpse

This was a sudden inspiration. I did a sketch one day, and then I thought, as much as I want to leave this one to the reader, the image of the tuxedo and the rifle just stuck, and I went ahead and painted it. This is the primary protagonist, Alton Ely. A scanned pencil sketch painted with a Wacom tablet.

This is the concept sketch for the rifle Alton is holding in the fist image. It's a hybrid caseless assault rifle, using a conventional propellant to fire a saboted dart into magnetic rail acceleration, quite like the 'Chemrail' from Elysium. If you've seen that movie, the effects of such a rifle are very dramatically and realistically displayed. Basically, you don't want to get in front of this sort of thing. The hybrid design solves a whole host of the engineering hurdles that arise when you try to produce a manportable railgun. The biggest problem with today's chemical propellants is that the muzzle velocities reach a hard limit. Since magnetic acceleration is frictionless, it has the potential to increase those velocities by a huge margin. In this case, you fire a magnetic round with chemical propellant (but no brass casing, like the HK G11) into the second stage, which consists, essentially, of a pair of magnets which use a massive current to accelerate it to an even higher velocity.

It's all pretty macabre, but when you're writing novels sometimes you have to get that way.

My awesome sub-$500 HD Camera Setup

On DROdio

I've been using the Kodak Zi8 camera for several years now, and it's been a workhorse of my ability to capture content.  I originally reviewed the Zi6, and then reviewed the Zi8 more recently on this blog, and I also did a post on using a wide-angle lens with the Zi6 or Zi8.

But recently, I gave a speech at TJHSST and the Zi8 failed to record the video correctly, so I decided it was time to revisit my setup, since capturing content is so important to me (as per our company manifesto points #13 and #19).

The price of the Zi8 camera has come down so much since its launch (from above $200 to under $100 now) that I decided to use the following strategy:

Here's a video of the entire setup, with pics below that:

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