Wednesday, January 06, 2010


The Green Flash

The start of another year. But does time really go round in a loop every twelve months? The path of the Earth through space isn't a circle but a much more complex shape, a shape I can't even visualise... No matter! Hangover free, we spent all of New Year's Day outdoors, rising before dawn to greet the sunrise on the beach. The night before, we had been privileged to witness a blue moon and a partial lunar eclipse, while sky lanterns passed overhead; when we reached the beach, this moon was setting and the sun came up at almost the same moment. We lit a celebratory fire with frosty driftwood, then went walking in the Gower. The sky remained cloudless and wind speed was close to zero. Fabulous!

The sunset was especially good, directly into the calm sea with little atmospheric distortion. Because the view was so clear I was treated to the relatively rare phenomenon known as the green flash. For years I've wanted to witness this sight and I regard it as a good omen for 2010. Soon I intend to make a reconstruction of the event. Then I'll photograph it and post the image here. In the meantime, apropos of nothing, here's a badly drawn monster -- a bicyclops. His single eye is a headlamp!

Jules Verne wrote a novel about the green flash. I mention this because Verne is one of the influences on a novella I've just started writing. Other influences include a host of pulp writers from the early decades of the 20th century, such half-forgotten names as Henry Hasse, Capt. S.P. Meek, Charles R. Tanner, Neil R. Jones, Ray Cummings... My novella is entitled The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange and features telepathic steampunk dinosaurs, debonnair werewolves, macrobiotic vampires, clockwork robots, zombie scholars, hippie Nazis (HIPZIS) and three planets on collision course with Earth -- Bronson Alpha, Bronson Bravo, and Bronson Charlie (which makes a sound like a harmonica when it grazes our magnetosphere).

I knew you'd turn to mainstream writing in the end!
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