“Window-mode Wall Screens” Actually Exist

Throughout the This Corner of the Universe galaxy, ships and orbitals use wall screens that have two modes of operation. In one mode, the screens show information relevant to tasks at hand like tactical plots on military ships in the TCOTU series and Hero of the Republic, or space traffic data in control rooms in Chasing Blue Dots. In the other mode, called “window-mode,” the screens emulate windows and show the equivalent dynamic images of what is outside. In writing my books, I envisioned this as how residing and working in space is made both functional and livable.

I had no idea “window-mode screens” already exist, but recently I was watching aircraft videos on Youtube. (I got my pilot’s license back in college and I’ve always been interested in military and commercial aircraft.) Check out this YouTube video from Emirates Airline:

There are fully interior luxury cabins with “windows” that show a feed of the exterior view, as if the cabin were on the exterior wall of the plane. Here’s a still image of these “window-mode” screens:

Emirates airlines “virtual windows”

Of course, science fiction literature is full of imagined technology that eventually became real. Space travel itself, automatic doors, voice control, submarines, laser guns, and the like showed up first in science fiction before becoming part of our world. Window-mode wall screens are far simpler that most examples, but it was still fun to stumble across them in use today.

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Vampires in This Corner of the Universe?

I had occasion to re-read the first book in the This Corner of the Universe series recently, as it was selected as the monthly (June) indie read in a Goodreads group I follow to discover new books. About two-thirds through the book, it occurred to me I should probably cite the military reference to vampires used in the book. Here’s an example:

Fifteen seconds after Heskan’s caution, the call came. Time lag had worked against Anelace, allowing the first pair of missiles to cover over half the distance between them and come within 41ls before her crew was even aware of their launch. “Vampires!” cried Truesworth, using the archaic warning for incoming missiles. “They’re second-gen Interceptor-B types judging by the emissions and flight characteristics.” The stress in Truesworth’s voice was apparent.

In the military, a call of “VAMPIRE” is a shortcut used for any hostile anti-ship missile.

It’s one of many multiservice tactical brevity codes, meant to convey critical information quickly. “Vampire” doesn’t designate the specific type of missile (e.g., it can be coming from an air, submarine or surface launch). It’s just a fast way to get everyone on the bridge (and beyond) to focus on an immediate threat.

Posted in Military History | Tagged , , ,

The Smashwords July Summer/Winter Sale is On (with 2 TCOTU books too!)

Smashwords is a distribution platform used by many independent authors to spread their works, myself included.  Every July the site holds a “Summer/Winter Sale” that is not to miss.  For a full month, thousands of Smashwords authors and publishers will offer readers exclusive deep discounts on tens of thousands of ebooks. Discount levels are 25%-off, 50%-off, 75%-off and 100%-off (FREE).

This year I’ve enrolled two of my books, which happen to be the earliest and latest books I’ve written.  Below are the links to This Corner of the Universe and Chasing Blue Dots on the Smashwords site.  Happy Reading!

A mysterious woman throws an intense space traffic controller off balance, but it just may be what he needs to get to happily ever after.

50% off with coupon code for July on Smashwords!



Alone in the Skathi system with an unseen enemy, Captain Heskan’s first command could be his last.

FREE with coupon code for July on Smashwords!


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