Essays and Short Stories
(by Patrick Gliddon)
What do we want from Weblogs?
Welcome to my collection of essays and short stories. These are of a number of things I've written over the recent years, and they'll be added to fairly regularly. Just to emphasise the fact, everything here is Copyright 1999 Adrian Hon, and if you want to reproduce or link to anything, email me first.
Regularly updated serials
|The Adventures of Adrian Hon, Rogue Train Traveller
|What a Wonderful World (29/1/00)
But maybe one day, I hope everyone will be able to understand each other. Until that day, though...
|A Future History (20/1/00)
I thought it might make a nice change to write something optimistic about Mars for once, unlike Stars in the Sky, and my upcoming short story (which I have very high hopes for), Deterministic.
You'll notice though that all three short stories are set in the same universe, if only because they name the same settlements and refer to the same disasters.
(As it turns out, someone had forwarded the editor Stars in the Sky, which I quickly revamped for the magazine)
Related: A Future History Artwork
|The Adventures of Adrian Hon, Rogue Train Traveller (10/1/00 :: 10/1/00)
|Electronic Permanence (17/1/00)
Ever wondered why the hell computers could be less stressful to use? Like, when you change a document, and save it, and then realise to your horror that you just deleted 5 pages and overwrote the original copy? Well, here's a possible solution.
|Stars in the Sky (1998 :: 12/1/00)
I wrote this because I understand that there are many reasons why we shouldn't go to Mars, and even if we do, we aren't going to automatically make a utopia.
I believe that New Mars (online web magazine) is publishing this story around now.
|Harry Potter and the Rabid Fundamentalists (31/12/99)
Why I think a little bit of evil doesn't do anyone harm.
Obviously, we all discounted this ridiculously unlikely event. After all, what are the chances of your average Joe of going out with Britney Spears?
Months later, listening to MTV, the question comes back to me. What are the chances, indeed? In the following essay, I have endeavoured to use strict statistical techniques to determine the true probability of a randomly chosen guy (OK, not so random) of going out with Britney Spears.
|A Newbie in Netrekland (25/10/99)
Who's right? Who's wrong? How can Netrek survive into the next millenium? To seek out the answers to these fundamental questions, to go and have some fun Netrekking, and to boldly go where no Newbie has gone before, I have entered the mysterious world of Netrek.
As well as trying to find out why Netrek is dying, I aim to provide a good guide to other newbies aiming to play this game, so they can take heart in that another newbie made it, eventually. Maybe they can avoid the same mistakes I made, as well.
Now that I've posted it to the mailing list, I'm expected to sing it in the Brin-L fifth anniversary party in 2001 along with a piano accompanient. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to write it after all...
Stop Press: On 26/8/99, His Ferocious Majesty, the Pirate King, David Brin himself, the author of the Hugo and Nebula award winning Uplift series anointed me as 'Major General Hon' after declaring himself 'ROTFL' after reading the lyrics. Vunderbar!
|Space School Cornwall Eclipse trip review (30/8/99)
This review gives a definitive guide of the Cornwall eclipse experience to those of you who plan to go there again in the 2070's. Don't worry, Cornwall will be exactly the same as it is now - it's been the same for the last 70 years, so it'll probably stay the same for the next 70.
Related: Space School UK Review
|Deconstructing 'C'est la vie' by B*witched (19/8/99)
Probably not. This 'essay' is actually contained within the Eclipse trip review, but it's too good to miss out on. I think you'll find it very, very funny, and if that doesn't convince you, there's also an mp3 of the song to download.
You don't need to read the Eclipse trip review to understand this - there's a brief filling-in introduction.
The Automated Society (18/8/99)
I try to explain why I feel it's wrong, and I also talk about the Next Industrial Revolution, when the service industry will be mechanised and computerised. During the first Industrial Revolution, all the farmers and agricultural workers went into secondary (processing) and tertiary (service) industries. Where will all the service industry workers go now, and will they get trampled on, just like the workers did during the first Industrial Revolution?
Hall of the set-top box King (16/8/99 :: 17/1/00)
The shocking answer to this question is revealed in this essay, as well as a prediction of the future of games on set-top boxes.
The good thing about this is that the essay is very easy for me to remember - it's the sort of thing that I would say anyway. I'm not sure whether I'm going to leave it like this, or expand it into a full ~40 minute talk.
|Red star at night, Britain's delight (1999)
This was an entry for the Daily Telegraph Young Science Writer of 1999 award, and it got me ito the Finalists, winning me £100 and subscriptions to New Scientist and Nature.
Coincidently, the time they decided on the winners was exactly the same time the Beagle 2 hit the news headlines. Whether this means anything is a mystery to me.
|The March of Science; a blessing or curse? (1999)
Then there were a number of news articles and sci-fi stories I read about 'artificial telepathy' or technologies amounting to as much. I decided to tie them in together, and I liked the result quite a lot.
I would have entered this into the Peterhouse College Cambridge essay writing competition, if a teacher (no names mentioned) hadn't gone and lost the bloody entry form.
|Selling Space, and paying for Mars (17/7/99)
There aren't any startling insights here, but it's and interesting and heartening essay about the future of the commercial utilisation of space.
(A small revision has been made here, based on some discussions I had, and a lecture by Helen Sharman. It makes the paper more topical, and personal)
This is a paper which is due to be presented by John McKnight on behalf of me at the Second Annual Mars Society Conference at Colorado University.
|Bester and his Psi-Corps way (early 1999)
If you don't watch Babylon 5, you won't get this.
Rangers Rhapsody (by John Paul Green)
These alternative lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen are just too good to miss, even though I didn't actually write them. The honour goes to John Paul Green, of Kosh's Kareoke fame.
If you don't watch Babylon 5, you won't get this.
|Letter to Tony Blair (late 1998)
I never received a reply. What a surprise.
|Unavoidable Casualties (1998)
I have, however, planned out the rest of the storyline in some detail. There are some wonderful set-pieces coming, if I ever finish it, which unfortunately I am very unlikely to do now.
Warning: This file is big