Skip to content

The 29th of April

Normally posts about favorite things are reserved for Friday Favorites. But today we’re making an exception… because this favorite book is very much tied to something that happened 33 years ago today. Fifty-three years ago, on April 29, 1960, my mother’s father –– John Morry –– passed away suddenly from a heart attack at the […]

Read more

Bader Rules

Some decades ago, I expect everyone knew who Douglas Bader was. The prickly RAF pilot made a name for himself during the Battle of Britain, and the broader Second World War, as an uncompromising squadron leader who set upon the Luftwaffe with ruthless efficiency. He helped pioneer new fighter tactics, was a skilled dogfighter, and […]

Read more

Singing with Boba Fett

Sci-Fi on the Rock 7 – Newfoundland’s premier science fiction event – starts tomorrow in St. John’s. While Iceberg won’t be there in person, we’ll be thinking of all of the fine volunteers, organizers, and attendees again this year. We initially heard about Sci-Fi on the Rock from co-founder Darren Hann when we met at […]

Read more

Smith’s Rifle

It’s probably clear by now that I’m a big believer in trying to get the details right, particularly when it comes to alternate history. I don’t always succeed –– I lately confessed to making up Hood’s compartment layout –– but as someone who spent six years studying the past, I figure I’m duty-bound to try […]

Read more

Penguin in a Red Scarf

Since one of my Iceberg editorial roles is to review scheduled News and Author Note posts before they go live on the Iceberg website, I saw the spider tale that showed up yesterday before the rest of the world. Setting aside the fact that I will now feel like I’ve thwarted the next great love […]

Read more

Outside Context Monsters

As usual this weekend, I was party to a series of monster attacks. Fortunately, we live in the era of cell phone cameras, so as the second encounter began, I grabbed mine and snapped this picture. It’s blurry, I know, but the fellow was moving rather fast. And in case you’re scratching your head: no, […]

Read more

And Every Day After…

A couple of days ago I commented on the fact that spring has been a long time coming this year. Well, yesterday we skipped right over spring and went to summer –– a high of 24 degrees with a humidex of 29, an occasional hint of sun, and some dandy thunderstorms thrown in for good […]

Read more

Clearing out the Cobwebs

Spring has been late coming to Southern Ontario this year. Almost four weeks in, and we’ve had less than a handful of warm days. We’re even still waiting for buds to appear on the trees –– they’ve been held at bay by snow, wind, freezing rain, regular rain, and temperatures more consistent with February. Each […]

Read more

Boston

On December 6, 1917, the City of Halifax was the site of the most powerful pre-nuclear explosion in history. An ammunition ship in the harbor, the Mont-Blanc, collided with another vessel and caught fire; twenty minutes later, all the munitions aboard detonated with an estimated force of 2.9 kilotons. Some 2,000 Haligonians were killed, another […]

Read more

Event Tradecraft – Special Details

In previous Event Tradecraft posts, I’ve covered everything from duffle bags and buffer time, to dress code and dealing with the unexpected. I’ve also talked about location, and how the venue can help make an event particularly memorable. Today, I want to point out how other special details can further add to the distinctiveness of […]

Read more

Farewell to Messenger

On Monday it became official: MSN Messenger Service (or whatever it was called in its final iterations) has been shut down. This shouldn’t be a particularly poignant moment for me –– I haven’t used MSN in years. But upon hearing of the chat system’s end, I was immediately reminded of how much we used to […]

Read more

Discussing Gruesome over Dinner

We had dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant yesterday –– Yummyaki in Waterloo. Yummyaki is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, and we’ve been enjoying their outstanding atmosphere, service and food from the very beginning. Indeed, in addition to Iceberg’s annual New Year’s Eve planning sessions, we’ve held many an Iceberg meeting there. Most of those […]

Read more

Weather Perspective

Like many of my fellow Newfoundlanders, I’m often fixated on the weather. I pay close attention to the long-range forecasts, even though I know they’re going to change. I consider conversations about the weather to be deeply interesting, not awkward small talk (sidebar: this might be why I’m single). To me, the forecasters at Canada’s […]

Read more

Time

It is Tuesday and we’re leaving this small island in the Caribbean for our home in Canada. We’ve been away for a week, but I cannot help but think seven days is the wrong way to measure it. Certainly, a second has a particular length. Put 60 of those together, and you have a minute. […]

Read more

Special Service Squadron

Now that we’re nearly two weeks past the launch of Grand Banks, it’s time for some historical commentaries. If you’ve yet to read the second installment in the Champions of 1941, I’d suggest you not continue with this note until you have –– spoilers to come. And for this note, those spoilers are very much […]

Read more

Friday (Vacation) Favorite – The Beach

I’m on vacation this week, as I mentioned a couple of days ago. This particular holiday is in Aruba, at a resort we discovered a few years ago. The restaurant options are excellent. For chocolate lovers there’s a chocolate bento box that really should be illegal but thankfully isn’t. Shopping ranges from stalls featuring local […]

Read more

The Black Rod

The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. In Defense Command lore, this is the reaper-like figure who turns up in The Articles of Empire, to lead Daragh Ryan to his fate. After years of misdeeds, the Irish Lord would finally pay his penance –– and ‘the Rod’ was the only one with enough incontestable power […]

Read more

From the Journals – April 3, 2004

I’m out of the country on vacation this week, but before I left I opened my journals again to see if I’ve written anything on the date of my next scheduled Author Note. While April seems to be a relatively light month for entries, 2004 yielded a passage that was somewhat unusual for me. Following […]

Read more

The Frigates

By now most Defense Command readers will be familiar with my blatant thievery when it comes to building the fleet that protects Earth in the 2230s. Aside from invoking Second World War veteran HMCS Sackville, and borrowing battle ideas from the likes of Admiral the Lord Howe, I’ve also consistently ripped off the modern Royal […]

Read more

Event Tradecraft – Buffer Time

Seven years ago today, on April 1, 2007, Iceberg Publishing was in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland for the first Sci-Fi on the Rock convention. Co-founder Darren Hann had been a regular attendee at Polaris in previous years, and was determined to create the same sort of experience in his (and our) home province. That first year […]

Read more