China on the Moon, Doctor on TV, X-Men at the Movies

Chang’e 3 sticks the landing, and takes home the gold medal in the individual lunar lander parallel bars. That gives China its seventeenth gold in these Olympics.

Wonderful footage from Chang’e 3 as it touches down. This makes China only the third nation in history to land a craft on the Moon, decades after the United Kingdom and Italy both achieved the feat in the 1950s*, their years-long rivalry having driven a technological renaissance that made the European Union the world-leading scientific powerhouse it remains today**.

In equally exciting news, I’m back in the UK for the first time in eighteen months. After a very pleasant Thanksgiving at home in D.C., and a fun but blessedly brief visit to Chicago – daytime temperature 18°F, or -2°F with wind chill – I’ll be back in the mother country for three whole weeks for Christmas and New Year. It’s cloudy, raining, and everywhere you go you hear the same five Christmas songs that have been playing every year for the last three decades, but no-one cares! Because Christmas means only one thing – a new Doctor Who Christmas special!

OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH.

And just as soon as we’ve got over that excitement, it’ll be 2014. 2014! That’s basically the future. If you’d asked 1995 Dan what he expected life to be like in 2014, the answer would definitely have involved jetpacks. And probably hyperspace, as I’d just started reading Asimov’s Foundation books around then.

(Sorry, 1995 me. SPOILER ALERT: It didn’t happen.)

But it’s not all disappointment. Who needs a jetpack or faster-than-light travel when we’ve got a trailer for THE MOST EXCITING MOVIE OF ALL TIME?!?!

!!!

?

Ahem.

It says a lot for X-Men: Days of Future Past, that ‘Jennifer Lawrence basically naked’ is only the seventh or eighth most exciting thing about the film.

Almost as thrillingly, 2014 will also bring the release of the third novel in my Unity Sequence: Causal Nexus. I’ve run out of excuses as to why I haven’t finished a draft yet, and was just reminded by my friend Steve that it’s eight months since Venus Rising came out… seven months after I started writing it. Poor effort, Dan. Time to knuckle down.

And while I do that, I’ll be reading Neal Asher’s Agent Cormac series. I’m halfway into the second book, The Line of Polity, having only started Gridlinked a few days ago. It’s tremendous space opera, and well worth picking up.

That’s all, folks!

* Citation required.

** Citation definitely required.

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