I'd like one of the major trade methods in the story I'm writing to be, essentially, blimps/balloons. I'm willing to handwave some of the details of it -- for instance, there's "ports" and trade routs generated by air currents because I said so and it's narratively convenient -- but I'm trying to figure out how they get their gases for the balloons.
Hot air is an option, I suppose, although it seems like that would get cumbersome for long voyages (how would they transport enough fuel?) So the obvious options seem like hydrogen and helium (the former having the fun bonus of potential dramatic explosions/fires).
But I'm not sure how a pre-industrial/medieval society could produce either of those. What I could find seemed to indicate means of production I'd rather not have to deal with (e.g., doing stuff with uranium). It seems like hydrogen could possibly be made from coal? How complicated would that be? What about gathering methane from swamps?
Again, the level of technology is somewhat flexible, and I can use magic if necessary, but in general I'm trying to avoid that. Any thoughts on how a pre-industrial society might produce lighter-than-air gases? Or is this a crazy idea I should just abandon?
Thanks so much!
Searches: producing hydrogen, producing helium, discovery of hydrogen, discovery of helium, swamp gases, lighter than air gases, history of ballooning
- Sat, 15:30: December 7, 2013 Yasmine http://t.co/bXVsl005td
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Eighteen-year-old Madeline "Twigs" Henry's world is turned upside-down when she learns that her older brother has gone AWOL in Iraq, and as other family secrets come to light, Twigs struggles to find how she fits in with her siblings, boyfriend, and father. The small town setting and Twigs' quirky neighbors are great, as is her wild energy. While at times it seemed that nothing else could possibly go wrong to the poor narrator, she handled herself as best she could, stood up for herself when it mattered, and has hope for her future. Recommended for those seeking YA novels with college age characters who are still seeking their true selves. (Merit Press, 2013)
It was built about 1890 ( first owner Leopold Bieber) when tourism was booming in the Catskill mountain region. Cold Spring House (Hotel) was then a second largest hotel in picturesque village of Tannersville, the first being Mountain House near South and North lakes with a breathtaking view to Hudson Valley that inspired a lot of outstanding artists.
Cold Spring House had its own spring with the highest quality water and boasted fine kosher and european cuisine and milk from their own cows and vegetables from their own vegetable garden,
it was famous also because of musical concerts that took place in the hotel and an observatory with a magnificent view to a beautiful valley and mountains. The hotel accommodated guests until 1960s.
Cold Spring Hotel is now completely abandoned: a mysterious haunted place inhibited only by horses (at least I saw them every time when visiting there).
55 Spruce St, Tannersville, NY
Дом холодных ключей
Когда-то это был отель, второй по величине после знаменитого Горного дома в Таннерсвилле - живописном уголке Катскилльских гор, куда летом во множестве устремлялись нью-йоркцы в конце 19 - начале 20в., спасаясь от непереносимой городской духоты и жары, а здесь, возе горы Хантер, было относительно прохладно, журчали ручьи в долинах, сияла гладь озера, названного именем легендарного героя Вашингтона Ирвинга, Рип ван Винкля, проспавшего полжизни в лесной чаще на этой горе, на склоне которой у ключа с холодной кристально чистой водой и расположилось причудливое здание со множеством башенок, флигелей,пристороек.
Когда-то сюда приезжали музыканты, звучала музыка; в это трудно поверить, оказавшись у ветхих стен покосившегося здания, особенно если подойти к нему не с дороги, а со стороны густого леса, пробраться сквозь густые заросли горца и золотой розги и заглянуть в проём окна.. кажется, теперь единственные обитатели пустого дома - семейство низкорослых лошадок, которые неизменно пасутся здесь и, я видела, заходят иногда внутрь, в пристройку. Так и кажется, что они тут живут совершенно самостоятельно, эти грустные лошадки.
В 60-х годах прошлого века отель перестал функционировать и с тех пор медленно разрушается. Но кажется - призраки былой жизни всё ещё населяют его, вступая в таинственные отношения с обитателями дремучего леса на склоне горы: с бесчисленными кроликами, енотами, ракунами, оленями, с медведями (их там немало), со змеями, с коршунами, совами и прочими пернатыми.
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There is a little piece of me in every nonfiction book I’ve written. Maybe no one else can tell, but I know it is there. Sometimes I see it in the text of the words I’ve written. Sometimes I see it in the white space –the words I didn’t write.
Of all my books for young readers, the one that reveals the most of my own heart is my newest book, Fourth Down and Inches: Concussions and Football’s Make-or-Break Moment (Carolrhoda, 2013).
As I began the research for the book, I recognized that I have a deep emotional connection to head injuries. My youngest son, Corey, died from a head injury after falling from a swing at the age of fourteen months. But I had no idea how personal it would get.
Dr. McKee is frequently in the news because she has studied the brains of deceased NFL players found to have the disease. She graciously answered my questions and gave me permission to use her brain images in my book.
I also interviewed Dr. Robert Cantu, probably America’s leading authority on the treatment of concussions. Then I talked at length with the researchers from Purdue and the University of Michigan who study the effects of repetitive head injuries on High School football teams.
Next my goal was to understand the love of football. I interviewed football coaches, athletic directors, athletic trainers, and retired NFL players.
And boy did he ever tell me! When I couldn’t get his stories out of my mind, I knew they had to be in the book. Talking to Kevin allowed me to see football through the eyes of a man who loves the game.
Then I came to the hardest part of my research. I interviewed the families of Nathan Stiles and Eric Pelly. Nathan and Eric were both teenagers who died as a result of concussions—and both of their brains already had Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
|Eric at Homecoming|
The writer in me asked these families the hard questions.
At the same time the woman in me -- who knows the devastation of losing a child -- grieved for their sons and for mine.
I promised these families that I would write about the life and death of their sons with the same love and respect that I do when I write about my own child.
I am humbled that they trusted me.
When promoting my book, I say that Forth Down and Inches: Concussions and Football’s Make-or-Break Moment deals with the reality of concussions balanced with the love of the game. And it is. But between the text and the white space, the book is a whole lot more.
Last time we left Gin Blanco, Ashland’s most notorious assassin, she was rescuing a friend from being kidnapped in Heart of Venom, the ninth book in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. Book number 10, The Spider, is scheduled for release on December 24th and it takes us back in time to hear a story from Gin’s early days as an assassin. It all starts with the delivery of a bouquet of blue roses…
Rewind 10 years from Heart of Venom. Gin is living with her adoptive family; her foster brother Fin and his father Fletcher, also known as the Tin Man, and the person who trained Gin as an assassin. I liked that this book exposed more of the family dynamics between Gin and Finn and Fletcher. I was always a bit curious about their interactions as teenagers, living together with the same assassin father. Readers get a nice idea of this from interactions between the three of them- something that rarely occurred earlier in the series, due in part to the fact that Fletcher died.
It seems to me that the purpose of this story is not only to explain how Gin built her reputation as a killer, but also why she is so vulnerable emotionally. The main character in this book is not the cold and controlled Gin from early in the series. This Gin has not yet learned the patience she later becomes known for. When Gin takes accepts a job from an unknown source, she is determined to carry it out despite the misgivings of her mentor. It is clear how much her own feelings influence her decisions on this job, and cause her to rush when she should have hung back and waited. The result is a mistake she will carry with her throughout her life, and spend years trying to atone for.
The usual annoying plot devices, such as Gin meeting yet another elemental with powers even stronger than herself- I mean come on! Elementals this strong are supposed to be rare- are present even in this novel. I also found the cameo appearances by some recurring characters heavy-handed. It seems Estep was trying to please readers who would all want to know why “my favorite character insert name here” wasn’t in the book. The result is a series of unlikely meetings between Gin and people who play large roles in her future. I just didn’t think it was realistic. It would have been fine to know that she only meets some of these people later on. They did not all have to be in this book in some fashion. Overall, this book gives more insight into Gin’s evolution as a person and assassin, but the appearances by future characters made it seem unrealistic. Fans of the series will want to read it for the nice background it gives, but newcomers may not think it is worth their time. I would give this book 2.75 stars.