Tag: scifi editor

How to Write Strong Female Characters

How to Write Strong Female CharactersLazlo Ferran, Romance, Vampire, Werewolf, Magic and Science Fiction writer writes a guest post on Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar’s blog: ‘How to Write Strong Female Characters‘ This article shows what difficulties are faced and some possible solutions when writing female characters from a male feminist point of view.

Keeping up to date with Lazlo Ferran

Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate - Extended Edition coverHi All
I wanted to let you know that I will only be posting every second Monday from now on. I have to focus very hard on my latest novel and the real world tends to intrude as well so I don’t have to much time.

If you really want exclusive inside information on what I am working on, what is coming up, competitions freebies AND THREE FREE THRILLERS, then you need to sign up for the Lazlo Newsletter.

You will always find a page with the link to the Newsletter in the menu at the top of all my blog pages.

North Korea – The Korean War

Kim Jong-un - Supreme Leader of North Korea
Kim Jong-un – Supreme Leader of North Korea

First of all, because this is a post which includes information about air warfare, I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathies to the families of victims from the terrible Shoreham Air Show crash on Saturday.

I am working hard on a new book. I don’t want to reveal the plot but I will give you a clue:

With all the tension between North Korea and South Korea at the moment, it’s sad for me to think that my father fought for the United Nations trying to push back the oppressive North Korean regime when it invaded the South in 1950. Lim Jong-un has taken over from his father now but sadly, the regime still starves its citizens and shakes its fist at other countries. Of course the conflict has a complex history and if you don’t know much about it, here is what wikipedia says about the Korean War:

The Korean War (in South Korean Hangul: 한국전쟁, Hanja: 韓國戰爭, Hanguk Jeonjaeng, “Korean War”; in North Korean Chosungul: 조국해방전쟁, Joguk Haebang Jeonjaeng, “Fatherland Liberation War”; 25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953)[31][a][33] was a war between North and South Korea, in which a United Nations force led by the United States of America fought for the South, and China fought for the North, which was also assisted by the Soviet Union. The war arose from the division of Korea at the end of World War II and from the global tensions of the Cold War that developed immediately afterwards.

Here are some interesting facts about the Korean War (1950 – 1953):

  1. The Korean War was the first military action of the Cold War.
  2. There are still more than 7,000 U.S. soldier missing in action from the war.
  3. Although the British Army was present on the ground, the RAF had no squadrons based in Korea. They did however suffer casualties because pilots exchanged with pilots from the United States Air Force (USAF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), both having squadrons present.
  4. The North Korean pilots flew many MiG-15s, generally reckoned to be the best jet fighter at the time. I outclassed by a large margin the RAF’s best jet fighter, the Gloster Meteor, which may have been a reason the RAF did not want to send its squadrons there.
  5. The RAAF did however send it’s own Meteors, making its pilots sitting ducks.
  6. Even the USAF’s best fighter, the F-86 Sabre, was no match for the faster and more agile MiG-15 for the first year of the War. Later updates allowed the American fighter to deal with the Russian jet on a more equal basis.
  7. The Russians denied they had their own pilots in Korea but it is highly likely that they did. None were ever take prisoner to prove this.
  8. The MiG-15 used a copy of the Rolls Royce designed Nene engine. The British had give the Russians 25 Nene engines in 1946 as a political gesture of good will, believing it would take the Russians too long to copy the engine for them to be threat. The Russians tricked the British and worked out the secrets so fast that they had the MiG-15 flying within 2 years. It went on to be the most successful jet fighter of all time, thanks mainly to the British-designed engine, while the British never used the engine themselves in large numbers. Some MiG-15s are still in service today with the The Korean People’s Army Air Force (North Korean air force).
  9. The Korean War took a heavy toll—up to a total of 5 million dead, wounded, or missing, and half of them civilians.
  10. North Koreans who were born after the Korean War in the late 1950s are on average about 2 inches shorter than South Koreans.
  11. During the Korean War, the South Korean government provided women for its troops. According to one account, the government standard of performance for such women was to service at least 29 men a day. Intercourse should not last longer 30 minutes so the prostitute could move on to other men and make the maximum daily profit. There is heated and ongoing debate about how much the U.S. military was involved in providing prostitutes for its men.
  12. The U.S. Army used approximately 1,500 dogs during the Korean War and 4,000 in the Vietnam War.
  13. There were 7,245 American POWs during the Korean War. Of these, 2,806 died while in captivity and 4,418 were eventually returned to military control. Twenty-one refused repatriation.
  14. An estimated 86,300 Korean War veterans are women, making up 7% of the estimated number of all female veterans.
  15. According to the 1990 Census, of the 4.9 million Korean War veterans in the U.S., 4.5 million (92%) were white; 339,400 (7%) were African American; 30,400 (less than 1%) were American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut; 39,300 (less than 1%) were Pacific Islander; and 35,000 were of other races. There were an estimated 133,500 Hispanic (who may be of any race) Korean War veterans.
  16. The world’s first all-jet dogfight occurred ruing the Korean War on September 8, 1950.
  17. The United States still keeps troops in South Korea in case North Korea ever attempts to invade again.
  18. The capital of South Korea, Seoul, changed hands four times during the Korean War. It was first captured by the North Koreans on June 28, 1950, and then retaken by UN forces that September. The Chinese seized the city in January 1951, but gave it up two months later.
  19. One of the most brutal battles of the Korean War was the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, fought from November 27 to December 13, 1950. What made it different from other fierce fighting was the intensely cold and bitter weather. Temperatures dropped to -54° F. One survivor of the battle designed a bumper sticker that read: “Once Upon a Time Hell Froze Over. We Were There.
  20. Up until WW II, Korea had been one nation, known as the Korean Peninsula, and was part of Japan. After WW II, the winners of the war divided it into two countries. The Soviet Union took the northern half, and the U.S. took control of the southern half. It was divided at the 38th parallel.
  21. In occupied areas of North Korea, the North Korean Army executed every educated person (such as those who held education, government, and religious positions) who could lead a resistance against North Korea.
  22. One of the very few films that deals seriously with the Korean War’s political causes is The Year of Living Dangerously, starring Mel Gibson

Source: Random Facts

Poll Results: Which is the Best Scifi Vehicle Ever?

Sulaco from Aliens (1986)
Sulaco from Aliens (1986)
The results are in for the poll: Which is the Best Scifi Vehicle Ever?

1. Sulaco spaceship from Aliens (Movie 1986)
2. The USS Enterprise from Star Trek (1966 TV Series)
3. Thunderbird 2 from Thunderbirds (1965 TV series)

Here are some interesting facts about the podium winners!

1. Sulaco spaceship from Aliens (Movie 1986)

The USS Sulaco was a Conestoga-class troop transport ship in service with the United States Colonial Marine Corps, assigned to 2nd Battalion Bravo Team.[3] It was most notably used in the investigation of the Hadley’s Hope colony on Acheron (LV-426) in 2179, when it was manned by Lieutenant William Gorman’s combat unit of Colonial Marines.

The Sulaco is basically a big gun (according to ash)

When the set crews were looking around for floor grating to use on the Sulaco set design, they asked a local set design manufacturer/shop if they had anything of the sort. Indeed they did, an immense pile of old floor grating had been sitting out in the back of their shop for the last seven years. It was left there from when they tore down the set of Alien (1979).

2. The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) from Star Trek (1966 TV Series)

Here is Mike Jefferies’ original design for USS Enterprise

In the hallways of the Enterprise there are tubes marked “GNDN”, these initials stand for “goes nowhere does nothing”.

In the original series, the ‘arrowhead’ badge worn by the crew of the Enterprise was meant to be an insignia for the Enterprise only. If you’ll notice on any ‘guest’ Starfleet character, they all wear different symbols on their uniforms

3. Thunderbird 2 from Thunderbirds (1966 TV series)

When the launch sequence of Thunderbird 2 was shot, pilot Virgil Tracy was shown being taken to the craft in civilian clothing. When the completed sequence was cut together, he was seen to have mysteriously gained a uniform. To provide continuity, a scene was later shot and added showing his uniform appearing in the cockpit.

Two episodes, “The Man from MI.5” and “Attack of the Alligators!”, feature the full Thunderbird 4 launch sequence shown from inside Pod 4. In other episodes featuring Thunderbird 4, we have only seen Thunderbird 4 emerging down the ramp from outside the pod door. “The Man from MI.5” is the only episode in which Thunderbird 2 gently rests the pod on the surface of the water and then rises clear of the pod with lifting jets, whereas “Attack of the Alligators” shows Thunderbird 2 lifting from the pod several minutes after landing. Normally, the pod is simply dropped on to the water.

Brains designed Thunderbird 2, as he did all their vehicles.

Thanks for voting! Whether you disagree or agree with the results, your comments will be welcomed below.

Vote: Which is the Best Scfi Vehicle Ever?

Sulaco from Aliens
Sulaco from Aliens

Now you can vote! 3 votes each. Vote closes 5pm Monday 29 June. Enjoy!

There were 2 nominations:

The Sulaco from Aliens (1986)
Moya (sentient being) from Farscape

अब आप मतदान कर सकते हैं! 3 वोट प्रत्येक। मतदान सोमवार 29 जून 17:00 बंद कर देता है। आनंद लें!

Jetzt können Sie abstimmen! 3 Stimmen je. Vote schließt 05.00 Montag, 29. Juni statt. Viel Spaß!

Maintenant, vous pouvez voter! 3 voix chacun. Clôture du scrutin 17 heures le lundi 29 Juin. Profitez!

Ahora usted puede votar! 3 votos cada uno. Voto cierra 17:00 Lunes 29 de junio. Disfrute!

اب آپ ووٹ دے سکتے ہیں! 3 ووٹ سے ہر ایک. ووٹ کریں پیر، 29 جون 5pm کے بند کر دیتا ہے. کا لطف اٹھائیں!

Poll: Which is the best Scifi Vehicle Ever?

Elevator vehicle under Fireflash from Thunderbirds
Elevator vehicle under Fireflash from Thunderbirds

Another great vote this week; which is the best scifi vehicle of all time?

The choice is HUGE but below are just a few suggestions to get you started. Please nominate your favourites by commenting here or tweet me @Lazlo_F or message me on Facebook. The nomination deadline will be 22 June at 5pm. Then we will vote!

Ein weiterer großer Stimme in dieser Woche; Welches ist das beste SciFi Fahrzeug aller Zeiten?

Die Auswahl ist riesig Gewinn Hier sind nur ein paar Vorschläge, um Ihnen den Einstieg. Bitte benennen Sie Ihre Favoriten von hier zu kommentieren oder tweet ich Lazlo_F gold Nachricht auf mich Facebook. Der Nominierungsfrist wird am 22. Juni 17.00 Uhr sein. Dann werden wir abstimmen!

Un autre grand vote cette semaine; qui est le meilleur véhicule de scifi de tous les temps?

Le choix est énorme, mais ci-dessous sont quelques suggestions pour vous aider à démarrer. S’il vous plaît nommer vos favoris en commentant ici ou tweet moi Lazlo_F ou un message moi sur Facebook. La date limite de mise en candidature sera de 22 Juin à 17 heures. Ensuite, nous allons voter!

もう一つの大きな票今週。これはすべての時間の中で最高のscifi車である。

選択は巨大ですが、以下の作業を始めるためのちょうどいくつかの提案です。ここにコメントすることによってあなたのお気に入りを指名するか、上で私 Lazlo_Fコードまたはメッセージを私にツイートしてください。 Facebook のコード。指名締め切りは午後5時で6月22日になります。その後、我々は投票する!

एक अन्य महान वोट इस सप्ताह; जो सभी समय का सबसे अच्छा scifi वाहन है।

विकल्प बहुत बड़ा है, लेकिन नीचे तुम शुरू कर बस कुछ सुझाव हैं। Lazlo_F यहाँ टिप्पणी करके अपने पसंदीदा में मनोनीत या मुझे ट्वीट करें। या संदेश मुझ पर Facebook

Elevator Vehicles from Thunderbirds

The SPV from Captain Scarlet

The Star Ship Enterprise

The X-Wing Starfighter from Star Wars

Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced x1

Landmaster from Damnation Alley (crap film but good vehicle)

Discovery One from 2001: Space Odyssey

The Eagle Transporter from space 1999

Arguably not a vehicle but still cool – the Power Loader from Aliens

The Tom Cruise Audi from Minority Report (this is a view from the front)

The Lawmaster MC01 Y349 – 221 from Dredd

1966 Batmobile (this one gets my pulse going)

1989 Batmobile

The Tumbler from Bat Man

Thunderbirds 2 from Thunderbirds

The Mole from Thunderbirds

I could go on all day but now it’s over to you. Nominate your favourite!

Cameron, Clegg, Milliband and Farage: who will win Wacky Races?

Wacky Races
Wacky Races
Welcome to the last leg of the UK General Election Wacky Races! I am your host, commentator and reporter; Pedro Diamond.

Pedro Diamond: The last race was won by David Caravan when Ed Millipede crashed out while in the lead with grip problems. Here’s an interview I did with Ed earlier:

Ed Millipede: Yes Pedro; I had the wrong rubber on my brogues! The crowd were good and encouraged me so I managed to catch it before I hit the black stuff! It’s always difficult to choose the right rubber when the conditions are changeable. Dunlop have been great support, giving three different choices, but I understand David Caravan was on the hard compound on the day so he had an advantage. Lesson learned!

Pedro Diamond: All contestants are neck and neck as we come to the close of this competition. Only a few more days to go in this long-distance race. One thing that has got the crowd excited and commentators talking is the introduction of a new fuel; Liquid Intellectual Energy or LIE. Using the fuel is known as LIEING. It’s use is controversial but in a moment, you will hear the views of the four leading drivers on the new fuel.

My tip for the winner? I believe it will be a photo-finish and the final result a matter of who has the deepest Political Wallet.

Now to the LIEING interviews:

Nigel Mirage
Nigel Mirage
Pedro Diamond: Nigel Mirage; the new fuel, LIE, is boosting all the competitors’ performances. We believe you are using it too. Are you?

Nigel Mirage: No Pedro, we won’t be LIEING. We don’t need it! Our car is faster, stronger and more reliable than all the others.

Pedro Diamond: But you have repainted your car completely white? Can you explain this to the Wacky Races fans?

Nigel Mirage: That’s not true. In fact, if you look under the hood, you will see that the top of each carburetor of my old Austin Mini is blue.

Pedro Diamond: A car designed by an Italian.

Nigel Mirage: Well yes, the Italians do some things really rather well. I am very fond of a good Chianti.

Pedro Diamond: So the car colour has nothing to do with your racial views?

Nigel Mirage: I don’t have any racial views. I merely want to win this race and restore the country to the good ‘ol days of a Free Market Economy and Empire!

Pedro Diamond: Thank you Nigel. Now over to Nick Pleb. Nick, what will be your main tactic to get over the line first?

Nick Pleb
Nick Pleb
Nick Pleb Red lines Pedro. I have red lines on my gauges and I will not red line my vehicle anywhere. I am a great believer in sticking within red lines.

Pedro Diamond: But that’s not true, is it Nick? You have red-lined in every race so far. In the very first round, you crossed the red-line with your new Tuition Fees engine and blew up, costing you most of your fans.

Nick Pleb: Who needs fans? I only need to win. I don’t care any more what it takes. In fact, I don’t care any more about anything! There was a mouse. Where? There on the stair…

Pedro Diamond: Right Nick, but are you going to be LYING?

Nick Pleb: Oh sure. I guess. Everyone else is. In fact you can take my comment about red lines as a complete load of cobblers. Wasn’t there a cobbler in the mouse story? Or something like that. There’ll always be an England…

Pedro Diamond: Now let’s see if we can grab a chat with David Caravan. I can see the umbrella girls are starting to leave the starting grid, including Rebekah Brooks, who is wearing a rather fetching blue bikini. Oh look; she is whispering something into David’s ear, something about the Sun newspaper, if my lip-reading is up to scratch. Better not interrupt them. She’s going now so let’s move in. David? Can I have a word? You look rather busy.

David Caravan
David Caravan
David Caravan: Yeah Pedro, too many women, not enough time. Oops, should have said that with the wife around. Boris is much better at this sort of thing that me.

Pedro Diamond: Can I ask you what your main tactic to win will be?

David Caravan: Well, I think I have been rather clever. George Osborne is obviously finished; the little tike has really screwed up the economy good and proper, hasn’t he? I understand he is going to start a Magic Mushroom farm in Buckinghamshire with his father’s money. Not that he needs it after siphoning off most of the Country’s! Ha! Ha! Yes, as I was saying, announcing Big Bore Boris as my successor is one of the cleverest moves of my political life. I have zero charisma compared with him but now I have harnessed his to take me back into power for another 5 years.

Pedro Diamond: But wasn’t the announcement at his behest?

David Caravan: Behest is an interesting choice of word. But no, I would say I have outmanoeuvred him this time. Sort of like a double-agent.

Pedro Diamond: And what about LIEING?

David Caravan: Erm… we may be using the new fuel but I can’t really say on-camera. That would be giving too much away. Let’s just say; I will be economical with the truth. It’s better on the riff-raff, sorry, working classes; they are really not well-educated enough to think for themselves. It’s really not their fault…

Pedro Diamond: Some would say it’s yours.

David Caravan: Pedro. You are such a wit. Can I introduce you to Rebekah later? She is doing a wonderful line is gossipy Luncheon Vouchers…

Pedro Diamond: Well, I managed to pull myself away from David and we have one last grid slot to visit; pole position sitter Ed Millipede. Ed, can I have a word?

Ed Millipede
Ed Millipede
Ed Millipede: Bit busy Pedro, but okay, just a few words.

Pedro Diamond: So are you LIEING Ed?

Ed Millipede: It’s a relief to come right out with it and say; yes, I will be LYING. We will not be playing tag with other teams, using their slipstream to win but we have bribed a judge to allow us to amalgamate out team with another during the race so that our accumulated points will make us the sure winners! Genius!

Pedro Diamond: Do you care to tell us what that team is?

Ed Millipede: That’s a secret, as you probably guess Pedro. Let’s just say that my teammate, Gordon Brown, wants revenge and I intend to give it to him!

So the 4 competitors are under starter’s orders. And away they go! On the way-out Wacky Races!