Trump of Elena - Line art by amberchrome
I’ve been a Roger Zelazny fan for several dog’s ages now, long before I discovered anything else. This is my Amberite OC, Elena, who I came up with as a
convenient interdimensional traveler outside connection in an RP of another fandom. Elena’s backstory is that she was a daughter of Julian, one of the princes of Amber (and canon) who rejected her as a child, and one of the princesses, Sand, took Elena under her wing until the girl’s late teens, when Sand disappeared without any apparent trace except for a cryptic message to her young charge — “When it’s time, you will find me.”
Elena spent years hellriding in search of Sand, becoming even more estranged from the rest of the family, and had a son, who she named after her father, much to the annoyance of the namesake. Eventually she connects with the remnants of a tribe of horse nomads in another shadow who are fleeing from Chaos-inspired raiders, and leads them to safer places. After Shadow Earth is devastated by a supervolcano eruption, which Elena suspects was not entirely natural, she and her allies go there, add a few more survivors to their ragtag band, and go to rendezvous with her son who has located other survivors who somehow managed to find their way into another shadow without any Amberite’s help (another long story in itself). This shadow, she eventually discovers, was constructed from Pattern, extremely stable and not susceptible to outside manipulation, as well as being a mirror of Shadow Earth in many ways - except for the complete absence of native humans/humanoids or higher mammals despite having an advanced technic civilization. This shadow is, in fact, based on a movie ‘verse/francise of Disney/Pixar, but unfortunately, one that has attracted a lot of haters. I’m not saying which one here, but if you’re saavy and notice some of the particular details in the picture, you can do the math.
(colorized version is from Elena’s Trump - color by amberchrome)
Ghiannis D. | by Ivo Vaessen
“A lovely wreck with marvellous silhouettes against the surface. This Greek ship sunk in 1983 en route from Croatia to Saudi Arabia, after colliding with a wreck. 100 m long, the stern rests at 23 m. It is lying at a 45o and can be slightly disorientating. You can go in the engine room, which is big. Other rooms lead off this. Look out for an enormous grey mottled moray eel, of sea serpent proportions, as well as coral, prawns, mullet, butterfly fish and pretty pipefish (Corythoichthys schultzi).
The Ghiannis D is north of Sha’ab Abu Nuhâs reef, in the Strait of Gobal.”
— from Wreck Diving in Eqypt
“Wow!” Signals from E.T.s May Happen All the Time
[Tau Sagittarii is the star nearest the origin of the “Wow!” Signal, as far as anyone has been able to determine]
The story hails from The New “Wow!” Signal - SETI’s Recent Close Encounter with an Unidentified Emission, but is being taken seriously by the SETI community.
The same material is mirrored (with less cpu-hungry advertising) at The New “Wow!” Signal. Reference is made to this article: “A new class of SETI beacons that contain information” by G. R. Harp, R. F. Ackermann, Samantha K. Blair, et al. What is important here, though, is not the source, but the idea.
The gist is that pulses from planet-based space radars such as Arecibo and Goldstone, used to image asteroids and the surfaces of other celestial bodies, may be detected by radio telescopes at respectable interstellar distances. But such detections are not likely to be repeated. Resulting in singular events like 6EQUJ5, aka the “Wow!” Signal, and the latest TYC 1220-91-1 detection — very possibly emitted by extraterrestrial civilizations.
For more, use the link.
Sigiriya, built by King Kassapa I (477–95), Sri Lanka.
The Legend of Sigiriya:
“Built by an obsessed monarch in the 5th century, Sigiriya or Lion Rock is an astonishing feat of engineering and construction. The most striking portion of Sigiriya, a terracotta and grey core of rock set in the cultural heart of Sri Lanka, rises a sheer 200 metres above a forested plain, its flattened summit sloping gently. A series of moats, ramparts and water gardens — remnants of an ancient city — spread out on two sides of the rock, with the remains of a pair of giant stone lion’s paws still guarding the staircase that leads to the summit, once occupied by a royal palace.
Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982, Sigiriya is Asia’s best preserved city of the first millennium, showing complex urban planning around the base of the rock, combined with sophisticated engineering and irrigation skills in the palace perched on the summit. It is considered it to be one of the oldest tourist attractions in the world with visitors recording their impressions in some of the earliest-known graffiti.
For just two decades in the 5th century AD, Sigiriya rose to prominence following a power struggle between two brothers, and an act of patricide that saw the then king walled-up alive by his son, Kasyapa. Fearful that his defeated brother would return from exile to extract vengeance, Kasyapa shifted the capital to Sigiriya and in 477 AD, he ordered the construction of the magnificent city around the base of the rock, and decreed that his palace should stand on top, a fortress that would keep him safe from retribution. Just seven years later, his astonishing palace in the sky was ready, complete with terraces and a complex system of irrigation.
Kasyapa clearly had an eye for beauty. The pleasure gardens include a series of symmetric pools, channels and fountains that still spurt water after 1,500 years. Partway up the rock are the famous Sigiriya frescoes, featuring 21 bare-breasted damsels that may represent celestial nymphs, but were surely modeled on Kasyapa’s own consorts. Halfway you’ll encounter a pair of giant lion’s paws, part of the original entrance, which required visitors to pass through the open mouth of a lion. The summit yields a dramatic vista of the surrounding jungle and contains the foundations of the palace complex, replete with bathing pools.”
— Sigiriya Rock Fortress and City
And, in fact, human occupation of this place goes back at least 5,000 years.