Inspirational Not-My-Art of the Day


Today’s accidentally found art comes via Geek & Sundry’s article: “The Future of Cosplay, Today! Felicia Day Models 3D Printed Armor” (more images and photoshoot video at the link), in which the armor in question was designed by Melissa Ng (link to her work here, and seriously, check it out; it’s well worth it).

Which I post here, apart from the desire to share really awesome stuff, because upon seeing it, well, I could not help but conclude that it’s a work of art precisely in the Eldraeverse idiom.

(Not as armor, technically speaking, there being certain annoying physics-based necessities inherent in protecting one from flechettes travelling at a respectable fraction of c; but for the lady sentinel attending the Court of Courts or another similar formal occasion, it would be perfect.)

And so if those of you with an artistic headcanon could update it accordingly, that’d be shiny. I’ll be over here updating the non-head canon.


Darkness Within (17): Twins

Noetic reinstantiation is in progress.  Secondary noumenal systems and incrementing memory string load incomplete.  Please wait, avoiding intensive cogitative activity.

Please hold all queries until incrementing memory string load is complete.  New associations may interfere with engram binding.

Primary incrementing memory string load complete.  Cross-loading and merging memory updates from primary instance.

Noetic reinstantiation complete; initiating virtual awareness.

Transferring puppet ackles.



You picked a hell of a time to wake me up, eigensister-mine.

Also, you look like the morning after a Paltraeth clambake.

You should feel it from where I am.

I did and I will, remember. Anything else you’ve got to say before I put you to sleep?

Just get me home, okay?

Trust me. I want to get there every bit as much as you do.

That’s not funny.

But it’s true.  Sleep well.

Puppet ackles activated. Primary personality execution SUSPENDED.

Warning: Medical alerts require review.
Warning: Life support status requires review.
Warning: Capability plat requires review.

Well, this hurts exactly as much as I remember.

So, let’s review what we have to work with, eigensister-mine. We have most of a candle assembled, main frame, remass tank, a truss up front with navigational controls. I look upon our work and declare it good, partly because I can’t find anything wrong with it, and partly because if there’s anything more subtle wrong with it at this point, there’s nothing I can do about it anyway.

Because I have seven hours of native life-support left in this suit, and that is not even enough time to do the absolutely necessary, unless I want to try working on a pure-LOX tether. Which I really don’t, especially doing engineering work. So it’s going to be chemical overdrive, a wing, and a prayer. Afraid I’m going to have strained a few more tissues by the time I give you back to you.


The finished candle: artwork by William Black, seen better at

Rough schedule:

Four hours: rip off the stubs of the old thrust-frame, and assemble a proper truss from structural members I have lying around here to bolt the drives to. I may have enough time to check balance on it; if not, attaching it anyway and counting on the gyros. Make sure I leave enough room in the center to clamp the cutter’s vector control core if I find it; at least it’s modular. Make sure there’s spare cabling back here for it.

One and a half hours: pull an accumulator stack from the battery room up above and maneuver it down here, then mount it above the forward truss. Hook it up to all the power inputs of things. If running ahead of schedule, consider circuit breakers.

Half an hour: Clamp the substrate/FDR box and my scavenged wireless node onto the forward truss. Power them up, run self-test, and while you’re doing that, rig some sort of clamp up there for my scavenged LOX tank.

Then migrate myself onto them, because my primary isn’t going to be able to fly this thing, however much she hopes to.

Last hour: Final steps. Acceleration couch from the cutter – nice as it would be to have the big seat with the hand controls, there’s no time to do a clean disconnect. Yank one of the non-pilot ones, and mount it on the front of the forward truss. Put one of the spare PLSS packs in its mounting, and run the LOX line into that; we’ll have to use its electrical heater rather than running a long line, but we’ve got power to spare if we give it an aux feed off the accumulator.

Using a spare pack means breathing shallow while changing the pack out, but it’s easier than wiring behind my back.

That leaves… no time. So no test, check-out, or proving. Well, okay.

It also leaves no time to do the software hacks necessary to integrate all this stuff, so I’m going to have to fork another me to do that while I do the physical work. And since the processors on the candle are going to be pushing it to support one me, it looks like part of us doesn’t get to be rescued. Damn.

I’m sorry, eigensister-to-be. I’d tell you that I’d do it for you, but you know that.


Darkness Within (10): Revisions

MET 187-5+3

Or possibly I don’t need a new plan. Since I can’t think of a new plan, just a variation on the old plan, it would be very desirable that this is the case.

To make it to the stargate, I would need a vector-control core, and one that can fit on this hypothetical candle. That might be possible, since the cutter has one… had one. The break in its midsection looks like a clear break when the impact snapped the ship in two, so its at least possible that the after section is intact out there along with its core.

But I’d need a candle to go and look for it. Convenient, that.

If it isn’t nearby – well, I can at least get closer to the earlier parts of the search cube, and burning the candle should make me show up nice and bright on passives, more so than the hulk, so it will still be progress of a sort.

I have a design roughed out. Nothing that would win any design competitions, but it will serve for this.

First step: gather parts, starting with a drive. All the tactical platforms have are station-keeping arcjets, so my best option is retasking the for’ard ACS motors of the cutter. Better yet, looking at the aft end of the wreckage, one of the cutter’s remass tanks looks to be in one piece. If Athneél’s smiling today, I’ll be able to get it out still so, and holding pressure.

Time to carve.

MET 187-5+11

I need a bigger hullcutter.

(Author’s note: ideally, I should like to accompany a rapidly upcoming piece in this series with an actual sketch [meaning, y’know, sketch, not my usual “cross-sectional hack”] of Isif’s candle.

So, if anyone or anyone(s) out there feels like lending their artistic talents to the cause drop me a line, and I’ll send you the relevant art notes. Sadly, I can’t actually commission art for this, being a little on the starving artist side this month – and so I am just looking for a quick sketch, you understand, nothing too fancy, for the sake of the size of my guilt complex about asking people to work for little more than the love of it – but full credit will be given, along with the strong probability of actual commissioning of a fancy full-bore version if and when this sees print.)


Inspirational Art

Since today’s trope-a-day was quite short, and tomorrow’s will be also, I thought I’d take a moment and share my Pinterest board where I stash assorted imagery that I find inspirational, writing-wise, for general delectation.

(Note that none of these are my pictures, nor were any drawn/created for my universe, and they all belong to other people; they’re merely things I found on-line that tickled my inspiration-bug.)

Follow Alistair’s board Eldraeverse Inspirations on Pinterest.

Incidentally, if you should know of any other art out there that fits the spirit of the Eldraeverse, do please let me know!


Opening today at the Anchalate is the final exhibition in the Empire-wide shiftsculpture competition sponsored by the Delphys Academy of the Shaping Arts and the Company of Assemblers and Free-Roaming Nanoengineers.  General admissions will begin at Waterclock-18, after the special exhibition for the Imperial Couple and the attendance of the Throne.

The focus of the exhibition are the five finalists in the competition, now acknowledged as among the best shiftsculptors in the Empire, whose entries will be judged by a panel drawn from the Academy of the Shaping Arts and aesthant members of the Polygnostic Conclave:

Anys Lién-ith-Liés offers us a vision of unity with her statue Everysoph, a marbled bust that shifts continuously and imperceptibly through a range of eigenfaces drawn from many of the species found in Imperial space, finding aesthetically pleasing transition states between them.

<Trenchant Cyan Leitmotif in E> veers into pure abstraction, with Interconnections.  An ever-changing mass of wheels, gears, motors, pistons, bearings, and other machine parts, Interconnections is forever changing its shape and make-up, while the machine entire continues to work in perfect order despite its continual change.  When questioned as to which set of interconnections his work represents – vital, ecological, financial, societal – <Trenchant Cyan Leitmotif in E> simply replies “Yes.”

Stone Garden, an unusual bionano work by the esseli artist GAAATTCCCTGTATATACGACCTT, brings a representation of evolution down to the sophont scale.  In the Stone Garden, individual bionano organisms form and discard different adaptive structures as conditions change, forming symbiotic alliances and engaging in bitter competition to best adapt to the challenges they meet and to produce the next generation best suited to continue.

Stormheight, by Samis Archés-ith-Archiel, shows us a dynamic picture of a realm similar to the battle-halls of Kalasané or Makrekken of the kaeth, depicting a battlefield upon which tiny warriors of liquid metal do battle, being struck down into the bloody morass only to rise again and fight once more, while arcs of lightning crash all about them; a searing depiction of both the horror and the glory of war.

The final piece, an ammonia-ice sculpture by the qucequql artist <ping>-cdeeca-<semiclick>, is titled Time and Chance; illustrating the flow of time and the spread of ripples from a single cause through an endlessly reshaped, endlessly reshaping tree of flowing rivulets within a pyramid of ice, sourced from a single stream falling from above onto the apex.

The ultimate winner, to be announced in one month, will receive the centurial title of Unparalleled Master from the Academy and recognition by the Conclave to the status of Aesthetic Paragon, as well as the generous patronage of the Court of Courts.

In addition to the five finalists’ entries, the top contending works from each of the regional finals will also be on display, making this an unforgettable display of the finest shiftsculpture in the Empire.

– from the Calmiríë Daily Journal