Kickstarter for the Gillbrings

Tove Gillbring, a living legend in the Swedish gaming hobby, is seriously ill. Her husband Anders Gillbring, an equally esteemed enthusiast, has organised a Kickstarter called Love Tove for her benefit. We can all contribute to enable this Dynamic Duo to fulfil their dreams while they still can. After all, they have contributed generously to our hobby for more than twenty years.

Love Tove — Kickstarter link >>>


ꞌOumuamua — an interstellar visitor

The trajectory of the asteroid Oumuamua, the first interstellar object detected in our solar system. Oumuamua’s visit is brief, lasting only a few months, but it provides food for thought: what other such objects have passed close by Earth and what might they have brought hither from across the vast cosmic gulfs. Arrhenius’s pan-spermia hypothesis comes to mind — link >>>

Artistic depiction of Oumuamua. Picture by European Southern Observatory

Artist’s impression of the interstellar asteroid `Oumuamua

Lego: Women of NASA

One of my hobbies is Lego. This weekend I assembled the new box Women of NASA. From left to right (click on the picture for larger version):

Margaret Hamilton, head of software engineering during the Apollo moon missions

Astronauts Dr Mae Jemison and Sally Ride

Dr Nancy Roman, chief astronomer at NASA and in charge of the development of the Hubble Telescope.

Space 1889: Fighting Leopold’s Tyranny

Our group has been playing one continuous Space 1889 campaign on and off since 1990. Now we have reached 1898, though only two PCs have been along for the whole ride. We have played a group of Swedish and Russian aristocrats with retinues, serving Monarch and Motherland in distant dangerous places.

Leopold II, probably the most evil man in the Victorian world.

However, I have recently decided to make a mood reboot. In 2019, I will start a new story arch that focuses on fighting the rapacious regime of Leopold II, king of the Belgians and of the Congo Free State in the Coprates. His activities have so far not figured in our campaign, because its adventures have mainly been located in the Parhoon/Syrtis/Gorklimsk region.

The players will create new characters that come from the middle and lower classes, and who are working for a Martian equivalent of the Congo Reform Association, though with more guts and glory. I have decided that in our timeline, the Coprates Colony is owned by the Congo Free State government in order to make it a more fearsome and despicable antagonist. The PCs are financed by American philanthropists who wish to see an end to Leopold’s abominable exploitation of the natives. The PCs have a fairly free hand to achieve this, since their faraway benefactors are shielded by a plausible deniability setup. More old-school Mission Impossible and Indiana Jones than Edmund Dene Morel punching Congostaters is a good and righteous deed.