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A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Skopje

A fan has suggested that the following poem, fictitiously penned by the character Robert Carson in Firestar, would be appropriate for Memorial Day. In the novel, the poem was in celebration of the successful rescue of UN Peacekeepers from Skopje airport by a squadron of semi-ballistic space shuttles. Alas, the "Planks" have not yet been built -- though one hears rumors -- but we will trade the loss of the SSTO shuttles for the loss of Serbian aggression in the Balkans, the one failed "prediction" cancelling out the other.
 
The poetry collection, Styx Up, is as fictional as Roberta Carson, who called herself "Styx" in those days. Just in case you were wondering. 


"Skopje"
by roberta carson
from Styx Up

Were you at Thermopylae when Persia crossed the sea?
Did you lay your bones between your homes and the spears of the enemy?
Or did you stand before Chalons with old foes at your side
And with sword and shield refuse to yield, and stemmed the Hunnish tide?

Did you ply a boat to Dunkirk? Did you drive a taxicab
To the Marne's grim banks and never charge a fare?
Did you roll down rocks at Morgarten? Or die at Manzikert?
Did you shout back "Nuts!" in the frigid Christmas air?

If you were no strutting conqueror, but fought for hearth and home...
If you warded the defenseless and shielded them from harm...
If you swooped in for the rescue, if you ground a tyrant down,
Accept the thanks from the world's poor ranks;
You've earned your plot of ground.

3 comments:

  1. I like this.

    It reminds me quite a bit of Kipling.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What performance, as a sub-orbital transport, might SpaceX get, by attaching a payload module to the top of a Falcon-9 first stage?

    I've already seen speculation about refueling the first stage aboard the autonomous spaceport drone ship and flying it back to the launch base.

    Would the landing gear need beefing up? What else?

    Could such a vehicle carry enough fuel to pull off a Skopje?

    Is there an aerospace engineering student in the house?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a site that might have enough information to let you figure it out for yourself, http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/surfaceorbit.php .

      Delete