Cylinder

She hated the round not-sky, the curve of the horizon following her eyes all the way up to where the stars were supposed to be. The stars were sideways, in the round blackness of the axis windows.
Born into this not-world and still all her instincts screamed wrong at her whenever she looked up from her books, her work, her path.
One day, she’d stow herself away on a ship and try to make her way planetside, Earth or whatever solid sphere came first.

SciFi/Space Soundscape (Creating an Atmosphere with myNoise)

What is better than reading or writing about space? Immersing yourself in a matching atmosphere while doing so. Put on lights that reflect the mood of your literary adventure (or academic endeavour) and turn on sounds that carry you across the cosmos. Listening to music can be distracting, especially if it contains lyrics, but how about a gently rumbling Warp Drive or electric winds humming in tune with the fish tank on your space station?

I bet most of you have heard (of) noise generators online by now. My favourite one is myNoise*, which has a lot of really cool features. If you donate a small amount, you get some more, like stacking several sound generators in a convenient mega generator. But even with the free version you can listen to more than one generator at the same time, you just have to wait a bit in between starting them.

If you love Star Trek and science fiction or space in general, there are some generators you might enjoy in particular:

I like to pair one of these with Distant Thunder (Thunder and Rain), Church (Beatae Memoriae/All Souls’ Day; I disable the sliders that have voices), and occasionally Cat Purr*** (Furry Friend).

There is also a huge amount of technical noises if you enjoy this kind of environmental sound. I’m more a fan of combining space-travelling ambience with natural sounds, like the aforementioned thunder and rain, or a Japanese garden, water flowing in a cave … it gives me a sense of calm anticipation, like exploring the vastness of space and a serene/solitary planet side at once – or sitting in the arboretum/experimental garden of a spaceship, reading, dreaming of rainy days. The feelings I get from these combined atmospheres can range from carefree relaxed curiosity (great for studying) to sweet aching loneliness in the face of a cold, dark stretch of empty space and feeling like none of my friends understands the way space touches me.

Three other reasons why I love myNoise:

  1. ¬†All the generators have nice descriptions, e.g., about the recording process, the intended atmosphere, … and warnings about negative effects on some (if you are sensitive, check the descriptions first on generators from the “Brainwaves” section!
  2. When a user comments on a particular generator, their current settings are saved as well and you can click on the blue heart next to a comment to listen in.
  3. The “animate” feature, which somehow randomizes around your current settings so you can listen longer without tiring.

When you want to return or look back to your home planet, you could check out the generator called Planet Earth, which “relies on a subset of the Golden Record tracks” (and sounds quite chaotic when all sliders are turned on).

What is your favourite generator? Do you use music or soundscapes for creative writing or painting? I’d love to see your art!

Safe journey.

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* This is NOT a sponsored post (though I would definitely accept sponsorship from this cool page …), I just really enjoy the generators on that page because they help me focus at work and stay relaxed in the office cacophony.

** Names in brackets are the ones you’ll see on top of the generator itself after clicking on the respective link, sometimes they are different from the link labels in the overview page.

*** Leave a comment if you get the reference ;)

Space Stuff Comping Up! (Reading List and Poetry)

I spent autumn getting back into my beloved science fiction and space in general.

Books I started reading:

  • The Tower and the Hive (series, sequel to the Talents trilogy) – finished two of five volumes. The Talents-universe Anne McCaffrey created just speaks to me with its unique atmosphere, slow and steady but still energetic pace, nostalgic feel, and threads of hard fiction (e.g. thorough description of life in domes on a Jupiter moon) among the crazy.
  • Spacefaring: The Human Dimension by Colin Phillinger; read the first few pages. Lovely blend of space exploration and psychology, as far as I can see. Not an easy read for tired evenings, but maybe for the upcoming holidays.
  • Cosmos, paperback version of Carl Sagan’s classic. Currently in my backpack, but as with the book above it needs some time and quiet to be truly appreciated. Hard to read on the train, but his wonderful command of metaphors and the like makes it worth the slow read an contemplation. When I find a seat in the mornings I try to read a few paragraphs to set the mood for the day.

I haven’t started Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Astrophsics for People in a Hurry yet, but I’m looking forward to it as I thoroughly enjoy his (and his colleagues’) insights on Star Talk Radio.

My wishlist for Christmas contains mainly books, from Earth in Human Hands to Broca’s Brain.

Reading inspires me to write. I finished creating a series of haiku-styled factoids about our solar system which I’ll post as soon as I’ve decided whether to post them separately or in one big post. Apart from this I started collecting bits and pieces of thoughts on my reading material. I’ve been toying with some bigger ideas for a few months but they are not solid enough yet, though I might post fragments on their own.

 

Vague Thoughts

I have a lot of thoughts in my head these days, but they are somewhat vague, some hazy, some blurred, some to quick and complex to be caught in words yet. I want to write more again, more often, more organized. I tried to push forward in life and suppressed that creative voice inside, tried to find a more grown-up creativity, tried to press myself in a mold I won’t ever fit. Lately I’ve been going back to reading my old stories – the really crazy, surreal ones (mostly SciFi fanfiction with random strange occurrences) – and to watching the old shows that had been my refugium in teenage years. I want to write again, and try to voice my old sense of wonder again, to put down the absurd episodes my brain brings up whenever given the opportunity to breathe. Maybe someday I’ll find a story that will be wondrous enough to captivate others.

Also, future not clear yet. Destination unknown. Vague ideas, nothing tangible.

Stargate: Row, Row Your Boat

Somehow this is turning into a mini-series, “science fiction characters singing” (although the first video is not an original scene from a Star Trek show, sadly, now that would have been a fantastic contribution to TNG).

Stargate:SG1 was a great show, at least Season 1-7. After that I stopped watching each time because they changed too many things to keep up the original atmosphere. So here the main characters are, singing.

Next time I’ll post something from The X-Files ;)

There also is another Star Trek: Voyager clip including singing, but I dread posting it (it features the holographic Doctor singing opera while imagining being a hero … vicarious embarrassment galore *cringe*)