Assault on ARX-351-5B : A Bolo Fan Fic



leave Standby Alert status as my Battle Reflex and General Awareness circuits are fully engaged. Current Situation input on Strategic and Tactical status has been updated to within 15 seconds of current time per standard pre-engagement schedule. I run a 50000 point subsystem checklist on myself. Maintenance, power and armaments are at 100% I am fully armed and ready.

I review the current situation and the approved order of battle. It is an audacious plan requiring split second timing and precision navigation. My review of historic battle plans that require a high degree of precision also show a high degree of failure. Using the given data I run 10000 simulations of the upcoming battle to find that the best result has a 27% chance of victory with loses of over 70% of the brigade. The time limit on this operation is the main factor that significantly increase the chance of failure.

The plan is predicated on a unique opportunity for a hyperspace insertion against the heavily defended Deng world designated ARX-351-5B, colloquially known as the Briar Patch. This world is heavily defended with fortifications on its three natural satellites as well as 7 battle stations formed from M type asteroids in orbit about the planet. Our target is the largest and outermost moon. That moon is 812 km in radius and has enough heavy weapons to destroy three squadrons of Concordiat battleships.

I network with other members of the Dinochrome Brigade to compare observations about the plan of battle. Of course we will strive to achieve victory, but the general consensus of the brigade is that this is what our human commanders, who I note are not on board any of their units, commonly describe with a venerable expletive “FUBAR”.

We are now at 22 seconds from breakout.

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Rocketship X-M – Design and Performance of the RX-M


n May 26, 1950 the Rocketship X-M expedition to the Moon was launched from the planet Earth.


Although frequently over shadowed by the flight of the Rocketship Luna that occurred a month later, the RX-M was actually the first attempt to reach the moon in 1950.

In the intervening years most of the technical specifications of the RX-M has been lost or destroyed. This post is an attempt to use publicly available historical documentation about the RX-M and attempt to derive some performance and flight data as well as address the controversy surrounding this early attempt to reach the moon.

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Black Amazon of Mars

Black Amazon of Mars

Black Amazon of Mars


lack Amazon of Mars by Leigh Brackett was first published in Planet Stories of March 1951.

The story was later expanded and republished as The People of the Talisman in 1964.

This is one of several adventures of Brackett’s hard boiled interplanetary tough guy Eric John Stark.

Orphaned on Mercury and adopted by Mercurian aborigines before being captured by humans, Stark treks though the solar system and beyond.

On Mars, Stark had been a mercenary on the losing side of a guerrilla war. His companion Camar, has been mortally wounded in the campaign and wants to return home to Kushat before he dies. In their way lie an army of Mekh tribesmen under the command of Ciaran, the titular Black Amazon of Mars.

I love this picture.

A beautiful woman in almost practical scale mail armor swinging an axe.

The writhing tentaculared things grasping at her.

The giant idol and gated walls in the background.

The only problems is, what’s up with the suspenders on the guy with the sword?  Because that’s just weird.

The story can be found at the Internet Archive, Project Gutenberg, and of course, Amazon


Edison’s Conquest of Mars

“Edison’s conquest of Mars” by Garrett Putman Serviss
Serialized in the New York Evening Journal from January 12 to February 10 1898.  Published in hardback in 1947.

Edison's Conquest of Mars

Edison’s Conquest of Mars

E is for Extratrestrial


dison’s Conquest of Mars is a serialized novel that first appeared in the New York Evening Journal in 1898.


The story is basically an unauthorized sequel to an equally unauthorized and heavily altered version of H.G. Wells “The War of the Worlds”, called “Fighters from Mars” that appeared in a Boston newspaper the previous year.

In this retelling of “The War of the Worlds” it doesn’t have vast cool unsympathetic intelligent blood drinking tentacled Martians invading England for the purpose of making important social commentary.

War of the Worlds Martians

(The unnamed narrator of the War of the Worlds flees before the embodiment of Social Darwinism that forces him to confronting the inevitable Marxist clash of classes that leads to the development of the Eloi and Morlocks in 802,701 A.D.)

No, this version has giant bug eyed hydrocephalic humanoid Martians invading America.

ECOM Martian

Little knowing they’ve opened a big old can of whoopass in the form of one Thomas Alva Edison

ECOM Edison and Serviss

(A consultation in Wizard Edison’s laboratory between him and Professor Serviss on the best means of repaying the damage wrought upon this planet by the Martians) Continue reading