HTL Turns Seven Today
Today is Holding The Line's seven year anniversary! The exciting HTL story weaves back and forth over more than two hundred chapters set in the Prophecy timeframe. To celebrate their birthday, the team behind the online novel is launching a new website at holdingtheline.net. The site isn't just an archive of HTL fiction however. Almost a hundred various WC Aces stories are now available there. Here's Coordinator Raptor with more.
This last year has been a quiet one for HTL chapters, both because the writers have been hard at work on the big finale, and because there's been a lot of work being done behind the scenes on Holding The Line Dot Net. As promised earlier, the site is being unveiled here at the CIC as a small
gesture of appreciation for everything the CIC has done for us over the years. We came very close to losing our online archives a few years ago, and if it hadn't been for the kind offer to host our
stories at Solsector, many HTL chapters might have been lost for good. In addition, being able to display new chapters at the CIC has allowed us to reach a much bigger audience than we could previously. It's been a great partnership, and one we look forward to continuing as we wrap up HTL.
Holding The Line Dot Net is first and foremost a fiction archive. In addition to all 207 published HTL chapters, the site contains approximately a hundred other Aces Club chapters, many of which have
not been online for several years or at all. We aim to expand both sections in the coming months and also add non-Aces fiction. The ultimate goal is to create the largest and most diverse WC fiction collection in our community. If you're a WC writer with a story you would like to see displayed on our site, we'd love to hear from you.
The site also contains an art gallery that showcases the ships and fighters that have taken part in the story, along with logos, banners, wallpapers and other artwork. This is another section that we plan to expand over the next few months, with the aim being to create a database that other WC fans can make use of in creating their own web pages and projects. If you are an artist who would like to contribute artwork to the gallery, please drop us a line.
The site also has its own forum, with boards for discussing HTL and the site, the Aces Club, and general WC matters. If you would like to chat, point out any teething troubles with the site, or swap links, then please stop by the forum. Registration is required for most sections of the forum, but it's a pretty painless process. Be warned that the CIC's own Death with be moderating, though. ;-)
Last, but most certainly not least, I would like say a huge thank you to Nikolay "Cyberion" Ivliev. Cyberion has created much of the original artwork on the site and has been a pleasure to work with. Keep an eye out for more of his great artwork and renderings to be featured on the site in the next few months.
Remembering Space Exploration Past & Celebrating The Future
Today is also the anniversary of the unfortunate Challenger accident in 1986. Along with the Apollo 1 disaster on January 27, 1967 and Columbia tragedy on February 1, 2003, it's a somber time of year for the NASA space program. They have created a Remembrance Site to recognize these events. On the bright side, many revolutionary things are currently unfolding as well. This month alone, the Stardust capsule returned cometary debris to Earth, the first mission to Pluto was launched and the Spirit & Opportunity rovers celebrated two years of exploring Mars. Additional craft are now on the way to Mercury, Venus and Mars. New opportunities to research the Moon, Asteroid Belt, Europa and Saturn may also present themselves very soon. Death supplied this article that discusses these missions and more. As science fiction fans, we all appreciated the sacrifices made to get us this far and remain especially excited about things to come.
Before the end of the next decade, NASA astronauts will again explore the surface of the moon. And this time, we're going to stay, building outposts and paving the way for eventual journeys to Mars and beyond. There are echoes of the iconic images of the past, but it won't be your grandfather's moon shot. Image [above]: NASA's new crew exploration vehicle in lunar orbit - artist's concept.
This morning LOAF went to the Texas History Museum to see the new Roving Mars IMAX movie. He brought back a few neat pictures to share with everyone.
It's the story of Spirit and Opportunity, from their initial development (with lots of cool footage of the rovers being put together and tested!) to their mission so far.
Most impressively, however, it was a fitting tribute to the engineers rather than some sort of attempt to classify the mission in historic or nationalistic terms. Instead of bringing in a second tier Hollywood celebrity the movie was narrated by Dr. Squyres, the genuinely excited mission lead everyone took note of during the televised landings.