View Full Version : Dark Vision: Chapter 26: Leapfrog

07-26-2008, 07:40 PM
As you guys were kind enough to answer my challenge (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=24790&postcount=33) of picking locations for the next chapter in my scifi serial, "Dark Vision," I have promised to present the chapter to you. It's a bare WIP now, and I hope to have it finished in time to print in the July-August issue of Wayfarer (http://wayfarer.mysteryandmagic.com), which, of course, is where the thing has been running. Whether I can finish it in time, or maybe finish half now half later, who knows?

Remember, your chosen locations were:
1. Titan (a moon of Saturn)
2. Rings of Saturn
3. Io (a moon of Joviter)
4. Ceres (in the Asteroid Belt)
5. Mars

It's taken me over 2,000 words so far just to get the heroine out of Venus orbit and across the Solar System to Titan. But she's there! Woohoo! And as a teaser, what could be better than a MAP OF TITAN!? No, I didn't make it. I found it at http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/images/NP_lakes_low_noboundaries.pdf ... innit wonderful? (I think so!)

(edit) And another: http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/images/Titan_comp.pdf ... wonderful!

07-30-2008, 04:26 PM
The Lagoons of Titan: Oily Liquid Confirmed on Saturn Moon


07-30-2008, 04:34 PM
This is gonna be five separate chapters. I cannot cram it all into one chapter.

First up (duh): Leapfrog, Chapter 26: Part One: Titan!

08-09-2008, 01:12 PM

So, if I make this five chapters ... which Imma do, because it lets me visit each location in more detail, and gives me more time to write each one ... and it also gives me time to finish the Solar System map as an insert in one issue!

Wayfarer (http://wayfarer.mysteryandmagic.com) prints every 2 months, so this will be a 10-month project. Worst-case, I ship at the end of the cover date. Like, it's August now, meaning I have to get the July-August 2008 issue finished and printed and shipped this month, with the Titan chapter in it. So ...

Chap.26 1. Titan Jul-Aug Wayfarer #31
Chap.27 2. Rings of Saturn Sep-Oct Wayfarer #32
Chap.28 3. Io Nov-Dec Wayfarer #33
Chap.29 4. Ceres Jan-Feb Wayfarer #34
Chap.30 5. Mars Mar-Apr Wayfarer #35 <-- incl. Solar System Map!

Things might move faster. I might have the map in an earlier issue, and I might include 2 chapters in an issue. (The unthinkable "even worse than worst case" is, I skip an issue. It happens!)

So, the latest you will see the final Solar System map is the end of April. But I will keep posting the WIPs in that thread, as I go.

Damn the torpedos! ...

08-11-2008, 09:56 AM
Ebony has infiltrated the bad guys' lair on Titan!

I have almost reached the end of the chapter. Then, revisions, edits ... then done.

Then ... the Rings Of Saturn ...

08-16-2008, 05:28 PM
I have reached the end of the chapter! 18,756 words. They always tend to grow in revision. I'll post it when it's done.

I am poised for the rings of Saturn, now. That'll be Chapter 27. It will be a lot smaller, because there's so much less for a character to experience in the rings than on the surface of a planet or moon. Perhaps the Ceres one, too, will be shorter. As far as natural siteseeing, the rings (as beautiful as they are) and Ceres offer not a lot of variation in detail. -- They're still great choices for the story, though.

I am also eager to get back to the Solar System map, but ... work first, then play, right?

The Cartographist
08-18-2008, 06:28 AM
Do you really think so? I think that the rings are a great place for all sorts of fun things to happen. At the macro level, they are seemingly pretty standard and seemingly static, but at the micro level, there could be an infinite variety of possibilities. Just my two cents...

08-26-2008, 12:34 AM
I'll try to do some justice to the rings.

Meanwhile ... I can't believe this! ... I have to bump the Titan chapter to the next issue! I ran way over page count, and Dark Vision, because it has both the Forepart and the Titan part, is the only fair candidate to split & bump.

Maybe I will make each chapter available in advance, eh? as a Carguil exclusive!

Criminy, if it ain't one thing it's another.

09-02-2008, 01:38 PM
"Forepart" and "Part One: Titan" for your amusement when there's nothing better to do but read weird scifi.



I hope to do Titan as a cover illustration for Wayfarer 32.

09-06-2008, 07:07 PM
Oops, anybody catch the error on the last page of Chap 27?

There's a HAMOPS button (http://www.cafepress.com/mysteryandmagic.302866769) in it for the first person who can figure it out ... if anybody.

Hint: you have to read Chap 26 *or* Moqueur's profile to get it.

No, I didn't do it on purpose. But why not have fun with it?

09-08-2008, 10:54 PM
Just had to say ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

09-21-2008, 03:38 PM
(Belated thnx for the birthday wish!) :P

I think I will do covers for all five locations.

Here's Titan.

09-21-2008, 04:05 PM
Beautiful cover!!! Lovely work Toff

Steel General
09-21-2008, 08:58 PM
Very nice! :)

09-26-2008, 04:01 PM

10-31-2008, 08:32 PM
Alright, after quite a few distractions, I have shipped Wayfarer 32. I am hoping to get the Solar System map in Wayfarer 36, the July-August 2009 issue.

So, long story short, no, I have not fallen off the Earth :) Full speed ahead!

11-22-2008, 07:04 PM
Rings Of Saturn ...

11-22-2008, 09:29 PM
Wow, that looks nice!

11-23-2008, 05:50 PM
I just love your magazine covers.

01-18-2009, 08:18 PM
Been silent & absent from Car.Guil., sorry ... anyway, quickie update ...

Part 2of5 (Rings Of Saturn) is published & posted for download. I hope you enjoy the story so far. Here are links for parts 1 (Titan) and 2, and a bit of backstory:
Dark Vision: Chapter 17: Encore, Paris (Troisième De Cinq) (http://links.mysteryandmagic.com/Dark_Vision_Chapter_17_Encore_Paris_Troisieme_De_C inq.pdf)
Dark Vision: Chapter 27: Leapfrog: Part One: Titan (http://links.mysteryandmagic.com/Dark_Vision_Chapter_27_Leapfrog_Part_One_Titan.pdf )
Dark Vision: Chapter 28: Leapfrog: Part Two: The Rings Of Saturn (http://links.mysteryandmagic.com/Dark_Vision_Chapter_28_Leapfrog_Part_Two_The_Rings _Of_Saturn.pdf)

I am still hoping to continue & finish the Solar System map-art project for inclusion with part 5, although the timescare factor is ramping up pretty high. But, we'll see, right?

Meanwhile ... can you say "Giant Spider Hotel On Io"? Sure you can! Here's one of the legs, so far ...

02-01-2009, 06:07 PM
That previous leg design dint work out. Got too visually complex once I had six of them going. (Yes, I know spiders have eight legs.) Anyway, I hadda simplify it. Here's the final version.

Steel General
02-02-2009, 06:59 AM
Great stuff Toff!

04-11-2009, 02:41 PM
The Ceres chapter has grown to the point that I must split it in half.

Good news is, the vision of Ceres readily accommodates the split.

Bad news is, it delays the completion of the Map Of The Solar System by 2 months.

Good news is, I need the extra two months anyway!

04-11-2009, 04:27 PM
Toff, that is sheer beauty! Again!!!

04-11-2009, 04:41 PM
Thanks. I'm having a blast doing the Tour Of The Solar System. The Ceres cover is almost done ... I hope you'll like it. It's called "Midnight City."

I was thinking of doing a map for the 2nd part of Ceres. But I am also thinking of my desperate "no new projects" resolution ... meh.

04-11-2009, 04:44 PM
Wait a second....how do I actually get to read the magazines???

04-11-2009, 04:52 PM
Well, I've been posting the chapters as PDFs. But now that you mention it, I don't think I posted Io yet. There's a thread around here somewhere.

04-11-2009, 04:54 PM
My hope is to finish my Map Of The Solar System and print it as a 10.5 x 16.5 color map to insert in ... well, it would be the July-August issue, I think, now. The way things are going, it'd actually ship toward the end of August.

I reallllllly reallllllly hope to accomplish that.

04-11-2009, 04:56 PM
I can't open any of the pdf's in post #20 :(

04-11-2009, 05:00 PM
Bad links on PDFs 27 and 28 ... I think I fixed them.

04-14-2009, 07:33 PM
Ceres cover


04-14-2009, 07:34 PM
I might get the other Ceres cover (part 2, the dayside) from another artist. But if she backs out, I'll try it.

Then Mars.

04-14-2009, 07:37 PM
... So, the latest you will see the final Solar System map is the end of April.

L O F L ! :shock:

04-15-2009, 05:40 PM
That is so bloody beautiful. Magic. Your art really sends me.

04-15-2009, 08:31 PM
That's awfully kind of you, thanks!

Now if I could just post some freaking MAP art on this site once in a while ...

Steel General
04-16-2009, 07:17 AM
With cover art like that, I think we can let you slide on the maps. :)

05-27-2009, 06:55 PM
Apparently I've decided to map Ceres. I've begun the work.

05-27-2009, 07:41 PM
Apparently, I think we're all really pleased!

More Toff mapping!!!

Can't wait!

05-31-2009, 09:50 PM
I post this so I *can't* change my mind ...

05-31-2009, 09:52 PM
Crap, it has the wrong date on it. LOL.

06-03-2009, 06:49 PM
I had to work out a new coordinate system. Does this make sense?

06-03-2009, 07:45 PM
Don't know if it makes sense but it looks really beautiful.

06-09-2009, 06:45 PM
Don't know if it makes sense but it looks really beautiful.YOU GUYS! I had East & West flipped. Jeez, can there be a rookier move? :? Somebody better keep me on my toes, here!

I'm about done with this coordinates nano, I think, which after all is just a reference doodle for the sidebar of the main map. I was hoping to include Earth's "latitude and longitude" systems in comparison to Ceres's "compass and hours" system. But, I'm wasting -- I mean spending -- too much time on this anyway, when I ought to be continuing the Map Of The Solar System! argh, time, criminy.

Steel General
06-10-2009, 06:47 AM
YOU GUYS! I had East & West flipped. Jeez, can there be a rookier move? :? Somebody better keep me on my toes, here!

I saw that, and since it was consistent I thought maybe it was some strange, alternative universe thing :D

06-10-2009, 09:36 AM
thought maybe it was some strange, alternative universe thing :DDon't overestimate me :p

06-10-2009, 06:41 PM
wip, of course.

general idea is forming up.

06-13-2009, 10:03 AM
Masterful design. Just.....masterful.

06-13-2009, 05:27 PM
That's very kind of you, thanks.

Did a bit more yesterday ... all I have not yet really done is the ACTUAL MAP ... cities, roads, farmland ... might take it to Photoshop, not sure.

06-13-2009, 06:10 PM
omfg .. I have East and West reversed on the platforms.

Somebody just shoot me. LOFL!

06-13-2009, 09:37 PM
Just saw this, hey man, you got east and west switched ;)...unless the sun is on the left then it's ok :)

06-17-2009, 10:46 AM
Writers group last night -- good feedback on the Cereal Reverence chapter.

The map of Ceres also is advancing well. I needed a farmland texture and couldn't find a good one, so I stiched together several different ones can came up with this ... if anybody wants it. Sorry, it's non-seamless.

Can't attach it; uploading it to my webspace: http://links.mysteryandmagic.com/field-texture.jpg


06-17-2009, 10:52 AM
My flippin' Illustrator file for the Ceres map is a flippin' gigabyte. And that's without embedding links or thumbs.

Steel General
06-17-2009, 10:57 AM
Holy Large Files Batman! :D

06-17-2009, 11:01 AM
Yeh well make 'em big so you don't have to upsample later, is my motto. I wound up tiling 3 of these boys together for each wing, anyway.

06-17-2009, 11:05 AM
Oh I thought you meant the field texture :p doh.

Yeh my last version lost some weight ... only 993meg now.

06-17-2009, 11:40 AM
Bloody hell, East-West are still not right ... they're supposed to be reversed on the night side. WTF is wrong with me!

And I have a road going into the lake. Well LOL maybe that's possible in the 157th century! (No, it's a mistake.)

Obviously I have a lot of cleanup to do. But the project feels advanced! In fact I can't think of anything I've forgotten to add.

Steel General
06-17-2009, 12:15 PM
Despite all the little hiccups you've encountered recently, it's still an amazing piece of work.

06-17-2009, 12:58 PM
That's very kind of you, thanks. How can I make it better, though?

It needs more roads, and the roads need better definition, for one thing.

06-23-2009, 03:58 PM
I knocked up a governmental shield for the Cereal Reverence.

06-23-2009, 04:09 PM
Totally last call for constructive (or any other kind of) criticism ... It's late June and this is supposed to ship in the May-June issue :\

06-24-2009, 03:16 AM
Looks beautiful. Just one question. It says that the rotation of the planet was stopped in the general descriptive text but in the legend information the daily period of rotation is given as the same as the annual one. Shouldn't it read zero?

06-24-2009, 09:32 AM
No, that's how "one face always toward the [primary]" works, like our Moon.

06-24-2009, 12:41 PM
Actually thinking about it it makes sense. It actually has to rotate in order to keep the same face facing the primary.

06-25-2009, 04:35 PM
"Finished work" LOFL ... well, ya know, I have to stop working on it, due to time constraints as usual ... so by definition this work is "finished."

This was totally an afterthought, based on the cover I did for Ceres: Midnight City. That little winged planet just cried for a map. The funny part is, most of the locations visited in the story are too small to show here. Hah!

I guess I'm happy enough with it. I just really have a hard time halting the endless dicking about that all my projects seem to sink to.

So ... done. Movin' on!

06-28-2009, 12:21 PM
Are you going to post this in the finished maps forum, toff?

06-28-2009, 12:27 PM
You mean the Map Of Ceres? I did: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?p=68010

You mean the Map Of The Solar System? Sure IF I EVER FINISH IT :?

06-28-2009, 12:45 PM
Sorry, I was being blind!

07-02-2009, 11:02 AM
So, almost 10 years ago when I started my scifi RP storyworld, this is what I stuck up there for Mars ...


... and I want to be consistent, so that's where the last chapter(s) are going.

Poor Mars :roll: "The Cursed Planet"

Steel General
07-02-2009, 11:47 AM
Interesting take on 'the Red Planet'.

07-02-2009, 11:56 AM
Like many things in a creative work, that take kinda came about by accident.

I had made that little Bryce pic and posted it up there ... and then I thought, wait, this is supposed to be 13,000 years from now. By rights, Mars will be totally terraformed and covered in cities (or, less dystopianly, parks & farms).

But rather than swap the pic or backdate it to the 25th century or whatever, I kinda thought, yeh, what iof Mars's history was one disaster after another? And they STILL haven't cleaned the place up. I mean, hey, humans are notorious for screwing things up, delaying, failing, mismanaging ...

So yeh. It was a mistake, but with a little retroactive explaining, I think it works.

08-01-2009, 04:22 PM
Teaser for the Phobos cover.

08-01-2009, 05:52 PM
Dammit. DAMMIT.

You know what I have to do. I have to map out the civilization areas on Mars: cities, roads, nightlights, industrial fields ...

Obviously, from this shot, it would all be visible from Phobos. And I can't do a standing-on-Phobos pic without Mars in the sky. I just can't.


08-01-2009, 06:10 PM
You could go for some techy patterns to make it easier. There are some on that Genetica Viewer site that I snagged.

08-01-2009, 06:23 PM
Good tip, Ascension. I'll poke around there.

btw, Anybody notice the new Google image-search options? I like them. You can really filter in all the high-res pix.

08-01-2009, 06:56 PM
Wow - yes so you can. Thats immmmmensely great and I can see some whopper sized images up there. BTW I was posting here before I lost half hour in google to say I have 4 images in the finished thumbs now but one of Ceres is not the right one. I don't know why its picked up one of the other images but it must be a link to an attachment which is what it looks for.

Mars is looking good (as usual). Hope it wont be too many months before we see the final ;)

08-02-2009, 06:08 PM
Dammit. DAMMIT.

You know what I have to do. I have to map out the civilization areas on Mars: cities, roads, nightlights, industrial fields ...

Obviously, from this shot, it would all be visible from Phobos. And I can't do a standing-on-Phobos pic without Mars in the sky. I just can't.


That would be a crime against humanity! (and Martians) and humans who lived on Mars.

08-28-2009, 04:05 PM
So, turns out that my "map" of Mars was really just some city textures on the day & night sides. I spent too much time on it, considering I was just gonna blur it anyway.

Dang, wish I had time to map Mars the way I mapped Venus. Oh well. If I spent less time wishing I had more time, I'd have more time.

Anyway, we have arrived at the fifth & final stop on the tour of the solar system ... where, within another chapter or two, Ebony will find that "Map Of The Solar System" that I'm blogging (not tutorializing) in another thread ...

Steel General
08-28-2009, 04:06 PM
Very nice...

08-29-2009, 04:12 AM
Superbeautiful and a plug for the guild on the cover! Yay!

12-29-2010, 07:51 PM
None of the pdf's work now, is there some other place where this art can be found?

12-29-2010, 08:29 PM
Yeh, sorry, I cleaned up my "misc links" area, but I can reupload.
Is there some particular piece you were looking for?

01-04-2011, 09:32 PM
Well, all look fascinating to me. It seems very high level hard-sf the likes of I can read in some great SF novels like those by Stephen Baxter or Alastair Reynolds.

Which ones are still available-Mars, Solar System and Titan are of interest to me the most...

01-04-2011, 09:36 PM
I still have them all, so I will repost them. Yes, they're "hard scifi," although with a focus on the character & adventure.

I'll get them up in the next day or three, and post a note here. I hope you enjoy it!

01-04-2011, 09:41 PM
Thank you in advance :)

01-06-2011, 07:35 PM
Please be advised, this serial is discontinued and unlikely to be revisited. However, I think most of the chapters are enjoyable scifi adventure.

A friend of mine began the character Ebony in a RP, then took up writing the "Dark Vision" serial to continue Ebony's stories post-RP. She wrote about 6 chapters, then needed to take a break. I picked up the serial and wrote it for more than a quarter million words, until the magazine folded.

http://www.arcticcoconut.com/links/Dark_Vision/Dark_Vision_Chapter_17_Encore_Paris_Troisieme_De_C inq.pdf
http://www.arcticcoconut.com/links/Dark_Vision/Dark_Vision_Chapter_26_Leapfrog_Forepart_and_Moque ur.pdf
http://www.arcticcoconut.com/links/Dark_Vision/Dark_Vision_Chapter_28_Leapfrog_Part_Two_The_Rings _Of_Saturn.pdf