Out Now–Desperate Fire (Angel in the Whirlwind IV)

31 May

As the Commonwealth produces more starships and increases recruits, victory begins to slip from Theocratic control. This can only make the Theocracy more desperate to win…and more dangerous to fight.

After a mission to liberate an occupied planet ends in nuclear devastation, Kat Falcone—now a commodore in command of HMS Queen Elizabeth—sees firsthand just how far the enemy will go. Suddenly dealing with the war effort and a humanitarian crisis, many in the Commonwealth want a truce. Kat wants something else: to crush the Theocracy outright—and quickly.

Kat devises Operation Hammer, an all-out assault on the enemy home planet, Ahura Mazda. It is a bold and risky plan, but the enemy has revealed there can be no middle ground. Can Kat break the galactic stalemate and deal a deathblow to the Theocracy? As two empires prepare to fight the largest space battle in history, Kat must trust her instincts to save her people and avoid oblivion.

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8 Responses to “Out Now–Desperate Fire (Angel in the Whirlwind IV)”

  1. William Ameling June 1, 2017 at 1:51 am #

    One misconception that seems fairly common even amongst science fiction fans and writers (such as Chris and Peter Hamilton) (I am tempted to say general public, but most of them would not be aware of anti matter and its explosions) is that antimatter explosions generate a lot of secondary radiation like a nuclear or fusion bomb (which uses a nuclear bomb to start) do. WRONG, an antimatter explosion will generate a lot of primary ionizing radiation, i.e. Gamma Rays which get absorbed and remitted as multiple X Rays, which get absorbed and remitted as multiple UItraviolet and ordinary light rays. Any form of ionizing radiation that is only photons (light) will cause a lot of damage to biological organisms and solid materials such as drive engines (e.g. Anti matter Drives), electronic devices of all kinds, etc. Lower levels of ionizing will upset the functions of electrical devices. High levels of ionizing radiations can permanently damage electrical devices and any other solid materials.

    However, high energy light (photons) (ionizing radiation) will not cause ordinary materials to become radioactive which then emits secondary radiation for a long time (days, months, years, thousands of years,etc.) afterwards.

    Radioactive materials from nuclear or fusion explosions will have two causes: intense fluxes of neutrons which are absorbed by normal non radioactive atoms to become unstable atoms or from fission products that come from splitting the uranium 235 or plutonium atoms. Many of those products from splitting uranium or plutonium atoms will be radioactive. Nuclear and fusion bombs do also emit a lot gamma and X Rays just like an antimatter explosion but that does not cause radioactive materials.

    Antimatter explosions do not cause fluxes of neutrons and there are no atoms to be split either.

  2. William Ameling June 1, 2017 at 5:13 am #

    I can think of one possible exception to my argument above: what happens when an anti proton hits a heavy nucleus (of normal matter with many protons and neutrons) and annihilates one of the protons in that nucleus, that might break up that nucleus and possibly create secondary radioactive atoms. But if the anti proton (or anti hydrogen) hits a hydrogen atom which only has one proton, one electron, and no neutrons, then there will be just gamma rays (high energy photons) produced and no secondary radioactive products. Anti electrons (positrons) will only annihilate electrons to produce gamma rays.

    PS Modern physics has only created anti protons and anti electrons and possibly anti hydrogen, it has NOT created nuclei of heavier anti atoms, such as anti helium. Also anti helium has not been observed in cosmic rays (and they have looked for it).

    • georgephillies June 1, 2017 at 5:27 am #

      However the two photons from the annihilation will each be a tad under 1 Gev, and if absorbed may disassociate the recipient nucleus…like fusion, except backwards…into parts.

      • Anarchymedes June 1, 2017 at 10:07 am #

        In any case, 50 nukes would not be enough to render the planet uninhabitable. But hey, I thought modern science fiction has outgrown the worries about the so-called scientific believability. Look at Star Wars, or the Riddick franchise, or even the ‘good old’ Alien.
        It’s the emotional, social, and maybe political – in other words, human – believability that matters. But I’ll say my bit on that in my review, when I finish the book.

      • Vapori June 3, 2017 at 4:19 pm #

        it depends very much, on the size of the bomb 50 bombs with the size of the zar bomb with it’s not applied 3 stage might do the job. dirty bombs are known today. They have of course never been tested or used but it’s very possible to do so.
        But usually such bombs could be more distructive then even today. But’s I’m not sure for how long they would render a planet life less
        the dirties bombs today Cobalt bombs have half life time of 5 years. when the radioactivity is 150 times highter then that of a normal bomb.

  3. William Ameling June 1, 2017 at 9:36 pm #

    True about about the energy of gamma rays from proton anti proton annihilation, they will be almost 1 GEV or 1 billion (or Giga) (10**9)electron volts. Any high energy photons will lose a lot of energy interacting with electrons, any with energies a little over 1 MEV or 1 million (10**6) electron volts will also be able to interact with heavy nuclei that they pass near to pair create electron positron pairs, followed by the positrons annihilating with other electrons to create pairs of gamma rays (normally with energies a lot less than the original gamma ray). There might be rare cases of photo disassociation of nuclei from the the 1 GEV photons. I think that anti protons hitting a heavy nucleus and breaking it up would be more common.

    I still feel that Antimatter reactions (explosions) will be a lot cleaner than nuclear or fusion explosions in the amount of secondary radioactive contamination that they would cause. On the other hand it is a lot easier to get much larger explosions, IF you can produce enough and store the antimatter safely in the first place. Anti matter power (not explosions) should be relatively clean except for the problem of protecting the surroundings such as a spaceship from the high fluxes of ionizing radiation that they would produce.

  4. William Ameling June 1, 2017 at 9:50 pm #

    On a separate matter, I think that Kat’s father the Duke was likely NOT killed by teams from the Theocracy (particularly since they were never caught afterwards), it is much more likely to have internal political causes or might involve other interstellar powers supporting those rival internal factions.

    • Pyo June 1, 2017 at 11:49 pm #

      I’m going to eat my coffee cup if it wasn’t Elvis. If you know what I mean.

      The End – and the implications for the future of that series – were in my opinion the bestest thing about that arc of the series and that novel in particular. I’m probably needlessly blatant when I say that I liked almost nothing about it, except that it was “free” on KU. But that end … that was good. Unfortunately I think it’s too late for me to come around for this one.

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