12/26/19 – Emily’s Daughter

Spacetrawler, audio version For the blind or visually impaired, December 26, 2019.




And as is known about taller buildings, cement is super strong, but it’s the lack of flexibility which makes it break.


  1. Coyoty

    It’s not because they can’t change, but because they refuse to. Aitana got Emily to soften a little at the start of this adventure, and by the end Emily may be ready to go back to her family.

  2. ronald

    It was Ruddock who described their life in the desert as being “homeless.” Emily could have walked back into her spaceship at any time, and if a spaceship’s not a home, what is it? Other than a spaceship. πŸ™‚

    However, Aitana accepted Ruddock’s statement at face value and Emily’s not inclined to correct her. Hm.

    Notice that Aitana’s reaction to learning about Emily’s current situation is pretty much identical to Ruddock’s. As is often the case in fiction, children and animals are on the same wavelength.

      1. TB

        Particularly if you use the larger definition of “home,” which includes her actual family. The spaceship is a shelter, but it isn’t a “home” any more than the RVs that line the streets in Silicon Valley.

        1. TB

          That said, I would totally love living in a big spaceship. With my family, like the Robinsons. Then it would be a home.

          I’ll take a TARDIS if you have one on the lot, but anything big enough to have a swimming pool and bowling alley would be fine. Jupiter II is too damn crowded.

  3. Jude

    Love Aitana’s wide eyes and shocked expression in the second panel. Judging by what you’ve written so far, Aitana and Ruddock are going to be my favourite characters. Both are disarmingly honest which is something I value in a person (and also because it’s how I am though I’ve learned to temper it with a degree of tact after many years).

  4. Pete Rogan

    Irresistible force meets immovable object. Or immovable force meets irresistible object. Either way, the outcome is stalemate until something changes the situation.

    The solidity of circumstance can be changed by the enthusiasm and drive of youth. I know; I’ve had it happen to me. The outcome, however, may not be what you think, or believe, or expect, or wish.

    So too here, I feel. Which makes me realize while I’m thinking of Emily, her concern for what happens to Aitana is not displaced and is the greater worry. Innocence is not a Galactic value, alas.

  5. Owen Smith

    In the UK cement is a very fine powder like grey talcum powder. So it actually fills any shape you pour it into and has no strength of its own, and will become any other shape very quickly.

    1. Gregg Eshelman

      Cement is the stuff that holds concrete together. To make concrete, cement powder is mixed with sand and an aggregate. The aggregate is typically crushed gravel but may be smooth gravel, even including larger rocks. The cement to aggregate bond is generally better with rough rock.

      To make concrete with customized properties, the person mixing it will start with separate cement, sand, and aggregate. For most uses a pre-mix will be good enough – as long as the concrete plant gets the ratios correct. I’ve had a few bags that were mostly rock, and a few that had very little rock. Fortunately I was making very low stress things, not a bridge. πŸ˜‰

      Concrete can also have glass or steel fiber added for reinforcement, in place of or in addition to steel reinforcing mesh and/or bar.

  6. Muzhik

    … cement is super strong, but it’s the lack of flexibility which makes it break.

    And yet, if you are able to put a rod of steel in the cement while it’s still liquid, when it hardens, you’ll have something that is both stronger and more flexible than either by themselves.

    Don’t know what that has to do with the current conversation. It felt appropriate to bring it up.

    1. ronald

      “And if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce, they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.” — Groucho Marx, “Animal Crackers,” 1930

      That’s just me being whimsical. πŸ˜‰

  7. Night-Gaunt49

    The ancient mythical vimanaas are said to be abke to do among other things to increase their interior size without getting larger by outer volume. One such story mentions the ability to add room inside to accommodate 100,000 troops as needed. I’d go for one of those. Too bad the last ones were probably made around 70,000 years ago or so it is reckoned.

    Still there isn’t much to eat in the desert. And Emily would have to move around to find enough and her ship would be there to do it.

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