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asnys
08-28-2013, 06:20 PM
I'm looking for beta reader(s) for my series Those Magnificent Men and their Atomic Machines, on the history of atomic energy and related technologies, specifically the more unusual concepts proposed in the 50s and 60s. If you like atompunk you should (hopefully) like this. This isn't for a book or actual publication; I post them on my blog, Atomic Skies (http://atomic-skies.blogspot.com). A typical article is 6,000 to 9,000 words. I generally finish one every two to four months. Knowledge of the field is absolutely not a prerequisite; part of what I'm looking for is someone who can tell me if I need to explain something more clearly so people who aren't nuclear nerds can understand it, as well as criticize the writing more generally. Some previous installments in the series:

The Philosopher's Bomb, Part 1 (http://atomic-skies.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-philosophers-bomb-part-1.html): On the AEC program to use hydrogen bombs to discover new elements and do other physics experiments.
Burning Metal, Part 1 (http://atomic-skies.blogspot.com/2013/03/burning-metal-part-1.html) and Part 2 (http://atomic-skies.blogspot.com/2013/03/burning-metal-part-2.html): On the Los Alamos Molten Plutonium Reactor Experiment, a nuclear reactor fueled with, well, molten plutonium. It's a better idea than it sounds.
The Atomic Subterrene (http://atomic-skies.blogspot.com/2012/07/those-magnificent-men-and-their-atomic.html): On a concept for a nuclear-powered tunneling machine that would work by melting through the rock.

My next article is going to be about a bomb shelter proposal that makes a Fallout Vault look like a broom closet; I have a draft of it already done and I'm hoping to post it some time in the next two weeks. After that I'm going to do part 2 of "The Philosopher's Bomb". I'm also working on a shorter article (~500 words) on the Federal Civil Defense Administration's Rescue Street, the first realistic training mockup in the US for disaster workers, which I'm hoping to actually publish.

I can reciprocate by beta-reading anything in SF, horror, fantasy, or history, especially short stories or articles. I should warn you, though, that part of the reason it takes me 2-4 months to finish an article is that my day job is graduate student, and that has to come before writing, so I can't promise a short turnaround time. Also, I haven't done much beta-reading yet - some, but very little. My previous writing experience, aside from the blog and various trunk stories, is one published horror short story in a semiprofessional ezine and one published essay on literary criticism in an undergraduate journal.