About talespin

I'm a writer, an educator, and an east coast Canadian -- all titles that don't make me much money.

The Negotiator’s Parables

Lessons in Planets Diplomacy

Once upon a time in a sector two feet in front of my eyes, I tumbled down a wormhole and found a universe that was flat, the stars bright but still, and cows, worms, and iguanas lived on tiny white dots in the black. To my right, I saw a flock of birds caught in webs and a lizard eating a shoe. On my left there were many soldiers, some nearly human and others part machine. They were caught in an endless war of lies and blood. I averted my eyes.

It was then that I noticed the cricket on a rock near the path. He wore a dress shirt and a tie. As odd as it was, it was stranger still when he asked me to sit. He taught me about Space War and spoke of the Grand Queue. The wisdom of the cricket opened my mind and I decided to pass it on… to you.

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Best Foot Forward

Your First Move

A gender-neutral computer voice with hints of a high-class accent speaks through the intercom, "Commander, a medium freighter has been commissioned. Its captain is awaiting orders."

A creolized accent comes from the radio, "Hoy, come in. Dis be Capt'n Johnson o' ECS Twenty-Three Hundredths. The hold be empty. We gutegow. Waiting on you, Bossmang. The 200-Kiloton lady be hungry."
2021 release of the new MDSF image

On Turn 1, your empire controls a single Medium Deep Space Freighter and its first mission has rippling implications throughout the entire game. A well calculated move is required to set a strong pace so you’d better “put your best foot forward.” It equates to setting your feet in the blocks at the starting line of a hundred metre sprint. The one in the front is called your power foot and it generates a hundred percent of your forward momentum; your starting freighter is your Planets power foot and it determines the speed and direction of your economic develop.

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Planets Con in a Post-Pandemic Continuum – Cheers!

OPINION – What’s really important?

I sit down to write this article and find myself straining to pinpoint when we last had an in-person Planets Con. Lords of Cobols – do you realize it’s been three years?! Was the last one truly 2018? Yes, the Finns know how to party, but the rest of us need to get shaking. With that in mind, I key this note to remind everybody of what’s really important:

That image sends some potentially confusing messages; however, I assure you that I honestly mean that beer is the most vital part of Planets Con. Is there really any better way to connect to another human being than to clink glasses together?

[TS: Rhetorical sarcasm?]
[G: Actual fact. Though mine might be coffee. …OK, maybe Irish coffee.]

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Navigating The Queue

DISCLAIMER: This document will not guarantee wins and it is not a technical manual for the queues; however, it will give you a baseline for managing your empire under the umbrella of each system. Launch your galley here; adjust your heading for the stars.

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Which Queue?

Not the one from Star Trek.

How to Find Build Queue Information in the Host Settings

When you start a game at Planets.Nu, you need to know how to identify which build queue is active. Sometimes you are given the information, sometimes not. In this article, you will find instructions on how to find these details.

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The Inside Scoop – Money and Development

Our last Inside Scoop was either an April Fools joke or wishful thinking. Personally, I was secretly hoping some of it was coming true… *sigh* …But let’s set flights of fancy aside. It’s nearing the end of May and we have a new Inside Scoop for our dedicated fans. This release contains a lot of hard facts, some hints on future developments, and intriguing insights into where our subscription money goes.

(As with our other Scoops, this article was pieced together from an email discussion. Some wording was edited to help clarify and highlight main points. Money was a weighty topic and we dumped a huge load of questions on Joshua. We were afraid we might have scared him off, but he found the time to give us some excellent and exciting answers. Super thankful!)

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Tips, Tricks, and Technicalities for a Timely Turn

A Tactic for People Who Want to See More Sunlight

On occasion, my wife and kids look over my shoulder, peek at my computer, and ask, “Why are you staring at those little dots?” They are baffled that I engage in such an antiquated computer game and perplexed why I am so captivated by images of circles. I also consider the same questions and ponder my reasons for my dedication. I don’t know the answer, but I’ll continue to play at least until I do.

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The Inside Scoop: April Fools

Our last Scoop article shared all the details about Leagues and Championships. Now the Cognitum War is underway, we can turn our attention back to the future. We at Planets Magazine are pleased to bring you an announcement: Nu’s got new features and ships coming your way. Moreover, Planet.nu’s usually inscrutable leader, Joshua, is here to tell us all about it.

NOTE: We’re told the art is preliminary, and it may not come in by release time, so TS has given us a filler picture or two.  Contrary to appearances, no alcohol was used writing this article. -G


(As is always the case with Inside Scoop, the following has been condensed from a lengthy email chain. Just imagine we’re all in a comfy studio with nice cups of tea and an Easter wedge of Mom-Mom Bessie’s Coconut Molasses Pie. – Editor)

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