We had a power outage in our area the other day. There we were sitting at our respective computers, doing what we do – and everything stopped! It’s an interesting phenomenon. Suddenly, there’s silence. We couldn’t even hear the soft hum of the fridge.
The next question was ‘what do we do now’? We could garden but the garden was sodden from the recent rain. The house needed vacuuming… oh. Doing the washing was out. I settled for cleaning the bathrooms, then emptied some shelves that needed a clean. Pete thought he’d help by vacuuming the shelves before I washed them…Um, no. We could use our mobile phones to access the internet, of course. But only for as long as the batteries had power.
The outage lasted for a couple of hours max, and things were back to normal. But it made me think. We have become so reliant on electronic devices and in such a short time. To bring any first world country to its knees, knock out the power stations. And destroy a few satellites.
Years ago, when I still worked at Australia Post in Perth, I arrived in the CBD just after a power failure that affected the whole city. I couldn’t get into the office because the electric doors didn’t work. Even if I’d got through the front door, the lifts didn’t work. The lights didn’t work. I couldn’t boil a kettle. And, of course, the computer I needed to do my job wouldn’t work. So, I went home. Easier said than done, though. I had to catch a bus and my heart bled for the driver. All the traffic lights were out. He had to ease his bus through dozens of intersections. I did manage to get into the house, though. I had an analog key. I’m pretty sure the outage didn’t end until late in the day for parts of the city, later for others.
If I remember rightly, the problem was caused by a build-up of dust on the power lines, followed by some rain. The incident I’m talking about happened in the early 1990’s. I was looking for more information on that event – and found it’s still happening now. It really would be a good idea to put the power underground, which is what they do in new developments. It’s difficult in the older suburbs, I know. But it’s never going to be cheaper than it is today.
We’ve also been considering going over to Perth for a week or so but in the current covid climate, that’s probably a bridge too far. The state borders are dropping down again so we would run the risk of being forced to quarantine both ways. It would make for an expensive little trip. Besides, who wants to spend 14 days in a hotel room? At least we wouldn’t need to provide a negative covid test taken no more than 72 hours before travel, as is needed for international flights. They cost AU$145 a pop and they email/SMS you the results. I’m hoping that new test which gives results in twenty minutes, becomes the norm. Especially if the test is actually at the airport.
In other news, I’m excited to be able to tell you about a project I’ve had to keep quiet until now. I have a story in a science fiction romance anthology called Pets in Space®. It’s a collection of never before published stories from eleven well-regarded authors. Each is a romance and each includes as a main character an out of this world pet. Pets in Space 6 is only US$4.99 for new, original science fiction romance from leading authors. That’s like buying 5 full-length novels for the price of a cup of coffee.
And one of those stories is MINE! The Thunder Egg is set in the Dryden Universe and features a bunch of brand new characters. Including, of course, a ‘pet’. I’m sure you’ll love reading about Neyru as much as I loved discovering her story.
The book is available for pre-order at
And you’ll get the book on 5th October.
You’ll be supporting a good cause, too. Pets in Space is a proud supporter of Hero Dogs. Pets in Space authors have donated over $15,300 in the past five years to help place specially trained dogs with veterans and first responders. 10% of all pre-orders and the first month’s royalties of Pets in Space 6 will again go to Hero Dogs.