The Great Galactic Service Station – Part 9

“Why have you brought us out here?” Ralph cried, pushing his finger through his hair and gripping it in frustration? “We have to go about two hundred miles and you’ve brought us probably two hundred light years!”

“How did you know that?” Harry asked surprised. “Maybe you’re better at space travel than we thought!”

“Oh please!” Ralph shouted to the roof of the control centre.

“Well you will name your places after galaxies, anyone could get confused. I’m beginning to realise why it is that the Great Galactic Service Station has been so hard to find!” Harry was sounding obviously flippant.

“Alright human – calm down!” Miranda cut in, sensing that the two were likely to start fighting at any moment. “Harry can you take us back please. You can show him where to go on one of your silly route map things. The A to Z isn’t it?”

“Oh for heaven’s sake!” Ralph cursed. “For intelligent people you aren’t exactly… intelligent.”

Miranda and Harry said nothing, Harry changed course taking them back towards Earth, Ralph felt bad as he watched the stars shooting by. He had been rude, but then he comforted himself  with the fact that he had been pretty much abused since he had been taken from Earth. Only Ralph, Miranda and Harry were in the control centre. Ralph was looking glum, it seemed that his one home in the universe, the home of the human race could be blown to pieces. He felt and hand on his shoulder but he continues to be glum and didn’t look up.

Miranda sat beside him, for once she seemed to be empathetic to Ralph. “It can’t be easy can it human?”

“My name is Ralph” Ralph replied, still not looking at her. “What can’t be easy?”

“Knowing that your world could be obliterated to dust and not being there.”

Ralph turned and looked at her. “I don’t want it obliterated to dust and being there won’t help!” Ralph was fairly indignant in his reply and added “I’ve not fed my cat since I’ve been here. She;s likely to have run away or been run down by a yobbo in a car with loud exhaust and those stupid wheels that stick out the side.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about Ralph, but it sounds bad.” There was kindness in Miranda’s voice.

Ralph felt finally as if he was slightly understood. “Then she will be obliterated to dust with the rest of the planet before I can bury her in her favorite spot where she would sit in the sun.”

“I think the cat will be fine.” Miranda reassured him “So will your planet if you’re right and you can help us find the Great Galactic Service Station.” Miranda actually smiled at this point, not a big smile but a kindly smile.

Ralph smiled back, then suddenly was thrown forward into the far wall as the spaceship came to sharp halt. Both Ralph and Miranda ended up in a twisted help.

“Is that my foot in my mouth or yours?” Ralph mumbled.

“I’m not sure!” Miranda screeched “I’m too busy wondering if I have your finger up my nose! What’s going on Harry?”

“Well it looks like we’ve stopped.” Harry replied matter of factly.

“Thank you for that!” Miranda shrieked “I know this, what would be more useful is if you could tell me why and what else is going on!” Miranda and Ralph were just crawling up as Ralph stood he wiped a finger on his trousers.

“Well it seems that Bak’rah have decided to turn up too and they have decided to do their trick of throwing up an energy cordon around the Earth.”

“Great! Just great!” Miranda huffed. “What else can go wrong?”

“Don’t ask that!” Ralph cringed.

Harry turned to Miranda “You’re forgetting we have the one thing that the Bak’Rah will be likely to let us in for!”

Miranda’s eyes widened at the thought that entered her mind. This thought permeated through her head, into her body and back into her head again. Not only was this idea the stuff of evil genius, it was the kind of thought that was more evilly cunning than… well a cunning thing.

“Boris!!” Both Harry and Miranda said in unison. The instantly marched off to the airlock where Gaz was guarding. Well, the term guarding was a rather loose term, he was happily playing some kind of three dimensional card game with Boris inside the airlock. It was also apparent they both liked Aldeberran Whiskey. Miranda pressed a button and opened the door pointing her zap-o-death at Boris.

“Oh please dear lady you don’t have to point that thing somewhere else I won’t harm you! In fact your little guard here has been very accommodating!”

“I like you Boris!” Gaz’s voice grated “I think you’re like me – misunderstood!”

“Great, it seems out little guard now has a soft spot for the leader of an evil conquering war race!” Miranda moaned, rolling her eyes. “Harry go and get Gaz sobered up before he ends up opening the other end of the airlock and blowing us into space!”

“I’m very grateful you haven’t shot me into space you know. Here would you like a pork scratching?” Boris was clearly in a drunkenly cheerful mood.

“It’s not us you should be concerned about – IRIS has a thing for shooting unwanted lifeforms into space. I want you and your guards out here, I need you off this ship. Don’t try anything either, or dying in the vacuum of space will seem a pleasurable way to go!” Miranda motioned them out, Boris was helped by his guards as she couldn’t really stand well by himself. Miranda chuckled to herself as she walked behind the staggering Boris. The two Tapian’s opened the door to their room to see what the commotion was. Miranda caught eye of them and wide eyed with shock she motioned for them to get back in which they promptly did.

Ralph stood in the control centre and watched as a drunken Boris staggered in followed by Miranda . Harry walked in from the other side, whispering ‘Boo’ as he walked past then chuckling to himself.

“Harry can you see if you can raise the Bak’rah lead ship?”

“I think I can get a response from them!” He smirked.

“Ha!” snorted Boris, you won’t be able to get anything out of them! They don’t talk to anyone! They don’t like anyone and only do what they want to do, when they want to do it!” Boris chuckled to himself.

“This is so true!” Miranda sighed with fake resignation. “But there are some they really, really hate! Like… Borians! So the leader of the Borians I think will be a nice little bargaining chip to get us back and get this mess sorted!” Miranda pointed her zap-o-death at the guards, making sure they knew resistance was futile.

“They have agreed to let us pass the cordon in exchange for Boris here! I’ve given them the coordinates and I have an access gate position.”

“Great! Take us there Harry!”

“On my way! Just one thing though the Borian fleet is heading this way – all of them!”

“Great!” Miranda hissed.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got an idea!” Harry exclaimed mysteriously.

“Now I’m worried….” Miranda locked her stare onto Harry with a ‘Don’t do something stupid’ look.

Harry on the other hand had other ideas. Doing something stupid…

To be continued…

©Simon Farnell 2018



The Do’s and Don’ts of Website Creation

I’ve been seeing some bits and bobs on SEO, blogging and the internet on Pinterest. I’m storing some of it up so I can share it with you. It’s nice and infographic-ie.

Let me know if you think this stuff is useful

Pinterest link

Simon 🙂

Hairdryers – Why the fuss and what makes one good?


A little while ago some of you may remember I wrote a post on Dyson’s hair dryer. I mainly focused on why I thought that some geeky advertising was trying to justify a very steep £300 price tag. If you don’t remember have a little refresh here Click on the image):


In summary I called liar on the digital motor and a bah so what for having microprocessor control. But it seems that while my argument on the cost is hard to get around it may be the best for ladies (or gents of course) who have long straight hair and want to keep it that way.

I was contacted by who pointed me to their own hair dryer research and asked if I would be willing to share this on my blog. This seemed like a reasonable and fair thing to do and it’s not everyday someone show interest in your blog.

Their full article can be found in The Best Hair Dryer article on their site where they go through what’s best for each hair type and budget pretty thoroughly. A very basic summery from their site lists these as the best:

The Best Hair Dryer  

  • Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

    Best Results for Straight Hair

  • Devacurl DevaDryer and Devafuser

    Best Results for Curly Hair

  • XTava Allure Pro 2200W Dryer

    Best Budget Dryer

  • Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer


  • Harry Josh Pro Tools Dryer 2000


I have to say I was quite interested in what makes a good hair dryer and what’s even stranger is I can see that what might be good for one lady might not be good for another depending on hair type and how they like their hair.

Heat, cool, airflow all play their part and becasue I don’t have long hair to deal with probably means I don’t see the bigger picture. So have a look and see what you think. The one thing I still think is that £300 is still a lot of money for hot air!


Simon 🙂

No ownership claimed on image – Credit Dyson

Manic Monday Number 4 :-P

Seriously… what a fucking week!

But let’s not dwell on this, between all the bits and pieces of my life they conspired against me – hence my relative absence last week.

But back to this week, a week I’m hoping will be a bit more fun and more progress in it. I’ve already made a giant leap forward this weekend as I managed to get some blogging and writing time in. More on this soon as I want to post some updates on writing as it progresses more.

The other thing to note is that the Scifi / Fantasy Hub is going to become more active but will become a personal space again. I was hoping to make this a more vibrant community project but this hasn’t had much interest so I’m going to bring it in and geek it out.


Keep your eyes peeled for changes, here on Planet Simon and on new upcoming projects. After last week I decided to throw everything back into the mix again, some things are decided and somethings are still no settled in my mind so who knows what will happen.

Part 9 of the Great Galactic Service Station will be published on Wednesday so make sure you catch it and will the previous 8 parts as well!


Also make sure you follow up what’s going on in the rest of the Planet Simon universe:

Planet Simon Facebook Page






Keep smiling, and blogging!

Simon 🙂

I am going seriously nuts over this!!!

Nearly five years ago I created this blog. At first it was called rather unimaginatively sfarnell. After some time and after realising my love of all things science fiction and space the blog name was changed to Planet Simon.

It was appropriate.

Even though I didn’t know it at the time I had created a brand. This is the kind of thing bloggers forget when they create a blog, they’re creating a brand and every post is meant to represent that brand.

Except I didn’t do that. I’ve got lost on cooking, general stuff, bit of this, bit of that. Any random shit that came to mind was getting put onto Planet Simon and I feel like I’ve created a monster that really is out of control and too big to manage. I know that I’ve created the two other sites for my creative stuff but I’ve been thinking I did wrong here.

When my bloggies think of Planet Simon they almost always think SciFi and Spacey geek. So I really need to be mindful of how I’m diluting what it is that Planet Simon is about. But that’s not really the issue, what the issue is really is that I have a load of posts and trying to organise the front page to give you my bloggie readers easy access is turning me into some kind of crazy man.

If you go and have a look now ( you’ll see what I mean. So, I think what I have to do is this.

  1. Delete a load of posts.
  2. Create a new site of general geeky bloggishness, kind of like a journal really.
  3. Keep Planet Simon for what it’s known for.
  4. Get rid of the other sites.
  5. Use my Universe of possibilities blog to be a general geeky outlet also.
  6. Tidy up and publish

This is something close to my heart, even though the new sites look ok, it’s not sat right with me and it’s felt a bit like leaving the kids out in the snow. This should bring some new life to my older stuff and free my mind up a bit more maybe.

I know there are those here who will tut at having more than one blog and how to manage it but I can’t manage the one and it’s doing my nut in!

Watch this space for more news bloggies!

Simon 🙂


Manic Monday Number 3!

What is it about Monday’s that makes them go wrong? Why can’t they be a nice day? A good thing about this Monday is I needed my sunglasses going to work. OK it was later than usual but even so and what has the snow and rain done? The potholes that have appeared over the weekend is nuts!

Anyways, how have your weekends been my faithful bloggies?

Over the last week a few posts got put into the great blogopshere. Here’s some links to a few of them. Like the one about how I think the universe is too lazy for coincidences. Or the  New Space Race to Mars and finally on our beloved NHS and what’s costing our doctors and nurses to keep going in the way the UK government is funding it.

There’s been good discussion around these already but if you missed them have a look!


I didn’t get out the latest part of the Great Galactic Service Station as I hoped last week, but give it a few days as it in progress. If you’re all lucky you’ll have a mid week treat!

Make sure you have a peek at my other projects too:

These sites aren’t quite finished but these are where I publish my writing and other creative content, giving it the focus it deserves without the extra random stuff! There’s going to be some more stuff added onto these sites soon so make sure you follow and don’t miss out on the fun. I will be making sure I highlight any additions in my manic Monday but they won’t appear on this blog.

Also watch out for posts on creating digital art – I’m still working on the first posts but hopefully soon something will be gracing the pages. What I’m not sure about is whether or not they should appear on Planet Simon or on the frontier imagination site. I’m torn so your comments on this would help.


Also make sure you follow up what’s going on in the rest of the Planet Simon universe:

Planet Simon Facebook Page







Keep smiling, reading  and writing!

Simon 🙂

The NHS – What is the real cost of saving it?

For those living in the UK, you will have noticed that there’s rarely a day goes by when the NHS is in the news and most of the time it’s not for good reasons. The words crisis, lack of resources, funding are used in the the story. The same politicians responsible for funding the service and keeping it going are on TV apologising for the outcomes over the winter or becasue the ambulances can’t get out to emergency calls becasue they can’t offload the patients they already have – becasue the hospitals are full to overflowing already with people being treated in the waiting rooms or left to be ill in the corridors.

The picture I hate to say this is bleak. It’s a tragedy to actually witness this great institution being strangled to death in front of our eyes and yet the British government (with it’s hand around the neck of the NHS) still insists it’s doing all it can to alleviate the daily crises affecting the NHS. The reality is different I think.

It’s the doctors, the nurses, paramedic and all the people working to try and make the NHS work that are actually keeping it going. I twas announced today that more nurses are leaving the NHS than joining. Small wonder considering the working conditions and pay that they’re getting. They seem to think that some kind of ambassadors will help the situation – so these people will help them accept long hours, low pay and demanding working conditions?

Keep on reading!