Life Out There Begins in Your Mind

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Clarion SF&F Writers Workshop Tough, Rewarding

How do you learn to write Science Fiction & Fantasy? In some ways you don’t. You let the experience of SF&F embrace you with its breadth of imagination, and in rare, precious instances reach inside you to touch your soul. Then again, you do have to learn to keep pounding away at your keyboard, no matter how far past midnight it is nor how burnt the coffee, until something comes out of your mind and through your fingers that you think you won’t throw away – and you hope someone else wants to read.

The Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop is all of that and more, and the application period for the 2017 workshop is now open until March 1. (Read  more)

Dreams of Mars, and Beyond

heartofgold-at-saturncropsElon Musk’s vision of a giant ship to take colonists to Mars has an Art Deco feel to the design, and a heavily science fiction influence on his vision. Turning that vision into reality will depend on his inner  “improbability drive.” Grab your towels and hitch a ride. (More)

Author’s page for novel, audio drama

LDMSfrontcoverthumbnailRead excerpts and hear clips of Tom Chmielewski’s novel Lunar Dust, Martian Sands and his audio drama Shalbatana Solstice on the Martian Sands Bookstore page. Purchase from this page or access this site’s Amazon storefront for a full range of science fiction titles. (More)

Dreams of Mars

Dreams of Mars

(credit: Space X video) Musk Endeavors to Make Reality Catch Up with Science Fiction Elon Musk is nutty as a fruitcake. He has to be to dream this big and have any chance of reaching those dreams. Musk and others like him are the only ones with enough passion who can. Of course, it helps more »

The Cyberian Candidate

The Cyberian Candidate

The Russian penetration  of the Democratic National Committee’s computer network at first glance seems like the “third-rate” burglary that Richard Nixon’s tricksters tried to pull at the DNC’s  headquarters in 1972. But just as with Watergate, this latest political thievery has the earmarks of becoming a first-rate thriller. I’ve written before about advances in cyber more »

Dream Big, Build Small to Reach the Stars

Dream Big, Build Small to Reach the Stars

Well, that didn’t take as long we thought. A concept I first heard introduced at the 100-Year Starship symposium last fall proposed a stream of postage stamp-sized probes with light sails propelled by a 10-minute burst of laser beams that accelerates the probes to 20 percent light speed. At that speed, the probes could reach more »

Finding Creative Paths to the Stars

Finding Creative Paths to the Stars

From Epic World-Ship Journeys to Spamming Our Galactic Neighbors In Science Fiction, there are three ways to reach the stars: fly fast, fly slow, or fly tricky, or so an old saying goes. In science, mostly there are the same three ways, but none of the options can be reached through a creative, technobabble paragraph. Some more »

Who’s in that Martian Water?

Who’s in that Martian Water?

NASA’s announcement last week of clinching evidence that liquid water exists on Mars may doom any chance of building a colony on the Red Planet. It’s not the liquid water that hides in Martian sublayers and at times  escapes to the surface or near surface of the planet that’s the problem. It’s what may be in more »

Living in California, Working on Mars

Living in California, Working on Mars

It’s not everyday I get to talk with someone who works on Mars. So when I scored an assignment for The Atlantic magazine’s website (Jet Lag is Worse on Mars) on how Martian explorers will adjust to a longer Martian day, my first call was to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I was able to get more »

Why Build a Scientifically Accurate World with a Soulless Society?

Why Build a Scientifically Accurate World with a Soulless Society?

Why are there a number of how-to books on building worlds in Science Fiction, but none, at least that I know of, about shaping the societies that inhabit them? Thankfully, there are authors who include the societal element of the story they’re writing, be the societies alien or human. But there were a couple of more »

A long road to dual release of sci-fi drama, novel

A long road to dual release of sci-fi drama, novel

Just finished recording and editing the science fiction audio drama Shalbatana Solstice, a prequel I wrote for my novel Lunar Dust, Martian Sands. I plan to release both in July. Both stories deal with people trying to make a life on a lonely planet, and make the world their own. No zombies, no aliens – more »

Chinese Worm the Latest Turn in Cyber-War

Chinese Worm the Latest Turn in Cyber-War

The plot is chilling. A cyber-mercenary gang known as “Icefog” operating out of China unleashes its insidious worm “Dagger Three” to infiltrate computers of foreign governments and their defense contractors, steal vital secrets, then leaves in an electronic mist before anyone is the wiser. Sounds like a job for James Bond, though maybe he’s too more »

One-Way to Mars: Is it the only way?

One-Way to Mars: Is it the only way?

No, but maybe sending colonists first is the better way If you want to go to Mars, you only have a few days left to apply. But if you want a round trip ticket, you’re going to have to wait a while longer. The plan of the Mars One Foundation to send would-be colonists to more »