Tom Chmielewski

Dec 062016
 
Clarion Workshop a tough and rewarding experience

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 more »

Dreams of Mars

 Posted by at 3:51 pm on September 29, 2016  Mars exploration, News, Space news  No Responses »
Sep 292016
 
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

 Posted by at 7:24 pm on July 27, 2016  Cyber tech, News, Writing sci-fi  2 Responses »
Jul 272016
 
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 »

Apr 212016
 
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 »

Dec 292015
 
Rocket Scientists Follow Science Fiction’s Lead

I don’t recall many science fiction stories that had manned spacecraft landing on Earth by parachuting into water.  There might have been a few SF stories based on the Apollo program, but parachutes? No. So last week’s powered landing of Space X’s Falcon 9 first stage was a step backward in time to when SF more »

Dec 292015
 
Science Fiction Trends Back to Hard Science

NPR broadcast a report Dec. 13 on the recent rise in “hard” science fiction stories, taking special note of the book and film The Martian “that taps into an intriguing trend toward realism.” It’s a trend that many readers and viewers of science fiction have noticed since Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy in the 1990s, more »

Nov 192015
 
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 »

Oct 072015
 
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 »

Feb 272015
 
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 »

Jul 272014
 
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 »