Dec 142014
 

I watched NASA’s Orion spacecraft make a morning full of attempts to get off the ground last week before controllers called it a day, and then make good on their efforts the next morning.

Link to Boeing video on the company's vision of its Path to Mars.

Link to Boeing video on the company’s vision of its Path to Mars.

The first morning’s attempts, with countdowns repeatedly and frustratingly interrupted by calls of “Hold! Hold! Hold!” just short of T-minus 3:00, brought to my mind the early days of manned flight. I was just a kid in early elementary school when I watched the Mercury flights, and later Gemini. Those flights were also frequently interrupted by the call of “Hold.” School was in walking distance, so my mom let me be a little late as I dawdled hoping to watch the launch. If I had to leave before lift-off, I hoped NASA would scrub the launch for a day or two. Sometimes when I came home from lunch, instead of watching Soupy Sales, I found the rocket was still on the pad and I got to watch it lift-off after all.

It was more dramatic back then, of course, compared to the Orion launch. There was more at stake then. Heck, even unmanned launches in those days were dramatic as most of them blew up. It seemed to people watching that it was just a roll of the dice for the astronauts to survive lift-off. Continue reading »

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 »

Jun 152014
 
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 »

Casting Call for Sci-Fi Audio Drama

 Posted by at 9:58 am on September 25, 2013  Writing sci-fi  No Responses »
Sep 252013
 
Casting Call for Sci-Fi Audio Drama

I have faced many delays with this project, but now that I have the funding, I’m moving ahead with the production of a short sci-fi audio drama, Shalbatana Solstice. I hope to record before the end of the year. If scheduling works out, sometime in October. Shalbatana is a short story prequel to my novel, Lunar more »

Hiring Asteroid Miners

 Posted by at 12:17 pm on May 5, 2013  Moon exploration  No Responses »
May 052013
 
Hiring Asteroid Miners

Astrogeologists still have to wait to leave Earth Recently, I received an email from Planetary Resources with the subject line, “Now hiring asteroid miners.” About time, it seemed to me. The e-mail said the company was looking for college students for co-op positions, and I thought of forwarding it to my niece studying geology at more »

Aug 262012
 
Reflections from a July morning on a Florida beach, 1969

We didn’t sleep much that night on the beach, my brother, my cousin and I – and several thousand other people. We kept staring across Indian River at that gleaming needle of white on the Atlantic shoreline of the Kennedy Space Center, a rocket bathed in the brilliant glare of searchlights that surrounded the launch more »

Aug 172012
 
If we find life on Mars, is Mars off limits?

When Curiosity shakes off all the dust from landing and completes all its system checks, it will begin its one-year trek (by the Martian calendar) up Mount Sharp, with one of its aims to discover if Mars was ever habitable for primitive life. What if it was? Wow! Great, what a find! What if the more »

Aug 012012
 
Crowdfunding novel and audio drama

This has been a long time coming, but finally I’ve launched a Kickstarterr funding campaign to publish my novel, Lunar Dust, Martian Sands, and its audio short-story prequel, Shalbatana Solstice. I’ve been leading up to this for a while. In fact, for the novel, it’s been years. I believe now the timing is right, both more »

Commercial dreams of space

 Posted by at 10:27 am on May 14, 2012  Space news  No Responses »
May 142012
 
Commercial dreams of space

There is a new space race. It’s hard to tell who the leaders are as this new race is in its early stages. The entrants are still jockeying for position and getting used to the track. But the rest of this decade could be the beginning of an exciting time off Earth. Some politicians and more »

Mar 242012
 
Tripping fantastic in hard sci-fi

Hard sci-fi has a reputation for being almost exclusively about science and tech, with people only thrown in for context. I don’t buy it, and I don’t buy stories which take that approach. Unfortunately it’s a reputation reinforced by some authors who do embrace that idea and fill their stories with techno-overdrive. These authors meticulously more »