Space flight in Science Fiction: getting off this rock

Image: the last Shuttle lift-off in May 2011. Image snarfed from the amazing APOD site. I’ve just finished reading a book I won’t mention, for the reason that it describes something that’s impossible and inaccurate, would never be practical in the way described, and I don’t want to single out…

Continue reading

Fire & Ice – part 1 of the Icefire Trilogy

Fire & Ice is book 1 in the Icefire Trilogy series Where magic is dark and gritty, characters troubled and twisted, and victory comes at a heavy price. Deep under the City of Glass in the frozen southern land, an age-old machine called the Heart of the City radiates a…

Continue reading

Growing crops in space #2

In truth, this post should read ‘Growing crops in artificial environments’, because it applies equally to crops grown in a hypothetical space station as it does to crops grown on the Moon, or Mars or any fictional celestial body. I’ll start off with a few open doors: – All crops…

Continue reading

Growing crops in space

You are writing space-based Science Fiction, and have decided your world is going to have a self-sufficient space station, base or space ship. A lot of Science Fiction books have this assumption in common. Any human colony, whether on a moving vessel, space station or on the surface of a…

Continue reading

Charlotte’s Army – novella

Charlotte’s Army is a Novella in the ISF-Allion series An army of 7000 artificial soldiers accidentally received the same brain implant: they are all in love with the same woman. A space fleet with seven thousand artificial human marines hurtles through space at near-light-speed to an interstellar war… Doctor Charlotte…

Continue reading

The ‘danger’ of writing in first person

When talking about point of view (POV) and writing in first person, inevitably someone will bring up that it’s OK, as long as ‘it’s done well’ and that ‘it’s not for beginning writers’. Invariably also people can’t quantify what is meant by these statements and the sentiment against writing in…

Continue reading

Terraforming Mars or Venus?

In an earlier post, I described the difficulty a small planet, like Mars, faces when people are trying to terraform it: the planet simply doesn’t have enough gravity to hang onto the gases we need to survive. Some people suggested that maybe instead of Mars, we might look at Venus,…

Continue reading

How is the size of a planet related to its atmosphere

People have asked me to write something about terraforming Mars, a subject that is of great interest to Science Fiction buffs. I think Kim Stanley Robinson in his Mars series does a pretty good summary of all the currently-held scientific opinions on techniques of how we could achieve this. Yes,…

Continue reading

Watcher’s Web

Watcher's Web by Patty Jansen

Watcher’s Web is book 1 in the Return of the Aghyrians series She is lost on an alien planet. He said he’d help her get home. He lied. Jessica’s plane develops engine trouble over the dry Australian inland—and crashes in thick, unfamiliar rainforest. A group she thinks is a search…

Continue reading