Consequences

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supermanOccasionally people who know I’ve done some writing would ask me if I’d consider writing this kind of story, why don’t I write that kind of story, etc… you know, the ones that tend to be very epic, very popular, often made into movies, and get talked about incessantly.  And in many cases, I’ve had a very good reason for my not wanting to write those kinds of stories.

It boils down to consequences.

This Observation Deck article and discussion breaks the issue down perfectly: So many exciting sci-fi and fantasy stories tend to overlook the consequences beyond their story… consequences that aren’t so inconsequential.  Continue reading

Verdant Skies is now in print!

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cover of Verdant SkiesThe trigger has been pulled: Verdant Skies is now a printed book, available now at Createspace and  at Amazon.com.

This is my first book to see print (if you don’t count the occasional PDF that someone has printed here or there)… and it was worth enough work to make everything as perfect as possible, that the text didn’t just get re-proofed, it earned a third revision.  So, it’s not only a “first time in paperback” edition, but it’s new and improved, to-boot!

If you’re one of those people who want your fiction printed—or you know someone else who does—now’s the time to check out this great novel.  If it looks good, let me know… that, and sales, will dictate whether I’ll continue this trend with Verdant Pioneers, the sequel to Verdant Skies, and with any of my other books.

 

New Verdant covers

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Have a gander at the latest covers for Verdant Skies and Verdant Pioneers, both available on re-released novels, which also include updated contact information.

cover of Verdant Skies

cover for Verdant Pioneers

Know anyone looking for exciting futurist fiction?  Now you know what to show them.

Better than starships: Satellites

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Bernal SpherePhysicist Stephen Hawking argues that Mankind must build starships and spread itself throughout the galaxy in order to survive, since Earth’s years are clearly finite.  Hawking has made this case many times, being convinced that even a smallish catastrophe (like a massive meteor strike) could render Earth uninhabitable for humans, and it could do so at any time.

I wouldn’t presume to contradict Hawking; in fact, I agree with his assessment of the fragility of our ecosystem and its prospects for long-term viability.  But when it comes to his opinion that we should leave Earth for our own survivability, I have another option. I don’t think we need to leave Earth; I believe we can stay longer, even through a catastrophe, if we apply proper husbandry to the Earth.  And we can do that if we move the bulk of our population into orbital satellites. Continue reading

Replacing the hated “warp drive”

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It’s been a pet peeve of mine for years.  I researched for years to find a way around it, and wrote two books based on my solution.  It’s one of the things that threatens to turn a perfectly good science fiction story to fantasy in an instant.  It’s warp drive.  And I hate it.

Warp drive was a concept created by writers of science fiction who knew that the distances between stars were too immense to allow humans to travel about and actually live to reach the other side.  It provided for romantic stories about traveling from star to star as easily as we sail from shore to shore, in great and powerful ships run by military discipline much like their seafaring ancestors.  It gave us Forbidden Planet, which begat Star Trek, and the “new planet every week” television show.

And yes, I’ve done it myself.  One of my most popular series, The Kestral Voyages, applies a warp drive system much like that featured on Star Trek, giving me a Galarchy of planets and a commercial network for my heroes to ply the stars.  Lots of room for romantic adventure.  Easy.  Familiar.  Understandable.

The problem is, it’s a crock.  Continue reading

4-Star Review of Verdant Pioneers

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The following is a review of Verdant Pioneers from Sift Book Reviews:

Verdant Pioneers was a real page turner for me. I haven’t read a ton of space operas, but I have to imagine this story is one of the better ones. Take a look at the description.

The city-satellite Verdant has spent a year out in deep space, moving from system to system in search of the raw materials it needs to survive, fighting off terrorist factions that seek to force their return to Earth influence, and unsure of Earth’s state. No one on Earth knows Verdant’s status, either, and both sides are afraid of aggression from the other.

And when the deep-space discovery of the age is spoiled by the unexpected disappearance of one of their freighters, Julian Lenz and his staff must make a difficult decision: To take Verdant into hiding, perhaps forever; or to return to Earth, and risk Verdant’s survival.  Continue reading