November 26, 2012
Selenaphiles is the second book in the Multiplarity Trilogy and it focuses on the problems of building a permanent human colony on the moon. The tagline for Selenaphiles is: “Even with the perfect health and longevity of Omniphage, the moon will not be settled easily.”
Although the storyline and direction of the tale was in my head, I did a tremendous amount of research before actually starting the tale. Much of the research was accomplished on various NASA, JPL, and USGS websites. I understood from recent news articles that water had been found in the bottom of lunar craters. This has been an incredible stroke of good fortune since water, coupled with an unlimited amount of electricity via solar cells, will provide most of the raw materials needed.
November 17, 2012
Fair Warning: This segment and the next one of An Author’s Journey are going to wax a bit technical.
Robert A. Heinlein stated that “Once you reach Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO), you are halfway to any place else in our solar system.
Jerry Pournelle goes into much more detail on why this is a truism with his page on Getting to Space. http://www.jerrypournelle.com/reports/jerryp/gettospace.html
November 10, 2012
The famous science fiction author, Vernor Vinge’ has been credited with originating the term singularity.
From Wikipedia, we have this, “…his 1993 essay “The Coming Technological Singularity”, in which he argues that the creation of superhuman artificial intelligence will mark the point at which “the human era will be ended,” such that no current models of reality are sufficient to predict beyond it.”
Both the term and related concepts have been further advanced with a series of books and lectures by Ray Kurzweil.
Although I believe this rapture of the nerds will occur, I don’t think it will be the all-encompassing revolution that these futurists predict. As my friends and fans know, I’m a history buff, and this allows one to take a wider view of things.
Just as today, there are those of you, reading this on some sort of screen that is driven with micro-electronics, at this same instant, at other places around the world, there are semi-literate people who’s very existence depends on herding animals. A deeper search can still reveal naked humans, armed with blowguns and arrows, living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle that would have been familiar to a Neanderthal.
Just as we have very intelligent and well-read people in the United States that are totally aware of the benefits of high-technology and yet choose a simpler lifestyle, I believe the future will not be a singularity, but rather, a multiplarity.
That is the universe I have depicted in the Multiplarity Trilogy. The first book sets the stage when humans finally break the tyranny of disease and death itself. As one would imagine, this sudden change in the way we view ourselves isn’t painless. But it does show a way around some of our current issues. Unfortunately, every solution comes with a brand-new set of problems.
The second book, Selenaphiles, deals with some of the basic problems of establishing an off-Earth colony. This became much more of a world-building exercise than I had originally planned. I’m a bit picky about the technological items in my stories. They all have to have some basis in current scientific research and prototypes. The inflatable structures of Bigelow Aerospace that I’ve described in both Omniphage and Selenaphiles, are in fact quite real and are undergoing orbital testing at this time.
Next week, we’ll take a look at some of the space travel hardware described in the Multiplarity Trilogy.
August 21, 2009
My previous post has a great piece of dialog from The Avatar, by Poul Anderson. But that is just barely scratching the surface of this fun book.
At first glance, this appears to be a light-hearted space opera that deals with first contact with an alien species and indeed, one may accept it at that. It does take the reader on a well-thought-out roller coaster ride that addresses xenophobia, socialism, technology and of course, what it means to be human.
I believe this 1978 paperback is out of print, but if you find one at a garage sale, library or bookstore, or Amazon, do yourself a great favor and grab it. Take the time to savor the writing as the like is seldom seen these days.
I give it my top rating and call it GREAT!
His device (coat of arms for the uninitiated) reflected his creativity as well as his sense of humor. It was a polaxe under a golden sunburst. Think about it.
February 12, 2009
Back in the 1970s, NASA commisioned some studies of space habitats. From this research we got Gerald O’Neal’s famous “Colonies in Space” book as well as engineering design studies from several major universities. In order to visualize some of the designs, they commisioned some artists to show what they might look like. Here are some of the better images:
December 27, 2008
The Top Ten Weirdest Things in Space are discussed over on the Discovery website. I’m actually wondering what sort of hard science fiction tale could be wrapped around a hyperveloctiy star.
August 20, 2008
I am amazed at what can be done with computer graphics and some extra time on your hands. My hats are off to the folks that did the “Death Star Over San Francisco”.
August 27, 2007
My thanks to my friend Conscious Object for this lovely video link.