From dust to dust — asteroid, that is

517_bennubeautyshot_main

What came before the planets? What are the origins of life? And how much of a threat do asteroids pose to life on Earth today?

There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that asteroids have (or used to have) hydrocarbons. If they have amino acids and nucleic acids…

Hmm. Sounds like a science fiction story based on science…

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/asteroid-sample-missions-hayabusa2-ryugu-osiris-rex-bennu?tgt=nr

New Year 2019: Year in Review / Preview

Yes, it’s been yet one more year of writing, rejection, and reflection.

But let’s focus on the writing! Fortunately, more is on the way in 2019.

  • My science fiction novella Adam’s Stepsons continued to receive awards. Which is why I’m giving it away for free starting tomorrow!

That’s right: If you forgot to give a gift to a friend, relative, or neighbor, you’ll have your chance to gift a free ebook for five straight 24-hour Earthdays in January. I’d post the actual dates, but due to the laws of physics the dates change depending on where in the universe you are.

Titled Destiny in the Future, this 240+ page book also features a preface and introduction by yours truly that also analyzes and places it in proper time/place/societal context. All proceeds from this book will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

Check back here for a preview in February 2019.

  • The long-awaited novel Children of Pella will be available by Summer 2019. The first draft has been beta-tested and as a result, three additional chapters are being added. The first in a series of (probably) three books about a new mankind settling Mars, the story revolves around a group of misfit asteroid hunters facing discrimination and political intrigue as the old nation-state order on Earth and the Moon collapses.

Check back here for free downloadable previews in March 2019. Advance review copy readers will get a free ebook and paperback copy. More info on the way!

 

The Ultima Thule Awakens! (Well, OK, New Horizons Awakens, Fine…)

It’s been a long 13 years.

Remember New Horizons? The Little Probe That Could?

No?

You know, the photos of Pluto, Formerly Known As the Ninth Planet?

Doesn’t ring a bell?

Hmpf. Go read about about it.

Anyway, by sheer chance, New Horizons happens to be close enough to grab some pictures of an object in the Kuiper Belt (which looks like KEW-per or KWEE-per but is actually pronounced KAI-per and is completely unrelated to former SF Giants player and current announcer Duane).

Ever wanted to see a peanut-shaped tiny rock (or rocks)

Only half a day left!

Read all about it, uh, pretty much anywhere online, really:

The Verge

Space.com

BBC

Globe and Mail

WIRED

Earthrise: Fifty years and counting (Don’t count on it)

“To really think about ourselves as citizens of Earth is something that I think we’re still working toward,” Jacob Haqq-Misra, a research scientist at Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, told Space.com. “[Seeing this image] may be enjoyable and fun and awe-inspiring, and you might think about it later that day, but I don’t think most people have a perception of ‘I’m a citizen of Earth’ when they’re driving to work.”

He’s curious how potential future space developments — establishing a human presence on Mars, or discovering extraterrestrial intelligence, for example — might make that Earthling perspective easier to grasp by creating a group to contrast it against.

That’s us: the forever simian, defining ourselves in contrast to what we aren’t as opposed to what we could be.

So what would happen if some of us became Martians, Venusians, or Jovians? Hmmm…

www.space.com/42842-earthrise-apollo-8-photograph-50-years-later.html

Not anthropomorphic but anthropogenic climate change SF

Yes, climate change is real.

Yes, some of these five classic SF novels from Tor are really about pollution and not climate change per se.

Yes, that doesn’t really matter.

The Sheep Look Up is still the best of the bunch. And (not surprisingly) somewhat prophetic.

Le plus chose change…

(P.S. Happy Yuletide. Bwah ha ha…)

Farout is, like, far out, man

Farout

A newly discovered object is the most-distant body ever observed in the solar system—and the first object ever found orbiting at more than 100 times the distance from Earth to the sun.

Keep in mind this is in addition to several other dwarf planets — Eris, the “Goblin,” and Sedna. Oh, and of course Ceres (which is much closer than the others). And Pluto. Which used to be a “planet” and not a “dwarf planet” (I say COUNT THEM ALL! Planet / dwarf planet / who cares).

So why is 2018 VG18 important?

Because it adds to the existing body of knowledge indicating the possible existence of a mysterious “Planet 9” (which used to be Planet X before Pluto got demoted) — which still has not been actually observed (emphasis!) and yet is the source of endless internet hoaxes, influencing all the whackadoodles who think we’re about to be invaded by alien hordes and/or that the Nibiru Apocalypse is coming / has come / will have had already been coming repeatedly (the date keeps getting changed when the end fails to occur).

Like, far out, Farout.

www.scientificamerican.com/article/farout-newfound-object-is-the-farthest-solar-system-body-ever-spotted/