M Thomas Apple Author Page

Science fiction, actual science, history, and personal ranting about life, the universe, and everything

Barnard’s Star has a Hoth. No Tauntauns, though.

February 12, 2019
MThomas

In their presentation, the researchers jokingly compared the planet to Hoth – the icy planet made famous in one of the “Star Wars” movies, when Luke Skywalker’s steed (a fictional lizard species called a Tauntaun) dies and he must stay warm by burrowing into its intestines.

Yay, science. And only six light years away!

Which, since Alpha Centauri at four light years away only takes 137,000 years to get to, would only take…er…just a few ten thousand more years…Hmm…

So when do we invent warp drives?

www.seeker.com/space/newly-found-planet-could-host-primitive-life-study-suggest

Planet Nine may not be a planet? Um. Right.

February 2, 2019
MThomas

A new paper suggests that the so-called “Planet Nine” – thought responsible for the screwy orbits of Trans-Neptune objects – might actually be a really big disc.

Um. Yeah. Okay.

How about we actually focus on technology that will allow us to construct spaceships so we can go out that far in person to find out? Theoretical astrophysics is all fine and dandy, but how does this help our species expand out into space?

link.medium.com/dzXxC7X8YT

My Amazingly Insightful Interview at Smashwords

January 26, 2019
MThomas

Yes, I have finally gotten around to “being interviewed” (by, er, myself) at Smashwords. In which I lay bare my literary influences. Ah, and also revel in my geekdom. Yeah.

https://www.smashwords.com/interview/mapple

Which means that, yes, I am preparing to (re)publish some of my work in ePub format. Hopefully, Adam’s Stepsons will be soon available for iBooks, Kobo, and some other apps/devices. Aiming at April 1st (since Adam’s Stepsons is currently enrolled in Amazon’s “KDP Select,” which prohibits me from distributing it as an ebook through other services until March 31st).

The Kindle (.mobi) price will be lowered to ONLY US $0.99 from Sunday! (I hope. Maybe Monday. Definitely by January 31st).

In the meantime, work proceeds apace on Bringer of Light! More coming soon. Very soon.

The Stainless Steel Musk Strikes Again!

January 23, 2019
MThomas

He described the concept as a “stainless-steel sandwich” that can “bleed water…fuel” through tiny holes on its surface to keep it cool as it enters the Martian atmosphere at breakneck speeds.

screen shot 2019-01-23 at 2.17.40 pm

Not sure, but I don’t think there are a lot of people who want to travel to Mars inside a sandwich…

www.inverse.com/article/52605-starship-spacex-elon-musk-stainless-steel

From dust to dust — asteroid, that is

January 16, 2019
MThomas

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

January 1, 2019
MThomas

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…)

December 31, 2018
MThomas

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

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