The year 2020 has been rather interesting, in a totally messed up kind of way! In fact, it’s already in the running for “worst year ever,” a title previously held by 2016. At the same time though, there have been some developments this year that I’m thankful for. And today, I thought I’d share what some of those were.
For starters, I am VERY thankful for my family’s health and well-being. Given that the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be ongoing at this point, my wife and I regularly take a moment to remind ourselves how fortunate we are. We are fortunate that our family members are healthy, and we are fortunate that we can work from home and don’t have to worry about where our next paycheck is coming from.
Then there’s the outcome of the 2020 US Election, which was like a breath of fresh air. Ever since 2016, I have been depressed by the feeling that the world was getting stupider and more violently irrational all the time! But I would say that 2020 is when it all hit the fan and the sheer ineptitude, laziness, incompetence, and narcissism of the Trump administration was so painfully put on full display! Knowing he will be gone by January (and maybe even in jail) is like the light at the end of a four-year tunnel!
Alas, many challenges remain ahead and there’s plenty of confusion, chaos, and crazy to wade through until that time comes. The pandemic continues, we are dealing with tighter restrictions here in BC due to the “second wave” of COVID cases, and we’re all planning for a socially-distanced holiday season. This is one good thing we have to look forward to, which is a limited visit from family, plus some Zoom Christmas calls 🙂
Also good is the fact that my wife and I got plenty of renovating done in our new home, which we took possession of in the summer of 2019. My wife and I are indebted to my father for his tireless work and enthusiasm (renovating is one of his favorite things to do in life!) We had a lovely Thanksgiving with them, a pretty good harvest of summer and autumn fruits and veggies from our massive garden (gardening is one of my wife’s favorite things!) and she is busy turning some of our fruit haul into preserves.
So far, she’s made fig jam, quince jelly, apple jelly, red and white grape jelly, and about a half-ton of apple butter! It’s fair to say she’s gone into a frenzy of canning and preserve-making these past few months.
Oh yeah, and there’s also been plenty of good news for me on the professional front. This year, I joined a number of organizations that are dedicated to making the future of space travel possible. That includes becoming the Director of Content Communication for Mars City Design, a contributor to Stellar Amenities, and a member of Stardom Space and Explore Mars.
I am currently in the process of writing a book for one of these groups, a task that draws on my experience in science communication and science fiction. I can’t say more about that just yet as much of the details and legalities are still in progress. But rest assured, I will be able to talk about it sometime in the new year!
Plus, my boss at Universe Today encouraged me to turn all the Fermi Paradox articles I’ve been doing lately into a book. I will talk more about that later, not because it’s confidential, but because there’s a lot to say! For a title, I’m thinking something along the lines of “Where Are All The Bloody Aliens?”
On top of that, my third book (the Frost Line Fracture) is finally out of the purgatory that is editing! The release of this book, hopefully before the end of 2020, will conclude the Formist Series. My publisher is looking forward to releasing all three books as a box set, though I’m not sure when that will be (bloody pandemic-related delays!)
There are a lot of people to thank, but first, I’m busy contemplating my next moves! For starters, I got more series’ in mind and they may or may not be connected to all the research I’ve been doing into the Fermi Paradox (no spoilers!) Also, these new works would build on the Formist Series and would revolve around other factions in that universe.
That is where Transverse comes into play, a standalone story I’m working on that takes place aboard an interstellar generation ship destined for the nearby star system 82 G. Eridani (HD 20794). This story would take place in the same universe as the Formist Series and is meant to be a bridge to the next trilogy, which I plan to call the Dysonist Series.
And if that trilogy works out, I have a third one in mind that would be called the Seedling Series. The focus of these novels would once again be on an interstellar journey, but one which involved a lot more ships, a lot more destinations, and some really big questions being asked and answered. We’re talking major existential stuff, people!
At the same time, all the preparations happening in anticipation for humanity’s long-awaiting return to the Moon inspired me to start a new story about lunar colonization. This book would take place in the not-so-distant future and would focus on how the current efforts to create an international framework (known as the Artemis Accords) would play out.
So that’s what I’ve been up to this past year and what will be keeping me busy in 2021. I hope people out there have also found some diamonds in the rough (or rather, the dumpster fire) that has been the year 2020! I sincerely hope we can all look forward to better times ahead, with health, safety, and sanity as the common features for all!
Well, that’s me done, how have you all been? How have you been staying sane and sober (or at least sane)? And what do you look forward to in the new year?