Introducing The Martian Dispatches!

Introducing The Martian Dispatches!

At long last, this special project (which I’ve been busy with for many months) has been released. Which means I can finally talk about it! But first, a little preamble…

About a year ago, I joined Mars City Design®, a non-profit innovation and design platform dedicated to merging architecture, design, and the creative industry with the commercial space sector (aka. NewSpace). Since their inception in 2016, they’ve hosted an annual design competition where architects and designers from around the world submit ideas for how humans could live sustainably on Mars someday.

Every year has a different theme, which in recent years has included Urban Design and Architecture, AI Robotics and Engineering, Transportation, Sports, and for the 2020 competition, Urban Farming. Their founder and CEO, Vera Mulyani is basically a rock star in the architecture, art, and commercial space industries. As a scicomm (science communicator), we know many of the same people and run in the same circles.

Eventually, we made introductions during a virtual conference hosted by Explore Mars (of which she in a Director and I a member) and I learned what she and her organization did. My interest was piqued, and I asked if I could do a write-up on them for Universe Today. Vera was suitably impressed and asked me to join MCD as a media communicator shortly thereafter. That’s when the collaboration began!

Mars City Design®

A year later, Vera and I co-wrote a series of podcasts together! Each episode is basically an account of what it’s like to live on Mars in the future, as told by a fictional character. It’s called The Martian Dispatches, and the first volume (3 episodes) is now available on Amazon.com! Each story features elements of MCD’s design competitions and explores a different aspect of what it’s like to live on Mars 100 years after human settlers first set foot on the surface.

Here’s the intro for the series:

“Have you ever imagined what future life will be like on Mars… three or four generations from today?

That’s right. Your great grand kids may actually be born on Mars! While you may never get to meet them, you certainly can imagine what their phenomenal lives will be like. And we can help. 

Because at Mars City Design®, that’s what we do.

Imagining possibilities. Constantly.  But we’re also working to make them a reality; A future where humans can live and thrive on Mars!

To provide a glimpse of this future, we proudly present The Martian Dispatches – a podcast series that imagines this future works, told by actual Martians. Through these tales of life on the Red Planet, which soon will be published on the Space Channel, we hope to share with you our uplifting, beyond non-dystopian vision of the future!

You may also guess, which celebrities or space pioneers, are behind these voices. One hint: our Premier played the voice for Jenny the robot, on Kanye West’s 808s and Heartbreak world tour.”

And here’s a teaser trailer. The segment comes from the episode Mangala Hotsprings, and is narrated by famed Canadian recording artist Esthero.

Science Fiction, Babylon Style!

Science Fiction, Babylon Style!

There are times when ideas come along that just feel inspired. Then there are times when you think, “this is something I really should do because it sounds awesome in concept.” Those are the kind of ideas that you know readers will appreciate, provided you can do them justice! Otherwise, they’ll just sit on the shelf (or your Documents folder) and gather dust. The following list of ideas sort of straddle these two categories.

They came to me while researching ancient Mesopotamian myths that remain a part of our culture today. In fact, many of the myths that are considered to be foundational to western culture trace their roots to the “land between two rivers” (between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers). Here are the ideas I was mulling over after reading up on some ancient myths.

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My First (Real) Five Year Plan

My First (Real) Five Year Plan

The Five Year Plan… chances are, we’ve all heard someone talk about how they have one and hoped that they would be able to achieve all their listed goals by the end of it. While I’m sure most people can’t be bothered to listen to anyone lay out their life plans with anything other than the barest of feigned interest, it does feel like this is something we should all consider.

Somehow, having a plan in place that includes an ultimate goal, concrete steps on how to get there, and a timeline for each step – that just seems like the kind of thing serious people and high-end achievers do, doesn’t it? So I got to thinking a while back that I should start setting goals and a schedule for making them happen, though this would be subject to adjustment along the way.

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Some Good News Before 2020 Ends

Some Good News Before 2020 Ends

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.

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Tenth Review for The Cronian Incident’s Audiobook!

Tenth Review for The Cronian Incident’s Audiobook!

Good news! The Cronian Incident (the audiobook version on Audible) just got its tenth review. And as you can probably tell, this person is real’ positive! I wish I could reach out to them and let them know that the series is no complete, so all the cliffhangers and threads get resolved.

This book is so good!! I enjoyed it immensely. I loved the world, I felt for the main characters. The tech was impressive. The mystery was complete and total. And then that blasted ending. AURGH!!

Politics reign supreme in the new world and them’s that’s got, keeps. The story was incredible! I was so engrossed in the story that I did not see the ending coming. It broke my heart. Thank goodness there is a book two!!

The narration was excellent, in every sense of the word. The main character, Jeremiah Ward, was an ex-intelligence officer, turned con, then private investigator. There was some gruffness and wide-eyed exasperation to Ward learning his new role and figuring out what was going on. The narrator nailed it. There were Russians (natch) and incredibly powerful female characters amongst a host of other voices. The narration made this story real.

I’m glad there is a second book in this series. I need some vindication!”

Writing About the Near-Future

Writing About the Near-Future

Hey again, fellow writers and readers! How is everybody doing? As for me, I’ve spent the past few weeks picking up my life in one place and depositing it in another. Translation: the wife and I recently moved. Yes, we bought our first house and now we’re living in our dream neighborhood. It only took five years!

But now that we’re settled (more or less), I can get back to work on my next two novels. If you recall, I recently finished writing my third novel – the Frost Line Fracture – which is the final installment in the Formist Series. The manuscript is now off to the publisher for edits and revisions!

With that project all but complete, I began wondering what to write next. I was torn between two options, but on the advice of my publisher, I decided to work on both simultaneously. Not long ago, I described one of them (Transverse) in some detail. But it’s been a while since I said anything about the other one – Reciprocity.

So I thought that’s what I would do today. And I thought it would be fun to discuss the social, political and economic context in which the story takes place. It’s the late 2030s in this story, after all. Stuff will be happening!

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Advise for Aspiring Writers

Advise for Aspiring Writers

Good morning! There’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time now but never got around to it. And that is, share some tidbits of wisdom that I have learned over the years about writing. Most of these tidbits are things I learned from people who really knew what they were talking about, so I was sure to listen! Some others are just things I concluded along the way.

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Writing No-Go List

Writing No-Go List

Hey folks. For starters, I want to emphasize that the following is an attempt at satire. It was inspired by a skit I recently saw on the Baroness Von Sketch Show (good show, btw!) about a writing class where they are hoping to avoid the usual cliches. It got me thinking about sci-fi cliches, and what I would tell a writing class if I were in charge.

I would love to teach such a class and someday. And so I would consider the following list canon if anyone were to actually look to me for writing advice.

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The Formist Series is Complete!

The Formist Series is Complete!

After four years, countless hours, and no shortage of rewriting, the third and final installment in the Formist Series – The Frost Line Fracture – is finally complete! You know what that means, don’t you? Now begins the long process of editing, revising, consulting, and reviewing. And if all goes well, the book should be released in late Fall/Early Winter.

One thing I noticed about writing this last book, it brought up a significant issue of mine that I’ve noticed only once before. Namely, I hate writing third installments! I am not sure if this is something all writer’s go through or if it’s just me. But dangit, it’s true in my case!

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Latest Reviews for the Formist Series!

Latest Reviews for the Formist Series!

Over at Audible.com, more listeners have been posting reviews for The Cronian Incident and The Jovian Manifesto. I kind of let them pile up without sharing, so I thought I’d share them here today at last.

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