Tag Archives: Mars

Mars and The Martian

IMG_0165I figure you must be almost as frantic as I am coming down the holiday home stretch. Overwhelmed with things to do and vowing not to nibble that second Christmas cookies or sip the third eggnog, (So yummy) I am noticing the pounds climbing alarmingly upwards on my scale.

Or maybe you’re one of those cool-as-a cucumber types that has it all under control and smirk as we last minute shoppers scurry about.Christmas horn

(I’m making a rude gesture here)

Either way, I’m offering a quick, cheap idea where you don’t have to pay postage or even leave the house and get mired in insane traffic. If your gift is a mobile device…Kindle, iPad, iPhone 6, enhance the gift with a few interesting free books. Start with Cosmic Entanglement, which is being offered free 12/22 through 12/24 and also 12/26 through 12/28. A limited time offer, it’s one of my favorites, and although third in my series, it can stand alone or be the first one you read.

With time travel, you have that flexibility in your stories. This one is not heavy science…more of an Enders Game with a touch of James Bond. For more science in the area of space travel, Past the Event Horizon would be the choice. Even so, in several places I stretched the known rules of physics to support the story because, hey, we are learning new things about space every day. Yesterday’s speculations are today’s reality.

To find other special offers, goggle for free books and a number of websites will pop up with a vast array of free and discounted books.

Just a suggestion.

The MartianSo, I am halfway through The Martian by Andy Weir. The story is basically a Robinson Crusoe on Mars told through first person using a journal. So, I don’t know if he survives or we’re just reading a left behind journal. That keeps up the suspense.

Weir has a very personable voice. The reader feels like the writer is just leaning over a cup of coffee and telling his tale. For example he writes:

“The most important piece of the advance supplies, of course, was the MAV. The Mar ascent vehicle. This was how we would get back to the Hermes (orbiting ship) after surface operations were complete…

You can imagine how disappointed I was when I discovered the MAV was gone.”

What follows is the attempt to survive for four years until the next mission is due to arrive. For those that like hard science in their science fiction, the story will satisfy.

Understandably, there’s not much romance or personal interrelationships. Not even a volleyball with a face to talk to. But the left behind astronaut, Mark Whatney, does reveal the roller coaster of emotions from despair to hope to brilliant problem solving.

There’s a lot of chemistry as he tries to create water for his plants, but he spares the reader the heavy math.

It’s a book that I put down after awhile, but then, I picked it back up to get a feel for what it might be like to live in such a different environment as Mars. Just a quick note that the reviews have nearly 4600 five star reviews, so a lot of people really like this one.

MarsCurrently there are several experiments that address what it might be like to survive on Mars. Last year I wrote a blog that carried a link to David LeVine’s gripping experience in a habitat that attempted to recreate conditions that might be found on Mars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcuOwpdkWCM&appDavid Levine

Life on Mars… or at least a close facsimile (KGW-TV, 2/20/10)

http://bentopress.com/mars/ David’s journal of his “Mars” experience.

Mars is getting more and more notice as we gaze past the moon to what might very well be the next planetary body we visit. This book gives you a realistic taste if you can’t afford the ticket.Holly

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Filed under Alien worlds, Best selling science fiction, hard science, Hard science fiction, Mars, science fiction, science fiction science



We have landed another rover on Mars.

 In my novel,  Cosmic Entanglement an alien space probe lands on Alysia. Only humans are there to meet and greet it…and cause havoc.

With the rover Curiosity,  our human race is stretching out and exploring the solar system using robotic machines to pave the way.

Kinda makes sense, doesn’t it?

It’s smart to check out the terrain with robots before sending live bodies to such a harsh environment. We’re “curious” to see if there’s  anything there that might welcome us in a good, or bad way.

And news is coming in that we are finding more and more planets using the “wobble” or doppler effect. The numbers keep going up. Last time I heard it was over 800.

How many are habitable? Lots aren’t, but one in the Gliese solar system 581g is said to be in the “goldilocks” zone.  Check out this link.


The Gliese solar system is 20 light years away with a dimmer star that is 30% of our sun’s mass. Closer than Earth is to our sun, the supposed surface temperature is 72 degrees Fahrenheit. I say supposed because a Swiss group of scientist are now saying they can’t find the planet and dispute its existence. The original group is disputing their dispute findings. So the battle rages on.


Kepler 22b has come on the scene. Found December 2012, it is 2.4 times Earth’s width with a surface temperature of 72 degrees and is 600 light years away, orbiting a sun much like ours. Looks like it can sustain water, too. The Kepler planetary hunting Mission as of November 2012 has found over 2300 planet candidates. The numbers are climbing. This space telescope measures a sun’s brightness and how much it dims when a planetary body transits it. The scientists can estimate the size by how much it dims.

So, in my novel Past the Event Horizon, soon to come out, my ship discovers an Earth like planet and explores it, looking for the aliens that sent the probe. It’s also a lot about what it takes to get there in a space ship.

Trying to land on Mars, we are learning a lot of what is out there and how difficult space travel can be for humans. A great trilogy to read if you are interested in Mars and the process of making Mars a  habitable planet is Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy. It’s got a great story line and lots of science facts. Be prepared to wade through geek details, though. For some, that is a plus.

The first is Red Mars. This is the first colony and the struggles they have on an inhospitable planet. Right away the environmentalists and the terra form advocates face off to battle for the future of Mars. The terrain supports little life and you have to wear a space helmet.

Green Mars is the next step in the series and continues the story of how humans transform the planet in order to make it livable. Now you’re up to just a breathing unit for an afternoon stroll.

Bringing water and completing the terra forming process is the storyline of the last in the trilogy, Blue Mars.  All three contain interesting politics, romance and great science detail. All three are good sized volumes, so make sure you can order out and have the laundry done.

Kim Stanley Robinson has won Nebula, Hugo, and Locus awards for this series. So, he’s on all the “to read” lists you might discover, if you haven’t already read these, then give them a try.


If you have, then he has a new novel that just came out in May 2012 called 2312.

A safe landing…a great day….what more might we find on the planet Mars?

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Filed under alien life forms, award winning scifi, Best selling science fiction, Classic science fiction, hard science, Hugo winners, Mars, Nebula nominations, science fiction, Science Fiction book review, science fiction series, Science fiction world building, science news, space ship, space travel, terra forming