The Mad Emperor

“Men are moved by two levers: fear and self-interest,” Bonaparte says and as if the words were a match the crowd erupts into curses and threats. “This is not what was promised.” “Fuck you, and your dreams.” But the speech dwindles though when the emperor turns, and with only a quiet murmur following, leaves theContinue reading “The Mad Emperor”

For the Man Not There

  1. NASA Engineer-First-Class Arnold Francesca hears a beep and takes his eyes from the deepest recesses of the ion engine and looks down at the LCD hologram display. In the environment of his EVS, the image is crisp and readable. His eyes flick past the generic mission data that reminds him of what itContinue reading “For the Man Not There”

Daddy Issues

“You know what’s stupid?” “What?” “This ship,” Bruno screeches as the shuttle shimmies in response to a psionic shock wave. He jerks the control stick to avoid a cephalopod tentacle and the Errant Knight barrel-rolls to the starboard. “Any other design we’d be invisible.” “But we’re not and go fuck yourself.’ For Lei, this shipContinue reading “Daddy Issues”

The Science of Fiction: Colonizing Mars

I just finished the second book in the One Way series by S.J. Morden. It’s good, really good. Good in that way that made me feel like a super genius for knowing how the plot was going to work out, but even as it was working out the way I thought, I was totally riveted.Continue reading “The Science of Fiction: Colonizing Mars”

Crash Course in Landing

With a jolt, he is awake and watches the injector needle pull cleanly from his chest as white-hot adrenaline courses through his veins. “Welcome back sir, we will be crashing shortly,” claims the jovial west-country-accented voice of his ship’s system. Around him is the cyro-chamber and the stench of the chemical bath he called home forContinue reading “Crash Course in Landing”

#110 Robert Zubrin

  Origin: Stories on Creativity #110  Robert Zubrin On this episode of Origin, science and space author  Robert Zubrin educates me on writing hard sci-fi, the history of the space program, and why we need to get to Mars. Visit for links to subscribe. Robert Zubrin,  president of the Mars Society and author ofContinue reading “#110 Robert Zubrin”

It’s Whatever You Want

It looked the same, right down to the stars in the sky. He felt he could open the door and see Darla working the bar, pouring a glass of red, selling yesterdays fish as today’s special. Like he was not eighty light years away crashed on an icy moon circling a dead planet, but thatContinue reading “It’s Whatever You Want”

Looking for Someplace Better

A suicidal Thomas Scanlen scrapes a bit more rock from the initials he works into the soft moss covered stone. Next to his giant T.S. is an ancient bit of writing that could be Latin and next to it a bit of Celt. Satisfied he turns and faces the roar of water behind him. They say itContinue reading “Looking for Someplace Better”

What’s Up With Ceres

“Damn it Bob, why didn’t you flip the power switch? Now they keep sending that satellite around to focus on us.” “Phill please, there are two hundred thousand workers here trying to get a job done. By the time they send anyone to look, our mission will be over anyway. I’m too busy to loseContinue reading “What’s Up With Ceres”