Wednesday, April 24, 2013

One Way ticket to Mars? Any takers?

Have you seen the article on a One Way trip to Mars ?Tickets will be funded by an ongoing Reality TV program following the training and adventures of the competitors. 

With over 10,000 people already signing up for the chance, the organisers are confident they can maintain the ratings to finance this science fiction type challenge.

So, would you be prepared to fly into the wild blue yonder and beyond?
The time spent in a tin can  bombarded by radiation as you leave Earth and  head toward Mars would be enough to kill any human. 

However, before leaving you would need to have at least three different types of nanobots in your blood. 

One to seek out cells damaged by radiation, one to repair cells and another to reconstruct bone tissue, depleted from radiation and time in space.

At least that's basically what I understood from a documentary I saw many years ago. Back then the projected date for the first manned Mars ship was 2020. 

It was confirmation at the time, that my fantastic idea of nanobots in my hero's blood wasn't too far fetched. 

Now the idea seems to be to send robotic builders to prepare a base for the intrepid travellers with their one way tickets. 

Imagine what type of dwellings they would need? 
All the science fiction films and books conjure visions in my imagination. I have a feeling the reality would be functional and less than aesthetic.

Not quite how this artist envisages things.

Funded by the television viewers... I love this idea. It fits so perfectly, again, with the ideas I used in The Chronicles of Caleath. 

As we travel forward in time, the science fiction I relied on while world building my fantasy, is becoming more like science fiction FACT. 

What a wonderful world we live in...
I am sure I wouldn't want to be on  one of the space ships leaving for a one way trip. 

Not to Mars...

No. I wouldn't line up for tickets. Not in this lifetime. 

I am happy to stick with my imagination.

Photos courtesy of ... into the blue is my own image.

Autumn has arrived Downunder...

The weather is cool, the rain continues and the Australian evergreens hardly show a sign of impending winter. 

Still, the temperatures have dropped overnight to a low 14 deg C. That's around 57 def F. It is time to find jumpers, coats and warm blankets.

School holidays begin today. 

So thoughts of camping and travelling are forefront in our minds. 
The scent of woodsmoke and the taste of billy tea tempt us to brave the conditions... 

At this time of year snakes, ticks and biting insects are less prevalent. :) So it is perfect for camping.

Or, if sitting in comfort at home and  reading a good book 

or two...

Or perhaps writing...

Or just dreaming of sailing away to far off lands.

What are you doing this weekend?

ADRIFT: In Search of Memory... a glimpse into the seafaring adventure...

A sneak preview. Unedited..

Chapter One/scene one
Saturated beneath oilskins, Captain Ed Brasheer spluttered through a mouthful of rain. Breathing the salt ridden wind, he braced when his small ship rolled and bucked against the heavy seas. 

Sea water sluiced over the bowsprit. Waves crashed through the scuppers, from bow to stern.
“By Orthcan’s shoal and the tides of Marnain, I’d give anything for a change in luck,” Brasheer shouted, as fate tossed his storm battered vessel on a wild ocean. The deck shuddered before dropping from the crest of another wave.

Above the tumult, the groan of stressed timber alarmed the skipper. The forward mast bowed against the force of the wind and threatened to splinter. Lashed to the helm, Brasheer ground his teeth. 
Rain and wave fought to shred storm-set sails. He lifted tired eyes as a bolt of eldritch lightning speared through dark clouds. 

“Careful what you ask for, captain,” his first mate shouted. Wind stole the words from Toby’s chapped lips. “You never know who’s listening.” 

“If we lose another mast before the season ends, this storm will ruin me.” 

Both men staggered as the ship drove her bow into another wave. The deck tilted. Again the bowsprit dug deep. For a heartbeat, Brasheer’s whole world turned on end as water washed across the vessel’s waist. 

On the forward yard, a sail shredded. A crewman screamed, falling when the sheet whipped across his face. With one foot caught in the rigging, the man swung above black water. Brasheer held his breath, afraid his vessel would spear into bottomless depths. His heart pounded. Another wave broke beneath the hull, thrusting The Petrel’s stern high into the air. 

“Get him down!” He fought to hold the ship straight into the next set of waves. “Look lively. The wind has died a little.”

“No, sir, it’s died a lot!” Even over the creaking hull, driving rain, and raging sea, Brasheer heard a note of anxiety in his first mate’s voice. The storm didn’t seem to frighten Toby as much as the tempest’s sudden demise.

“What have I done?” All around Brasheer, rain eased and furious seas settled. He refused to believe one impulsive plea could change destiny. An eerie light cast unnatural shadows across the sodden deck. “We’ve ridden through the worst, Toby. Bilge and blisters, we survived.”

“You mean our luck changed.” Toby’s words made the captain shiver. “I’ll see to getting Crimp cut down and treated.” The first mate’s face gleamed white in muted light dispersed by heavy clouds. He pointed to a bedraggled body strewn across the forward hatch. Brasheer didn’t remember the figure being there earlier. 

“What ill wind or providence would dump a stranger onto our decks in weather as foul as this?”
Brasheer shuddered. Fear gripped him as he looked into the green underbelly of storm-ridden clouds. Untying his oilskin cap, he shook his head. “I dare say we are about to find out.” 

A rumble deeper than thunder drew his gaze toward the heavens. His eyes widened and his jaw hung agape. 

He pointed a shaking finger toward a silver object floating in the sky, high above the tallest mast. Larger than the fishing boat yet hovering motionless, the glowing hulk struck terror in Brasheer’s heart. “Have you ever seen a creature as strange as that?”
Toby glanced skyward, as intense light engulfed The Petrel and the flying machine vanished from beneath the clouds. “Silt and seaweed, preserve us.” 
* * * *
photos, other than cover image, courtesy of