Category: Publications

Solar Eclipse Fever? Mark your calendar for 2024

Solar Eclipse Fever? Mark your calendar for 2024

Total Eclipse of Sun and Corona Photo by Fred Espenak, 1999

Once in a lifetime solar eclipse? Maybe not. 

Nature’s rarest celestial spectacle, a total solar eclipse. Now that you’ve seen it on television and heard the awe of the spectators, you wish you’d been able to work it out. For a variety of reasons I was content to see a 72% eclipse from my home in Las Vegas, alas, for the single hour that would have been needed to watch, it rained. And it really rained, like big, black, storm cloud rain.

Rain might not seem such a big deal to most, but we have sun about 350 days a year here. It’s why I have a 10.5K solar array on my roof, why my bath towels are kind of stiff from drying on the clothesline six months of the year, and why I expected that in this valley my odds (no obvious Vegas pun intended here) of visibility were about 34:1 in favor of sun.  In fact, even with rain, at some point the sun will appear even on those days. And, I was right. The clouds cleared around noon, well past the entire event in the southwest part of the country.

Solar eclipse of 1979

So the last chance I had was in 1979. I will tell you, without too many age revealing details, I happened to be on a school campus at the time, sometime around 8:15. I used the pinhole method, a hole in a paper cast upon another sheet of paper. My classmates thought I was nuts for even caring. I was probably the only person that day who bothered, or cared, that in the sky above us something extraordinary was occurring, in real time, and that tiny little grey crescent, as it changed from fat to thin to fat and whole again, in the past had confirmed Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, in 1919.

And as sad as that experience might sound, I’ve never forgotten it. I’ve been nerdy since before they invented the term, and I’m not surprised to find myself writing scientific fiction stories, hoping to instill the same feelings of amazement and cosmic unity in my readers as I embrace. I call this a natural worldview. Only a handful of humans have ventured beyond our stratosphere, and only as far as our moon.

The speed of light is 186,000+ miles per second (300,000 km/sec), or 6.71×108  per hour. I seared that number into my brain prepping for a science club contest between high schools. A photon of light can circle the Earth 7.5 times in one second. Light travels between the moon and Earth in less than two seconds. It takes light 8 minutes to get from our sun to Earth. My point is, space is big, and that’s an understatement.

Next total solar eclipse in United States
Texas to Maine 2024

April 8th, 2024, we have another coast to coast total eclipse, but instead of west to east, it will be south to north, more or less.

 

 

 

 

 

annular solar eclipse 2023
Oregon to Gulf of Mexico

An annular eclipse, where instead of the corona you see a ring of fire, will occur shortly before that, on October 14th, 2023.

 

It works like this: the Sun is 400 times +- larger than the moon. It is also 400 times farther away from the moon than the moon is to Earth. For a deeper explanation, go read this Popular Science blog. No sense in reinventing the wheel here. And since the moon moves away from Earth a few centimeters each year, before another billion years pass, a total solar eclipse will be a thing of the past. Of course, none of us will be here to lament the demise. We are on the planet, conscious, sentient, intelligent, at the best time since life began.

I wrote about humans on another planet experiencing a solar eclipse, not a total eclipse, but one in which three moons converge to cast their shadows and block out the star, Beta Hydri, and this defining moment in their lives brings a new beginning and hope as they patiently await rescue on a planet that, like Nature here, doesn’t care for the life forms; they simply must use their brains to stay alive, and the solar powered escape pods are pretty helpful, too. If you want to check that book out, just pop over here and you can find it on Smashwords or Amazon as an eBook, or in paperback if you prefer. Paradox: The Alien Genome, the first novel of the Captain Jackson Adventures series.

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Five Star Rated, Paradox: The Alien Genome

Until the next worthy news item, wear your sunscreen. Those UV rays are Naughty Nature at her most wicked!

A recent review

A recent review

Shameless plug: another 5 star review of Paradox. If you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for? Click the picture and get the e-version instantly! Read it? Rate it! Read more stories with many of the same characters: Jackson, Quixote, Rianya, Bala, Lee, Watson, Bailey, Dukvita, the Kiians, and a new species coming up – the Zlogers!

 

If you long for the days of Gene Roddenberry’s soulful Star Trek, or hope the Avatar movie might one day become a reality, then you are in for a treat with H.S. Rivney’s Paradox: The Alien Genome. The suggestion of a genetic cure from the world beyond captivated my imagination, as did the author’s writing style. For me, the vivid, unique descriptions illuminated this space odyssey to movie-screen proportions. A healthy dose of dialogue keeps the pace at warp speed with lots of techie jargon. But what really impressed me was the author’s sophisticated scientific knowledge—I would believe her to be an astronaut or a physicist in a previous life to dream up the concepts presented throughout the novel. The author creates a totally convincing world from ecosystems to geology, animal species to alien beings. One graphic scene was tasteful, accurate and evocative. But there’s a touch of intrigue and danger, as well as a softer side to this story, too. A great ending wraps up this exciting futuristic journey after traveling back to a nostalgic era of Kirk, Spock, and Sulu— I highly recommend the ride!

Patti Cavaliere, author of 5 star rated “Looking for Leo”, click me!

Novissimus: Space Station One

Novissimus: Space Station One

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Earth Station with Star Trek’s Enterprise

I’ve been debating whether to release Novissimus or Symbiosis next. I wrote Novissimus during the black out time between first draft and revisions of Symbiosis. Would love to hear your thoughts. Novissimus is a novella episode prequel to Paradox, about 24,000 words.

Novissimus, Space Station One, Quantum Quandaries;   Mission VIII, October 9, 2154

Novissimus orbits Omicron Nu fifteen light years from Earth in the opposite direction of the galactic center. It’s medical facilities are unsurpassed, and its arboretum legendary. When Captain Jackson is assigned to call a research team off Luyten’s Lepus for a new mission, that is to pick up live vaccines from Novissimus, the leader of the research team is furious and not afraid to show it.

Funny things happen on the way to Novissimus, or rather, not so funny. They can’t afford the time delays; the live vaccines are only viable for 100 days. In addition to the medicine, dozens of proton microscopes and an electromagnetic image chamber are also part of the cargo. Silverado Six’s population is depending on the S.S. Linus Pauling to arrive before a planet-wide outbreak of Altairian Fever becomes an epidemic.

Thomas Jackson meets Dukvita for the first time, a Pegasi with a rogue, if not an entrepreneurial, spirit and a well armed cargo ship. Novissimus becomes the scene of the crime where not only are lives at stake, but an extraordinary discovery becomes a weapon of mass destruction.jaguar

Don’t forget to check out another prequel adventure of Captain Jackson and the S.S. Linus Pauling, Gamma Ray Games, a novella episode where Jackson must investigate the sudden appearance of a thorium reactor on a pre-industrial world.

Both Novissimus and Gamma Ray Games will be made available together in one paperback this summer.

Abducted by Aliens

Abducted by Aliens

No, actually, I’m still here. I’ve been working on the next two (yup, 2) books coming out soonjaguar. Another novella, a prequel, and another novel, the second of three beginning with Paradox. Of course, Captain Thomas Jackson leads the adventures, and Quixote makes his appearance in both stories as do a few other memorable characters on the bridge and among the crew.

Novissimus: Space Station One, is Earth’s first space station, a collaboration with three other space faring species, set in motion around the fifth planet of Omicron, an orange star seventeen light years from Earth. The mushroom shaped orbiting facilitynovissimus-cover is known for its magnificent arboretum that acts as a complete biological component of the station, as well as its state of the art medical facilities and top notch space vehicle repair services.

Going from a dark star planet filled with fossils, the Linus Pauling is called to Novissimus to collect medical equipment needed on Silverado Six, which is fighting an outbreak of Altarian Fever, a virulent pneumatic virus that needs not only the equipment, but a live, attenuated vaccine, in stasis. Little did they expect the fossils they collected would be so much trouble, and so much help, in completing their mission.

Symbiosis: Titans of Cassiopeia, is set one year after the end of Paradox, The Alien Genome. Captain Jackson, Rianya, and Zalara return to Earth only to be sent back into space with a new, faster ship, the S S Maria Mitchell. Taking doctors on an errand oyersiniaf mercy to Eta Cassiopeia’s fifth planet, they stop at its fourth planet to collect a unique artifact that can’t be explained by anything other than as proof of time travel! Upon arrival at the fifth planet, and with confirmation that Pegasi are in the area, the artifact begins to shed some light on the centuries-old problem of antibiotic resistance causing an entire population to suffer, and die.

We’re introduced tomriyquito Dr. Jane Ferris, a human with a curious ancestry. The remnants of radical genetic manipulation show in her face that startles most people, at first. When Captain Jackson is taken hostage on the planet, Rianya is taken ill with the bacteria on the Maria Mitchell in orbit, and neither knows the peril of the other. Are Pegasi and Kiians colluding for profit or just innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire? The key is held in the data banks of an abandoned space ship from the future, confirmed by a beautiful stone in the pilot’s pocket, and the information it reveals changes Tom and Rianya’s family forever.

Coming soon on Kindle and in Paperback. Follow me on Twitter @hsrivney or Facebook From the Stratosphere, or Goodreads author HSRivney

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Book Signing in Las Vegas

Book Signing in Las Vegas

Hi Sci Fi Friends,

If you live in or are visiting Las Vegas, Nevada, come and meet me! I’ll be at The 221 Restaurant and Bar inside the JW Marriott Resort (on 221 N. Rampart), Saturday, November 5th, from 1 to 4 pm, signing my newest release, PARADOX: The Alien Genome. Hope you can drop by! If you have a friend or two that enjoy Science Fiction, send them out to get an autographed copy. They’ll thank you for it!  As a bonus, if you get Paradox, you will get Dangerous: Gamma Ray Games as a free bonus e-book on the spot as a gift from me. If you want to contact me with questions or to say hello, just submit the form below.

paradoxTAGParadox is about the follies of genetic engineering and the serendipitous discovery on a last resort planet, 24 light years from Earth. Everything that is wrong for the shipwrecked humans is right for the disaster happening on Earth. Time is their foe, the native population of Beta Hydri Four becomes their foe, and some humans on Earth will do anything to get the miracle DNA, even if it means an innocent baby girl must die.

 

 

 

Assembling Authors (Got Books?)

Assembling Authors (Got Books?)

il-library-6This past weekend the Las Vegas Valley Book Festival braved the high winds and welcomed authors and bookworms to meet up with dozens of other authors and bookworms at the Historic 5th Street School in downtown Las Vegas. Under warm, sunny skies, white tents popped up and hundreds attended this annual gathering of talented story tellers to meet authors, hear seminars, and enjoy some company of like minded folk.
I met some lovely people and wanted to let you, my readers, know about them, and also say thank you to them for taking the time to speak with me about their daily lives as well as their projects and books.

Local Author Renee Jean had three books available: Rescue Me, Survivor, and Never Give Up. She donates proceeds from some of her books to charity, including a local battered women’s shelter, Shadetree, in Las Vegas, and a dog rescue called War Dogs in Chicago that rescues death row dogs and trains them go to homes of vets with PTSD. She’s a Goodreads Author so go visit her at Renee Jean.

Originally from Canada, Emergency Room doctor L. M. Bryant held out a book and asked me to touch it, which would surely make any person feel better! Yes, a  book in hand cures any malady. Her novel, Book of Birds, caught my eye as a historical fiction post WWII in Canada, of two orphaned girls struggling to adapt to their new lives. Go to LMBRYSKI and say hello to this talented author.

Another lovely author from Irvine, California, is Jessica Therrien. Her ‘Children of the Gods’ series are on my active bookshelf and are just waiting for me to get busy and crack them open. A supernatural race, Descendants, are struggling to live with Humans: Are the Descendants truly gods or are they a threat to humanity?  She and author Holly Kammier, author of Kingston Court, operate a publishing company run by authors that want to keep control of their works called Acorn Publishing. Go check out their works at Acorn Publishing.

I’m swamped with some good reading to do, but am still writing on the next book about Captain Thomas Jackson and his crew, Rianya from Beta Hydri Four, and Zalara who saved generations of humans with her unique DNA (Paradox: The Alien Genome)

 

 

 

Free Again by Popular Demand

Free Again by Popular Demand

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Dangerous: Gamma Ray Games had a great debut and dozens of copies are now in the hot little hands of happy science fiction readers. Did you miss out? It’s coming up for FREE again, on October 22nd and 23rd. Take a needed break from the election madness and read about what happens when two alien races fight over the rights to a nuclear reactor – and it’s not even running on either of their own planets!

Remember: an E-Book can be read on ANY device, including your computer.

Gamma Ray Games  udp_kcp


Here’s a short excerpt: 

“I didn’t find any documentation for radiation sickness or illness attributed to the reactor,” Beth explained, opening two books across the table. “I found illustrated books on anatomy, and basic medicine, but it’s all mechanical and organic. No references to antibiotics or advanced surgical techniques like organ transplants or even vaccines, only plant extracts and such. And I hate to think about it: sutures and needles for closing lacerations,” she winced and drew her mouth into a flat line. Captain Thomas Jackson smiled at his field medic’s genteel aversion to the archaic medical technology then turned to his geologist.

“And the thorium?” he directed at Jamul.

“Well…um, Tom…” the young lieutenant began haltingly, glancing at the Cetian company in earshot, “there are a few manuscripts on minerals and elements. I didn’t have time to translate them fully.” He put his hands on a stack of geology books and then opened one. “Monazite sand is abundant here, especially this continent. The sands are mined for thorium, above ground, and the process isn’t difficult, not like uranium. Since thorium isn’t stand-alone ‘radioactive’ the mining it isn’t nearly so hazardous.”

“Well, that’s a start,” Jackson said. “I can’t find anything here on electricity except one book on theory, but nothing that would support Cetian technology on 20th century Earth level. I did some research on the trip out here, though. A thorium reactor produces electricity the same way a uranium fuel reactor does, but because the thorium can’t burn alone like uranium it has to be hit with a constant stream of neutrons. There’s a quick two-step decay process, then fission. If you turn off the neutrons, the process will stop. The fuel stops burning, like cutting off the oxygen to a fire. If for some reason it gets too hot, that heat melts a plug underground, and the molten salts surrounding the core drain off, and the process also stops. You can’t stop a uranium fuel reaction. It has to burn itself out.”

“So it can’t meltdown?” Beth asked.

“Yes,” Jamul answered, “but the failsafe is instant so the radiation damage is nominal. This all works at normal atmospheric pressure. And, most important, thorium can’t, reasonably, be made into nuclear weapons like uranium.”

“But, there is still some radioactive waste. And, now we’re left with a new question,” Jackson said. “If they aren’t making weapons from the thorium, why did Kiians put up a reactor here, in plain sight? And why a fission reactor? The Kiians are far more advanced than that. Why not a fusion reactor or better still a solar facility? And for that matter, why at all? Did the Cetians solicit or sanction it?” Jackson shook his head slowly and no one spoke for a few moments.

“Sir-um-Tom, so, why did Earth use uranium reactors if thorium was safer, easier to mine, less waste?” Beth asked. The two men looked at each other with little expression and then back at her.

“Weapons and politics,” Tom replied. “Uranium was used in weapons first, the Second World War, then as a power source. Testosterone ruled in the 20th century, and governments didn’t put up research money for just anything. War was profitable. Luckily that was short-lived, only a few major accidents over a hundred years and then we jumped to renewables.” He leaned on the table and glanced over the books. “What are Kiians getting from a thorium fission reactor they can’t get any other way? What is so valuable to warrant that…” he waved in the general direction of the reactor, “monstrosity?”

When they finished with the books to the limit of the translation reader they left the library with more questions than they’d answered. Tom took a last look at the map before they left to look for Quinaal.

“I hope you two studied your Cetian. It’s time we start speaking their language.”

“This is a charming town,” Beth said in a pidgin version of Cetian. “It’s like going back centuries in time. Everyone speaks the same language?”

“I imagine isolated populations speak their own language, like on Earth.”

“What are those?” Jamul asked and pointed to an ox-like animal harnessed to a wooden merchandise cart. The group paused to look at it.

“Didn’t see those the last time I was here,” Tom said. Perhaps half a kiloton, the animal appeared to be an awkward griffon but more primordial; it was less a mix of lion and eagle, more a mix of horse and a three horned chameleon-alligator. “Apparently, a Cetian beast of burden,” he stated. The lieutenant and the captain resumed their journey toward the metallurgist’s home when a moment later Beth screamed! The men spun about and saw the ensign sitting in the street, her hand bleeding copiously on the ground and on her garments.

Read More Read More

Got Sci Fi ?

Got Sci Fi ?

If you’re a member of Kindle Select, take advantage of FREE READING! Don’t forget that you can download many many many books available on Amazon Kindle and read to your heart’s content. Both of my books are enrolled in the Kindle Select program and you can find them here! You can also read the first chapter or two if you aren’t sure this is your kind of Science Fiction. If you are interested in space travel, alien interactions, and dire situations, these are for you.

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Paradox: The Alien Genome

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dangerous: Gamma Ray Games

 

FREE today only!

FREE today only!

gammapromoReady for a quick trip to the Tau Ceti system? A thorium reactor appears virtually overnight, and Captain Jackson finds himself caught between two feuding aliens. When one bombs the reactor, he’s forced to choose who lives, who dies, and who should pick up the pieces in the aftermath.

 

Click the picture and go get it, free, now! 

 

One Week Away

One Week Away

Next Monday September 26th, all day Monday, my novella Gamma Ray Games will be FREE
in the Amazon Kindle Store. You can read it on any device, no E-Reader necessary!
Tell a friend!
If you think a thorium reactor is harmless, think again.

gammapromo
 Get Your Copy Here