Tag: adventure

Interview with a Starship Captain

Interview with a Starship Captain

I had an opportunity to interview Captain Thomas Jackson, captain of the Science Ship Maria Mitchell, currently assigned to retrieve an extended stay science team from Beta Hydri Four. He’s just come off a successful mission in the Eta Cassiopeia system where he and his crew of the Maria Mitchell stopped a centuries-old plague being fueled by a Pegasi privateer. Welcome, Captain Jackson.

Thank you. It’s nice to be here.

The pleasure is mine. I’ve had people asking me about you, your past, what makes you tick. I hope you don’t mind if some of these questions get a bit personal.

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Captain Thomas K. Jackson

I’ll let you know if you cross a line.

Great. So, Captain Jackson, you’ve been in the North American Space Administration for twenty some years now. What drove you to the stars so to speak?

I’ve always had a fascination with space, as long as I can remember. It seemed natural to go in that direction.

What did you study in college?

I’m an alum of Caltech, California Institute of Technology. My focus was aeronautics.  I met a friend, Dr. Scott Gregory, there, and he has been my ship’s astrophysicist for several years.

You’re from South California. Did you have a typical childhood?

We didn’t always live there, but after my younger sister was born we stayed put. I love the ocean. I spent every summer on the beach, camped on the beach, and I was a very strong swimmer. That’s how I ended up at Caltech. It’s still a private university, and I was awarded an athletic scholarship, on their swim team.

Is that why you joined the navy? You love the ocean?

I love flying. It was a means to an end, at least in the beginning.

So, Captain, what moved you to change from planes to rockets?

Just out of school, I was an intern, briefly, at the Jet Propulsion Lab, and went to Luna Colony on an assignment. Once you see the Earth from space, you are changed, forever. It’s indescribable. You can never go back to the ordinary again.

But you did.

I can’t say flying ion powered fighters off a carrier deck is ordinary, but I was in the navy until an accident ended my service.

Care to elaborate?

I had a mishap landing my vehicle on the deck and was injured.

Sounds like this is something in your past you would rather forget about.

You could say that, yes.

So, I’ll move on. You went from the navy to the space administration?

I joined the space program as a lieutenant but was bumped up to commander pretty quickly, then to captain. I left the navy as a captain so I was glad to have my rank again. Love a challenge, ordering people around (laughs). Not much more challenging than exploring deep space.

You were pretty young to be given a ship.

I took my first command in 2149. I was 37. That’s not so young. Just ask a teenager. Do you have a coffee service here?

The captain and I took a break and walked to the cafeteria for coffee.

So, back to the formal questions. Tell us, please, was there ever a major turning point in your life?

When I left the navy for the space program. And when I met my wife. And when I met my daughter.

Is there anything your parents did that you think significantly affected who you are today?

Absolutely. I suppose you want me to tell you what it is. My father is a dry alcoholic, but he was pretty wet when I was young. That will change the way you see things around you. Now my mother, she’s a gem. She insisted that I be friendly to everyone, to look for similarities, not differences. I think that serves me well, most of the time. I married a woman from another world, and that’s about as different as you can get.

Your wife, Rianya, is from Beta Hydri Four. She is the love of your life?

She is.

It must be difficult to captain a starship and have a family aboard. Are there other captains in the space administration with families?

I’m unique in that category. I dislike exposing them to the dangers, but we are all happier together. Missions are simply too long to be apart. There are dangers on Earth, as well. You can’t avoid life.

Indeed. What’s next, Captain? Do you still have any goals to reach for?

I’d like to see my daughter join me in space one day, not as a passenger, but as part of my crew.

If anyone can make it happen, it would be you. Thank you again for taking time to talk to us.

If you want more information, please click and enjoy!

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.

Reasons to Read

Reasons to Read

If Carl Sagan doesn’t convince you, I’m not sure I can. But from the shelves of Dr. Seuss to Dr. Hawking, books, paper or electronic, expand your mind, your experience, your heart. School teachers claim that the most important thing a parent can do to help their kids learn easier is read to them as children.bookcarlsagan

Relaxation is another top notch reason to read. Isn’t the best time to read in bed when you’re on your way to Nod? Books aren’t so boring that they put you to sleep – they are so relaxing that you can go to sleep.

Stimulation of your brain is another great reason to pick up a book. Non-fiction such as biographies, self help, and even about a hobby will give you tools and resources, insight into others’ methods and thoughts. Every book’s author can be a friend.

Reading makes your memory more efficient. Reading boosts your analytical skills. Reading alleviates boredom.

Your vocabulary will improve, and your writing skills will leap. Have you ever needed to write an essay, a business letter, a note to your boss? When you read, well edited books that is, not the comics and sadly not the newspaper, you absorb proper skills without even trying.

Television is passive and boring. More books exist than television programs ever have and many are serialized, offering a chance to participate in the characters’ lives over several years.

Knowledge. Yes, even fiction can bring you information you didn’t know about – everything from how a rocket to arsenic works!

I think we all know how many worlds you can visit and people you can know by reading. Even if you just read the side of a cereal box, you’re going to learn something. So read. Go read a book. Find your favorite subject (mine is science fiction), narrow it down (space travel) and look for reviews that are comprehensive, not so much what are best sellers and have lots of numbers. And while you’re out there, spread the word! Be prepared the next time someone asks you “Have you read any good books lately?”

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

paradoxTAG

Paradox: The Alien Genome

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dangerous: Gamma Ray Games

 

When October Goes

When October Goes

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All roads point to home in old October. I find this one of my favorite blurbs as October seems to call people home. In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer heat is over, the world gets ready to fold up for the winter and pumpkin spice everything appears on menus all across America.

Books are coming out – Mike Massimino’s new book entitled #Spaceman is out and would be a great holiday gift for any one who likes space travel, courage, and all things NASA. Clayton C. Anderson, another average Joe who went to space, also has a good book out that was published in 2015, The Ordinary Spaceman: From Boyhood Dreams to Astronaut. And of course, the Star Trek Encyclopedia by the Michael and Denise Okuda, released for the 50th anniversary this year.529

And Autumn is the time of year to trade in your swim suits for a good book and travel to another world. If you’re looking for a good fiction read, of course, you can also check out my own books, Paradox: The Alien Genome ($3.99 and $9.99 paperback), and Dangerous: Gamma Ray Games ($0.99 e-book only).

Put away the grill, the flip-flops, and beach towels, and pick up a Kindle, a paperback, or your favorite Go-To book on the shelf, and reacquaint yourself with words and worlds. You won’t be disappointed.

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
Contest – just one skill needed

Contest – just one skill needed

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/201699-paradox-the-alien-genome

Hello Friends,

Sol seen from Titan
Sol seen from Titan

It’s another give away for Paradox – because the Amazon Give Away was a great success! This time you have to go to the Goodreads site and join for free, then you can enter all the book  give aways you want! All genres and authors, from one copy to a 100, try a new author and you might be surprised, and glad, you did. No risk, no money, just click that link above Saturn and enter.

By the way, Paradox is not the only available “read” – no time for a long novel? Check out my novella, 1/4 the size, 1/4 the price, currently available, Dangerous: Gamma Ray Games  at (yes) Amazon ($0.99).

One more reminder: If you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, read both for free! No contest needed!

Do you know a friend who might like a hard science fiction read for September? Intelligent readers wanted! No dystopia, no apocalypse, no invasion of Earth, but much in common with what we face today at home. Share this post with them. They’ll thank you if they win!