Tag: beach read

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!

Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads Giveaway

gilesemooncoverStarts today! runs through the end of January – enter for a chance to win a signed copy of Paradox: The Alien Genome. Share with those who love Hard Science Fiction, this will take you from the vastness of our galaxy to the microcosm of molecules!  Castaway astronauts may never see Earth again, which is a shame since what humanity needs most is all around them.

Enter to Win!

#amwriting #sciencefiction #startrek

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?”

 

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)

 

 

 

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
We’re over the hump!

We’re over the hump!

Placeholder ImageActually, I didn’t realize it was half way through the week until I checked on the Goodreads Giveaway – tomorrow is the last day to enter the give away for a signed paperback copy of Paradox: The Alien Genome. There’s over 200 requests, but the odds are better than average!

Speaking of Over the Hump – here in southern Nevada to the west of Las Vegas is a mountain range separating it from a rural town called Pahrump! They have a great little library there and I expect to be doing a reading there this fall. If you live in the land of Nye County, stay tuned and I’ll be updating when I know a firm date.

Also looking at doing a reading at the Neon Science Fiction Book Club here in Las Vegas. Again, no firm date, but wanted to give you something to think about. I’ll be visiting at the Vegas Valley Book Fair on October 15th downtown, but I was a bit too late for this year’s vendor list. Maybe next year I can make it!

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Dangerous: Gamma Ray Games

And one more announcement. Dangerous: Gamma Ray Games will be FREE on Amazon Kindle one day this month, on Monday, September 26th. As always, it’s free to read if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber. It’s a poolside read, just a couple of hours and it’ll give you a great introduction to Captain Thomas Jackson and some of his crew.

Give Away

Give Away

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Crashed on Beta Hydri Four, it’s the humans that are the aliens in this story of discovery and deliverance. 

If you’re not a member of Goodreads, you need to go sign up. Thousands of books and dozens of genres, a huge community of like minded book lovers all hope for an worthwhile read. Make friends, rate books, set goals for yourself and get your “Want To Read” shelf filled without any hassle from the “Big Online Retailer”.  Find trivia, quizzes, and events, and a new favorite of mine, Giveaways! We authors want you to peek at our books, and in exchange, you just indicate you want to get one free! We don’t keep your name, email, phone number or address on file and cannot solicit you, so it’s a “no strings attached” deal. That was the wind up.

Here’s the pitch: Starting at midnight, I’m giving away 10 signed copies of my paperback, Paradox: The Alien Genome. All you have to do is click. In the meantime, join a group, create a list, open a discussion, ask authors questions, and challenge yourself to read something new this year. Let your friends know where to shop for your holiday gifts when they throw up their hands and say “you already have one of everything!” GOODREADS