Tag: extraterrestrial

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.

starship captain
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!

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!

 

Last Chance 2016

Last Chance 2016

 It’s the last day this year that PARADOX: The Alien Genome will be available for FREE on Amazon. If Science Fiction isn’t your cup of Earl Grey, Coffee, or Passion Fruit Iced Tea, do a friend a favor and share this post with them!

Eta Cassiopeia

Eta Cassiopeia

 

FullSizeRender (44)
Screen Shot from my super cool iOS app, Sky Guide

Another name for this star, circled right center, is Archid, found in the middle of the constellation Cassiopeia, the Queen. For you ultra nerdy types it is Right Ascention 00 hours, 50 minutes, Declination positive 57 degrees and 54 minutes. Only 19.4 light years away from our own sun, it is also a G-Type star (GV3) but appears slightly younger. Also known by several boring names that reflect its categorization, it can be seen near the PacMan Nebula and Shedar, the brightest, most southern star in the constellation, close to the Queen’s heart.

I chose this particular star for the next adventure in space that Captain Thomas Jackson and his crew will be traveling to. It has been designated as one of the top 100 candidates of nearby stars to harbor earth type planets, although this search was terminated a few years back when budget cuts came up. In the meantime, we science fiction writers will have a field day with it.

Our primary adventure will again focus on biology, but instead of genetics and chiral molecules, we’ll be investigating the domains of archaeal and bacterial life forms, and pharmaceuticals, or more precisely, the abuse thereof.270px-Eta_Cas

The Kiians return, the Pegasi return, and a bombshell awaits Jackson from his past, or perhaps it’s his future, that he must reconcile within himself, changing the fundamental theories of life and physics.

 

Moon Day

Moon Day

Artist's impression of the trio of super-Earths discovered by an European team using the HARPS spectrograph on ESO's 3.6-m telescope at La Silla, Chile, after 5 years of monitoring. The three planets, having 4.2, 6.7, and 9.4 times the mass of the Earth, orbit the star HD 40307 with periods of 4.3, 9.6, and 20.4 days, respectively.
Artist’s impression of the trio of super-Earths discovered by an European team using the HARPS spectrograph on ESO’s 3.6-m telescope at La Silla, Chile, after 5 years of monitoring. The three planets, having 4.2, 6.7, and 9.4 times the mass of the Earth, orbit the star HD 40307 with periods of 4.3, 9.6, and 20.4 days, respectively.

I like to challenge the brain on a regular basis. Now I’m going to challenge your brain.  Don’t look up the answer on the internet right away, this is a private process for your brain only.

True or False:  The nearest earth type planet discovered by humans is only 4 light years away.

Think about that for a minute. Four light years, if we could travel the speed of light, would take, well, four years to reach (at a speed of 186,000 miles per second, or seven times around the diameter of the earth).  If we could go ten times the speed of light, it would still take more almost five months (speed of 1,860,000 miles per second). It takes eight minutes for the light of our sun to reach the earth. Four light years is pretty far away. At 17,000 mph, the current average space shuttle speed, it would take 165,000 years to reach a planet 4 light years from here.

And the truth is the closest earth-like planet discovered is 11.9 light yeas away around the sun-like star Tau Ceti. Now triple all the figures above. Half a million years to get there with today’s technology? That’s the disappointing fact. Even a generational ship is a pretty far stretch of the imagination. And yet we still dream of discovering life on other planets, shaking hands with extra terrestrials, or at least finding an amoebae we can bring home in a Petri dish.   So what do we do?

We keep hunting nearby, we keep studying whatever we can, and we don’t stop reaching for the stars.