Mars Colony Covers – this is my new series – hope they’re thrilling, exciting, well – hope you like them :) #scifi #Mars #books

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The new covers – start with Glory on Mars – something’s terribly wrong in this near-future Mars colony :O

Here are my new On Mars covers. Woo hoo and yee haw – a big deal for me. It takes a surprising amount of time for them to pop up in all the stores, so you may not see these in your favorite for a week or so. What do you think?

All my books, including the On Mars series, are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and other major online retailers. You’ll also find paperbacks at Create Space and all major digital formats at Smashwords. Read one today.

I’m working on a collection of short stories, flash fiction stories, and excerpts from On Mars – I hope to publish in April. If you’d like a coupon for a free download of the ebook edition, sign up now at http://eepurl.com/bCpx1v

Fascinating Clues to Concealed Life in the Asteroid Belt #poem #poetry #science #space

Ceres in natural color, as imaged by the spacecraft Dawn

Ceres in natural color, as imaged by the spacecraft Dawn

Between Mars and Jupiter,
Scattered asteroids
Orbit in a frozen belt
Of atmosphere devoid.

We found organic molecules,
The building blocks of life,
A tar-like concentration
Within a crater rife.

It’s Ceres, a dwarf planet,
With brightened crater bowls,
Where water ice is common
Beneath its axis poles.

This rock retains internal heat
From the dawn of time
To power unseen chemistry
Beneath its blackened grime.

Wherever’s liquid water
And heat for energy,
Where chemistry is active
To battle entropy,
There could be life abundant
In briny buried seas,
Beneath thick crusts of ice
On Callisto
or Ganymede.

Or Titan, or Europa.
Perhaps Enceladus.
High in Venusian air,
Or under Martian dust.

Ceres now has joined the list
Of where we must explore
To seek our solar system kin
Upon outlandish shores.

By Kate Rauner

Thanks to space.com and NASA’s spacecraft Dawn.

rr-3-coversAll my books, including collections of my science-inspired poetry, are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and other major online retailers. You’ll also find paperbacks at Create Space and all major digital formats at Smashwords. Read one today.

People Absolutely Judge a Book by its Cover – Will These Make You Click? #scifi #mars #books

Please help me with my book covers. A good book cover inspires readers to click to get the description. You can view my current On Mars series covers in the header above – but maybe I can do better. Please comment on these possibilities below –  what do you think of the concepts? Would you click? All comments welcome and thanks 🙂

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I’ll be looking for better figures, but like these

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Version in a lava tube

Version in a lava tube

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Version outside under the sky

Version outside under the sky

Slow Motion Armageddon Devastated Forgotten Land #geology #island #poems #amwriting #poetry

A few of the remnants

A few of the remnants

Madagascar once lay close
By India to its west,
Islands mark the continent
Where dinosaurs did rest.

Volcanic islands that we see,
Laccadive and Cargados,
Etch the backbone of lost land
With Tromelin and Chagos.

This piece of ancient continent
Was stretched by plate tectonics,
Became an ocean scattered with
Remnants for mnemonics.

by Kate Rauner

Thanks to archaeology.wiki and newscientist.com. Learn more about plate tectonics

rr-3-coversAll my books, including collections of my science-inspired poetry, are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and other major online retailers. You’ll also find paperbacks at Create Space and all major digital formats at Smashwords. Read one today.

Receive an occasional book offer and a piece of my flash fiction at http://eepurl.com/bCpx1v

Live Like a Normal Person Until UFO Memories Absolutely Shatter Your Security #scifi #fantasy #books

feedbackFeedback contains three stories:

  • one set in the Koreas (an unusual choice for science fiction and well done) where a South Korean rescue helicopter goes down behind enemy lines while on a search for survivors of a UFO crash
  • one in New York City where Jason is drawn to an oddly lost young woman, and
  • an epilogue off-world.

They all tie together by the end.

Jason is a physics student and I enjoyed his professor being more interested in the equations he “doodled” on the backs of his homework pages than in the assignment. His best friend talks in vulgar banter all the time, which you may find funny or irritating. Once Jason invites the odd young woman into his apartment to dry off from the rain (it rains a lot in this book), things get rapidly odder.

To avoid spoilers, I’ll simply say physics explains all the bewildering events and apparent inconsistencies that Jason experiences. You’ll recognize the premise involved even if you don’t read much science fiction, but there are satisfying twists at the end.

Peter Cawdron’s book is wildly popular – in the top 3% of its best Amazon kindle category. If any of my books did that well, I’d be doing a very big happy dance. Those reviewers who disliked the book generally said the ending confusing or left events poorly explained. Even some of the reviews Amazon calls “critical” as opposed to “positive” said the book was enjoyable, including some from readers who are not usual science fiction fans.

In addition to some action-oriented violence, possible triggers include a few f-bombs, the best friend’s randy chatter, and torture.

A note on torture:
As most Americans, I was horrified at the Abu Ghraib scandal where members of our military tortured Iraqi prisoners. While individuals must be accountable for their actions, I couldn’t help but feel our nation had let our soldiers down. The military is supposed to protect them, but these men and women were allowed to practice evil in a way that must scar them as well as their victims. Was it poor training? Lack of oversight? Deficient understanding by those in charge?

Or is it a larger cultural issue?

Since Abu Ghraib I’ve become sensitive to torture scenes in TV, movies, and books. I never realized before how pervasive torture is in our entertainment. Even old favorites from my youth, like Star Trek TOS, include torture – though mostly performed by “bad guys” in older shows. Today, even the “good guys” torture, commit violence, or threaten torture to succeed. Now I’ve even got a president who thinks torture is okay.

Are we creating a culture where torture is acceptable? It’s enough to make me wish for the good old fashioned Superman.

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Start with Book 1 today

Help me reach for the Amazon ranking of my dreams! Okay – so that’s self-centered. But I’m collecting some good reviews on my science fiction books so you may enjoy one – including my On Mars series – available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and favorite online retailer. You’ll also find paperbacks at Create Space and all major digital formats at Smashwords. Read one today.

Receive an occasional offer and a piece of my flash fiction at http://eepurl.com/bCpx1v

Just When You Think Everything’s Under Control #haiku #poem #poetry #cat #cutecat

I lost control of my scheduel again this week. We’ve been laying a new bamboo floor, and had to deal with a kitty-cat lumpectomy, too. Yes, that’s Harvey, my cover model for Glory on Mars.

harvey-sticthes-400x377owie bad enuf
y we have to go to vet?
humans are so strange

by Kate Rauner as inspired by Harvey, who suffered for this poem

 

You Need to Conquer this Genuine Science Fiction Classic’s World #scifi #JulesVerne #Verne #amreading #steampunk

Original 1922 English edition's cover - sorry, guys, it's all mine

Republished with original 1922 English edition’s cover – sorry, guys, it’s all mine

You may think you know this story from the 1954 movie – it pops up on TV from time to time. Like another old classic, War of the Worlds, the original book’s old fashioned style can be a chore to read, but a few elements are so memorable that the story lives on: the powerful submarine Nautilus with Captain Nemo and crew who will remain at sea all their lives, the attack of a huge squid (called a cuttlefish or poulp in the book – Kraken would be sexier), and a steampunk sort of technology. This last label is funny because Verne was thoroughly excited by electricity, so there’s no steam on the Nautilus.

Scifi fans should read this classic, but be ready for battle, in a literary sense, to conquer the book.
At last HG Wells wrote his Martian invasion in English (from 1898, but still English). Jules Verne wrote (in 1870) in French and there are several translations in both abridged and unabridged editions. The basic story follows a French professor of marine biology, his faithful servant, and a rowdy Canadian whaler. After sightings of the Nautilus are mistaken for a huge whale, the three join an expedition to bag the beast, but end up falling overboard, only to be rescued by Captain Nemo. The captain refuses to release them and they go on a round-the-world undersea journey with him.

The professor is quite happy with the opportunity but the Canadian wants to escape.

Today if you’re interested in nature there are documentaries. In 1870 people had Verne.20000_leagues-map_2
Verne’s book is a series of travelogues with occasional bouts of danger. In each part of the seas Verne lists scientific names and descriptions of species of flora and fauna, mostly of the ocean but some on islands – and these lists can be long and repetitive. There are some history lessons, too, and I suspect Verne tried to be as true to life as he could, filling in gaps in the days’ knowledge with imagination. Exact latitudes and longitudes are given frequently, so you can chart the journey on a world map if you’d like.

Here are some examples of his style:

I do not know how long I wooed Death’s twin sister, Sleep. But my dozing must have been a protracted one, for it rested me completely from my harrowing fatigue.”

I repeat, sir, the dynamic power of my engines is almost infinite.” [Cool. Though Verne’s electric bullets for underwater guns strikes me as an error.]

[Nautilus] does need electricity to make it move, elements to make the electricity, sodium to furnish the elements, coal to manufacture the sodium, and a coal mine to supply the coal.” [Yikes. Sodium metal is so reactive in water it explodes. I wonder what he had in mind?]

Glass, which breaks at a blow, is, nevertheless, capable of offering considerable resistance. During some experiments of fishing by electric light in 1864 in the northern seas we saw plates less than a third of an inch thick resist a pressure of 16 atmospheres.” [Doesn’t this sound like it was a real experiment?]

And Verne uses lots of siadisms, which are so frowned on in modern writing. Verne’s characters chirp, reply, answer, growl, assert, object, and exclaim more often than they say. Cursing is fun, though. My favorite is “Jerusalem crickets!”

Victorian style
I read a 2006 republication of an unabridged 1922 English edition in the original translation by Philip Schuyler Allen. I read from a historical interest and not than solely for entertainment, so I’m glad I found this edition in a garage sale. If you are more interested in entertainment, a healthy dose of modern editing might be appreciated. The mystery of Nemo – who he is and why he follows the life he does – is never fully explained, which you may find annoying. But to judge from Amazon, plenty of readers love the book.

You’ll find several editions on Amazon. Weirdly, reviews of 20,000 Leagues and Connecticut Yankee have gotten mixed together! You’ll find discussions of the different translations by reviewers who know more than I do. Aside from complaining about various translations, it was the travelogue style that some readers dislike.

4-books-on-mars-white-backgroundAll my books, including the On Mars series, are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and other major online retailers. You’ll also find paperbacks at Create Space and all major digital formats at Smashwords. Read one today.

Receive an occasional offer and a piece of my flash fiction at http://eepurl.com/bCpx1v