Hey, That’s Me! Latest Author Interview and Book Reviews – Find a New Favorite #review #bookreview #amwriting #author #interview

Kate Rauner

Hey, look. That’s me.

Read Georgina Cromarty’s interview of one of your favorite authors, I hope. Me. šŸ˜€

It’s fun and flattering to appear on someone’s blog. Take a look at my interview and find more interviews and book reviews on Georgina’s blog. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite to share with your friends.

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Scifi Mars Colony in Big Trouble, But Can’t Be Bummed All the Time #cat #Mars #scifi #sciencefiction #trailer #story

Fisrt Cat on Mars You Tube

Click to view

Anxious about her one-way journey, a young roboticist won’t back out despite tragedy in the tiny colony. Admirable, but it may get her killed, because something is terribly wrong on Mars.

While Emma and her friends struggle to save their lives and colony, what’s the cat they brought to Mars doing? It’s fun to imagine in this video.

Scifi Mars Colony - Kate RaunerAll five books in the Mars series are available on Amazon, individually or in a Box Set (great value for hours of reading pleasure.) But you’re not stuck with Amazon! Also available from other favorite stores, individually or in that same Box Set. Join the colony. Read one today.

Astoundingly Beautiful American Southwest – Wonderful and Unexpected #travel #camp #Arizona #Utah #vacation

White House Trail Canyon de Chelly

White House Trail, popular with school groups

I’ve been camping in the canyons of Arizona and Utah. Most of the time we were out of internet and cell phone range. It’s a wonderful way to unplug. Since I owe you a post, perhaps you’ll indulge me and look at few of my vacation pictures.

White House ruins Canyon de Chelly

Ancient ruins

Canyon de Chelly is in America’s National Monument system, located entirely on Navajo land. It may not be as big as the Grand Canyon, but it is grand nonetheless. Excellent roads take you around the north and south rims to amazing overlooks. In most places you must hire a Navajo guide to hike down into the canyon, but one exception is the White House trail. This fantastic path clings to the side of the sheer canyon wall, ending at some well preserved ruins from an ancient culture. The hike was popular with school groups the day we were there.

Junior Rangers

Junior Rangers are sworn in

I was honored to watch a group of kids sworn in as Junior Rangers at Natural Bridges. We hiked down into the canyon there on a long trek between the largest bridge formations.

Valley of the Gods Utah

Camped beneath a massive rock formation, overlooking Valley of the Gods. Amost got bogged down in sand! But we made it.

In the nineteenth century, when the American government carved up the conquered western lands, after everyone had their first choice, the remainders were placed under the BLM (Bureau of Land Management). These lands are often overgrazed and under-regulated. They seldom offer anything special in the way of views, but are wonderful for those of us, like me, who want to travel cheaply. You canĀ  camp for free on BLM land anywhere you want. There will be no rangers to answer questions, and roads may be impassible in rain or snow, which can be a challenge since you’re usually out of cell phone range. But in theĀ  Valley of the Gods the BLM has a gem of fantastically carved rocks and mesas. The main gravel road is in good shape, though side roads are dirt tracks that can be dicey. But I’ve never had a better campsite.

A landscape needs two attributes to be named after God or the Devil. First, it must inspire awe. The stare-in-wonder sort of awe. But that’s not enough. It must also be indifferent, even hostile, to humans. The combination leaves me feelingĀ  small and quiet. It would be presumptuous to try to fill such a space with myself. Instead I ache with the grandeur of our world.

 

Mars – We Know So Much and So Little – American Southwest an Inspiration for Scifi #Mars #Mojave #sciencefiction #greatinspiration

The vast volcanoes of Mars have been dead for a long time, but perhaps they left huge deposits of ash. That’s how I saw the Tartarus Mountains in my book Hermit on Mars. Check out this YouTube to see more of my inspiration (right here on Earth) and then read the book – let me know how you like my mountains – and a roboticist’s mid-life crisis in the Mars colony.

Space Station to Crash on April 1st – No Fooling #space #tiangong #tiangonng1 #satellite #China

Space station Tiangong next to a school bus

Tiangong compared to a school bus

One enormous chunk of space junk is about to crash. What was once China’s first space station, a habitat designed to test docking procedures as well as perform some experiments in orbit, has run out of fuel. Like any satellite or orbiting spacecraft, without periodic altitude boosts, Tiangong will return to Earth in a fiery breakup.

The world is watching as Chinese space station Tiangong-1 hurtles toward Earth and makes a fiery reentry. Chances that space debris will hurt anybody are extremely slim, although when and where the space stationā€™s remains will land is still unknown. aerospace.org

There’s a great video posted here – scroll down.

Happy Discovery Day to Discoverer of Saturn’s Moon Titan

Christiaan Huygens

Congratulations

On March 25, 1655, Saturn’s moon Titan was discovered by the Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens. Titan is the largest moon of Saturn and it was the first of 62 moons to be found orbiting Saturn. space.com

Titan is a fascinating moon. It is the only body aside from Earth with a thick atmosphere and liquid lakes or seas on its surface.

The atmosphere is nearly all nitrogen with some hydrocarbons, and the liquid is methane and ethane, so Titan isn’t very hospitable. With gravity similar to our own Moon, any human visitor would have to worry about bones and muscles wasting away, too. But between a thick atmosphere and Saturn’s expansive magnetic field, cosmic radiation would be less of a worry than on Mars. Besides, who can resist this possibility:

The very high ratio of atmospheric density to surface gravity also greatly reduces the wingspan needed for an aircraft to maintain lift, so much so that a human would be able to strap on wings and easily fly through Titan’s atmosphere while wearing a sort of spacesuit that could be manufactured with today’s technology. wikipedia

surface of Saturn's moon Titan

From the Huygens lander

The surface isn’t very pretty, as our first image from a lander shows. And while Saturn would be an amazing sight to see, filling the sky, it may be blotted out by haze and clouds.

Still… what do you think? Good place for a science fiction colony? I’m considering that for my next book. Why would anyone in their right mind want to colonize Titan? Maybe I’ll figure out a reason.

When Rain is Made of Dust – life in the dry American Southwest #dust

rain spotted windows

After the wind-whipped drizzle

I live in dry mountians, on the edge of the Gila National Forest, and always said I wouldn’t complain about rain. But this is ridiculous. Accompanied by strong winds, a cloud dropped its virga to the ground and welded dust against all my windows. Our dust sticks to glass like nothing I’ve ever seen. It will take a lot of work to clean those windows. I’ve never found anything that works very well – and, yes, I’ve tried newspaper, squeegies, vinegar, and a slue of commercial products. New Mexico dust is serious dust.

Happy spring.