Cult Doing Any Better on Saturn’s Moon Titan? #scifi #sciencefiction #Saturn #NewRelease

This December, return with me to Titan. Subscribe now and I’ll let you know when the book is released.

Science fiction book cover Titan Insurgents by Kate RaunerOn Saturn’s deadly moon, kin should be your greatest ally, not your greatest threat.

The only colony on Titan shatters into factions, and Fynn becomes a reluctant rebel leader. His sister seized control of the cult that brought them to the frozen moon, but her tyrannical rule drives them farther apart.

Only Fynn and his friends see the frozen moon’s dangers and wonders. Only they can keep the dome’s erratic life support running. Enduring the cult’s oppression may be the only way to survive. Can Fynn save them when they’re pushed too far?

I’m scrubbing out the last typos and grammos. At least, I hope they’re the last. A few always sneak in from an alternate reality. But I plan to release the new story the first weekend of December 2019, so subscribe to receive an email alert or watch this blog.

How did Fynn get into this mess? Catch up now. Titan Book 1 is, of course, available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. If you have KU, you already paid for this story, so why not read it now?

Titan Book 1 Finalist in Regional Book Contest – Read It Now and be Ready for Book 2 #scifi #sciencefiction #readinglist #award

Yee ha! It’s a thrill for Titan, Book 1, to be a contest finalist.

Fynn is shanghaied to  Titan to join his father’s cult in colonizing Saturn’s moon. Can they create a paradise? Not likely!

New Mexico Book Co-op promotes the literary diversity of New Mexico Book Publishers & Authors. It is New Mexico’s largest cooperative organization, a partnership of over 950 publishers and authors interested in showcasing and selling books by authors in New Mexico and the American Southwest.

It’s hard to wait for the winners to be announced, but I’m happy to be a finalist. Read Book 1 today and be ready for Book 2, coming soon.

Don’t miss Book 2! Insurgents! Coming soon. Subscribe to Kate’s Readers’ Club and you won’t miss the release date.

NASA’s Dragonfly to Explore Titan, a Really Weird Moon #NASA #dragonfly #Saturn #explore

NASA's Dragonfly spacecraft, composit artist's image

Artist’s image of Dragonfly as it lands and explores Titan

If you’re a fan of exploring the solar system, you’ve heard of the nuclear powered, $1 billion dollar spacecraft, Dragonfly.

Elizabeth Turtle, the mission’s principle investigator at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, insists that this is actually a pretty tame space probe, as these things go. “There’s not a lot of new technology.”

If Dragonfly sounds like a crazy spacecraft, consider that Titan is a crazy moon, unlike any other moon or planet in the solar system. Though a little bit like Earth. It has lakes and rain.

The largest moon of Saturn, it has dunes, mountains, gullies and even rivers and lakes — though on Titan, it’s so cold the lakes are filled with liquid methane, not water.

Titan has one more feature that’s worth noting: Although its mainly nitrogen atmosphere is denser than Earth’s, its gravity is far lower. That makes it the perfect place to take to the skies. npr.org

Launch is still years away, but you can travel to Titan today, in scifi. I couldn’t resist sending a colony to the cold, deadly moon. But Fynn’s fellow colonists may be the greatest danger. Read it today.

Titan scifi book covers, ebook and paperback

Fynn learns the Kin’s secret when he’s shoved into a stasis pod. He’s going to colonize Titan with his father’s cult. Can they build a paradise? Not likely! Click now to find the book at Amazon. Kindle Unlimited too!

 

Weird Deep Sea Jellyfish – It’s Hard to Come Up With Weirder Scifi

Real life is a great inspiration. My colony on Saturn’s moon Titan has it’s own ghost. Maybe Deepstaria will inspire more ideas in upcoming Book 2. Visit the deadly-cold moon for a read.

Cover of scifi book Titan - Kate Rauner

Fynn learns his father’s secret when he’s shoved into a stasis pod. They’re going to Saturn’s moon, Titan – Click now to go to Amazon for a preview

Disturbing Scifi from the 1960s #sciencefiction #mentalhealthcare #scifi

I recently read a story by Philip K. Dick, a scifi author from the Golden Age. Buck Rogers it ain’t!

Science ficiton book cover - Martian Time SlipDick explored philosophical, social, and political themes, with stories dominated by monopolistic corporations, alternative universes, authoritarian governments, and altered states of consciousness. wikipedia

I read every word, all the way through, but “fun” is not the right description.  Mild spoilers follow.

The book comes from 1964. I think the right approach today is to view the story as the alternative history of a Mars colony in 1950s. Mars is barely habitable in shirt sleeves, with sparse plants and animals and a nearly-extinct race of Martians. Colonists use mimeograph machines and secretaries take dictation with a pad and pencil. Fascinating robotic teachers indoctrinate children in proper earthly culture.

Less adorably, one of the main characters makes remarks that are homophobic, misogynistic, and racist. He’s the villain, and casually cruel to everyone, but this can be off-putting. He uses the n-word to describe Martians who apparently look very much like African Saan people (another term for these people, Bushmen, is sometimes considered derogatory, depending on the usage.) There’s a brief suggestion that Martians and Humans were both seeded by some alien intelligence and so are related.

Despite the Martian setting, the story is about schizophrenia, which has become much more common on Mars than it is in real-life today. That term and “autism” are both used, and Dick presents his scifi interpretation of them – those effected experience multiple times in the past and future, which prevents them from relating to “normal” people. The visions these people experience (and we get to see through their eyes) are gruesome and apocalyptic, even for people with mundane lives. Dick gives a striking feel for such disconnects with repeated scenes, sometimes out of sequence, from different characters in the scene. The story shows sympathy for it’s characters, even the unsavory ones.

While it’s not an action-packed tale, terrible things happen in this story. There is guilt and shame from the father of an autistic boy. There is infidelity. There is suicide, and given Dick’s own dark life experiences, I wonder if this comes from something more real than imagination. That will keep me thinking about the book for a long time.

Cover of scifi magazine Galaxy

Dick wrote the cover story for this edition

I know a lot has changed in American culture since Dick wrote his story. I suspect a lot has changed in our understanding of schizophrenia and autism too, but I have no idea how readers familiar with these conditions will feel about the story. Please leave a comment and let me know.

The book, republished in 2012, is popular on Amazon and has 4 stars, where several reviewers find it’s look at mental illness to be kindly and sympathetic.

BTW, you know Dick’s work. The movies Blade Runner, Total Recall, and Minority Report are based on his writings.

New Mars Covers are Here – big deal for me, so hope you like them #scifiart #mars #

Colony on Mars book covers“They” claim you decide whether to click in a fraction of a second, so covers determine whether you look at a book. No matter how good the story, if you don’t click, it doesn’t matter.

I’ve been dithering over new covers for my Mars Colony series and finally pushed the button. I hope you like them. You’ll find the new covers on Amazon today and other favorite stores by the end of the week.

Intrigued? Good. If you haven’t joined me on Mars yet, click today 🙂

Button - Click Itscience fiction book covers - Kate Rauner

It’s Not Too Late to Own a Piece of Classic of Scifi History #scifi #movies #history

Wonders of the Galaxy! May 14, 2019, starting 1:00 pm PDT. Robby the Movie poster for scifi classic Forbidden PlanetRobot was sold in 2017, but there’s more memorabilia up for auction from the 1956 movie Forbidden Planet, from the estate of collector Wes Shank.

Props, costumes, blueprints – all sorts of things from a classic movie. Some of the first ray gun props that actually lit up, long before CGI. Costumes from the spaceship’s crew, though no longer the original gray. Some thrifty producer dyed them brown for a later movie (I wonder which one?)

I won’t be bidding, but maybe I can dig up a copy of Forbidden Planet.  It’s still enjoyable, with an  extinct alien race that reaches across eons to threaten  an obsessive scientist, his beautiful daughter, and intrepid spacemen. Yes, spaceMEN, because this was 1956, but the woman isn’t as badly cliched as you might fear (despite the poster), and the secret of the alien’s extinction is chilling. And, of course, there’s Robby the Robot, a character with personality and not simply a tin can on legs. You can’t beat a real classic.

Thanks to newatlas.com