The Science of “Syzygy”: Terraforming

“How can you terraform long-distance?” “Robots and microbe bombs.” A gleam of enthusiasm lit Ash’s face. “It’s really cool. Our scientists engineer microorganisms that can build up the atmosphere and fix nitrogen in the soil—.” “More gene hacking.” Skye sniffed. “Didn’t you learn anything from Spores?” “Yes. That organisms can thrive even in harsh environments... Continue Reading →

Top 5 Wednesday: Book Theme Songs

As both a writer and a musician, songs and stories are inextricable for me. Lyrics are a fascinating narrative form--Springsteen is like Steinbeck with a guitar--and even the flimsiest dance tune develops a narrative in an author's imagination. I've got whole soundtracks for novels! No room for that today, so here are a few of... Continue Reading →

How to Write a Novel, Part 8: Publishing

You’ve written the story, revised the draft, and edited the manuscript to near-perfection, all to reach this point: publication. But don’t start decorating that memento box for your rejection slips yet. The digital age has transformed the way people consume fiction, and consequently the way its distributed. Today’s authors now have more choices in distribution... Continue Reading →

Location, Location, Radiation: Martian Real Estate

I saw The Martian on Friday. Great adaptation of a great novel. Poor astronaut Watney had so many ordeals with his inflatable habitat. If only he’d had one of the new Martian igloos! (Insert paid programming here—“but wait, there’s more!”) Back in May, NASA announced a competition challenging innovators to design 3D printed habitats for space... Continue Reading →

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