BOOKS

 

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FICTION
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 The Intrepid
Dawn Of The Interstellar Age

The crew of humanity's first interstellar mission is roused from hibernation 7 years into their 28 year journey to Alpha Centauri because a newly developed and much faster ship is coming to pick them up. On this new ship, they will explore the closest potentially habitable planet to Earth on a much shorter timeline. Surprisingly, not everyone on board is happy about this. It is also not the last unexpected turn their mission will take, and they are now too far from Earth for two-way communication.

 

Our international crew of exceptional men and women will face challenges, expedition mishaps, the unexplained presence of another ship from Earth, as well as confounding questions surrounding our place in the universe. And when an intriguing find on the planet's surface is interpreted in opposing ways by the crews of the two ships, it brings them into a conflict that will eventually lead to a nuclear showdown.

         It does not go off, and Yarrow realizes she would sigh with relief if she were not straining at the exertion. Dragging a nuclear weapon is really hard work, especially in the grip of Proxima b’s over-enthusiastic force of gravity.
        “Ughhh. Of all the things I ever dreamed of doing on Prox b,” she gasps, “this sure as hell wasn’t one of them.”

 

This near-future ensemble 'S.T.E.M. Fiction' drama seeks to comment on human nature and psychology, consciousness, and the long-term stability of human society. It is also rich in scientifically accurate detail. One example is the way in which relativity and high-speed travel will affect the timelines of the travelers compared to those they left behind on Earth.  Sure, go to Proxima Centauri for a few months… but you will miss the next decade of your children’s lives on Earth. A couple more trips and they will be older than you.

 

Other examples include:

  • what is decompression sickness, and what really happens when a human is exposed to space?

  • the way it might look when traveling at relativistic speeds towards some stars but away from others,

  • why Han Solo could not have done the 'Kessel Run' in 12 parsecs (see Glossary),

  • an interesting resolution to the Fermi Paradox relating to the lack of extra-terrestrial radio signals,

  • discussions about the Big Bang and the expansion of the universe,

  • discussions about biological systems like DNA and fungi,

  • the nature of the electron, that it is nothing other than a photon of light traveling in a circle. This makes Einstein's famous equation E=mc^2 seem that much more intuitive: matter (m) is really just concentrated and self-confined light energy (E), rotating at the speed of light (c),

  • and more...

And there is even an extensive Glossary Of Scientific Terms at the end of the book, which features explanations of concepts like:

  • subatomic particles; gravity; time; magnetism; redshift; harmonic resonance; antimatter; and much more... 

  • from S.T.E.M. subjects like physics, engineering, biology, chemistry, math, environmental science, astronomy, and more...

Some images: (click to enlarge)

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Spacecraft designs: Mehmet Pinarci