Futurism: Mars Part 1

In this post, I am going to talk about what I think will happen to the colony of Mars and how that will effect the story world that I developed.

First. Some information about Mars.

Mars is cold. Duh. It also has a very small atmosphere with no magnetosphere. Meaning that the solar wind has stripped the planet of its atmosphere over the course of a billion or so years. It also has no air pressure and is regularly blasted with solar radiation.

Mars does have water on it. Very important. It was also wet at some point in its history. Meaning that it was warm at one point.

The first colonists settle on the surface of mars in pre-fab shelters. They do bring with them very sophisticated 3D printers so that they can manufacture items from the resources that Mars provides.

There goal at this point is self-suffencincy. How do they provide all of there needs without relying on Earth. The trip from Earth opens up only once every two years to get help. We have all seen ‘The Martian”. If not, go see it. That is probably the most accurate dipection of what living on Mars would be like. It does get some stuff wrong, but it is a movie. Forgive it.

After nearly a decade of work and a population nearing a hundred colonists, the colony still hasn’t reached self-sufficiency. It’s corporate backers, are getting worried. They had planned for a span of 15 years before they could start sending resources back to Earth. Now 10 years was up and they had still not gotten close.

They have a stockpile of food and water. Oxygen tanks full of breathable air and shelter for there current population.

The problem with the situation is that they are having a problem of building new structures to house new colonists, or expand food production, or to build anything. They are having to spend a large amount of resources and time to build the structures to be radiation proof. The lack of the planet’s magnetosphere is the source of the problem.

How is that a problem with self-sufficiency? Population of a settlement without anyone from the outside should be at a large enough number to be viable. Scientist call this minimum viable population. It is usually used for wild animals, but it works for space colonies as well.

If the colony doesn’t get to at least 2000 people, then there is a risk of genetic issues as the generations roll by. Without the additional people they will not have the manpower to start sending resources back to Earth for profit.

The colony discovers some caverns nearby. These caverns are spread out over the course of a thousand square kilometers and some go deep into the Martian crust. They discover that the Martian crust shields the caverns from solar radiation.

The colonists decide to move the colony from the surface to the caverns. They decide to live underground.

The caverns allow for the construction of the colony to happen at a faster pace. Each piece of the structure needs less material as it is only holding in the pressure for people to live and not keeping radiation out.

The colony expands exponentially. The population shoots up and by the year 20, the colony has it’s 2000 people.

Then its population really expands. With the invention of a magnetic launcher, the cost of space travel drops to about $500 per kg. That open’s up space travel for more people. Nations finally get off there butt, other corporations are founded, and the single Mars colony become 12 separate colonies each with it’s own backer.

I will leave the history lesson here. But the main question is, how does this affect my story that takes place a few hundred years from now?

And the answer is absolutely nothing. It will never show up on the page. The only thing that it does is that it creates the culture and people of Mars. You will see some similar aspects that will distinctly shape the people until the time of my stories.

That part does have a big deal in the present date of my story world.

I will stop there for today. Tomorrow I will go through some of the different aspects of Martian Culture that is adopted over the years and some of the details on the changes to the colony.

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Futurism: Part Two

In part one, I talked about how the first colonists got off of the Earth and some of the reason’s behind it. In this post, I am going to talk about more specifics on how a corporation could make money sending people to space.

The first question the inevitably comes up is the extraordinary cost of getting anything into space. I’ll leave the politics out, but that basics of it is that it will cost approximately $10,000 per kg to send anything into Low Earth Orbit and approximately $30,000 per kg to send anything into Geosynchronous Orbit. Please note that LEO is anything around 160km to 2000km above the surface of the earth, while Geosynchronous Orbit is 35,786km above the surface of the earth. That means that it currently costs $75,000 to send an average human into LEO and 2.25 million to send one to Geosynchronous Orbit.

That price tag is huge. Impossibly huge. It is a huge barrier to human space exploration that it is what is holding everything back. It is not the risks to humans or the technologies that have to be devolved in order to make it work. It is money alone that is the barrier to space exploration and if anyone says otherwise, they are lying.

The biggest part of the cost to space exploration is the insane amount of fuel and material that it takes to get the cargo out of the gravity well of earth. The cost of moving cargo around the solar system is far cheaper. I am sure that you noticed the difference of moving cargo to Geosynchronous is only three times the cost for 17 times the distance.

A company can make a huge amount of profit by mining ice asteroids and providing the clean drinking water to the ISS. And that is only the tip of the iceberg for the amount of opportunities out there.

There are asteroids out there that are comprised of a large amount of rare earth metals. These metals are what make computers and modern life possible. But they are called rare earth metals because they are rare on earth. Out in space, however, they are not as rare as they are on earth. There is a nearby asteroid that has more platinum on it that has been mined from the earth since we knew of its existence.

That can be done by robots up to a point. At some point it becomes essential for humans to go and live in space. Only certain experiments can be done in a micro gravity and then there is the entire question of the asteroid of death issue that a multi-planet species will fix.

Once they get to space, human’s have a wide range of different needs that will need industries to meet. The best way to do that is to produce those goods in space. Where they don’t have to pay for the goods to be shipped out of the earth’s gravity well.

That means that the best way to develop long term space colony’s before we are able to build a space elevator is to cut the earth out of the equation for as many things as possible. No high prices of goods from Earth brings down the cost of living in space.

In my fictional world, that is what the corporations fight for and get. The ability to go space and the ability to ship materials back to Earth and to expect to make a profit of goods and services.

These corporations start by mining asteroids and building space stations in space. The develop Mars as a Space Colony and it is the private industry moving forward that prompts NASA to send a space mission cause heaven forbid a private industry getting to space before NASA.

That brings up a rather large amount of different issues as well, which will be talked about in a later blog post. Most of which aren’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things as the the story takes place in 2500 CE and not 2025 CE.

The story world changes from the time of the first explorers and settlers to the time of Des and the Jovian Empire. Just look at how life was like at 1525 CE to now in 2017 CE.

Next time I will go into more detail on what I think that brief history of what happens to each of the planets. Well, maybe one planet. We’ll see how it goes.

Rambling: Encouraging others to write.

In many ways I am an enabler. I enjoy having others find enjoyment in things that I find enjoyment in. That I have passion in. I enjoy it so much that I don’t shut up about it.

I have been criticized for obsessing about my passions and my interests.

Is that criticism justified? Warranted?

Probably.

I know that I obsess over things. It is how I am able to write about my books. Fix my house. Go to work or get out of bed. By obsessing over things, I am able to focus on something long enough to see results in that avenue.

Even if I wish that I can hit the snooze button again and go back to sleep.

My obsessions is what gets me into trouble and out of trouble. (Like watching 18 hours of a game on Let’s play and then buying it for way too much money.) I obsess with keeping a roof over my kids heads, which makes me go to work and take Overtime hours. I obsess with my half completed house renovation so that I can keep getting things done in it. Maybe one day I will finish it. I also obsess about my writing.

My writing is my passion in life. They say follow your passion and this is it.

Writing.

Writing novels, writing for my kids, writing for the complete stranger so he gets a kick out of my work. Every day I spend most of the hours thinking about some story. How to fix it, how to make it better, where to go with it. Or a new story idea that will distract me from my current work in progresses.

At the beginning, I said that I am an enabler.

What does that mean? Most people think of it as a bad thing. That I am a bad guy for encouraging someone to do something. And it can be. If I was a drug addict or a drunk.

But I am not. I cannot afford to do those things. I am a writer after all…

I enable people to follow there passions. Follow there enjoyments even if it is just as a hobby and part-time. Even if they only dabble and are not serious about completing it. I do, however, mainly encourage people to write books. Read above about my obsession.

And you may ask why? Why enable people to write books?

The answer to that question is selfish. I do it cause it is lonely over here in writing land by myself. Writing is considered a solitary affair. You sit in a room by yourself writing about make-believe people in make-believe lands doing impossible and crazy things. With no one to talk to but the people in your head…

I just realized how crazy that makes me sound…

Anyways, writing is mostly solitary. But there are times when a writer must talk to other people. Other writers. It gives encouragement and it can make you responsible for getting the work done. (Like trying to explain why your word count hasn’t moved in two weeks, but look at what you have done in that game you play.) It also helps you grow as a writer as you can learn from other people. Learn from there failures as well as there successes.

I encourage people to write as there is a lack of a strong writing community where I live and the only writers that I talk is through a Facebook group. Most are from the U.S. and I will probably never meet in person. I hope that by encouraging people to write that I can build a small writing community of my own.

Or I am a crazy obsessive compulsive who can’t stop shutting up about my make-believe characters in my make-believe world who all live in my head. You decide.

Outline vs Discovery Writing: The Battle Continues

It is time to enter the battle. The epic battle between Outliners and Discovery Writers.

Both sides are frothing at the mouth and ready to fight it out. Ink will fly. Paper will ripe.

Okay that metaphor died on arrival.

My thoughts on Outliners and Discovery writers. Notice that I called it Discovery Writing and not Pantsers. I find that the term Pantsers doesn’t do the writing method justice. I think that it is a little bit of a low blow in the epic fight.

Well. It makes you think that you have no idea what you are doing. That you are just winging it and have no idea what you are doing. That your inability to want to create an outline means that you are somehow incompetent in writing.

The discovery writers, however, don’t like to feel confined in an outline. They don’t want to miss the spontaniousness that comes with discovery writing.

What does this mean for me and my opinion in this issue? I see the good in both sides of the argument.

Outliners like to plan there stories. They go into the griddy details on what needs to happen and when. They look into the little pieces of info that a discovery writer may miss until the 2nd or 3rd draft. The are better at writing more complicated stories that involve multiple viewpoints or time frames.

Discovery Writers enjoy a certain spice in the stories that they write. A well written discovery written story feels more natural and tends to flow better. Discovery written books tend to have less view point characters or time frames.

They both have issues and the issues with the methods need to be mentioned too.

Outlined stories can be stale and the characters may have a motivational problems. It is usually when the story makes a left when the outline goes right. Or that the outline says that a character must do something that the written story doesn’t allow for.

The problems with discovery written books is simple. Plot holes. As the author doesn’t have a plan on what is happening, there can be un-foreshadowed scenes, and plot holes through out the story. Discovery written stories tend to need more revisions that there counterpart.

So what do I do?

It depends on the story. I do both.

I will leave a pause for the reader to freak out at the political statement.

Done?

Good.

I write both. as it depends on the story. I have written some where I have done complete outlines to them. I have written others where I Discovery Wrote it. I have done some where I have gotten part way through a Discovery Written book to discover that I had gotten lost and I need to outline my way out of the mess that I was in.

What was better? It depends.

The Outlined one was a collaboration with my 6 yr old and we did an outline as it is his story that I am writing. He just have the grammar of a six year old.

The Discovery written one was a NaNoWriMo challenge that I didn’t have enough time to get an outline done, but I had a fairly good idea on where I was going. The one that I needed to outline my way out of it was that I was writing a book, then I decided that the backstory was just as entertaining as the story and needed to be part of the story.

My conclusion. Don’t worry about how you write the book. Just write it. Decide how you want to write it and get those words on a page. getting word count every day is much more important than worrying about how you are writing it.

Until next time.

Nathan Pedde

Update

Good news everybody.

Well, news.

Well… how do you start these blogs anyways.

Anyways. Last night I managed to finish the first draft of the my middle-grade sci-fi book. Well book 1 of it. It is going to be one book of six. Of many many season’s if my son has any say on it.

So I have ‘When the lights go out’ in the beta readers. I am editing ‘Culture Shock’ right now and Book 1 of ‘Space Courier’ is now marinating.

That means that I am now working on editing my ‘Culture Shock’ book and I still have to finish my ‘Felix the Swift’ book.

My wife dug out a large pile of my note books. The note books have bits and pieces of different stories and story ideas. I have a problem. I am going to spend some time to organize them and sort them out. I am hoping to find some half finished stuff that I can add to the WIP list.

Anyways.  Short update today. I will post some of my thoughts on stuff later.

Cheers