New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: We've recently made changes to our user database and have removed inactive and spam users. If you can not login, please re-register.

#1 2018-09-28 21:20:58

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,501
Website

Newmars Book Club

I've been trying to read more books.  I just finished Proxima by Stephen Baxter, which I thought was excellent, and I'm looking forward to the sequel.

I would imagine that most of us on the forum have similar taste in fiction.  Would anyone be interested in starting up a book club?


-Josh

Offline

#2 2018-10-07 04:02:40

RGClark
Member
From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 493
Website

Re: Newmars Book Club

How would you want it to operate?

Here’s a book I recommend:

Kings of the High Frontier.
https://www.amazon.com/Kings-High-Front … 0966566203

I like it because it promotes near term private, excursions into space, sometimes even against the governments wishes.

i’ll take a look at Baxter’s Proxima too.
 
Bob Clark


Nanotechnology now can produce the space elevator and private orbital launchers. It now also makes possible the long desired 'flying cars'. This crowdfunding campaign is to prove it:
Nanotech: from air to space.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nano … 13319568#/

Offline

#3 2018-10-07 12:57:35

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,501
Website

Re: Newmars Book Club

There's a few ways we could do it I guess.  The easiest would be to pick a book, section it up, and plan to read a section per week.  If we want to do it on the forums we could create a designated thread for each section and discuss them there, then a wrap-up thread at the end of the book.

If enough people are interested we might even ask SpaceNut or jburk to create a subforum specifically for the purpose.  We could also probably use "Martian Chronicles" since there's not much else going on there.


-Josh

Offline

#4 2019-02-13 15:19:29

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 575

Re: Newmars Book Club

For JoshNH4H ...

This not a book recommendation, but this topic came to mind when I wanted to report a story by Brendon DuBois.

Analog for March and April 2019 just arrived, and when I opened the table of contents listing, this just jumped out:

"The New Martian Way"  Brendon DuBois

The story was well constructed, as I expect from Brendon DuBois.  However, the Mars angle was very well done.  I didn't catch any discordant notes, so will be very interested if other members of this forum find any.

I admit I did not anticipate the resolution of the mystery, which is most likely due to DuBois' mastery of his craft.

However, for any forum members who've participated in discussion of life on Mars, here or elsewhere, I think reading DuBois' visualization would be interesting.

(th)

Offline

#5 2019-03-10 13:59:06

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 575

Re: Newmars Book Club

For JoashNH4H ...

Continuing notes about stories in the current issue of Analog ...

2019/03/10 Notes on Olympus Climb story

From Analog Science Fiction and Fact
March/April 2019

Author: Jo Miles
Title: The God of All Mountains

In this story Ms. Miles introduces technology which seems plausible to my eye.

The theme is a competition between two teams of climbers.

The heroine is underfunded and supported by only one person.

Here are some points which may be of interest to NewMars readers:

The author assumes voice communication is practical.  She describes external speakers on suits used to communicate between team members.  A YouTube video purports to present sounds collected by a microphone supplied by the Planetary Society.  The sounds imply that there is enough mass in the atmosphere to flex the diaphragm of the microphone, but (in my opinion) that is NOT evidence that voice communication is practical.

The author describes a portable sleeping shelter as “a vacuum-sealed bubble”.

The author describes the heroine’s suit as a “space suit” handed down from astronauts.  In particular, the author describes “peeled off her spacesuit”.

The author appears to be assuming the suit (whatever it is) can be donned or taken off by the wearer without assistance.

A particularly interesting sequence is given as:

Begin Quotation:
When she stopped for the night, she inflated her tiny bivouac. To minimize her load, the sleeping cell attached directly to her suit.
End Quotation.

The author proposes resupply of the climber using drones:

Begin Quotation:
A button activated the drone, and it lifted off again, its outsized blades kicking against the thin atmosphere and raising a storm of dust…
End Quotation.

For dramatic effect the author proposes a sand storm as a challenge for the climber. 

Begin Quotation:
The storm knocked into her so hard she feared it might tear her off the cliff, …
End Quotation.
(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2019-03-10 15:32:35)

Offline

#6 2019-05-20 11:20:05

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 575

Re: Newmars Book Club

2019/05/20 Earth Calendar

The latest issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact is out on newsstands, and available online.

This issue contains a couple of items which might be of interest to NewMars forum members.

In particular, for those who've given thought to the challenge of setting up a floating habitat in the sky above Venus, there is a fact article by:

John J. Vester, who is a volunteer for JP Aerospace

Mr. Vester provides an overview of the JP Aerospace balloon-to-space initiative, and considers how it might apply to Venus.

Title: The Venus Sweet Spot: Floating Home

John Powell is the moving spirit behind JP Aerospace.

He has contributed several interviews to The Space Show, the most recent of which is listed as Tuesday 14 Mar 2017..

The next previous interview is listed for Tuesday 27 Jan 2015.

To listen to archived broadcasts, visit thespaceshow.com and use the search tool in the upper right corner.

***
David Ebenbach contributed a short story about Mars: title: Welcome to your Machines.

This is a reminder of how dependent humans will be upon a network of machines on Mars, although my guess is there will be few locations away from Earth where that dependency will not exist.

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2019-05-20 11:20:55)

Offline

#7 2019-05-20 19:36:50

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,717

Re: Newmars Book Club

Josh,

As much fun as reading books is, why don't we all, collectively, write a book about Mars?

I think we have more than enough material already.  It could be science fiction based upon what we know of real or near-term technology.  We could each contribute approximately one chapter to the book on a topic we're passionate about that also adds something to the overall story line.  This would obviously take some planning work to accomplish, but it's also an excellent team building exercise.

Rather than some over-the-top adventure, it'd be a lot more relatable if it was just written like an account of daily life's trials and tribulations, complete with the thoughts and feelings of those involved.  The overall theme would be, well, "in a few short years, this may very well be one of your children or even you, if you're a youngster."  It would also have to include the thoughts and feelings of those staying behind on Earth.

It's just an idea in my head right now, but I'll try to add more detail when I have more time.

Offline

#8 2019-05-20 22:18:25

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,501
Website

Re: Newmars Book Club

Key kbd512,

I'd be open to the project, for sure.  One idea would be to make a compendium of short stories, written around a common theme and set in a common worldline. 

I'd be interested to hear any ideas that you or anyone else has though


-Josh

Offline

#9 2019-05-21 09:40:26

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,012
Website

Re: Newmars Book Club

Isn't there a blog on this website? How about we all challenge ourselves to write one blog post a month for it, either a story or an article focusing on some aspect of colonisation - or writing up a conclusion to some of our threads here.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

Offline

#10 2019-05-21 17:44:20

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,501
Website

Re: Newmars Book Club

Summarizing threads for the blog is a great idea regardless, and if we're going to collaborate on a work of fiction that's definitely the first place we should post the results


-Josh

Offline

#11 2019-05-21 18:56:14

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,054

Re: Newmars Book Club

I have reached out to an old forum friend to see if there is any interest....

Offline

#12 2019-05-21 19:11:30

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,717

Re: Newmars Book Club

Josh,

Well, I'd like to contribute some material on fuel cells, nuclear power, and advanced materials for fabrication, such as CNT.  Perhaps Louis and/or SpaceNut could contribute material on solar power and delivery / exploration hoppers.  You seem to be a fan of solar power towers.  Perhaps Oldfart1939 could contribute info on the chemical processes required to fabricate construction materials or to refuel Starships.  GW is obviously a natural for the rocketry technology.  RobertDyck and/or Void could contribute info on the habitation, greenhouse operations, and some of the manufacturing processes for polymers required for that.  They seem to be more into the biology.  Heck, maybe Tmcomm could even contribute info on some unexplained surface features and signs of life.

I was thinking that this would be something along the lines of the trials and tribulations of establishing the first colony on Mars- tales from the farthest reach of human civilization, if you like.  There would be a series of interesting (or at least out of the ordinary for most people living on Earth), yet difficult to resolve- with potentially deadly consequences if a timely resolution is not devised, the joys or simple pleasures and hardships of daily life, and a shared dream of the future amongst those who make the sacrifice to establish our first off-world civilian colony on another planet.

Offline

#13 2019-05-22 01:10:35

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,669
Website

Re: Newmars Book Club

Well, a couple years ago I applied for a job with SpaceX. It was an IT job. I have an interest in aerospace engineering but my university education and work experience is in IT. I was worried they wouldn't accept me because I'm not American. ITAR concerns. So I included in my application the fact I worked in the US twice: for Allied Signal Fibres at their facility where Spiderwire fishing line is made as well as Spectra fibres used for personal body armour for the US army. The second time I worked for Miami-Dade county; I was solely responsible for the computer system for one tax. A county tax, but still. For that job I got FBI security clearance: reliability security clearance, which is the lowest level, but still it's federal government security clearance. I currently hold Canadian government "reliability" security clearance. In 2005 I bid on a contract for NASA, replacement of the computer for a diagnostic workstation for communication equipment on Space Shuttle orbiters. The old computer was a 1989 vintage VAX running VMS version 5.0; I happen to have certification from Digital Equipment Corporation as an expert on 1989 VAX running VMS version 5.0. The Space Shuttle was considered to be a ballistic missile, so to receive documentation on it, I had to get Canadian federal government equivalent to ITAR, then with that got US ITAR clearance. So I received Shuttle documentation at my house. I didn't land the contract, but did get ITAR clearance. No one else did that for me, I did the work to get it. So my argument was ITAR should not be an obstacle for employment with SpaceX.

I didn't get rejected right away. While waiting to hear the result from my job application, Elon gave his first presentation for MCT/ITV (now called BFR) at the International Astronautical Conference in Mexico. One person at his presentation asked him why he doesn't hire non-Americans. His answer was ITAR. I got the rejection email from SpaceX HR the next day. They did say I could re-apply if I ever become a permanent resident of the US, but that has more problems. The only way for me to get a green card (permanent resident status) is if a US employer sponsors me. And the last two times I worked in the US, my employer only sponsored me for a TN work visa (Temporary Nafta), and they had me sign a contract stating I wouldn't work for anyone else. So I was contractually required to only work for the employer who sponsored me. That means for me to get a green card, the first step is SpaceX has to sponsor me. But HR expect me to get a green card first. Chicken-and-egg problem.

So... I recently encountered someone in Canada with contacts to people who invest large sums of money. We could do this as a story. I get financing to start a company, go in the business of manufacturing solar panels for houses. Start building energy self-sufficient houses. Compete with Elon's "Solar City", which is now a division of Tesla. His designs are tailored for southern California, my design is tuned for where I live: Canada. Would also work in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, etc. Before Tesla was founded I had seriously looked at starting a company to make conversion kits, to convert an existing used car to all-electric. While Elon has proposed Hyperloop, my idea is a rail autonomous taxi system, with underground subway to each house of a new housing development, and no cars in that neighbourhood what so ever. If successful, I would like to get involved in space.

Since Elon won't hire me, shall I start a company in Canada to compete in every business Elon has? Even if it doesn't happen in reality, it would make a good story.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2019-05-22 09:46:05)

Offline

#14 2019-05-22 08:17:10

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 575

Re: Newmars Book Club

For JoshNH4H and all ....

This new direction in the Book Club topic is quite interesting to me ...

I'd like to offer a thought to add to the mix ...

A while back (in Year 34 of the currently accepted Mars calendar) Louis created "Sagon City" out of thin air, and then in a moment of inspiration, selected a site for the city by throwing a mental dart at the planet.  Subsequently, forum members took up the opportunity to claim 1 kilometer square plots, and in so doing, they created scenarios for development of their plots.

Louis, in particular, decided to offer an entertainment venue.

I'd like to invite consideration of a weekly gathering at Louis' entertainment venue, with each participant posting an update on what has happened in their plot during the previous Martian week.   

If Louis is so inspired, he could "invite" an entertainer from Earth to drop by to provide the headline, but the Martian settlers would provide the bulk of the entertainment.

We are now in Sol 58 of the current year, and at the end of the current Martian year, the group could well have accumulated enough material to make a set of books, let alone one.

Today is Monday of the (proposed) Martian calendar ... I'd like to suggest/invite forum members to hold the first gathering on the coming Saturday, Sol 63.

Louis, if you are up for this, please think up an outside entertainer to invite in for the occasion.  We can assume whoever you choose is already in transit, and due to arrive (with plenty of fanfare, no doubt) at the Phobos Transit Station.

Picking up on the post above from RobertDyck ... it seems to me that stories related by forum members can be placed on any location in the Solar System, with the understanding that whatever the activity is, it has some remote connection to Mars.

For process, I'd like to suggest that the "price" of admission to Louis' venue would be a post by a forum member.  When Louis has received a quorum of ticket sales (he can decide what a quorum is) he would publish his headliner article.

Since the forum does not lack for audience (the vast majority are silent), there is the opportunity for members who have so far chosen not to post anything to applaud the contributions by those who do contribute.

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2019-05-22 08:27:00)

Offline

#15 2019-05-22 11:14:16

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,501
Website

Re: Newmars Book Club

RobertDyck,

Just to be clear, the suggestion is that we all write stories about you?


-Josh

Offline

#16 2019-05-22 18:51:08

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,717

Re: Newmars Book Club

Josh,

Oh, you didn't know?  He's the world's most interesting man.

I have no problem with modeling a character in the story after RobertDyck.  Unless you're far more imaginative than I am, then I think we have to stick to characters we actually know.

Offline

#17 2019-05-22 19:24:07

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,501
Website

Re: Newmars Book Club

Strictly speaking we don't actually know RobertDyck (or at least I don't).  It might be better in some senses to either have entirely different characters (short stories in a common world with a common theme) or fabricate characters by agreeing on general personalities and then drafting off each other's descriptions as we write more.

Another thing we could do would be to each write sections in the first person based on ourselves, in which case RobertDyck is more than welcome to be a founder as long as I get a ride on the ship.


-Josh

Offline

#18 2019-05-22 19:46:25

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,717

Re: Newmars Book Club

Josh,

Can I be a stowaway?

Offline

#19 2019-05-22 20:21:33

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,501
Website

Re: Newmars Book Club

Sure, l'll sneak you on the ship.  Nobody tell Robert!


-Josh

Offline

#20 2019-05-23 06:26:04

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,669
Website

Re: Newmars Book Club

I thought we would all contribute stories, building a novel or anthology of short stories. I suggested a character bases on my dreams. You guys can write you short stories or chapters.

How far should this go? I could propose a small shuttle, with nuclear engine as SSTO HTHL. And a doughnut parked in Earth orbit with Alcubierre/White drive. Work on Earth, weekends on Mars. Build a villa to take a date, or hire out to a group of NASA/CSA/ESA scientists. Mine, refine, manufacture life support equipment and construction materials, and grow food. You can catch a ride to Mars with SpaceX and once there buy stuff from Mars Depot.

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB