5 Non-Fiction Books That Will Put You in an Astronaut’s Boots


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Astronauts! They’re just like us! Except not, because they’ve been to space. Of the billions of members of Homo sapiens that have lived and died, only a few hundred have had the privilege of leaving the planet (five hundred and sixty three, to date). To the rest of us stuck here, that experience can seem esoteric—maybe even a little bit magic. Thankfully, books exist, and through them, we can get a taste of what it’s like to cross the Kármán line. Whether you’re writing a story of an astronautical nature or you just want to take yourself off-world from the comfort of your couch, these are some of the things I reach for first when I want to stick my head in the sky.

 

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, by Carl Sagan

Let’s begin with the basics. Carl Sagan’s genius lay in ...

Record of a Spaceborn Few


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Return to the sprawling universe of the Galactic Commons, as humans, artificial intelligence, aliens, and some beings yet undiscovered explore what it means to be a community in Record of a Spaceborn Few, the exciting third adventure in Becky Chambers’ acclaimed and multi-award-nominated science fiction Wayfarers series—available from Harper Voyager.

Hundreds of years ago, the last humans on Earth boarded the Exodus Fleet in search of a new home among the stars. After centuries spent wandering empty space, their descendants were eventually accepted by the well-established species that govern the Milky Way.

But that was long ago. Today, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, the birthplace of many, yet a place few outsiders have ever visited. While the Exodans take great pride in their original community and traditions, their culture has been influenced by others beyond their bulkheads. As many Exodans leave for alien cities or terrestrial colonies, ...

Three Ingredients for Space Travel


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If you have the chance to go listen to a talk by an astronaut, and if there’s a Q&A afterward, there are three questions that I can pretty much guarantee will come up: What do you eat in space? Where do you sleep? And of course, the old standby—how do you go to the bathroom? The age of the audience is irrelevant, as is the topic of the talk. You might have just sat through an hour on the politics of space policy, or on the future of planetary exploration, but regardless, inevitably, there will be some curious audience member for whom a Google search is not enough. They must know, human to human, how daily necessities are handled when the stability of a planet has been removed from the equation.

It’s an understandable line of questioning when you consider that you’ve probably conducted a similar one if you’ve ever ...

Meet My Alien Family: Writing Across Cultures in Science Fiction


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Here’s an activity I highly recommend for science fiction writers (or anyone, really): watch your favorite funny YouTube video with someone from another country. It’s got to be your very favorite, the one that rendered you into a weeping, stomach-aching mess. And you can’t share it by sending a link along into the ether. You’ve got to be with the person. You’ve got to be close enough to catch every muscle twitch, every batted lash. One of two things will happen. If you’re lucky, your foreign friend will laugh just as hard as you did, you’ll be reassured of your common kinship, and the two of you have fuel for inside jokes for years to come.

The more likely outcome, at least in my experience, is social purgatory. You’ll sit there for an excruciating three minutes or so, your grinning eagerness disintegrating as your companion watches humorlessly, perhaps with a ...

Meet My Alien Family: Writing Across Cultures in Science Fiction


This post is by Becky Chambers from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Here’s an activity I highly recommend for science fiction writers (or anyone, really): watch your favorite funny YouTube video with someone from another country. It’s got to be your very favorite, the one that rendered you into a weeping, stomach-aching mess. And you can’t share it by sending a link along into the ether. You’ve got to be with the person. You’ve got to be close enough to catch every muscle twitch, every batted lash. One of two things will happen. If you’re lucky, your foreign friend will laugh just as hard as you did, you’ll be reassured of your common kinship, and the two of you have fuel for inside jokes for years to come.

The more likely outcome, at least in my experience, is social purgatory. You’ll sit there for an excruciating three minutes or so, your grinning eagerness disintegrating as your companion watches humorlessly, perhaps with a ...

My Alien Family: Writing Across Cultures in Science Fiction


This post is by Becky Chambers from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




A Closed and Common Orbit cover, UK edition

Here’s an activity I highly recommend for science fiction writers (or anyone, really): watch your favorite funny YouTube video with someone from another country. It’s got to be your very favorite, the one that rendered you into a weeping, stomach-aching mess. And you can’t share it by sending a link along into the ether. You’ve got to be with the person. You’ve got to be close enough to catch every muscle twitch, every batted lash. One of two things will happen. If you’re lucky, your foreign friend will laugh just as hard as you did, you’ll be reassured of your common kinship, and the two of you have fuel for inside jokes for years to come.

The more likely outcome, at least in my experience, is social purgatory. You’ll sit there for an excruciating three minutes or so, your grinning eagerness disintegrating as your companion watches humorlessly, perhaps with a ...

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A Closed and Common Orbit


This post is by Becky Chambers from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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< p class="frontmatter">Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in a new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has no memory of what came before. As Lovelace learns to negotiate the universe and discover who she is, she makes friends with Pepper, an excitable engineer, who’s determined to help her learn and grow.

Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that no matter how vast space is, two people can fill it together.

Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet introduced readers to the incredible world of Rosemary Harper, a young woman with a restless soul and secrets to keep. When she joined the crew of the Wayfarer, an intergalactic ship, she got more than she bargained for—and learned to live with, and love, her rag-tag collection of crewmates. A Closed and Common Orbit is the stand-alone sequel to Angry Planet—available ...

The Things That Get On Without Us


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< p class="frontmatter">In this ongoing series, we ask SF/F authors to describe a specialty in their lives that has nothing (or very little) to do with writing. Join us as we discover what draws authors to their various hobbies, how they fit into their daily lives, and how and they inform the author’s literary identity! A few weeks ago, I witnessed the unfortunate end of a caterpillar. My wife and I were driving one of many lengthy back-and-forths from our then-current town to our now-new town, and not for the first time, we pulled off the road in the middle of a forest. The trees weren’t what caught our eye (at least, not more than usual), but rather the dramatic wall of sedimentary rock layers on the other side of the two-lane highway. After a careful glance for traffic, we scampered across the lanes to the crumbling cliff. It was the ...
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet Becky Chambers

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet


This post is by Becky Chambers from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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angry-planet-US

When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn’t expecting much. The Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that’s seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventure in far-off corners of the galaxy, and distance from her troubled past. The crew is a mishmash of species and personalities, from Sissix, the friendly reptillian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the constantly sparring engineers who keep the ship running. Life on board is chaotic, but more or less peaceful—exactly what Rosemary wants.

Until the crew are offered the job of a lifetime: the chance to build a hyperspace tunnel to a distant planet. They’ll earn enough money to live comfortably for years… if they survive the long trip through war-torn interstellar space without endangering any of the fragile alliances that keep the galaxy peaceful. But Rosemary isn’t ...

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