And Now, From Science Weekly

NOTE: THIS IS NOT A REAL NEWS INTERVIEW.

THIS IS A FICTIONAL INTERVIEW GIVEN FOR MY NOVEL-IN-PROGRESS INFINITE WORLDS.

NOT A REAL INTERVIEW

 

Good morning, I’m Sybil Sanderson.

We here at ‘Science Weekly’ are pleased to report a new development in the world of space. A shake-up has been reported in the Canadian government that may have an impact on that country’s contribution to space exploration.

Minister of Space, Jonathon Erikson died last week after being shot in his bed. His body was discovered by his wife. His post has been filled by his Deputy Minister, Anika Lavalle, who was only recently promoted to the deputy position from advisor. Investigators are still trying to piece together the evidence that may lead to an arrest of Minister Erikson’s murderer. It is with great curiosity that we turn our attention now to the newly minted Minister Lavalle. Who is she? How did a virtual unknown rise to such an important position? We were able to ask these questions, and more, of the Minister herself in a brief interview granted just this morning.

Thank you for taking the time to speak to us today, Minister Lavalle.

 

My pleasure.

 

You must have an enormous amount of work waiting for you, so I’ll get right to it. How does one go from an advisory position to Deputy Minister of Space?

 

In my former position, I apparently caught the attention of our Prime Minister Cohen. He asked that I advise him on various occasions, after which he appointed Deputy Minister of Space. It’s a great honor.

 

I can imagine. Has the mandate of the Ministry of Space changed at all since your promotion?

 

Yes, it has, Sybil. The Prime Minister has tasked my office with establishing the preliminary steps to building a research station on the Moon. Then we’ll work to meet the criteria that will allow us to build a multi-national research station there. While no country can claim the planet, only politics stands in the way of working together. That said, it is our wish that Canada take a larger role in exploring space. Research, asteroid mining and launching exploratory craft from the Moon is all a part of that plan.

 

Will Canada still play a technological support role on the International Space Station?

 

Yes, we will. The Government of Canada wants to expand our role in exploring space, not reduce it. We want to be a leader out among the stars. We are putting plans into place that will enable many more Canadian citizens to be a bigger part of that. We expect to see more job creation come from this new mandate, as well as current contract extensions. Residual economic developments are expected to boost the overall health of our economy as well. Obviously, I can’t go into a great number of details, though.

 

It will be fascinating to see how it all unfolds. Thank you for sharing a small part of your vision with us, Minister Lavalle.

 

Thank you for having me, Sybil.

 

So, there you have it, folks, Canada gets a new Minister of Space, and a new purpose out among the stars! Stayed tuned for Ryan Rutledge’s report on the repairs to the Hadron Collider…

 

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You Have An Interesting Name, Coriander Wolf

ifitseasy2

I wanted to take a couple of minutes today to tell you about two women that are about to go off on an incredible adventure across space and wondrous worlds. But before they can save an expedition lost on a world that is not Earth…they have to meet, right?

You’ve heard me talk about Cori and Devi, and how they’ve been tasked by the Canadian government to find and retrieve a ground-breaking expedition. You’ve seen little snippets that I’ve posted here. But how did they come together?

“If It’s Easy” is an inexpensive short story that recounts how Devi and Coriander met in the most unlikely of places, Northern Ontario. It’s sweet, charming and a reminder of how easily our hearts can fall for the right person. You can find it at iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Overdrive, Kobo, Scribd, Tolino, Amazon, and 24Symbols.

I hope you enjoy it. I hope they charm you as much as they did me. I’d love to hear what you thought. Please drop me a line in the comments below!

Happy reading!

 

 

The Continuing Saga of Zip Harrington, Asteroid Ornament

After padding along a near-silent and empty hall for what seemed a lifetime, Zip finally came upon an opening in the featureless wall. He peered in and pulled his head back out quickly so it couldn’t be used for some sort of alien target practice. When no shots came, he peered in again.

A table was set, and behind it sat an old man, who looked back at Zip with a steady gaze.

“I’ve been waiting for you.”

Zip looked carefully at the rest of the room to ensure there were no others waiting with weapons.

“You have my word, you will not be harmed.”

Zip took a cautious step in and was surprised to find the floor warm. He looked at the floor quickly and then back up at the old man. “What kind of game is this?”

“No games. We simply do not see the point in warming spaces that we do not linger in.”

Zip, space mercenary, afraid of no one, took a hesitant step inside the room.

“Come and eat, you must be hungry,” the old man gestured to the tabletop.

Zip studied his companion before sitting down. There was no way to guess at his age, his skin looked more like aged leather than flesh. His skull was longer than any human Zip had ever met, but he had eyes the shade of blue many women back on Earth would have killed for. He wore robes swirled with many colours, shot through with silver threads reminiscent of nebulas.

“I have given you my word that you will not be harmed,” the stranger gestured to the seat across from him. “That includes the food. You will find it surpasses anything you had back on Earth.”

“Yeah, you’ve given me your word, alright, but I don’t know who you are, so I don’t know that your word means much, do I?” Zip said while approaching the table.

 

“I am called D’Rar, of the Merudue. This is my ship and my crew. My word means a great deal among my people,” D’Rar lifted the cover off one of the dishes in front of him and the smell of meatloaf wafted up to make Zip’s stomach growl again.

“Humans bodies make strange noises when they have not taken sustenance for some time,” D’Rar observed. “Perhaps you should silence it before it turns on you.”

Zip chuckled, in spite of himself.

D’Rar took all the covers off the dishes spread out on the table, revealing all of Zip’s favorites from home. “We have gone to great lengths to ensure you would enjoy these. Please do not waste those efforts.”

“Fine…” Zip sat across from his host, picked up a scoop-shaped instrument and took a tentative taste of the dish in front of him. It was indeed meatloaf, and it was wonderful.

Zip dug into the dish with no further hesitation, speaking before he’d swallowed. “This is great, but why go through all this, just for me? I was almost dead.”

“We have saved you so that you might do a small favor for us.”

“Yeah? What’s that?” Zip asked as he eyed something that looked like creamed corn.

 

“We wish to hire you to remove the K’erini.”

“Who’s that, another captain that opposed you or something?” Zip asked as he took a bite of sweet watermelon.

“The K’erini have been my people’s enemies for generations. They steal our young, destroy our outposts, murder us in our sleep if they can find us…we wish them…eliminated.”

“Wait,” Zip held up a hand and swallowed his mouthful of food. “You want me to kill an enemy race that is capable of destroying whole outposts?”

“That is correct.” D’Rar replied with a beatific smile.

To be continued!

Comments are always welcome!

Zip Harrington, Space Mercenary-Part 3

Zip stirred and promptly wished he’d died instead.

His head pounded with the force of twenty-five dancing rhinos. No hangover he’d ever suffered through had split his skull quite like this. He stilled as a thought came, painfully, to him.

Wait…I’m not dead? There’s a metal floor under me, where am I?

Slowly, Zip cracked one eye open and surveyed what he could see without sitting up. He was slumped in an uncomfortable position on a light grey, metal floor. He could feel a vibration running through the floor.

Okay, I’m in a ship. But not mine. The floor is wrong.

The light wasn’t harsh, so he eased his other eye open. He was in an empty room, illuminated by a source he couldn’t see. The walls seemed to curve organically from the floor, as did the ceiling above him, and all of it was the same metal. He should have been cold, between all the metallic surfaces and the blue-tinged light, but he was surprised to be warm.

He patted his body, intending to take excess clothes off, but found himself no longer in his own clothes. They had been removed somehow and replaced by grey pants and a grey tunic-style shirt.  He was barefoot.

“Hello? Is anyone listening?” He called out cautiously.

 

There was no answer.

 

Zip waited a moment before repeating himself. “Is anyone there?”

HIs stomach growled, loud in the empty metallic room.

 

A panel slid open with a whisper, and Zip could see a hallway beyond.

 

He stood slowly, mindful of the rhinos still dancing on his skull. At the door, he looked both ways, wondering which direction held food.

 

A blue line lit up a stripe in the floor, leading off to the right.

Zip looked around once more. No space mercenary lived to see old age by letting his guard down. Muscle memory taking over, his right hand went to his hip. But his weapon wasn’t there. He scowled. If his head didn’t hurt so much, he’d be pissed off. He had invested time and credits in that hand-laser, and he wanted it back.

His stomach growled again, and the line in the floor pulsed, as if to hurry him along.

“Damn it, this better not be an ambush,” he muttered as he padded silently down the hall.

 

To be continued!

Zip Harrington, Asteroid Ornament

Zip knew his oxygen wouldn’t last forever, so when he felt himself growing lightheaded, he figured his nefarious career had come to an end. He couldn’t even sigh in resignation. He felt logic and conscious thought slipping away, like that old Earth desert jello used to slip through his fingers as a child.

His view of space grew blurry, even as the damned asteroid continued to plummet through the stars and space dust. He coughed once, a desperate and involuntary plea from his lungs for more oxygen. When none came, his eyelids simply slid closed.

As Zip’s eyes closed, the space rock that was his killer, slowed and finally stopped. A long arm tipped with a pincher separated itself from the surface, inched toward Zip, and pulled him off like a bird trapped on the grill of a tractor trailer.
Had he been conscious, he would have found the similarity hilarious.

The long arm pulled him back toward the bulk of rock, where an airlock opened. The pincher dropped him in, the airlock closed and the arm receded.
Then the rock that wasn’t, promptly changed course.

Taking Zip Harrington, Space Mercenary, with it.

To be continued!

Zip Harrington, Space Mercenary

Just a little bit of short fiction, inspired by a word prompt over at The Daily Post. Enjoy!

 

The asteroid wasn’t large, but it was on a deadly trajectory. Headed straight for him and there was bugger all he could do about it. There was nothing to push off from, nothing to give him the thrust he needed to get out of the asteroid’s way.

He waited to see his life flash before his eyes like everyone said would likely happen.

It didn’t.

Nothing changed.

Space continued to move around him. The asteroid carried on its merry way, seemingly determined to take him out.

Zip Harrington was a little disappointed.

He could hear his father now – accusing him of not even being capable of dying correctly.

Zip could only watch as the asteroid got a little larger with each second that passed.

Just before impact, he screwed his eyes shut, an involuntary reaction. He felt the asteroid body-slam him and his eyes flew open in time to watch his hoses and safety tether snap off the outside of his ship.

The ship he’d been repairing.

Alone.

 

No one knew he was out here, no one to care that his ship had been crippled by a cascade wave of malfunctions. No one knew he would have died in a matter of weeks.

And now he would die in hours, a bug pinned by momentum to the leading surface of an asteroid no bigger than a Volkswagen, hurtling through space.

With a screaming space pirate unable to pry himself off, with nowhere to go.

And nothing to do but watch space speed by his visor.

And wonder what came next.

Zip
 

If you enjoyed this bit of short fiction, please feel free to leave a comment!

Feeding Martians & Earthlings Alike

mars

So it turns out that The Martian might have been onto something all along. Yes, the movie with Matt Damon.

Scientists have now proven that not only can potatoes be grown on Mars, which could be of enormous value when we colonize the red planet. Not only will our first generation of Martians benefit from this research, but so might the hundreds of thousands of Earthinglings suffering from chronic malnutrition and starvation.

No, it won’t solve all our food-related woes, but it’s a step.

Read the article here on Futurism