Moon Rescue: A cautionary tale

Moon Rescue: A cautionary tale

Will it ever get to the point on our warming Earth that people will be clamoring to leave the planet? My new novel in progress, Moon Rescue: Escape from the Dome, speculates about a future Moon habitat designed as a final refuge for those with the will–and the money–to restart their lives off-world. Plans to make Moon habitation a stepping stone to a Mars mission–as speculated by NASA’s Artemis program–are scuttled in the face of catastrophic fires, land erosion and rising temperatures on Earth. In the year 2067, the average temperature has risen three degrees. New York’s Battery Park is under water. The beaches of the Jersey Shore are reduced to thin strips of sand. Huge portions of California have been reduced to burned hellscapes due to relentless fires and mudslides. Refugee camps dot the former state as survivors struggle to figure out what to do now that their homes, cars, all their worldly possessions have been lost. Storm shelters are mandated in major population areas to protect citizens from tornadoes, hurricanes and other severe weather caused by global warming.

The Moon habitat is a domed structure covering more than one square mile near the southern pole supporting almost 6,000 people who were able to afford the trip. Most are from the United States, now divided into regions for easier law enforcement and administration by the Planetary Commission, the guardians of the planet. After more than eleven years as refugees, Sam and Leah Ragland have made a life in their homemade cabin, rationing power, eating soy-based foods and keeping under the radar. Unknown to their lunar friends and neighbors, they are fugitives from the insurrection of 2056 during which Sam, then known as Enrico Janice Walton Stein, Rick for short, aided and abetted an armed invasion of the Planetary Commission’s headquarters in Old Philadelphia that ended in bloodshed. Rick is a native of 23rd century Earth, a devastated environment of toxic bogs, dark rain and little direct sunlight, who traveled through a wormhole in an effort to halt the climate apathy of the 21st century. He and his partner Chen were able to neutralize some of the threats, but their efforts were too little, too late.

Written as a sequel to my five-star novel Time Travel Rescue: Escape from the 21st Century, Moon Rescue poses a basic question–why are we planning to spend billions of dollars to send humans to Mars when our own planet is dying under our feet? A manned mission to Mars, speculated by both NASA and SpaceX, would involve a nine-month voyage in a spaceship exposed to radiation from a number of sources. Building a ship of the correct size with shielding to ensure the crew wouldn’t be sickened or killed is a major challenge, not to mention the effects of living in a confined space much smaller than the International Space Station during the trip. Assuming a landing on Mars is accomplished without incident, constructing a habitat that once again shields the humans from cosmic and particle radiation would be mission-critical, not to mention the problems of maintaining a supply of food and water, breathable air and emergency management. Initial cost estimates of $6-billion will be dwarfed by the effects of inflation, unforeseen obstacles and inevitable cost overruns, not to mention the human costs.

Is it worth fulfilling the dream of deep space exploration when we can barely keep our own planet alive for future generations to enjoy the benefits? Look for Moon Rescue: Escape from the Dome in the spring of 2022.

Cassandra Morphy graphic

Childhood isolation spawned author’s Sci-Fan creativity

By day, Cassandra Morphy is a business data analyst, working from home in front of her computer. By night, she delves into alternative realities and creating fantasy worlds in 25 self-published books.

“When I first started it was just like seven PM every day I sit in front of the computer and write for an hour. I first started at a target of a thousand words,” she says. “Now, I’m at a chapter a day.”

By her own admission, Cassandra grew up escaping the real world into the other realities of books, TV shows, and movies, and now she writes about those worlds.

“I have social anxiety disorder. I’ve dealt with it for most of my life. It’s always an issue, always forefront in my mind but I mean, I had ways to mitigate it. It started developing about when I was 10 or so. And basically, like middle school, high school, I basically had no friends. And I spent all the time in school, just reading books. So, like that’s always been this aspect of my life, just reading the books, imagining myself in those worlds.”

Years later, she began crafting stories in those fantasy and sci-fi worlds. The book she is proudest of, The Awakening, is a violent tale of an abused woman, Natalie, who defends herself against an attack by her ex. She and her ex’s widow become companions and as the two women grow closer, they’re attacked by a strange, alien creature. Now Natalie must figure out what happened to her friend, while she deals with her feelings for her, and her own declining sanity as it all starts to be too much for her to deal with.

Hear more about Cassandra’s writing process and inspirations in our conversation on The Independent Author podcast:

Northfield book cover

Dystopian Earth: A common sci-fi theme

If you’re looking for a hopeful outcome for humanity on planet Earth, science fiction might not be your first choice. Stories about an Earth devastated by climate change, alien invasion, war or other human malfeasance permeate the genre. The good news is many of these stories, maybe even most, have a good guy trying to hold on to his or her last vestiges of what’s good in people. And that’s where Mark Northfield in Calvin Fisher’s novel Northfield comes in.

“Pretty much, in this toxic world, people are just very cold and harsh towards one another,” says Fisher. “It’s a very cold place to be. But he’s tried to retain his humanity through whatever means just to honor his dead wife. The thing though, is an adversary blackmails him. And he has to choose whether to honor his wife and the memory of her or to survive because if he doesn’t assassinate a man, he’ll be killed himself.”

Fisher, a software engineer with a lifelong passion for comic book stories and gaming, began writing Northfield in one genre but found it worked better as a post-apocalyptic tale.

Northfield actually started as a thriller in the vein of something like Vince Flynn or Tom Clancy. It was only after scrapping that project that Northfield came out of it. So, figuring out that it wanted to be post-apocalyptic was sort of the key to making everything work.”

Fisher has other projects in the works. Northfield is available in ebook and paperback on Amazon.

Here’s our conversation on The Independent Author podcast: