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Release of God’s Assassin Delayed May 3, 2017

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Amazon is having a problem converting em-dashes (—) properly, so God’s Assassin will be delayed until they can work this out. Computer programming can be a frustrating activity and I sympathize with their IT staff. I’m confident they will figure it out eventually. In the meantime, their marvelous customer service representative is keeping me in the loop.

While this is going on, I’ve started the next story in the Holy Christian Empire series under the working title of Princess Barbara (not the real title, but I’m keeping that a secret because I’ve had titles stolen from me before — including God’s Assassin, and Children of Destruction was stolen for a game). It’s the story of how Queen Barbara II came to power (the first Queen Barbara was Eric’s wife from Last Train from Earth). The story is set between Last Train from Earth and God’s Assassin, and starts in EY 2405, before the Empire got an official name (that’s another story).

Writing a new story can be a problem. I know how it starts and I kinda know how it will end, but the story between those two events isn’t cooperating. My muse needs to get her caboose in gear.

First Draft of God’s Assassin Finished January 30, 2017

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NewYearBangNo, I can’t believe it either, but I managed to finish the first draft today (Jan. 30) of the next book in the Holy Christian Empire series. What a great way to start the new year (and it will make FTL happy too).

That was the fun part. Now the drudgery begins: Rewrite. I know deep in my heart that the first draft isn’t good enough for you and it’s certainly not good enough for me. I’ve never produced a finished product on the first try, and I know that this one has warts all over it.

However, the rewrite probably won’t take forever (like the first draft did) as long as I can keep my nose to the grindstone. The sexy ladies that keep vying for my attention will just have to wait (you believe that — right?).

I have the cover art ready to go. One of the last pieces produced by the great Duncan Long before his untimely demise last month. I’m going to miss him. He had tons of talent. Not just as an artist, but as a fellow writer of science fiction (and other subjects). I’m sure he’s resting in Paradise with our Lord and Savior (he was, indeed, a Christian).

Faster Than Light Travel May be Possible September 23, 2016

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ftl-ship-concept

Click on pic for YouTube presentation

A Nasa scientist in Houston worked with an artist to create the “warp drive” concept The interstellar spacecraft builds on previous designs that theoretically allow distant travel by bending space-time.

It doesn’t violate Einstein’s “rules”. It works by bending space in front of it and behind. The main problem is that when it descellerates at the end of the trip, it would destroy whatever was at the destination as the “warps” (energy) catch up all at once.

It works off of a recently discovered oddity in the “em Drive” which I featured in a previous post.

Wormholes could be the key to beating the Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle May 15, 2016

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Wormholes“Time travel seems much more common in science fiction than it is in reality. We’ve never met anyone from the future, after all. But all of the physics we know indicates that wormholes – another science fiction favourite – could really be used to travel backwards in time.

“Wormholes are like portals between two places in the Universe. If you fell in one side, you’d pop out the other immediately, regardless of how far apart the two sides were. But wormholes are also like portals between two times in the Universe. As Carl Sagan liked to say, you wouldn’t just emerge somewhere else in space, but also somewhen else in time.”

Read the complete article here.

SpaceX says it will fly a spacecraft to Mars as soon as 2018 April 27, 2016

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to land an unmanned spacecraft on Mars as soon as 2018 with the help of NASA, an extra

ordinary collaboration between the public and private sectors in an effort to eventually get humans to the Red Planet.

SpaceX made the announcement on Twitter Wednesday, laying out an ambitious timeline for an incredibly difficult mission that only governments have dared try. Landing a spacecraft or a robot that can then operate successfully on the Martian surface is so difficult that the U.S. is the only country to have done it, and many attempts over the years have failed.

The partnership between SpaceX and NASA, which has the goal of sending humans to Mars in the 2030s, is yet another example of the significant shift in the role NASA is playing in space exploration. While it continues to pursue its own deep space missions, the agency has also spent years, and billions of dollars, helping to support a robust commercial space industry, which it is increasingly partnering with to develop the technologies to explore the cosmos.

See the entire Washington Post article here.

Last chance to see Comet Catalina in your lifetime December 28, 2015

Posted by Al Philipson in Meanderings.
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comet catalina image courtesy of Science AlertOver the next few weeks, one of the most beautiful comets we’ve ever discovered, Comet Catalina, will pass by Earth in what’s expected to be its first and only visit to the inner Solar System.

Its closest flyby for those in the Northern Hemisphere will be on January 17, 2016, but it should be visible with telescope or binoculars on New Year’s Day if your sky cooperates.

For the complete story: http://www.sciencealert.com/new-year-s-eve-is-the-only-chance-to-see-comet-catalina-in-your-lifetime

Possible Habitable Planet Discovered July 23, 2015

Posted by Al Philipson in Science and Science Fiction news, Uncategorized.
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kepler186f

The artist’s concept depicts Kepler-186f, the first validated Earth-size planet to orbit a distant star in the habitable zone—a range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the planet’s surface. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that Earth-size planets exist in the habitable zones of other stars and signals a significant step closer to finding a world similar to Earth.

The size of Kepler-186f is known to be less than ten percent larger than Earth, but its mass, composition and density are not known. Previous research suggests that a planet the size of Kepler-186f is likely to be rocky.

Kepler-186f orbits its star once every 130 days and receives one-third the energy that Earth does from the sun, placing it near the outer edge of the habitable zone. If you could stand on the surface of Kepler-186f, the brightness of its star at high noon would appear as bright as our sun is about an hour before sunset on Earth.

Image credit: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

Full story on Kepler-186F

New Planet beyond Pluto July 23, 2015

Posted by Al Philipson in Science and Science Fiction news.
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NewPlanetTransPlutoNew Planet Discovered Beyond Pluto

This artist’s concept shows the planet cataloged as 2003UB313 at the lonely outer fringes of our solar system. Our Sun can be seen in the distance. The new planet, which is yet to be formally named, is at least as big as Pluto and about three times farther away from the Sun than Pluto.

Courtesy of NASA. Full story.

Last Train from Earth is Finished! July 10, 2015

Posted by Al Philipson in Last Train from Earth.
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Cover SuperThumbI thought I’d never get this finished. But, with the help of some friends, I finally got the plot moving the way I wanted and most of the bugs out. Thank you for being so patient (in most cases). It’s available now on Amazon. Check out the sidebar for a description of the story.


“This is a nail-biter from page one … and I was captivated right down to the last paragraph.” “I read [the book] in two days, and I don’t read anything that quickly unless it’s damn good.” -John Bowers, author of the popular Fighter Queen, Starport, and Nick Walker series.

“Very well written and insightful. Not your run of the mill science fiction novel. Surprise ending.”  -Levi

New eBook of 4 Short Stories February 19, 2015

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Cover SmashwordsSciFi Four Pack

FTL suggested I publish a book of shorts, so I gathered 4 of my short stories together. The collection is due out March 4th, but you can pre-order the Amazon version now for only 99 cents.

[If you bought The Complete Alpha Dreamer in the past, you’ve read the first 3. The 4th, God’s Agent, inspired my upcoming book, God’s Assassin.]

Four short science fiction stories from Al Philipson:

Heat: All Johnnie had to do was find some old bat named Constance Pickering and punch her ticket. But on Hermes hot, barren surface, not all plans work out the way you intend. Action/adventure on a planet similar to Mercury.

Time Twist: Charlie had a score to settle, but when you travel to the past, you have to be very careful how and when you even the books. A time travel adventure.

My Plan Perfect: Two enterprising aliens kidnap a pair of pacifist humans and get more than they bargained for. Alien contact with a twist.

God’s Agent: Undercover agent, Charlotte, went to Merlin to steal some enemy military plans. It could be her last assignment. A military spy story.

13,000 words
Rated “G”