Short Ceres video available

Aloha – There is an interesting video available (just over two months) that gives you a tour with 3-D imagery of Ceres.  Enjoy at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dwarf-planet-ceres-comes-to-life-in-new-3d-video_55c4e01ee4b0d9b743dbf3d9

Meanwhile, if you were on Demeter, I would think the light is associated with passages from the interior providing light to the surface.  But that is a hundred light years away :o)

Doc

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Haumeah Covers arrive

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Aloha – I received three versions of the cover art for Haumeah, volume 4 of the Demeter series this morning.  I’ve asked the designer to enlarge the back cover description text, but am otherwise satisfied with the cover.

The back cover reads (in case you can’t make it out :o):

William Ryder credited with saving Demeter from an alien invasion; building an alliance with the PerSians and now determined to set the Orion Spur free from the Ten Thousand Years War.  The first step to his plan is to build an alliance with the hostile mining world of Haumeah, that also supports the second of three way-stations between the Persean and Sagittarian Arms of the Galaxy.  But before that he has to face three unexpected challenges.  Returning to Earth he has to learn how to drive a car, meet Cynthia’s father, and make a life altering decision.

What do you think?  Does it draw you in?  I expect to have to book up and available on Amazon two weeks.

In other news, the final book in the series is in editing.  I think I may be changing the title.  The anthology for the Demeter series is also awaiting editing.  But I’m also starting work on a new stand alone novel.  More about that later.  I’ll share how I’m progressing on that one as I move along.  It is nice to get back to writing after two years of editing five books lol.

Doc

How to win a 1 on 3 dogfight in space

Aloha – Debbie was willing to respond to a few questions about some of the unusual maneuvers she is known for in Return to Demeter and Defending Demeter.

Doc:  How did you come up with what is commonly referred to as Debbie’s corkscrew?

Debbie:  Well, I’ve always liked roller coasters.  Several years ago, dad had a summer teaching gig in Yamashita Ken in Japan.  During that four month period I had a chance to ride the Eejanaika Roller Coaster.  What a rush?  Anyway, I cajoled Ryder and convinced him to take me back several times.  So when I started flying space craft outside of Demeter I wondered if I could do it in a fighter. Just like that, the Corkscrew maneuver was born.

Doc:  How do you keep your bearings?  I can imagine how it might help you get out of trouble, but I understand you shot down three fighters in one dogfight.  How did you know where they were?

Debbie:  I didn’t really see them, I just thought them.  Where would they go from where I saw them last?  They always were where I expected.  Shooting them down was easy because they were so confused.  I sort of felt sorry for the pilots.

Doc:  I understand that you have a new ship now.  What can you tell us about it?

Debbie:  You’re talking about the Raven-class ship.  I’m not allowed to say anything about it yet except that I think it would look great in purple with polka dots.

Doc:  Only to be expected from you.  Good luck.

Debbie:  Better to wish the Haumeahan’s luck.

Is that the asteroid that just swept past the Earth?

NASA Just Released The Best Images Of A Dwarf Planet We've Ever Seen

Aloha – Afraid not.  NASA is releasing more images of Ceres, the asteroid in the Asteroid Belt not the one passing by Earth last night.  This rendition is cool as it gives a perspective on size.  Ceres is approximately 1,000 miles in diameter (a bit smaller).  There is speculation that it is the second largest source of water in the Solar System.  We’ll know more about that in the coming months.

Meanwhile back to Demeter, a planetoid the size of Ceres about a hundred light years from Earth (science fiction, not fact).  Along with the size comparison, it is a water world on the interior.  The exterior is as devoid of life forms as the Moon or Demeter (speculation).  However, the interior is full of life.  I’ll continue to keep you posted on Ceres as NASA keeps that info coming.  If you’d like to review the article this was taken from it is available,

http://news.yahoo.com/nasa-just-released-best-images-194400789.html

Best wishes,

Doc

Computer modeling of Oceans on Alien Worlds

Alien Oceans May Flow on 'Super-Earth' Planets

Aloha – In volume 1 of Demeter Chapter 7, we get introduced to the Sea of Demeter.  The following excerpt introduces you to the interior of Demeter.

“We’re here,” Captain White announced from the pilot’s cabin.

From the side portals, they could see the sheer face of a mountain wall rising on either side of the lock. As Ryder followed the line of the jagged obsidian cliffs that rose out of sight, he saw patches of chartreuse vegetation struggling to survive on the glassy surface. The sky was difficult to read. They could not see any clouds, but it felt hazy as if twilight were approaching. It was obviously daytime for this world, but Ryder could not locate a central source of the light. As the Pegasus continued to move forward and exit the final lock, a pale aqua surface mirrored below. It wasn’t until a large creature of some sort broke the surface that they realized it was water.

“The Sea of Demeter,” Cynthia said. “Chapter thirty-three, by the way.”

“I’ve never seen water so still,” Athena said. “Look, there’s a whole school of fish jumping!”

“No waves. Guess surfing is out.” Randy leaned closer to the portal to look straight down.

Miss Li had quietly joined the group. “Actually, there are waves during the nightly rains, but not during the day”

Everyone jumped and turned.

“We are inside a giant geode. It has been terra formed for millennia. The whole eco-system is carefully monitored with an extensive climate control system tied to the ice fields. The ice fields are at the top of the interior, and the oceans and islands are at the bottom, at least from our perspective. It can be very confusing. When you’re in the ice fields, you think it is the other way around.”

A short hour passed as Ryder and his friends took in the water and the occasional lush green islands that they flew over. The Pegasus once again began to slow down as they approached a much larger landmass. Debbie’s voice came over the intercom and announced, “Everyone take your seat and secure your valuables. We’re reconfiguring the ship.”

Ryder barely made it back to his seat when the Pegasus began shifting and shrinking with all the compartments folding, or disappearing completely. The windows also began to disappear. He heard Joel bark, and turned in time to see him fighting to loosen his foot from a shrinking locker. Moments later they were on the ground.

Meanwhile, scientists are using computer models to describe the potential of such seas or oceans on other worlds.

For the complete articles you can visit the story at

http://news.yahoo.com/alien-oceans-may-flow-super-earth-planets-210436971.html

“We’ve found thousands of exo-planets”

Today we have an interesting story available about potentially habitable planets in the Galaxy.  It would be interesting to do a compare and contrast with part of a discussion between Ryder, Miss Li and other members of the fictional class in the first volume of the Demeter series (chapter 3).  The news article is available at http://www.vox.com/2015/1/2/7474501/exoplanet-simulator

“Our best estimate is three hundred and forty billion stars. Just in our region of the Milky Way there are over a billion planets. Of those, the habitable planets…” Miss Li hesitated. “Well, we assume that there are many planets that would be habitable.”

Cynthia interjected. “I thought they didn’t know if any of the planets were habitable.”

“Well, Earth scientists do not have any clear evidence of habitability, but statistically there is a strong likelihood that some of the planets could support life, especially for different life-forms.”

Randy replied defensively. “My uncle says that Earth is the only planet with life on it, and that all the stories we hear about UFOs and stuff are just somebody’s imagination running wild.”

“Yes, many people believe that, Randy,” Miss Li responded. “Can you explain how all one billion planets are devoid of life, while Earth has such an abundance and variety of life?”

Randy sat pondering, but his brother Joel jumped in. “Well, God created the universe, the galaxies, the solar systems, and the planets. He created it all for us.”

“Interesting idea,” said Miss Li. “Cynthia Flores, what do you think?”

Cynthia seemed to be caught off guard for a moment, but Ryder could tell she was thinking because she always furled her brow when she was considering something challenging. He’d first noticed that pattern on a science test just a couple of weeks earlier. Cynthia began hesitantly. “I believe in God, and my family goes to church every Sunday, but it seems to me that God would not create something so vast just for us. I think he created it for us, and probably other…” She seemed stuck for the word she was looking for. “People, creatures, whatever,” she stammered at the end.

“Ryder, what are your thoughts?” Miss Li inquired.

Ryder was ready for this one. “Miss Li, I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure out how you know there are a billion planets. Last I heard, we had only been able to verify a few hundred. But, if there are a billion planets, considering that there are various types of stars, various different rotations around respective stars, and various life forms, it seems to me that the odds of one supporting life would be roughly eight hundred and fifty to one, which would work out to….one million one hundred seventy-six thousand four hundred and seventy-one.”

Miss Li gave Ryder a pleased look. “Actually, Ryder, our best estimate is between one-point-four and one-point-five million planets in this galaxy that can support life.” She frowned and paused. “In any event, it seems likely that there are some habitable planets even in our galaxy. Now multiply that by thousands of galaxies.”

Is Debbie flying again?

When I think of Hondo’s character in the Demeter series I envision Sam Elliott at his crankiest.  Following is an excerpt from Return to Demeter in which Debbie is again at the controls of transportation Ryder finds himself trapped in :o)

Less than two Demeter weeks had passed and Debbie was driving Ryder crazy.  She seemed determined to kill herself.  That was bad enough, but Ryder and company were with her.  He knew it had been a mistake to agree to let her fly the hopper to Shimmer’s Head.  He thought letting her co-pilot with Ensign Steerman would result in the calmer head ruling.  Instead, Steerman seemed to have gone primitive on them.  Obviously Debbie and Steerman were taking turns seeing who could do the most outlandish thing in the hopper as they traveled to the retreat.

The good news was that the flight took less than two hours.  The bad news was that they traveled twice as far as they needed too.  He was grateful there were no ports to look out on the way.  Twice he heard the types of oohs, coming from the cockpit that suggested near misses, and amazing saves.

Ryder ceremoniously got off the craft and kissed the ground when they arrived at Shimmer’s Head.  Cynthia didn’t even argue with him about the dramatic gesture.  Shimmer’s Head was a break in the narrow canyon that ran the length of the Ashiijin River.  The cliffs rose hundreds of feet on either side.  The far side of the river was climbable if one didn’t mind getting sliced to pieces with the dangerous looking fractured rock slides.  The near side was sheer.  There was a pueblo-like lodge, with a covered porch, and one storage building near the water.  The alcove ran back perhaps a quarter of a mile.  The caretakers of Shimmer’s Head were Hondo and his wife Maggie.

Hondo was actually a retired colonel from the DDF, Colonel Marion Robert Roundy.  He had retired from the DDF seven years earlier, after he had killed the Director-General in a duel.  His wife Margaret Olmsted had retired from DDF intelligence at the same time.  While on Earth, Ryder had a few questions arise that he wanted to get clarified, and decided to ask Hondo face-to-face rather than ask his grandfather.