So China is going to the moon.
Following up on the heels of their 2013 Yutu (Jade Rabbit) mission, China will soon be launching the Chang’e 4 to touchdown on lunar soil. I should add that this is not just any lunar soil, but rather a history-making journey to drop a rover onto the Far Side and see what’s there, up close and personal.
The landing site is expected to be somewhere in the Aitken Basin in the polar south, a kind of lunar Emyn Muil with twisting, rugged, mountainous terrain so very different from the smoother Earth-facing face.
Of particular interest (beyond the bewildering fact that it’s taken this many decades to go check out the moon’s backside) is the technological hurdle with communicating out of line-of-sight. To that end, China is launching a relay satellite–the Magpie Bridge–to bounce commands and receive data. All this from the species that, geologically speaking, only recently came down from the trees.
(Oh, and in addition to conducting surface explorations, the rover will be conducting a number of experiments with potatoes, seeds, and–allegedly–silkworm eggs. So anyone scoffing at the new Godzilla movie’s cast of kaiju will now be able to gaze skyward at the probable origin of a silk-spewing Mothra-like entity.)
At any rate, it’s nice to be reminded that there is a larger universe out there, beyond the unreasoned rabble of social media and our House Harkonnen state of politics. In Chinese folklore, Chang’e and Jade Rabbit have been residents of Luna for a very long time. It would be nice for our species to catch up and join that frontier.
Every writer makes the obligatory pilgrimage to his or her local bookstore and see if their book is in actually in stock. On a visit to West Hartford, Connecticut, I decided to indulge this rite-of-passage at the Blue Back Square Barnes and Noble. Creeping through the aisles like a cryptozoologist on the track of rumored specimens, I made a discovery! And snapped an unblurry photo!
Speaking of TEN THOUSAND THUNDERS, two more professional reviews came in this week. The first from Cemetery Dance:
“Majestic in scope, Ten Thousand Thunders is an elaborate look at a future somewhere between utopia and dystopia.”
And the second from Midwest Book Review, which stunned me with the following critique:
“An inherently riveting, deftly crafted and simply compelling read from beginning to end by a master of the science fiction genre, Brian Trent’s ‘Ten Thousand Thunders’ is an original and very highly recommended addition to personal and community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections.”
I’ve been steadily working on the sequel, which takes place a couple decades later and shifts the action to Mars and the Asteroid Belt. It willaddress the state of affairs–tense as ever–between the various factions of human society and the strain to break free of the InterPlanetary Council’s ban on extrasolar colonization.
In this month’s writing news, I sold my story “Steel Dragonsof a Luminous Sky” to the GRIMM, GRIT AND GASOLINE dieselpunk anthology, edited by Rhonda Parrish. And the cover reveal has been released for the RELEASE THE VIRGINS anthology (edited by Michael Ventrella) and which will feature my humorous take on the theme through the telling of a ghost story unlike anything you’ve encountered before, I promise. 🙂