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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hawthorn Moon Online Sneak Peek Event


Bestselling fantasy author Gail Z. Martin is holding a sneak peek for her new book, Ice Forged, and we’ve got the goodies! Gail Z. Martin is the author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series, published by Solaris Books, and The Fallen Kings Cycle from Orbit Books. Her short stories have appeared in numerous U.S. and UK anthologies.

Gail is unveiling the new cover for Ice Forged (coming from Orbit Books in January, 2013), and throwing her annual Hawthorn Moon Online Sneak Peek Event, which includes more than a dozen partner sites with exclusive excerpts, author and character interviews, audios, and more!

Ice Forged will take readers to an entirely new world with completely new characters.  “It’s a totally different series,” Martin says.  “I’m having a lot of fun building it and I’m looking forward to sharing it with readers.

Here’s the story: Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine “Mick” McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands of Edgeland. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic of the governor’s mages keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists.

Now, McFadden and the people of Velant decide their fate. They can remain in their icy prison, removed from the devastation of the outside world, but facing a subsistence-level existence, or they can return to the ruins of the kingdom that they once called home. Either way, destruction lies ahead…

Get your exclusive excerpt from Ice Forged here:  http://www.4shared.com/office/VJ9BoRdD/Ice_Forged_Excerpt_3.html

To get in on all the action, including the other three unique excerpts, find out more on Gail’s site, www.AscendantKingdoms.com


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mars One: One-way ticket to the red planet

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/upshot/mars-one-one-way-ticket-red-planet-192011042.html

It sounds like a science-fiction fantasy, but the company Mars One says it's for real—and that it will really establish a settlement on the planet Mars by 2023.

The privately financed Dutch company has a plan. All it needs is a lot of cash, equipment and four Mars-bound astronauts who are willing to take a one-way trip to the red planet.

The idea is to first send rovers, which will stake out a good site for a settlement and then build out living units. In 2022, the crew will take a "transit habitat" for the seven-month trip to Mars and settle in to their new home. The intention is that the crew will live on the planet for the rest of their lives. Every two years after that, another group will join the settlement to populate the colony.

Mars One co-founder Bas Lansdorp has a very modern approach to funding the project: media exposure. "We will finance this mission by creating the biggest media event ever around it." He said in a company video, adding, "Everybody in the world can see everything that will happen in the preparations and on Mars."

Think of it as a "Big Brother" for outer space. Lansdorp explained to Yahoo! News, "This would be 'real' reality TV -- adventure is automatically included, we don't have to add fake challenges." He added, "By sending a new crew every two years, Mars will have a real, growing settlement of humans -- who would not like to follow that major event in human history?"

Who, indeed? The other-worldly idea has certainly intrigued the Web. The Mars One video has received over 232,000 views on YouTube since it launched less than a week ago.

Beyond entertainment, some scientists certainly seem intrigued by the possibility of interplanetary travel. Theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner Gerard 't Hooft, a "mission ambassador" for Mars One, endorses the plan. He says, "This project seems to be the only way to fulfill humanity's dream to explore outer space. It's going to be an exciting experiment."

Next year, according to its website, the company will begin an astronaut selection process. Those who have the right stuff will then undergo a decade of preparation. And, we assume, the Mars travelers will be ready for their out-of-this-world close-up.