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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Days of Wine and Spaceships

“Warp speed, Mr. Sulu.” “We'll be safe enough once we make the jump to hyperspace.” “…have you ever wondered what would happen if you opened a jump point while inside a jump gate?”

Anyone even a teensy bit familiar with Science Fiction in film and TV will understand the quotes above. You might not be able to place each quote with the correct work, but you know that each of these statements refers to a starship about to travel at some faster than light equivalent speed. We’ve dealt with this concept for so many years now, that many science fiction authors take for granted the existence of a “warp” or “hyper” drive or some sort of wormhole/hyperspace junction and use them as shorthand, as the “stuff we haven’t invented yet but will” short cut to inter-system travel.

Sometimes that’s not the focus of the story, so perhaps it would detract from the exploration, peril, politics, romance, and so on we often encounter in our space-based stories. But isn’t it fun sometimes to think about the possibilities? What will the new tech look like? What undiscovered links in the physical world do have still to stumble upon that would allow interstellar transport?

Just last week, NASA confirmed that the EmDrive, a propellant-less propulsion system that converts microwave energy into thrust, actually does work despite being physically impossible. Mind you, the thrust generated was incredibly tiny – but the point was there should have been none, no thrust at all. I saw the name of this thing and wondered if they’d stolen it from me. ;) (Not really – the similar name is a coincidence and my GEM drive was developed several years ago.)

The point is we’re still learning, all the time. What we thought was ridiculous ten years ago, turns out to be possible after all. The GEM drive, the method central to my novel Gravitational Attraction, (and used throughout the ESTO Universe ever since) stands for the gravito-electromagnetic drive. It’s an absurd notion in many ways if we use today’s absolutes – but given the weird discoveries of the past few years, no longer as farfetched. My son and I discussed the possibility a few years ago now, the thought being that there is a yet to be discovered unifying theory or gravity and electromagnetism.

We have a whole history of GEM theory mapped out – I won’t subject you to that here – as well as the discovery of lumanium, the necessary, radical isotope of lead, devoid of any neutrons needed to shield a ship from the destructive forces generated by the GEM drive. Lumanium is the first ever discovered gravitational insulator, capable of nullifying gravitational forces. To clarify, this does not mean that it is not affected by gravity, only that it does not transfer gravitational forces. So the lumanium Mondal shields insulate the ship from the forces of gravity. In essence, the gyroscopic drive creates an ever-expanding gravity well that propels the ship and would crush it without the lumanium Mondal shields in place.

Unless you’re a science geek, I’ve probably put you to sleep. The novel, being a novel about people and not exclusively tech, doesn’t go into detail about how the drive works. However, because of the way it does work, the drive becomes not only a central motif to the story but also a way to explain what happens to Turk’s brain after experimental surgery.

Really. You’ll have to take my word for it unless you read the book. Sometimes the shortcuts are fun – sometimes it more fun to think what might actually be.

Gravitational Attraction
M/M Science Fiction from Angel Martinez

Where brain induced gravity wells meet alien landscapes…


A mysterious distress call draws the crew of courier ship Hermes to what appears to be an empty, drifting troop vessel--empty except for the blood and gore spattered corridors and a lone survivor locked in a holding cell. Drawn to the handsome, traumatized man, the crew’s comm officer, Isaac Ozawa, makes Turk his personal responsibility, offering him the kindness and warmth he needs after the horror he experienced.

Isaac knows firsthand what it’s like to be different and an outcast, and this cements their bond. Once a promising pilot, Isaac was left with a damaged body when his brain didn't meld with the high-tech implant needed to fly fighter ships. Turk’s brain is no better. The result of a military experiment gone wrong, his natural abilities have been augmented to a dangerous degree.

When an amoral, power-hungry admiral kidnaps Isaac and uses him to convince Turk to become the cataclysmic weapon he’s hungered for, it will take Turk’s strength, the ingenuity of the Hermes crew, the help of the enigmatic Drak’tar, and Isaac’s own stubborn will to save them.

About Angel Martinez:
Angel Martinez, the unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower intellectual family, has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, (same husband for over twenty-five years) and gave birth to one amazing son (now in college.) While Angel has worked, in no particular order, as a state park employee, retail worker, medic, LPN, call center zombie, banker, and corporate drone, none of these occupations quite fit.
She now writes full time because she finally can, and has been happily astonished to have her work place consistently in the annual Rainbow Awards. Angel currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.
Facebook Author Group:
Twitter: @AngelMartinezrr

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