ankh_hpl: (Default)
five years
of blue dust sunsets
still curious

-- Ann K. Schwader

In honor of rover Curiosity's first five years on Mars
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
The MartianThe Martian by Andy Weir

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love SF. I love Mars, and the whole idea of going to Mars.

But somehow I just couldn’t quite love The Martian.

I suspect this is due to my own limited tolerance for very hard SF, or the level of geekery required to rescue Mark Watney after he gets stranded. Certainly Andy Weir does his best to make Mark likeable and quotable, on subjects ranging from duct tape to Martian agriculture. I had no trouble believing that the science was at least feasible. And I did enjoy experiencing (as closely as anyone would probably want to) life in the Hab.

Unfortunately, every exciting turn of events seemed to be followed by several pages of technical detail. I skimmed what I could, understood not much of it, and felt a bit frustrated by the time the problem was solved and the plot continued. Though I cared enough about all the characters to want them to succeed, it was a relief in more ways than one when they finally did.

View all my reviews
ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
I just got a boarding pass for Mars.

Nope, not the trip – just the boarding pass, for NASA’s InSight lander due to launch in March 2016. All names submitted & approved will be inscribed on a chip which actually is headed to Mars with the lander.

It’s all free, but unfortunately I just found out about this -- & today is the last day to register. If you’re a fellow Mars-o-phile & reading this before 11:59 PM ET, you can go here for all the information.

See you – or your name, at least – on Mars!

ankh_hpl: (DEquinox)
To the possible detriment of the world’s collective sanity, Cthulhu Fhtagn! is available today from Word Horde.

Editor/publisher Ross E. Lockhart reports that copies will be arriving at Word Horde HQ “later today,” & that direct orders will be being fulfilled this week.

Retailer links to Amazon (where you can preorder your Kindle copies already!), Ingram, B & N, and other places will be appearing on the anthology’s page as they go live. Find all the ordering information you’ll need here.

[Truth in LJing: yes, I’m very happy to say that I’ve got a story in this puppy. “Dead Canyons” is a tale of Martian exploration, ancient warfare, Mythos entities, AI, & a desperate woman no one will listen to . . . . all set in Boulder, CO.]
ankh_hpl: (Ankh)
Originally posted by [ profile] science_at_nasa at Mars Rover Takes Selfie
A sweeping view of the "Pahrump Hills" outcrop on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover has been working for five months, surrounds the rover in Curiosity's latest self-portrait. The selfie scene is assembled from dozens of images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on the rover's robotic arm.


I've never used this new Share feature before, but this item is too cool not to pass along! Looks like Curiosity is still paying back the taxpayers while taking time out for a little social fun.

Very relieved to see that this little rover is still OK out there.
ankh_hpl: (Ankh)
Remember my posting -- months ago -- about how NASA's Mars Atmosphere & Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) would be launching with a special DVD of haiku (including one of mine) from their "Going to Mars with MAVEN" contest?

Well, that day has finally arrived -- or will on Monday, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41.  The launch window  extends from 1:28 p.m. to 3:28 p.m. EST.

Find all the details & events here, or watch the launch live on NASA Television here.

I think this will be my first-ever interplanetary publication . . .

ankh_hpl: (Ankh)
The top five public vote winners of the Going to Mars with MAVEN haiku contest have been posted, along with several special mentions.

Alas, mine didn't make the list. All is not lost, however: in a last-minute change of policy, all haiku receiving two or more votes will be saved to that DVD accompanying the MAVEN orbiter on its mission.

My haiku received four votes . . . so, woo hoo!  That puppy's headed for Mars!

If you participated, I hope yours is as well.  Mars needs more haiku.
ankh_hpl: (Ankh)

each molehill

a year’s mountain

look Sharp

                      Ann K. Schwader

For a video retrospective from, check here.
ankh_hpl: (Ankh)
Just a reminder: haiku contest entries for the Going to Mars with MAVEN message project close on July 1.  (I posted about this on 5/15.) Have you sent an entry yet? The invitation info is here.

I just posted mine. To read it, you may go here.

If you missed my prevous post, or just can't get enough Mars info (you're not alone!),  all the information on NASA's Mars Atmosphere & Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft can be found here. It launches in November -- and the names of everyone entering (win or lose) will be going along on a specially engraved DVD.  The top three haiku messages will also appear on the DVD.

I suspect this is about as close as I'll ever get to Mars. 
ankh_hpl: (Ankh)
As part of its Going to Mars campaign to celebrate the forthcoming launch of the Maven spacecraft, NASA is running a haiku contest!  (OK, they are actually asking for "haikus," but I'm not about to tell NASA what the plural of "haiku" is.) 

If you've always wanted a chance to send your very own haiku to Mars -- three will be chosen by popular vote -- or at least send your name there on a specially engraved DVD, check out all the contest info here.  It's free, & anyone on the planet may enter. Deadline for entries is July 1.  Rules are here.

Need some inspiration?  Get up to speed on the Maven mission here.  I'm especially excited, since Maven is being assembled right here in Colorado, not too far from where I live. 

And I'm working on my Red Planet haiku right now.
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