Writer’s Diary: Space Fall

Hello readers,

If you’re worried about missing out on part 5 of Spacefall, you may relax, I am working on it, and will probably put it up tomorrow.  I’m just taking a bit of a break today because the last two parts were 2,000 words each and part 5 is looking like it will be in the 3,000 word range.

Space fall is based on an idea I had one day while reading up about exo planets that astronomers have found in recent years.  I was particularly surprised to learn that water is a relatively abundant substance in the universe that is typically present during the formation of a new star system, but unless a planet has a strong electromagnetic field, like the Earth does, the water eventually gets blown off the surface of the planet and into space.  Water is so abundant that some exo planets have oceans on them possibly hundreds of kilometres deep.  Yet many planets are like Mars or the moon lack a strong electromagnetic field to prevent the water that used to be there from being stripped away by the sun’s radiation. Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: Space Fall”

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Space Fall – Part Four

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The capsule was winched high into the sky and at one point Alfred decided to poke his head out of the hatch to see what was happening.  The ocean was already a long way down and all he could see was a big dark silhouette against the yellow sky.  He pulled his head in and felt sufficiently sea sick now to have regretted his curiosity.  When Harold asked what he saw he said simply it was big and shaped a little like a pentagon.

The object hovering in the sky was in fact a rather sophisticated innovation in hot air balloon technology.  Instead of just one balloon it had five balloons holding up a large basket shaped like a pentagon.  It had five balloons because if it had only three or four then the lost of just one balloon to an accident would lead to a catastrophe as the basket holding the thirty odd inhabitants would spill over pouring them and all their belongings into the ocean below.  However, with five balloons the basket would remain sufficiently stable for the damaged balloon to be repaired.  This was essential, even without accidents, because the balloon craft could seldom land now the planet was flooded and often most maintenance had to performed in flight. Continue reading “Space Fall – Part Four”

Space Fall – Part Three

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The capsule screamed through the atmosphere tearing a perfectly straight orange gash into the Proximian sky.  When the capsule had slowed down sufficiently from the re-entry a series of parachutes ejected from it and each one slowed the capsule down progressively; until the last and biggest parachute opened which brought the capsule safely onto the surface of the infinite Proximian ocean.  There it bobbed gently on a perfectly blue ocean and a perfectly yellow sky.

Inside the capsule the three passengers were exhausted with the excitement of the dramatic re-entry experience.  The strange woman was the first to release herself from her harness and she sank to the baggage laden floor with a soft ‘wee’ sound.  Harold and Alfred decided they had better get themselves free and instead of gently falling to the floor with a fluid motion the pair flopped down like jelly dropped on concrete.  Groans of pain soon filled the cramped space inside the capsule.  The woman was the first to get up and she immediately opened the hatch.  Fresh, and surprisingly unsalty, sea air flooded the cabin. Continue reading “Space Fall – Part Three”

Space Fall – Part Two

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The space liner Icarus was in free fall as it tumbled towards Proxima Minor.  The co-pilot was frantically trying to call the captain.  In the confusion of the panic the co-pilot had mistakenly turned on the ship’s intercom instead.

“Come in Captain!  Come in!  We need sub light engines soon or we’re going to crash into the planet!”

Throughout the passenger compartments the shaken voice of the co-pilot rang out.  The tension that had been brewing on board quickly matured into terror.  Passengers started shouting “abandon ship!” and “to the life boats!”  Harold and Alfred got swept up with the throng of people clawing desperately at the emergency escape hatches in the floor of the space craft. Continue reading “Space Fall – Part Two”

Space Fall – Part One

spacefall-lowresThe spaceliner Icarus had just completed its phase jump into the Proxima Centauri system.  It was the first refuelling stopover for ships travelling to the outer colonies and immediately after her arrival things started to go badly for the Icarus.  The captain slammed his fist onto the armrest of his flight chair in frustration.  The sub light engines had failed yet again.  Without propulsion within the system it would be impossible to reach the refuelling station in the orbit of Proxima Major.  The co-pilot swallowed hard next to him, fearful of giving the captain any more bad news lest his anger spill over into rage. Aggressively the spaceliner captain pressed the button on the intercom system.

“Attention passengers, the Icarus has successfully phase jumped into the Proxima Centauri system.  Unfortunately, our sub light engines have developed a minor fault and we will have to remain adrift in space until we have repaired them.  In the meantime, if you look out the port side windows you will see the beautiful blue planet Proxima Minor.  Site of the greatest colonial disaster in history.  Have a listen to the travel guide for full information about what happened to the poor settlers of that world while you’re waiting for us to resume our journey.” Continue reading “Space Fall – Part One”