The air and the time on the Space Coast are having an effect on me. I feel a weight being lifted from days spent surviving the onset and post-pandemic in the citadel of Washington, DC. Since arriving here in Florida, I have seen a nighttime launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cocoa Beach. It was cool seeing one so close and from the I Dream of Jeannie beach, where the astronaut found the bottle. Another launch, one during the day, I caught while driving and pulled over to watch, and it was surreal in a different way. I even downloaded an app, Space Launch Now, to keep track of them.
Time seems circular in certain instances. I grew up in Houston and lived near Clear Lake, where the Johnson Space Center (Mission Control) is located. I remember going to a two-story wooden building (possibly called The Jalapeno Tree) and having lunch where the astronauts sometimes ate. Tang was a staple for lunch, and Star Trek was on in reruns and animated on Saturday mornings. Space is in my blood. Flights of fancy filled my head as a youth, and even in my crazy years, I always took time to watch a space shuttle launch. I even skipped school to watch the Challenger one and was in shock at home with no one to call after it exploded on live TV. Over time, I observed with dismay as NASA slowly wound down the program in the 1990s and the government stopped funding in 2011. Those were bleak times. Almost a decade later, I was excited when private industry stepped in (especially SpaceX) and the Artemis program came to be. All of which has truly propelled the future that was promised when I was a child toward a reachable goal in my lifetime—beyond the moon to Mars.
Time may seem circular, but the person I was at different points in time is not the same one I am now. I realized that when writing Rebel’s Edge and reliving my teenage life on the page. Nothing and no one stays the same.
The space ranger theme of the title also graces my unreleased novel, Lane Bowden 1973. It is present in some of the protagonist’s dreams and the idle talk of the fall of Skylab. And more prominently in Future-Thrill, my venture into sci-fi and cyberpunk. I am leaving the setting for that as a coda to this blog.
Future-Thrill is set in the year 2077 and is currently unreleased.
After the fall of 2031, the world collapsed. Satellites fell to Earth like shooting stars amongst the lunar debris of a moon struck by a meteor.
Oceans rose and fires burned.
The decades of World War III ended as devastation and disease spread. The lucky ones built ships and fled to deep space. By 2047, no central government existed. Under a fractured police state, resources were mined to the brink for the off-world
colonies while deviant technology grew across dangerous lands ruled by apathy and dead gods.
Cade and Frost were born into the chaos. Punks with no future, they were just looking for a thrill.