Filed under: Bipolar, Book Conservation, Brave New World, Connections, Depression, Discover, General Musings, Mars, Predictions, Ray Bradbury, Science, Science Fiction, Society, Survival, tech, Writing stuff | Tags: blogging, book conservation, bookbinding, Charles Lindbergh, Chris Hadfield, Globe and Mail, jim downey, Legacy Bookbindery, Mars, Martians, predictions, Ray Bradbury, science, Science Fiction, space, St. Cybi's Well, technology, The Martian Chronicles, writing
Bradbury’s Mars offered unlimited new opportunity for exploration and discovery, and expansion of human awareness. Yet virtually every step in the Chronicles, as through much of human history, is a misstep. Mutual ignorance and distrust between normally peaceful peoples leads to violence and death. Greed causes unfathomably bad behavior; uncomfortably reminiscent of gold-hungry Conquistadors in the New World, ﬁve hundred years previous. Anger and frustration at the constraints of an intensely bureaucratic society somehow permit the craziest of personal behavior. And the ultimate threat of the destruction of it all somehow draws everyone back into the maelstrom, as if there is no escape. As if we all have a necessity to accept the consequences of everyone’s actions, and take our punishment, no matter how deadly.
Bradbury’s inclusion of the repeated patterns of human behavior, right down to inadvertent genocide caused by external pestilence and unfamiliar disease, makes The Martian Chronicles an ageless cautionary tale. It made me pause and ask myself – could it be possible that we are forever unable to go beyond who we were? Will every great opportunity of discovery be tainted, tarred and eventually destroyed by our own clumsy, brutish hand?
Are we so cursed by our own tragic humanity?
Wrestling with that very question … and depicting it … has been at the heart of my struggle to write St Cybi’s Well. And wrestling with my own demons at the same time has led me into some very dark moments, particularly over the last couple of months.
But there is hope. Here is the closing of Hadfield’s essay:
Their spaceship will be improbable, and the voyage will have been long. But as our ﬁrst emissaries thump down onto Mars, stand up and look around, they will see who the Martians really are. And with that sense of belonging will come the responsibility and appreciation that has allowed us to ﬂourish and grow on Earth for millennia, in spite of ourselves. By the time we land on Mars and ﬁrst step onto the dusty, red soil, it will be alien no longer. We will know that we are home. And that may be what saves us.
As chance would have it, yesterday I started working on another conservation project which, in its own way, also affirms how exploration may save us. You’ve probably heard of the author, who had his own struggles and failings. Here’s the title page:
Maybe there’s hope for all of ‘we’, after all.
Thanks to Margo Lynn for sharing the Hadfield essay.
Filed under: Amazon, Apollo program, Buzz Aldrin, Connections, Feedback, Health, Humor, ISS, Kindle, Man Conquers Space, Marketing, NASA, Neil Armstrong, Promotion, Publishing, Science, Science Fiction, Space, Writing stuff | Tags: Alzheimer's, Amazon, Apollo, Apollo 11, blogging, Buzz Aldrin, Buzzfeed, care-giving, Chris Hadfield, direct publishing, free, health, Her Final Year, hospice, humor, jim downey, John Bourke, Kindle, Michael Collins, Moon, NASA, Neil Armstrong, promotion, science, Science Fiction, space, St. Cybi's Well, writing
And you can pee upside down, which I did, just for fun. Wouldn’t you?
Great little list about the reality of spaceflight at this point in time. Perfect perspective for this weekend, since he manages to capture and convey the wonder and excitement so many of us felt from the Apollo era. It’s so easy to lose your vision, your enthusiasm, in the grim plodding of day-to-day life.
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Thanks to all who helped make the recent anniversary promotion of Her Final Year a success! Worldwide there were about 150 downloads – not a huge number, but it is progress. I hope the book can help those who downloaded it.
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Progress continues on St Cybi’s Well. Hope to wrap up Chapter 9 in the next couple of days.
Filed under: Astronomy, Augmented Reality, Brave New World, ISS, Man Conquers Space, Music, NASA, Science, Science Fiction, Space, tech, YouTube | Tags: Chris Hadfield, David Bowie, ISS, music, NASA, science, Science Fiction, space, video, www youtube
How cool is this?
How cool is Chris Hadfield?