Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Last Planet

7:49:50 am

July 14, 2015


Another chapter in human history has ended. Never again will any person living today see the exploration of a planet in our solar system. Never again will we watch with bated breath as a probe brings us closer to one of our neighbors, three billion miles out, a story nine-and-a-half years in the making.

I was in 8th grade when New Horizons launched. I remember being totally in awe. At the time, it was the most advanced rocket we'd ever built, and it sent this probe hurtling at 36,400 mph into the solar system.

To this day, New Horizons reigns as the fastest rocket we've ever launched.

Through the years, you'd hear whispers of New Horizons and Pluto, but for a long time, it was lost to memory. That is, until December 2014, when New Horizons came out of its hibernation and showed us a prick of light in the distance, an unimpressive speck of pixels: Pluto.

The months dragged on, and New Horizons would beam back pictures every few days, each image a bit clearer than the last. But in June 2015, we began to see the planet and its moons dancing around each, their orbits skewed and wobbly, unlike any orbit of the solar system's other planets.

The months turned to weeks.

The weeks turned to days.
The days turned to hours.

At 07:49 am on July 14, two things happened at the same time: New Horizons flew by Pluto, all seven of its scientific instruments grabbing up data as it zoomed past--and NASA released an image taken 16 hours earlier, the clearest, most amazing picture we have ever seen of the planet.

New Horizons will beam back the data and pictures from the flyby tonight, and NASA will release those tomorrow...but this image right here has taken the world by storm. News outlets, social media, magazines, newspapers. Everyone is spreading this image.

This is the last planet. There will never again be a mystery like this for us to solve, or a journey like this for a probe to take. We have met all of our planetary neighbors. This is the dimming of the dawn of space exploration.

The probes have led the way.
Now it's humanity's turn to follow.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Regarding Embassy Fanfiction

So the question was finally asked by someone outside of my writing group: "Would you ever read Embassy fanfiction??"

From Tumblr

In the past, my answer used to be, "No. I don't want anyone touching my characters or universe."

But alas, time goes on, and views change. Over the months I've definitely thought some more about how I would react to fanfiction, and I've come to the conclusion, as you'll see in my direct response to the above asker, that yes, I'd love to see fanfiction of my work.

Here's what I had to say:

"Hmmm… Thats a good question, because I’ve always been very back and forth about fanfiction of my own work. But…yes, I would. And here’s why:
 The obvious reason is that I wanna see what people do with the characters and story world. Of course, I’d encourage people to hold out from fanfiction until at least after Resonance is published, because the world opens up a ton and you get a lot more history and setting and information about the world of my series, and I’d imagine people could use that to the advantage of writing fanfiction for it.
Another reason I would is because of the reason I wrote/am writing Embassy and Resonance (along with Books 3 and 4 of the immediate series, both of which have titles, neither of which I’m giving away yet :P). This story, this world isn’t just about Arman, or the other characters. It’s about humanity as a whole. We all have our individual stories, we all experience the world in a different way, and thus, fanfiction of different characters could totally help to add depth to that world and make ever-the-more realistic. I’d love to see how other characters I didn’t even know about react to the events of the series, or what they think of the characters I’m writing about, or what other adventures are out there.
I can tell you right now there's a MASSIVE history behind the Embassy Universe, and I plan to write a few spin offs in the future, most notably “We Cannot Be Content,” which I’ve discussed before and can be found in my blog. It basically surrounds why humanity left Earth for good (and you learn about pieces of it in Resonance). I already began writing WCBC, though it probably won't be done for a few years (but trust me, I can’t wait to get that out because it’s very, VERY relevant to issues in today’s world).
So, yes, I’d be fascinated to see what people come up, and I hope that as the series goes on, more fanfiction will come out because let’s face it: it’s inevitable so there’s no point in resisting and it just adds to the World of the story, which, as I always say, is my vision of humanity’s future, so fanfiction would help diversify it :)"
There's one point I want to expand upon: I would greatly encourage anyone who writes fanfiction to have an impressive understanding the history and physics of the Embassy Universe. If you're writing fanfic and aren't quite sure about how certain physical laws apply in this universe, or need clarification on a piece of the universe's history, please consult me. Send me an email. Shoot me a tweet. Comment on my blog. Whatever. I can tell you literally anything you need to know about the history, about the planets, about the Embassy Program, etc etc, and it would help you maintain your credibility as a fanfic author if you stuck to the same "story universe laws" I use. This is also why I'd suggest waiting until at least Resonance is published in January 2016, because you'll learn sooooo much more about the story world.

Trust me.

One last thing, and I want to make this clear: if you do write Embassy Universe fanfiction: as I stated above, consult me for any questions you may have or help you may need. More importantly, please, do not attempt to make income off it without my explicit permission. People, chances are I'm going to approve, but if you want to make money off it, at least tell me. You'd really have to screw it up for me to not approve. But I stand by my statement: just tell me first.

What better way to get it out in the world than with the Seal of Approval from the author of the original universe? I'm open to that kind of collaboration, where I can run through and check for accuracy and consistency before you release it.

Purchase Embassy Here

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