Author Rosie Oliver takes over my blog today. She is one of 11 authors in the military sci-fi anthology, Space Force: Building The Legacy, edited by Doug Irvin and published by Midlands Scribes Publishing. The e-book is scheduled for a Memorial Day release and you can order the print edition now to be delivered around that same day at the link above. Rosie’s story is: Slivers of Hope.
Slivers of Hope started as one of those serendipitous light-blub moments on a dark January night while driving home. The moon was almost full, the stars twinkly bright and no patches of cloud to be seen anywhere. The uphill stretch of road was bendy and the silvery grazing fields were about turn into dark forest. Up through the gap in the trees I saw a wide silvery contrail crossing diagonally. It gave every impression of climbing from a field to my right and going off into space on my left. What a pity I could not drive my car up along it?
Being an aeronautical turned systems engineer, I knew it was a ridiculous idea. Or was it? The waves in the contrail suggested some hefty fluid dynamics going on. If only it could be stabilised to lift weight? Yes it might work for a miniscule vehicle. No way for any decent sized object. I’d need another action force like they do for mag-lev trains. How? Well that cloud could be magnetic. A step in the right direction. Still way short of being able to carry a man, let alone a car. What more could I do? Needless to say, this engineer thoroughly enjoyed herself in building up the ideas into a feasible concept of cloud-based surfboard to ride into space.
It was so far off the normal engineering designs the only way I could use it was to write it into a science fiction story.
The British have a tradition of people coming up with ideas and kind of developing them in their backyard. Take Steve Bennett for example. He wanted to build prototype rocket systems to investigate the feasibility of space tourism. Of course he needed sponsorship and got it. One sponsor was the Tate and Lyle a famous company in the UK for producing sugar, because the fuel he used in his first rockets was sugar.
It was only natural my protagonist had to be a backyard inventor. Only snag was that there were so many different technologies involved that it would have taken a super-genius to develop the space surfboard alone. He needed help. Well I had to put some realism into the plot!
The other story issue was I needed to compare this technology with the actual available space technology. There was only one country I could do that in. So I had to move my story to the USA.
And the result was Slivers of Hope.
I am thankful Space Force: Building the Legacy came along to give it good home.
Rosie Oliver has been in love with science fiction ever since she discovered a whole bookcase of yellow-covered Gollancz science fiction books in Chesterfield library. She was very disappointed when she read the last of those novels. her only option then was to write science fiction. Which is what she did after gaining two Masters degrees in mathematics, and a career in aeronautical turned system engineering. To help her along the way, she gained an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. She has nearly 30 science fiction stories published in magazine, anthologies and as standalone e-publications. She recently gained a Silver Honourable Mention from the Writers of the Future contest to go along with her previous 9 Honourable Mentions. Her website is: https://rosieoliver.wordpress.com