**There are references in this posting to the MARS mini-series. I am going to do my best to avoid spoilers (the fact is, I haven’t finished the last episode myself), but one man’s spoiler is another’s old news.
Over the holidays I recorded the NatGeo series MARS; this is a dramatized hypothetical mission to put mankind on Mars and create a permanent colony (not an exploratory mission as we saw in the excellent The Martian with Matt Damon) and interspersed with present-day discussion and action moving toward that goal in a documentary style.
I was really excited when I saw this series coming – as much as I liked The Martian, it was about a temporary human presence forced by an accident, the film completes as we applaud because everyone gets to leave the Red Planet. And that’s the end of it – the experience was too reminiscent of the way the Apollo missions became a stand-alone, isolated accomplishment that led to nothing sustainable.
I’ve said it several times that I’ve wanted to go to Mars (anyone listening? Space-X? NASA?), and although I thought it unlikely that I would get there (physically), I never dreamed that we wouldn’t have a presence there by… 20 years ago. I believe in the need because we need to NOT have all our species’ eggs in this one fragile basket (I’ve seen too many extinction-level disaster movies), and because HUMANS MUST PUSH BEYOND to remain vital (I know there are some who would prefer that we remain snowflakes and couch-potatoes, but I think their working for our trans-galactic opponents.)
This seems to be understood by those who choose to go to Mars – they are willing to accept the risk of making the journey, the danger of landing, and the difficulties of trying to survive on an inhospitable, unfamiliar planet in the hopes of creating something permanent. It put me in mind of the explorers, and then colonists throughout history who’ve ventured beyond their known boundaries to discover and then settle in the unknown. Sure, passengers on an ocean-going vessel knew that they would eventually land somewhere that they could breath and find food, but there was no guarantee that they, or even their ship, would make it across the watery expanse.
Injury and death come soon in the series, but the mission continues on, although there are rumblings from the financiers to pull the plug with each setback. The colony is in a particularly bad situation right now (I’ve been delayed from finishing the last episode for a week or so), and it’s beginning to grate on me. Not that things look bad – what’s getting me is that the people in charge on Earth appear ready to bring the effort to a halt – to give up and bring everyone back home. We’re not talking about innovators, or explorers – we’re talking financiers worried about losing money, and politicians afraid of losing votes. I hope they don’t get their way.
If we’re going to ever get to Mars and hold onto it, we can’t listen to people who are only interested in their own personal interests, looking for the quick win; we need REAL LEADERSHIP. It’s in the human spirit to strive – to do these things “not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” We’ll need people in charge who will continue to remind us what it is, at our best, to be HUMAN.
My next story is all prepped and ready for ePub.
The Collective is ALL! At least that’s what Abbe’s been told, but events lead him to wonder if there might just be some intelligent life “out there.”
“The Collective Is All” is a short, speculative fiction that anthropomorphizes (that’s worth some Words With Friends points) the internal processes of our… processors. The release date is January 13th, but you can preorder now at all the usual places, including, but not limited to:
William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest publication Some More, And Yet Still Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND , can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books): https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri