Meandering Monday about Me and the Sea of Stars

Sometimes I think I must be some sort of snob tourist. I’ve talked about wanting to go to Mars for most of my life. On occasion, I’ve been asked (or asked myself – I’m not sure which. Does it matter?) whether I’d like to take a ride on the shuttle (yes, I know they’re not flying anymore) or spend time on the International Space Station, or do some sort of touristy trip in orbit – just an up into low or no gravity for a while, and then return to Earth.

My answer has always been no.

Mind you, it’s not like anyone has offered me the opportunity for any of this. If I suddenly had a chance to travel to the ISS, I doubt I would turn it down (hint, hint.) This is just me setting my priorities.

I’m starting to wonder if there’s also some fear in the mix.

In the age of Jacques Cousteau’s popularity (the 70’s?), I wanted to be an oceanographer. I like the ocean, and the idea of traveling around in a submersible was appealing to me. It never occurred to me until writing this that I never thought of myself in scuba gear, floating around in the infinite ocean.

In a submersible, there is an illusion of solidity – almost as if you’re walking on the earth. But being out there, in all that space with just a wetsuit?  In the shallows, on the continental shelf MAYBE – there at least I’d feel like I had some ground under me.

I’m the same about flying in airplanes – there’s that illusion of solidity again. I like sitting by the window and looking at the ground below – the ground under me is reassuring – as long as it doesn’t rise up suddenly. I’m never afraid that I’ll fall out the window, and rarely fear that the aircraft will go down.

I think of the people who cross our oceans – especially before the last century – and I’m not sure I would want to spend weeks out of sight of land. There is an illusion of solidity again – but no ship feels large when you can see nothing but ocean in all directions. Those explorers who decided to set sail across the empty water for parts unknown were really something. I’d be a coast hugger, thank you.

I talk about going to space quite often (and each year that I age it is more obviously a dream.)

I want to go into space, but the notion of just being in SPACE has no real appeal to me – other than maybe the novelty of the first half-hour or so. I want something firm and not-manmade under my feet. Time spent in aBill on Mars1 limitless abyss without even an up or down to anchor myself to? I don’t think so…

I want to make it to a planet. I’d settle for the Moon if I have to (gee, Bill, that’s big of you), but I’d like to make it to Mars. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t be biting my nails on the crossing – heck, maybe I’d be transformed being in non-terrestrial space and seeing those amazing out-of-this-world sights. But I know myself well enough to realize that if I did make it to Mars, I’d be there permanently. They’d have to pry the door handle out of my cold hands.

Guess that makes me a land lubber. Just saying…

Current Promotions

PurrMission-MainTall_025You can find the FREE In A Flash-2200Cover-Whiteseries starters for Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire & Detective Jimmy Delaney, along with my still discounted Swordsmaster and other special deals all listed HERE, on my Current Promotions page.

Reaching Out…

William Mangieri’s writing has been published on Daily Swordsmaster4Science Fiction. His other 80-some-odd short stories (plus his collections & Swordsmaster) can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:

To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW – you know you should…), go to
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:

• On BookBub: 
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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