Next Files

A site for commentary on science fiction and science



Book writing the Andy Weir way – you bet!


The mystery of the ocean was a gift given him by parents who spent most of their careers standing where he finds himself today. He stares into the great expanse of water just as they did. There was never a question. He simply headed into marine biology as his parents had. The ocean, where life began, holds answers for us, they would say. In a few hours, his pursuit would bring to an end one of the millions-year-old mysteries.

I have yet to read The Martian. Friends tell me it is a great read. USA Today tells us it is a crackling good read. Weir’s story is inspiring, even breathtaking. One day he is hoping people will read his book. The next day he is sitting opposite Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame and explaining how he did it, how his book rose to a bestseller.

That stratospheric success story might make a good book some day. All you need is a great premise, a few tips from the folks at the Jet Propulsion Lab and you’re book is off toward the clouds. I’m dying to get my hands on it and I will when I finish my own effort.

Would I like to see my book do the same? Can astronauts “science the shit out” of getting themselves off Mars?


Is nothing sacred to those in Congress?

You can tell Congress that swapping an Apache holy site to a foreign mining company is reprehensible – just plain wrong. Sign:

To Members of the US Congress and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell: As concerned people from across the world, we believe the recent rider to the National Defense Authorization Act that opens up National Forest land in Arizona to copper mining, land held sacred by the San Carlos Apache, is an outrage likely tied to campaign spending by the mining industry. We the undersigned demand immediate repeal or amendment of this rider, and an apology to the local Apache whose cultural heritage is being put up for sale.

Please click on this link to go to the petition: #SaveOakFlat

Chapter 2 is available for download

Frontier scifi icon
click to go to site

Conditions were not right the first time a NASA probe flew by. Oddly enough, it was the Hubble telescope that later took images of what the Galileo missed. Geysers shooting 125 miles into space beckoned from Jupiter’s domain.

Europa was envisioned as something like a Lava Lamp.

Read chapters from the novel by author Raymond Alvarez

Continue reading “Chapter 2 is available for download”

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