Hard SF for Connoisseurs "Real page turners in the footsteps of Clarke & Heinlein"      



In the news is the fact that the Japanese have discovered 44 new exoplanets Ė planets orbiting other stars and of those, 16 were Earth size. The number of exoplanets now known is growing rapidly enabling scientists to learn more about how solar-systems operate. Interestingly, a number of those exoplanets orbit very close to their stars, having a year which is shorter than our day. Would be amazing to see them close up.

Wherever you are, if you get clear skies this weekend, take a look at the Perseids meteor shower. Some years they can reach 200 meteors per hour, although it is more normally 50 to 70.Tonight is the best chance of seeing the Perseids. The image is courtesy Bay Media (click for larger version). Tonight (12th August) should be the best view. It coincides with a new moon this year so the sky should be pretty dark. If you look towards the east in the early hours of 13th, you should get lucky within a few minutes if the skies are clear. You'll need to hope for a clear sky and stay up after midnight for the best of the show if you're in the UK.

Many of you will have seen the probe being launched to the sun this morning. It should teach us a lot more about the source of all energy in the solar system. Pretty important research as, without the sun, there would be no life on Earth. The sun creates its own bow-wave as it moves through the galaxy.Artistís impression courtesy Alder Planetarium/NASA (click for larger version).The solar wind is deflected away from the Earth by the van Allen magnetic radiation belts, but Mars is not so lucky. This means that most of the atmosphere on Mars has been blown away by the solar wind. Scientists now believe that there is a limit to how far the solar wind extends and that the spacecraft, New Horizons, which recently visited Pluto, might have detected it. Beyond that point, dust and gases from the rest of the Milky Way accumulate, unable to resist the force exerted by the sun. The boundary is way beyond Pluto. The two Viking craft, launched in the seventies, might also have detected it, but we didnít know what it was at that time. The sun is, of course, orbiting the centre of our galaxy and itís now believed it might be creating a sort of bow-wave with its solar wind. Donít think Iíve heard that idea from anywhere before.


On a lighter note, I found this spoof discussion on the web and thought you might enjoy it:


Science Fiction

The new version of MINDSLIP is now published and also on Wattpad.

Moonscape and my other new work (currently unnamed) are on hold as Iíve been rewriting THE VISITOR. When I first wrote it, the SpaceX Crew Dragon and the Boeing Crew Starliner were still pie-in-the-sky, but now they are on the verge of replacing Soyuz for American and European crew launches. In addition, my failure to find a publishersí agent means that time is ticking onwards and the future into which Evelyn Slater is launched, has become precipitously close.

The new version pushes her launch back from 2027 to 2035, but I donít want to lose the sections on the Soyuz launch and return to Earth so her Scaffy Wagon expedition is an ESA/Roscosmos joint venture in the new version.

If you havenít read it, most of the new version is on Wattpad and the remainder should be up sometime during the coming week. It will then be republished in eBook and paperback form.

This is the Wattpad link if you want to read the new version FOC: The Visitor - intelligent SF.

Below is Chapter 5 of MINDSLIP read by me. The book wonít make sense unless you have heard the previous chapters. This is a link to Chapter 1.

12th August 2018


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(Note dates are British d/m/y)




TO BOLDLY GO! 22.7.2018












Comment on Chapter One of THE VISITOR

What a way to leave us hanging! An invisible enemy too... Fabulous. My only comment would be that I couldnít picture what they were wearing clearly. Perhaps a few sentences on that so we can picture them right from the get go? Perhaps from a glimpse at her reflection in the window? Canít wait to read more. G

Comment on Wattpad after having read GREEN DOOR

What an AMAZING STORY!!! I enjoyed every single chapter! Extremely well done in making such a complex topic so enjoyable @TonyHarmsworth! I hope you are considering applying for multiple awards with this. It truly deserves wide readership and praise. I canít wait to read your next story! All the very best, G

Comment on Wattpad after having read THE VISITOR

Hi can you please send for me some of your other book titles .They are actually wow!

Comment from an old schoolfriend

I've read all three [science fiction paperbacks] and can't wait for the next. They are all very different, showing that you are not a one-trick pony. I especially appreciated the way you understood how to write Green Door as a novella whereas Mindslip and The Visitor were novels, where you took the time to really develop the characters. And the way you weaved horror and sci-fi in Mindslip was stunningly clever.

Comment on THE VISITOR

Such a wonderful story!! Thanks for sharing. I loved it ?

Comment on THE VISITOR referring to one particular chapter

Beautifully written chapter. I've got tears ? flooding eyes. Very very emotional.

Comment on THE VISITOR

I love it! You describe the science so well and the way you write takes me to Eve's reality. She's brilliant.

Another rejection letter from an agent:

ďThanks for sending me the material on The Visitor and Mindslip.

ďIt is good to see that these are getting good reviews, but Iím afraid I didnít hugely take to the narrative style, and wouldnít therefore be a good advocate.

ďIím sorry to not have better news, but thanks again for the opportunity to consider your work. I hope you find representation soon, and wish you every success.

ďAll the best,Ē

### #####

Comment on MINDSLIP

Oh man! You evil, evil man! You made me choke. Well, I heard many women wish some men had the chance to experience first hand the joys of giving birth. Lol.

Comment on MINDSLIP

Iím in absolute awe at this book itís so amazing to read on a Saturday or whenever. Thanks for writing it. I appreciate good works like this.


Comment on THE VISITOR

Great hard scifi from a developing leader of the genre, strong characters living in a thought-provoking world all too similar to our own. A real page turner in the footsteps of Asimov, Clarke and others, highly recommend.

Amazon Review

Comment on MINDSLIP

Chapter 31 made me cry.

Male pensioner

Hope it wasn't how bad the writing was! TH

Comment on THE VISITOR

5.0 out of 5 stars Space is full of wonders and this book portrays a possibility.

Format: Kindle Edition

Spent part of my spring break reading this book. I couldn't put it down. It's an exciting story, with characters I've connected to the past few days. The ending is sad, but there's a sort of happy ending if you have an open mind about life.

C.L. Trujillo

Latest comment on GREEN DOOR

Wonder, you created wonder. Congratulations.

Loch Ness Understood email:

"Well done, Tony, an absolutely fantastic read... felt compelled to leave a review on Amazon.

"One of the final chapters about you having a stroke is much scarier than any monster...hope you are keeping well. Anyway... my review:

"Always been fascinated with the unexplained...ghosts,ufo,s,loch Ness monsters etc etc. Tony begins his story just like me as a sort of believer then digs deeper into the world of fakery,hoaxers and scientific study, and ends up involved and embroiled in the industry that basically keeps the monster a reality... a fantastic insight into Tony and Adrian Shine's life covering all the history of the loch from ice ages, to dodgy business deals, the photographs to sonar scans... also Tony describing the humble beginnings of the loch Ness visitor centre to what it is today.a major tourist attraction... if you believe or if you don't believe, the monster's legend will never go away and this is a fantastic book that adds reality to the fantasy..."

THE VISITOR comment: Jessicaf5377

Omg I LOVED it!!!!!! Please please write their adventures! I wanna see the cool stuff you come up with in the other worlds!

Sidenote: I'm so embarrassed to say that I guarantee that's how our world would act and come across to them if an alien did come! Makes me sad and disappointed. Maybe that's why we HAVEN'T been visited publicly, if there is such a thing. They know we couldn't handle it and we would just take advantage of the technology and never grow emotionally and mentally. :-(

LOCH NESS UNDEFRSTOOD comment: Angela Young

Read many books on the mystery of loch Ness. This is by far one of the best and also one of the most well written and an honest and incisive true account...fantastic read

THE VISITOR comment: "A fast paced scientifically accurate plot that is thought provoking and predictive of technological development based on todays devices. An enjoyable read that I highly recommend."

Agents seem to be spring-cleaning their slush pile of manuscripts. Two rejections within twenty-four hours. This is the second one, which is also the quickest rejection I've had:

"Thank you very much for your enclosures and letter of the 9th April. I have looked at these and found them very well done. I am afraid though, I am being very very cautious as to what I take on and I just donít feel able to take this further. But I do wish you every success elsewhere and my position is more a reflection of the market-place than the material itself.

"Thank you again for thinking of me.

"My best,

"Peter ßßßßßß"

Got to get back up and send some more off.

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