October 24th, 1946: The First Time Earthlings saw Earth from Space

As science and technology perpetually shoot forward at the speed of light, there are a lot of things we take for granted today, which would’ve been totally bizarre to past generations. For example, isn’t it weird that telephone calls used to involve using a human operator, instead of calling people directly? Isn’t it odd that “computer” was once a job description?

Or how about this: before human beings ever had the ridiculously ambitious idea of jumping on a rocket and going into the stars, what did they think the Earth looked like?

Seriously, stop and think about this for a moment. Today, popular culture is so inundated with images of our little blue globe that it’s odd to remember that, once upon a time, people had no idea what it looked like from the outside. Sure, everyone knew it was round—ancient Greek mathematicians figured that out thousand of years ago, according to the Independent—but for the majority of human history, it was like every one of us was locked into one house, totally unaware what color the outside paint might be.

Humankind is nothing if not ambitious, so naturally, lots of people tried to figure out what our little globe looked like from space, with varying results. The U.S. Library of Congress shared some of these old images back in 2013, and you have to give those artists an A+ for effort. For example, check out this image of the Earth and the Moon, as seen from Mars, drawn by Marcianus Filomeno Rossi in 1920:

Marcianus Filomeno Rossi

Not bad, right?

Anyhow all that speculation came to an end on this date in history, October 24th, in the year of  1946. According to Vice, it’s now been over 70 years since this pivotal day, where a rocket launched from the U.S. southwest shot into the sky and snagged Earth’s very first selfie:

first photo of earth from space october 24 1946

Sure, there have been a lot of better photos since then. But there’s something magical about looking at this picture, and realizing that it was the first time we ever got to see ourselves.

Meanwhile, if you’re into spacey coincidences: the date of October 24 also marked the death of astronomer Tycho Brahe in 1601, and legendary Star Trek creator Gene Rodenberry passed away on October 24th, 1991.

Novel #3 News

Big news on Novel #3: I’ve officially contracted with Red Adept Publishing, the same publishing company that brought you Pale Highway!

Still too early for an actual release date, but for now, let’s assume that Novel #3 will be heading your way probably sometime in 2017. What is the title? What is it going to be about? Oh, just wait. It’s a weird one. All I will say is that it’s a science fiction story, and it deals with traumatic brain injuries. But hey, if you thought Pale Highway was a strange book, oh boy…

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In the meantime, Pale Highway is still on Amazon, and is now celebrating its one year anniversary. To make sure you guys have something new in the meantime, that short-short novelette I mentioned a few months back should be on its way before the year is over, probably in December. More news coming soon!

A Trio of Writing Updates

Happy May, everyone! Between sunny days and random April snow flurries on the East Coast, I think it’s about time to fill everyone in on three writing projects that I have on the way. I’ll start with the obvious one:

UPDATE #1:

First of all, there’s been steady development on my next book, which for now we’ll just call Novel #3. It’s in terrific shape, and I’m excited to show it to you guys; it’s a story that has torn my heart to pieces multiple times, thrown me between the depths of tragedy and the heights of exhilarated joy. For those of you who enjoyed Pale Highway, buckle your seatbelts – because I promise that this next story is going to be just as weird.

I’m predicting that Novel #3 will probably hit sometime next year in 2017. Too early to name a release date, but that’s my guess. I’ll keep the storyline a mystery for now, but I can’t resist the urge to drop clues, so here’s a teaser image:

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And we’ll leave it that, for now!

UPDATE #2:

In the meantime: for those of you who listened to my interview on Don’t Dis My Ability,  you know that I’m working with Portsmouth Community Radio to write a radio play that will be broadcast later this year, titled Something in the Nothing.

Something in the Nothing will depict one night in the life of a nursing aide, as she spends the end of her shift speaking to an Alzheimer’s patient about his life story, who he was, and who he is now. Something in the Nothing will air on WSCA FM 106.1 later this year, and for non-New Hampshirites, will also be available online via their website. It’s still a ways off, but don’t worry, I’ll keep you guys in the loop.

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UPDATE #3:

I know Novel #3 in 2017 is still a ways off, and so I’ve also been working on a smaller project that I’m aiming to release for you all this year.

Sometime this year, either in the summer or fall, I’ll be releasing a new short novelette, a surrealistic fantasy in the vein of Pale Highway, but smaller in scope. I’ve been working on this novelette as a side project for some years, and after falling in love with the characters, concept, and story, I just knew that I had to put it out there for all of you to read.

I look forward to sharing more details about his upcoming novelette soon, and I thank all of you for following along, reading, writing, and sharing coffees as this amazing journey continues. Cheers!