Original Title: Rock Killer
Author: S. Evan Townsend
Publisher: World Castle Publishing
Published Date: December 15th 2011
Genre: Science fiction
Space Resources, Inc. (SRI) mines asteroids for the riches a populated Earth needs without degrading the planet. Yet there are those opposed to progress in whatever its form such as the Gaia Alliance, a front group for eco-terrorists. During a violent attack on the Moon, the terrorists steal an exploration ship, arm it, and rename it the Rock Killer. Charlene "Charlie" Jones of SRI security is trying to infiltrate the Gaia Alliance's cabal to find evidence linking them to the murder of her fiancé. But a run-in with the law threatens to reveal her identity to the dangerous men of the Alliance. Simultaneously, SRI Director Alexander Chun is traveling to the asteroid belt to bring a kilometer-long nickel-iron rock back to Earth orbit to mine for its valuable metals. Following him and his multi-national team is the Rock Killer. Without armaments, millions of miles from help, Chun must stop those who threaten him and the lives of his crew.
- Guest post by S Evan Townsend
If aliens ever came to Earth (and I'm pretty sure they haven't) or we met them in space, we might have similar silly reactions. They might be able to do things that we could only explain away as "magic." Because no matter what our science fiction writers, me included, have thought of for alien technology, I guarantee you it will be more powerful and more alien than we can imagine. We may just throw up our hands and say it's magic.
That is a human tendency to ascribe what we don't understand to the supernatural. It's where our myths and legends come from. At my old job I was the IT guy simply because I played with computers at home and had taught myself a lot about them on my own (and IT guy was only one of several hats I wore at the small business). But when it came to networking and the internet, I had (and still have) very little conception of how it works. I plug my CAT-5 cable into the back of my computer (or log onto WiFi) and hope it works. To me, it's magic. I'm sure if I did the research or took the right classes, it would demystify it for me. It would no longer be magic.
When I was younger I dabbled in magic of the "pull a rabbit out of the hat" type. And I learned that everything has a trick or a gimmick to it. I remember when David Copperfield on national television made the Statue of Liberty disappear. I laughed when I saw it because I immediately figured out how he did it. (I won't reveal how.) But I approached it as "it's a trick, so how could he do it?" not "it's magic!"
Being a magician made me very skeptical of any claims of paranormal acts or abilities. I know ways to make you think I can read your mind or tell the future. But I'm up front: this is a magic trick. Magicians are honest that way. Hucksters such as those claiming to communicate with dead people or predict the future and make money at it are not. Try an experiment: walk into a room of 100 people and say, "Does anybody here have a dead relative whose name begins with the letter 'J'?" and I'll bet at least five hands go up. OMG you're psychic. No, you're playing the odds.
So I don't believe in magic, psychic abilities, or that aliens have come to Earth (are they so hard up for dates they have to kidnap rednecks for anal probing?). Does it make the world mundane? Are you kidding? Just because I know what causes a rainbow, doesn't make it less beautiful. Because I know how cars work, doesn't make driving them less fun.
Of course, there is one mystery I'll always attribute to magic: the power of women.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
S. Evan Townsend is a writer living in central Washington State. After spending four years in the U.S. Army in the Military Intelligence branch, he returned to civilian life and college to earn a B.S. in Forest Resources from the University of Washington. In his spare time he enjoys reading, driving (sometimes on a racetrack), meeting people, and talking with friends. He is in a 12-step program for Starbucks addiction. Evan lives with his wife and two sons aged 18 and 20, and has a son attending the University of Washington in biology. He enjoys science fiction, fantasy, history, politics, cars, and travel.
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