New Year, Knightdom, Terraforming and more

Happy New Year! Let's start this year with Squire by Sara Alfageeh & Nadia Shammas, Opening Doors by Juliet Kemp, and NASA's Chief Scientist on terraforming Mars.

New Year, Knightdom, Terraforming and more
Photo by Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Welcome to 2022 fellow Frivolous!  Whether you were eager for the new year, or terrified of it, we've crashed through the door.  Some of us are taking stock of the past year-in-a-haze.  Some of us aren't.  Some of us are planning new things for the new year, with resolve or reluctance, or both.  Some of us aren't.

I'm looking forward to more stories to share with you all.  The past year began a year where so many writers processed the pandemic, the social gyrations, the political bizarreness, while dreaming of how things could have been different.  Personally, I'm resolved to read more, share more ad-hoc notes and thoughts.

To that point here's this week's notables!


Squire by Sara Alfageeh and Nadia Shammas

I came across Sara Alfageeh via a post on Twitter, on my quest to find writers and artists from other backgrounds.   The premise of the story is compelling I look forward to see how the narrative and worldbuilding are set differently than what I'm used to.  Squire is set to come out March 2022.  The story is set in an alternate history Middle East/North Africa, and follows a young 14-year old, born a second-class citizen, who's intent on becoming Knight.  When she enlists for the training program, she learns that the empire she's serving and it's mission may not include her or those like her, and that her fellow recruits may be in more danger than they know.


On Terraforming Mars...according to Jim Green

Terraforming a space rock is an idea that any SF reader and thinker has encountered at least once on their explorations.  Kim Stanley Robinson's Green Mars trilogy comes to mind as one of the major works that deals with this.

It's a bit of a surprise, but also pause-worthy, to read that NASA's retiring Chief Scientist also believes there's a way to terraform Mars, and Venus as well, with the use of magnetic shields.  He published a paper to that extent back in 2017.


Opening Doors by Juliet Kemp (Cossmass Infinities Issue #7)

Paul Campbell's publication is a wonderful magazine of short stories from new and diverse authors.  Opening Doors is a simple story dealing with the implications of how a colony carries out justice for murder.  When you're the first set of one hundred colonists, how does you deal with criminal actions?  Along with this ethical question, Kemp weaves in loss, illness, and sense of worth.  It's thought-provoking and definitely an "idea story" with very little plot-wise.