Up Towards It, a science fiction novel by environmental engineer Laura J. Mixon, explores life aboard the asteroid 25 Phocaea. The guide takes a extra practical method to area journey, eschewing acquainted tropes comparable to FTL drives and instantaneous communication.
“After I’m studying science fiction, one of many issues I can actually get into is stuff that’s received a whole lot of scientific grounding,” Mixon says in Episode 517 of the Geek’s Information to the Galaxy podcast. “After I write, I attempt to actually delve into that problem of ‘How can I make this plausible however nonetheless actually blow the reader’s thoughts?’”
Up Towards It paints a vivid image of an area colony filled with asteroid miners, gene hackers, and Martian mobsters. One fascinating element is “the Circuit,” a ceremony of passage wherein characters make a 13-year voyage across the asteroid belt. “Notably as a result of folks dwell longer [in the future], they really feel like they’ll afford to try this,” Mixon says. “It’s type of just like the individuals who climb Everest, solely I believe there’s somewhat bit extra of a way that you just’re probably not a ‘stroider except you’ll be able to say that you just’ve finished this.”
One of many guide’s predominant characters is Jane Navio, commissioner of useful resource administration on 25 Phocaea. For inspiration, Mixon drew on her personal expertise as a company officer at a scandal-plagued funding financial institution. “I believe Jane’s regrets about her previous, and having to cope with all of the political machinations and how one can get issues achieved when folks may need very completely different agendas than yours, that very a lot influenced Up Towards It,” she says.
She hopes the guide will assist encourage human settlements elsewhere within the photo voltaic system. “I do suppose that storytellers are a extremely necessary a part of bringing concerning the futures that we need to see,” she says. “You could have to have the ability to think about it earlier than you are able to do it, so I wished to write down tales about that.”
Take heed to the whole interview with Laura J. Mixon in Episode 517 of Geek’s Information to the Galaxy (above). And take a look at some highlights from the dialogue under.
Laura J. Mixon on her first novel Astropilots:
Melinda Snodgrass was buddies with Ellen Datlow, who was the buying editor for this new YA collection they had been launching. They had been searching for proposals, and swiftly I simply had this flash of what I knew I wished to write down. I sat down and I wrote the primary three chapters and an overview in only a very quick time period—whereas I used to be nonetheless sick with the flu, through the Thanksgiving weekend—after which despatched it out. After which, in every week and a half or two weeks, Ellen contacted me and instructed me she wished to purchase it. I used to be flabbergasted. I by no means thought it might be that straightforward.
Laura J. Mixon on her novel Proxies:
I used to be studying how one can write that as I went. It’s a multi-viewpoint story. The primary character you meet has amnesia, and it seems that particular person is definitely one in all three personalities that occupy the identical physique. That particular person is a younger man who has been skilled to mainly cut up his consciousness—basically he has [dissociative identity disorder]—however it was induced in order that he might management completely different proxy our bodies on the similar time. One in all them is a lady, and she or he is without doubt one of the predominant characters of the guide. That’s a difficult factor to write down—and doubtless to learn—however I do have a whole lot of fondness for that guide.
Laura J. Mixon on asteroids:
The primary scene I wrote [in Up Against It] was really from Jane’s perspective, when she’s swinging out on the vines. They’ve these tethers, which is a method that they’ll journey amongst completely different asteroids. There are three which are strung alongside in the identical orbit, and so they use ion correctional jets to maintain them aligned, however the remainder of it, there’s what I name “treeways,” that are these inflexible cables that span out from the cables amongst these three asteroids—as a result of asteroids are actually far aside. Everytime you see within the motion pictures the place they’ve all these asteroids clustered collectively, that’s not the way in which it actually appears.
Laura J. Mixon on analysis:
One in all my purchasers was a mining firm, BHP Billiton, and David Porterfield was my predominant contact. So a whole lot of the mining particulars, he was very joyful for me to interview him and get details about the sorts of challenges that miners face and speculate about, “What would it not be like in a microgravity surroundings?” I instructed him that I wished Geoff and his buddies to have one thing believable however funky and bizarre to combat off the baddies after they get cornered in Geoff’s little declare, and he instructed me about potato weapons. He stated, “I even have one and we are able to exit and hearth it.” It was a great deal of enjoyable.