Posts Tagged ‘Space’

Taking a break from release news, we’re giving over the blog today to an extract from Steven M. Caddy’s exploration adventure novel In Exchange.

Inexchange

Order In Exchange, Book 1 in the Michael Morgan series by Steven M. Caddy for £11.99 including free UK delivery

“Sunlight shone in through the windows in Michael’s room. The windows were too high to see out of, unless you climbed up to peek out. The benefit of having such high windows was that the space agency didn’t have to bother with any curtains.

Michael stirred having slept well. His feet were hanging over the side of the bed, and the pillows were on the floor. For a moment, he forgot where he was, but managed to stay still enough to not fall out of bed again. His shin was a little bruised from his adventure trying to cross the room in the dark the night before. He sat himself up to have a look at his surroundings. He’d been too tired to look at anything in detail the previous night.

Michael’s room was sparsely decorated, with painted cinder block walls. Next to his bed was a small white table that had a lamp and a telephone on it. He sighed; thinking how useful the lamp would have been if he’d spotted it before turning off the lights. It might have prevented his injury. Michael rolled across the bed, and played with the lamp’s switch. The lamp came on. Michael turned it off again, and tutted.

On the floor were the clothes that Michael had travelled in, the elasticated plimsolls similar to the ones he wore on the space station, his two bags, and the piles of clothes that had been on his bed when he arrived. Michael slid off the bed, and sat himself on the floor to inspect the clothing. There were four plain t-shirts of various colours to go with the white one he was wearing, a light blue short-sleeved shirt, some basic underwear and socks, a couple of pairs of shorts, some blue canvas trousers, a pair of trainers, a pair of black leather shoes, and a thick fluffy towelling dressing robe. He put on the dressing robe, and felt warmer. At the end of his bed, he also found a pair of sturdy walking boots, which felt heavy and didn’t appeal to him.”

You can get your copy of In Exchange from the Etsy store, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Nook, iBooks and Amazon.

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We’re blasting off from Earth today and heading into space with an extract from In Exchange, the debut novel by Steven M. Caddy. We hope that you enjoy it and if you’re curious about the world of Michael Morgan, you can find out more here!

In Exchange: An extract

A flash of light tore through a scene of ecstasy. Michael pictured himself standing on a stage with a nameless band, plucking the strings of a bass guitar as a throng of screaming, sweating teenage girls surged towards forwards. He grimaced as he fought to hold on to the image in his mind, but it was no good. He was awake. He opened his eyes to reveal his darkened surroundings.

Damned cosmic radiation, Michael thought. He often saw little dashes of light skipping across his vision, caused by high energy particles that raced through outer space. Unfortunately, this usually happened when he was having his best dreams.

Michael’s life was something of an experiment because he was the first person born in space. He often fantasised about what he called “Earth life”. Daedalus, the space station that he called home, was very unlike Earth. Everything floated about to start with, and obtaining supplies was time consuming and expensive.

Michael pushed himself over towards a control panel, and adjusted the lighting. He turned and reached out to open a window blind. The window revealed the Earth’s continents speeding by at a furious pace. He pressed his nose to the window and looked at the planet. “Southern Australia, with the sun setting,” he said out loud, his breath fogging the window.

“I thought I could hear you moving about.”

“Max!” Michael exclaimed with a start. “I didn’t hear you open the hatch.”

“You’re awake early,” Max said in a casual voice. “Much more awake now that you’ve tried to jump out of your skin like that.”

“Yeah, very funny. A cosmic ray got me.”

“Lucky you. We don’t get many of those in low Earth orbit.”

“They always wake me up when I get to a good bit.”

“You remember your dream?”

“Yeah, I was playing bass in a band. We were on stage, in front of lots of good-looking girls.”

“Wow. I don’t dream at all when I’m in orbit.”

“Really?”

Max nodded.

Michael thought he knew Max well. The astronauts lived together in extremely close quarters, and didn’t usually keep many secrets from each other. However, Max hadn’t talked about his sleep problems in this much detail before.

“I know you’ve been issued with sleeping tablets. Maybe they make you sleep extra deep or something,” Michael said.

“Maybe. Anyway, the sleep problems are why mission control won’t let me do the normal six month tours up here. Not without taking a break for a couple of weeks in the middle.”

“But isn’t that better?” Michael asked. “You get to bring more fresh food with you. You can also see your friends and family more often.”

Max didn’t say anything. Michael’s words apparently hit a nerve.

Max pulled himself next to Michael, and recovered from his reverie. “So what have you got scheduled for today?”

“I haven’t checked the schedule yet, but I guess it’ll be more physical exercises as usual.”

“Uh huh.”

“And it’s Friday, so there’ll be a conference call with the nerds at mission control.”

“You don’t like the mission scientists, do you?”

“Not while they treat me like some sort of orbiting lab rat,” Michael furrowed his brow, and turned to look at Max. “At least you seem to understand me a bit.”

“Chocolate nut bar for breakfast?”

Michael’s sour expression melted into a wide smile. “I keep telling you that you’re the best. Mind if I remove the taste of last night’s curry first?”

Max nodded, and grabbed a hand rail to pull himself back into the core of the space station.

Michael rushed to brush his teeth, and threw his tooth-brush into a locker. With elegance learnt from years of living in micro-gravity, he pushed himself away into a forward roll, and headed over to the hatch to follow Max.

“I’d close the hatch after you,” Max called down the space station.

“Following all the safety rules today?”

“No, it’s just a mess in there, and I’d rather commander Yvetts didn’t see it first thing this morning.”

“Her lab is just as bad.”

“Not really. She keeps her lab tidy.”

“But all those rabbit posters?”

“Okay. Yeah. I prefer to see rabbits in a stew, not on posters.”

Michael considered Max’s comment about rabbit stew for a moment.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had rabbit on the station menu,” Michael said.

“Maybe I should suggest having it added?”

Michael shrugged. Max reached into a locker, pulled out a silver wrapped package, and sent it tumbling down the space station towards Michael who gave Max a quizzical look.

“Chocolate nut bar,” Max confirmed.

“Any of those bananas left that Jameson smuggled aboard?”

“Nope. He could only hide four in his baggage.”

“Pity. It was one of your better ideas, asking him to bring them with him.”

“If Dr Kleets found out that you’d been taking on extra calories, he’d be mincing me for lunch.”

“Boring British bumbling-”

“He’s still your mission doctor. He’s not someone you should ignore.”

Michael ripped open the package, and shoved the nut bar into his mouth.

“When is everyone else due to wake up?” Michael asked, still chewing.

“Another hour. You woke up very early this morning.”

Michael looked at his watch. 06:07.

“I guess I can get started on my exercises, before everyone else gets up,” Michael said.

“I would. Get them in before your conference call.”

Max pulled himself over to a window to admire the view while nothing else was going on.

“Max, do you think it matters that I’ve been pushing myself a bit harder with my exercise schedule?” Michael asked after a few minutes.

“That sounds a bit unlike you,” Max raised one of his bushy eyebrows.

“Maybe, but I can’t see what harm it would do to build myself up a bit.”

“It’d help burn off the extra calories.”

Michael nodded, and pulled the exercise rack into place. He located the securing bolts, and strapped himself down for a quick thirty minute march.

“Hey, could you fetch my mp3 player from my lab? It’s hanging next to the sleeping rack,” Michael asked Max.

“I suppose. And then I could try to get a bit more sleep, since you’re on top of things.”

“Yeah, I’ve done this a few thousand times now. You don’t need to watch me.”

“Watching you exercise is like watching paint dry. Although sometimes the paint moves quicker.”

“Cheeky!”

Max pulled himself along the space station’s core towards lab four to recover Michael’s small, battered mp3 player.

“What are you listening to at the moment?” Max enquired as he clambered his way back to Michael.

“Dented Armour – the best bass lines I can find.”

Max had never heard of ‘Dented Armour’ and decided now wasn’t the time to find out. He left Michael to his exercises, and dragged himself off to his laboratory to try to get some sleep.

As Michael exercised, he listened to his music, which wasn’t quite loud enough to block out the snores emanating from laboratory four. From this, Michael could deduce that Commander Alexandra Yvetts was still asleep. He gazed along the familiar layout of the space station’s central core. From the galley area at the rear of Daedalus, he could see the hatches to all the laboratories, airlocks, and return or resupply modules docked to ports on the four faces of the core.

Two loud tones from the station’s intercom startled Michael. He flinched, and ripped his earphones out of his ears. Alarms always made Michael rather nervous.

Inexchange

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It’s July 1st once again, which means it’s Indie Pride Day! Yes, it’s one of our favourite days of the years (the others including May 4th, Tolkien’s birthday, World Book Day, the E3 conference days – well we could go on, but it’s still a pretty great day)

It’s been a bit of an up and down and quiet time for use here at Mightier Than the Sword UK for a wide variety of reasons. In the next week we expect to be making some major announcements on a range of topics, so keep checking back for those.

So as it is Indie Pride Day, we wanted to take this opportunity to shout about two books in particular.

  1. In Exchange

IN EXCHANGE EBOOKfb size

Yes, the children’s space epic aimed at boys between 12 and 16 is one that we could gush about all day, but instead we will simply say that this is an incredible book that is a must read for any space enthusiast – young or merely young at heart.

http://mybook.to/inexchange

2. FATE

Though we have yet to do an official blog post about this one, Fate is the first book in the series, The Children of Ribe and C.S. Woolley’s first children’s book. Set in the Viking lands of Denmark, this is a book for children of any age – it’s written as a book that can be read on your own or out loud as stories in the Viking times were told (we’re waiting for someone to attempt singing the whole thing).

Priced from £1.80 for digital copies and from £4.99 for paperbacks – there really is no reason why you can’t find yourself gripped by FATE today!

http://mybook.to/TheChildrenofRibe1

http://etsy.me/1rk6CdX

 

 

 

Soviet cosmonaut, Valentia Tereshkova was born on 6th March 1937 in the Yaroslavl Region of the former Soviet Union. She was the middle child of three. Her mother worked in a textile plant and her father drove a tractor. She was 8 years old when she started going to school in 1945. In 1953 she left school to start work. However, she didn’t give up on her education. Valentina continued to learn by taking correspondence courses.

Valentia Tereshkova was interested in parachuting, and it was her expertise in parachute jumping that led to her being chosen as a cosmonaut. She was an amateur parachutist and worked in a textile factory when she was recruited to join the Soviet’s cosmonaut program.

Valentina was one of four women chosen for a special women-in-space program, though Valentina was the only woman of the four who completed a space mission.

Valentina Tereshkova took of in Vostok 6 on 6th June 1963 and became the first woman to fly in space. She orbited the Earth 48 times in a flight that lasted for 70.8 hours. When she landed, she never flew again, but she was named as a Hero of the Soviet Union and became a spokesperson for them.  She also received the United Nations Gold Medal of Peace whilst she was acting as the spokesperson for the Soviet Union.

On 3rd November 1963, Valentina Tereshkova married Andrian Nikolayev, another cosmonaut. They had a daughter named Elena who was the subject of  medical interest as she was the first child to ever be born to two parents that had both been exposed to space. Elena went on to become a doctor. Valentina Tereshkova and Andrian Nikolayev divorced in 1980.

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order for Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.

yuri-gagarin-time

Yuri Gagarin was the pilot of Vostok 1 and the first man in space to orbit the earth. He was born near Moscow on 9th March 1934 in the former Soviet Union.

He joined the Soviet Air Force in 1955 and was training to become a cosmonaut by 1959. It was on 12th April 1961 that Yuri Gagarin blasted off into space on Vostok 1.

 

 

04-gagarin-vostok1_34445_600x450Vostok 1 was a craft that was split into two parts. The first was the compartment where Yuri Gagarin sat and operated the controls of the spacecraft. The other section was filled with supplies such as oxygen and water.

Vostok 1 travelled at a speed of 27,400 kph whilst it circled the earth. The flight lasted 108 minutes. When it came to re-entry, Vostok 1 was controlled by a computer. Yuri Gagarin didn’t land in Vostok 1,instead he ejected from the spacecraft and parachuted down to earth again.

yuri-gagarin

This was Yuri Gagarin’s only venture into space. He was killed in a plane crash on 27th March 1968.

 

 

Yuri-Gagarin (1)

There is a crater on the far side of the moon that is named for Yuri Gagarin.

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order for Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.

The space race started in the late 1950s.

The Soviet Union and the USA were locked into the Cold War and getting man into space and onto the moon first was what the space race was all about. Of course it was a little more complicated than simply wanting to be first.

The two powers wanted to prove their their particular system of governance was better – the Soviet Union had communism and the United States had capitalism. Whichever side had the superior technology and military firepower would prove it had the superior political-economic system.

Sputnik

Sputnik was launched on 4th October 1957 and was the first artificial satellite that was put into orbit. It’s launch was a surprise to the Americans, especially since it was launched using a Soviet R-7 intercontinental ballistic missile.

Explorer 1

In 1958 the US launched their own satellite, Explorer 1 and President Eisenhower signed the public order that created NASA – the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Luna 2

Luna 2 was the Soviets next big push into space, as it was the first space probe to hit the moon.

Yuri Gagarin

Then came yet another first by the Soviets – on 12th April 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the earth in Vostock 1. Alan Shepard became the first American in space on 5th May 1961, though he didn’t orbit the earth. It wasn’t until February 1962 when John Glenn went into space that the Americans orbited the earth.

The Apollo Program

In May 1961, President John F. Kennedy made a very bold statement – that the US would land a man on the moon before the end of the decade.

Throughout the 1960s, 34,000 NASA employees and 375,000 contractors poured their efforts into getting man on the moon.

On 27th January 1967, the Apollo 1 tragedy claimed the lives of Edward White, Command Pilot; Virgil ‘Gus’ Grissom, Commander and Roger Chaffee, Pilot. The Apollo 1 spacecraft caught fire during a launch simulation and the three astronauts couldn’t escape the flames.

In December 1968, Apollo 8 was launched as the first manned space mission to orbit the moon.

Apollo 11

On 16th July 1969 Neil Armstrong, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Michael Collins blasted off in Apollo 11 to attempt the first moon landing in history.

Of course we know now that they were successful and the immortal words “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” have become forever etched into our minds, but at the time there were no guarantees and more than a few nervous people anxiously waiting to hear whether the United States had done the unimaginable and actually put a man on the moon.

The End of the Space Race

By landing on the moon, the United States had won the space race. The Soviets still tried to make their own moon landing, and had four failed attempts between 1969 and 1972. One of these attempts included a launch-pad explosion in July 1969.

As the United States had won the space race, public interest in lunar missions began to dwindle and the Apollo 13 mission was barely mentioned or even broadcast until it encountered a catastrophic failure during the mission flight.

Yet today, we are still fascinated by space, the exploration of it and the possibility that we will one day travel between different worlds and discover new life out there amongst the stars.

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order for Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.

 

IN EXCHANGE EBOOKfb sizeWe know it well from the great works of science fiction that are present in literature, on the small screen and the silver screen as well as the real world explorations of men and women like Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Tim Peake, Yuri Gagarin, Alfred WordenValentina Tereshkova, Alexei Leonov, Bruce McCandless and Jim Lovell, so we, at Mightier Than the Sword UK, are thrilled to announce another addition to the genre of science fiction – In Exchange.

Written by Steven M. Caddy, In Exchange is the story of Michael Morgan, the first person to be born in space and a boy that has never visited earth before. A book that is aimed at children from the age of 9 and upwards, this is a story that certainly had everyone in the office dreaming of what it would be like to live in space, much like Major Tim Peake is currently doing.

Steven M. Caddy has a passion for science and space. Whilst writing In Exchange, he attended a lecture given by, the one and only, Alfred Worden. There is a small section of the story that comes straight from Worden’s experience as part of the Apollo 15 crew. The jolt that is experienced during space flight is something he spoke of and Max’s line “Oh yeah, I probably should have warned you about that” is something that Commander David Scott of the Apollo 15 mission said to Worden.

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order for Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.