Tag Archives: Sci-fi

Asteroid Impact!

8 Jun

Asteroid Threat to Earth – Impact Point

 

With news that an asteroid as big as the Statue of Liberty could hit Earth on or around the 9th of September this year, we are reminded of how fragile our existence on planet Earth and all life upon it is as we travel around the Milky Way Galaxy.

An asteroid called 2006QV89 will come perilously close to our planet and could even smash into us. At 40 metres wide, the object is not big enough to cause too much damage however as It’s only about twice as large as the 20 metres object which exploded in the skies over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in 2013.

Having said that, The ‘airburst’ caused by this detonating meteorite left about 400 people injured, with most wounds caused by shards of flying glass from windows smashed by the shockwave. The energy from  the resulting explosion exceeded 470 kilotons of TNT.

If 2006QV89 exploded over a major city like London or New York, the damage could be much greater, but still only minor in comparison to what an Earth impacting meteorite could do!

Thankfully Nasa calculations reveal it has a 99.988% probability of missing Earth.

The threat from Earth impacting asteroids and comets will unfortunately never recede, you only have to be a dinosaur to know that! In more recent times we can consider the huge air burst that occurred over Siberia in 1908 – the Tunguska Event – levelling trees in the remote forest for miles around.

If that event occurred now over a major city, the effects would be cataclysmic.

Check out the incredible, ‘Daylight fireball’ footage taken in 1972 of an Earth-grazing meteorite that passed just 35 miles above the Earth before skimming the atmosphere and continuing its journey through the solar system – https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vBu-yUzWXqg

Such events can happen without warning, despite NASA and Earth’s scientists trying to track these things. A sobering thought however is that the number of scientists worldwide hunting for these things is about the amount of people who work at a McDonalds restaurant!

For Anyone who enjoys a good science fiction mystery thriller on this very theme and who is interested in learning more about this worrying threat, can jump in to my exciting thriller, Impact Point, available on kindle at Amazon.com and  Amazon.co.uk. Alternatively, please visit the author’s website for further information and similar books.

 

 

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Mystery of the ghost-ship S.S. Ourang Medan

17 Feb

Ourang Medan

Depending on which report is accurate, a curious radio message was received by numerous ships traveling along the Straits of Malacca, situated around Sumatra and Malaysia in either June 1947 or as late as February 1948. At the time, the origins of this message – an SOS – were not known. The message itself was divided into two parts, separated by Morse code that could not be deciphered. Those that received this message insisted that the transcript went:

All Officers, including the Captain, are dead. Lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead. … I die.

Nothing else was transmitted after this chilling conclusion. Two ships, both American, picked up the messages and felt compelled to investigate. With the help of British and Dutch listening posts, the coordinates of the vessel thought to be transmitting were triangulated.  It was the Dutch freighter S.S. Ourang Medan – above extract courtesy of Historic Mysteries.

Having come across the above story, i thought it was the perfect mystery to kick off my latest Spire action thriller with. Crypto, Spire 5 will be out sometime in May this year, but to whet your appetites, you can read the prologue below…

 

SPIRE 5

Crypto

 By

Si Rosser

Schmall World Publishing

First published in Great Britain as an e-book by Schmall World Publishing

Copyright © Simon Rosser 2019

The right of Simon Rosser to be identified as the author of the work has been asserted herein in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

CRYPTO – SPIRE 5

PROLOGUE

Pacific Ocean – 400 nautical miles south-east of the Marshall Islands. 10.06.1948

 

THE DUTCH REGISTERED freighter ship, the SS Ourang Medan listed to port as she was hit broadside by a large wave, which sent foaming, freezing Pacific Ocean seawater cascading over her forward deck.

The ship had left the Chinese port of Xiamen two weeks earlier and was on route to Costa Rica. Stored beneath the decks in her hold was a cargo of coffee, raw sugar cane, twenty-five gold bars and a single large steel container, which had been encased in a wooden crate, and which had taken ten men the best part of three hours to haul on board.

On the bridge, Captain Jacobus raised his forearm and wiped the sweat from his brow as he stood at the helm, his other oil-covered hand gripping the large wooden wheel as he wrestled to keep the ship on course. He reached down and yanked the wheel lock up from the pedestal, left the helm and opened the bridge door which headed out onto the deck to get some fresh air. A strong, wet, wind hit him full on in the face. He looked up at the night sky which was beautifully clear; billions of stars, pin pricks of light, winking in the heavens. A good sign at least, the ocean should calm down soon, he thought.

He realised he was still sweating profusely, the salty sweat was trickling into his eyes, and he wiped his brow once again. He’d been feeling unwell for the last two days, and now he was developing a sore throat and stomach cramps, which had worsened in the last few hours. He put it down to the sleepless nights he’d had since they’d left port, but was now wondering if it had anything to do with the hooker he’d spent his last night with at the port two weeks earlier. He hoped he’d not caught anything from her, and cursed under his breath at the thought.

The ship listed again, the hull creaking ominously as the vessel’s steel panels and rivets responded to the relentless pounding of the ocean. He took one last look at the heavens and headed back inside, unlocked the wheel and adjusting it slightly to bring the ship back on course.

“Anders, can you take over for a while. I’m going back to my cabin to lie down for half an hour,” he shouted.

Anders, who was operating the vessel’s bilge pumps, stood up and grabbed the wheel. “Yes sir,” he said, nodding at the captain in response.

Captain Jacobus left the bridge, grabbing the stair rails to steady himself as he descended towards his quarters. He made his way along the corridor on the lower deck, feeling increasingly sick as he went. He reached his cabin and hurried in, closing and locking the door behind him. He staggered to the bathroom, and projectile vomited into the basin as he entered.

“Jesus!” Jacobus groaned, as he ran the tap to wash away the vomit. He splashed cold water onto his face, dabbing it dry with a towel, before closing the bathroom door and falling onto his bed. He shook his head to try and expel the feeling of nausea and fog now engulfing him. Was it something I’ve eaten? Surely it couldn’t have been the hooker? No sexually transmitted disease could cause such rapid illness, he reasoned.

He thought back to when they left port, the cargo that had been loaded on board. He grabbed the ship’s freight itinerary log from his bedside table to remind himself exactly what was in the hold.

Jacobus flipped through the pages looking for the 08 June entry. He hadn’t forgotten the gold bars of course, but there was something else, in bulkhead five; the large steel container. It had taken ten men to haul it on board, the stamp on the lid had read, ‘Fragile – Restricted.’ The object, he knew had arrived at the Chinese port from McMurdo, in Antarctica, some weeks earlier.

He pushed the logbook back into his bedside draw and stood up with the intention of going down to the hold to check the container out, but immediately collapsed onto the floor, vomiting again before he could reach the bathroom.

Jacobus felt his body convulse, go into spasm, like something was crawling inside his veins and invading his body. He felt excruciating pain, and then his eyes rolled back until the wooden slatted ceiling of his cabin came into view momentarily, before blurring quickly and then fading to black as he lost consciousness.

 

 

Up on the bridge Anders was starting to feel as sick as a dog. He wiped his brow, now soaked in sweat, and checked the control panel in front of him; course and speed all looked okay. Where the hell had the captain gone?

The ship lurched to starboard as another wave hit, and Anders clung onto the wheel in response. He wasn’t feeling right. He had tremors in his hands and his legs were suddenly growing weak as if his body was now too heavy for them, and he felt his knees starting to buckle. The tremors in his hands started extended along to his arms and then he collapsed onto the bridge, losing consciousness momentarily, a terrible pain gripping his body.

 

In the ship’s Communications Room, Second Officer Frans Erik, the vessel’s telegraphist could hear the men in the dining area shouting at each other. Erik left his desk and staggered along the corridor towards the Mess Hall to find out what was going on.

He opened the Mess Hall door. What the hell? he wondered, as he entered, seeing the state of the men inside. A fight had broken out between at least three of the crew. One man, who Anders recognised as Eddie McNamara, a tough-looking Scottish chap from Troon, near Glasgow, was being restrained by two other seamen. McNamara was foaming at the mouth, blood trickling down his temple from an open wound. At least fifteen other seamen were gathered around, watching as McNamara frantically struggled to break free from the men restraining him, his eyes bloodshot, and darting around the room like a wild animal.

“What the hell is going on here?” Second Officer Erik shouted.

One of the seamen turned around, a short stocky sailor by the name of Smith. “The Scot has gone crazy sir. He went down to check the hold about two hours ago and then suddenly went fucking nuts. He’s bitten poor Eddie Daniels in the neck. He’s in a bad way at the back of the mess,” Smith said, tilting his head towards the end of the Mess Hall.

Erik moved towards the Scot and the men restraining him. “What the hell is going on here?” he shouted, attempting to make sense of the situation.

McNamara was staring at him through bloodshot, crazed eyes. Erik studied him, realising something was seriously wrong. He’d never seen a man looking so frenzied and intent on hurting him.

Before Erik could ask another question, McNamara appeared to suddenly take on superhuman strength and broke free from the men restraining him. He lunged at Erik, immediately sinking his teeth into his left shoulder, before thrashing his neck back and fore like a crazed rabid dog.

Second Officer Erik felt his flesh tear, and lightning bolts of pain radiated from his shoulder area, as all eighteen stone of the powerful Scot, with his stinking breath, pinned him to the floor.

“Get him off! Get him off,” Erik shrieked.

It took five crew men to wrench McNamara free. As soon as the man was pulled off, Erik staggered to his feet, blood pumping from the wound on his shoulder. He placed his left hand on the torn flesh, turned and fled the mess, leaving the crew to deal with the Scot as they saw fit. He didn’t care, he just wanted to escape the carnage and craziness of what had just happened.

He felt his way back along the corridor and back into the Communications Room, the wound on his shoulder throbbing with pain and pumping blood. Was he going to bleed to death? Get an infection? He reached for the bottle of rum he had in the small cabinet by the desk, pulled the cork out with his teeth and poured the amber liquid onto his bare shoulder, gritting his teeth in pain as the liquor penetrated the wound.

He quickly started feeling dizzy, and his head started to fog up and spin. What the hell was going on? He sat at the desk and reached for the key of the telegraph machine and started frantically tapping out a message.

 

Dash…dash…dash…dot…dash…dot…dot – We need help. This is the SS Ourang Medan, location, approximately 400 nautical miles south-east of the Marshal Islands. The crew are going crazy…fighting has broken out in the Mess…Captain is sick and crew members are dying…I die.

 

Second Officer Erik felt his arms shaking and with his last ounce of strength he reached for some paper and scrawled a note, a last message. He grabbed the empty rum bottle, shoved the note inside and replaced and sealed the cork, turned and tossed it through the open porthole into the ocean.

With all his strength gone, he fell off his chair and collapsed onto the floor, the pain from his shoulder wound radiating into his head and upper body. His eyes then rolled up to the ceiling, his face contorting in pain as he felt an inky blackness envelop him.

Whilst you’re waiting for Spire 5, why not try one of the other gripping Spire adventures by clicking on the links below…. happy reading.

Also by the same author;

Tipping Point – Robert Spire 1

Impact Point – Robert Spire 2

Melt Zone – Robert Spire 3

Cataclysm of the Ancients – Robert Spire 4

 

Has Earth reached its TIPPING POINT

17 Dec

Will the Polish climate change deal change anything? Will global temperatures be prevented from increasing above a cataclysmic 2 degrees Celsius. We all hope so, but let’s face it, the few people in power who can do something about the situation, don’t seem to have the will or the genuine appetite to do so. Perhaps they should think more about their children and children’s children who will inherit one hell of a hot, erratic messed up planet than trying to apply cheap fixes and useless band aids  on the issues…

Anyway enough of a rant – why not settle down to Robert Spire’s first adventure… a climate fiction thriller with some real science and real science fiction… and there’s plenty more Spire adventures to go on after this one…. enjoy and have a happy Christmas people of the good Planet Earth.

Two Dead Climatologists…

An International Conspiracy…

A Looming Global Cataclysm… 

When eminent climatologist Dr Dale Stanton – in the process of studying the Atlantic Ocean’s Thermohaline Circulation – is found dead in his London apartment, environmental lawyer, Robert Spire, is given the task to administer a large legacy left by Dr Stanton to global warming organisations. The job should have been straightforward, until a second climatologist, Dr Jack Bannister drops dead on the other side of the Atlantic…

When the dead scientist’s mother engages Spire to look further into her son’s death, it soon becomes apparent that not all is as it seems. Spire soon finds he is out of his depth, as he is stalked by a sinister female Russian spy intent on tracking his every move, and to seemingly assassinate leading climatologists involved in investigating global warming and the melting Arctic sea ice. Spire is soon thrust into an international conspiracy involving a terrorist plot to push the Arctic to its tipping point, and the world to disaster…

TIPPING POINT is a fast-paced, unputdownable climate-change thriller, with terrorism elements that will keep you turning the pages until the very end. If you like James Rollins, Brett Battles, Clive Cussler, and the action and adventure of a James Bond movie then you will love the entire Robert Spire Action Thriller series.

Pick up your copy and start reading Tipping Point today!

“Simon Rosser’s scientific and psychological thriller “Tipping Point” is one of the best I have read in the past decade. He has a gift for fluent narrative, realistic characterization and for creating settings that come vividly to life for the reader. He blends tension and suspense very successfully against the contemporary background of global warming and its sinister implications.

–Author, TV presenter and Priest Lionel Fanthorpe –

Simonrosser_1 (1)

Bon Voyager

10 Dec

The Voyager space probes, launched from Earth in 1977 to study and photograph the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – a task they completed in 1989 have both now left our Solar System. Voyager 1 left in 2012 and Voyager 2 has just done so.

The probe’s present location is some 18 billion km (11 billion miles) from Earth and is moving at roughly 54,000km/h (34,000mph). Voyager 1 is even further away and travelling faster still, at 22 billion km and 61,000km/h.

Both spacecraft will continue transmitting signals and data until their plutonium power packs run out – perhaps in another 10 years time. After that, they will continue on their voyage through interstellar space until finally reaching the next closest star, in about 40,000 years!

According to Space.com website, here are some of the Voyager program’s probes achievements;

  • Examined Jupiter’s atmosphere, including its hurricanes.
  • Found active volcanoes on Io, a moon of Jupiter, as well as a “torus” (a ring of sulfur and oxygen that Io is shedding).
  • Saw evidence of an ocean beneath Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter.
  • Looked in detail at Saturn’s rings; observed waves, structure and “shepherd moons” that influence the shape of its F-ring.
  • Saw evidence of an atmosphere around Titan, a moon of Saturn, which scientists correctly identified as being composed largely of methane.
  • Discovered a Great Dark Spot on Neptune, which is a large storm.
  • Saw active geysers on Triton, an icy moon of Neptune

Both Voyager spacecraft carry recorded messages from Earth on golden phonograph records — 12-inch, gold-plated copper disks. A committee chaired by the late astronomer Carl Sagan selected the contents of the records for NASA. The “Golden Records,” as these records are called, are cultural time capsules that the Voyagers bear with them to other star systems. They contain images and natural sounds, spoken greetings in 55 languages and musical selections from different cultures and eras.

So, as we say bye bye to these little space probes, we must hail this amazing human technological achievement and NASA’s 40 year space mission, which is heading for a half century space mission, provided signals are still being beamed back in 9 years time…

This brings me on to another signal. Will the probes, or any Earth-based detection system pick up any alien signals from outer space? Perhaps we already have picked up a signal and just didn’t know it. If you’d like to know how things might unfold, then check out my recent Science Fiction thriller – SALIENT, by clicking the link below or visit my website for more information.

 

Salient

 

 

NASA’s Missing Moon Rocks.

21 Feb

“The US space agency Nasa recently announced that many of the Moon rocks brought back to Earth from two Apollo space missions have gone missing. They were given as gifts to the nations of the world. So what happened to them?

Towards the end of the Apollo 17 mission on 13 December 1972, Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt – the last men to have set foot on the Moon – picked up a rock.

Cernan announced: “We’d like to share a piece of this rock with so many of the countries throughout the world.”

His wish was fulfilled.

President Richard Nixon ordered that the brick-sized rock be broken up into fragments and sent to 135 foreign heads of state and the 50 US states.

Each “goodwill Moon rock” was encased in a lucite ball and mounted on a wooden plaque with the recipient nations’ flag attached.

Moon rock collected during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 was also distributed to the same nations and US states.

There were 370 pieces gathered for this purpose from the two missions. Two hundred and seventy were given to nations of the world and 100 to the 50 US states.

But 184 of these are lost, stolen or unaccounted for – 160 around the world and 24 in the US.

The rocks were distributed to countries ranging from Afghanistan to Trinidad and Tobago.

“Gaddafi’s government was given two Moon rocks – they’re missing. Romania is missing its Apollo 17 goodwill Moon rock,” says Joseph Gutheinz Jr, the Texas-based lawyer and former Nasa agent, who has become known as the “Moon rock hunter”. His search continues… story credited to BBC News

Speaking of missing Moon rocks, New Robert Spire thriller IMPACT POINT out now on the Kindle involves Spire in the investigation of multiple blue whale deaths after two of the world’s largest ever creatures wash up on both sides of the Atlantic. The mystery deepens following the discovery of the mineral olivine in the mammal’s blood.

The death of philanthropist Julian Smithies in the USA opens up a new lead after a rare and valuable olivine-rich meteorite is stolen from his home.

Spire finds himself on a dangerous adventure as he and marine biologist Dr Sally Rivea travel to the Bahamas in an attempt to uncover the clues. The more they discover, the more the terrifying truth is revealed. Can the seemingly inevitable cataclysm be prevented?

Robert Spire’s latest adventure might be the world’s last…

Eco-Thrillers: A New Genre?

29 Oct

Perhaps it’s time to treat your Kindle to a new thriller? How about an Eco-thriller? This blog is devoted to the books currently out there which combine action, adventure and thrills, with a threat – either natural or man-made – to the environment, which causes local or even global disaster and destruction. Sound like a good recipe? Read on…

You don’t have to be a ‘Tree-hugger’ – no offence to trees or hugging intended – to enjoy these types of books. In fact, although these titles are all fictional, not only do you get a decent story and fast-paced read, but the books are quite often very informative and laced with science, so the reader also usually learns something in the process…What could be better?

Eco-thrillers have actually been around for a good while. The 1950s and 1960s were filled with “Our planet is getting mad” themes, which were told through the numerous science fiction films that came out during that period.

The Day The Earth Stood Still,” based on author Harry Bates’ short 1940s story, “Farewell To The Master,” which came with a message from outer space that Earth needed to be saved from mankind, is probably one of the most well-known of those films, but I dare say, not many people have heard of the book, or even the author.

More recently, movies such as  “The Day After Tomorrow,” about the sudden halting of the Atlantic Ocean Thermohaline Circulation, based on the 1999 book, “The Coming Global Superstorm,” by Whitley Strieber and Art Bell,  and Richard Matheson’s  last man on the planet, “I am Legend,” based on a book of the same title, actually written in 1954, brought environmental disaster movies to the masses.

These are great examples of the eco-thriller disaster genre, which are based on books from decades ago. We also have British authors like JG Ballard who, in 1962 wrote “The Drowned World,” a story about solar radiation melting the poles, causing soaring temperatures which leave Europe and North America submerged in tropical lagoons.

Another British author, Charles Eric Maine was writing eco-thrillers back in 1958 with “The Tide Went Out,” about mankind’s nuclear tests busting open the Earth’s crust which causes all the oceans to run into the planet’s interior, and you guessed it, environmental disaster ensues…great stuff!

So, it seems the eco-thriller genre is really a sub-genre which has been around for decades, just more usually dressed up as science fiction it would seem.

I have read a decent selection of eco-thrillers and have also written one myself. Below is a little information on my favorites in the genre. You can make your own minds up as to whether you think this genre is for you. There is also a list of the books that I haven’t yet read, but ones that are certainly on my Kindle download list!

I’m actually surprised that the eco-thriller genre doesn’t have its own niche on Amazon, but maybe that will change soon, as there’s plenty of great books out there. Whilst the world doesn’t face the same kind of threats as it did in the 1950s, one hopes, it does face mounting environmental ones, which should mean that the eco-thriller genre will be around for a long time to come.

Let’s just hope we’re all around long enough to read them…!

So, in no particular order then, here’s my list;

The Rapture by Liz Jenson.

The Rapture

When a wheel-bound psychologist is assigned to help a young girl locked up in an asylum to decipher her seemingly crazy rants and random scribbling’s of natural disasters, her first thoughts, naturally is that the girl is crazy. When certain events appear to come true however, it soon appears that the girl might not be deranged after all but have the ability to foresee a future global environmental catastrophe.

A well written, pacey novel with an interesting subject matter – 3.5 eco-stars

Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd.

Ordinary Thunderstorms


Not so much an eco-thriller, but included on the basis that the main protagonist is a climate scientist.  This book is about Adam Kindred who, following a fleeting meeting with a man in a restaurant has his life turned upside down after he has to go off radar in London whilst all the while trying to prove his innocence following a murder he didn’t commit.

A vividly written novel with simmering drama – 3 eco-stars

Arctic Drift by Clive Cussler.

Arctic Drift: A Dirk Pitt Novel, #20 (Dirk Pitt Novels)

The master of adventure novels pulls off another great adventure-thriller with a global warming/environmental theme. Dirk Pitt becomes involved with a search for a mineral which may be capable of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Expect science, thrills, adventure, action and good story-telling – 4.5 eco-stars

Tipping Point by Si Rosser – yes me!

Tipping Point: Action-Adventure Thriller

An action-adventure thriller with an environmental twist is the best way I could describe my book.  Robert Spire, the main character is an environmental lawyer, but little time is devoted in the book to any legal back-story, this is no legal thriller. Instead Spire is immersed in a global adventure following the mysterious deaths of two climatologists. Action and thrills take place in Wales, London, Paris, San Francisco and the Arctic as Spire goes on a quest in search of answers. Meanwhile global environmental disaster looms…

I won’t rate my own book, but here’s what the readers are saying;

“Tip top global adventure”

“Enjoyable action-thriller”

“Great yarn, couldn’t put it down”

“Well-crafted environmental thriller”

“Simmering suspense”

Terminal Freeze by Lincoln Child.

Terminal Freeze

This book I thought was a great read. Again, you could argue that this is a techno-thriller, but in my view it has all the elements of an eco-thriller. A team of scientists monitoring climate change near an old disused Artic base discover something – a prehistoric creature frozen solid in an ice cave. The sponsors of a nature programme funding the project fly in to film the creature as it is thawed from its ancient resting place. Needless to say, all hell breaks loose!

Fast-paced, scary, vividly written Arctic thriller – 4.5 eco-stars

IMPACT POINT by Si Rosser – Yep, mine again!

Robert Spire’s second adventure, takes him from Wales, London, the USA and the Bahamas in search of the cause of multiple blue whale deaths. When traces of the mineral olivine are found in the mammals blood, the mystery deepens. Meanwhile, a rare and valuable meteorite gets stolen from slain philanthropist Julian Smithies’ Californian mansion. Is there a connection? The more Spire finds out, the closer he comes to revealing a future cataclysm that may end all life on planet Earth.

Robert Spire’s latest adventure, might be the World’s last…

Here’s another bunch of great sounding eco-thrillers that are on my to read list; Enjoy!

Freezing Point and Boiling Point

I Am Legend

The Tide Went Out

Drowned World

Wet Desert

Thaw

The Wave

Wildfire

Vapor Trails

Melting Down

Ultimatum

Cold Earth

Flood