Saturday, August 31, 2013

Generation One: Children of Mars

My writing buddy Steven R. Stewart, along with a talented group of folks, is putting together a comic book about the first generation of children born on Mars. I have to admit, tears formed in my eyes when I watched the trailer. This looks like an awesome, super cool project. They have only four days to go to reach their stretch goal for funding. But allow me to have Steven describe it in his own words....

As I write this, I’m sitting by a window that overlooks my grassy lawn—a carpet of organic solar panels that turn sunlight into sugar—and the busy residential street beyond. A steady flow of traffic­—human beings in wheeled metal boxes—comes and goes a little too fast for my liking. I have kids, and they play in this lawn, near this busy street. I love my little girls; I don’t want them to break, to go out like a candle, to stop being.

It is night, the moon is out, and I think to myself how crazy all this is. That’s a real place, that ball of white up there in the sky, a place I could plant my feet, draw in the dust with the toe of my boot. It’s not hypothetical. It’s not an idea. It’s really there.

Near the moon, a faint pink dot hangs in the starry sky. It’s a real place too, a red planet, our next door neighbor. It’s so small, so easy to miss, and we could go there.

One day, if we can muster the courage, we will go there. We will live there. As NASA director Mike Griffin said, “One day…there will be more humans living off Earth than on it.” I agree, and I think that’s the way it should be. Earth is just a dot, “a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam,” all too easy for some cosmic cataclysm to swat out of the sky. If we want to continue surviving in this absurd, beautiful universe, we have to strap on our pioneer hats and get to work.

So here I am, a 29 year-old fiction writer with two kids and a wife, and zero background in science, mathematics or engineering. How can I help bring this bold future into being? How can I pitch in, or at the very least, cheer on the men and women who can? How can I cheer my loudest?

Generation One: Children of Mars is my attempt to do just that—to create a smart, accessible piece of entertainment that will hopefully encourage young people to look up at that pink dot in the sky and think big about humanity’s future in space. It’s a comic book about kids growing up on Mars and discovering what that means, and what it costs. You can learn more by watching our project video here.

My team and I launched the Kickstarter on August 6th, and so far, the public response has been overwhelming. People are hungry for this kind of story, far hungrier than I had realized. They want the same bold future I want, and that gives me hope. Because once we believe it’s possible, it will be.

We’ve been lucky enough to secure the endorsement of Dr. Robert Zubrin, author of “The Case for Mars” and President of The Mars Society. He had this to say about the project:

“Someday Mars will have its own Laura Ingalls Wilder to tell the tale of growing up on the new frontier. But with ‘Generation One: Children of Mars,’ we can experience some of that story now. It’s going to be great.”

There’s only a handful of days left in the Kickstarter. Join us. Come alongside us as we tell this story; be a part of our journey. It’s the same journey humanity has been on since the beginning: a quest to spread out and survive, to understand and grow, to become more than what we are.

Let’s add to the discussion—and have some fun in the process. We’re human after all.

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