The ORPHAN is on the MOON

A Christmas present to fans of The Eons-Lost Orphan. For non-fans, it’s a realistic look at the Supergirl myth, with touches of Captain Marvel. The present is an update on my progress writing the sequel.

Sequels are hard. They have to continue the appeal of the previous book but also add something new. I’m finding the sequel difficult to keep on course as Jane blossoms out into “near-space,” my term for what scientists call “cislunar space” – the sphere of space from Earth orbit to just beyond the Moon. But though the going is slow I’m having fun exploring Jane Kuznetsov as she matures into near-superhero status.

At this point in the sequel she and her crew go to the Moon. There they build and run an experiment featuring a radical new invention. And have an astonishing experience.

While they do this they live in Luna City. It was created from prefab parts shipped to the Moon plus local materials. These parts include bricks made by industrial 3D printers from Moon rocks and dirt. The construction was done by robots operated remotely by engineers on Earth using virtual/augmented reality headsets. The robots have to be very smart as it takes a minimum of 2.6 seconds to five or more seconds for round-trip communication between Earth and the Moon. Not good when you are remotely driving a Lunar rover and suddenly have to put on the brakes!

Luna City was made by finding a medium-large crater, constructing the city in it, then covering it over with a layer of Lunar material. The layer protects the city from meteoroids and extremes of heat and cold. Once made and powered up and filled with air the interior is made livable by adding plants. These help maintain air and (just as important) provide welcome relief from the drabness and utilitarian nature of the city.

Click image for a larger view.


About Laer Carroll

I am an aerospace software and systems engineer recently retired to become a professional writer. My genres include sci fi and fantasy, young adult, and technical books.
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4 Responses to The ORPHAN is on the MOON

  1. Hey Laer, just a quick comment. I find it pretty neat that you’re working 3D printing into your world-building. I think it’s just those sorts of touches that make the rest hang together better in the reader’s mind–you’ve given us something solid that we can relate to, and it helps to bring together the stuff we have to take somewhat on faith (like being a superhero). 🙂


  2. Laer Carroll says:

    There can’t be two Cathleen Townsends that I have as an acquaintance, can there? The one I know best is an Absolute Write writer’s forum contributor with a really neat Pinterest page at this link:

    Thanks for the comment. As to the use of 3D printing & other little touches which I add to my stories, I was an engineer with 40+ years of experience working at the cutting edge of several technologies. Reading about new stuff which once was sci-fi was/is a hobby of mine. In a sense I’ve always lived in the future. So when I write stories taking place there it’s as natural to mention those little aspects of future life as it is mentioning cellphones or electric-car charging stations.

    I hope you’ll like the sequel to Orphan. I just passed the 60% mark on that book. I’m (fingers crossed) hoping to debut it on Valentine’s Day as a love note to my miniscule group of fans.


  3. Rich Reusser says:

    I’m a retired civil engineer (lost long term memory to strokes) and I lived on the cutting edge (occasionally the bleeding edge) of earthwork and paving tech. I thoroughly enjoy when a scifi author incorporates believable tech that fits well with what we are learning in the “real world” today. Looking forward to the next book.


  4. Laer Carroll says:

    Thanks for the comments, Rich.

    I love fast-paced action books. A lot of people do, as evidenced by what sells super-well in the literary and the film world. I COULD write them, but I’ll leave those kinds of stories to others.

    The stories I write are more of a slice-of-life you-are-there tale, that give readers the feeling they are actually living in a strange place, in the case of the Orphan series the near future.

    For instance, right now Jane and her friends are on the Moon about 15 years from now. I give a moderate amount of detail about their surroundings and the actions needed to navigate them. This might bore someone who only reads action stories. But they are not my target audience.

    On the other hand, too much detail would bore even people who like a sort tour of the future world. Thus after working out and writing down all that detail needed to flesh out the future, I will make a last pass when the entire book is done and see how much I can trim down all those descriptions of setting and actions.


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