Transgenic lettuce

While the theme of food doesn’t come up until book four, I’m always on the lookout for relevant information. Here’s an interesting piece on the genetic modification of leafy greens to provide medication through diet.

From the article:
“A team of researchers at the University of California, Davis, have developed modified transgenic lettuce that produces a bone-stimulating hormone. The lettuce can be easily grown in space and could help strengthen an astronaut’s bones. It may even help reduce the risk of osteoporosis on Earth…”


Mars sounds weird

I touch on the nature of sound on Mars in the first book, but this is new and a little wild. It’s not just the low pressure of the atmosphere that affects the transfer of sound. The composition of that atmosphere does as well. And it’s not the same across the range of sounds we hear.

From the article:
“Due to the unique properties of the carbon dioxide molecules at low pressure, Mars is the only terrestrial-planet atmosphere in the Solar System experiencing a change in speed of sound right in the middle of the audible bandwidth (20 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz)… The result of this is that sound travels more than 10 meters per second faster at higher frequencies than it does at low ones.”


Book festival

Generation Mars will make a rare public appearance at the Tucson Festival of Books this weekend.

I’ll be in the Indie Author Pavilion for Children’s Books on Saturday, March 12, from 2:30-4:30pm.

If you’re in the Tucson area, come by and buy a book or just say “Hi!”

Shelter is now available

Readers of all ages,

Shelter: Generation Mars, Book Two is now officially released.

The family is on an away mission when a solar particle event forces them to seek shelter where they can. As conditions go from uncomfortable to desperate, it falls to the sisters to save the family. It’s a struggle for survival in which they learn the full meaning of shelter.

Available now on Amazon:


Middle-Grade March promo

31 mind-bending, fantastical, out-of-this-world, roller-coaster-worthy middle-grade books to discover in March 2022!

Generation Mars has joined 30 other authors to fill your March with stories.

Each day will feature one of the outstanding books pictured.


Coronal mass ejection

Sometimes, twisting of magnetic fields within the corona gets so tight that the tension abruptly snaps, sending massive loops of plasma racing away from the Sun in an event called a coronal mass ejection (CME). Most of the time, these clouds of particles dissipate into space without causing any harm.

Sometimes, the cloud of particles is pointed straight at one of the inner planets. When this happens, the high-speed charged particles slam into the planet in what is called a solar particle event (SPE). For planets with thick atmospheres and strong magnetic fields, most of the energy dissipates far above the surface. Mars has neither a thick atmosphere nor a strong magnetic field. When an SPE occurs on Mars, the surface is flooded with high energy particle radiation.

Sometimes, two or more CMEs will happen in the same place on the Sun, one after another. When this happens, the first clears a path for the ones that follow, allowing them to race even faster out into the solar system.

Sometimes, two or more CMEs will happen in the same place on the Sun and point straight at one of the inner planets. When this happens, the SPE on the planet can go on for several days.

One time in particular, when a mother and father and their two children were on their first camping trip, that planet was Mars.

Shelter: Generation Mars, Book Two

Coming March 1st

(available for pre-order now:

(image: Luis Peres)

Niger Vallis

“I’m open,” said Nyla. Cas looked up and saw that her mother was standing with knees slightly bent, ready to receive. Cas passed her the ball, and her mother trapped it and dribbled to another spot before passing it back. They continued this—laughing, dribbling, chatting, and passing—until their shadows grew long and the fat blue Sun fell behind the rim of Dao Vallis, far down-canyon from them.

Shelter: Generation Mars, Book Two
Coming in March
(image: Niger Vallis near confluence with Dao Vallis, composite from Google Earth Pro – Mars)

Dao Vallis

They walked along the bench a bit, looking for an easy way down. Eventually, they were able to scramble down to the bottom of the channel. The surface was looser here, and composed of various sized rocks. They walked along, each kicking at rocks and stopping occasionally to pick up one that looked interesting, as humans have since they first walked the Earth. Aedan felt completely happy in a way that only happens once in a while. The novelty of walking outside with his youngest daughter had still not worn off, and he loved it.

Shelter: Generation Mars, Book Two
Coming in March
(image: upper Dao Vallis, composite from Google Earth Pro – Mars)

In it

“Well,” said Nyla, “now we’re in it, huh?”

Cas smiled. “Yep,” she said. She looked around. They were alone on the surface with no shelter other than their suits and the tent strapped to the SD Rover. Cas’s smile grew broader. “This is cool,” she said.

Shelter: Generation Mars, Book Two
Coming in March
#mars #scifi #childrensbooks #middlegradebooks #kidlit #camping
(image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS, Perseverance, mission sol 136)