The Ross 248 Project (Paperback)
A bold journey into a future where humanity and its children travel to a new star where they must overcome the unexpected challenges on the exoplanets that await them—or die trying.
Traveling to the stars will be difficult, but not, perhaps, the most difficult part. What about when we get to another star? What then? Will the planets be immediately habitable? Not likely. Will those who undertook the journey be able to easily turn around and come home if they don’t find “Earth 2.0”? Almost certainly not. Therein the lies the challenge: Finding worlds that are potentially habitable and then taking the time, perhaps centuries, to make them compatible with Earth life. The settlers at the nearby red dwarf star, Ross 248, will encounter mysteries and unexpected challenges, but the human spirit will endure. Join this diverse group of science fiction writers and scientists as they take up the challenge of The Ross 248 Project.
Stories and speculative nonfiction about life under a crimson sun, contributions by . . .
USAF Lt General (Ret) Steven Kwast
Daniel M. Hoyt & E. Marshall Hoyt
Robert E. Hampson
Les Johnson & Ken Roy
Praise for A Traveler’s Guide to the Stars by Les Johnson:
“We effortlessly travel round and round our sun, and we wonder: How hard would it be, really, to travel to another star? Les Johnson shows us the rocket science we’d need; that’s easy enough. But then he describes with wonderful detail the Starshot nanocrafts, chipsats, Starwisps, worldships, and metamaterial LightSails that we might use. It’s a flight of imagination backed up with real out-of-this-world science.” —Bill Nye
“Les Johnson is that rare breed of writer who can make rocket science comprehensible even to the layperson. He has more than paid his dues in the field, and his enthusiasm for the cause of interstellar exploration shines through. But so does his sense of humor, his humanity, and his zest for life. This is highly recommended stuff.” —David Weber
“Is humanity ready to take on the immensities outside our solar system? This traveler’s guide lays out methods and means that may enable our first steps into the great unknown beyond the sun’s familiar campfire.” —David Brin
Praise for Mission to Methone:
“The spirit of Arthur C. Clarke and his contemporaries is alive and well in Johnson’s old-fashioned first-contact novel, set in 2068. . . . There’s a great deal here for fans of early hard SF.” —Publishers Weekly
Praise for The Spacetime War:
“Johnson, a NASA physicist, brings verisimilitude and scientific accuracy to this adventure, and his passion for the details of space travel will undoubtedly please readers looking for old-school hard science fiction. His narrative enjoys a slow-building sense of development as he gradually unravels multiple mysteries . . . Johnson’s fans will find plenty to enjoy.” —Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Les Johnson is a futurist, author, and NASA technologist. Publishers Weekly noted that “The spirit of Arthur C. Clarke and his contemporaries is alive and well . . .” when describing his novel, Mission to Methone. His most recent novels, The Spacetime War and Saving Proxima (with co-author, Travis S. Taylor), were published in 2021. In his day job at NASA, Les leads the Near-Earth Asteroid Scout mission that will use a 925 square foot solar sail to propel a small spacecraft to rendezvous with an asteroid.
Ken Roy is a retired professional engineer. His career involved working for various Department of Energy (DOE) contractors in the fields of Fire Protection and Nuclear Safety. As a long-time hobby he has been working with the idea of terraforming. He invented the “Shell Worlds” concept as a way to terraform planets and large moons well outside the star’s Goldilocks’ zone and under stars that have a radically different spectrum from that provided by our sun. Ken has authored multiple papers on terraforming and space colonization that have appeared in JBIS and Acta Astronautica.