Disaster movies come in all flavors. 2012 is a good example, but hardly seemed plausible. How does a shot of neutrinos from solar activity change the weather and destabilize the globe, heat the core of Earth and create massive earthquakes? Far-fetched ideas, myths about calendars, prophecies that have been promoted through religions, and man’s need to invite disaster are mostly fear mongering and pretty bad fiction, yet a fair amount of people love to buy into such nonsense.
Do real threats exist for humanity? The chance of polluting the world and making it uninhabitable is certainly plausible, or going to war and creating a nuclear winter. The Road, The Book of Eli, Planet of the Apes, Dr. Strangelove, On the Beach, The Postman, and The Day After, to name a few are popular scenarios and at least plausible, Planet of the Apes probably excluded.
Mathematical billiards brings some plausibility of asteroids visiting this planet, and certainly that is a threat worth our attention. We are gliding through space, and we know matter is out there in all shapes and sizes. In Planet Passing, a rogue planet visits our solar system to be captured by our sun. Unfortunately, on its way it swings past Earth and drags our moon into an elliptical orbit. Plausible? At lease it isn’t a scenario based on bad science, and no doubt somewhere and sometime in space, something similar has happened. Will it ever happen here? Probably not, but when you’re writing fiction, it’s always fun to speculate and give Hollywood something to drool over.
I’ve climbed Mt. Humboldt, and something struck me when I was there that a telescopic array would fit rather nicely. Topical maps and an aerial photograph that I used for the cover convinced me. Will Mt. Humboldt ever support such an array? Like the story, the technology for the telescope is also fictional, so who knows.
If you’ve never been to Westcliffe, Colorado, you’re missing some of the most spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains. Although not as rugged as the Grand Tetons, this skeletal ridge has some real icons like the Crestones, which can be seen in this image of Mt. Humboldt.
It’s interesting to me how places I visit inspire stories. I guess it’s a way to share beauty. At least part of this story is about beauty, and part about hope, but it’s also a warning that death lurks in the shadows.