Andromedae Appendix and dedication

This is the afterword to Book III of The Anahita Chronicles, Andromedae. I am re-releasing the series soon, and I had to re-type this, as I did it inspired me all over again. I wanted to post it here just to shout it from the rooftops.

Earth in the dark

Andromedae was difficult to write. Not because I didn't have a story to tell, and not because of the characters, who I love and who flow out of my fingertips easily, but because of the subject matter. Weapons of mass destruction are a reality in our world, and the will to use them is present. Our species is capable of terrible things. So upon our creation of a weapon capable of destroying planets, what would the response of an alien species be? If they have paid any attention to us, they would understand that we simply cannot be trusted with that power.
  I have always been an optimist, and I am still, even in these troubled times (I re-type this in 2017). I believe in our potential and the inherent compassion within us. Humanity has done incredible things, we have broken down the walls of the impossible and stampeded across the incredible. But when writing this book, I had to face the darkness we have committed and try to weigh our sins against our potential. I had to look at us the way a highly advanced species might, and that is where I faced the great problem. How do I NOT turn this into a moral lecture, a thesis on ethics and our responsibilities to the world?
  Andromedae was quickly becoming a story without action, but with very serious and heavy debates going on between the characters. While perhaps intellectually laudable, this has not been the focus of the previous books in the series, and my readers certainly have expectations that I was not meeting.
  When I wrote Mercury, I wanted only to tell an action adventure story that laid out a great potential for us as a species. When I wrote War, I wanted to up the ante and tell a story of conflict based on our natural violence, the threat of humanities inhumanity was enough to make the Makhar deeply wary of us, and even impressed by us. In War, Jane Hobbs tells the Makhar of our violent history and capacity for horrific action even against our own kind, she does this to frighten them into leaving us alone. Her plan backfires, and they escalate the conflict, but ultimately the Makhar are so like us that they are able to come to an understanding with humanity, and forge peace in the end of the book. In Andromedae, this is simply not a possible resolution. The new antagonists are a species millions of years more advanced than us, a people that can build cities and titanic spacecraft without effort from programmable materials. A species that long ago mastered the technologies that we are just now developing in the story. They established a moral standpoint aeons ago, and enforce it freely. They literally just show up, and destroy our entire power base by flicking a switch. Lights out humans, you have been naughty and we are taking your toys away.
  The Andromedae observe us, and judge us. As they did, so I had to also in order to write them. I looked at mankind, and what I saw troubled me. We are a broken and angry species, locked in self annihilating conflict for our entire history. Belligerence and self righteousness plague us. Greed and xenophobia often seem to be our only societal motivations. Look at history objectively and it is impossible to dismiss. At what point in the living history of the world have we truly been at peace? How could we then ever hope to establish peace with an alien species so very fundamentally different from us, when we cannot even make it a reality here on Earth between people whose only differences are ideological?
  There is no greater evil in an enemies heart than in our own. We are all human. We cannot simply invade and conquer, we cannot simply fix these problems, because these problems are inherently human. They are a part of us. The conqueror always becomes the oppressor. We have had war since before we had fire, and I fear we always will. It boils down to team spirit, us against them, you see it in a junior hockey game, you see it in international military conflict. We are right, they are wrong. Our God is real, theirs is false. We are the good guys, they are evil.....
  You get the point. Andromedae has every right to take our toys away, I as the author have found myself forced to agree with the antagonist in my story. How the hell do I write that? Are they the protagonists now? Are my heroes going to turn into monsters three books into the series and launch a world killing missile at people who are in the moral right? Ugh..... What have I done?
  Well, you just read the book, and I hope that I was able to illustrate these issues and resolve them to your satisfaction, while maintaining a fun and action filled pace. Ultimately what motivated me to solve the problems I faced was the other truth, the one that is harder to see but absolutely beautiful when witnessed, that we are trying. There are wars and crimes and horrors on Earth yes, but there are also movements of peace and enlightenment. There are people who are working to cure disease, educate the poor, people building energy alternatives that could save the world, people fighting for the rights of the oppressed and for endangered species, and trying to save entire ecosystems. There are people and scientists working on making our dreams real.
  This book is dedicated to those people, I will name an few but please know there are many, and that they are the hope of us all, and the future of our species. If we are ever to come out of our self destructive and selfish world and become a truly beautiful and creative people, then it is because of the work these and so many other people do and have done.

  Thank you. Thank you to everyone who inspired me to see that we are not hopeless, that we can achieve greatness and that the future can be bright. This book exists because of you.

  I strongly encourage my readers to spend some time watching TEDtalks, they got me through some dark moods and made me dream again. I also strongly encourage my readers to look into the following technologies and organisations. Even if you disagree with or doubt them, you can see that they are TRYING to build something better for us all, and frankly, I don't doubt them.

This book is dedicated to:

NASA, CSA, ESA, ROSCOSMOS, JAXA, and every space agency around the world. 

Elon Musk, just.... for everything man. Thanks. A solar roof on a house with an electric car in the garage solves so many problems for the world. Herbert Hoover once dreamed of a car in every garage, and something about chickens, I dream of a Tesla in every garage. SpaceX, Open Ai, Tesla, Hyperloop, and this new brain interface jazz I'm hearing about... If we have a future, you are going to be its father. All hail emperor Musk.

Harold White, Eagleworks Laboratories. Physicists working on real space-time warping FTL (Faster Than Light) tech, the Alcubierre drive. If they can establish proof of concept, this would make science fiction become reality, and put the stars within reach. I don't know if it will work, but I truly hope so, and I encourage with all my heart the scientific study of this technology. This is the dream, and it might be possible.

Boston Dynamics Robotics Laboratory. I cannot stress enough how awesome their work is. Look them up of youtube. As a child I dreamed of being a robotics engineer when I grew up, there was basically no such job at the time, so I was actively discouraged from the pursuit, but my first great passion was robots, and it is still a fascination for me. I hope beings like this book's own android Stalina are a reality soon, people like Boston Dynamics make that dream plausible. 

US Naval Research Laboratories. Scientists there have developed a technique to extract and refine rocket fuel from carbon in sea water. They expect it to be commercially available in 7-10 years at prices comparable to oil. This could render oil obsolete, and reduce critical carbon levels in the oceans. Proof of concept has been established.

Scott and Julie Brusaw – Solar Roadways. This technology could render coal, oil, and nuclear power obsolete overnight. If adopted, this technology will create about three times more energy than the Earth uses, as well as reduce worldwide carbon emissions by an order of magnitude. The Brusaws are creating a technology that could literally save the world, and we should all be standing in ovation to their work. Proof of concept has been established.

Mars One & other similar ventures, private and federal. The Mars One project is a terrifying and incredible goal, and one worthy of the greatest respect. Their plan is to create a permanent Mars settlement by 2024. I will sign up as soon as they have a decent Irish pub established there and I can get a pint of Guinness and a burger. Until then, I wish them the best of luck.

Greenpeace. Perhaps no other organisation in history has done so much for the world and our future. They have fought countless environmental battles for selfless and truly noble reasons, against incredible odds and powerful opposition. The people of Greenpeace have my utmost respect and deepest thanks.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Our oceans are our life. Whales and dolphins are the beating heart of our oceans, and absolutely an intelligent and sentient race of beings. Our treatment of them is one of the greatest ethical failings of our species. Sea Shepherd is doing what needs to be done, and they are having a clear effect. We owe our future to those who sacrifice for it. These people are the front line army fighting against catastrophic global species extinction. I salute you.

S.E.T.I. Institute. (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence). We must seek to find. I believe it is a certainty that life has evolved on other worlds. It is mathematically certain, and and S.E.T.I. Is working hard to prove it. Their radio surveillance and spectral imaging of extra solar planets is our best hope of discovering advanced alien life. Perhaps we could then finally come together as a world, and see ourselves as one people.

Cloned Meat. I am not talking about clone animals, I am talking about clone steaks. Petri dish produced beef and chicken. Imagine a real beef burger that was never a cow. Never had a brain, never had a nervous system, never required grazing land, or produced methane. Never hurt or felt a thing. This technology could replace one of the most ethically disturbing and environmentally damaging problems our world faces. The simple fact is that we require a high protein diet, best provided to us by animal meat. I am not a vegan, but I do understand and deeply empathise with this problem, and I want a solution. Cloning is very real, and such meat already exists, it is perfectly ethical, clean, and disease free. It is even supported by P.E.T.A. There are many companies working on the process and trying to reduce costs, including NASA. The world's first cloned meat burger was cooked and eaten in 2013, and it is estimated that it should be commercially viable in a decade. Imagine a fast food industry with absolutely zero animal cruelty. That is a wonderful possibility, and it can't come fast enough.

Rock on you beautiful scientists. I honour you, and I can't wait to see the future you are building. In the depth of global environmental crisis and seemingly endless war, I find hope and happiness knowing you are out there, doing what you do. You inspire me, and I hope I can in turn inspire others through my writing.


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