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Author Interview: With Brandon Q. Morris- Mars Nation Series.



The Writers Lounge:

During your research and writing of the Mars Nation series is there any one thing that stands out to you as being the spark that either allows humans to actually colonize Mars or dooms the mission to failure?


Brandon Q. Morris:

Mars is a very harsh environment. Current research tells us that it will never be possible to change it into a second Earth so we should really value our own planet as unique. Still, Mars can be a second home for humanity. It will be a very different life, always under a dome, where each expedition outside is a full-blown EVA. The main ingredient to make this a reality will be cooperation between humans. I'm pretty optimistic that we can achieve this.


The Writers Lounge:

In your story, the chosen ones, the ones who will inhabit Mars come from a variety of backgrounds and from different countries. How does this add to or take away from the mission?


Brandon Q. Morris:

If humanity ever wants to colonize Mars, it will not be an endeavor for a single country. It just doesn't make sense to create the same expensive infrastructure twice or more times. A Mars colony will need a long time to become economically stable, and this can only be achieved if several countries are working together. I chose the "Mars Nation" title for that reason. One day, humans living on Mars will consider themselves Martians.


The Writers Lounge:

How old were you when you became interested in space and what inspired that interest in you?


Brandon Q. Morris:

It was probably the same event that inspired most space enthusiasts of my generation – the first men on the moon. I do not remember the very first successful Apollo missions but watched all those in the 1970's, plus (as I was living in Eastern Germany behind the wall) the Russian Lunokhod driving on the Moon.


The Writers Lounge:

In your career as an author you have written about many of the other planets. What are your thoughts about Earth and its future?


Brandon Q. Morris:

The Earth will stay our home for a few billion years so we better take care of it. As a physicist I don't think FTL (Faster than light) travel will ever be possible which limits our chances of colonizing space. Even if we manage to live on another planet outside our solar system, life will develop differently for this colony. It's hardly manageable to keep a tight connection if you have to wait ten years (or 100) for any answer.


The Writers Lounge:

Do you believe Mars could one day become like Earth through terraformation?


Brandon Q. Morris:

Science today is pretty sure that terraforming Mars to create a second Earth is impossible. The necessary ingredients are missing. We may be able to raise temperatures and pressure so much that we may be able to go outside with a simple breathing mask, like what divers are using, and we may have plants growing in Martian soil, but it will not be like Earth. More like living on the top of Mt. Everest.


The Writers Lounge:

If you could see into the future, where do you see the human race in regards to space exploration in 100 years?


Brandon Q. Morris:

In 100 years we will have a permanent presence on Mars, and we will know what's under the ice crust of Enceladus and Europa. We will also have sent our first probes to the nearest stars (via the StarShot program); some of them may possibly already have sent back pictures. If they are interesting, then by 2120, some people will start to assemble a generation ship to visit those places.


The Writers Lounge:

What do you enjoy most about the writing process and being an author? What are your future projects?


Brandon Q. Morris:

For me, writing is like travelling to space. I'm a discovery writer,

and I'm just behind my protagonist and to see what he or she is

discovering. I'm the boss of my own space agency with unlimited budget– well, nearly. Even the space agencies in my books are having budget problems.


The Writers Lounge:

What’s your advice to an aspiring writer/author?


Brandon Q. Morris:

Be consistent. Write. A lot. I'm writing professionally since 30 years now. Experience is valuable. It also helps if you love what you do.


The Writers Lounge:

Who are your favorite authors and why?


Brandon Q. Morris:

I do watch Sci-Fantasy like Star Wars or Star Trek, but for books, I prefer those that are nearer to actual science. Dan Simmons is great, I'm re-reading Endymion right now. Neal Stephenson. Stanislav Lem. The Strugatzki brothers.


The Writers Lounge:

Where can we find you on the web?


At hard-sf.com. I write about new discoveries in space science and cosmology and I list my books there. I regularly update my readers through my newsletter (hard-sf.com/subscribe), and in a Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/hardsf) and page (https://www.facebook.com/BrandonQMorris).


My are availible on Amazon, both in e-book and paperback, also via Kindle Unlimited. Right now, Mars Nation is free for all Amazon Prime customers.hard-sf.com

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