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Speed of Light

Now that I’m between edits I’m feeling a little bit lost. I like the exhilaration and anticipation that comes with finishing a manuscript. The story I set out to write so long ago is finally down and now I can put it aside for a while before tackling the next batch of edits.

So what next? Alpha Revelation is almost ready to go to press and should be out in December. Hanzet is due for publication in March 2013, which means editing won’t start for a while yet. I am now facing the prospect of writing a new book. Or maybe I’ll go back to an old one and give it a rewrite.

Back when I was thinking about the story I wanted to tell in Alpha Revelation, I revisited some of my research for Alpha Redemption. As part of my research, I wanted to see what it would be like to travel at the speed of light. To visualise this, I installed a free program called Celestia and had a quick look through the manual. I turned the camera towards Mars and accelerated to 299,792km/s.

To be honest, I was surprised and maybe a little bit disappointed. Mars drifted across the screen at quite a leisurely pace. Sure, the camera was quite a long way from the planet. No doubt things would have looked very different a mile above the surface. But it was still strange to see that it was quite a sedate pace compared to my imagination.

This weekend, I decided to try something different. This time I started 25,000km above the Earth’s surface and, using a simple script, flew away from the planet at the speed of light. This time, the results were closer to what I had expected. In 10 seconds the camera covered almost 3 million kilometres.

I recorded the video for Youtube here. Unfortunately, the act of recording the script caused a slight delay, so 10 secs is more like 13 secs, but you still get a reasonable idea of the speed.

About P.A.Baines

P.A.Baines writes computer programs for a living but would much rather be writing Christian speculative fiction, which he does whenever he gets the opportunity. Educated in Africa, he is studying towards a degree in Creative Writing through Buckinghamshire New University in England. He enjoys asking "what if?" but is tired of how speculative fiction deals with religion in general and the God of the Bible in particular. His stories are for Christians who enjoy science fiction but who normally avoid the genre because of its tendency towards an atheistic world-view. His aim is to write entertaining and thought-provoking stories that stretch the imagination, but which keep God in His rightful place as Lord over all creation. P.A.Baines is British but currently lives in a small corner of the Netherlands with his wife and two children and various wildlife. He spends what little spare time he has keeping fit, watching films, and playing computer games with his children. He does most of his reading via audio books, which he listens to while commuting to and from work on his trusty bicycle. He speaks reasonable Dutch and is in the process of learning French.

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