I know who’s going to settle the solar system (Readers Club email 4-24-22)


Raymund Eich

Science fiction and fantasy – from Middle America to the ends of the Universe

Happy springtime to you

Raymund Eich here. If you live in the northern hemisphere, I hope spring is treating you well. Some readers in the northern US recently went through an unseasonal blizzard, I hope you made it through safely. And if you live in the southern hemisphere, you probably live someplace with nice weather most of the year.

You might have seen some posts in your social media feed that this April, in addition to Easter and Passover, Ramadan also took place. I’m not going to talk about my religious beliefs, and I’m not going to ask about yours. But whatever they are, you’ve got to agree that religion has been a powerful force in human affairs for thousands of years.

I recently ran the math about space travel expenses and I came to a pretty strong conclusion: religion will be a major force driving the human race to settle the solar system. And the galaxy.

Don’t believe me? Check my math for yourself by reading “The Believers Shall Inherit the Solar System,” my speculative fact article in the May/June 2022 issue of Analog. On newsstands now. You can also learn more at this blog post.

Publishing News

A Fistful of Monopoles

A Space Adventure Short Story


A billion-year-old alien ship.

A great treasure.

A great danger.

With a last surge of the main drive, Barnet matched our bearing and speed with the alien derelict.

Twisted lines of tubing and conduit curled around the hull. After a billion years, micrometeor collisions had sandblasted the ship to a dull finish.

But behind that battered surface might lurk exotic materials beyond the manufacturing capability of any human world. Magnetic monopoles, dyons, condensed matter. Even a tiny amount delivered to Earth or a major world could set up a crew for life.

Risks? Yes. I’d seen men die horrible deaths from alien nano. But the rewards could be worth it.

And I had nothing to worry about.

I knew Barnet had my back.

Ebook now available for preorder. Just $2.99. Release date for ebook and paperback editions is Thursday, April 28, 2022.

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Patently Curious

I’ve read thousands of patents in my career. Some are more memorable than others.

April is also the start of the baseball season in North America. (If you know when it’s opening day in Japan, Mexico, or other countries’ leagues, drop me a line). Though baseball harkens to tradition, the game has undergone continual innovation since the 1860s. (NL DH and extra inning runners on second are only the latest).

Where there’s innovation, there are patents. Some become integral parts of the game, like catcher’s masks that are easy to flip up when fielding a pop-up.

Some don’t. Like this one. US 755,209, patented on March 22, 1904 by James Edward Bennett for “Base Ball Catcher.” Who needs a mitt when you can wear a box with padding on your chest?


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The Neighbor You Don’t Know (Preview)

by Shane Shepherd


Interstellar journeys? Alien ruins? Come explore the planet Neighbor in this free preview of Book 1 of Shane Shepherd’s The Neighbor You Don’t Know series. Click HERE to get your free preview by joining Shane’s newsletter.