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Aphelion Editorial 078

February 2004

by Dan L. Hollifield

The Usual Rant from the Aphelion Senior Editor

What a long strange trip its been. Here we are- starting Aphelion's seventh year. Has it really been that long? I guess it has. My how time flies when you're running yourself ragged to keep up, LOL! No- its all been fun, really.

We've got a great line up of stories for you, scads of reviews of new books coming out, and lots of updates to our regular features. So grab a party hat and help yourself to some punch! Let's celebrate! Happy Birthday, Aphelion! Balloons! Where are the balloons? There's a slice of birthday cake for everyone.

And you thought I was going to rant about NASA being gutted by the Bush Space plan, didn't you? I'll just say that BS seems a fitting title for it. I can't help thinking that China's space program has a lot to do with the decision for the US to return to the Moon and then jump to Mars. There's a lot of people in China. Suppose they started sending large numbers of colonists out there? Why then, there'd be a Moon base gap and a Mars base gap and they might even try to claim the whole thing for themselves- And where would that leave the US? Stuck here on Earth trying to recycle everything that's been left behind... Ah, you read SF, you know how the plot goes from here on. We all know that music, the same tired old song and dance. Its time to change the beat. Sure, lets go set up some Lunar bases. Lets make them grow into cities. The same for Mars colonies, the sooner we start building them the better. I imagine that Mars would be welcoming industries that put a lot of smoke in the air- to help with some needed global warming there. Lets do it just as soon as we figure out how.

What will we need? Some heavy-lift boosters, some new spaceship designs, a couple of space stations, a few million people to do the work, a few billion dollars, something to get the public interested... And what else? I don't know yet, but at least its a place to start.

Can we actually make it work? Sure, but we humans might be forced to grow up a little more first. Right now, we're still too interested in fighting among ourselves over trivia. "Whose God is holier than whose? Who has the correct skin color? Who stole a chicken from us ten thousand years ago- so its been war to the knife ever since? Who is sleeping with whom? Who is foreign and exotic and so has been stealing our women/men/mates/oil/earwax/whatever? Who has more money? Power? Followers? A bigger limo?"


How long is it going to be before we're ready to get out of the Day-Care center that is planet Earth? Actually, I was hoping to have been an asteroid miner by this time. I was born at the beginning of the Space Age. Am I doomed to outlive it? Only time will tell. Most of us can only influence world events by keeping our governments in line, by participating, by voting out the rascals, and voting in whoever we think will support our views. But we can't just keep sitting back and waiting. If we want the world to change, we're the ones who are going to have to do the work necessary to make that change. You want to go to Mars? Raise your voice and be heard! Get active, get involved, make it happen! The future's that way! I can only show you the door. I can't make you walk through it. But when you do make it through the door, we are going to PARTY!


I now return you to your regularly scheduled reading...


2004 Dan L. Hollifield

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