Cosmonaut Sokoloff oversees mining on the Mars base where the FALCON, an android linked to millions of nanobots, runs diagnostics and repairs on all the Mars rover’s and mining equipment. But, something isn’t right. With the electromagnetic storm season underway, the FALCON short-circuits, refusing to bring up the nanobots and abort the mission. Sokoloff must override the system. He can’t lose his only connection to Milana whose DNA merged with the nanobots during a failed attempt to destroy the cancer that killed her. Sokoloff lost Milana once. He would not lose her again.
This story came about while volunteering at Suntree Elementary School. The Future Problem Solvers Program is an after school writing contest where students are given six topics to choose from with info packets to research. The premise is to take a problem from today, go at least 30 years into the future, and write a 1500 word story that solves the problem.
I volunteer every week to work with the students in order to teach them the process of researching, writing, editing, and submitting their stories. It is one of my favorite things to do. Last year, I took the topic of robotics and read about nanobots in the research, and came up with the story I sold to Third Flatiron. The coolest part was letting each student take their turn holding the paycheck I received by doing the exact same assignment they did. I want them to really understand that they can get paid to write.
I was asked to review a previous anthology by editor Juli Rew. I was floored by the uniqueness of her environmental sci-fi anthology and the caliber of stories she chose. After several failed attempts to publish, I finally wrote a story she liked AND fit within the anthology’s theme.
I hope you will pick up a copy of Redshifted: Martian Stories. I promise you won’t be disappointed.