Slingshot is a love story – about a man, a woman, another man, another woman, some gender bending…and a machine, the largest ever built.
Slingshot is a mystery – about a missing aviatrix, a conspiracy, a true-believer. Slingshot is an adventure – about following a dream, the ocean-deep, outer space. Slingshot is about constructing the first space launch-loop stretching 2,000 km between Baker and Jarvis Islands in the Equatorial Pacific. It’s about high finance, intrigue, unlimited ambition, heroism, fanaticism, betrayal…and about opening space to the common person.
With a cast of 69, Slingshot takes you from Seattle’s world financial district, to the ocean bottom at 5,000 meters off Baker Island, to the edge of space 80 km above. You play with dolphins and battle sharks. You fly and sail and dive, you work and play and love across the vast panorama of an Equatorial Pacific being put to leash to serve humanity’s surge into outer space.
While its accurate science and precise engineering will appeal to hard science fiction buffs, Slingshot’s major focus is the grand journey, the opening of outer space to the common person by men and women who loom larger than life as they work, play, and love.
Available on Amazon for 99 cents for a limited time.
From the Sea to the Stars, July 31, 2015
Keith Lofstrom “microelectronics designer”
This review is from: Slingshot: Building the largest machine in human history (Starchild Series) (Volume 1) (Paperback)
Slingshot is about the people who will build a better world, the kind of person that every teenager should dream of becoming. The setting is the construction of the first launch loop, a low cost, zero pollution space launch system that I and others proposed in the early 1980s. The launch loop can be built with 1970s materials, is energy efficient, and zero emissions, so I prefer it to rocket exhaust, nuclear explosions, and unobtainium.
Most science fiction is fantasy, using magic spaceships rather than magic swords, a backdrop for adventurers who break the machinery that invisible others labored to make. I prefer to dream about doing. Spaceships will require mining, machining, assembly, transportation, and repair, done by the millions of heroes we never hear about, rather than the handful of adventurers who get a brief ride followed by lifelong adulation. Williscroft writes about the millions; the Gullah-Geechee dive boss, the Mohawk (80 km!) high structure workers, the engineers and pilots and CEOs and naturalists who will contribute to the construction of the first high-volume launch system.
About the Author
Dr. Robert G. Williscroft served 23 years in the U.S. Navy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He commenced his service as an enlisted nuclear Submarine Sonar Technician in 1961, was selected for the Navy Enlisted Scientific Education Program in 1966, and graduated from University of Washington in Marine Physics and Meteorology in 1969. He returned to nuclear submarines as the Navy’s first Poseidon Weapons Officer. Subsequently, he served as Navigator and Diving Officer on both catamaran mother vessels for the Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle. Then he joined the Submarine Development Group One out of San Diego as the Officer-in-Charge of the Test Operations Group, conducting “deep-ocean surveillance and data acquisition” – which forms the basis for his Cold War novel Operation Ivy Bells. In NOAA Dr. Williscroft directed diving operations throughout the Pacific and Atlantic. As a certified diving instructor for both the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) and the Multinational Diving Educators Association (MDEA), he taught over 3,000 individuals both basic and advanced SCUBA diving. He authored four diving books, developed the first NAUI drysuit course, developed advanced curricula for mixed gas and other specialized diving modes, and developed and taught a NAUI course on the Math and Physics of Advanced Diving. He also served three shipboard years in the high Arctic conducting scientific baseline studies, and thirteen months at the geographic South Pole in charge of National Science Foundation atmospheric projects. Dr. Williscroft has written extensively on terrorism and related subjects. He is the author of a popular book on current events published by Pelican Publishing: “The Chicken Little Agenda – De-bunking Experts’ Lies,” now in a second edition as an ebook, and a new children’s book series, “Starman Jones,” in collaboration with Dr. Frank Drake, world famous director of the Carl Sagan Institute for the Study of Life in the Universe and the SETI Institute. Dr. Williscroft lives with his wife, Jill, whom he met upon his return from the South Pole in 1982 and finally married in 2011, and their twin boys in Centennial, Colorado.