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An extraordinary story of how six children became the first astronauts to go to Mars.

Are we alone in the Universe? If life was found on Mars would that change our perspectives? If we were nearly wiped out by an asteroid, like the dinosaurs, would that make us think differently?

This story starts with the extraordinary discovery of what looks like a fossil on Mars and the existential threat of Asteroid ‘Wilson’ bearing down on Earth.

Luther Garvey, The President of the United States certainly had a wake up call and decides to do something big for humanity and his own legacy. Calling off various military adventures he sets his sights on a mission to Mars, within his presidency.

The book tells the exciting story of how this happens. Surmounting almost impossible hurdles the maverick scientist Ford Harris, the only man the President knows who’s crazy enough to pull it off, finds the way to make it happen.

The three biggest problems are; the lack of a rocket big enough to get the crew to Mars; the severe restrictions on the weight of the crew to get them back off the surface and time; Luther is sure that his likely successor will abandon the mission if it not already on its way.

By creating engaging characters and the use of beautiful illustrations, Dransfield gives the book a depth and vitality as the plot twists and turns as each problem is resolved.

As the book unfolds, the true central characters emerge. They are the six children who battle it out against two other adult teams in a series of tests and expeditions.

The children come from all over the world and are chosen because of their close work with their talented parents. Like little avatars they will be expected to follow the instructions sent from earth by their mentors. Their existence is kept secret until the last minute.

Dransfield has not only written a book peppered with well developed characters and a great story line, but researched the science and technology throughly, giving the book an authenticity and a sense of wonder in what is still possible for mankind and a greater appreciation of our own planet.

Jonathan Dransfield was a child when man first stood on the moon. There was an expectation that the next place to visit would be Mars. It never happened, but the awe and wonder of the solar system and the universe has lived with him since.  

When the current interest in visiting the red planet resurfaced he felt that the crazy schemes like send people on a one way trip was not the way to go. As an architect he was used to designing things and solving problems.  

The key problem is weight. To date we have only dropped robots onto the surface, the problem of a manned mission is getting the crew back off  the planet. Solving this is the key.  

Perhaps it was the fact that Dransfield and his partner have nine kids between them compelled him the write this book. He also knows that kids at times can be smarter than adults, especially with modern technology.

Dransfield is a visual person and used his drawing talents to develop the plot. He has created an illustrated book ‘The Other Things’ a study on how to go to Mars and get some peace and quiet.

Eclipse 2017 and Earnest Shackleton - Work in progress

Sunday, 18 February 2018

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I'm working on the last few images. I needed an eclipse illustration and this from our summer road trip. The diamond ring effect is just starting, as is the drawing!!.

I had an web image of Shakleton's advert for his Antarctic Expedition in the manuscript. I've have now finshed the full illustration.

We've reached 49% of the pledges after one month - Brilliant!. Special thanks to Jen, Will…

The Great American Eclipse

Monday, 12 February 2018

Wyoming eclipse

This was the beautiful sight we saw last summer. The Great American Eclipse. We wouldn't have chosen to go to Wyoming normally, but was so glad we did! It was brilliant, the 'Big Country' and especially Yellowstone.

Yellowstone is one big shield volcano like the big ones on Mars! It was also great to see more of America first hand. 

So much of the novel is set there and I've had to imagine it…

Super Blue Moon

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Two weeks since the launch and 16 very kind subscribers. THANK YOU !!!

The kids pointed out the blue moon rising over Peckham Rye last night and then i caught the serious moonlight flooding the kitchen before dawn. Just beautiful and reminds me why I love to write about the planets and space. 

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