12/10/19 Newsletter: Have Space Suit, will travel a lot

This is from my mostly weekly SF Update. If you’d like to get these in your inbox, use the form here: www.jamesaaron.net/list/


You may have heard about the all women space walk on the ISS recently. It was delayed due to a shortage of the correct size space suits. I wasn’t aware of how limited our inventory is of space suits, since each is basically its own space vehicle that must be maintained, repaired and shipped to the ISS when crews change. (I should know this, I just hadn’t really thought through the process.) 

Those two stories led me down the rabbit hole to finding this amazing gallery of the evolution of US space suits. I’m excited to share it: https://imgur.com/a/SoFGa. Be sure and click on the “See more Images” to get the whole gallery. There are probably 75 images.

Please allow images to see the photo

This suit, built in 1935 by BF Goodrich, was the third such suit made for aviator Wiley Post. The first practical design, it featured an inner rubber bladder and a rubberized fabric outer layer which was glued to a frame with joints to facilitate movement. Post used his suit to fly to an altitude of 50,000 feet, where he discovered the jet stream. Post’s suit is the predecessor to all modern pressure suits, which operate on the same basic principes.


My first book with Variant Publishing (Renegade StarRuins of the Galaxy and the Last Reaper Series) is in the editing pipeline. After three years of working with Mal Cooper and Aeon 14, it’s an interesting experience to work with a new team and get a feel for how they make their books the best they can be. I’ll be working with two editors on this project. In Aeon 14, I’d work with Mal, then an editor, then back with Mal. 

The new series is called Galactic Law, and features some elements of Judge Dredd but with more humor and adventure. Some of my six years’ experience with a police department went into the characters, so I’m really exited about this one.

I’ve also finished a first draft on a novella I plan to give away for free in January. It’s a space opera featuring a vagabond spacer and an ex-military AI (who may be a recovering psychopath). I’ve got an energy-based alien species in the series, so that’s been a lot of fun to think through. If folks like the story, I plan to continue with novels in between these other projects. I’m loving the characters, so I’m looking forward to writing more.

I hope December is treating you well. Thanks for being a reader! 




Concept Art by Xu Zhang

Hot Launch by Raphael Lacoste

Spaceport by John Wallin Liberto

11/27/19 Newsletter: Thanksgiving in Space

//SF Author James S. Aaron Checking In//

Hey, how are you?

I’m sending this letter a bit early. I wanted to share a couple neat things I found before the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.

A couple things to talk about during Thanksgiving

I was amazed to learn recently that the holiday is celebrated internationally. Seth Godin shared the factoid in his recent episode of the Akimbo podcast:

11/26 – “Cohesion and Commerce” 


Apparently, the origins of Thanksgiving are murky, but its cultural relevance has resisted changes to its dates, foods, and what the holiday even means. According to Godin, this has all been reinforced by powerful marketing forces that tied commerce to the cultural cohesion of the event. It’s an interesting listen, and only 20 minutes.

Funny name, awesome recipe

He also talks about Spatchcocking your turkey, which I recommend to everyone. You’ll cut your cooking time in half and everything comes out evenly cooked. (Sharing this recipe is another reason I wrote early. It took most of the stress out of cooking a turkey for me.)

So what does this have to do with space?

It got me thinking about what Thanksgiving, or the coming together to give thanks, might look like in the future. Seth talks about why we cook a turkey the way we do, why cranberries became part of the meal, and a few other “must have” parts of the holiday that have been added over time for different reasons. We also have Norman Rockwell to thank for cooking turkey the way we do, rather than sensibly spatchcocking it. 

Future Holidays

How will holidays play out on Mars, Luna or out in the asteroid belt? I’m sure they would want to create a new bit of the tradition while hanging onto a few old parts. What if you have to buy different apps for your protein assembler to get just the right centerpiece for your meal? What if somebody hacked those apps? How much fuel would it cost to meet up with other space craft and celebrate out near Neptune? Who controls the calendar? Would pirates take advantage of so many ships meeting in a single spot? Don’t forget how vast and empty our solar system really is.

Here’s how they do it on the International Space Station.

Fun stuff to explore and talk about. Being me, I have to figure out how to turn dinner into a space battle, but there’s a lot of cool culture you could create along the way.

If you celebrate, I hope this gives you something fun to talk about around the table.

Other cool stuff

Until next time, I want to share some awesome SF art I’ve been finding from across the web. I’ve been collecting a ton of it on my facebook page (I’ve cut my facebook feed down to mostly art, and it’s much more relaxing to me.) I hope to share more as I send more updates.

Hope you have a great holiday,



Please allow images to see the art!

“Repair Mecha, Eryk Szczygieł” [https://www.artstation.com/typhonart]

Please allow images to see the art!

“cruiser spine, Colie Wertz” [https://www.artstation.com/artwork/nQG6x4]

Please allow images to see the art

“Soviet space art by Andrei Sokolov, 1974” [https://vintagetech.blognook.com/2018/12/28/soviet-space-art-by-andrei-sokolov-1974/]

Wordcrafters Class: Multiple Streams of Income for Fiction Authors

Photo by WestBoundary Photography chris gill on Unsplash

Saturday October 19th, 1 – 4pm


Hey writer, do you like to make money?

If you do, I’m teaching a class about creativity and income.

As a storyteller, you’ve got more opportunities today to create income from your work than you may realize and I’m excited to share some of these ideas with you.

From book sales, affiliate income, Patreon supporters and sharing your knowledge with others, you probably have more chances to make money from your learned skills as a writer than you realize. In this class, we’ll talk about those opportunities, where they are now, and what may be appearing in the near future so you’re ready to pivot with change.

What I do

For the last three years, I’ve been working with one of the best-selling science fiction series on Amazon, and I’ve learned what it takes to build a loyal audience who love and support your work.  I’m the author of nine novels and a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America.

The Class

I’ll share how to build a flagship series with multiple entry points for readers, how to build an email list so you talk directly to your readers, as well as engagement in Facebook groups, how to identify who is not your audience, and to build relationships with readers who are your audience.

We’ll talk about affiliate income from your newsletters, how to build a successful Patreon presence that serves your readers, and even why and how you might run a crowd-funded Kickstarter campaign.

That’s just the foundation. Once you have your series, there are many ways to generate income off your creativity, from audio, merchandising, affiliate income, events and experiences.

Multiple Income Mindset

You also may be looking at your writing career as an either/or situation: You can only be a full-time author, or a full-time employee.

For me, thinking about multiple income streams from my work and in my life helps me feel more confident about my financial and personal decisions.


This class will give you actionable steps to assess your writing from a financial perspective, build an audience of readers who want to buy your work, and then options on authentic merchandise and experiences to build their loyalty to you and your work.

I don’t teach often (I’m busy writing) so I look forward to seeing you!

Sign up here: https://www.facebook.com/events/477885196096654/

Eve of Destruction is out!

A thirty-year stalemate between humanity and the Psion AIs is ending…

But the AIs have not been idle. Their agents are everywhere and the seeds of rebellion and dissent have taken root. Humanity’s home system is a powder keg, and when the match is lit, all of Sol will erupt.

Cara has been in prison for four years, her mind numbed by docility, unaware of what’s been brewing. When a mysterious agent breaks her free, she finds herself caught up in a web of intrigue, double-dealing, and political machinations.

The Sykes family saved Sol from a human-AI war once before. Now it’s up to Cara and her sister Lyssa to turn the tide, and keep the galaxy’s two dominant species from tearing one another apart.

Get it on Amazon!