Escape from Mercury: A New Science Fiction Novel

Escape from Mercury is a science-fiction novel about a secretive NASA mission to the planet Mercury, what the astronauts find at its shadowy north pole, and what they must do to reach Earth again. The book portrays an alternate history of America from the 1960’s to the 1980’s in which NASA’s Apollo program does not end shortly after the Lunar landings but continues and expands with new missions to other planets in the Solar system. It’s a surreal space Western that combines period-specific Apollo program technologies with dark theology, musical metaphysics, and the psychology of dreaming.

Escape from Mercury is only available in a limited paperback edition. No authorized electronic version of the text exists. The shape, size, and cover design reflect the aesthetics of pulp sci-fi novels of the 60’s and 70’s. Alas, the price of EfM, $9.99, is an order of magnitude more expensive than those books. However, T.A. and I take comfort in the fact that our publisher paused the production process at one point to ask if we really and truly wanted to set the price the book at such a low, barely profitable figure.

My previously published writings have been non-fiction works of dream research. To write about dreams, however, is always to write about the stories of people’s lives. My non-fiction has always included many narrative elements as a result, even when I’m trying to make technical academic points. Escape from Mercury is the Yin to the Yang of those writings. Here, the foreground changes places with the background: the narrative story-telling takes the lead, with the scholarly theorizing in a supporting role. And yet, the non-fictional elements in EfM are essential to the alternate-reality plot. For example, we present (thanks largely to T.A.’s expertise) an historically accurate portrait of how the 70’s era Apollo Applications Program would have continued to develop its plans for interplanetary missions following the original Lunar landings. EfM also includes numerous references to the origins, functions, and interpretation of dreams, all of which is grounded in actual research and historical fact. If you have enjoyed any of my other books, I think you’ll like EfM.

A big difference between Escape from Mercury and my other writings is that I don’t really want to say anything about it. With non-fiction books, it’s much easier to summarize the basic ideas and discuss them in general terms, which helps in giving potentially interested readers an idea of what the text is about. With EfM, even what I have written here feels like too much, like I’m giving things away we would prefer the readers to discover on their own. We’re not trying to be cryptic, or at least not too cryptic. We just want to give you a chance to enjoy the story without any spoilers getting in the way.


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