The U.S. government puts secret satellites into orbit all the time, so what’s so special about the new Boeing X37? It’s able to carry a human crew, that’s what. Now, I’d agree with you if you were to ask, “Don’t we have enough political intrigues right here on Earth? Why even start in with space?” But that would be missing the point I want to make. With a man-capable space plane up there right now as I write this piece, we don’t have to wait any longer for a new dimension to open up for science fiction stories. The day of the super-secret “Moonraker” James Bond type of high adventure spaceflight has arrived. We only need a small dose of imagination to come up with some whopping good space yarns that have added credibility that was lacking back in the 1950s and 1960s in the heyday of spaceflight adventure stories. Back then manned spaceflight was a nice concept but it wasn’t much of a reality. Nowadays, not only is human spaceflight real to the point of being routine, but it’s getting a good edge to it.
Spies in space? No, says the U.S. Yes, says China. Beijing recently complained that the X37 was spying on their super-secret space station. Wait a minute, a secret Chinese station in space? What? That’s right. It’s called Tiangong, and I’m hoping that maybe the X37 really did give it a good looking over. I’d like to see some snapshots, and I for one want to know exactly why China wants a station, not to mention a secret one.
Woo-oo-oo-oo! What are they up to up there? Scheming to take over the world? Planning to ship cheap labor to orbit and drop low-quality products on us from space? Anything is possible. My vote, as a science fiction and mystery writer, is that a race of ancient aliens has come to earth in order to interbreed with the most beautiful of our planet’s women to produce a super-race of hybrid beings, and China has been shipping them a steady supply of its best and most lovely.
We’d better hurry and get some of our own girls up there right away, unless we want to miss the opportunity to join an intergalactic society of superhuman, mutant, genius misfits. Now I think you can see the need for a space plane to get them there.
Apparently Boeing, through the intrigues of its “Phantom Projects” group, has done the job, and their best effort has been up there for more than a year now, noodling around in ways they don’t want to tell us about.
One thing I’m sure of: the credibility of my Dinosaur Wars novels has gone up quite a few notches. In those stories, I wrote of a secret manned (and womanned) mission to the moon that was the start of a whole alien invasion. So now it seems we’re not too far from the day when such a thing could be possible. Maybe it already is.
I’m currently about halfway through writing the third book in the Dinosaur Wars trilogy, which I’ve tentatively entitled “Blood On The Moon.” For now, I’ll leave you guessing. Whose blood? Where? When?
It’s a secret. But I’ll keep you posted when I can.