From the dome of his mile-long tower, peeking above the cracked earth of a former schoolyard, Dalen studied a wall of sulfuric storm clouds overshadowing the husks of Chicago’s skyline. One level below, a window wrapped around the tower’s shaft overlooked the hidden city, laid out like the layers of an onion. Were the city lifted to the surface, it would look like a giant toy top. The carved streets and homes lay open like a labyrinth, lit by cauldrons of engineered glowworms hanging from the cavern ceiling.
Earth is a beautiful place. Rolling dirt-tracks through forests fill us with wonder; a fresh fall of snow brings out the pearly whites of our smiles and anyone who has ever climbed a mountain to gaze upon the sprawling, living lands below knows the uplifting gratification of that sight. Earth is also more deadly than we can fathom: natural disasters like tsunamis and earthquakes are unavoidable, unforgivable, and will always decimate populations without care or notice, but many troubles we cause for ourselves. We’ve created ghost-towns, cost the lives of millions, and been ravaged by the tumultuous venom of Mother Nature. The hubris of war has rendered many places on Earth unfit for humans, from Bikini Atoll destroyed by nuclear testing, to the Anthrax-riddled Soviet island of Vozrozhdeniya. But it doesn't take Cold War weapons research to render a place completely barren. Sometimes industries can wreak havoc just as permanent as war.
With all the unknown objects and happenings beyond our control going on in outer space, as human beings we can’t help but wonder what the chances are of extraterrestrial disasters having a significant impact on Earth. Every day, people die from the strangest things, but for some reason we’re inclined to believe that there’s a looming possibility of life ending because of space rocks. So for those curious about astronomical catastrophes affecting our beloved planet, here are a few things to note:
"Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." Science Fiction author Ben Bova realized that the general rules of science - don't add an experiment to an experiment, and don't make things overly complicated - also applied to science fiction. His theory certainly brought him success. Starting out as a technical writer for Project Vanguard in the 1950's, Ben Bova went on to become a successor to John W. Campbell as editor of editor of Analog Science Fact & Fiction where he won six Hugo Awards. Throughout his career he authored over 120 books on science fact and science fiction, worked as editorial director for OMNI magazine, and was president of both the National Space Society and the Science Fiction Writers of America. He has appeared as the Guest of Honor at the Florida convention Necronomicon on two separate occasions, and in 2000, he attended the 58th World Science Fiction Convention as the Author Guest of Honor.