Free book for science fiction or history! GET EITHER OR BOTHFree Books!


Something worth killing for?

My science fiction work-in-progress is about a scientific survey team on a planet which suffers a comet impact, and the Kestrel’s attempts to rescue them. To add more spice to the mix, there is a mining ship that doesn’t want them rescued. In fact, they want the team killed.
The question is, what is on (or in) the planet that is worth killing for?
In my first NaNoWriMo draft I chose silicon, because it’s a vital component of computers. Then someone helpfully pointed out that silicon is in sand, which is everywhere on Earth and therefore not in short supply!
So I did some research and settled on scandium, known as the ‘miracle metal’, which ‘has unique properties in material sciences, and is a critical resource in the world due to the low supply but wide applications in advanced technology.’ According to Wikipedia, ‘scandium offers significant benefits. Particularly promising is the strengthening of aluminium alloys with as little as 0.5% scandium.’ It’s a soft, silvery, white metal, although often found in crystals called thortveitite.
I think that fits the bill.

Head shot Ann Marie ThomasAnn Marie Thomas is the author of five medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel, Intruders, Alien Secrets & Crisis of Conscience are out now Follow her at