Kent Swarts
Kent Swarts retired from aerospace engineering after 45 years of designing spacecraft that explored our solar system and extended man’s understanding of space. He also worked on a stratospheric observatory that has changed man’s perception of the evolution of the Universe. Many career experiences have provided backgrounds for settings, actions and conflicts found in Kent’s stories.

Also, having grown up reading Arthur Clarke, Isaac Asimov and other stalwarts of sci-fi, his writing gravitated to science fiction, and in particular, stories of discovery and those that test man’s resolve and courage. As an amateur astronomer, he has edited the Central Texas Astronomical Society’s newsletter for thirteen years. Kent lives with his wife of fifty years, dog, and flowerbeds in Waco, Texas.

Kent’s publication history includes stories in:

*  A Tall Ship, A Star And Plunder, 2014, Blood Is Thicker Than Pirate’s Gold
2113 An Oral History of the Last God, 2014, Utopia, Texas
* The Temporal Elements II, 2015, Schrodinger’s Cat’s Time Machine
*  Several online magazines and anthologies

The Fate of the Charles Wilkes
By Kent Swarts
The spaceship Charles Wilkes is strewn over thousands of miles of inhospitable terrain on planet 55-Cnc-g. Twelve crew and scientists survived the crash. Eleven make it out of the frozen mountains to lower elevation. They split into two groups, one heading down river into a canyon, the other into low hills, so one group might have a better chance to survive. Poorly equipped and starving both move indomitably forward.

They find two sentient species, one similar to man, the other so dissimilar they find it hard to believe them sentient. Then they discover that aliens inhabited the planet centuries ago and enslaved the Esterancasts, the man-like species. Plus the aliens had brought thousands of Inca and unimaginable technology to mine and fashion gold, and then suddenly left with the Inca. Intent to understand the aliens and why they left, the humans, the Esterancasts and the Tentacled Creatures, quite unlike man, loosely band together. Their common purpose leads to disbelief, anger, frustration, death and finally realization. What they find has several staggering implications for everyone’s future, but man must to return to Earth.

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