Offworld

Christopher Burke and his crew of NASA astronauts are the first human beings to walk on the surface of Mars. Their return to Earth was supposed to be a momentous day. But a surprise is waiting for them there that’s beyond imagining.

Safe after a treacherous landing in Florida, the crew emerges to find the unthinkable: every man, woman, child, and animal has vanished without a trace.

It’s not a dream.

It’s not a trick.

It’s real.

Alone now on their home planet, the crew sets out to discover the extraordinary secret behind the disappearance of mankind. And whether or not everyone can be brought back.

But they may not be as alone as they thought.

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Do you miss my Weekly Newsletters?

I’m bringing the weekly newsletter back.

It’s an idea I’ve been kicking around for a while, and the more I think about it, the more it snowballs in my mind. More than any other reason, I really miss doing it. It brought a lot of hope and encouragement to a lot of people. But the truth is, no one got more out of it than I did. It was a great way of growing my own faith, and in turn helping others do the same. And that’s something we all could use a little more of these days.

So if you enjoyed my weekly newsletter, now is the time to sign up for it again. It will go out every Friday, probably early in the morning. It will start probably next Friday, March 27th.

Each week you’ll receive an insightful note from written by yours truly, just like the good old days. These writings might take the form of spiritual devotions or encouragement, thoughts on writing, ruminations on shaping culture and living as a Roaring Lamb, or personal reflections from my own life. And of course, all the latest news about my books, and whatever else I’m working on lately.

In the past, you knew this weekly mailing as the Infuze Newsletter.

Now, it will be the Robin Parrish Newsletter.

Subscribe now! And please, help me get the word out! Tell your old Infuze friends, your family, your writer pals, post it on your blog, your favorite message boards, Facebook, MySpace, etc.


If you’re new to all this, here’s an example from a newsletter I wrote several years ago. It’s probably the note I got the most feedback about, ever. This is just one example of what you might expect from the new newsletter…

Close your eyes.

Picture this: You’re standing right in front of God, but you’re not there to stand in awe or offer praises.

You’re angry. Every suppressed question, fear, and doubt you’ve ever had is boiling to the surface, and you can’t hold them in anymore. You’re confused, disappointed, outraged, and nothing in life makes sense. You’re standing before the supreme being of the universe who created you and everything around you, but all you can think about is all the ways he’s let you down.

“Why do you allow bad things to happen, God? Can’t you prevent it? Don’t you have the ability?”

“Look at the world! How can you still be in control?”

“If you really care about me, why would you let this happen?!”

“Do you care about me at all??”

Bitter tears fall from your eyes. Blind to anything but your own pain, you are exhausted, desperate, writhing in contempt for life.

Finally, your tirade ends, and you have no strength left. You look up into the Father’s eyes, but instead you blink — there’s something you didn’t expect. Instead of the Father, you see his Son, naked and stretched out upon a wooden cross, and he’s bloodied, broken, bruised, and in every conceivable way, he’s undergoing the most terrifying agony imaginable.

Overwhelmed in that moment, you start to collapse, but at the last second something happens: Jesus’ arms break free from the cross and catch you. He embraces you completely, holding you in his strong arms to his scarred chest. And you hear him whisper through his own tears, “Oh my child… How I love you so.”

He says, “Open your eyes.”

You do, and you see that his arms have returned to the cross.

“Look at where I am,” he says, “and remember, this is how much I care about you.”

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From the Earth to the Moon

My wife bought me the miniseries From the Earth to the Moon for Christmas. I’ve wanted to see it since it was first broadcast on HBO. From the Earth to the Moon is a dramatization of the story of the Apollo missions to the moon. I’ve been fascinated by the Apollo program, by these extraordinary men who traveled into space, by the space race, by the culture of NASA — all of it — since I was a child.

The gift was great timing on my wife’s part, because right now I’m smack in the middle of editing my second draft of Offworld, which as you should know by now, features a group of astronauts as its core cast of characters. Even though the main story is set on Earth, the earliest part of the book is framed by NASA and manned spaceflight.

I just finished watching the miniseries’ first episode, “Can We Do This?”, and I’m not ashamed to admit I was darn near moved to tears by it. I expect I’m in the minority on that; I can see why the miniseries wouldn’t be everybody’s cup of tea. It’s steeped in technobabble and plays at times almost like an educational documentary, explaining in detail how the Apollo astronauts did what they did.

But it’s also a deeply moving, at times magical portrait of a group of men on something akin to a holy mission. There’s something about watching these guys striving to achieve this monumentally huge thing… under tremendous pressure from political forces… risking their lives in fragile spacecraft that could so easily go wrong in so many ways… yet willing to do it anyway while filled with awe and childlike glee. And succeeding! I can’t explain what that feeling or quality is, but every astronaut in the early days of the space program knew exactly what it was like. And that sensation has got me completely dazzled, roped in by the wonder of this group of people doing what, at that time, should have been impossible.

I can’t wait to watch the rest of the series, but for now, you’ll have to excuse me while I get back to work. I’m feeling inspired…

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My New Job: Getting LOST

Sometime in the next week or so, I will be taking over as the one-and-only blogger for B5media’s ApproachingLOST.com, a news blog about the TV show Lost. The contract was signed and delivered today, so it’s a done deal.

As someone utterly obsessed with Lost (how awesome was Season 4?), I’m pretty doggone thrilled about this. It’s great timing, too, as the hype machine is just starting to build for Season 5. I’ve been looking for some kind of regular paying gig slash writing outlet all year. And I know this show well enough to write about it with my eyes closed! So I couldn’t be more excited to get started! Bring it!

FYI, if you go to ApproachingLOST.com now, you’ll find some mildly tabloidy stuff on there from the fill-in editor who’s been posting stuff while they’ve searched for a new blogger. I won’t be doing that sort of thing; I’ll be focusing entirely on the story, the characters, the writers, the trivia, merch tie-ins, episode summaries, mysteries, unanswered questions, etc. Basically, all the cool, geeky stuff that us Lost fans salivate over. :)

If it’s happening in the world of Lost, you can bet ApproachingLOST.com will cover it.

Be there or be a uniformly-sided rectangle.

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