The Unselfish Gene

The Unselfish Gene is a science fiction novel by Robert Burns, for which I was lucky enough to make the cover image. In the novel, humans on Earth are largely wiped out by a plague with only a few survivors left in a zombie-like state. Forunately a lunar colony survives, but, lacking the supply of materials from Earth, throws its resources into construction of the Anita, a 40,000 tonne Orion-drive spacecraft. It's a race against time (presumably - I haven't read the novel yet) for the colonists to reach Earth before a massive planet-killing comet comes along to finish the job. Well, how could I resist ?

You can buy the book here. I have no idea if it's any good, because I never did get my promised hard copy.

Desktop wallpaper version of the cover image. The Anita is seen leaving Earth after the impact of Kali, a comet powerful enough to crack the crust of the planet.

The End of the World

The Anita is built in space by lunar colonists, comprised largely of Buddhists and Hindus.

From the Moon to the Earth

Schematic render of the Anita. I tried to think as much as possible about the functionality of the ship when designing it. It's heavily based on my earlier Orion model. The major difference is the addition of 6 permanently-mounted chemical rocket engines with shuttle-style fuel tanks. 6 fully-loaded tanks should be sufficient to get this thing to 20km altitude by my estimates. This allows it to land on the Earth without having to use nukes all the way down, as well as take off again safely

 Anita Schematic

The Anita is 75m wide and 150m tall, making it about twice the size of the statue of Liberty

Anita Size 

Named after Anita Eckberg. I have no idea why.

 The Anita




Image of more similar format to the actual novel cover. This is why I'm not a writer

 If I Wrote the Blurb



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