Tales from Earth Orbit

In the Fourth Century of the Age of Space — that is, about 300 years in the future — 25 space colonies were built to circle the globe in an orbit about 50 miles farther from Earth than the International Space Station. Each of these colonies has a population of about 1 million people and is a new state of one of Earth’s nations. Life in these low gravity “orbitats” (orbital habitats) is both delightful and challenging. Here are 14 short stories by and about those early colonists.

The Message

A two-part novella of the near future. On a particular day, a certain number of persons around the globe receive THE MESSAGE, which portends the future of Earth and their role in it. There is no time to prepare. By the time THE MESSAGE is received, THE EVENT has already happened. Could THE EVENT have been averted? Is it, in fact, the destiny of all of us who now inhabit our planet?

“The author calls THE MESSAGE a whimsical view of Earth in the next 20 years — nevertheless this is a book with a serious purpose. The five factors that lead to the startling outcome in this novella are real … but that outcome does not have to happen. At the end of the book the author presents a utopian vision of life on Earth in the next few centuries. Best of all … he invites us readers to contact him and join the discussion (see the last page of the book for his contact info). In spite of the unsettling future he spins in his story, WarrenHall Crain is an optimist.”

Sandra Breuer

“I am a fan of THE MESSAGE and I’m really intrigued by this model for a utopian future.”


“Interesting and easy to read book and another reminder, among those already known to humanity, about probable end of days or self-destructiveness of people who very often forget about how treacherous the hi-tech advancement might be, which actually menace their welfare on the planet.”

Almaz Abasov, Professor, Kyrgyz National University

“I am reading your book “The message” very carefully, just finished your first story after nice poem. Story of Joe, molly and the mysterious letter. When I was reading it, I was feeling this is a message for me by the collective consciousness. I have really so much energy, ideas and dreams to do something for incarnation of new earth. But really it is very hard to face the present human mind set and there down faces. But whenever I meet person like you, I get filled with a specific energy and power in me. Thanks for having such nice soul and kind heart of you.

And thanks for wonderful book. I like it. I don’t think that the story of Joe and molly is the real one story ha ha ha ha, but yes “the message” what the author, I mean you wanted to give, is really a message that everyone must should understand and feel. I feel purity in this story. Thanks for nice and inspiring story.”

Dr. Raghav

Aashish 1926-2034

In 1947 Aashish Kumar Chhatuvedi, a Punjabi Hindu, is twenty years old. A recent college graduate and a newlywed deeply in love with his wife, Tulsa, Aashish is looking forward to a happy life. Abruptly a huge part of India, including his family village near Lahore, is torn away to create Muslim Pakistan. In the Hindu-Muslim violence that follows, with part of his family murdered, Aashish flees with his wife, his father, and his Bua (his father’s sister) across the border to a refugee camp near Khajuraho in central India. There he faces the twin challenges of assuming leadership of his family and forging his life into a force for a healthier and more peaceful planet. Always at the center of his life is Aashish’s seventy-seven-year, sometimes turbulent, always passionate, love affair with Tulsa. AASHISH 1926-2034 is the story of his long life told in his own words, and those of his Bua and others, and including a utopian vision by Kiran Verma, poet laureate of Khajuraho. The story has been brought together by his son, Anil, as Aashish’s personal journal covered only the period from his wedding night until his wife’s death. He wrote nothing after that. The story ends with Anil’s glowing tribute to his father.

“A wonderful read from an author who clearly has both a deep understanding and even deeper love of India – both its beautiful faces and its ugly ones.”


           “Aashish Chhaturvedi is such a real person, caught up in extraordinary circumstances, who tries to live a good life, although he stumbles along the way. All in all, is Aashish an extraordinary man? Or just an ordinary one? You may never quite decide, but you’ll become absorbed in the life he lives.”

Deborah Hall

Readings from an India Journal

When you read this book you will know, as the old Bollywood song goes, “Yeh mera India (This is my India). I love my India.” These one hundred and one essays were written about particular people and places and situations. Mostly for my eyes only. Some for family and friends. A few as despatches to my Rotary club in Seattle. Now they are yours. Enjoy them and write to me about them. wcrain@uw.edu. I’ve made strong statements in some of these journal entries. I fear the continuance of many of the problems which plague human society. Even as I write today here in Bishkek I am worried about relationships between Kyrgyzstan and our neighbour Uzbekistan. Yet I live in hope expectant of a glorious future not only for India but for all of human society.

“‘Waiting for the Rajdhani’ at platform 12…. ‘Devotion’ at the Matangeshwar Temple, the two friends practicing their ritual for Lord Ganesh…. ‘India Lays Claim to Me’ — Warren, I feel the essence of India through your colorful words.”

Asia Hawkins