Hello, friends, and welcome back to the A to Z Challenge.  For this year’s challenge, I’m telling you more about the universe of Tomorrow News Network, my upcoming Sci-Fi adventure series.  In today’s post, R is for:


Planetary bodies often bear distinctive and striking features.  In our own Solar System, there is, of course, the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, or the Polar Hexagon on Saturn, or the heart-shaped Tombaugh Regio on Pluto.

Litho, the outermost moon of the planet Berzelius, is also marked with a distinctive surface feature: a triple spiral formation in the northern hemisphere.  Officially, that triple spiral is known as Arfwedson Circumcurio, in honor of Johan August Arfwedson, the ancient Earthling who first discovered lithium.

Circumcurio is, of course, an exo-geology term referring to spiral-like surface features on alien worlds. Many worlds in the explored galaxy have these circumcurio features, though Litho’s Arfwedson Circumcurio is larger and more distinctive than most.

Admittedly, the name Arfwedson Circumcurio is a bit of a mouthful.  The colonists who actually live on Litho rarely use that name and instead refer to the region simply as “the Redlands.”

The Redlands are a desert covered in lithium trinate (a dark red powder-like substance).  You can find lithium trinate and other lithium compounds pretty much anywhere you go on Litho (hence the name), but the highest concentrations are out in the Redlands.  Alkali Extraction Incorporated has therefore focused most of its lithium harvesting efforts on the Redlands, and Litho Colony itself is situated right on the outskirts of the Redlands region.

A word of caution: lithium trinate is a highly reactive chemical compound.  Never touch it with your bare hands.  It will irritate and burn your skin, and it will do far worse to your lungs if you inhale the dust. Please follow the safety guidelines delineated in A.E.I.’s company handbook.

Next time on Tomorrow News Network: A to Z, there’s a common stereotype about time travelers.  They always wear or carry antique watches.

8 responses »

  1. Kate Rauner says:

    NASA has pictures of oe of Mars’ poles (North I think) with a spiral of reddish dust and whitish snow. CO2 snow. Due to the winds swirling and quite striking.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How do you even come up with names like these, Arfwedson Circumcurio!!!??
    It’s so darn cool!

    R is for Reminisce

    Liked by 2 people

    • J.S. Pailly says:

      Thanks! Since the story is set on a lithium mining colony, I really wanted to honor the person who first discovered lithium. And that person’s name was Arfwedson, so I ran with that. As for circumcurio, I just played around with Latin words until I came up with something that sounded right.


  3. I’m so glad to know that I need an antique watch to time travel.
    Like the way your sci-fi mind works.
    Happy A to Zing


  4. I’m intrigued! Going to check out more.

    Liked by 1 person

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