Friday, April 27, 2007

I've Got Your Dilithium Right Here

Remember those crystal-filled caves that featured as alien planet backdrops in so many SF movies and serials in the 1960s and 70s? Here’s the real deal.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Double Vision

After reading this, I rubbed my eyes and wondered if the author had seen an advance copy of Cowboy Angels. He even has the obligatory reference to Pottersville.

Gosh Wow

The discovery of an Earth-like planet in the life-zone of another star, just twenty light years away, considerably bumps up the probability of extra-terrestrial life. Although since the planet in question orbits a red dwarf star once every twenty-seven days, it’s not going to be life as we know it . . . but we knew that anyway. 2007 may look nothing like 2001: A Space Odyssey, but what the heck: we’re living in a golden age of space science.

No Big Deal

Oliver Morton sends me details of the Douglas Adams Memorial Debate, hosted by the Institute of Ideas, pointing out that, despite its title, From Star Wars to the Battle of Ideas Is science fiction good for public debate? there aren’t any actual science-fiction authors on the panel.
Given that the publicity puff rehashes ancient left-overs like ‘Do writers and directors have a responsibility to make their science accurate, or even educational?’ and ‘Does sci fi skew our understanding of science?’ we aren’t missing out on much. And besides, an earlier incarnation of the Institute of Ideas sounds rather like a sinister cult from that gnomic TV sci-fi series Sapphire and Steel; I can’t help what Douglas Adams would make of the fact that a debate named in his honour has been taken over by a cadre of humourless, libertarian-loving ex-Marxists.

Meanwhile, here’s a real, solid piece on science fiction and speculation by a science-fiction author, published in today’s Guardian.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Check It Out

Bobby Lightfoot tells it like it is.

(Thanks to William Gibson for the tip.)
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