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172 Hours on the Moon

9 Feb

by Johan Harstad

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Odyssey One: Into the Black

13 Aug

Odyssey One (Odyssey One, #1)Odyssey One by Evan C. Currie
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The Medusa Chronicles

9 Aug

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Moar space robots!

10 Nov

It’s taken ten years to get there, but early Wednesday, November 12 Central European time (from about 1 AM to 8 AM, which is about 5 PM to midnight Pacific time), the European Space Agency will land a craft on a comet. Their Rosetta spacecraft got to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko three months ago, and has been in a weird jagged “orbit” around it ever since. Now its attached lander, Philae, is being prepped to detach from it.

All the pre-flight stuff is going to happen when I’m busy at a conference next week, and the actual flight and grand finale landing, if it is successful, will happen in the middle of the night. Good luck to the ESA. #cometlanding

Two videos related to this. The first is more cutesy space stuff, but it’s also part of a rather brilliantly accessible series of cartoons promoting and explaining their mission.

The other video is a short art film the ESA collaborated on that I believe is a promo for a longer, upcoming science fantasy film, “Ambition” about the life-creating chemicals and water of comets:

The interplanetary Bechdel Test

25 Oct

With apologies to the actual Bechdel Test, which is about gender in TV, film, and other fictional media.

I am reading Fluency by Jennifer Foehner Wells, which got 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon with 1,115 raters. Honestly, I am not sure how it got that rating. The story was pretty good up to the point where Aliens, aliens, always aliens

I’ve got an itch to scratch

2 May

mars-rover-curiosity-sky-crane-landingJust got done reading the first book of James SA Corey’s Expanse series, Leviathan Awakes. In a nutshell, it’s a space opera set in a future where humans have settled the solar system, but are not yet able to reach other solar systems.

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15 Apr

Cadigan_sm“Every few years there appears a movement to improve or modernize or even “futurize” the writing of science fiction. The classic example was the New Wave, which had an effect on the style of SF literature and has been comfortably tamed and digested. Now there is something called “cyberpunk, ” of which we have yet to learn a clear definition. It has something to do with computers and their programming and possibly— considering the derogatory term “punk “—with snubbing accepted traditions. This short story is said to be an example of “cyberpunk.” It is certainly different from anything H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, or Hugo Gernsback would have dreamed up.” – preface to Pretty Boy Crossover

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