Tag Archives: sf-ish

H P Lovecraft Had At Least One Black Fan

A while ago I came across an amazing piece of fan fiction – Ex Libris Miskatonici by Joan C Stanley: It’s a pitch-perfect listing of the sinister and bizarre works that have been collected over the centuries by the great … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

William Gibson Reading “Agency”

Gibson is on a book tour for his new novel, and I got to see him read from it and take questions in the First Parish Church in Cambridge. There was a big crowd! It was nearly full, largely with people … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

A Heinlein Meme Started the Space Race

… according to the excellent Washington Post podcast Moonrise.  It’s an account of what led up to the Apollo 11 moon landing, starting with Robert Goddard, John W. Campbell, Sergei Korolev, and Wernher von Braun in the 1920s and 30s, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mad Science #5: Fluorine-Based Rocket Fuels

One of the purest examples of maniacal engineering is the field of liquid rocket fuels.   These chemicals have to contain as much energy as possible, and so are  dangerous by definition.  A fun and opinionated version of their development … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

SF Inventors

Unlike other groups that I’ve written about (Beautiful Inventors, Political Inventors, Criminal Inventors and Movie Inventors), science fiction authors are known for their interest in technology.   You would think, then, that a lot of them would have made real-life contributions, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Who Are the Best-Selling SF Authors?

There doesn’t seem to be a direct way to answer this.   Book sales data appears to be kept very private between authors and publishers, probably for the same reason that you never tell anyone your income.  In any case, books … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Winningest SF Authors Are Women

The New Yorker recently published a charming interview by Julie Phillips of Ursula K. Le Guin.  It described her upbringing in a house full of myth and story headed by her father the great anthropologist Alfred Kroeber, her difficult relationship … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 3 Comments

SF Fail #1 – Bionics

Science fiction has failed in many ways, but I was reminded of one of its more egregious lapses, bionics, just the other day.   I was talking to a coworker who turned out to be an Extropian.  We don’t get many … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

“The Affinities”: Weaponized Psychology

“What will be the next big technology?” is a question that gets constantly asked.   The answers are usually boring: smaller and more prevalent computers, some new energy source, some advance in space tech, or maybe something will finally happen with … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Deep Time Geology and the Fermi Paradox

A few weeks ago I went out for a beer and some geology, and learned one reason why the sky is so dark.   The beer came from The Burren, a rundown Irish bar in Somerville MA.   The geology … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment