Tag Archives: sf-ish

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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“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

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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

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