Free Speculative Fiction Online has a whole heap of new additions from James Blish, Algis Budrys, Greg Egan, Eric Flint & Dave Freer, Jeffrey Ford, Theodora Goss, Harry Harrison, Jay Lake, Claude Lalumière, Jack McDevitt, Alan E. Nourse, Mike Resnick, John Ringo & Linda Evans, Chris Roberson, Bruce Sterling, Lavie Tidhar and Stanley G. Weinbaum. Whee!
Link (via SF Signal)
Posted in Books & Authors November 30th, 2007 by Chip
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Back in August, astronomers reported the discovery of a huge hole, a billion light-years across, in the constellation Eridanus.
Now, theoretical physicist and cosmologist Laura Mersini-Houghton and her colleagues are claiming that the hole is an “unmistakable imprint of another universe beyond the edge of our own.”
No word on whether Spock has a beard in the other one.
The “Little Fivers” site has an entire sub-category of science fiction-related “top ten” lists, such as this one, “The Top 10 Grievances of the Sci-Fi Characters Union:”
10> Silver spandex jumpsuits make our asses look like huge sparkly disco balls.
9> Much as we like to save Earth, the Universe and Everything on a regular basis, we’d like to get paid commensurate with our skill set. In other words, enough with the chump change! Show us some GRATITUDE! Monetarily, of course…
8> Those Borg scabs get all the best perks thanks to their unique approach to collective bargaining.
7> Half of the union has filed sexual harassment complaints against Lazarus Long, including his own past and future selves.
6> While we understand that spandex shows off our attributes — for those of us that have them — we find it really rides up in the crotch. So, NO MORE SPANDEX!!!
5> Dental benefits for “Aliens” exclude any sets of teeth that extend more than 6 inches in front of the face.
4> The gagh in the commissary is never served alive.
3> First transported down, first transported back up.
2> Medical insurance does not cover having one’s DNA rewritten, despite the regularity of the event.
and the Number 1 Grievance of the Sci-Fi Characters Union…
1> The Universal Brotherhood of BEMs demand human movies/TV stop falsely portraying aliens as hot human babes in tight clothing. We’re bug-eyed. We’re monsters. And we’re damned proud of it!
Posted in Humor November 28th, 2007 by Chip
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Why Science Fiction is More Fun to Read Than Proper Literature:
Link (via Second Effort)
Astrobiology Magazine has an interesting essay on how different the Earth would be without our unusually large moon to keep us company. Everything from the axis of rotation to the climate is influenced.
The essay gets a little murky toward the end with its dip into the social impact of the Moon’s existence, but it’s still an interesting read.
Link (via The Presurfer)
Posted in Space November 26th, 2007 by Chip
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There’s a Gary Larson cartoon (with which most of this group will probably be familiar) showing a caveman pointing to the spiky clump at the end of a stegosaur’s tail and saying, “Now this end is called the thagomizer, after the late Thag Simmons.”
The spiky clump on stegasaur tails is formally referred to by paleontologists as the “Thagomizer.”
Wikipedia entry, Palaeos entry, etc., etc.
Nick Derington is an artist and illustrator who seems to have captured the essence of SF in this single drawing. I’m really quite taken with it.
Here’s a link to his site, and one to his his Flickr stream. He’s got a lot of cool stuff like this in his gallery.
(via Wil Wheaton)
Posted in Ephemera November 21st, 2007 by Chip
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I love the guys at ThinkGeek just a leeetle more than is probably seemly. But it’s because they have grabbed the Geek Mindset with both hands and stuffed it into their mouths like so much Beefaroni, making chorfing sounds all the while. Their latest offering is the Wi-Fi T-shirt. The animated decal on the front (which is unpluggable and removable for washing) dynamically changes as the surrounding wi-fi signal strength fluctuates.
Yes, you could just crack open your laptop to check the strength. No, I don’t even want one of these shirts; I don’t own a laptop. But I love it anyway.
(Lawsey. They also have an umbrella that receives wireless updates from Accuweather and flashes a blue LED if rain is approaching. Shadow! I’m leaving you for the ThinkGeek team!)
Despite an inability to spell “accoutrements,” Etsy member ratchet has some neat items for “the post-civilized.” Pretty!
Link (via BoingBoing)