NASA scientists are planning to whack a couple of spacecraft into the Moon’s south pole to see if they find water. We’ve never been to the Moon’s poles, and since some craters at the south pole are deep enough that sunlight never reaches the bottom there might be unsublimated ice lurking there. Researchers have already detected a lot of hydrogen around the poles so this mission will help determine whether some of that hydrogen is locked up in water.
That’s the official reason for the mission. However, as the mother of a boy I can state with some authority that the only reason there aren’t objects smashing into the Moon constantly is because most boys don’t have the budget. Every guy at NASA is currently thinking, “Cool!”
Gand, the self-proclaimed “Old Hippie,” wasn’t sure how to embed this, so I’ve obliged.
This is Gand’s fault! Gand’s!
I have a get-away garden – hidden between rooms (my house is shaped like a fat short U).
I want THIS.
Designer Lasse Klein has developed this prototype lamp and is now trying to get it produced. I don’t know how effective it would actually be as a light source, but it’s adorable.
Features and add-ons include “alien abductors,” “human abductee,” and “bovine abductee.” There’s something about the vaguely puzzled-looking cow that completely cracks me up.
Topless Robot has an amusing gallery of Star Wars action figures that unintentionally look like celebrities. (Click on each thumbnail to get a better view of the toys’ faces.)
Artist Andrey Kuznetsov has created a series of Russian folk-art woodcuts based on classic SF movies. (Also possibly some fantasy; I didn’t recognize the inspiration for some of the vignettes.)
The site is entirely in Cyrillic, but there are thumbnails. They’re really quite wonderful.
(Note: Some rotating ads on this site may be NSFW.)
This short video shows some really amazing behaviors of cephalopods and other sea life. It’s shocking how much we don’t know about our own back yard.
(Hat tip to Professor Fate)
Brook West, Nebula Award Report editor, announces the final Ballot for the Nebula Awards® for 2007. The ballot will be mailed on March 1st, and Active Members of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America must return them by March 31. The Awards will be announced at the Nebula Awards® Banquet to be held at the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown on April 26, 2008. Novels:
- Odyssey – McDevitt, Jack
- The Accidental Time Machine – Haldeman, Joe
- The Yiddish Policemen’s Union – Chabon, Michael
- The New Moon’s Arms – Hopkinson, Nalo
- Ragamuffin – Buckell, Tobias
- “Kiosk” – Sterling, Bruce (F&SF, Jan07)
- “Memorare” – Wolfe, Gene (F&SF, Apr07)
- “Awakening” – Berman, Judith (Black Gate 10, Spr07)
- “Stars Seen Through Stone” – Shepard, Lucius (F&SF, Jul07)
- “The Helper and His Hero” – Hughes, Matt (F&SF, Feb07 & Mar07)
- “Fountain of Age” – Kress, Nancy (Asimov’s, Jul07)
- “The Fiddler of Bayou Teche” – Sherman, Delia (Coyote Road, Trickster Tales, Viking Juvenile, Jul07)
- “Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter” – Ryman, Geoff (F&SF, Nov06)
- “The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs Of North Park After the Change” – Johnson, Kij (Coyote Road, Trickster Tales, Viking Juvenile, Jul07)
- “Safeguard” – Kress, Nancy (Asimov’s, Jan07)
- “The Children’s Crusade” – Bailey, Robin Wayne (Heroes in Training, DAW, Sep07)
- “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” – Chiang, Ted (F&SF, Sep07)
- “Child, Maiden, Mother, Crone” – Bramlett, Terry (Jim Baen’s Universe 7, June 2007)
- “Unique Chicken Goes In Reverse” – Duncan, Andy (Eclipse 1: New Science Fiction And Fantasy, Night Shade Books, Oct07)
- “Titanium Mike Saves the Day” – Levine, David D. (F&SF, Apr07)
- “Captive Girl” – Pelland, Jennifer (Helix: A Speculative Fiction Quarterly, Fall06 Issue #2)
- “Always” – Fowler, Karen Joy (Asimov’s, apr/may07)
- “Pride” – Turzillo, Mary (Fast Forward 1, Pyr, February 2007)
- “The Story of Love” – Nazarian, Vera (Salt of the Air, Prime Books, Sep06)
- Children of Men
- The Prestige
- Pan’s Labyrinth
- V for Vendetta
- World Enough and Time
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy:
- The True Meaning of Smek Day – Rex, Adam
- The Lion Hunter – Wein, Elizabeth
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Rowling, J. K.
- The Shadow Speaker – Okorafor-Mbachu, Nnedi
- Into the Wild – Durst, Sarah Beth
- Vintage: A Ghost Story – Berman, Steve
- Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass- Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog – Wilce, Ysabeau S.
…what we don’t have is the money.
Wired has an article entitled, straightforwardly, “10 Sci-Fi Techs We Could Build If They Weren’t So Damn Expensive.”
Cost: $1bn a battallion
Seen Asimo? If you want your own, expect to pay Honda about a million dollars. Cheapskates can lease one for $166,000 a year. And he still can’t handle stairs.
Still, if you need to defend something very flat with robots (rather than automatic turret guns), simply because that’s a totally bad-assed thing to do, we could put out a battalion for about a billion dollars. Not too shabby, eh?
Orbital hotels and railguns get a mention, too.