On Weird Concepts

So an idea came to me. An alternate history novel. An alternate history novel about the Beatles. There have been a few Beatles alternate histories. Larry Kirwan’s Liverpool Fantasy comes quickly to mind, as does Stephen Baxter’s “The Twelfth Album” and Ian McLeod’s “Snodgrass.” The concept is doable. It’s something that conceivably could have happened.Continue reading “On Weird Concepts”

On the Books I've Read

Stolen from Richard White, a list of the most significant science fiction novels written since 1953. We’re going to bold the titles I’ve read, strikethrough the ones I’ve read and hated, italicize the ones I’ve started and never finished, and put a star next to the ones I love. Any questions? 🙂 The Lord ofContinue reading “On the Books I've Read”

On The Eye of Argon

On this Saturday past (and with thanks to Terri Osborne) I attended Capclave, a science fiction convention in Silver Spring, Maryland. As conventions go, it was different than any I had attended before–my previous convention experiences having been limited to Shore Leave and Farpoint, both of which are media conventions, while Capclave was geared towardContinue reading “On The Eye of Argon”

On "Minds… Destroyed by Google"

Bruce Sterling had a new short story, “I Saw the Best Minds of My Generation Destroyed by Google,” published in the New Scientist recently. It’s an amusing little cautionary tale, told from the perspective of a teenager in a world twenty years hence where RFID chips, GPS positioning, and a rampant information culture have destroyedContinue reading “On "Minds… Destroyed by Google"”

On Voting in the Psi Phi Awards

The Golden Age of science fiction is twelve. I don’t know who said it. I’ve no doubt a Google search would turn up a dozen claimants to the prize. In the end, it’s not the sentence that matters, it’s the meaning. The Golden Age of science fiction is what you read when you were twelve,Continue reading “On Voting in the Psi Phi Awards”

Some Fictional Perspective

“If the re-election of George W Bush for his second term as President has a significance in terms of global history, it is that this, far more than his original accession to power, was the point when certain facts became clear to the traditional allies of the USA. Namely, that not only was the behemothicContinue reading “Some Fictional Perspective”

Speculations on Pak Protectors

Reading Larry Niven’s Ringworld’s Children recently sparked a thought or three. What if Tree-of-Life virus was a bioweapons project that went horribly wrong? As much as the Protector concept thrills me, the relationship between the Pak and Tree-of-Life has always struck me as unlikely and unnatural. Yes, evolution works in strange ways, and the firstContinue reading “Speculations on Pak Protectors”

On Future Evolution

In Greg Benford’s Foundation’s Fear there’s mention of a planet in the days before the fall of the Galactic Empire where humans are green. I don’t know the hows or whys–Benford doesn’t explain. It seems to me that it would be an adaptation to their environment, and a green pigmentation provided a protection against unusualContinue reading “On Future Evolution”

On a Foundation Movie

A recent announcement from Locus: “The film version of [Isaac] Asimov’s ‘Foundation’ trilogy optioned in 2000 by Fox, is moving forward, with a screenwriter assigned, and will likely appear as two films, ‘Foundation’ and ‘Second Foundation.’” You want my honest opinion? I think Foundation is pretty much unfilmable. But I’d have said that about TheContinue reading “On a Foundation Movie”