“I had heard people say that when they looked at the stars too long they grew terrified by the sensation of being drawn away” -Gene Wolf, Sword and Citadel 1: Distant Stars The narrative device at the beginning of Olaf Stapledon’s The Starmaker is refreshingly unadorned. The first-person protagonist looks up at the stars from […]Read more "Far Futures, Distant Suns"
One way to interpret first contact stories is this: aliens are other people. The whole SETI thing is just a metaphor for making friends. Whether you conceive of extra-terrestrials as ruthless, bug-eyed conquerors or enlightened ambassadors indicates how you feel about other people. Space opera is merely psycho-drama on a galactic scale. Fermi’s paradox might […]Read more "Limits to Existence: Aliens, Birds, Robots"
The list of authors whose new books I will unquestioningly read is very short, and just got shorter by one. In the middle of reading a terrible Science Fiction novel, called Signal to Noise, I happened to hear Neal Stephenson speak in Iowa City, promoting his new book Reamde. I bought a signed copy, mistakenly […]Read more "Three Novels: Signal to Noise, Reamde, and Destiny’s Road"