Tag Archives: science fiction

Why do I love space so much?

I really wonder why I’m such a sucker for all things space.

From early teen-hood on I looooved science fiction, I still miss anything in this genre to this day and would really like to become one of those space tourists to the international space station, even though, looking over my finances, I’m a bit short at this time.

For quite some time I was sure the reason was simply experience – that I had lived all that space opera stuff in previous, long past, life times, but currently I am not so sure anymore. It might still be true, but I wonder if this explanation might have been a bit too easy and obvious.

Still, I enjoyed these two time lapse videos from the International Space Station, even though low earth orbit does not compare to some proper hyperspace travel or inertia free space drives (yes, I am re-reading Doc EE Smith’s Triplanetary right now.)

Seeing the Future

When I was in my late teens, starting to read science-fiction, I was sure that by now we would regularly traveling to other planets and had settlements on the moon, and the flying car was a given.

But many of these things are still only subject of science-fiction, but something totally unimagined has materialized – a network that did make the world’s knowledge accessible from the palm of my hand. I knew there would be talking robots but that I would be able to access all data with just a query – I just hadn’t thought of.

Found this interesting video of visual thoughts of how the future might look like…

But with that last experience, what’s really going to happen, will be something totally different altogether.

Something to be Learned from Doctor Who

TARDIS (Type 40 TT capsule)
Time and Relative Dimension in Space

When the first long batch of Dr. Who ran, I was still in Germany and, somehow, I never encountered it. I might have known about it, and even though I have always been a science fiction buff, it never entered my life.

But since the revival in March 2006 with Christopher Eccleston as the new Doctor and Billie Piper as the new companion, Rose, I have been hooked and not missed a single episode.

There is quite a bit to learn from the Doctor, in all his incarnations since that revival and I found this nice collections of nuggets:

  1. Always stand up for what is right-no matter the odds.
  2. Never be afraid to act ridiculous.
  3. Sometimes, winning is no fun at all.
  4. Time is not a straight line – its all wibbly-wobbly.
  5. A longer life isn’t always a better one.
  6. Never knowingly be serious.
  7. Everybody dies -this is unavoidable.
  8. Time is not the boss of you.
  9. Be proud of your beliefs – and your fashion sense.
  10. Not all victories are about saving the universe.
  11. The greatest weapon is your mind.
  12. Every species and individual has the right to live – even if they are an insane genocidal madman.
  13. The most ordinary person can change the world.
  14. Nothing’s impossible – just highly unlikely.
  15. When it comes to living, it’s not the time that matters, it’s the person.
  16. The most amazing things in life come in small packages.
  17. The good things in life don’t always make up for the bad, but the bad doesn’t always spoil the good.
  18. Knowledge can make you a powerful person.
  19. Your life may seem boring, but remember, not everybody can have a normal life like yours.
  20. There’s always a better way.
  21. Being alone can be good at times – but sometimes, you need someone.
  22. Love can span the entire length of time and across the universe … and even across realities.
  23. It doesn’t matter what you look like – you can be a hero, a fantastic person and eternally cool.
  24. Arrogance and self-righteousness will usually lead to a fall from grace.
  25. Sometimes there isn’t a baddie – just people trying to do what they think is right.
  26. Talking nonsense can conceal important facts.
  27. Improvisation can save your life.
  28. Never ignore a coincidence … unless you’re busy.
  29. There’s no point in being grown up if you can’t act childish every once in a while.
  30. The most simple things can fuel and terrify your imagination.
  31. Faith is a great thing to have, but it can sometimes kill you.
  32. When it’s time to go – remember the best.
  33. The universe is vast and complicated and really very, very beautiful.

And I have to contribute one here that I learned from the last Doctor, Matt Smith:

35. Bow ties are cool!

Flying over all that traffic

When I started to read science fiction at the tender age of 15 I was sure that we would have settlements on Moon and Mars, would criss-cross our solar system (if not the Milky-way) and have flying cars for sure once I reached the age I’m at now.

That did not quite work out that way. I still put the same old gas into the tank of a car that is completely earth-bound. The only real advance in space travel had been a winged space ship – but that is about to retire now and it all looks like it’s back to the old vertical take-off and landing in the ocean routine that we had when I was a kid. The only real hope for a proper space ship is Burt Rutan with his space-ship 2. But Burt, you gotta work on that anti-gravity device so that you can get rid of that silly way to get into space.

OK, we now have the internet, something totally not expected when I was little. What prompts me to write these lines is that finally there is – as long as we remain earth-bound – at least a glimmer of hope for that flying car…

City Talkers on Escape Pod

Escape Pod Science Fiction PodcastIt’s nearly half a year ago that I told about my progress with Escape Pod and I can again report that I am working my way to the top of the list. The top of the list is obviously the newest story on Escape Pod.

In case you don’t know about this podcast – Steve Eley publishes a science fiction story each and every week and I try to miss none. Thanks to pod-casting and mp3 players I am succeeding. The only problem is that when I don’t have to drive much, the stories accumulate on my mp3-player/cell-phone.

Just the other day I worked on a story from late December – OK – work might not be quite the right word. This story, City Talkers by Mur Lafferty fascinated me because it goes very nicely in the direction I am going. I am not much of a City Talker, which is something like a horse whisperer, but for cities – not the people in the city, but the city him or herself, but I’m a pretty good computer whisperer.

I would definitely recommend to subscribe to the Escape Pod-cast, but if I got a bit of your interest, this one story I liked a lot you can enjoy right here…