I am somewhat bemused by the way ‘literature’ is so often assumed to be a superior form of writing, above any form of genre fiction and, particularly, science fiction (‘ptooey’). Authors known for ‘literature’ are, apparently, more talented, competent and intelligent than ‘sci fi’ authors, who by definition are hacks, talentless and ignorant of basic … More Literature versus science fiction
I was brought up in a house full of books and thought I’d share my list of the top six I was brought up with. Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? 1. J. R. R. Tolkien – The Lord Of The Rings (1950s). Hobbit and his batman carry magic … More My top six classic British novels
Here’s a conundrum for you. What’s the best sci-fi spaceship ever? What makes it your favourite? There have been so many really neat sci-fi spaceships that there’s no right answer – or maybe any single answer – to this one. We’ll all have our favourites, and they’re all valid. I don’t have any single favourite. … More What is the best sci-fi spaceship ever?
There’s an old story about the difference between cats and dogs. Feed a dog, and it thinks ‘wow, I’ve been fed. Humans must be gods’. Feed a cat and it thinks ‘Yawn. My staff are passable, but as I am a god, perhaps I should find better?’ Actually I suspect what dogs (especially Labradors) think … More How cats and dogs teach us about aliens
The revelation a while back that Winston Churchill had written a paper on aliens isn’t too surprising. The great statesman was literate, erudite, deeply interested in history and the sciences, and knew many of the key figures in the British scientific community. What he had to say was very much in line with the thinking … More Are we so arrogant to suppose aliens will be like us?
Last week I made a flippant comment on Facebook about the kinetic energy a marshmallow would have were it accelerated to lightspeed. I knew it would be giganormous. Needless to say, being a bit of a geek, I then had to go and figure out exactly what it was. First, though, a few words of … More What happens when you’re hit by a marshmallow moving at light speed
I think it’s unlikely that the radio signal detected from the star HD 164595, just 95 light years distant, is an alien broadcast. That doesn’t mean I doubt life exists outside the Earth. I think it’s likely it does – maybe in our own solar system, underground on Mars or under the ice crust of … More I’m sceptical that the SETI signal is actually advanced aliens