I miss old Mars. The Mars of imagination, the world with deep blue skies and red deserts filled with whatever magical societies and cities our whims desired. Real Mars is interesting too, and it’s there, and it’s what we’re going to have to deal with if we ever leave this planet. That Mars too can … More The wonder of old Mars and its sands
One of my pet irritations with some science fiction is the way authors often succumb to the ‘recency effect’ when inserting the ‘science’ part into their stories. What usually happens is that a recent discovery, looming large and appearing to transform understanding, becomes a raison d’etre or story pivot – except, not long afterwards, that … More Why science fiction dates so horribly, sometimes
A fellow blogger asked for help the other week. What was the specific source – by page reference – to Arthur C. Clarke’s ‘Third Law’? It was first published in his book Profiles of the Future – which was variously issued from 1958. My edition is the revised version published by Pan Books of London … More Is high-tech REALLY indistinguishable from magic?
H. R. Geiger passed away this year, aged 74. Probably best known as designer of the icky thing that exploded out of John Hurt’s stomach in Alien (1980). When it comes to spooky haunted house stories – which is what that movie really was – Geiger’s Alien has to take first price for scare factor. … More Tell me – have all the best sci-fi ideas been used?