Author: Madeline Ashby Publisher: Angry Robot, July 2012 (448 pp trade paperback) Cover Illustration: Martin Bland Genre: Science Fiction Soon after I started reading vN (Book I of The Machine Dynasty), I began to suspect that if it wasn’t YA, it had a lot of elements that I associate with that genre: a young, female (well, robot female) protagonist, a teenager (well, not at first, but…) trying to find her place, and
Can’t you just see it? Planet earth as the last pit stop on the edge of the galaxy. Only the toughest, meanest-looking, green, long-distance trucker-aliens stop here. We’re the galactic equivalent of … oh, Churchill, Manitoba. The end of the line. Beyond here, you must have flight.. or sled dogs. Beyond here: white walkers… OK, maybe not. The subject of UFO sightings is curiously frought with broken web links and vague “research”.
If you’ve ever attempted to write science fiction or fantasy, chances are that you have wrestled with a concept that plays out as an internal debate along these lines, “Would elves be more likely to use shoe laces or buckles as a manifestation of their cultural distinctiveness?” No, I’m not talking about OCD. I’m talking about worldbuilding. Well, I’m probably talking about OCD too. I just refuse to acknowledge the connection between obsessive/compulsive behavior
A few weeks ago, some friends asked if I wanted to go to a Curiosity Landing Party at the Adler Planetarium. I skimmed the site: free snacks, a raffle if you wore red. I hadn’t been to the planetarium a while, so sure – why not? The party was late: it started at 9:00 p.m. and didn’t end until 2:00 a.m., so it would mean a short night’s sleep and a screwed
Philip José Farmer is probably best remembered for his Riverworld series (1971-1983) about an artificial “afterlife” created by aliens to test the character and motives of humanity. Others remember Farmer for creating the Wold Newton conceit connecting a multitude of fictional heroes and villains, and their progeny, in a massive family tree; all enhanced by exposure to the Wold Newton meteorite that fell on Yorkshire, England in 1795. The Wold Newton family