Tag Archives: Science Fiction

Kim Stanley Robinson: New York 2140

We’ve got good tech, we’ve got a nice planet, but we’re fucking it up by way of stupid laws. I’ve written about Kim Stanley Robinson before, when I reviewed his Green Earth. I mentioned his environmentalist and anti-capitalist concerns, his lyrical descriptions of landscape, his long passages where nothing much happens except characters talking to … Continue reading Kim Stanley Robinson: New York 2140

Greg Egan: Dichronauts

Geometry might well kill them in the end, but only a rigorous understanding of its principles could make their situation intelligible, let alone survivable. That quote comes from Part 4 of this novel, but it encapsulates what’s intriguing and (at least potentially) frustrating about the story—it’s about spacetime geometry. I’ve written about Greg Egan before, … Continue reading Greg Egan: Dichronauts

Coriolis Effect In A Rotating Space Habitat

In a previous post describing the Coriolis effect, I mentioned its relevance to space travel—if a rotating habitat is being used to generate simulated gravity, Coriolis deflection can interfere with the performance of simple tasks and, at the extreme, generate motion sickness. As an example of the sort of effect you could expect to encounter, … Continue reading Coriolis Effect In A Rotating Space Habitat

Saying “Centrifugal” Doesn’t Mean You’re A Bad Person

Despite its daunting size, the huge structure was in fact a very simple machine, essentially a massive slingshot exploiting the rotation of the KBO to hurl objects into space. Slugs of refined, processed matter were loaded into open-topped buckets at the KBO’s surface. For the first hundred kilometres, they were hoisted up the length of … Continue reading Saying “Centrifugal” Doesn’t Mean You’re A Bad Person

Paul McAuley: The “Jackaroo” Short Stories

Ever since first contact, when the Jackaroo kicked off a global war on Earth, and swindled the survivors out of rights to most of the solar system in exchange for a basic fusion drive and access to a wormhole network linking a couple of dozen lousy M-class red dwarf stars, aliens had been tricking, bamboozling, … Continue reading Paul McAuley: The “Jackaroo” Short Stories

Stephen Baxter & Alastair Reynolds: The Medusa Chronicles

“The Apollo Moon programme is cancelled,” the man behind the desk was saying. “But the good news is you two good old boys are gonna get the chance to save the world.” This is a slightly odd one. In 1971 Arthur C. Clarke wrote a novella entitled “A Meeting With Medusa”, which won the Nebula … Continue reading Stephen Baxter & Alastair Reynolds: The Medusa Chronicles

Kim Stanley Robinson: Green Earth

“You’re suggesting we need a paradigm shift in how science interacts with society.” “Yes I am.” Kim Stanley Robinson has been around for a while, and is probably best known for his Mars trilogy. A lot of his science fiction reflects his own political agenda—strongly environmentalist and anti-capitalist, with a conviction that responsibly applied science … Continue reading Kim Stanley Robinson: Green Earth