Tag Archives: Science Fiction

James Blish: Cities In Flight

From the embankment of the long-abandoned Erie-Lackawanna-Pennsylvania Railroad, Chris sat silently watching the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, preparing to take off, and sucked meditatively upon the red and white clover around him. It was a first time for each of them. Chris had known since he had been a boy—he was sixteen now—that the cities … Continue reading James Blish: Cities In Flight

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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

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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

Dave Hutchinson: The “Fractured Europe” Sequence

Very slowly, he turned to put has back to the street, hiding the briefcase with his body. He removed a glove and put his bare hand against the side of the case. It was hot. Not red hot. Not drop-it-right-here-and-run-like-hell hot. But it was still hot. Which, in Rudi’s experience, was a first for a … Continue reading Dave Hutchinson: The “Fractured Europe” Sequence

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