Category Archives: News and Features

Aliens, hamsters in tutus, and the nightmare scenario for particle physics

Could aliens be blocking the progress of human science? Well, that’s a science fiction plot, but it has some truth behind it… In science fiction novel The Three-Body Problem, the alien Trisolarans send advanced AIs to block the progress of human science until their invasion fleet arrives. The

Was there life on Venus…?

In Edgar Rice Burroughs science-fantasy novel Pirates of Venus, the hero crash lands on Venus (Amtor) when his rocket ship is thrown off course. He discovers a verdant world of  giant vegetation and unmapped oceans, wreathed in thick clouds and – of course – populated by monsters and princesses

Celebrating the National Dog Days of Summer – Links: 27/08

Big news this week: An Earth-like planet was spotted in our nearest star system, Alpha Centauri, raising hopes of glowing aliens. Sci-fi author Stephen Baxter speculated on the prospect on life. See also: the BBC with five (well, four) reasons to get excited about the find,

Detecting a Death Star and other gravitational wave ideas

If you follow the news, you’ll know that last Thursday (11/02) scientists detected for the first time gravitational waves –  tremors in the fabric of space and time. The discovery confirmed the theories of Albert Einstein, who predicted their existence 100 years ago. If you’re a science fiction writer,

Choosing your own reality…

In the comments of a Guardian article about the cult-like nature of Britain’s shrinking political parties: Technology has driven cultural changes, what we see is what politics looks like when people have so much control over what they see, and who they speak with. Social

New Wars, New Technology

Event China is ‘not frightened to fight a war with the US’, according to the Guardian today. The comments  – in a state-run Chinese newspaper – came twenty-four hours after the US deployed a warship into a contested region of the South China Sea. The territorial contest

On the subject of dogs piloting jetpacks…

Because I’ve got to beta test a Twine story this evening… I leave you with some deep thinking on the  topic of whether dogs can – and should – pilot their own jetpacks. Here is a video of a jetpack/wingsuit being piloted over Dubai. I

The ornithopter that really flies…

One of mankind’s great dreams is to fly like a bird, and ornithopters have been a staple of fantastical fiction since Leonardo di Vinci drew his first speculative designs. But did you know that planes that flap their wings are a real technology? In 2010, what appears to

Who says you can’t establish your own country?

Calling all future seasteaders. A wonderful article in the Independent by the first journalist to stay overnight on the Independent Principality of Sealand – a Second World War anti-aircraft fortress off the UK coast that’s been an unofficial micro-nation since the 1960s. Seven miles off the coast of Suffolk,