OMNI Magazine delighted, informed, and even confused geeks of many flavours, and is now available to be downloaded
from the Internet Archive. [previously]
posted by batmonkey
on Nov 1, 2012 -
In 1994, theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre proposed a scheme for virtual faster than light travel using a real-world analog to the familiar science fiction trope known as "Warp Drive."
The basic premise exploited certain space-time warping effects predicted by General Relativity to fold space-time
, theoretically allowing a specially designed space craft to reach distant destinations effectively at FTL speeds without actually having to accelerate to light speed or beyond at all. There was, however, at least one major problem with the proposal: The math suggested it would require as much energy as the mass of the planet Jupiter to power the thing. But according to newer calculations based on a modified version of Alcubierre's original proposal
, warp speed travel may now theoretically be within reach
(warning: eyeball-gouging Space.com link), requiring drastically less energy than originally thought. Of course, not everyone's convinced
there's anything to see here. And even so, prohibitive energy input requirements may not be
the only serious challenge
facing the development of real-world warp drive technology, so don't go packing your bags for that long overdue vacation to Risa just yet.
posted by saulgoodman
on Sep 17, 2012 -
“[...] it took more than a dozen calls to work out the details of her zombie contagion. “After about the 17th time,” says McGuire, “I called and said, ‘If I did this, this, this, this, this, this and this, could I raise the dead?’ And got, ‘Don’t … don’t do that.’ And at that point, I knew I had a viable virus
posted by batmonkey
on Jun 27, 2012 -
Daily Science Fiction:
Original Science Fiction and Fantasy every weekday. Welcome to Daily Science Fiction, an online magazine of science fiction short stories. We publish "science fiction" in the broad sense of the word: This includes sci-fi, fantasy, slipstream—whatever you'd likely find in the science fiction section of your local bookstore. Our stories are mostly short short fiction each Monday through Thursday, hopefully the right length to read on a coffee break, over lunch, or as a bedtime tale. Friday's weekend stories are longer.
posted by Fizz
on Apr 2, 2012 -
Day at Night
was an interview series on the public television station of the City University of New York that aired from 1973-4. CUNY TV is in the process of digitizing and uploading the 130 episodes that were produced, with 46 done so far. The episodes are just under half an hour in length. Among the people interviewed by host James Day are author Ray Bradbury
, actress Myrna Loy
, medical researcher Jonas Salk
, singer Cab Calloway
, writer Christopher Isherwood
, nuclear scientist Edward Teller
, comedian Victor Borge
, tennis player Billie Jean King
, linguist and activist Noam Chomsky
, composer Aaron Copland
, actor Vincent Price
and boxer Muhammad Ali
posted by Kattullus
on Jan 16, 2012 -
Where forward thinking terrestrials exchange ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction today. A growing number of universities, architecture and design schools are conducting projects
on this site. Hundreds of art treasures, educational videos and narratives are found in their galleries
. Every SpaceCollective member is provided with a personal time capsule
, preserving their contributions for the edification of each other as well as future times and beings.
posted by netbros
on Apr 7, 2009 -
We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges. When soldiers take their oath they are given a coin, an asimi stamped with the profile of the Autarch. Their acceptance of that coin is their acceptance of the special duties and burdens of military life--they are soldiers from that moment, though they may know nothing of the management of arms. I did not know that then, but it is a profound mistake to believe that we must know of such things to be influenced by them, and in fact to believe so is to believe in the most debased and superstitious kind of magic. The would-be sorcerer alone has faith in the efficacy of pure knowledge; rational people know that things act of themselves or not at all.Gene Wolfe
- Now step within Father Inire's mirrors....
posted by y2karl
on Jan 15, 2004 -
Alternate universes may exist besides our own in some ghostly manner. Various science-fiction series explore parallel universes
, but what do serious physicists think? Hugh Everett III's doctoral thesis outlines a controversial theory in which the universe at every instant branches into countless parallel worlds
. Physicist Andrei Linde's theory of self-reproducing universes
implies that new universes are being created all the time through a budding process. Stephen Hawking's quantum cosmology
also suggests the possibility of other universes connected by wormholes. Some scientists feel that the famous photon double slit experiments
proves the existence of parallel universes in which a photon from one universe interacts with a photon from another. Black hole theory suggests that black holes may be portals to parallel universes
Science-fiction stories about parallel universes always delight the mind. Two of my favorite SF novels on parallel universes are Heinlein's Job
and Number of the Beast
. Several others intrigue me, such as The Neoreality Series
, and Parallelities
. Science books on the subject include a famous book
by David Deutsch.
Do you have any favorite books on parallel universes or parallel realities, fiction or nonfiction?
What do you think? No doubt, scientists and science-fiction authors
will continue to explore the concept in the decades to come.
posted by Morphic
on Oct 21, 2002 -
A Few Words About Jack Vance. Gersen entered a hall with a floor of immaculate white glass tiles. On one hand was the display wall, characteristic of middle-class European homes; here hung a panel intricately inlaid with wood, bone and shell: Lenka workmanship from Nowhere, one of the Concourse planets; a set of perfume points from Pamfile; a rectangle of polished and perforated obsidian; and one of the so-called "supplication slabs"* from Lupus 23II.
* The nonhuman natives of Peninsula 4A, Lupus 23II, devote the greater part of their lives to the working of these slabs, which apparently have a religious significance. Twice each year, at the solstices, two hundred and twenty-four microscopically exact slabs are placed aboard a ceremonial barge, which is then allowed to drift out upon the ocean. The Lupus Salvage Company maintains a ship just over the horizon from peninsula 4A. As soon as the raft has drifted out of sight of land, it is recovered, the slabs are removed, exported and sold as objets d'art.
(Not for season ticket holders to The Short Attention Span Theater
posted by y2karl
on Apr 10, 2002 -