Saturday, April 17, 2010

Post 645: Science, Science Fiction, Fiction, Non-Fiction

One of my son's prefers 
non-fiction to fiction.

I enjoy Both.
And here's Part of Why:

After all it was Arthur C Cl;arke that said:
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinquishable from 'Magic'."

Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of The Future", 1961 (Clarke's third law)1945
- More quotations on: [Technology]


And he was the guy that came up with the idea of 
Geostationary communications satellites, 
back in 1945.  

The geostationary orbit is now sometimes known as the Clarke Orbit or the Clarke Belt in his honour.

Take a look at any Smart Phone and it's a good bet it's got a GPS chip onboard. 

How else can Tweeters know where you're Tweeting From?


I just finished Trudeau Vector, a great "First Novel", where I learned 

about  dealing with
a killer pathogen in the Arctic Circle.  

It's Fiction, and it is Great.

I would put it on par with the Non-Fiction Classic:  

The Hot Zone

By #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Richard Preston. 

If you forgot, this is the book that scared Stephen King Silly. 


And here is Richard Preston's Latest. 

Which I got because 
of JML,
chiding me about "Fiction" Books.

(And I've just picked up RP's Panic in Level 4)

on Audible.

Back to Trudeau Vector

Besides learning in detail, how a CDC technician does her work, I also learned about the unbelievable living conditions in a Research Station in the Arctic Circle where things in sub-zero temperatures don't work like you'd expect. The sun won't shine for several months and ships can't reach them in during this time.

Add a decaying Russian Submarine intrigue ( Tom Clancy-like ) and you've got a real winner.   

The details are palpable.

By coincidence, May's issue of Wired 

has a pictorial called: Chill! 

About Awesome Antarctic Ice Stations.


I'm also into Physics in a Big Way. Even popular Science channel Michio Kaku,
is a favorite of mine. He's the String Theory Guy, and I follow him on Twitter where he's had quite a lot to say about NASA and our Space Program.

He's not too happy with NASA dragging it's feet and their Lost sense of direction, and avoiding Mars.  

Even a Lunar station, which could be built like a polar station, a real and necessary First Step, is being avoided.  

But that is not saying there are not Real Problems in doing that.

The Science Fiction Nebula Award Winner for Best Novel 

Red Mars 
by Kim Stanley Robinson. 

 Arthur C. Clarke called it 

"A Staggering Book...

The Best Novel on the Colinization of Mars 

that has ever been written... 

It Should be required reading for the colonists of the Next Century."

I'm only 2/3 into this one and I heartily agree with Sir Arthur C. Clarke.

It reminds us that the problems we have will migrate to Mars too.

And  it's more logical that they should be Solved Here First.

Good Science Fiction rubs our nose against that reality better than anything.


Okay, I'm getting off my soapbox for a while, but part two is coming.

Next The Giant Cattle Ships, The Rise of Robots and The Beetles are 

not playing at the Smithsonian!

the Wingman, signing out.


No comments: