Page 8 of 10 FirstFirst ... 678910 LastLast
Results 106 to 120 of 136
  1. #106
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven L Jordan View Post
    I touched on that in another thread, too: Humans will need a "portable magnetosphere," effective shielding or something similar to protect against radiation on unprotected planetary bodies and in space.
    Just checked out wikipedia on the radiation and habitability side of things. It would appear that Ganymede is too close to Jupiter and humans would suffer from the Jovian radiation. Callisto is a goer though... apparently NASA did a study in 2003 (called HOPE) that concluded this moon could have habitats on the surface.

    ...looks like we need to by-pass Mars and head on straight to Callisto!

    Now who's written a story that assumes this?

    Or written a story that finds a way of developing a magnetosphere for Mars?

  2. #107
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Germantown, Md.
    Posts
    451
    Quote Originally Posted by Rosie Oliver View Post
    Just checked out wikipedia on the radiation and habitability side of things. It would appear that Ganymede is too close to Jupiter and humans would suffer from the Jovian radiation. Callisto is a goer though... apparently NASA did a study in 2003 (called HOPE) that concluded this moon could have habitats on the surface.

    ...looks like we need to by-pass Mars and head on straight to Callisto!

    Now who's written a story that assumes this?

    Or written a story that finds a way of developing a magnetosphere for Mars?
    I thought that Jovian radiation could be a threat to its own moons, given its sheer size.

    It's funny: I seem to remember Red Mars making a big deal about a point during the flight to Mars in which the crew had to hide in a rad-proof bunker during a radiation wave; but once they were on Mars, many of them left themselves directly exposed on Martian surface with no ill-effects.

    Terraforming worlds mentioned in most novels (and all TV/movies) skip over the whole need-for-a-magnetosphere thing. Not surprisingly, there are aspects to so many things that we take for granted at first; then, when someone points out the issue, everyone says: "Jeez! Why didn't we think of that?"

  3. #108
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven L Jordan View Post
    It's funny: I seem to remember Red Mars making a big deal about a point during the flight to Mars in which the crew had to hide in a rad-proof bunker during a radiation wave; but once they were on Mars, many of them left themselves directly exposed on Martian surface with no ill-effects.

    Terraforming worlds mentioned in most novels (and all TV/movies) skip over the whole need-for-a-magnetosphere thing. Not surprisingly, there are aspects to so many things that we take for granted at first; then, when someone points out the issue, everyone says: "Jeez! Why didn't we think of that?"
    Hm... there are several potential answers to this, which I have described on my blog. They are all obvious when you sit down and think about, and there is one, that does not bear worth mentioning even in Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars. This is the one about developing the necessary radiation proof material. Maybe this is why he didn't mention the radiation problem beyond a certain point in the book?

    I think we should be developing such a material anyway and use where we need to use radioactive materials i.e nuclear power stations and medicine.

  4. #109
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Sol III
    Posts
    2,740
    This week also saw the publication of an excellent review of the annual best of science fiction anthologies in the LA Review of Books by Paul Kincaid. See here. Paul makes a number of interesting points, but the chief one is that the genre has become so inward-looking that it’s now more concerned with trope mining than it is with the real world. Sf has locked itself within its own toy box, and is happy to just play with the toys it finds there. The review led to an excellent discussion on Twitter, with Paul, Jonathan McCalmont, Rose Fox, Paul C Smith and myself (there may have been others – we didn’t hashtag the discussion and I’m having trouble finding the tweets).
    Better living through engineering. We don’t do that anymore. And so our science fictions reflect that lack. Or rather, they should. Complain that sf is all escapism these days, and readers will respond, “what’s wrong with escapism?” Well, it doesn’t fix anything, for a start. That was one of sf’s characteristics in the past, that it posited thought experiments, that it could show the impact of something – good or bad – happening, that it could inspire people to do things.
    http://iansales.com/2012/09/06/the-h...ing-is-broken/

    psik
    Last edited by psikeyhackr; September 6th, 2012 at 11:13 PM.

  5. #110
    Registered User Seli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    309
    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    In my opinion he is suffering from selective memory and pining for a genre that never actually existed, but opinions can vary.

  6. #111
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    61
    The Hugos are terrible, but is it a fair leap to reject the entire genre because a particular award is so off the tracks? It's a bit like rejecting all of cinema because the Oscars are such a joke.

  7. #112
    SF Author SR_Seldon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    43
    This poses an interesting question. I think a lot is missing today mainly because of SF being lumped with Fantasy and the urban fantasy craze that dominates the SFF arena. I know that when I wanted to find a particular type of story to read I found that there were very few that I didn't already have. I ended up writing my own.

  8. #113
    Pro Bono Graphic Designer virangelus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    551
    Blog Entries
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by SR_Seldon View Post
    This poses an interesting question. I think a lot is missing today mainly because of SF being lumped with Fantasy and the urban fantasy craze that dominates the SFF arena. I know that when I wanted to find a particular type of story to read I found that there were very few that I didn't already have. I ended up writing my own.
    Alas, I do miss the days of true, hard, science-fiction. The kind where you had to re-read some pages just to make sure you understood it.

    There are those books that seemingly combine both elements. I'd say Piers Anthony's series, "Incarnations of Immortality" do both. Where else can you find Chrono, Satan, an alien, and a spaceship all in one chapter?

  9. #114
    Registered User Seli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    309
    Quote Originally Posted by virangelus View Post
    Alas, I do miss the days of true, hard, science-fiction. The kind where you had to re-read some pages just to make sure you understood it.

    There are those books that seemingly combine both elements. I'd say Piers Anthony's series, "Incarnations of Immortality" do both. Where else can you find Chrono, Satan, an alien, and a spaceship all in one chapter?
    It would seem to me that true hard science fiction is blooming.

    Egan is still writing, as is Peter Watts, Cat Valente has shown her skills in hard SF. Of course Reynolds might a bit too good at explaining his ideas to necessitate re-reading, and Peter Hamilton seems to hide the 'true hard' parts of his story in plain sight, but Neal Asher does quite well at technobabble when he needs to, and I don't know if Hannu Rajaniemi is that easy to read for someone trying to understand the intricate technology and science behind his books.

    But tastes might differ.

  10. #115
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Germantown, Md.
    Posts
    451
    Y'know what I miss in SF these days? Robots. So much so that I'm going to write a novel with robots in it.

    I think robots are a fascinating area of SF, whether they are humanoid or not; their demonstrated intelligence is often all across the board, and they can be anything from set dressing to major characters in their own right. They are wonderful tools for examining humanity and our relations with our machines and ourselves. And those questions, many of them addressed by authors past, haven't all been answered. There's still lots of room for robot stories.

  11. #116
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Sol III
    Posts
    2,740
    Quote Originally Posted by Seli View Post
    In my opinion he is suffering from selective memory and pining for a genre that never actually existed, but opinions can vary.
    The readership of the genre was not as big back then and although the variety was probably as great there was not nearly as much material in each variety.

    Calling it all "science fiction" today is ridiculous.

    We also did not have a society with computers everywhere changing the entire publishing industry. How difficult would it have been to find 10 reviews of Dune in 1970? How many hours or days might it take? How difficult today?

    http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=...g--,1347577420

    The problem is not the technology it is how we define our categories.

    psik

  12. #117
    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post

    The problem is not the technology it is how we define our categories.

    psik
    This is in part due our better understanding of science and hence what we can and are doing on the engineering and technology front. It is further complicated by having science fiction stories choose different technologies to be mixed into the story.

    Having said all that, I would certainly vote for a new categorisation of the genre so long as it was based on common sense and easily understood.

    Ideas anyone (before I make my own suggestions)?

    In a sense I would hope that if done right such a categorisation would lead to the identifying areas that are currently missing in science fiction.

  13. #118
    Registered User JunkMonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Slap Bang in the Middle of Infinity
    Posts
    1,602
    At the risk of repeating myself - I have banged on about this before, but possible elsewhere - what I think is missing from SF at the moment is brevity. There's not enough brevity.

    The SFWA say that 40,000 words is eligible for a nebula as a novel. I'd love to read more stand-alone novels that were shorter, tighter (ie not part of a 'series', or 'a stunning new trilogy').

    Part of the problem I think is word processing. It's so easy these days to just relentlessly type, cut, and paste mountains of words. Putting on my infinitely comfortable 'If I Was the Boss of Everything' hat for a moment, I would require all professional writers to type out their entire manuscripts on an mechanical Underwood before submitting them. That'd concentrate their minds.


    (Authors I thought s**t would have to write theirs out longhand - with a quill.)
    Last edited by JunkMonkey; September 13th, 2012 at 06:39 AM.

  14. #119
    Registered User ian_sales's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    321
    If you're not averse to a tiny bit of promotion, I have a 20k novella available on Kindle (and paperback and hardback). It's the first of a quartet, but the four books are standalone and only linked thematically. Reviews so far have been very positive. It's titled Adrift on the Sea Of Rains, and is available on both Amazons UK and US.

    And, while they may be part of a series, the two Ockham's Razor books by Keith Sheffield - also available on Kindle - are very short (around 30k words) and can also be read as standalones.

  15. #120
    Registered User mylinar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA USA
    Posts
    399
    Quote Originally Posted by JunkMonkey View Post
    Part of the problem I think is word processing. It's so easy these days to just relentlessly type, cut, and paste mountains of words. Putting on my infinitely comfortable 'If I Was the Boss of Everything' hat for a moment, I would require all professional writers to type out their entire manuscripts on an mechanical Underwood before submitting them. That'd concentrate their minds.


    (Authors I thought s**t would have to write theirs out longhand - with a quill.)
    I have to agree here that this is a result of the word processor. However in a Devil's Advocate kind of way I have to mention something that is very helpful from this same technology.

    I was reading Centennial by James Michener (not SF but bear with me).
    Towards the end of the book there is a geneology charts and something bothered me. I eventually flipped back and forth to finally find out that a main character from the early part was listed as dying in a certain year but I could find a part of the book where he was alive after that year. The word processor makes it easy to search and find stuff like this. It can eliminate little logical inconsistencies like this that an author otherwise had to depend on notes and memory (or laboriously page flipping).

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •