Science and Science Fiction: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Written by Nancy Kress

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One of the scariest statements I ever heard came from a young relative of mine: “All the science I know I learned from your books!” To which I replied, gasping a little, “But you know I make it up, right?”

But not entirely—which raises a critical question. While much has been written about how to use science to create, plot, or enhance one’s fiction, not as much has been written about how speculative fiction impacts our understanding of science. Consider the following: Haijun Yao, editor of China’s major SF magazine, Science Fiction World, told me last year that the Chinese government, which banned SF during the Cultural Revolution, is now very enthusiastic about its publication. The reason, Mr. Yao said, is that reading science fiction encourages young people to learn about science.

Many, many more people see science fiction movies than read print SF.

Almost all SF movies, and much print SF as well, depicts science that is misleading at best, harmful at worst.

Read the full article at Tor Forge Blog.

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Is the Brain Multi-dimensional?

Originally posted on Physics and Art:
Neuroscientists have discovered that the brain contains multi-dimensional geometric structures, up to 11 dimensions. The scientists are talking about algebraic topology, and how it describes neurons connecting into ‘cliques’, and that the description requires higher-dimensional geometric objects. This is a mathematical concept, and they are not claiming to have measured…

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5 Years Away from Lab-Grown Meat

I am ready for the vat-meat!  I tried to be a vegetarian several years ago because I strongly disapprove of the way we treat animals in the industrial farming industry, but with gluten sensitivities and lactose intolerance I just couldn’t make it work.  Not on my budget, anyway. I think it would be a marvelous […]

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Schrödinger’s Cat-Box Reaches Record Size

Hey guys! Check this out! We’ve invented a primitive Ansible! Was so excited I just had to share!

Physics and Art

A new distance record has been set for entangled communications. Entanglement is what Einstein referred to as “spooky action at a distance.” When two quantum particles are entangled, their states are then paired. An action on one particle will immediately affect the other, regardless of how far they are separated. If it occurs to you that this can result in a violation of the speed of light, then you’ll understand why Einstein was so perplexed by it. Nevertheless, entanglement does exist and we have to deal with it.

Well a new article in Science demonstrates satellite-based distribution of entangled photon pairs to places on Earth separated by 1203 kilometers. This breaks the old record by an order of magnitude! This is especially interesting to me because my novel, The Last Butterfly, proposes a far-future consequence of entanglement over very large distances. I guess it just goes to show that…

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Warfighter: Middle Earth

What a wonderful analysis! I love looking at fantasy and sci-fi battles with an eye to strategy and tactics grounded in realism. I think I have found a new Twitter account to follow.

The Angry Staff Officer

When I think of the six warfighting functions I always think of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

What, you don’t?

Let’s be honest, one does not immediately think of fantasy or science fiction when conversations turn to Army doctrine. Most vignettes that are used to make the subject understandable to the lowly minds of company grade officers are either historical or situational. And while there is nothing wrong with this technique, are we perhaps overlooking a missed opportunity for providing a broader understanding of our doctrine?

Bear with me here.

Most of you know of my affinity for all things Star Wars, and how – as a military conflict with socio-economic and political undertones – it can actually be used to make doctrinal concepts more relatable to the average Soldier. Star Wars also has the benefit of being a significant part of American culture – more…

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“The Guns Above” Author Robyn Bennis on Imagined Technology

I won’t pretend that the technology in The Guns Above was easy to imagine. I spent months working out the details and checking them against real-world analogues. A thousand cool and exciting ideas were cut down in their prime, excised by the cruel blade of reality, because I wanted tech that would pass the test of the hard-fantasy reader. I wanted an airship you could build yourself, with enough money and no more than one or two alterations to the laws of physics.

Read the full article at Unbound Worlds.

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Why Would Aliens Even Bother with Earth?

By Lewis Darnell

As an astrobiologist I spend a lot of my time working in the lab with samples from some of the most extreme places on Earth, investigating how life might survive on other worlds in our solar system and what signs of their existence we could detect. If there is biology beyond the Earth, the vast majority of life in the Galaxy will be microbial—hardy single-celled life forms that tolerate a much greater range of conditions than more complex organisms can. To be honest, my own point of view is pretty pessimistic. Don’t get me wrong—if the Earth received an alien tweet tomorrow, or some other text message beamed at us by radio or laser pulse, then I’d be absolutely thrilled. So far, though, we’ve seen no convincing evidence of other civilizations among the stars in our skies.

Read the full article at Literary Hub.

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