A collection of cli-fi and cli-fact.
I enjoyed chatting with Marcus and Paul on the Boagworld podcast …mostly because I managed to avoid the topic at hand by discussing sci-fi for half an hour before we settled to the boring stuff about work, business, and all that guff.
The best description of Mad Max: Fury Road. Read.
A handy way of quickly finding out how the weather in your area compares to the weather on Mars.
The next Neal Stephenson book sounds like it’s going to be great.
This web series is better than most big-budget hollywood films; witty, entertaining, and perplexing in equal measure.
A beautiful bit of design fiction.
A PDF of Clarke’s classic essay on the follies of prediction. From the 1972 collection The Futurists, edited by Alvin Toffler.
Primer, but Twitter.
Interstellar travel time dilation and status updates: a clever narrative combo.
A fantastic new site from Ariel and Lisa: a collection of probes that are out in space right now, with oodles of facts for each mission and links through to more resources. SCIENCE!
A beautiful website for ISS-based biology experiments.
A beautiful sci-fi short from the European Space Agency, inspired by the Rosetta mission.
This is quite amazing!
I remember getting up on Christmas day 2003 (I was in Arizona), hoping to get news of Beagle 2’s successful landing. Alas, the news never came.
For something that size to be discovered now …that’s quite something.
A short profile of Michael Moorcock’s Elric series (though, for me, Jerry Cornelius is the champion that remains eternal in my memory).
Airships in the atmosphere of Venus. More plausible than it might sound at first.
Curiosity’s journey so far, nicely visualised.
Tim Carmody on James Cameron’s meisterwerk (and technology in sci-fi films in general).
Scenes of space from sci-fi films.
This is an awareness project I can get behind: a Clarke-like Project Spaceguard to protect the Earth from asteroid collisions. This campaign will focus awareness of this issue on one single day…
Now if only the front page of this website actually said when that day will be.
Update: And now it does.
Typeset In The Future is back with another cracking analysis. This time—following on from 2001 and Moon—we’ve got Alien.
In her final recorded message before hypersleep, Ripley notes that she is the sole survivor of the Nostromo. What she forgets to mention is that she has not once in the past two hours encountered any Eurostile Bold Extended.
A vision of humanity’s exploration of our solar system.
We’re going back to the moon. With a robot. So we can take sublunarean samples.
You can help fund it on Kickstarter.
The UK Space Agency has a magazine called “space:uk” and you can download PDFs of back issues.
We can expect even more stunning images like these from Rosetta soon.
Queen of science fiction.
A warm-hearted short story about a moonshot. By Tom Hanks.
Elon Musk talks engineering, the Fermi paradox, and getting your ass to Mars.
This is a great summation of the origins of Science Hack Day from Ariel.
All the marvellous hacks from Science Hack Day San Francisco being demoed at the end of the event.
Mine is the first one up, five minutes in.
What a fantastic collection of creators!
A lovely hack from Science Hack Day San Francisco: get an idea of the size of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider by seeing it superimposed over your town.
It’s impossible to predict the creations that will spring forth when people gather in the spirit of participation, collaboration, and benign anarchy at the next Science Hack Day, but the results are certain to be inspired, and inspiring.
How the printing press led to the microscope, and chlorination transformed women’s fashion—Steven Johnson channels James Burke.
Beautiful visualisations of science and nature.
Made with love by a designer with a molecular biology degree.
This is basically porn for me.
Bernal spheres, Stanford tori, and O’Neill cylinders, oh my!
I’m not quite sure why this is funny, but I am quite sure that it is.
I remember reading Gia Milinovich’s reports from the set of the in-production Danny Boyle sci-fi film called Sunshine back in 2005. Then the film came out, exceeded my expectations, and became one of my all-time favourites.
Now the website—which was deleted by Fox—has been lovingly recreated by Gia. (And it’s responsive now.)
A nice bit of interactive citizen science storytelling from Google.
Note: if you have Adblock Plus installed, this won’t load at all. Funny that.
This year’s collection of twelve sci-fi stories from Technology Review features three dConstruct speakers: Lauren Beukes, Cory Doctorow, and Warren Ellis.
Photos from the first Science Hack Day in China which just wrapped up.
Design fiction from a NASA scientist.
This is quite exciting: the Endnote project is sponsoring Science Hack Day globally—not just an individual event.
A short sci-fi film from director Wanuri Kahiu set in the aftermath of a worldwide water war.
Alan Kay’s written remarks to a Joint Hearing of the Science Committee and the Economic and Educational and Opportunites Committee in October 1995.
Steven Johnson’s new television series will be shown on BBC in a few months time. Looks like it’s going to be good Burkian fun.
Documenting depictions of dystopian futures and tracking which ideas are turning out to be predictions.
A free PDF download from NASA on all things SETI, specifically the challenges of interspecies interstellar communication.
The campaign to restore out-of-print pulp sci-fi books in electronic formats.
Craig recounts the time we visited the LHCb at CERN. It’s a lovely bit of writing. I wish it were on his own website.
Eileen Gunn writes in the Smithsonian magazine on the influence of science fiction.
Science fiction, at its best, engenders the sort of flexible thinking that not only inspires us, but compels us to consider the myriad potential consequences of our actions.
I finally got around to reading Red Men by Matthew De Abaitua recently. It’s like Nick Harkaway crossed with Jeff Noon.
Here’s hoping that this short film will be developed into a full-length feature.
I can’t wait to see this documentary on the monumental work at CERN.
A lovely visualisation that combines two of my loves: space, and the correct use of the subjunctive.
I did some consulting with the Wellcome Trust on this new magazine-like project, and it’s great to see it go live—excellent stories of science, all published under a Creative Commons licence.
This fun-looking short film—funded by Brighton’s Lighthouse Arts—is screening at the Duke Of York’s Cinema on Saturday, March 1st followed by a panel discussion with the director and science-comedienne Helen Keen.
Okay, this might just be my new favourite blog:
This site is dedicated to all aspects of movie and TV typography and iconography as it appears in Sci-Fi and fantasy movies.
The first post is all about 2001, and the writing is just the right shade of fun.
I’m already looking forward to future posts. (See what I did there?)
A great series of articles on the sci-fi films of the ’60s and ’70s:
The Laser Age examines a rich period in the history of science-fiction filmmaking that began in the late 1960s and faded away by the mid 1980s.
…all wrapped up in a nice responsive design too.
This nifty place in Brighton is just down the street from me:
Our classes allow kids to get creative with exciting, cutting-edge technology and software.
Brian Aldiss: ‘These days I don’t read any science fiction. I only read Tolstoy’ | Books | The Guardian
A profile of Brian Aldiss in The Guardian.
I still can’t quite believe I managed to get him for last year’s Brighton SF.
This is a wonderful, wonderful round-up by KQED of the most recent Science Hack Day in San Francisco …a truly marvellous event.
Be sure to watch the accompanying video—it brought a tear to my eye.
This gives me a warm fuzzy glow. The Mefites are using Radio Free Earth to find out which stars are receiving the number one hits from their birthdays.
Wonderful photos from Science Hack Day San Francisco, courtesy of Matt B.
Realistically, what happens when you detonate a large metallic satellite (about the the size of the second Death Star) in orbit around an inhabited world (like, say, the forest moon of Endor).
It isn’t pretty.
Michael Chabon muses on The Future, prompted by the Clock of the Long Now.
Iain M.Banks and dConstruct, together at last.
Omni returns with a Bruce Sterling short story that marries alternative history and satire with a dash of digital preservation.
Go ahead, just wait a year, or two years, or maybe five years. Then try to find this, later. There will be no sign of this website, because it’s just made of pixels. No remains of the machine that you read it with, either.
Scenes from a future Sweden.
I’m not sure how I managed to miss this site up until now, but it’s right up my alley: equal parts urban planning, ethnography, and food science.
Paris Review – “One Murder Is Statistically Utterly Unimportant”: A Conversation with Warren Ellis, Molly Crabapple
Molly Crabapple interviews Warren Ellis. Fun and interesting …much like Molly Crabapple and Warren Ellis.
Registration is now open for Science Hack Day San Francisco at the end of September. Hope to see you there.
This is quite remarkable. Now that the Galaxy Zoo project from Zooniverse has successfully classified all its data (already a remarkable achievement), its volunteers are now collaborating on writing a scientific paper.
There’s something going on here. This isn’t just a “cool” or “cute” link—this is the first stirring of something entirely new that is made possible by network technology.
I like this theory!
H.P. Lovecraft meets James Bridle in this great little story commissioned by the Institute For The Future.
Corridors in science fiction films.
I’ve linked to this before, but with the death of Iain M Banks it’s worth re-reading this fascinating insight into The Culture, one of science fictions’s few realistic utopias.
The brief mention here of The Culture’s attitude to death is apt:
Philosophy, again; death is regarded as part of life, and nothing, including the universe, lasts forever. It is seen as bad manners to try and pretend that death is somehow not natural; instead death is seen as giving shape to life.
Francis Spufford—author of the excellent Backroom Boffins—writes a cover story for the New Humanist magazine remembering Iain Banks with the middle initial M firmly to the fore: it was Iain M Banks—and his creation, The Culture—that took the seemingly passé genre of space opera to new heights.
A really nice piece on Robert McCall, who was artist-in-residence at NASA and worked as conceptual artist on Kubrick and Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Zooniverse have done it again. Now you can help in the hunt for sources of gravitational lensing.
It’s informative. It’s fun. It has genuine scientific value.
Sorta sci-fi from Adam.
Consider this a shooting script for one of those concept videos so beloved of the big technology vendors.
Want a Science Hack Day where you live? Make it so!
A truly fascinating and well-written article on how changes are afoot in the worlds of psychology, economics, and just about any other field that has performed tests on American participants and extrapolated the results into universal traits.
Given the data, they concluded that social scientists could not possibly have picked a worse population from which to draw broad generalizations. Researchers had been doing the equivalent of studying penguins while believing that they were learning insights applicable to all birds.
Science Fiction Film as Design Scenario Exercise for Psychological Habitability: Production Designs 1955-2009
A white paper that looks to sci-fi films as potential prototypes for habitats for humans in space, with an emphasis on dealing with the psychological issues involved.
A magnificent piece of writing from Michael, examining the influence of Sergio Leone on George Lucas.
Now this looks like my kind of event:
A new micro-conference on science, technology, communication and fiction, organised by the Arthur C. Clarke Award.
A damning analysis of the Empire’s military strategy at the battle of Hoth, complete with illustrations. The comments are good too:
Guys, cut Palpatine some slack. He’s still in his first term as Emperor…
A lovely new responsive(ish) website dedicated to science and the environment.
There’s going to be mini Science Hack Day at Lighthouse as part of this month’s Science Festival in Brighton. Come along — it’ll be fun.
I, for one, welcome our slime mould overlords.
The slime mould is being used to explore biological-inspired design, emergence theory, unconventional computing and robot controllers, much of which borders on the world of science fiction.
Lauren talks about The Shining Girls and the tools she uses to write with.
A well-written white paper on time travel. Alas, it relies a bit too much on semantic nitpickery to offer any real insight.
Brilliant little magnetic cuddly nucleobases from Jun. You get all four bases to combine to your heart’s content: cytosine, guanine, adenine, thymine — take that, Pokémon.
I like this idea of slow journalism: taking seven years to tell a story.
The latest project from Zooniverse is, as you would expect, an extremely enjoyable and useful way to spend your time: classifying animals that have captured in camera trap images.
The opening tutorial is a lesson in how to do “on-boarding” right.
A look at the depiction of computer hardware and peripherals in sci-fi movies over time.
The out-of-copyright books of Olaf Stapledon are available to download from the University of Adelaide. Be sure to grab Starmaker and First And Last Men.