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Science Fiction Space

Pets in spaaaaace

Animals in space don’t have a happy history, but more than half of humans share their lives with an animal companion. Space pets will be a thing, even if they’re rarely found in science fiction. Laika and her doomed Soviet space dog chums, the NASA chimps, and the countless small animals sent to experience things […]

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book reviews Creative writing Horror Science Fiction

Book vs film: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Book Corner season 5: Book vs film. Episode 5: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro Ishiguro’s sixth novel was published in 2005 and its film adaptation, scripted by Alex Garland, was released in 2010. Read on, and I’ll explain why the novel is a great example of bad storytelling that the film fails […]

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Creative writing Science Fiction

Space archaeology: how to make the future look alive

Space archaeology is a real job, but how did it combine with the sci-fi classic Alien to help me write better characters? Next time you’re watching a film or TV show set in the future, see how many personal items you can find. I’ll wager it’s very few. Real life isn’t like that. Our cars, […]

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book reviews Creative writing Horror Science Fiction

Book vs film: The Dark Tower vol 1 — The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Season 5 episode 2: The Dark Tower vol 1 — The Gunslinger, by Stephen King The original concept for this season was “great book, shit film”. The Gunslinger certainly qualifies for the latter half and while The Dark Tower series has a passionate fanbase, “great” has to do a lot of heavy lifting for the […]

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Creative writing In Machina Science Science Fiction Space

The Taste of Space 5: Extraterrestrial Meal Times

The zero-g fryer is bubbling, the smell of fresh bread fills your spacecraft and a bell chimes the shift change. The crew gathers in the ship’s mess. We’ve gone from growing food and making meat to off-Earth cooking, so what will meal times look like in space? The first question is when to eat. In […]

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Creative writing In Machina Science Science Fiction Space

The Taste of Space 3: Let’s Meet the Meat*

Growing vegetables in space is one thing, but it’s no place for the animals that most of us still rely on for key nutrients. Will space-faring humans be forever denied the joy of a bacon sandwich? Is the true cosmic horror a solar system populated by evangelising veganauts? I never thought I’d be pondering these […]

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Creative writing In Machina Novels Science Science Fiction Space

The Taste of Space 2: Greening the Galaxy

Astronauts in 2023 take almost everything they eat with them. Future space travellers will need to grow plants in space without regular supply rockets. What’s happening in space agriculture today that I can throw forward a hundred years for my WIP, In Machina? Escaping the gravity well Getting anything into space is governed by “the […]

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AI Creative writing In Machina Psychology Science Fiction

Embodied intelligence: bad news for transhumanists, great news for AIs

Uploading your mind to a computer is a sci-fi trope that’s almost as old as the electronic computer. Yet the more I write about AI, the more I think that it’s never going to happen. The reason: embodied intelligence. Consciousness uploads are also a notion that gets transhumanists and some sci-fi fans extremely agitated. From […]

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Creative writing Science Fiction

Don’t miss Alastair Reynolds’s wonderful sketches for his Revenger trilogy

Most authors only publish their notes and sketches when a series hits the big time, but space opera author Alastair Reynolds has given away a treat for fans of his Revenger trilogy. If you haven’t read the Revenger novels, they’re an intriguing, swashbuckling trio of far future adventures. Though they feature solar sail ships, weird […]