February 2013

The Draco Kill Shot

February 14, 2013

When I was in Huntsville for the recent interstellar conference, I noticed people walking around with black rubber wristbands that said ‘Build a Star Ship.’ Space educator Mike Mongo was handing these out to all concerned, and I soon picked one up to give my grandson. They’re an interesting form of marketing — leave these […]

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Cultural Diffusion and SETI

February 13, 2013

What happens to us if our SETI efforts pay off? Numerous scenarios come to mind, all of them speculative, but the range of responses shown in Carl Sagan’s Contact may be something like the real outcome, with people of all descriptions reading into a distant message whatever they want to hear. Robert Lightfoot (South Georgia […]

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Interstellar Studies: Surveying the Landscape

February 12, 2013

One of the things I love about writing Centauri Dreams is that I learn something new every day. Often this comes from the research needed for individual stories, but just as often it comes from readers suggesting new directions or seeing nuances in an earlier story that I had missed. Yesterday’s post on long-term thinking […]

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The Long Result

February 11, 2013

I conceived an early love for Tennyson, but it wasn’t until a bit later in life that I ran into his “Locksley Hall,” which contains lines many science fiction fans are familiar with: Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising thro’ the mellow shade, Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies tangled in a silver […]

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Interstellar Flight: Adapting Humans for Space

February 8, 2013

It’s surprising but gratifying that we can now talk about the ‘interstellar community.’ Just a few years back, there were many scientists and engineers studying the problems of starflight in their spare time, but when they met, it was at conferences dedicated to other subjects. The fact that the momentum has begun to grow is […]

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After Huntsville, a Red Dwarf Bonanza

February 7, 2013

Returning from Huntsville after the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop, I was catching up on emails at the airport when the latest news about exoplanets and red dwarfs popped up on CNN. It was heartening to look around the Huntsville airport and see that people who had been reading or using their computers were all looking […]

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Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop

February 3, 2013

Air travel presents us with challenges we seldom anticipate. Flying into Charlotte on Sunday I had developed a ferocious headache. I was headed to the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop in Huntsville and had a long enough layover in Charlotte to seek out a pain reliever with decongestant properties. The ridiculous thing was that I couldn’t […]

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New Book Recalls “Men Into Space”

February 1, 2013

These days we know that perhaps a million objects the size of the Tunguska impactor or larger are moving through nearby space, and talk of how to deflect asteroids has become routine. Given our increasing awareness of near-Earth objects, it wouldn’t be a surprise to hear of a new Hollywood treatment involving an Earth-threatening asteroid. […]

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