As I mentioned in the May summation, I’ve added The Year’s Best Military & Adventure SF, Volume 4 to “Expanded Collated Contents of the Year’s Bests (2017 Stories, Links).”
- The Two-Toed & Three-Toed Tree Toads | Learn Fun Facts. Froggy went a-courtin’.
- The Original Evil Overlord List. I was recently reminded of this oldie-but-goodie and linked to “Peter’s Evil Overlord List” in that context but the “original” one deserves a link (and has over four times as many items which is both a good and bad thing).
- The History Blog » Man pinned by huge stone found at Pompeii. This dude did not have a good day.
- The History Blog » Intact 4th c. B.C. tomb found in Roman suburb. More tales of the dead.
- Can I Give Up My Printer? – Auxiliary Memory. I can sympathize. I did without a printer for years and only installed one to have the scanner part. Ran out of ink years ago after that and never bought more, figuring I could buy cheaper things like gold and Rembrandts.
- IBM unveils ‘world’s smallest computer’ with blockchain at Think 2018. Once again, I can’t imagine what could go wrong. But, insofar as it could possibly be used for good, I guess it’s neat. I ultimately got to that article via Edward M. Lerner’s “SF and Nonsense: Does not compute.”
- Aerial robot that can morph in flight — ScienceDaily. Another item in the pile of cool Mark II robot links (for others, see the last “Links” post).
- In the beginning was the phase separation: A simple mechanism could have been decisive for the development of life — ScienceDaily. I’d think more of oiling tools rather than the “garage” analogy but, still, an interesting idea. “IT’S almost ALIVE!!!”
- Could we work together with our bacteria to stop infection? — ScienceDaily. I’ve often thought our whole approach to medicine (don’t strengthen ourselves; kill them—and what doesn’t kill them makes them stronger) is wrong. This indirectly strengthens us but it’s an interesting approach. (And this is the only interesting article out of hundreds—seemingly thousands—of “gut bacteria” stories of various kinds lately.)
- Water is not the same as water: Two forms differ — ScienceDaily. Well, there’s also “heavy” water but this miraculous substance never ceases to amaze.
- Noninvasive technique to correct vision — ScienceDaily. Looks good.
- Cell-like nanorobots clear bacteria and toxins from blood — ScienceDaily. Here’s some science fiction maybe turning into fact that would beat cellphones stupid.
- Ceres: The Smallest and Closest Dwarf Planet. Nice write-up of an often overlooked resident of the system.
- Vesta: Facts About the Brightest Asteroid. Another nice write-up of another little one which won’t leave you marooned.
- NASA Is About to Have Its Closest Encounter Ever with Dwarf Planet Ceres. Here’s one on the probe which has been to the one and is about to get very close to the other.
- Cosmic collision lights up the darkness — ScienceDaily. When galaxies collide.
- A Major Physics Experiment Just Detected A Particle That Shouldn’t Exist. To approximately quote the Good Doctor, “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not, ‘Eureka!’ (I’ve found it), but, ‘That’s funny.'” This is a bit of both, of course, but more the latter.
- Black Gate » Announcing the Black Gate Book Club: Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh. With all my other reading, I probably won’t be able to participate but encourage others to do so if they can. It’s an interesting idea with an excellent start (Cherryh is awesome and Downbelow is great but it took two tries for me to realize that and it isn’t the easiest thing to get into for many people). I will follow the comments, at least. (It doesn’t seem to have happened this Monday but maybe it will tomorrow or next Monday.)
- We Lost Control a Long Time Ago – From Earth to the Stars. Sue Burke, who published a good story in the May/June Asimov’s, contributes a good piece to the Asimov’s blog. I don’t like the idea that SF is condemned to be a Cassandra or that humanity is necessarily destined to be “out of control” (though we certainly are at the moment) but this was an interesting, powerful, and not utterly bleak piece.
- Black Gate » A Classic Without the Quotation Marks: Rogue Moon. Be warned that, without maybe being terminally spoilery, it gives away a little too much for my comfort but I can’t resist linking to anything promoting Budrys and/or Rogue Moon. It also gets in a little about Who? and his reviewing and so forth.
- Black Gate » With a (Black) Gat: Some Har[d]boiled Anthologies. Some of this is in Mount TBR (which dwarfs Everest) . And, okay, it’s not SF but I’m an SF fan and it interested me and you’re presumably an SF fan and perhaps it will interest you.
- Becoming an Expert in a Micro-Expertise – Auxiliary Memory. James Wallace Harris is going for his Ph.D. in Literature, Science Fiction, Magazines, 1926-76. It’s also about Zen and the art of knowledge bonsai. A beautifully crafted small, calm tree of knowledge beats a million-miles-an-hour mess of mere information. And I certainly treasure his field, too.
- Blog 11 | Jack McDevitt | Science Fiction. Jack McDevitt with some wise words on what fiction should do and what style really ought to be.
- Black Gate » Birthday Reviews: Geoffrey A. Landis’s “Impact Parameter”. “Approaching Perimelasma” is one of my favorites as well as the homage to Clarke of “A Walk in the Sun” and others. I’ve actually got his books in Mount TBR but I know he’s great anyway.
- Strange at Ecbatan: Birthday Review: Fred Chappell’s More Shapes Than One. More from Mount TBR (told you it was huge). I’m not sure I have ever read anything by him but got this when it was suggested to me a couple of years ago.
- Black Gate » Birthday Reviews: Hal Clement’s “Critical Factor”. One of my favorite authors and one of the few (two?) that I’ve gone out of my way to try to get most everything of (I don’t have a couple of stories from hundred-dollar-plus anthologies but I wouldn’t do anything about that even for Asimov).
- What Makes a Great Parody? – SuperversiveSF. I came across this link at madab.info (thanks to whoever put Featured Futures on there, by the way) and, as someone who loves Airplane, This Is Spinal Tap, Princess Bride, GalaxyQuest, etc. (and, in books, Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers), all of which seem like the second or third of the article’s three types to me, I thought this was an interesting article. Also, I don’t know anime from Adam but, while I didn’t think it was as good as the author did, I watched and enjoyed SAO Abridged. Not knowing the original, I can’t say, but that doesn’t seem to me so much a “parody” as simply a “reboot” unless you’re taking “parody” to mean literally “to sing beside” as opposed to “to make fun of.”
- Phineas & Ferb Star Wars: A Reminder that Disney Isn’t Star Wars’ Problem, it’s Kathleen Kennedy, Rian Johnson, and JJ Abrams | Cirsova. To wrap back around to Star Wars, the previous link led to this one. I was unhappy with The Last Jedi for different reasons than this author (and still think Disney is part of the problem) but I’ll grant that this animated pseudo-Star Wars special does sound structurally better and the video clips (especially the second) were amusing.
And to wrap back around and around to Spinal Tap, “Derek Smalls” released a solo album recently and talks about it as only one of the Tap can: “Derek Smalls On New Solo Album: ‘I Didn’t Want To Wait Any Longer’ For Spinal Tap Reunion – Blabbermouth.net.” And, for a taste of a classic tune:
Spinal Tap – “Tonight I’m Gonna to Rock You Tonight”
But, in all seriousness, here’s one of my favorite songs:
Golden Earring – “Radar Love”