- Smithsonian Open Access. (Thanks to The History Blog‘s article, “Smithsonian releases 2.8 million free images and more.”) Among them are things like Octavia E. Butler’s Olivetti:
Asher’s been extra-busy and interesting with his blog lately.
- THE SKINNER: A is for Alien. An A-Z list.
- THE SKINNER: Aliens. He circles back around to ‘A’ and reviews one of the Great Films.
- THE SKINNER: Building the Polity. The genesis and evolution of his main series.
Here are some more reviews of stories by some people I’ve discussed in recent Birthday Reviews:
- Sturgeon’s Teddy Bear | Adventures Fantastic.
- Review of Mike Resnick’s Short Story “Kirinyaga” | Powered by Robots. A Resnick (memorial) review that I just came across.
- Ansible® 392, March 2020. In addition to the wonder that is Thog, this issue includes the sad news that Thog’s dad, contributor to the Encyclopedias of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and more, Paul Barnett/John Grant has died. The two “As Others See Us” installments are particularly interesting: “According to the statistics on display in Helen Taylor’s lavishly publicised new study [Why Women Read Fiction], women bought 76 percent of the general fiction sold in the UK in 2017 and blokes a paltry 24 percent. Even when it came to the classics, women were still ahead (52 to 48) and it was only when you reached questionable sub-genres such as horror (46/54) and sci-fi (25/75) that the guys really came into their own.” / “Anne Fadiman on Clifton Fadiman: ‘Our father’s library spanned the globe and three millennia, although it was particularly strong in English poetry and fiction of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The only junk, relatively speaking, was science fiction…” And, of course, there’s much more.
- Retro Science Fiction Reviews. Just found about this site which is currently reviewing 1944 science fiction and contains links to other 1944 reviews.
- Dimming Betelgeuse is now also bent out of shape, new images show | Astronomy.com. This is a generally interesting article but the astronomer notes that, from neutrinos and gravitational waves, we’ll know it’s blowing ahead of time and speculates oddly that people will be watching and “cheer” when it visibly supernovas. I mean, I get that it’s unlikely from the nature of things and probably impossible at the time, but it’s the principle of the thing: stellar destruction can equal the destruction of a sentient species and/or innumerable other lifeforms and untold other astronomical wonders in exchange for the wonder of the nova itself. The visible phenomenon would certainly be amazing and could be “enjoyed” on some level but not something, at least for me, to cheer. Would we appreciate the Zorklings cheering Sol going nova, whether or not we’d managed to become a multi-stellar or interstellar species before then? But maybe I’m just being dumb and raining on the parade.
- When Betelgeuse goes supernova, what will it look like from Earth? | Astronomy.com. We now return you to our regularly lightly commented programming with this second article on the subject.
- Controversial simulation creates galaxies without using dark matter | Astronomy.com. “I know there is good in you.” “You do not know the power of the Dark Side.”
- Can a rogue star kick Earth out of the solar system? | Space. That’d be a hell of a thing.
- Freeman Dyson, quantum physicist who imagined alien megastructures, has died at 96 | Space. Good shorter write-up of a great thinker.
- On Freeman Dyson. Great longer write-up of the same.
- The History Blog » Tomb of Romulus definitely not found: Part the First
- The History Blog » The not-tomb of Romulus: Part the Second
- The History Blog » The not-tomb of Romulus: Part the Third. Not-finding stuff can be almost as good as finding stuff.
- The Art of Darkness » Seen Online. The opposite of formaldehyde, the awkward demon and cleric, and many more.
More of Corrosion of Conformity’s Reed Mullin…