The human colony on the planet Argo has long explored and exploited the technology left behind by an extinct alien race. But then an archaeology team accidentally activates a terrible weapon... Read More.
Praise for Star Dragon
"Seldom does a storytelling talent come along as potent and fully mature as Mike Brotherton. His complex characters take you on a voyage that is both fiercely credible and astonishingly imaginative. This is Science Fiction."
-- David Brin
"Star Dragon is terrific fare, offering readers a fusion of hard science and grand adventure."
-- Locus Magazine
"Star Dragon is steeped in cosmology, the physics of interstellar travel, exobiology, artificial intelligence, bioscience. Brotherton, author of many scientific articles in refereed journals, has written a dramatic, provocative, utterly convincing hard science sf novel that includes an ironic twist that fans will love."
-- Booklist starred review
"Readers hungry for the thought-provoking extrapolation and rigorous technical detail of old-fashioned hard SF are sure to enjoy astronomer Brotherton's first novel."
-- Publishers Weekly
"Mike Brotherton, himself a trained astrophysicist, combines the technical acuity and ingenuity of Robert Forward with the ironic, postmodern stance and style of M. John Harrison. In this, his debut novel, those twin talents unite to produce a work that is involving on any number of levels. It's just about all you could ask for in a hardcore SF adventure."
-- Paul di Fillippo, SCI-FI.COM
I wish everyone followed these rules when arguing with someone over a different viewpoint. I try to do this, at least when I think of it. Sometimes I’m busy and dismissive, like too many, especially on the internet.
First, let me congratulate the 2014 Hugo Award winners, a list which includes several Launch Pad alumni like Ellen Datlow, Anne Leckie, John Joseph Adams, and Mary Robinette Kowal. Perhaps someday all the winners will be Launch Pad alumni…
First, let me start with former Wyoming student Shannon Hall’s efforts to bring everyone the true story of searching for alien worlds like our own: Debunking Earth 2.0. Please consider helping out her efforts.
The trailer to The Theory of Everything, a biodrama about Stephen Hawking. I found the trailer very moving, and look forward to the movie. We’ve all had set backs in our lives, but few have had as much success after as big a fall. While there is life there is hope…
Neil DeGrasse Tyson tells GMO critics to “chill out.” For the most part he’s right — there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with something being “GMO” just because it is “GMO” — and there’s little science that convincingly shows any GMO products being significantly harmful. Many GMO critics are biased and science deniers, like climate change deniers, and must overcome those biases if they want to be taken seriously rather than continue to demonstrate the naturalistic fallacy to embarrassing degree.
Writing advice from Chuck Palahniuk. While I am in general agreement that his advice results in better, more evocative writing, I know many successful writers who don’t follow it and who make boatloads of money, because some readers don’t read for the things that Palahniuk values.
Top 20 Sci-Fi Films of the 21st Century. You know, there have been some good ones. I kind of feel like the average quality/quantity has gone up, even if most are bad. Most were always bad. Gravity makes the list, which leaves me conflicted — it’s an incredible movie, but the speculative elements are essentially non-existent, so much so that it shouldn’t be called “science fiction.”
Do we have the speed of light wrong? I doubt it, and I’m very skeptical of the argument put forward in the link. Basically we expect neutrinos to get out of exploding supernovas faster than the light. Neutrinos fly through matter. Light is scattered. It takes time for the light to emerge. It is expected to lag the neutrinos so it becomes an issue of how much, not that it happens. What’s more likely — we have an uncertain lag time or have a very huge fundamental mistake concerning something that’s been closely considered.
Secrets of the Creative Brain. Not all the secrets are good. Starts with the case of Kurt Vonnegut, FYI. Also has this choice quote: “Doing good science is … like having good sex. It excites you all over and makes you feel as if you are all-powerful and complete.”
The bad science of World War Z. Some of these thoughts came to mind when I watched the movie, too. Still, overall I enjoyed a big budget look at fast zombies, even if it doesn’t bear closer scrutiny (and it doesn’t).
1. DOCTOR WHO The Doctor and Rose say farewell at Bad Wolf Bay in “Doomsday”
2. AVENGERS ASSEMBLE “Puny god!” The Hulk owns Loki
3. ALIEN The chestburster
4. FIREFLY Mal Reynolds kicks a bad guy into Serenity’s engine intake (“The Train Job”)
5. STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Luke learns that Darth Vader is his father
6. BLADE RUNNER Roy Batty’s “Tears in rain” speech
7. GAME OF THRONES The Red Wedding: “The Lannisters send their regards”
8. THE MATRIX Neo dodges bullets in the bullet-time scene
9. HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE Dumbledore’s death
10. BACK TO THE FUTURE “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads”