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Fixing Prometheus (Spoilers)

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

It’s too late now, but it was possible, so let me explain how. Before I do that, let me note that some people loved Prometheus, like Roger Ebert, even though he takes issue with Creationist commenters who think the movie is pro Intelligent Design.  There are some who are willing to ignore the bad science, […]

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Why We Need Science Fiction

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Real life. We’re already living in a science fiction future, but we’ve still got too many things that suck. I spent three hours waiting for tires today.  I spent four hours on this task a few weeks ago.  I don’t mind waiting as long as I have something constructive to do — some work, reading, […]

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After I’ve Considered That…

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

I’ve seen this on facebook recently, and another friend just emailed it to me, so let me post it here to launch a couple of points for discussion:   So how about if I knew all that already? And could even make some minor corrections? Do I get to be certain? A quick google fails […]

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My Perfect Science Fiction Novel

Monday, May 21st, 2012

My perfect SF novel, the kind I love to read, and that I’ll probably always be struggling to write, contains: -One or more heroes who use, primarily, their intelligence to reach toward their goals. -Spaceships in space. -Aliens, usually to serve as a mirror for ourselves. -Big stakes, at least life and death, and some […]

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To Long for the Endless Immensity of Space

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

In light of yesterday’s positive post about “I can” and shedding limitting beliefs, let me propose that we can go back to the moon, on to Mars, the asteroids, and any other destinations in space that we want to. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s expensive. But also yes, we can be the first species to […]

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Science and Science Fiction: “The Old Equations”

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Jake Kerr’s Lightspeed story, “The Old Equations,” has been nominated for the Nebula Award for best novelette.  It’s thematically related to Tom Godwin’s famous story “The Cold Equations” which I’ve written about at Lightspeed and on this blog. I basically got the gig to write a non-fiction article about “The Cold Equations” because the editor […]

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The Science in Science Fiction: Batman Gotham Knight

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Yesterday I watched the animated Batman movie, Gotham Knight:   It’s a collection of interrelated short pieces by different creative teams, which isn’t bad, but the different styles is a little jarring.  I mean, Bruce Wayne looks different in different sequences and it was a little hard to follow.  I can recommend the movie, but […]

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Ten Tips for Communicating Science to General Audiences

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

I think about communicating science to a wide variety of audiences, both as a professor who does research and teaches, but also as a science fiction author.  Knowing your audience is key, and knowing how to reach them better helps tremendously.  A lot of what I say will apply to both non-fiction and fiction, speaking […]

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Science Fiction and the Scientifically Inclined Hero

Monday, October 10th, 2011

When I was about six or so, I realized that what separated humans from other animals was our intelligence rather than our physical capabilities.  Sure, there are other differences, such as the degree of tool use, or the social aspects of our species and how we employ culture and altruism to lead to ever increasing […]

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The Cold Legacies

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

I have an essay titled “The Cold Legacies” that just went up over at Lightspeed Magazine.  This is based in part on an old blog post and lesson plan for my “Science in Science Fiction” course I’ve taught at the University of Wyoming.  Anyway, it’s about Tom Godwin’s story “The Cold Equations,” some controversy concerning […]

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Defending Science and Science Fiction

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

I wanted to point out two great articles standing up for things I think are wonderful and positive. First, John DeNardo of sfsignal.com writes a thoughtful and balanced positive plea to literary types to read science fiction, in particular knocking down a number of misconceptions that might make some pass.  This is the kind of […]

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The Roger Ebert of Science Fiction Movies

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Apparently it’s me: Call Michael Brotherton the Roger Ebert of science fiction movies. Known for his work relating to the study of supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies, he also diligently pursues another passion: checking if the science is right in movies. An associate professor of astronomy at the University of Wyoming, Brotherton […]

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