On This Day: Doctor John Dee
We find ourselves in conflicted times – Manichean days, where battle lines are routinely drawn and in all walks of life, it seems, we must choose: are you with us, or agin us? Are you Left or Right? Capitalist or communist? Leave or Remain? And nowhere is this seen more starkly than in the relationship […]
Regular Readers will know that we’re huge fans of NASA’s remarkable Astronomy Picture of the Day feature (APOD). We encourage anyone interested in astronomy to visit regularly or add it to their RSS feed. And every now and then, the good people at NASA put up something so spectacular that we feel compelled to share […]
Happy Birthday, Buzz Aldrin!
Today is a great day to celebrate a great man. We’re sure you’ve seen something about it in the media, and we wanted to throw our hats into the ring and add our voice to the millions who rightly view this man as a real hero – not just of the United States of America, […]
It Can’t Happen Here
On this day in 1951, American writer and playwright Harry Sinclair Lewis died in Rome, Italy. Sinclair Lewis was well regarded for his satirical novels and, in 1930, became the first US winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. He is probably best-known, now, though, for his 1935 satirical political novel It Can’t Happen Here, […]
From the Archives: Science is Awesome!
Sometimes a news item catches your eye that is so thoroughly science fictional that you have to just stop and admire the awesomeness of the universe and the tool with which we seek to understand it: science. Take this news, for instance, of the discovery of a rogue planet, wandering (appropriately enough) some hundred light […]
On This Day: Carl Sagan
Four score and two years ago, today, the great Carl Sagan was born. Author of just the one SF novel, Contact, Sagan is nonetheless rightly revered by science fiction fans for his tireless evangelizing on behalf of science in general, but astronomy and the space sciences in particular. His seminal series, Cosmos, is still the […]
Real Life Scientists’ Favourite Science Fiction
It is almost a trope of the genre that SF writers must spend part of every interview defending the ‘predictions’ SF has got wrong by pointing out (again and again and again …) that SF writers are not in the business of prophecy. Warning about a possible future? Yes. Shining a light on the present? […]
The Space Age is 59 Today!
On October 4th, 1957, the Space Race burst into life, with early honours going to the Soviet Union. The launch of Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite, was a landmark in our species’ history – and it’s probably fair to say it took a few people by surprise . . . What it […]
Two Score and Seven Years Ago . . .
So just short of four dozen years ago, this happened: A great day in human history, which – it could be argued – has never been bettered. Millions of kids around the world watched Neil Armstrong take these famous steps and dared to dream that they, too, might one day walk on another world. ** […]
On This Day: Apollo Set in Motion
On this day, fifty-five years ago, US President John F. Kennedy gave a speech to the US congress in which he lit the blue touch paper on the greatest journey the human race has thus far undertaken. I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of […]
On This Day: Orson Welles
On this day, 101 years ago, George Orson Welles was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Although best known for his magnum opus Citizen Kane, regularly at or near the top of ‘Best Film of All Time’ lists, Welles’s CV is probably primarily of interest to genre fans for his radio work. He provided the voice (although, […]
New Title Spotlight: Flatland
Q: When is a new title not a new title? A: When it was first published almost 130 years ago! We are delighted to present an SF Gateway edition of Edwin A. Abbott‘s Flatland, the 1884 classic tale of life in a two-dimensional realm. Flatland follows the journeys of A. Square, a mathematician and resident […]
On This Day: Orson Welles’ The War of the Worlds Broadcast
Sunday October 30th, 1938. 8:00 pm US Eastern Standard Time. The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the air in ‘War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells. And with these innocuous words, a legend was born. Twenty-three year-old wünderkind Orson Welles, and his Mercury Theatre Group, […]
APOD: Pluto Fly Past
We’ve mentioned before how much we love NASA‘s incredible Astronomy Picture of the Day site. It’s one of the first sites we go to every day and it’s always interesting and frequently awe-inspiring. We love the high quality photos from the Hubble Space Telescope, the wide range of images captured by Earth-based observatories and the […]
On This Day: the USS Enterprise
On this day in 1960, the USS Enterprise – the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier – was launched. Its famous name has been shared by many ships before and after – only some of which sailed on water. Probably the most famous vessel to bear that name is, of course, science fictional, which is partly […]