Tag Archives: Science Fiction

Philip K. Dick predicted ChatGPT and its grim ramifications

Dick’s novel “The Penultimate Truth” already showed us how AI that writes according to prompt can be corrupted

By David Gill, Published June 10, 2023 10:59AM (EDT)

Robotic hand pressing a key on a laptop (Getty Images/Guillaume)

Philip K. Dick had some strange ideas about the future. In his 40-plus novels and 121 short stories, the science fiction author imagined everything from “mood organs” which allow users to dial up an emotional state including “the desire to watch TV, no matter what’s on” to pay-per-use doors that refuse entrance or exit without sufficient coinage.

Characters in Dick’s mind-bending novel “Ubik” (published in 1969 and set in 1992) include a psionic talent scout named G.G. Ashwood, who wears “natty birch-bark pantaloons, hemp-rope belt, peekaboo see-through top and train engineer’s tall hat” and a taxi driver wearing “fuchsia pedal pushers, pink yak fur slippers, a snakeskin sleeveless blouse, and a ribbon in his waist-length dyed white hair.”

Source: https://www.salon.com/2023/06/10/philip-k-dick-predicted-chatgpt/

12 Sci-Fi Stories Written Before Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

The Modern Prometheus is a bit too modern to have solely created science fiction, although it did revolutionize it.

By Rob Bricken, published March 21, 2023

F. H. van Hove’s frontispiece for a 1687 edition of Cyrano de Bergerac’s Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon.
Image: Public Domain

Like her titular protagonist, when Mary Shelley published Frankenstein in 1818, she knew not what she had wrought into the world.

Her tale of science taken too far birthed what many consider the first science fiction novel… and what some don’t.

As it turns out, there are several tales told before the 19th century that could also be considered sci-fi stories about aliens, spaceships, time travel, and more. Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of proto-science fiction written when science itself was practically fiction.

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…

Source: 12 Sci-Fi Stories Written Before Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Murder Mysteries In Space | Book Riot

K.W. Colyard, Dec 14, 2021

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From article…

Space operas like Star Wars and Dune may have made the big empty seem like the perfect backdrop for would-be adventurers’ wildest dreams, but let’s face it — space tours have the potential to be deadlier than cruise ships. Yikes.

Outer space may not be the safest place to vacation — like, ever — but there’s just something alluring about a thriller set where no one can hear you scream. If you’re looking for a no-escape crime read, check out the list of ten murder mysteries set in space I’ve pulled together for you here.

Remember in spring 2021, when there was that huge debate over whether something — namely, Alien — could be sci-fi and horror at the same time? And have you heard the ongoing argument over where the line between horror and thriller lies? When it comes to genre, classifications can get a little…sticky, and these books are caught right in the middle.

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…

Source: Murder Mysteries In Space | Book Riot

Space Elevators Are Less Sci-Fi Than You Think – Scientific American

I’ve been working on space elevators for almost 20 years, and though we still have issues to solve, we are getting closer to making them reality

By Stephen Cohen on November 25, 2022

A space elevator made of carbon nanotubes stretches from Earth to space in this artist’s illustration. Credit: Victor Habbick Visions/Science Source

Space elevators are often dismissed as a science fiction dream, but I believe they will exist soon—perhaps in two or three decades. Throughout my career as an aerospace engineer and physics professor, I keep coming back to the concept of a cable stretching from Earth to space, along which people and cargo can easily travel.

In recent years, I and other researchers have found new ways to tinker with designs and answer questions about how space elevators could work. There are many reasons to build a space elevator. The obvious one is the major energy and cost savings; it’s a much more practical way to get to orbit than rockets.

Another reason that is often overlooked is accessibility. The word “space mission” would be replaced by “transit,” as trips to space become routine and mostly independent of weather conditions. Transits involving humans would be safer than current practices, whereby astronauts must accept a nonnegligible risk to their lives with each launch. A space elevator becomes a bridge to the entire solar system. Release a payload in the lower portion, and you orbit Earth, but do so in the upper portion, and you orbit the sun; all without fuel.

Source: Space Elevators Are Less Sci-Fi Than You Think – Scientific American

Five Classic SFF Collections That Are Too Good to Be Forgotten | Tor.com

By James Davis Nicoll, Fri Nov 4, 2022 10:00am

Photo: Chris Lawton [via Unsplash]

I just now finished writing an essay about older novels worth a read. Which led me to wonder: what older collections are worth a read?

Fortunately my library is capacious, even if my memory sometimes fails. So, here are notes on five older collections that you might enjoy. Do I own stock in a used bookstore? No, I have no financial incentive to recommend older works that might be out of print. In fact, I was surprised to discover (on searching) that some of these collections were still in print (if electronic versions can be considered print).

The rest are all available through the wonders of online used book stores.

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…

Source: Five Classic SFF Collections That Are Too Good to Be Forgotten | Tor.com

Farewell to Westworld | EW.com

HBO has ended the futuristic epic years after the original inspiration got lost in ludicrous twists and shaky concepts.

By Darren Franich, November 04, 2022 at 08:33 PM EDT


The delightful first season of Westworld established two distinct science-fiction worlds. Above was the West, a fake frontier full of fake people whose fake adventures were better than life for their human guests.

Beneath that phony past lay a familiar future: Corporate drones staring at screens, juggling customer expectations and manager directives. The robots had no freedom but all the fun, firing six-shooters and falling into tragic love while dying over and over again. The humans were all outrageous workplace monsters: Wannabe deities, preening creatives, ambitious executives.

Source: Farewell to Westworld | EW.com