The Early Days of a Better Nation

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

From the Old Space Age

The latest issue of Redstone Science Fiction has, among other delights, a reprint of my 2008-Hugo-shortlisted story Who's Afraid of Wolf 359?. First published in the anthology The New Space Opera, edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan (Eos Books, Harvester, 2006) the story is set in the same universe as my novel Learning the World. In that universe, the common notion of prehistory is of a time when people lived in caves, on the Moon.

But let's not knock the people of the Old Space Age! Take a look at this striking image of the solar transit of the International Space Station during yesterday's partial eclipse, and marvel.

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Did you see Stargazing live the other night?

I caught part of it and I confess was bizarrely entertained. It brought back memories of my childhood when I was a bit of an astronomer!

I missed it, for no very good reason. But I made sure to see the partial eclipse. I saw its effect on the thick cloud layer, anyway.

I listened to the audio version of Wolf 359 and really enjoyed it when it first came out!

Actually, this post and the stargazing live thing reminded me - ages ago I remember that story in one your earlier novels about a Soviet premier inadvertently colonising Mars through his sweat - were there actually notes like the one responsible for that in the novel?

Richard - glad you liked the story, and the podcast.

And yes, the Brezhnev note on Mars really happened, and scientists really have worried that it might have resulted in contamination.

That's not the ISS, it's a TIE fighter!

I thought that too!

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