Articles related to science fiction

Review of "Seveneves" (The seven HALE) Neal Stephenson, Nova - Ediciones B

Review SevenevesNeal Stephenson read is a safe bet. As always, the book engages the base is scientific, suggests and prose is well written ... what more could you ask for?

Write a review without spoilers is complicated, but come on, it's summer and I have time ... so I'll try.

The book can be divided into two distinct parts (present and future) and a transition between the two.

En la primera, el autor parte de la premisa que la Tierra va a quedar inhabitable en 24 meses a causa de la explosión de la Luna. Y, sirviéndose de la especulación científica, desarrolla cómo con la tecnología actual, los gobiernos actuales y la sociedad tal como está, se podría crear un plan de evacuación para el máximo número de ciudadanos. Así que se abren diversos hilos argumentales al rededor de la selección de los supervivientes, de qué cosas se llevarán al espacio, de los perfiles más indicados, sobre cómo adaptar la Estación Espacial Internacional (ISS), sobre cómo consolar a los que se quedan, sobre las naves públicas y las naves privadas… en definitiva, de la organización de la evacuación.

Entre esta parte y la siguiente (5000 años en el futuro) está la parte de transición que da nombre al libro… el momento en que por causas accidentales que el autor va introduciendo en la primera parte, casi toda la humanidad queda reducida a 7 mujeres confinadas en una parte de la ISS, nuestras 7 Evas. Cada una de ellas con un perfil psicológico, con unas características físicas y con determinada visión sobre cómo debería ser el mundo y la humanidad. Por suerte, entre ellas hay una genetista y aunque el archivo genético de la Tierra está medio destruido, el laboratorio de la ISS sigue operativo.

The second part of the book is already in a future in which humanity has been divided into 7 races and the author explores the organization and coexistence of the 7 space societies and how it goes back to "terraform" Earth.

It is ultimately a story of annihilation and resurrection, approached from a scientific, psychological and sociological.

As always, there are details that lead to reflection for hours ... if 5,000 years mankind has managed to turn a wolf into a chihuahua only guided selection ... how far we could reach humans themselves with genetic engineering? If we could start again in a society created as why we regiríamos rules? What economic system would like? Why we would opt governmental system? What would interpersonal relationships in this new world?

Anyway ... 100% recommended reading for any lover of science fiction speculative.

11 Predictions for the future Tourism

CNN published a few days ago a report on the predictions made by different experts on issues related to transport and tourism in the near future. Based on the investigation, a percentage probability assigned to each point and tidied most likely to least likely. This is a summary of predictions:

99% chance of that: magnetic levitation trains replace air transport

Well, it seems nowadays, high-speed trains are already replacing the aircraft on certain routes such as London-Paris or Milan-Rome. In our case, the Barcelona-Madrid, it is true that more and more people use it, but then to replace the airlift, even missing. Experts say that instead of trains as current, magnetic levitation trains are used (nearly frictionless) much faster than the current yes a replacement in the type of transport for short routes will occur. The prediction is to within about 10 years.

80% chance of that: Passports are obsolete documents

Experts indicate that paper documents will be replaced by microchips and biometric recognition. To me, it's prediction seems more plausible than before and faster to implement ...

70% chance of that: The space is a tourist destination

This is a reality, but not for everyone. But Space Adventures already markets the Russian space flight, Virgin Galactic and prepare their trips to orbit ingrevidez for next year. I would give almost 100%.

60% chance of that: Aircraft fly pilotless

Ui, ui ... here, I would drop them the chance. Although a couple of summers ago I was on the subway line that connects the area Doglands to central London and is driverless. To reassure passengers, there was a responsible man who was walking by train with a bunch of keys in his hand and intimating that he could take control if necessary. But then to generalize on airplanes ... even I see it a bit far.

50% chance of that: Hague hotels in space

Given that there is launching a capsule hotel planned for 2016 ... will all depend on how private space flight work ... but I would raise the probability.

40% chance of that: The planes are part of the transparent fuselage

This would be nice ... to see vast landscapes from the plane. In this case I do not have enough information and knowledge to assess the probability that you assign.

40% chance of that: the cars fly

Ummm ... the cost of something is very high. I would lower odds.

30% chance of that: Let's have a space elevator

There have touched my heartstrings, because as a good fan of science fiction, I spent years following the development of this issue and it seems that the predictions of 5 years are not going to meet (the elevator was scheduled for 2025 and there is a X and-Prize to encourage him to have it long before), but now it is talking about have it by 2050 (although I hope to see either an old woman). So you likely would rise, although long term.

You can find more info on the elevator and how is the issue in this article: space elevator (I included images of the models with which you are working)

20% chance of that: There exist no children flights

This is typical of certain cultures. In London there are establishments that do not let children (not smoking issue, if not to bother) ... and there are airlines on the top floor of the 747 seats allocated no children to ensure silence. So it may be that someone without children a flight to mind. We should see anti-discrimination laws what they think about it.

10% chance of that: The Airport Duty Free disappear and are only a showroom.

It seems very unlikely, although the idea is that you see the products, buy online and have them when you get home. The problem I see is that the Duty Free also are a hobby at the airport ... and that the issue of gifts back home must take into account that are delivered when you arrive, you do not come in the mail while you travel . So I would assign a probability of almost 0%.

To read the original article, you can do so here: CNN Predictions Tourism

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Review of "PUPPET MASTERS" by Robert A. Heilen - The Factory

Amos de Títeres, Robert HeilenGenerally, books Heal I like, despite its moral and its fascism (which came not sure if it is fake and therefore caricatured, or is real ... but hey, the books are well and have rhythm), but this time, with "Puppet Masters"I have been unable to finish the book (and this rarely happens to me).

This book is written in 51 and the passage of time note:

  • It is sexist to abusive ends.
  • The future in which history passes (more or less our present) is completely outdated and shabby (not shabby to steam punk, this would be fun ... tatty tatty really).
  • The story goes aliens coming from Titan and occupying human bodies to go invading Earth (it is most normalillo for the time, we could say that "a classic" ... but it is an argument that is already very tired ... and above we know that there is nothing on Titan).
  • In the book nothing happens noteworthy and characters are not credible.

Anyway ... maybe in 1951 it was interesting (won four Hugo awards and 3 Locus), but now not even worth buying it nor read it.

(... And by the way, who designed the book cover [which is the only thing that saved] I'm sure you did not read it, it has nothing to do with the story)

Review of "ZOE'S STORY" by John Scalzi - Ed. Minotaur (Science Fiction)

La Historia de Zöe - John ScalziThis is a book that is part of a series of three books ( "The Old Guard", "The Brigades Ghost" and "The Lost Colony"), but can be read separately, which is what I did because not he knew none of the above three.

John Scalzi It tells the same story that explained in "The Lost Colony", but from the point of view of zoe, the adopted daughter of John and Jane Perry, the protagonists of the earlier novels.

Como no he leído las anteriores, no puedo dar indicaciones sobre si el contenido es muy repetitivo o no, o sobre si este nuevo punto de vista aporta algo nuevo a la narración. Mi opinión se basa únicamente en la lectura de éste último libro y lo cierto es que aunque no plantea grandes cuestiones, está bien narrado.

El argumento es más o menos el siguiente: Zöe es una niña que vive tranquilamente con sus padres (militares ya retirados) en un planeta llamado Huckleberry. Con ellos también viven dos extraterrestres de una raza llamada “obin”, que actúan de guarda espaldas de Zöe, y que a lo largo del libro vamos descubriendo porqué son sus guardaespaldas y porqué son tan raros (esta parte es bastante interesante).

Family tranquility ZOE is interrupted when his parents are selected to lead the colonization of a new planet on the border of the human colonies. As expected, colonization has just turned into an adventure in which besides saving the planet, must also save all mankind.

Thus summarized, the argument does not seem nothing unusual in this type of book, but as I mentioned at the beginning of this review, the book is well narrated, so it has rhythm and hooks. He was a finalist in 2009 Hugo Award.

Recommended for weekend reading without further claim that distracted a good time.

Review of "The Seven MARGARETS" Sheri S. Tepper of - Nova Ed B

Las 7 Margarets - TepperI love Sheri Tepper and how to write. This book is no exception. I imagine that much of the blame that I like so much, is that it is feminist science fiction, and it is not very common: in his books the protagonists of Tepper, in addition to fighting enemies of any race or planet, must also fight their own societies.

In Seven Margarets Furthermore, the author is able to surprise with an original, cool, interesting, well-crafted and developed a narrative that engages from the first page script.

The argument is as follows: the story begins on Phobos (satellite Martian partner Deimos) in a small community of scientists on living our protagonist, a girl who is bored both adults six imaginary companions invents from six traits of his personality.

Por razones que no descubrimos hasta el final del libro, 6 veces durante la vida de la niña, algunos de sus personajes ficticios se separan de su plano de la realidad, para crear otra realidad que se sobrepone a la original y que convive con ella. Es decir, en 6 tomas de decisiones que son cruciales para su vida, a la vez, la protagonista toma una decisión y su contraria, desdoblándose, sin ella saberlo y viviendo vidas paralelas, que por razones relativistas relacionadas con los viajes espaciales, también acaban convertidas en tiempos diferentes.

The universe in which all this happened to find an Earth on the verge of being wiped out by alien races that do not consider us rational, a land with much of ecosystems destroyed and whose only exportable good is the people themselves, who dies of hunger and thirst , and it is sold by the rulers of the planet in exchange for drinking water, slave contracts of 30 years. We also found other alien races who want to give us a chance and help humans spread throughout the galaxy to survive in hostile worlds and societies.

Seven Margarets are 7 personalities of the girl with which the story begins, they end up living different lives, according to the luck and the decisions they have taken, and end up converging in original and unexpected end.

Cuando terminas el libro y pasan los días, sigues pensando en la protagonista, en sus vidas y en la cantidad de veces que tú misma has tomado decisiones que te han cambiado la vida… sin ir más lejos, yo tenía que haber estudiado Telecos en La Salle, tenía que haber construido naves espaciales y ahora mismo, tenía que estar en Marte colonizando el planeta (estos eran mis planes de futuro a los 18 años [no es broma, es sólo que mi yo actual, el que conocéis, decidió en el último minuto estudiar Económicas en la UAB y empezar a trabajar en un Banco])… espero que en alguna otra realidad, una Montserrat esté instalando potabilizadoras de agua y generadores de gases de efecto invernadero para crear una atmósfera en Marte. Desde aquí le mando un saludo! ;-)

In short, a book 100% recommended to escape during during the hours-long reading, and to reflect on oneself, a few days later.

Review of "The Prefect" by Alastair Reynolds - The Factory

the Prefect

This novel is science fiction considered "hard" and is part of the saga Revelation space by the same author. Tells a detective story based in Society Bright ring, Although it can be read independently.

As in the other books, the universe of Bright Ring is well established and is consistent. In it we find characters and races of the most curious. One of these races, which I think was introduced in the book "Chasm city"Is that of the hipercerdos: Genetically modified pigs to serve to spare human organs but have evolved and end are classified as a race apart and considered full-fledged citizens. In "The Prefect" we have a hipercerdo that performs the functions of assistant protagonist. As in his other books also have machines that are almost human (the "Ulta"), And machines that are almost human.

The Glitter Band consists of a set of human habitats living in a kind of federation, but in which each habitat has its own rules and create their own types of society. So Reynolds recreates explaining different types of cultures and social organizations. If we add that Alastair Reynolds studied Physics and Astronomy, and worked as an astrophysicist at the ESA (European Space Agency), the book becomes something really interesting and worth reading.

Review of "2012" by Brian D'Amato - Ed Via Magna

2012 de Brian DamatoI confess I read this book as a result of seeing the eponymous film, and I did on the recommendation of my brother, with the promise that the book is the part that you forget the film: the Mayan legend about the date of the end of the world, and with the promise that was not Science Fiction and Historical Novel (I have nothing against the historical novel, but I prefer to read science fiction I always possible).

Según narra el libro, los mayas predijeron que el 21 de diciembre de 2012 el tiempo se detendrá y no habrá futuro para la humanidad. El libro nos explica la historia de ésta leyenda, pero lo hace de una forma original aunque poco ortodoxa: con un viaje en el tiempo a través de un agujero de gusano de tamaño atómico.

El protagonista de la historia es un descendiente de los mayas con una mente prodigiosa y adicto a los videojuegos y a los juegos de estrategia en general. Entre estos juegos se incluye un juego maya que se utiliza para predecir el futuro y que corrobora la fecha del fin del mundo citada en las leyendas. La misión del protagonista será averiguar por qué los mayas predijeron el fin del mundo para esa fecha y descubrir si hay algo para evitarlo.

Para descubrir más sobre la fecha en cuestión, la mente del protagonista es enviada al pasado a través de un agujero de gusano de tamaño atómico, que ha sido desarrollado por científicos de una empresa privada que parece tener más poder que el propio gobierno de los Estados Unidos. Pero sin saber por qué, la mente acaba en el cuerpo de varios mayas y no lo hace de forma optima. El protagonista (ya en el pasado) tendrá que lidiar con este handicap e intentar por todos los medios dejar un mensaje con claves para desvelar el misterio, para su yo de 2012.

Overall the book is well, although at times I think it has pages that are only there to reach the 733 pages because they contribute nothing and are completely dispensable.

A half a book you realize that really the book and the film have nothing to do. Nothing at all. In fact the original title is "In the Courts of the Sun" (but this did not know before buying). And when you discover this, you realize that you have been the victim of a marketing campaign publisher, has taken the film to rename the book and sell more books.

Nevertheless, the biggest disappointment appears on the back pages ... when you discover that the book is only a first part of a trilogy ... 733 pages for an introduction ...

Anyway ... not yet clear to me that I will read the following two parts when published. Still, the book is well narrated, he has pace and explains quite well how were the Mayan cities and culture. The author seems well documented.

The attached video is the promotion of the book.

Review of "Indra's Net" by Juan Miguel Aguilera - Ed Alamut

Indra's netIndra's Net It is a book of science fiction of what might be called the subgenre of the "books of travel in time" with a mixture of "parallel universes" and "military campaign". The book engages fairly and read at a time.

The story tells the adventures of a mature professor of physics who has led an intense life, including two divorces and his participation in the Strategic Defense Initiative during the Cold War. Now he prepares to face the part which is more sedate of his career.

Obviously, circumstances force her to devote himself to have to help one of their ex-husbands, a colonel in the United States Department of Defense, which leads her and her assistant, to investigate a perfect geode two kilometers in diameter found in the basement of Canada, for which geologists find no rational explanation and that everything points to have an extraterrestrial origin.

At one point our heroes enter the pocket and this causes an unexpected twist of the story, which takes us to worlds inhabited by intelligent non-human species and to know the existence of beings who live outside of time. To this is added a terminal illness by the protagonist, a traitor in the team and various military topics.

Its author, Juan Miguel Aguilera, It presents characters with depth, consistent with the past and with a well worked psychological profile. Non-human civilizations that creates are interesting and generally wish to know more about them.

The book ends the story of the pocket, but leaves the actors stranded in one of the worlds they have visited ... I do not know if there will be a second part ... I would not mind reading it.

Reseña de “ANATEMA” de Neal Stephenson – Nova, Ed. B

AnathemaI believe that Anathema It is one of the best science fiction books I've read this 2009. But I am obliged to warn in advance that it is not easy to read and it is necessary to perform an act of faith during the first 150 pages of the book. That said, the typical good book by Neal Stephenson: great prose, good sense of humor, impeccable setting and well created and deep characters. all a joy. If you also like philosophy, music, mathematics and science in general, then you would not stop reading.

Writing this review will not be easy (hence this task has been delayed a few weeks), there is much to explain and much to consider.

As far as the argument is concerned, Stephenson unveils us little by little the story of a planet called Arbre, like Earth but not the same, with a history of collapse and social and cultural rebirth that has taken so far in which the action of this book lies. The actual plot begins with the discovery in the sky Arbre of an alien spacecraft orbiting the planet for two years. Our protagonist and his companions sources (As Arbre vocabulary, people who have sworn to follow the Discipline Cartasiana and they are living in a kind of monasteries called concentos) Shall establish contact with the ship and try to understand these strange beings coming from elsewhere and not chemically or culture share with the people of Arbre.

Without warning, Stephenson puts us squarely in the culture of Arbre, using vocabulary and concepts of Arbre, which for the poor mortals of Earth are really hard to understand (these are the 150 pages that need to overcome in order to fully enjoy the book) ... in the end, total immersion is appreciated and you see that gives the book a rich and exquisite dimension that would otherwise not be achieved, but at first ... phew, you have to repeat yourself like a mantra "this is a book Stephenson, I have faith"A few times, to keep going and not give up when you get whole paragraphs that do not understand ... to illustrate, here's an example:

“Tres fras y dos sures cantaron un motete en cinco partes mientras otros doce revoloteaban frente a ellos. En realidad, no estaban revoloteando, aunque desde donde estábamos daba esa impresión. Cada uno de ellos representaba el índice superior o inferior de una ecuación teorética sobre ciertos tensores y una métrica. Al desplazarse de un lado a otro, cruzándose e intercambiando posiciones mientras se movían frente a la mesa principal, estaban representando un cálculo sobre la curvatura de una variedad tetradimensional, con varios pasos de simetrización, antisimetrización y elevación y descenso de índices. Si alguien que no supiese nada de teorética lo hubiese visto desde arriba, se habría llevado la impresión de que era un baile campestre. La música era encantadora a pesar de que cada pocos segundos el gimoteo de los cismexes la interrumpía.”

... This paragraph corresponds to page 120 of the book. I promise to prospective readers that by the end of the book, passages like this are totally clear and understandable ... at least as regards vocabulary. Little by little you discover that a "cismex"It is something advanced to a mobile phone, a"syntactic device that uses quantum theoretical"It is something like a quantum computer and when referring to a Faraday chamber do calling it a 'Cesto of Bucker Sante"... It ends up being even fun to appreciate the changes in vocabulary.

I selected this paragraph in particular for another reason: the "...cantaron and motets". And I thought that probably only the 16 geeks that we meet every Wednesday to pay tribute to Piarist father introduced us to music 30 years ago and we respect singing motets in his honor, knew what a motet !!! It turns out that Stephenson knows, and what is more important in this case, the translator of the book also knows !!! In fact, the great honoree commenting Anathema should be the translator, so I'm going to devote the next paragraph of this review.

Pedro Jorge Romero: This is a Galician-making that I think is my age (1967 ... c'mon) and I admire for his work, for many years. I think I discovered it around 1995 on the Internet in news groups devoted to science fiction. Already in 2003, 2004 and 2005 while I was in Noticias.com sindicaba RSS content your blog to incorporate the articles published in this newspaper online, for its originality and because I loved. Peter George was also a fanzine editor BEM Science Fiction that was all the rage in the 90s, and the alma mater of Nessus file (An extinct website dedicated to science fiction). Along with Rafael Marin (another author and translator who has stolen my heart) are who translate a large part of the books of Ediciones B Nova collection, dedicated to the science fiction and directs Miquel Barceló. I know that some credit that enchant me Neal Stephenson's books is thanks to the work of Pedro Jorge Romero. So I am very grateful. In the case of AnathemaThe work of Pedro Jorge must have been very difficult and deserves my sincere compliments and congratulations.

Back to AnathemaIn addition to the theme of "motets” también me ha entusiasmado el trato científico que da a la música y concretamente al poder de los armónicos que producen los bajos, que se acoplan tanto al lugar en el que se cantan como físicamente en la cabeza de quienes cantan, llegando a modificar (según el protagonista de ésta historia…) el funcionamiento de la mente. Seguro que los monjes budistas del Tíbet están de acuerdo con él.

In short, it is a book that I loved, which is long to read through more than 700 pages, but after the first 100 pages is bearable, but you end up with wrist pain if you try to read several hours. The book suggests dream and, above all, as you discover why why the alien ship is in orbit Arbre.

The book is 100% recommended if you are an advanced reader of Science Fiction, for someone starting out would not recommend it because it is too "hard" to start both the CF and Stephenson's world. Instead, it would recommend starting with reading Stephenson Baroque cycle, with the Criptonomicón or even better, Snow Crash which is much simpler, if you want to get into it gently.

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Review of "THE LADY OF LABERINTOS" Karl Schroeder - La Factoria

The Lady of Mazes, Karl SchroederAhhhhh ... (<- sigh)!, How I love Science Fiction hard. How much he missed her!

This is an interesting book that creates dreams and frees the mind of any concern is. A balm before going to sleep. While reading requires absolute concentration and certain intellectual effort that thankfully is rewarded by good hour that makes you spend while you're reading.

The book puts our characters in a distant future in which the solar system is colonized by humans, in which some humans have evolved to something beyond and in which artificial intelligence has evolved beyond all expectations.

Our protagonists live in Corona Teven habitat located near Jupiter and has toroidal form. Surely a world inspired by the Ringworld from Larry NivenBut unlike the latter, its inhabitants do not live isolated from the rest of humanity, if not with other human habitats by neighbors with which the founders of the crown are related when they want.

both Corona Teven like the rest of the human universe, it is colonized by millions of people who can live together, just are not all located in the same plane of reality. Thanks to what the author calls collectorsEach company can create an environment in which to move and interact with their fellow people without interfering with other companies. That is, that in the same physical point can live many companies created by collectors different, without interfering with each other. Each company created by a manifold it is a culture in itself, with a history, mythology and unique technology, though virtual. The interaction between humans of different collectors is limited and one of our protagonists is a diplomatic moves between companies of different collectors and who will be discovering us how your world.

This theoretically idyllic society begins to crumble when an entity called 3340 begins to interfere with collectors and try to knock down the barriers that keep technology under control.

In the book we nanotechnology, terraformaciones, virtual reality, interstellar travel, IA God, human post also believe that God is believed and countless other things that make your reading is really a joy.

The author, who has a way of telling the story reminiscent Greg Bear, Strives at all times to make credible the universe and explain the philosophy of its people and its interesting political system based on the theories of open source we all know.

In short, 100% recommended a book worth reading.