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

We talk to each other.

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 "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.

Review of "HEAVENS REFLECTED" by David J. Williams, Ed Via Magna. - Quantum

Skies Reflected a different book. It is a novel of Science fiction fresh and entertaining tells stories that intertwine 3 and lead both the Earth-Moon system and through cyberspace.Mirrored heavens

Its author, David J. Williams, debuts with this novel and is perhaps why it has something special that is not found in other books: the approaches are different and both scientific and social developments are also different. So, it's so interesting both for the story that tells how the atmosphere.

The book tells us three stories mechs Y razors (In some cases the same sex, in others of the opposite sex), which have different missions and end up converging on an unexpected end.

The mechs They are more or less what would be an elite commando, someone with special training missions high physical violence.

The razors They are more or less the same, but trained to work in cyberspace and enter through any network to hack all kinds of systems and information legally or illegally.

The mechs and the razors They can work together or separately, and both the former and the others have no qualms about killing ordinary citizens.

Society in which pass the adventures of our five protagonists is a company located in the XXII century in which humanity has already built a space elevator (hopefully not be necessary to wait as long as in the book) but contrary to what we believe would be an advanced society, this is not an idyllic society in which nations are understood, but quite the opposite: in the first chapters of an unknown faction lift loads and shows how weak were the foundations of peace which it had led to the construction of this great engineering work.

The mission of some of the protagonists will be to discover the saboteurs of the space elevator, the other is fleeing for reasons unknown to us, and which is decoupled is killing someone who will make the balance of power runs decanting by one of the sides involved in the game that we discover along the narrative.

In this story we have colonies on the moon, spacecraft, transport of all types, combat drones on Earth ... and we have great metropolis in which there is a span without building and whole areas that are post apocalyptic. Some of the players have contributed to the destruction of any of these major cities. The world is divided into two parts, the Western and Asian (Europe is part of Asian side), and both a part and the other coexist affluence and misery.

Overall, this is a novel that keeps pace and engaging, although initially a bit disconcerting. The action scenes involved in our mechs Y razors They are well told. The chapters are very short and will explain the three stories that intersect on up, it forces the reader to be attentive and watch carefully what happens every time. It is a good book and easy to read despite its 590 pages.

100% recommendable.

There is a website where you can learn more about this work and recreating society:

Video showing the technology of the future, according to Microsoft

A couple of months ago Microsoft released this video in which some of the technological advances which are shown working and believe to have developed in the immediate future.
All that shows video, highlight the following:

  • Spectacular digital "paper" newspaper plasma screen but it is flexible type and light.
  • Mobile devices are an evolution of PDAs and telephones, and are able to interact with any other dispotivo with which they are.
  • Large windows transparent, ubiquitous presence, which are touch screens Minority Report (they already exist ... but not of this size).
  • Cards and credit cards "paper" but fully interactive.

Anyway ... a whole array of new devices that promise the next 10 years will be very interesting at the level of interaction between computers and humans.

Review of "HARVEST OF CENTAUR" by Eduardo Gallego and Guillem Sanchez - NOVA Ed B.

As every year, the Nova Collection Ediciones B publishes the winning book Short Novel prize UPC Science Fiction. This year's winning book is "Harvest Centauri"Eduardo Gallego and Guillem Sanchez.Harvest Centauri

Like all books NOVA Collection, the book includes a presentation of Miquel Barceló (without detracting from the content of the books, the presentation of Miquel Barceló is one of the best things about this collection). In this book also it gave the conference included Lois McMaster Bujold in the ceremony of the UPC awards. Still, I've missed you too advertize any of the finalists and the winning play section UPC students ... are usually interesting and different works, and in previous editions published them in the same book by the winning work ... What will the crisis?

Let's talk about the book:
La trama transcurre en un futuro lejano en el que nuestra galaxia está colonizada por humanos, pero por dos grupos separados que habían perdido contacto entre sí. Los de un brazo están más desarrollados en ingeniería y disponen de buenas naves espaciales, larga vida y androides de combate (con sentimientos) y que físicamente son indistinguibles de los humanos. En el otro brazo de la galaxia es la biología la ciencia que se ha desarrollado más, y sus habitantes son capaces de crear edificios a partir del desarrollo natural de árboles y plantas, son pacíficos y sociables, y aun a pesar de ser capaces de colonizar planetas de distintos sistemas, no disponen de naves que rivalicen con las de los humanos del otro brazo.

Only by developing the "first encounter" and the subsequent relationship between the two groups of settlers of the two arms, the book and promised to be interesting, but the authors have not been satisfied with this and have included in the plot to a powerful alien species it is dedicated to plant life different planets, and then returns to "pick up" their harvest.

Following this argument, some of the remaining planets to collect, are located in the human site arm which has developed more biology, and the imminent danger that leads to the appearance of these aliens causes the representatives of the two companies human unite to collaborate and solve the mystery of harvested planets.

As this is a short novel, the book is read in a couple of days and leaves you wanting to know more about human colonies and the interaction between them.

About the Authors: Eduardo Gallego is a biologist and professor of mycology at the University of Almería. Guillem Sánchez He is an economist and military history buff. Together they make a good tandem. I had not read anything about them so far, even though Miquel Barceló indicates in his preface that both are known in the world of Science Fiction Spanish, so we'll look to amend my mistake and read more books by these authors.

In short, a book 100% recommended, which leaves a good taste and makes for a fun weekend.

Review of "ATLANTIS: A short history of a Platonic myth" by Pierre Vidal-Naquet - Ediciones Akal

Unlike the books I've been writing reviews, Atlantis: A short history of a Platonic myth It is not a book of science fiction. This is an essay written by Pierre Vidal-Naquet walking and analyzes the emergence of the myth of Atlantis in the Western world literature.Atlantis Pierre Vidal-Naquet

The book begins with Plato in 355 B.C. when Atlantis appointment and described both his work Timeo like in Critias. The author comes to our present time, via Rome, the Renaissance, for the works of Jules Verne, and even our Mn. Cinto Verdaguer which speaks of Atlantis in his eponymous poem.

Among other issues, also it analyzes how the Hitler era Germans take over the item and include it in their mythology, becoming the Aryan race, the race of the descendants of the Atlanteans. From this premise part of the argument of many science fiction books I've been chronicling in this blog.

After analyzing all available information about Atlantis, the opinion of Pierre Vidal-Naquet is that the myth of Atlantis was literally "invented" by Plato as a metaphor to illustrate an imaginary and utopian Athens, and that eventually the myth and history are mixed giving rise to numerous speculations about the origin of this lost continent, the descendants of the Atlanteans and the evolution of language and the Atlantean culture.

In the book, the author uses to include many interesting antique prints with maps of possible sites of Atlantis that have been published over the last 2000 years.

In general, a scholarly book, with lots of footnotes page (sometimes the note occupies almost the entire page) but we read with little effort to the minimum that a certain interest in the subject is taken. 100% recommended if you want to know more about Atlantis.