Review of "Mars time" by Philip K. Dick - Minotaur

I've read most of the books I have written my favorite authors, especially those who unfortunately are already dead, but there is always someone who escapes and occasionally gives me joy. This is the case of "Mars time”. Tiempo de Marte - Philip K Dick

Last week, in my usual bookstore, I found a reprint of this book, that neither knew I was pending to read ... so I bought it and began "to work".

The book is the typical book of Philip K. Dick. With all its elements: people who dream but does not distinguish between dreams and reality, people with mental illness, some other person with severe depression, etc ... to a "pre-cog" (person because of a mental disorder is able to see the future or thinking of moving over time [as in Minority Report, for example]).

The book tells of the colonization of Mars and coexistence among the inhabitants of Earth and Mars Aborigines, who are Homo Sapiens Sapiens black, but involuted.

The book is written in 1964 so it's fun to see how the author deals with certain issues.

  • The company raised Philip K. Dick is totally sexist (women are either wives dimensional engaged in shopping and cooking are either more or less efficient secretaries are judged according to their physical attributes).
  • Since in the 60s was not known almost nothing about Mars, humans of "Mars time" are installed there quietly, without prior terraforming or any kind of environmental protection. In fact, it is understood that they do not need as other humans and are therefore assumed to colonize the planet is viable.
  • The canals of Mars are clearly works of its former inhabitants.
  • No computers.
  • Radio frequency communications are encrypted and certain messages, you need a "coding machine".

Anyway ... a book is a novella of the most typical science fiction of Philip K. Dick. Fully recommended.

It postponed until 2016 ESA mission to Mars

Bad news for those who were hoping to see the colonization of Mars over the next 20 years: the European Agency Space (ESA) announced a couple of days ago, it will be delayed for at least three years, plans to send Mars ExoMars, the European vehicle designed to explore the surface of that planet.

Budgetary constraints have forced the ESA to postpone the launch of the ExoMars from 2013 to 2016. This is the second postponement of the operations of the vehicle after being postponed from 2011 to 2013.

According to the authorities of the ESA, the project was intended to be of smaller dimensions, but as scientists were advancing they were expanding the scope and objectives of the mission. Right now the estimated cost of ExoMars is 1,200 million euros, which is more than twice the initial budget.

Clearly, the countries participating in the ESA (starting with the Italians, who are leading this mission) have asked those responsible for the project to try to reduce the costs of the same, but still bad we weigh the economic situation now it makes it more prudent to postpone the project for a while.

The problem with postponing the project is that it is not something that can be left from one year to another ... if the ship that will carry the Exomars does not come out in November 2013 loses the launch window and must wait until January or February 2016, when the position of Mars will be favorable for launches from Earth.

A real shame.

To encourage a bit, here's a video with an explanation about how the mission will scan the Martian soil.

Additional information:

Review of "SPIN" by Robert C. Wilson - Omicrón

“SPIN”, de Robert C. Wilson – OmicrónRobert C. Wilson is an author that I know little. The only book of his that I read before "Spin” era “Darwinia"Published in 1998 and although he was a finalist for the Hugo Awards, I found there were not so bad ... although the focus of the main thesis of the book was original: a world where the more you use things more suited to use . For example, a chair not spent time ... it is better suited to one who has to sit at her. Or a knife dulls not use it so much ... on the contrary ... it becomes sharper and cut better.

The bad thing is Darwinia It was more fantasy than science fiction, so maybe it was not the author's fault, but simply did not like the book because I like Hard science fiction, not fantasy.

But back to "Spin”.

El libro nos explica qué pasa en la Tierra una noche en la que todas las estrellas y la Luna desaparecen. Un misterioso escudo (el Spin) aparece en torno a nuestro planeta y nos aísla del resto del universo. Por cada segundo que transcurre en la Tierra, transcurren 3,17 años fuera del Spin.

This book itself is Hard Science Fiction and forces exercise the brain-based well to understand everything that poses the author. We have: time passing differently in different areas, we have a shield that protects the earth from not who knows, we Martians are humans evolved, we have genetic engineering, have mysterious illnesses, rare religions, crazy magnates, etc ... etc ... in short, an enormous amount of ideas and new approaches on Science and Technology.

all a joy. 100% recommendable.