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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

Malas noticias para los que teníamos la esperanza de ver la colonización de Marte durante los próximos 20 años: La Agencia Europea del Espacio (ESA) anunció hace un par de días, que se retrasarán en por lo menos tres años, los planes de enviar a Marte el ExoMars, el vehículo europeo diseñado para explorar la superficie de ese planeta.

Las dificultades presupuestarias han obligado a la ESA a posponer el lanzamiento del ExoMars del 2013 al 2016. Este es el segundo aplazamiento de las operaciones del vehiculo después de haber sido postergada de 2011 a 2013.

Según las autoridades de la ESA, el proyecto pretendía ser de dimensiones más reducidas, pero a medida que los científicos iban avanzando se fueron ampliando el alcance y los objetivos de la misión. En estos momentos el ExoMars tiene coste estimado de 1.200 millones de euros, que es más del doble del presupuesto inicial.

Evidentemente, los países que participan en la ESA (empezando por los italianos, que son quienes lideran esta misión) han solicitado a los responsables del proyecto que traten de disminuir los costes del mismo, pero aún así, mal que nos pese, la coyuntura económica actual hace que sea más prudente posponer el proyecto durante una temporada.

El problema con posponer el proyecto es que no es algo que pueda dejarse de un año para otro… si la nave que va a transportar el Exomars no sale en noviembre del 2013 pierde la ventana de lanzamiento y debe esperar hasta enero o febrero del 2016, momento en que la posición de Marte volverá a ser favorable para los lanzamientos desde la Tierra.

Una verdadera lástima.

Para animarnos un poco, aquí va un vídeo con una explicación acerca de cómo será la misión de exploración del suelo marciano.

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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.