Monday, March 30, 2009

Alternative Coordinates publishes first issue

Another resource for new, exciting science fiction, fantasy, horror and speculative fiction, has recently hit the ether.

The name of the e-zine is Alternative Coordinates edited by Jeff Cochran. Its website is (I also have a banner add to the right that you can click on and follow.)

The site is easy to work with, first off you need to register, which is as simple as clicking on register and filling in the spaces. Once that is done you can access the free story ?Bedbugs?, by Edward McKeown. You can pay $2.00 and receive all the stories in the issue. Two bucks is pretty cheap for good Sci-Fi that hasn?t gone through the old media sausage grinder, just to spit out stories that surprisingly sound alike or at least have the same underlying theme.

I like this site, already have the first issue, and I?m currently making my way through the stories.

If you want to know when new issues come out, you can hover over the Magazine Information button, and click on updates in the drop down box that appears. Also if you are a writer you can follow the same drop down box in order to access the submission information page.

I?m ecstatic to see websites like this appear, it harkens back to the old days of the pulps, where the masters of Science fiction speculated on what the future held, Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, Bester and many others. Robert E. Howard gave us Conan the Barbarian, and he almost exclusively published in the pulps. E-zines are the new pulps and it is here that we will see the emergence of science fiction and fantasy, and it is here we will see the birth of the new Superstar Authors that will give us a fantastic and awesome future.

Best of luck to Alternative Coordinates, I look forward to seeing more issues.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Classic - Short story review - "Let's Be Frank" by Brian Aldiss

?Let?s Be Frank?, is a short story written by Brian Aldiss, originally appearing in Science Fantasy, v 8 #23, 1957.

This story was published in 1957, and is a fine example of the writing at that time. It has little science, but a lot of historical fact. It is told almost entirely in narrative, has very little scenery, but is easy to read, understand and enjoy nevertheless.

The story was different, and thought provoking. It is not a hard science fiction story, neither is it a fantasy or space opera. It merely asks the question ?what if, what if a shared consciousness was born and that shared consciousness kept propagating until it was the majority consciousness in the world?

The author doesn?t take a long in-depth look into the developments that could have happened and the inevitable socialism that would have ensued. Instead Aldiss short circuits that discussion by adding an additional shared conscious competing with the first, and the first shared consciousness building a space ship and leaving for space.

The last paragraph has the twist ending that truly puts this story in the science fiction realm, but I will leave it to you to find a copy of this story and read it yourself.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A postponed decision can be far more damaging than a bad decision

During times of instability and (I cringe at the word I?m about to use) change, it is crucial for administrations such as NASA to have a leader in place. This is one of the reasons the president upon taking office makes his nominations for critical posts immediately. This gives congress the time it needs to approve or deny the request, and if it is denied for the President to make another nomination.

When critical organizations have a leader in place, it maintains stability, shows the importance of that organization, and enables it to have a voice.

The question must be asked, why hasn?t obama put forth a nomination for the NASA director? Unless he wants to undermine the stability of the organization, show to all Americans and the world that NASA is of little importance to him and his administration, and wants their voice silenced.

NASA has already been damaged by obama?s lack of character and true colors, in not picking someone to head up the organization. He has effectively kept NASA out of staking a claim during the budget hearings at congress.

I fear that obama does not care at all about NASA and what it does. He doesn?t understand how many jobs are created by a robust space program. He doesn?t understand the benefits we gain from the science done by a manned space program. All obama sees is an organization with a large budget that he can tap into for social programs.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Jetsons

The other night I was watching an episode of the Jetsons, yes one of those old cartoons from my youth. It rekindled the feelings I once had for a future with space travel, technology at our fingertips, and robots. Unfortunately as the episode ended to did my belief that I may one day see those things.