Cleopatra by E. S. Strout


Tell us what you thought about the December 2010 issue!

User avatar

Long Fiction Editor

Posts: 2612

Joined: January 11, 2010, 12:03:56 AM

Location: by the time you read this, I'll be somewhere else

Post December 20, 2010, 08:33:38 PM

Cleopatra by E. S. Strout

Wha-Hoo!

I think we've all read a story or two about what can go wrong with intelligent machines, but this one is -- different.

Punctuation needs cleaned up, particularly the use of quotes. Other than that -- great!
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?

Senior Critic

Posts: 263

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: California

Post December 21, 2010, 12:15:12 PM

Thanks for the kind words, Lester. I'll be the first to admit that punctuation is not one of my strongest areas.

gino
User avatar

Commenter

Posts: 39

Joined: September 24, 2010, 04:14:05 AM

Post January 05, 2011, 01:58:02 AM

Know the truth and it shall set you free...
che frances monro - http://www.chemonro.com

Senior Critic

Posts: 263

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: California

Post January 05, 2011, 03:50:31 PM

karma: what goes around, comes around.

gino
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 845

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee    USA

Post January 07, 2011, 02:25:18 PM

Not so fast, hotshot!

Gino, you really gotta quit using numbers in your stories, or at least research them a little bit. They tend to take your reader ‘out of the story’ when you don’t get them right. Also, they don’t add a dang thing to the plot or the verisimilitude of the tale, ever.

"I can slow from near light speeds to supersonic in six-point-one seconds.


Well, from 90% speed of light to ten thousand mph (supersonic) in 6.1 seconds would be half a million G’s of acceleration. Half a million? Really? At 95% speed of light, it’s five million G’s. Are you saying that the engine of this thing—no matter what it uses—is pushing on any material in the universe that hard without squashing it? Silliness. (Out of the story #1)

On a side note, “Inertial Dampers” are St@r Tr@k bullshite. If this thing runs off of artificial gravity, there would be NO apparent acceleration from within the AG field. You wouldn’t need the magical mystery inertial dampers, anyway. So why even mention it? (Out of the story #2)

And the energy required to accelerate 1 kg to 95% C in 6.1 seconds is two thousand times the average energy consumption of the entire US in 2005. If your little Cleo is 1000kg, that’s two million times.

So what the hell powers this thing only 35 years from now? (Out of the story #3) All due to one sentence where the numbers—which add nothing to the story—don’t make any sense.

You also need to research what gravity might be. The International Space Station you describe must have artificial gravity, and yet your characters are amazed by something hovering off the deck. Are they supposed to be dumb? And please don’t say the station was spinning, centrifugal force is NOT gravity. Your ship couldn’t ‘hover’ at all if that’s the case.

And the concept of ‘Genetic Memory’—as portrayed in this story—is downright ridiculous. I don’t care what the Stoopydologists, uh. . .Psychohubbardists say. Your DNA isn’t supposed to change during your lifetime based on what you experience. If it does, it’s called a mutation. Most of those don’t work out very well. To imply that the actual names of both your parents is routinely encoded in everyone’s DNA. . . .is just dumb.

There were other aspects that made me pause and wonder if I’d misread them. For instance, Sontag is ‘the leader of the construction crew’ who also happens to be one of the shakers and movers of the research project, to the point where he knows the nasty secret of how the brains of the superweapon came to be. . .is absolutely senseless. They hire people to build the annex. The leader of the construction crew would be a simple employee, not the project manager.

That every guard on the ground and every shuttle pilot at Canaveral knows every little detail of the highly-classified secret weapons project is a little silly, as well. Very few folks would be in on what was going on, up there at the space station.

End of gripe session. You may not believe this, but I liked quite a bit about this story. Killing a baby & mother because the kid has the right genetic make-up. . .all in the interests of National Security, of course, is an excellent premise and plot device.

That this perfect killing machine (run by stolen brain tissue) might wonder about its roots, want to be treated like a person, and become uncooperative, is a very solid basis for a story. And calling in a shrink to talk to it/her is also solid.

When ‘Cleo’ finds out what happened, either through the shrink or by hacking the project’s records, and decides to kick a little bureaucratic ass, fan-freakin’-tastic.

Good story, but the silly science and ill-thought plotting got in the way. Leave the relativity, gravity drive and genetic memory alone, they don’t help nearly as much as they hurt. And finally, try to make your readers believe the story. . .at least while they’re reading it.

Bill Wolfe
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."

Senior Critic

Posts: 263

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: California

Post January 08, 2011, 04:00:52 PM

Thanks, Bill. I can always count on you for a concise and insightful critique. I'll admit my knowledge of physics is peripheral at best. In premed we were required to take a "terminal" physics course. I scraped by with a C. Perhaps if I'd gone into radiation oncology instead of pathology I would have a better grasp on physics and subatomic particles.

I'll admit to some literary license on the subject of genetic memory. Instinct in lower vertebrates comes close. Those who have tried to quantify genetic memory with terms such as collective unconscious, savant syndrome and morphic fields are often referred to as pseudoscientists.

gino
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 845

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee    USA

Post January 10, 2011, 12:57:50 AM

gino_ss wrote: I'll admit my knowledge of physics is peripheral at best. In premed we were required to take a "terminal" physics course. I scraped by with a C. Perhaps if I'd gone into radiation oncology instead of pathology I would have a better grasp on physics and subatomic particles.

Gino,


Gino,

I love the way you write. You come up with plot lines that I can only wish for.

But Dude, when you use numbers and science, you'll be challenged unless you get it just right.

That goes for you, Seanan. You know what I'm talking (okay, writing) about.

And that goes for all aspiring writers out there. It's gonna happen. And I'm just a piker compared to the folks I deal with on a daily basis. No kidding. No sh*t.

Don't talk physics, biology, virology or chemistry unless you got the 'stuff' down. It doesn't take that much research, really.

Just ASK!

We're out there.

Bill Wolfe

p.s.

Gino, I was pre-med, too. Even got accepted to med school, passed my MCAT and everything. Just couldn't afford it with a baby on the way. So now I'm a nuclear physicist. Wierd how things work out, ain't it?
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 1305

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kentucky

Post January 10, 2011, 01:39:19 PM

premed

Bill_Wolfe said (wrote): "Gino, I was pre-med, too. Even got accepted to med school, passed my MCAT and everything. Just couldn't afford it with a baby on the way. So now I'm a nuclear physicist. Wierd how things work out, ain't it?"
Yeah, and he still can't write worth a s**t! How about that, size small?
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2379

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Post January 10, 2011, 01:55:53 PM

Re: premed

bottomdweller wrote:Bill_Wolfe said (wrote): "Gino, I was pre-med, too. Even got accepted to med school, passed my MCAT and everything. Just couldn't afford it with a baby on the way. So now I'm a nuclear physicist. Wierd how things work out, ain't it?"
Yeah, and he still can't write worth a s**t! How about that, size small?


I seem to recall that Bill has won more Challenges than, er, you... So on his behalf (he's far too dignified to do it himself), neener neener neener!

R. (one tie, many losses, took his word processor and went home) M.
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876-1916)
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 1305

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kentucky

Post January 10, 2011, 02:44:10 PM

nuclear physicist

Bill Wolfe: "So now I'm a nuclear physicist." Physicist Smysicist. As Sienna Miller told Heath Ledger in the movie Casanova, "I would put it to you, sir, that self-love is in truth self-doubt."
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.
User avatar

Long Fiction Editor

Posts: 2612

Joined: January 11, 2010, 12:03:56 AM

Location: by the time you read this, I'll be somewhere else

Post January 10, 2011, 03:20:07 PM

To all in attendance of these posts:
Don't talk physics, biology, virology or chemistry unless you got the 'stuff' down. It doesn't take that much research, really.

Bill is right.

A lot of readers don't know and don't care (the difference between ignorance and apathy), and gods help you if you put an equation into your story, they'll throw it right across the room. But there are hard-core readers who are sticklers for authenticity, and I'd hazard a guess that a generous proportion of them have prominent voices in the publishing field.

If you're sloppy about fact, these people will nail your hide to the outhouse door. (If I've heard correctly, this is a near obsession among fans of murder mysteries.) But if you get it right, they will rise to your defense on that account, because they care about these things.

Do the research. It isn't hard, with the internet. Do it even if you aren't going to include the science itself in the story; it makes your characters more informed. And, it's stimulating. I've been all over everyplace putting together my work; from childbirth to basket-weaving to military chain-of-command, and damn little of it shows up in the text, but the final product will no doubt have someone somewhere grinning and wondering how the hell I (or my characters) know so much.

You don't have to be an expert; you just have to be accurate in the part that shows up on the page.

Get at it, have fun, and good luck.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 1305

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kentucky

Post January 10, 2011, 04:28:57 PM

hard science

Lester is absolutely right. Writing hard science doesn't need to be hard - if you have friends who are willing to forward you the formulas and jargon needed for a great sci-fi story. I try to keep a handful of scientists on call, just people I've run across over the years, in case I need an opinion on a current theory, for instance. For whatever reason, these people are usually very 'normal' and enjoy exchanging tit-for-tat, perhaps passing along a formula in exchange for them showing up in a story sometime in the future.
Obviously the internet is a huge help, but knowledgable friends are an even easier way to get to the links you need.
I also try to keep tabs on people who are 'characters' - prototypes that show up again and again in my stories. Nothing sparks the imagination more than lively conversation with personalities who are bigger than life. Whenever I meet one of these characters in real life, I thank my lucky stars - they are absolute goldmines for an author.
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.

Senior Critic

Posts: 263

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: California

Post January 10, 2011, 08:44:05 PM

Bill. I was lucky. In premed and med school I was able to support a family of four, plus another on the way. The navy had trained me as a clinical lab technician, so I was able to work part time at area hospitals. There was also the GI Bill and one humongous student loan.

I'm working on a plot line which involves coalescing subatomic particles. I have read or heard that a young Stephen Hawking (before ALS) had once proposed a theory that neutrinos were subatomic singularities broken off from the original Big Bang event but has since retracted this proposal. Fact or fiction? If fictitious I'll have to modify the plot. Any thoughts?

gino
User avatar

Long Fiction Editor

Posts: 2612

Joined: January 11, 2010, 12:03:56 AM

Location: by the time you read this, I'll be somewhere else

Post January 10, 2011, 11:17:50 PM

Re: hard science

bottomdweller wrote: I try to keep a handful of scientists on call, just people I've run across over the years, in case I need an opinion on a current theory, for instance.
Lucky you . . . I have no such resources, although I've thought about trying to cultivate some. Well -- I will have one bunch soon; I've attended a meeting of a local astronomical society, and I'll likely join. But . . .

I was very lucky once. I needed expert info on an esoteric topic (parchment documents), and went searching around the 'net . . . found a guy in Holland with a website -- he restored antique documents for a living, and we had a very friendly email exchange through which he answered all my questions. I thanked him profusely. As near as I can tell, it's getting harder to find such things now.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 1305

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kentucky

Post January 11, 2011, 09:17:41 AM

scientists at your fingertips

Gino - one of the resources I have for getting scientific answers to questions is the Orion's Arm project. (I just heard Bill cringe) It's a website originated by scientists as a resource for sci-fi writers. Click on 'Contact us' and give them your question. They're more than happy to give a very educated opinion. here's the link
http://www.orionsarm.com/ or just search Orion's Arm Worldbuilding
P.S. Lester, online friends are friends too - nice to have friends all over the world - it's a new age.
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.

Senior Critic

Posts: 263

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: California

Post January 11, 2011, 01:08:00 PM

Thanks for the Orion's Arm link, Bottomdweller. I'll check it out.

gino
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 845

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee    USA

Post January 11, 2011, 01:20:45 PM

Re: premed

bottomdweller wrote:Yeah, and he still can't write worth a s**t! How about that, size small?


I bow to your superior logic and reasoning. You win.

Your writing, pretty Michele, is definitely worth a s**t.

I will defend that statement to your dying breath.

My dying breath? Probably not. But I'm more than willing to stake your life on it.

I'm generous, that way.

Bill Wolfe
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 1305

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kentucky

Post January 11, 2011, 01:44:11 PM

Bassanio

I insinuate a high level of arrogance, my dearest nuclear physicist, and you answer back with a transparent compliment.
This is no answer, thou unfeeling man, to excuse the current of thy cruelty.
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.
User avatar

Critic

Posts: 145

Joined: December 14, 2009, 11:20:06 AM

Location: I don't know?

Post January 12, 2011, 12:11:29 PM

I liked the story overall. One problem I had was how the characters were introduced. It wasn't bad, and I believe this is more of a style thing with myself, but it just didn't flow right. Their introductions felt a bit to mechanical for my taste. Again though, just my opinion.

As for the discussion, this is why steer away from hard scifi. I find it fascinating, but I know little and don't want Bill to ream me a new one (lol). I also have more of a fantasy influence on my literature tastes, so I try to create enough of a solid magic box to have readers suspend their disbelief. Though if I've accomplished this, I have no idea since I've posted so few of my writings.
“The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.”
-Mark Twain

Senior Critic

Posts: 263

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: California

Post January 12, 2011, 01:44:56 PM

I keep a stockpile of "new ones" to replace those that Bill has reamed me. I accept these as learning experiences and keep on writing scifi. This often makes for lively discussions in the Forum.

gino
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 845

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee    USA

Post January 12, 2011, 06:40:10 PM

gino_ss wrote:I keep a stockpile of "new ones" to replace those that Bill has reamed me.


Gino,

A@@holes's-R-Us? I Thought Congress had cornered the entire inventory of spares, for that one. You must be connected pretty highly to have a stockpile.

Bad science is just one of the things that can take a reader 'out of the story'. It is not--by far--the most common.

I've seen reviews where a writer putting her story in Boston didn't get two intersecting streets right, when she described a foot chase. The streets named--it seems--run parallel.

Didn't mean a thing to me when I read it, but I've never been to Boston. But no less than four reviewers complained that the writer hadn't thought to consult an actual map of the place. You may consider this as specialized knowledge, but this inconsistency took the readers who knew better OUT OF THE STORY.

They absolutely crucified the author over this mistake (This is a site where people ask for critiques on unpublished stories, by the way.) Why alienate whatever segment of the population might actually know whatever it is that the author was too lazy to research?

And my question is, why NOT do the research and get the streets right? Why even mention street names, if you're not going to look at a map (if only street maps existed online) and at least pick two streets that actually have a 'corner of?' Wouldn't it be better to say that your hero chased the villan down Central till he caught him at an intersection? Why name the other street, at all? Does it add to the story?

I say, no.

They were just street names to me, like I'm sure your genetic memory (including the parents' freakin' names) nonsense was just 'something they'd heard about', to some of the readers here.

Soooooo. . .

You're writing hard SF and you don't care if you alienate real scientists? Or at least give them a reason not to like your story?

Care to explain the logic behind that decision?

Enquiring minds. . .

Bill Wolfe
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."
User avatar

Long Fiction Editor

Posts: 2612

Joined: January 11, 2010, 12:03:56 AM

Location: by the time you read this, I'll be somewhere else

Post January 12, 2011, 10:43:33 PM

I keep a stockpile of "new ones" to replace those that Bill has reamed me.
You may want to reorder soon . . . he doesn't seem to be quite finished with you yet.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 845

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee    USA

Post January 12, 2011, 11:22:28 PM

Re: Bassanio

bottomdweller wrote:This is no answer, thou unfeeling man, to excuse the current of thy cruelty.


Michele,

First of all you well know the quote: "When the fox gnaws, smile." You know where it comes from, and what it means.


And second, I don't particularly desire to write 'worth a sh*t.'

Who would?

Bill Wolfe

p.s.

That you quoted the preceding line from 'The Merchant of Venice' and made it work, is way cool.

Kudos to you, Michele.

Bill Wolfe (size Small? --who you 'been talkin' to?)
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 1305

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kentucky

Post January 13, 2011, 08:52:16 AM

kudos

Truely, the thing that amazes me about Bill_Wolfe's writing is his ability to automatically produce a story worth reading. Specifically - we're all given a topic in the Fun&Games section, once a month, and within a week Bill has the story in the hands of the evil ice gnome. My stories take a while to perculate - it's really tough for me to produce anything in two weeks, but Bill pumps out quality stories and repeditively takes home the trophy.
Bill knows I'm just kinda gnawing on him when I say things to poke at him.
P.S. There's a flash fiction contest going on right now in the Fun & Games section - the deadline is sometime around the 20th of this month? Plenty of time for newbies to submit a story! Give it a shot - wat ja got ta lose?
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.

Senior Critic

Posts: 263

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: California

Post January 13, 2011, 02:19:45 PM

Bill

There is no such thing ass hard science fiction - the operative word being FICTION. Semisolid science fiction perhaps. What is a science fiction story but a WHAT-IF?

As a nuclear physicist I'm sure you keep abreast of the goings on at CERNs Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. There had been some concern about the fate of Earth, the galaxy and even the universe if the LHC guys succeeded in creating a functioning black hole, complete with event horizon. On their website under safety concerns they admit they didn't, or couldn't.

But WHAT-IF somebody could? WHAT-IF strangelets could convert ordinary matter to strange matter? WHAT-IF dark matter is a living entity? That's the way I approach science fiction.

You list a number of features in Cleopatra that would take the reader out of the story, yet you were able to stay with it long enough to write a critique.

Just ask, you say. I'm still waiting for your response to my Stephen Hawking query.

My stockpile is endless. Keep them coming, Bill.

Finished with my B.S. session. Right back at ya.

gino

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2501

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Mass, USA

Post January 14, 2011, 11:58:58 AM

Piker

Bill_Wolfe wrote:But Dude, when you use numbers and science, you'll be challenged unless you get it just right.

That goes for you, Seanan. You know what I'm talking (okay, writing) about.

And that goes for all aspiring writers out there. It's gonna happen. And I'm just a piker compared to the folks I deal with on a daily basis. No kidding. No sh*t.

Don't talk physics, biology, virology or chemistry unless you got the 'stuff' down. It doesn't take that much research, really.

Just ASK!

We're out there.

Bill Wolfe

p.s.

Gino, I was pre-med, too. Even got accepted to med school, passed my MCAT and everything. Just couldn't afford it with a baby on the way. So now I'm a nuclear physicist. Wierd how things work out, ain't it?[/size]


Be very afraid of Pikers. Mr. T. once said he was a piker compared to the rest of his 'hood.

Senior Critic

Posts: 263

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: California

Post January 14, 2011, 12:59:10 PM

Wow! This is the most active, aware and cognizant Forum I've ever been associated with.

gino
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 845

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee    USA

Post January 19, 2011, 03:17:45 PM

Gino wrote:I'm working on a plot line which involves coalescing subatomic particles. I have read or heard that a young Stephen Hawking (before ALS) had once proposed a theory that neutrinos were subatomic singularities broken off from the original Big Bang event but has since retracted this proposal. Fact or fiction? If fictitious I'll have to modify the plot. Any thoughts?

########
Just ask, you say. I'm still waiting for your response to my Stephen Hawking query.


Gino,

I’ve spent a fair amount of time and effort researching everything I can find as to what Hawking theorized about neutrinos. . .at any time in his life.

I could follow most of it, but couldn’t find anything like what you describe. He did posit that the universe has not always been opaque to neutrinos, but has been so for a very long time. Nothing about them being subatomic singularities (by which I assume you mean superdense matter, not levels of intelligence and awareness in a transhuman sense).

It wouldn’t make much sense, to tell the truth. The three flavors of neutrino are produced by fairly common occurrences in everyday life. Both in stars and in regular radioactive decay modes throughout the universe. Besides, they have almost no rest mass. Their relativistic mass is a different can o’ worms, entirely.

I can’t say for sure, but I think somebody misread some of what we (including Saint Stephen) think to be true about neutrinos.

I wouldn’t go there, if I were you.

Of course, if I were you, you’d be smarter, stronger, better looking and—of course—very modest.

Gino wrote:There is no such thing as hard science fiction - the operative word being FICTION. Semisolid science fiction perhaps. What is a science fiction story but a WHAT-IF?


Let me quote Heinlein, in his 1947 essay on the definition of science fiction:


“. . . . . . . . . 5. And lastly, no established fact shall be violated, and, furthermore, when the story requires that a theory contrary to present accepted theory be used, the new theory should be rendered reasonably plausible and it must include and explain established facts as satisfactorily as the one the author saw fit to junk. It may be far-fetched, it may seem fantastic, but it must not be at variance with observed facts, i.e., if you are going to assume that the human race descended from Martians, then you've got to explain our apparent close relationship to terrestrial anthropoid apes as well."


You gonna’ argue with R.A.H.? Go ahead. That guy could sell a freakin’ grocery list to Analog, in a heartbeat.

Hard SF is a very specific sub-genre. Basically, you have to try to get the science right. Gino, you’re trying to write Hard SF, it shows in almost everything you’ve ever submitted here.

The story is fiction (ie: It’s made-up. Never really happened. That kind of thing.) The science is supposed to be as real as possible. Some older (1920’s & 30’s) stories about life on Venus—back when our speculations as to what Venus’s atmosphere was like were very different, are still Hard SF. They did the best they could with what they had.

I stand by what I said, earlier. If you insist on using numbers and theories in your stories, get them right. They do more harm than good when you get them wrong.

Bill Wolfe
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 845

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee    USA

Post January 19, 2011, 03:29:08 PM

gino_ss wrote:As a nuclear physicist I'm sure you keep abreast of the goings on at CERNs Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. There had been some concern about the fate of Earth, the galaxy and even the universe if the LHC guys succeeded in creating a functioning black hole, complete with event horizon.



Uh, Gino.

Some people have had some 'concerns' that:

•WWII was staged. It never really happened. The Illuminati employed elaborate special effects, stage magic, and phony journalism to scare the world into pacifism.

•Hitler and some associates escaped to the Arctic in a submarine, to live with super-advanced aliens who reside within the hollow earth.

•The early Middle Ages […] never occurred. Everything that supposedly happened during those years was either a misunderstanding, an event from a different era, or an outright lie […]. And we are actually living in the 1700s.

•Stephen King killed John Lennon.

If you shake a nut tree hard enough, a few will fall out. Those are the exact 'concerns' that CERN was trying to address. (Plus that dumbass Tom Hanks movie.) I understand that Bigfoot had some theories, as well, but the Loch Ness Monster ate his homework before he could turn it in.

When some idiot foretells gloom and doom, some other idiot news program will blow it out of proportion. No scientist worth his salt had any concerns. And guess what? We're still here.

Duh.

Bill Wolfe
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."

Senior Critic

Posts: 263

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: California

Post January 20, 2011, 02:19:00 PM

Bill.

There are still those who believe the first moon landing was produced on a Hollywood sound stage. There was even a movie, Capricorn I, I think it was.

Thanks much for the info on Stephen Hawking and neutrinos. Looked through his Universe in a Nutshell again and found nothing, so I evidently misread or misheard it.. At my age the eyesight ain't what it once was. Anyway, based on your negative findings I'm going a different directtion on a manuscript in progress.

Heinlein on SF in 1947 - yikes, I was still in high school. I later became an avid reader of Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison and J.G. Ballard. I believe Ellison was a consultant for the Twilight Zone series.

I still maintain that what I write is semisolid rather than hard sf. How would you classify Star Trek and Star Wars? Science Fantasy?

gino
Next

Return to December 2010

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.