Topic: Science Fiction

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🔗 A True Story

🔗 Ancient Near East 🔗 Novels 🔗 Novels/Science fiction 🔗 Science Fiction 🔗 Skepticism 🔗 Literature 🔗 Classical Greece and Rome 🔗 Greece 🔗 Comedy 🔗 Assyria

A True Story (Ancient Greek: Ἀληθῆ διηγήματα, Alēthē diēgēmata; Latin: Vera Historia or Latin: Verae Historiae) is a novel written in the second century AD by Lucian of Samosata, a Greek-speaking author of Assyrian descent. The novel is a satire of outlandish tales which had been reported in ancient sources, particularly those which presented fantastic or mythical events as if they were true. It is Lucian's best-known work.

It is the earliest known work of fiction to include travel to outer space, alien lifeforms, and interplanetary warfare. As such, A True Story has been described as "the first known text that could be called science fiction". However the work does not fit into typical literary genres: its multilayered plot and characters have been interpreted as science fiction, fantasy, satire or parody, and have been the subject of much scholarly debate.

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🔗 The Last Question

🔗 Novels 🔗 Novels/Science fiction 🔗 Science Fiction 🔗 Novels/Short story

"The Last Question" is a science fiction short story by American writer Isaac Asimov. It first appeared in the November 1956 issue of Science Fiction Quarterly and was anthologized in the collections Nine Tomorrows (1959), The Best of Isaac Asimov (1973), Robot Dreams (1986), The Best Science Fiction of Isaac Asimov (1986), the retrospective Opus 100 (1969), and in Isaac Asimov: The Complete Stories, Vol. 1 (1990). While he also considered it one of his best works, “The Last Question” was Asimov's favorite short story of his own authorship, and is one of a loosely connected series of stories concerning a fictional computer called Multivac. Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, which were first formulated in 1940, outline the criteria for robotic existence in relation to humans. Humanity's relationship to Multivac is questioned on the subject of entropy. The story overlaps science fiction, theology, and philosophy.  

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🔗 Jerry Pournelle has died

🔗 Biography 🔗 Science Fiction 🔗 Biography/arts and entertainment 🔗 Journalism

Jerry Eugene Pournelle (; August 7, 1933 – September 8, 2017) was an American polymath: scientist in the area of operations research and human factors research, science fiction writer, essayist, journalist, and one of the first bloggers. In the 1960s and early 1970s, he worked in the aerospace industry, but eventually focused on his writing career. In an obituary in gizmodo, he is described as "a tireless ambassador for the future."

Pournelle is particularly known for writing hard science fiction, and received multiple awards for his writing. In addition to his solo writing, he wrote several novels with collaborators, most notably Larry Niven. Pournelle served a term as President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Pournelle's journalism focused primarily on the computer industry, astronomy, and space exploration. From the 1970s until the early 1990s, he contributed to the computer magazine Byte, writing from the viewpoint of an intelligent user, with the oft-cited credo, “We do this stuff so you won’t have to.” He created one of the first blogs, entitled "Chaos Manor", which included commentary about politics, computer technology, space technology, and science fiction.

Pournelle was also known for his paleoconservative political views, which were sometimes expressed in his fiction. He was one of the founders of the Citizens' Advisory Council on National Space Policy, which developed some of the Reagan Administration's space initiatives, including the earliest versions of what would become the Strategic Defense Initiative.

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🔗 List of stories set in a future now past

🔗 Lists 🔗 Science Fiction 🔗 Transhumanism 🔗 Sociology 🔗 Futures studies 🔗 Science 🔗 Popular Culture

This is a list of fictional stories that, when written, were set in the future, but the future they predicted is now present or past. The list excludes works that were alternate histories, which were composed after the dates they depict, alternative futures, as depicted in time travel fiction, as well as any works that make no predictions of the future, such as those focusing solely on the future lives of specific fictional characters, or works which, despite their claimed dates, are contemporary in all but name. Entries referencing the current year may be added if their month and day were not specified or have already occurred.

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🔗 Primer (film)

🔗 United States 🔗 Film 🔗 Film/American cinema 🔗 Science Fiction 🔗 United States/Texas

Primer is a 2004 American science fiction film about the accidental discovery of time travel. The film was written, directed, produced, edited and scored by Shane Carruth, who also stars with David Sullivan.

Primer is of note for its extremely low budget, experimental plot structure, philosophical implications, and complex technical dialogue, which Carruth, a college graduate with a degree in mathematics and a former engineer, chose not to simplify for the sake of the audience. The film collected the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, before securing a limited release in the United States, and has since gained a cult following.

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🔗 Astronautilia

🔗 United States 🔗 Books 🔗 Science Fiction

The Astronautilia (Czech: Hvězdoplavba; full title in Greek: Ποιητοῦ ἀδήλου ΑΣΤΡΟΝΑΥΤΙΛΙΑ ἢ ἡ Μικροοδύσσεια ἡ κοσμική; i.e. "An unknown poet's Starvoyage, or the Cosmic Micro-Odyssey") is the magnum opus, written in 1994 under the hellenised pseudonym Ἰωάννης Πυρεῖα, of Czech poet and writer Jan Křesadlo, one of the most unusual works of twentieth-century Czech literature. It was published shortly after his death, as a commemorative first edition.

While no full English translation exists as yet, there is a sample chapter translation online, and a German translation of the fully transcribed and annotated Greek text is in preparation.

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🔗 90 percent of everything is crap

🔗 Philosophy 🔗 Science Fiction 🔗 Literature 🔗 Philosophy/Epistemology

Sturgeon's revelation (as expounded by Theodore Sturgeon), referred to as Sturgeon's law, is an adage cited as "ninety percent of everything is crap." The sentence derives from quotations by Sturgeon, an American science fiction author and critic; although Sturgeon coined another adage he termed "Sturgeon's law", the "ninety percent crap" remark became Sturgeon's law.

The phrase was derived from Sturgeon's observation while science fiction was often derided for its low quality by critics, the majority of examples of works in other fields could equally be seen to be of low quality, and science fiction was thus no different in that regard from other art forms.

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🔗 Kardashev Scale

🔗 Technology 🔗 Environment 🔗 Science Fiction 🔗 Astronomy 🔗 Transhumanism 🔗 Futures studies 🔗 Energy

The Kardashev scale is a method of measuring a civilization's level of technological advancement based on the amount of energy they are able to use. The measure was proposed by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev in 1964. The scale has three designated categories:

  • A Type I civilization, also called a planetary civilization—can use and store all of the energy available on its planet.
  • A Type II civilization, also called a stellar civilization—can use and control energy at the scale of its stellar system.
  • A Type III civilization, also called a galactic civilization—can control energy at the scale of its entire host galaxy.

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🔗 Retrofuturism

🔗 Architecture 🔗 Philosophy 🔗 Philosophy/Aesthetics 🔗 Science Fiction 🔗 Visual arts 🔗 Popular Culture 🔗 Fashion 🔗 Sculpture

Retrofuturism (adjective retrofuturistic or retrofuture) is a movement in the creative arts showing the influence of depictions of the future produced in an earlier era. If futurism is sometimes called a "science" bent on anticipating what will come, retrofuturism is the remembering of that anticipation. Characterized by a blend of old-fashioned "retro styles" with futuristic technology, retrofuturism explores the themes of tension between past and future, and between the alienating and empowering effects of technology. Primarily reflected in artistic creations and modified technologies that realize the imagined artifacts of its parallel reality, retrofuturism can be seen as "an animating perspective on the world". However, it has also manifested in the worlds of fashion, architecture, design, music, literature, film, and video games.

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🔗 Gray Goo

🔗 Technology 🔗 Science Fiction 🔗 Transhumanism

Gray goo (also spelled grey goo) is a hypothetical global catastrophic scenario involving molecular nanotechnology in which out-of-control self-replicating machines consume all biomass on Earth while building more of themselves, a scenario that has been called ecophagy ("eating the environment", more literally "eating the habitation"). The original idea assumed machines were designed to have this capability, while popularizations have assumed that machines might somehow gain this capability by accident.

Self-replicating machines of the macroscopic variety were originally described by mathematician John von Neumann, and are sometimes referred to as von Neumann machines or clanking replicators. The term gray goo was coined by nanotechnology pioneer K. Eric Drexler in his 1986 book Engines of Creation. In 2004 he stated, "I wish I had never used the term 'gray goo'." Engines of Creation mentions "gray goo" in two paragraphs and a note, while the popularized idea of gray goo was first publicized in a mass-circulation magazine, Omni, in November 1986.

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