Language in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

On re-reading this classic recently, I was very struck by the clever use of language. “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” was first published in 1966, the setting is 2075-6. Heinlein gives his viewpoint character a plausible future Moon dialect of English; a number of Russian words and even some Australian ones such as “cobber”. The character’s… Continue reading Language in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

Who Can Replace a Man? by Brian Aldiss

This story imagines an attempt by machines to replace humans who are presumed to be extinct. It reminded me of Orwell’s “Animal Farm”, but with machines instead of animals. In the end, the answer to the question in the story’s title is given as “no machine”. However, until they realise that humans are not actually extinct,… Continue reading Who Can Replace a Man? by Brian Aldiss

UFOs in A Fall of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke

What do science fiction fans think of the UFO phenomenon? Clarke’s novel A Fall of Moondust got me thinking about it again. The setting is around 2040 AD. A tourist bus on the moon is trapped under the surface and rescuers race against time to save the passengers before they run out of oxygen. When… Continue reading UFOs in A Fall of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke

Inconstant Moon by Larry Niven

An early 70s last night of the world story that ends up as an apocalyptic story looking forward to the post-apocalypse. Niven rigorously explores the various explanations and possibilities. The suspense (which of the above categories will we finish in?) is very well maintained. By the end, I really wanted the main characters to survive to… Continue reading Inconstant Moon by Larry Niven

Passengers by Robert Silverberg

A great story from the early 70s that still stands up really well today. Earth has been infested for three years by creatures known as The Passengers. They exist on a purely mental plane, so no one has ever seen them or knows what they are. They might be aliens or evil spirits; the story… Continue reading Passengers by Robert Silverberg

SFF, The Collective Unconscious and Reincarnation

Reincarnation and past lives have been very popular themes in science fiction and fantasy. The collective unconscious, as formulated by the psychotherapist Carl Jung, though less immediately understandable and less famous, has also been used as the basis for very interesting fiction. The collective unconscious was one of Carl Jung’s most influential theories; it consists essentially… Continue reading SFF, The Collective Unconscious and Reincarnation

Space Exploration, Space Race, Outer Space Treaty, Moon Treaty

A piece on space exploration, the space race, Outer Space Treaty, Moon Treaty, Cosmo-Skymed, Copernicus space system, Orion space programme: