Putting the life back in science fiction


21st Century Space: two views

I’m supposed to be writing about the upcoming election right? Because my job as an American citizen at this pivotal moment in our nation’s history is to help spread all the psychological warfare tactics being deployed by all sides to get us to be afraid and either vote or not.

Screw that. By the way: Vote! That’s all I’m going to say right now. It’s not that I’m not busy with local politics (hence the silence on this blog). Rather, it’s that I suspect that your adrenal glands are getting worn out by the psywar, so I wanted to give you a little respite. Over the last month, I’ve read two very different visions of space for the 21st Century, and I wanted to share them.

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Dystopia or Utopia: Either way it hurts
April 10, 2020, 2:05 am
Filed under: disasters, futurism, Hot Earth Dreams, Uncategorized

I’m doing fine, asymptomatic at the moment and hoping to stay that way until a working vaccine shows up.  Hope you’re the same, or better yet, that you had a mild case and are now immune.

Anyway, good wishes aside, I wanted to say something I haven’t dared say for weeks: as bad as this crisis is, I suspect it’s a training wheels exercise for what we’ll have to do to deal with climate change.  What I think right now is that if we seriously try to flatten the curve on greenhouse gas emissions, that effort is going to be like what we’re going through now, but longer and more thoroughly disruptive.  It pretty much has to be if we’re going to avoid a mass extinction.

However, if you’re an artist looking for inspiration out of the darkness, that isn’t a bad thing. Continue reading



The inevitable Covid-19 post
March 20, 2020, 6:14 pm
Filed under: disasters, Hot Earth Dreams, livable future, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

There’s not too much I can say about Covid-19, but there are some things that need to be said.

First, stay safe.  This is going to go on for months, and it’s unlikely we’re going to go back to things they were the way before even after there are effective vaccines, treatment, and herd immunity. Continue reading



Space War 2020
February 3, 2020, 4:22 am
Filed under: American politics, fantasy, fiction, science fiction, Worldbuilding, writing | Tags:

Not that I’m a fan of Trump, but the move to establish a US Space Force caught my attention.  There are two points of interest.  The lesser one is what apparently happened.  Of greater interest to me is how someone could use it in military science fiction, and what it might say about the future of space warfare.  And space cadets.   Continue reading



Hot Earth Dreams and a Dying Earth Scenario

Vance’s Dying Earth Series (1950-1984) is one of the more famous series in fantasy, influential not least by killing off loads of magic users in Dungeons and Dragons with the Vancian “fire and forget” magic system.   However much you love or loathe the books, there’s a bunch of stuff Vance got wrong.  If an enterprising author wants to play in the far future of Earth/Dying Earth subgenre, given what we know now, it would be quite different than Vance envisioned.  And Hot Earth Dreams can help.  Continue reading



Predictions for 2020 and beyond
December 30, 2019, 7:23 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s almost the end of the year, so here are some predictions for 2020 and the 2020s.

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A Panglossian Cli-Fi Alt-History, for the holidays
December 14, 2019, 10:54 pm
Filed under: alt-future, science fiction, Uncategorized

Just some positive thinking–what’s happening to me?–for the holidays.  This is another in my series of alt-histories I wish someone else would write, and it’s kind of in the spirit of DC’s famous Watchmen comic.

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2019 Predictions. How badly did I do?
December 14, 2019, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Back on December 27, 2018, I posted a set of predictions.  I haven’t posted much since then, because I’ve been annoyingly busy with conservation work, fighting a bunch of leapfrog sprawl developments in San Diego County.  Most of that I can’t really talk about due to litigation issues, but I can at least go over the predictions I made a year ago and score how well I did.

Here they are. Continue reading



Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis and Alt-History

Just a quick note for those who, like me, need to fiddle for a few hours while the world burns.  Oh wait, that’s not quite what I meant, but anyway, if you want a distraction, here’s one: the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis.

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So about the Climate Strikes
September 28, 2019, 3:19 am
Filed under: livable future, Speculation, sustainability | Tags: ,

Note that I’m more a consumer of nonviolent strategies and tactics than a practitioner, at least at this point.  However, I did participate in the climate strike on September 20, and I’m concerned that this movement is not going to work.  This isn’t to discourage the people fighting for action on climate change to stop working.  Rather, it’s to get them to start working much, much smarter.

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