Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

If you like it, nominate it

Ever read the Open Laboratory?

It’s a collection of the best science blog posts, compiled once a year by a group of scientists and science writers. I highly recommend it. Its written for people with no science background, so anyone can read it, and the posts are generally entertaining and thought-provoking. They cover a wide range of scientific topics and a variety of styles, as the anthology includes poems, short stories and cartoons, in addition to more typical blog posts.

You can read more about it here, and buy copies from previous years here.

And here’s the crunch, Open Laboratory is now taking submissions for 2011. If you’ve enjoyed reading any of my blog posts, and you think they’re worthy to be considered for the Open Laboratory, then please can you nominate them for me? A nomination takes a few minutes to complete, and can be done here. I’d be very grateful.

I’m not totally self-obsessed though, so the same goes for other science blogs too. If you see a great post then please nominate it, and maybe let me know, as I’m always on the lookout for interesting science blogs. Also, if you think you have a post that’s worthy of nomination and you’re looking for people to nominate it, then post a link in the comments below, and I’ll see what I think.

Thanks.

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The Genius of Terry Pratchett

OK, another post that doesn’t have anything to do with astrobiology, but hopefully someone will enjoy it.

Terry Pratchett is a British author who specialises in comic fantasy. His most famous works are the Discworld novels, a series of 38 books set on a disc that travels through space on the back of a giant cosmic turtle. He was the best-selling UK author throughout the 1990s, and the 7th most read foreign author in the US.

Why am I writing about Terry Pratchett?

Well, when I was young, probably between the ages of about 7 and 14, I loved his books and have many fond memories of reading them. In 2008 I learned that Terry Pratchett had early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and in 2010 I found out that he had been involved in campaigning for the rights of people to commit suicide, and the right’s of others to assist in suicide. So he was on my mind, if not a bit towards the back of it.

I’ve recently returned to live in the UK and have been nostalgically revisiting my past, and picked up a copy of The Colour of Magic, the first Discworld book. It reminded me of how talented Terry Pratchett is and how crushingly depressing it is that he has been struck down with such an awful disease.

I’ve begun re-reading the Discworld series and the shear brilliance of Pratchett’s imagination and talent inspired me to write this post, and hopefully this will inspire someone else to read these books or even to go back and revisit them

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Review – My favourite collections of sci-fi short stories

I’ve not written a post for aaggeeessss! So I thought I’d write a quick one reviewing some of the best collections of science fiction short stories I’ve read.

If you’ve never read any science fiction, or even if you’re a long-time reader, short stories are a great place to start, as they can help you find new interesting authors and sub-genres, and can open whole new worlds of sci-fi for you to explore.

Continue reading ‘Review – My favourite collections of sci-fi short stories’

Review – Colossus: The Forbin Project

One of my favourite tropes in science fiction is the one where mankind creates artificial intelligence only to see it rebel against its maker, and usually either enslave or destroys us. Probably because its both a fantastic but also quite realistic idea, at least in my humble opinion.

It’s been done a hundred times or more, in a huge variety of settings, but one of my favourite is the film Colossus: The Forbin Project.

Continue reading ‘Review – Colossus: The Forbin Project’

Podcast smodcast – my favourite science podcasts

I listen to lots of podcasts; some of them are science one’s, here are my favourites, why not give them a try?

Continue reading ‘Podcast smodcast – my favourite science podcasts’

Review: Stephen Webb, Where is Everybody?

I’m doing a book review, the books by Stephen Webb; it’s called ‘If the Universe is Teeming with Aliens… Where is Everybody? Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life’. People in the know just call it ‘Where is Everybody’ though. It’s great. But then I would say that, I’m a bit of a nerd.

I’ve mentioned the book before, in my Fermi Paradox solution post. Most of what I wrote in that post, and some others, was inspired by this book.

Continue reading ‘Review: Stephen Webb, Where is Everybody?’


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