Mar 24, 2017

Weekend Reads - RAW 170324

From an idea for an atmospheric overhaul for Mars to more on basic universal income to advice on internet trolls there's an article here for you to read this weekend. So when it's time to relax this weekend, grab your favourite beverage and have read more and think more...

Which Dystopian Novel Got It Right: Orwell’s ‘1984’ or Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’? -

Huxley believed that his version of dystopia was the more plausible one. In a 1949 letter, thanking Orwell for sending him a copy of “1984,” he wrote that he really didn’t think all that torture and jackbooting was necessary to subdue a population, and that he believed his own book offered a better solution. All you need to do, he said, is teach people to love their servitude. The totalitarian rulers in Huxley’s book do this not by oppressing their citizens but by giving them exactly what they want, or what they think they want — which is basically sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll — and lulling them into complacency. The system entails a certain Trump-like suspicion of science and dismissal of history, but that’s a price the inhabitants of Huxley’s world happily pay. They don’t mourn their lost liberty, the way Orwell’s Winston Smith does; they don’t even know it’s gone.

There's 50 Shades Of Grey In What We Consider A Good Book

The idea of a book being good or bad is enough to send many book lovers into a flurry of indignation. There is no such thing, they might say with fierceness and finality, as a bad book. No lesser authority than writer G√ľnter Grass left no room for debate when he said: Even bad books are books and therefore sacred.

Ebook Unit Sales at Each Retailer Broken Down by Publisher Type

The big five publishers in the last calendar year have managed to hang on to more than half of all ebook sales at Apple and Barnes & Noble Nook. At B&N, in particular, their share tops 61%, but that merely makes them the largest fish in a rapidly-shrinking pond. Amazon garners significant ebook sales, but major publishers only account for 23% of total Kindle sales.

Is Finland’s basic universal income a solution to automation, fewer jobs and lower wages? | Society | The Guardian

Both left and right are promoting the idea of a basic wage for everyone, currently on trial, as a solution to the new world of work. When he got the letter after Christmas saying he was entitled to an unconditional income of €560 (£478) a month, Mika Ruusunen couldn’t believe his luck. “At first I thought it was a joke. I had to read it many times. I looked for any evidence it might be false.”

Keyboard Warriors Are Silencing Voices That Need To Be Heard

Look at them: smart, engaged, thoughtful. Loads of life experience. A room full of students, motivated and ready to write. I love this class. But then I say we're going to work on writing compelling opinion pieces for publication and a sudden chill descends. A dozen sets of toes curl in discomfort.

12 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Posting Something Online

What might be some indicators to consider before you publish a blog, Facebook status, or tweet?
I want to offer 12 brief questions to ask. Think of them as indicator lights, the kind a pilot checks before take off.

Mars: Ripe for an Atmospheric Overhaul?

Transforming Mars to make it more livable for humankind could involve creating an artificial magnetosphere for the Red Planet. This idea has been suggested by a team of researchers, presenting the concept at the Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop 2017 being held this week in Washington, D.C.

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Mar 17, 2017

Weekend Reads - RAW 170317

The weekend is once again upon us. If you get some  time to relax this weekend, grab your favourite beverage and have a read of the following articles.

Don't forget to check out my latest article. A discussion of the classic Science Fiction novel  Downward to the Earth by Robert Silverberg  A Journey Towards Redemption or Damnation | Downward to the Earth

Now on to the rest of the articles...

Mar 12, 2017

Weekend Reads - RAW 170310

A few articles for your weekend reading.

Mar 5, 2017

A Journey Towards Redemption or Damnation | Downward to the Earth

In the late 1980’s I used to visit my favourite library almost daily, and there in the science fiction section, books by Robert Silverberg dominated. As far as I recall, I would have read most of the titles that library had collected but 30 years on, I have no recollection of any of these stories. I can remember loving the fantasy aspects of Lord Valentine's Castle and the archaeological detective work in Across a Billion Years but then the rest of the stories and titles seem to have been lost in a fog of memory. There are flashes of other stories, an alternate universe where the Black Death killed off 2/3rds of the European population which enabled the Aztecs to discover and colonise Europe as The New World. There was also one about a human slave, with three eagle tattoos who was travelling through an interstellar empire on some sort of task. Suffice to say Silverberg wasn’t a one story author, I could count on reading a fresh story, whenever I picked up one of his books.

Any theme or aspect of science fiction / fantasy that you could think of, Robert Silverberg wrote the book - a whole lot of books.
Pat Cadigan

Mar 3, 2017

Weekend Reads - RAW 170303

Welcome to the weekend. This week we look at Shakespeare and Universal Basic Income plus a few others topics. I hope you find something of interest. So sit back with your favourite beverage this weekend to read more and think more.

Feb 24, 2017

Weekend Reads - RAW 240217

The weekend is with
us, once again and here are some interesting articles you can peruse during your down time.  You may find your next scifi or business book in the first two articles or learn more about you 'better halfs' love language. Whichever it is enjoy reading this weekend with your favourite beverage.

Feb 22, 2017

Up and Coming Reads | The Hangman's Daughter by Gavin G. Smith

The publishers blurb says this book is a thrilling new down-and-dirty military science fiction series set in a world of mercenary actions and covert operations. Think Suicide Squad for lovers of Aliens. There are not many reviews out yet but one that did catch my attention said that it had really good world building, an inventive story line and well developed characters so this definitely looks like one to get a hold of.

It's only available in Audiobook and on the Kindle at the moment but the hardcopy should be availble in October 2017.

The Suicide Squad for lovers of Aliens
- Orion Books