Author Archive: Eugene R.

Pass the dice and the channel changer!

Ty Franck and Dan Abraham’s popular space opera series, The Expanse, is about to come full circle, from game to book to TV show, and now back to game.  In a well-detailed interview with the authors, Andrew Liptak, writing on the Barnes & Noble blog site, tells of how Ty Franck, a successful entrepreneur, was …

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An elephant or a Beamer never forgets

Coming off a week of 60-degree days mingled with 8-10″ of snow, the Beamers traversed a strange and sometimes dangerous terrain to reach their Safe Place (Panera’s), where they would sing 175 verses of praise or criticism (OK, more of the latter than the former) to Barbara Gowdy’s character study of elephants in Central Africa, …

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To see the worlds in a pane of glass

Chinese artist/designer/architect Jian Guo, who works primarily with sf/fantasy subjects, has been working on a series of prints of the not-too-mundane bodies of the Solar System.  Using a flat, tessellated style that resembles the pieces of stained glass used in decorative and sacred architecture, the portraits of Sun, planets, and associated friends (the Moon, the …

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Hail to the Chief (reader?)

In an interview with NY Times lead book critic Michiko Kakutani, President Obama discusses the books that he read while serving as Leader of the Free World.  One series that helped him gain perspective on his political troubles was Liu Cixin’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past (known best by its first novel, The Three-Body Problem): It …

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Nor any drop to drink 

At the start of a new year, the Beamers turned resolutely toward the Future.  Not a cheery Future, alas, but a realistic one of wars over water rights, right here in the US.  Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Water Knife depicts the struggles to survive in a drying Southwest, where states launch military raids to prevent other …

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A clash of “Ego”

In the New Statesman, speculative fiction grandmaster Michael Moorcock reminisces on his friendship with grandmaster Arthur C. Clarke, and in particular about the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which film did not turn out to be the quasi-documentary on space travel that Sir Arthur was hoping it would be.  Unfortunately for the British author, …

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Paging Dr. Obama

Maddie Stone on io9/Gizmodo reports on the annual “top 100” most popular scientific articles (by volume of discussion in the news and on social media) as listed by the scholarly analytics tracker Altimetric, where the #1 entry is United States and Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps, written by President Barack Obama.  …

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A not-too-perfect Stranger

On a brisk December evening, a hardy band of Beamers gathered for a brisk discussion of A Stranger in Olondria, the debut novel by Sofia Samatar.  A coming-of-age story and a ghost story and a love letter to the printed word all in one, the various flavors intrigued but somehow did not move the Beamers …

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Nine T. Rex’s in amber, with plumage

National Geographic is reporting on a recent discovery in China of a piece of amber from Myanmar (Burma) in which, along with Cretaceous plants and an ant, is a piece of dinosaur tail, with feathers clearly displayed: The amber specimen had already been worked by jewelers shaping it into an oval form, which is bit …

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The revolution will be televised, but on “mute”

Award-winning sf author Cixin Liu (The Three-Body Problem) has published a think piece in the NY Times Turning Points magazine on the rise of robotic systems and artificial intelligence.  His forecast is not a pretty one: “As A.I. whisks us from place to place … we will look out the windows, as unaware of its …

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