“Proxima” by Stephen Baxter

Proxima is, ostensibly, about humanity's first attempts at colonizing a planet in a different solar system. I say "ostensibly" because, really, the story is also about tensions between the United Nations, which has control of Mercury and part of Mars, and China, which controls part of Mars and parts of the asteroid belt. Oh, it's … Continue reading “Proxima” by Stephen Baxter

“Uprooted” by Naomi Novik

Uprooted is a tale that, in many ways, is very familiar. Rooted (hee hee, I made a pun!) in Eastern European folk-lore, it has a fairy-tale quality that will feel almost natural to many readers. The story also deals with common themes: an apprentice chafing under a close-minded master, good country peasants ignored by decadent … Continue reading “Uprooted” by Naomi Novik

“A is for Aurochs”. And “Absurd”. An AI-Generated Primer about Cows.

Paintings of Aurochs on a cave wall near Lascaux, France. Photo courtesy of Prof saxx If you are worried about AI taking over the world, you can relax. If the most recent piece of work from GEBen is a reliable indicator of how AI is developing, it will be a long time before we live … Continue reading “A is for Aurochs”. And “Absurd”. An AI-Generated Primer about Cows.

A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

A Grain of Wheat is set in Kenya during the Mau Mau rebellion, with the drama culminating just as Kenya gains independence from Britain in 1963. The story is centred around Mugo, a man consumed by secrets and who desires only to be left alone. Orbiting around Mugo is a cast of characters, each of … Continue reading A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

The Love Poetry of Trees

Photo: Jonny Hughes/Flickr Creative Commons As some of you may recall, I've been working my way through the research diaries of Grad Bernart. Bernart is, of course, most famous for his breakthroughs in communicating with trees. While his early discoveries about tree behaviour were quite shocking, it seems the grad eventually reconciled both his conscience … Continue reading The Love Poetry of Trees

Scientists Discover the Aesthetic Laws of the Universe

In a stunning victory for the new field of aesthetonomics, scientists have found evidence that fundamental aspects of physics are affected by human notions of beauty. Researchers at the County Durham College of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fine Arts used quantum entanglement to link radiocative isotopes to people who like wildflowers. Scientists kept a close … Continue reading Scientists Discover the Aesthetic Laws of the Universe