Archive for December 28, 2012

We’re Alive: The Zombie Podcast

December 28, 2012

We’re Alive is a weekly serial drama podcast that tells the story of a group of survivors of a zombie apocalypse in Los Angeles. It’s done in the style of the old radio serial dramas with character performances and sound effects. Having just finished it’s 3rd season, it has been named an iTunes “Best of 2012.” Though a number of story elements will sound a little familiar to zombie fans, the performances and production are good enough that I’ll give them a pass. It’s well worth a listen. Highly recommended!

Musings on Generational Sci Fi and the Need for FTL

December 28, 2012

On the recommendation of my cousin I recently read (well, listened to, actually) several books by Alastair Reynolds. A former astronomer with the ESA, Reynolds writes space science fiction. Many of his novels take place within the same “universe,” and all take place in similar universes, one feature of which is that faster-than-light (FTL) travel is, essentially, impossible. This of course is in complete compliance with the laws of physics, and Reynolds primary mode of interstellar travel is via “Lighthugger,” a class of spacecraft that is able to come close to, but not exceed the speed of light. So travel between stars still takes years or decades. I refer to this type of story as “generational science fiction,” as in a story typically takes a twenty years or more to play out.

Reynolds is a competent writer and the reader quickly becomes accustomed to the casual use of “decade,” and “century.” In a few of his books, at least some of the humans have developed hyper-longevity or immortality treatments in order to navigate the stretching of time that comes from societies and economies spread over such vast distances; and the ┬ásci-fi fallback of cryogenic hibernation is invoked for many humans on long space flights.