Friday, February 29, 2008

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

"The imbalance between the grand mysteries of the Universe as opposed to our own feeble faculties, leads us to set very modest expectations as to what we shall and shan't be able to understand--and makes us passing suspicious of anyone who propounds dogma or seems to phant'sy he has got it all figured out."

Neal Stephenson, The System of the World

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.

Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.

Michael Crichton

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

Hoyle: A star is basically a pretty simple object.
Voice from Audience: You'd look pretty simple too, Fred, from a distance of ten parsecs.

This exchange occurred at a seminar in Cambridge

Sir Fred Hoyle

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.

Neil Gaiman, The Sandman

Monday, February 25, 2008

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting.

Alan Dean Foster

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

Nothing I have ever written was given the slightest deliberation. It was there in the typewriter and it came out, a total bypassing of the brain.

C.L. Moore

Friday, February 22, 2008

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

There was so much knowledge in the galaxy and he knew so little of it, understood so little of the little that he knew.

Clifford D. Simak, Way Station

Thursday, February 21, 2008

General Update

I came down with the flu this week; today is the first day I've felt normal in awhile. Not normal enough to clean my garage, which I must do soon, since I'm getting a new hot water heater on Friday (the old one died about the same time I got the flu). At the very least, I need to create a path through the junk in the garage so that the hot water heater installer can get in and out safely.

Items not commented on earlier: the space shuttle landed safely on Wednesday. The next shuttle is scheduled for launch in only three weeks. The lunar eclipse on Wednesday night was worth seeing. Despite the flu, I went out in the cold to look. It was lovely. And the U.S. Navy successfully shot down a dead spy satellite, also on Wednesday night.

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

Most science fiction is about madness, or what is currently ruled to be madness; this is part of its attraction — it's always playing with how much the human mind can encompass.

Brian W. Aldiss

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety.

Isaac Asimov

Monday, February 18, 2008

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

I know you've heard it a thousand times before. But it's true — hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don't love something, then don't do it.

Ray Bradbury

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

Science fiction encourages us to explore... all the futures, good and bad, that the human mind can envision.

Marion Zimmer Bradley

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

The void in his mind athrob for the soothing pressure of knowledge.

Jack Vance, The Dying Earth

Friday, February 15, 2008

Teaser Trailer for New Indiana Jones Movie

The new movie comes to theaters May 22:

Science Fiction Quote of the Day

The world is always ending, for someone.

Neil Gaiman, Signal to Noise

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Star Trek Movie Release Rescheduled

The next Star Trek movie, originally scheduled for a Christmas day release this year, has been delayed until May 8, 2009. Sigh. I hate waiting.

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

He does not get lost all the time, he investigates alternative destinations. He is not balding, he merely has follicle regression. Reminds me of a reader suggestion I used in Xanth: he's not a zombie, but living impaired.

Piers Anthony

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

A large fraction of the most interesting scientists, the ones on the cutting edge, have read a lot of science fiction at one time or another, either early enough that it may have played a part in their becoming scientists or at some later date just because they liked the ideas.

Frederik Pohl

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

[Regarding politicians] . . . like any group of people selected for ambition and nothing else, they turn out to be a pretty bad lot. Like mandarins in China, colonial administrators in the British Empire, lawyers in old North America, or the reconstruction agencies after the Slaughter -- individually there are decent people who do some good, but as a class they’re amoral, vicious leeches with a good cover story.

John Barnes, A Million Open Doors

Monday, February 11, 2008

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

Atoms are like people. Get lots of them together, never know what they’ll do.

Neal Stephenson

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Quote for the Day

Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Friday, February 08, 2008

Appearing in Libraries

My book, The Bible's Most Fascinating People, is showing up in public libraries now. Occasionally I do a search on Google to see if anything interesting is happening with my book and I discovered that the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County has my book listed among its "new arrivals," as does the Louisville Free Public Library. I suppose other libraries will be acquiring it as well.

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

"This generation is crucial; we have the resources to get mankind off this planet. If we don't do it, we may soon be facing a world of 15 billion people and more, a world in which it's all we can do to stay alive; a world without the resources to go into space and get rich... I don't think it will come to that because the vision of the future is so clear to me. We need realize only one thing: we do not inhabit 'Only One Earth.' Mankind doesn't live on Earth. Man lives in a solar system... Given [a] basic space civilization ... we'll have accomplished one goal: no single accident, no war, no one insane action will finish us off."

Jerry Pournelle, A Step Farther Out

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Shuttle in Orbit

Despite threatening weather, the Space Shuttle Atlantis successfully took off today. It is delivering the new European Columbus module to the International Space Station. It is expected to dock with the space station on Saturday.

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

Like the wind crying endlessly through the universe, Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we are, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment.

Harlan Ellison

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Video About Anti-Semitism

I ran across this video about Anti-Semitism recently. It only gives a very quick overview without detailed documentation:

To get more detailed information on the problem, check out:

Palestinian Media Watch
Simon Wiesenthal Center

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

The intelligence of the planet is constant, and the population is growing.

Arthur C. Clarke

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

My stories run up and bite me in the leg—I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off.

Ray Bradbury

Monday, February 04, 2008

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.

epigraph, Ray Bradbury translation of Juan Ramón Jiménez

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

Call it… joy. The thing like pleasure that you feel when you've done a good thing or passed up a real tempting chance to do a bad thing. Or when the unfolding of the universe just seems especially apt. It's nowhere near as flashy and intense as pleasure can be. Believe me! But it's got something going for it. Something that can make you do without pleasure, or even accept a lot of pain, to get it.

Spider Robinson, God is an Iron

Friday, February 01, 2008

My Copy of My Book

I finally received a copy of my book, The Bible's Most Fascinating People, today. I took it to my wife's school so she could see it and then wound up answering questions from a roomful of third graders for about twenty minutes. She kept it so she could show it off to all her coworkers and she is doubtless encouraging them to all buy copies with promises that I'll sign them.

Science Fiction Author Quote of the Day

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Douglas Adams