The X-20: America’s Space Fighter

Everyone knows space fighters are an absurd idea, right? It's practically the first rule of hard science fiction: this isn't Star Wars you're writing, so no fighters, period. They make no economic or military sense, and they're exceedingly small and vulnerable, and they're not nearly as maneuverable as you'd think because space has no air... Continue Reading →

Icy Mysteries of Europa

I originally had another topic planned for today---it was written and scheduled, and of course I will still upload it at some point---but then my area had a rare winter storm, blanketing everything in ice and snow, and I thought to myself that it would be appropriate to do a blog post on Europa, one... Continue Reading →

The Cosmic Weirdness of Neutron Stars

Space is rather more prosaic than we usually see in fiction. Star Trek postulates a galaxy stuffed to the brim with exciting bumpy-forehead humanoids; we're much more likely to find pond scum. The more nightmarish sci-fi visions are probably off the table, too---a lifeform from a totally different planet would be unable to parasitize a... Continue Reading →

Polyus: The Soviet Battle Station

Hello, all! It's been longer than usual since I last posted, and I lay the blame for that squarely on my heavy courseload this term, plus my job, plus the insane, depressing, thoroughly toxic news cycle sapping my concentration. Nevertheless, I have some material for you! Should be a nice short vignette of space history... Continue Reading →

Book Review: At the Mountains of Madness

"Only the incredible, unhuman massiveness of these vast stone towers and ramparts had saved the frightful thing from utter annihilation in the hundreds of thousands—perhaps millions—of years it had brooded there amidst the blasts of a bleak upland. 'Corona Mundi . . . Roof of the World . . .'" Long ago, in a simpler, more wholesome era---fall 2011, to be... Continue Reading →

The Cosmic Dark Ages

Happy 2021! A new year dawns, as tends to occur every January. Opportunities beckon, fresh challenges present themselves, and, perhaps, hope dares to appear after the nightmare of 2020... it is certainly quite the time to be alive. Anyway, on to the post! One thing that you'll find to be conspicuously absent on this site... Continue Reading →

Sci-Fi Film Review: Equilibrium (2002)

George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four defined the dystopian genre1. It became one of the greatest fictional examples of a totalitarian government ruling through fear and force, permeating every last aspect of its citizens' lives, and it tackled complex themes about individuality, resistance, and even the nature of reality itself. Altogether, the book is a timeless classic,... Continue Reading →

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