M Thomas Apple Author Page

Science fiction, actual science, history, and personal ranting about life, the universe, and everything

Two of the greatest Science Fiction authors of all time, were both born on this day December 16 – Arthur C. Clarke in 1917 and Philip K. Dick in 1928.

Note that I always put “Sir” in quotes, because, basically, $%# that BS. Clarke may have conceived of (NOT invented) the satellite, but PDK (NOT a “Sir”) has had infinitely more influence on modern society.

So I’m calling PKD “Esq.” Also a Pope. Remember that “All statements are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense.” Hail Eris!

Anyway, thanks to blackwings666 for the reminder…

via SCIENCE FICTION LEGENDS: ARTHUR C. CLARKE & PHILIP K. DICK — blackwings666

I hazflare cheezeburger! I mean, Red Dwarf

December 14, 2018
MThomas

RedDwarf-hazflare

Another red dwarf has been caught firing off a super powerful flare, further bolstering the notion that life might have a hard time taking root around these small, dim stars.

Well, no wonder there are no aliens. Smegging hell.

https://www.space.com/42196-red-dwarf-star-hazflare-bad-news-life.html

Wandering Earth and the future of SciFi — the China syndrome?

December 8, 2018
MThomas

foldingbeijingChinese science fiction has been up and coming for a while now. The work of Liu Cixin, for example, earned the author (or translator, not sure which) a Hugo Award. (I reviewed and found the Three-Body Solution to be full of interesting ideas but bogged down with poorly written dialogue, unexpected shifts in voice and style, stereotypes, and two-dimensional characters.)

And, of course, China is about to (re)discover itself as a major player on the world stage. Complete with the “only our civilization can save humanity” trope, a.k.a., just like the US.

So it was just a matter before Chinese cinema followed suit. Continue Reading

Reality bites

November 25, 2018
MThomas

img_3460A literary agent just told me (via email) that I need to “ground each scene in reality.”

Of a science fiction slash fantasy novel. In outer space. With asteroid miners, space pirates, Martian settlers, astral walking, and elemental morphing powers.

Um. Okay.

 

The limits of genre

November 18, 2018
MThomas

IMG_1264

Hi, everyone. I know it’s been a while since I blogged here. But I have been writing.

And editing. And then writing again. And, yes, in multiple genres. That’s my philosophy. That’s what you get if you read my writing.

I think I’ve probably written about this before, but I find myself increasingly disliking current writing styles. Short paragraphs. Bad grammar. No internal monologue. Things blowing up. Continue Reading

Farewell, Harlan, y’old so and so

June 29, 2018
MThomas

ellison1-e1530245486699.jpg

I remember the only time I met Harlan Ellison.

Well, “met” is perhaps too strong a word. Talked with. Listened to. Got a signature and shook his hand. I was nervous as all hell. Continue Reading

The extrasolar immigrants are/have been/will be here

May 29, 2018
MThomas

Though discovered nearly four years ago, an asteroid in orbit near Jupiter ( BZ509, or just “bee-zee” for short) is now said to be originally from outside our solar system. The aliens are here (have been here…). Continue Reading

In his house at R’yleh…

May 20, 2018
MThomas

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!

In his house at R’yleh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming…

…because of course his ancestral DNA was brought to Earth aboard an asteroid, as part of an ancient bombardment that seeded life…

Well, maybe not. It’s a controversial idea only in the sense that octopi are not aliens and no DNA can possibly have survived an asteroid bombardment hundreds of millions (or even billions) of years ago.

Still, asteroids seeding the universe is a fun idea for fiction writers. Which is the germ of my novel in progress…

https://qz.com/1281064/a-controversial-study-has-a-new-spin-on-the-otherworldliness-of-the-octopus/

Technology and control: The Eye in the Sky/I

March 25, 2018
MThomas

It’s been a few days now since the “big reveal” that a social science researcher sold information from 50,000,000 Facebook users to a third party company (which used said info for various campaign purposes, but that’s another topic for another blog….).

Somehow, we all managed to be surprised by this. What about our right to privacy? How dare our personal information be used without our permission!

How did we all get so naïve about technology and its control over us?

Continue Reading

Starving the smartphone addiction

March 10, 2018
MThomas

It’s been six weeks since I decided to take a break from Facebook. Back in mid-January I took a screenshot to show students how to figure out which apps they used the most (Line, by far, in case you’re wondering, followed by YouTube… not surprisingly, since my students are all Japanese).

It was a little shocking to see that I was spending over 8 hours a week on FB on my iPhone. My train commute is about an hour and a half each way, and I go to campus four days a week. So basically I spent 2/3 of my train time looking at FB posts.

Yuck. What a waste of reading time. Continue Reading

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