The Guardian has an interesting article on a project, Sun Cable, to export Australian solar power to Singapore. Currently Australia is one of the largest exporters of coal, also exports a great deal of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and is a major supplier of uranium – though the country itself has no nuclear power plants. Continue reading →
The age of (cheap) oil is doomed in the long run, even if we do not care about climate change, as petroleum is a finite resource which would eventually be depleted. However, our modern industrialized society requires a lot of energy and without it our planet cannot sustain a ten billion population. Continue reading →
I have not talked about my Urando Trilogy for quite some time. However, that does not mean that I have not worked on it. Mostly I am working on the background of the series. Continue reading →
Robots resembling humans are no longer purely science fiction, though we are far away from true stand in replacements of ourselves. Nevertheless, it reasonable to assume that over the course of this century they become a greater part of daily life. One important point we need to address is the energy supply for our lookalikes. Continue reading →
In Japan, where space is scarce, one need to be very efficient with the little space you can afford. So we should not be really surprised that the Japanese came up with a capsule hotels. Instead of sleeping in a room, guest will have to spend the night in a small pod.
I have added a new chapter to my story The Governess. Click on the link to read it!
Credit: photo by Vincent Anderson on Unsplash, edited with GIMP
The good news: science shows that wormholes can exist; the bad news, however, they are unusable to travel through interstellar space. Apparently travel through a wormhole would be much slower, then travel outside it.
This is a real dumper on those who hoped to cross the galaxy in relatively short time – as wormholes used to be the most promising method of effective “faster-than-light” travel… But perhaps we should not give up as science might still find another way to use wormholes as a potential interstellar road network.
Animal uplifting, the use of scientific methods and genetic engineering in particular to increase to (cognitive) abilities of non-human animals, is coming a step closer to reality. Chinese scientists have added human genes associated with intelligence in monkeys.
Though the effectiveness of this method has yet to be established, it raises the question on whether animal uplifting is something we should want. Save from the obvious question if we have the right to do so, we need to answer a series of questions:
- should we uplift all animals?
- If not, which animals should we uplift and which not?
- How can we make such a distinction?
- What role should uplifted animals play in society? Should they be partners or slaves?
I could easily increase this list with many more questions. I won’t answer this question right now, but these might be a serious plot element of some of my mundane science fiction stories, which feature animal uplifting.
More generally, I believe that authors of (mundane) SF should use fiction as a tool to explore the ethical and social consequences of the trends in scientific and technological progress. Reflection is, as far as I am concerned, one of the primary functions of literature. Writers should stimulate discussion on important issues.
In a future where jobs on Earth are increasingly scarce, a young woman is excited when she is offered a job as a governess in a space settlement. After accepting the job, however, she suddenly find herself in a strange web of government secrets – with her mysterious pupil at the very center of it.
Read this story here.
Cover credits: photo by Vincent Anderson on Unsplash, edited with GIMP
The Elynesian Android and Robotic Corporation or EARC is one of the largest enterprises within the Republic of Elynesia. This multi-trillion business has naturally its own interests, which it seeks to protect and hence it should not surprise anyone that EARC maintains an active lobby machinery.
Around the Solar System its lobbyists have been involved in the following:
- campaigns to reduce working hours
- campaigns to raise minimum wages across the Solar System
- campaigns to improve work safety standards
- funding of trade unions
- funding legal assistance for various people to sue their employers
- to increase penalties for using child labor
- sponsoring anti-slavery groups
- campaigns to restrict immigration
- promotion of legislation to abolish indentured servitude
The effectiveness of its lobby campaigns vary from country to country – though it is most effective in Elynesia – and from issue to issue. However, since EARC has substantial cash reserves the corporation can easily persists its lobbying for decades.
Though Elynesia has very strict rules regarding lobbying, EARC has found many workarounds and the company hardly conceals its stances from the public. In fact it places ads in several major media outlets to promote its causes – virtually always accompanied with its logo.