2nd in a series of posts inspired by Elite Dangerous, a space video-game that I’ve been playing; full of images, cool astronomy & science facts, and associated sci-fi & pop culture trivia.
Sol Region Sight-Seeing Tour – Stop #2:
Pollux / β Geminorum
Pollux is 34 lightyears from Sol, and the closest giant star to our sun. Pollux is 18 ly from Stop 1 on our tour, it’s “twin” Castor. Pollux is the 18th brightest star as seen from Earth (including the Sun) and the brightest star in constellation Gemini. Pollux is an orange-hued “evolved giant” star in a special spectral class, called Class KO-III. Earlier in its life it would have been a Class A (hot white or blue/white dwarf star), but Pollux has exhausted the hydrogen in its core, and expanded and cooled as a result. As such the star has moved off the line of main sequence or “adult” stars and entered it’s old age “giant” phase, and is estimated to be about 724 million years old. It is about two times the mass, and almost NINE times the radius of our Sun. Continue reading Sol Region Sight-Seeing Tour #2 – Pollux
The Tour? Why that’s a geeky idea I had to dig up all the fact and fiction about the stars around and including our Sun, known as Sol in science and science fiction. Ostensibly, as a bit of a learning experience while I go about the playing a video-game.
You see, I’ve been playing a “space flight simulator” video game I really love called Elite Dangerous that has excited my long interest in Astronomy. The game is set in the future where humanity has moved out to begin to settle and explore our galaxy. As such the game includes a 1 to 1 online mock-up of our Milky Way Galaxy with as much as we know to be true added to it, and fairly realistic algorithms for what we don’t know, and a lot of fictional future-history and lore added to give it all some drama, and all kinds of different ways to “play” depending on your interests. From exploration, pvp & pve combat, mining, commodity trading, power play politics, passenger liner business, bounty hunting, and much more.
I wanted to explore some of the famous stars we know in our real night skies.
Another short bit of fiction that sprung from a writing workshop’s prompt. This writing prompt was simply to write a 500-word story that begins: “And then the wolves came.”
For whatever reason I immediately wanted the word “wolves” to become an acronym. I’ve been trying to vent a lot of frustration and downright ill feeling towards radical extremism, and the incredibly polarized world in which we have come to live when it comes to politics, opinion, and every extreme cause you can imagine; all refusing to let go of history, to live and let live, and instead turning everything into a witch hunt, public shaming campaign intent on destroying the “other” guy (whoever that may be) for simply having different opinions, political leanings, sex, gender, race, whatever. Lot of it recently has been a lot of back spin. Hey, you’re older than 40, male and white? Clearly you’re the devil. 🙄
I managed to keep much of what I had envisioned out of the story, (easy to do when they are this short). So a lot of the current-event specifics I intended to poke some jabs at never made it in. Which I guess keeps this from becoming out-dated. Only the core feelings remain. Maybe that’s better. Regardless, I REALLY like the result.
The Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction is pretty great. It provides lists of newly created words and ideas that appeared in science fiction with examples of when asked by whom they were first used, and others who used and helped popularize the words.
This dictionary and its creation and some of the many interesting things it has helped reveal about the history of the genre and our language’s evolution are discussed in detail in this great Wired Magazine post too!
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars First Published: May 14th, 2004 Read from: Mar 28 – Aug 20, 2020
Waiting, and waiting, and waiting… for the Hammer to Fall.
I love most of Cherryh’s work, but not this one which took me forever to read, likely due in large part because the book was such a drag. The writing style and prose is often quite good as typical with Cherryh, but in the context of what occurs it is all so drawn out, repetitive, and monotonous that it was hard to enjoy and make it to the few interesting or truly emotional bits. Read the Full Review