Saturday, June 15, 2019

It's always a pleasure ...


... to introduce myself to a new group of readers.

Hence: I'm delighted to announce my debut appearance in Future Science Fiction Digest. "The Satellites of Damocles" -- a brand-new AI PI  novelette -- is hot out of the electron mines in newly released Issue 3.

The cover is quite snappy, too  :-)

Explore the issue online for free (wherein stories come available in stages -- my story, alas, not till July 24) or buy the entire issue now as an ebook.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Potpourri (an astronomy edition)

Because -- as if you hadn't noticed -- I'm into astronomy. And so, herewith:

The birth of radio astronomy: "Project Diana Honored With an IEEE Milestone."

The football-field-sized radio telescope so central to my Energized

"Signs of a ‘super Earth’ discovered around a nearby star." How near? Barnard's Star -- after the Alpha Centauri triple system, our closest neighbor. (Not to mention, home to the perfidious Snakes of my InterstellarNet series.)

Also, "A star is born: Astronomers witness rare birth of a baby binary."

And a new place to look for company. "Searching for ET? Look to binary stars, researchers say."

Closer to home, we have: "Asteroid Bennu is flinging rocks into space: OSIRIS-Rex’s target turns out to be very rare, and very active, posing problems for the mission."

Theia bites the big one
Closer still: "Earth magma ocean ended up on the moon: New modelling resolves contradictions in Earth-moon hypothesis."

And that, surely, is enough to amuse my fellow astronomy fans for the day ....

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Trope-ing redux *redux* (aka, Huzzah!)

More trope-ing-ly good news ...

" … Worth your time, your money, and your consideration, whether you’re interested in accessible science, looking to understand trends in science fiction, or -- optimally -- both."
-- Trevor Quachri, editor of Analog Science Fiction
and Fact (excerpted from his guest foreword)

Trevor refers there, of course, to Trope-ing the Light Fantastic: The Science Behind the Fiction. And as for his suggestion re how you might prudently invest your reading dollars 😉

In conjunction with last week's release of Trope-ing in a new/trade-paperback print edition (as announced last week in Trope-ing redux), the publisher has now also reduced the price of the several ebook formats.

As I've previously summarized the book:

Not familiar with Trope-ing the Light Fantastic? It's my 2018 nonfiction book exploring the scientific underpinnings of the many tropes of our favorite genre. Faster-than-light travel (from which, of course, the book takes its title). Time travel. Interstellar warfare. True (human-equivalent or higher) artificial intelligence. Telepathy. And so much more ....

And (this being a strictly commercial post), herewith three convenient Amazonian links:

(Nor do I mean to imply that your savvy-shopping options are limited to Amazon! The same new-and-reduced ebook price has gone into effect for Nook, Kobo, and iTunes editions. As for print editions, pretty much every etailer offers them, while your favorite brick-and-mortar bookstore -- if you don't find this title on their physical shelves -- will always happily order a copy for you.)

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Trope-ing redux

News of the day 😊 

Updated June 17, 2019 -- after being out of stock almost instantly, Amazon has the TPB edition back in its inventory 😄

Trope-ing the Light Fantastic: The Science Behind the Fiction is newly re-released in trade paperback. The initial -- and until now, only -- print edition was in hardback format.

Edward M. Lerner has produced the best-ever guide to putting the science in science fiction, and he’s done it with clarity, wit, and panache.”
Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Quantum Night

Not familiar with Trope-ing the Light Fantastic? It's my 2018 nonfiction book exploring the scientific underpinnings of the many tropes of our favorite genre. Faster-than-light travel (from which, of course, the book takes its title). Time travel. Interstellar warfare. True (human-equivalent or higher) artificial intelligence. Telepathy. And so much more ....

Curious? Here's what I posted for the book's initial release. And (this being a strictly commercial announcement), here are Amazon links for the:

(And if you're not an Amazonian? No problemo. Your favorite other etailer will also be carrying the book in its various editions, and your favorite brick-and-mortar bookstore -- if you don't find this title on their physical shelves -- will always happily order a copy for you.)

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Yikes!

From this morning's Washington Post:

"It’s the middle of the night. Do you know who your iPhone is talking to? Apple says, 'What happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone.' Our privacy experiment showed 5,400 hidden app trackers guzzled our data — in a single week."

(And before Android users breathe a sigh of relief and move on ... the article eventually makes clear that Android is no different.)

In a word ... scary.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Antisocial networking

NOT (you may be shocked to read) a tirade about Facebook or Twitter ....

I'm being sucked down a different rabbit hole. In this era, an authorial website is -- beyond de rigeur -- essential. And so, for a bit, in lieu of blogging, I'm diverting myself onto some (long) overdue maintenance of my authorial website.

https://edwardmlerner.com
My intergalactic portal ....
If you're after a peek at my view of things, your best bet for now might be to take a gander at that website: edwardmlerner.com.

And if you encounter that website being unavailable or contrary? Then you'll know I'm still doing battle with Wordpress ....

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Ugh.

From the WaPo ...

"The Census is vulnerable to digital attack. But Congress may be dropping the ball."

A key, horrifying snippet:

If vulnerabilities in census systems aren’t dealt with, there’s a risk that hackers could compromise Americans’ data — such as birth dates, marital status and telephone numbers — on a mass scale. And that data could be used to help file phony tax returns, apply for credit cards or for other nefarious purposes.

More troubling, if hackers manipulated information collected by the bureau, that could compromise all manner of government tasks, including drawing congressional districts and allocating federal grants.

As though the hack a few years back of the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM), compromising many years of security-clearance applications, shouldn't have been an object lesson.

And later in the same WaPo article:

Members of the House Appropriations panel, however, didn’t ask a single question about the cybersecurity weaknesses during the two-hour hearing ... 

That "didn't ask a single question" tell us that neither party's committee members inquired. This is bipartisan blindness/negligence.

O. M. G.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Really dark

Black holes, that is. It's long been inferred that a monster black hole lurked at the center of our galaxy. The evidence is now better than ever. See "Confirmed: a monster black hole at the heart of the Milky Way." A key quote:

New observations by the European Space Observatory (ESO) show clumps of gas swirling around at about 30% of the speed of light on a circular orbit just outside what astronomers conclude is the black hole’s event horizon. 

It’s the first time material has been seen orbiting close to the point of no return – and “a resounding confirmation of the massive black hole paradigm", according to study leader Reinhard Genzel, of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Germany.

And then there's this: "Has LIGO Seen Galaxy-Warped Gravitational Waves? Nobel laureate George Smoot claims LIGO has observed amplified signals of black hole mergers from the very distant universe, but LIGO scientists disagree."

(And just as an aside, LIGO has gotten really good. As in, "LIGO upgrade to allow ‘almost daily’ detection of gravitational waves." And that's germane to this post because short of black-hole and/or neutron-star-into-a-black-hole mergers, there aren't a lot of gravitational waves.)

Literally awesome
Of course the coolest black-hole-in-the-news story relates to imaging the super-massive black hole at the heart of the (relatively) nearby Messier 87 galaxy. Doubtless by now you've seen the nearby image many times. But have you read about the young computer scientist who (among many, of course) is chiefly responsible for this feat? See "Katie Bouman: The woman behind the first black hole image."

And now I must disappear into the metaphorical black hole of proofreading ...