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The SFF Chronicles Science Fiction & Fantasy Community

Space News: Black Holes, Sun's Twin, ISS 20!

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A few small pieces of science news this week that may be of particular interest to our science fiction writers - and anyone else with an interest in space. :)

1. Visualizing a Black Hole

What might a Black Hole look like? A recent computer model provides a suggestion - see above for the image.

More on that here: Researchers have created a virtual reality simulation...

History News: Sodom meteor, Viking Patara, and more!

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1. Air-burst meteor destroyed Sodom?

“Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah — from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus He overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities — and also the vegetation in the land.” - Genesis 19:24–25

An interesting theory put forward this week suggests that a powerful air-burst meteor destroyed settlements around the Dead Sea...

The Earthsea Series by Ursula K. Le Guin

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Book 1: A Wizard of Earthsea

When Karg raiders attack the island of Gont, the inhabitants of a small village are saved by a young boy who has discovered that he has magical powers. A sorcerer directs him to the island of Roke to there learn the ways of wizardry and controlling his abilities. Ged, as he becomes known, shows great promise but his pride...

Are you addicted to books and reading?

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I have more books than I think I can ever read. And yet - I must have more books.

I struggle to resist 99p ebook sales. I'm subscribed to Amazon's Kindle Daily Deals. I have long wishlists that I check more or less every day to see if any have come on offer.

I must have more books.

I have a lot of unread books on my shelves, all of which I want to read. I just need time to read them.

Yet there are also so many other books out there I really want to...

Space News: Meet the new neighbours, dwarfs, and ghosts

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1. Meet the new neighbour

The big news this week is that Barnard's Star has a planet: Planet found circling neighbouring star

Barnard's Star is the second closest star system to ours, the nearest - Centauri - being a three-star system that was also recently discovered to have at least one planet in it.

What's especially exciting is that Barnard's Star is a red dwarf, which is the most...

Massive archaeology work for HS2 begins

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The big new northern 150 mile rail extension from London to Birmingham has begun - with a mass exploration of archaeological sites along the route: HS2 begins archaeology work exploring over 10,000 years of British history

The government is keen to put a positive spin on this:

- 1,000 archaeologists
- 60+ sites
- 10,000 years of history...

Meat cultures gets US approval as food

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Authorities in the US have approved a system for regulating the sale of meat cultures - ie, meat grown from cells for consumption, instead of from slaughtered animals: US paves way to get 'lab meat' on plates

This has long been a staple of sci-fi, and in theory offers a lot of benefits - land currently turned over for the grazing and feeding of herds might be turned over to other...

Defects you've found in books you've read

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Well, there I was, on page 246 out of 404, in Poul Anderson's 1978 novel The Avatar. Suddenly, the next page seemed awfully familiar. I glanced at the page number.

Pages 247 through 278 are missing in my copy. Instead, pages 119 through 146 are repeated.

To assuage my frustration, I instead offer this topic.

Have you experienced other book defects that prevented reading?

The Influence of Viking Myth on A Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin

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WARNING: SPOILERS! This discussion presume you're up to date with the books AND the TV series:

I'm currently reading Viking Britain: A History by Thomas, and came across the following section: (p. 262-4)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
First the snows will come, driving hard from all points of the compass; biting winds, shrill and screeching, bringing the cold that cuts. Thrice the winter comes...

Space News: Asteroids revealed, NASA missions fail

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1. Asteroids - they all look the same to me...

NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission to the near-Earth asteroid Bennu is almost in position - and it's latest photo reveals that Bennu looks remarkably similar to the asteroid Ryugu, which the Japanese mission is currently in orbit around. Check the image above for a comparison to both.

According to Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy, basic physics has shaped both...

November 2018 -- 85 Word Story Challenge -- VICTORY TO TYWIN!

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Write a story inspired by the chosen theme and genre in no more than 85 words, not including the title

ONE entry per person

NO links, commentary or extraneous material in the posts, please -- the stories must stand on their own


November 2018 reading thread

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I'm currently reading Viking Britain: A History by Thomas Williams (only £1.99 on Kindle). I've reached the section covering Alfred the Great that overlaps with Bernard Cornwell's Last Kingdom series, which is pushing me to watch Season 2 of the TV series, so I can then go onto the 2 books I think this will be based on: The Lords of the North and Sword Song.

In the meantime, I have a ton of ebooks I bought on offer last month, but I'm...

POLL -- 300 Word Writing Challenge -- No 31 (October 2018) -- READ FIRST POST!

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It's time to vote for the best story in the thirty-first 300-Word Short Story Challenge!

The stories can be found [COLOR=rgb(102, 0...

Space News: Jupiter's waves, lord of the ring planets, and more!

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1. Jupiter's giant waves

Do you see those ripples above? Those are gigantic waves roaring across Jupiter's outer atmosphere, detected by NASA's Juno mission: NASA's Juno mission detects Jupiter wave trains

"JunoCam has counted more distinct wave trains than any other spacecraft mission since Voyager," said Glenn Orton, a Juno scientist from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory...

Outlaw King (2018) - trailer

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Netflix are about to release Outlaw King to cinemas this autumn - an epic film about the rise of Robert the Bruce, the first recorded king of a united Scotland.

Pitched as something of a sequel to Mel Gibson's Braveheart, Outlaw King stars Chris Pine as Robert the Bruce - and includes him doing a full-frontal nude scene, getting out from a bath.

Outlaw King debuted at the Toronto Film festival, to general critical acclaim...

Why is fantasy moving towards hereditary werewolves?

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I've noticed in most recent fantasy and romance novels involving werewolves, the condition is hereditary. (There are still lots of people turned by a bite in horror.) Why is this? People have no problem with characters being turned into zombies by a bite (even though that has no mythological basis.)

To me, hereditary werewolves lose lot of the bet narrative possibilities. I've always liked the idea about going about your life and then Blam! The supernatural...

The Fifth Season (Broken Earth Trilogy) by N.K. Jemisin

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The Fifth Season

In a remote future, the Earth's landmasses have been fused together into a supercontinent called the Stillness. The geological catastrophe which caused this event still haunts the planet, with frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions causing devastation across thousands of miles in titanic disasters known as Fifth Seasons. Many civilisations...

Uncompromising Honor: The Best Honor Harrington Book? (No Spoilers)

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david weber Uncompromising Honor.jpg

Uncompromising Honor: The Best Honor Harrington Book?

David Weber’s Uncompromising Honor is the best Honor Harrington book in twenty years. It is possibly the best Honor Harrington book of all. Personally, I would still favor the original four, Honor Harrington on Basilisk Station, For the Honor of the Queen, The Short Victorious War and Field of Dishonor (my personal favorite). But as I read all of those...

Is Science Fiction Too 'Adult' Now?

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After reading a post from @Al Jackson over in the Andre Norton thread about how he, as a child, was reading more 'adult' science fiction like Galaxy Magazine made me think, has science fiction gotten too adult for its own good? Has it become too serious to make young readers become fans? Fantasy doesn't seem to have this problem, just science fiction. Thoughts?

Real Places that Should be in Fantasy & Sci-Fi Films, TV & Games

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Belogradchik Fortress.jpg

I doubt this will be anywhere as popular as the thread that inspired it, currently at 131 replies. There's a reason I haven't posted in it (at least to my knowledge). I think the real world is amazing enough! I wonder why some real places haven't been used in mainstream fiction. One friend often asks if I've been to Skyrim for real (it's probably why I'm happy not to play Skyrim/Zelda-esque games these days - I used to a lot before I started travelling).