5 years ago, Boing Boing described James Gleick’s The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood as "a jaw-dropping tour de force history of information theory... The Information isn't just a natural history of a powerful idea; it embodies and transmits that idea, it is a vector for its memes (as Dawkins has it), and it is a toolkit for disassembling the world. It is a book that vibrates with excitement, and it transmits that excited vibration with very little signal loss. It is a wonder." Read the rest
Are we alone in the universe? Is time travel possible? If you have sex with a robot, does it count as cheating?
Essex, England police ticketed Nigel Mills, 55, for speeding in his DeLorean. He was apparently going 88mph (although his top speed was 89mph). Mills insists that he "wasn't trying to time travel."
"Me and the rest of my family enjoyed the Back to the Future films," he said about his purchase of the DeLorean. "When I’m out in it a few people recognise it, they slow down and take pictures – drivers take pictures out of their windows or try to film you and I get approached at petrol stations.”
Mills's ticket was tossed out of court when the two officers who cited him didn't show up. Probably because Mills erased them from existence.
Joe just wanted to go to the national chemistry convention, but somehow his flight never gets him there. Waking up on a distant planet, where humanity isn't quite as developed, Joe realizes he has been Cast Under an Alien Sun.
Olan Thorensen has written a fun, and fast moving, take on two of my Sci-Fi favorites: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen. Joe is an unwilling, and unknowing time traveller. His knowledge of science and technology can save his new society, if he just doesn't scare with his sorcerous ways.
I've already picked up the next in this series, The Pen and the Sword.
Archangel is a five-part science fiction comic written by William Gibson and Michael St. John Smith and illustrated by Butch Guice; Issue #1 came out last month and sold out immediately, and IDW has only just got its second printing into stores this week, just ahead of the ship-date for #2, which is due next Wednesday. Read the rest
Jason Ayres' My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday is a unique time travel novel that spun my head! Ayres' lead, Thomas Scott, lives his life backwards and experiences no consequences for his actions.
Waking up on his death bed with no memories, Thomas Scott expects to be ending his life. The next day, however, he wakes again! Only to find out that he's now living the day previous to his last, things start to get interesting. Scott discovers he is living life backwards, and hopes the actions he is taking lead to a better future for his friends and family, but he'll never find out. Scott never experiences the consequences for his actions, which leads him down paths one might not anticipate.
My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday is certainly a unique and fun approach to time. This is a fresh take on the genre.
Edward Aubry's Unhappenings is a smart and satisfying time travel novel. I love stories about paradox created by folks moving around in time, and this novel has it in spades.
At age 14 Nigel Walden starts to experience the titular Unhappenings, mundane things in his life seem to random change. The color of his bicycle changes, and conversations he thought he had never occurred, but then his first girlfriend disappears as if she never existed. Every time Nigel gets close to someone, he seemingly causes a catastrophe that leaves the relationship never having happened. As he reaches college, Nigel realizes he must be involved in some sort of time travel. Things only get more complicated.
Aubry's writing is clear, simple and telling. I felt Nigel's emotional traumas and the difficulty of growing up so different, the slower pace of this novel is well employed.
In prior installments, Kate learned the secrets of her familial skill with time travel, uncovered her father's dark plot to control the future, and befriended a small cadre of allies in her quest to save humanity! While her adventures have been hair raising, it is time for her battle to really begin. Her father Saul is moving to cull the human race, leaving only his adherents. Alliances are tenuous, trust is impossible, and that dude from an alternate timeline is still pining away for a woman who doesn't exist!
If you enjoyed the earlier stories, Time's Divide is a must.
Once upon a time, clock towers were a sort of public utility, a shared temporal reference point that synchronized communities where personal timepieces were often a rarity. Although we hardly need the reminder in the modern age of smartphones, there's something about these buildings still capture the imagination, not just as striking aesthetic objects, but as physical metaphors for either moving through time, or running out it.
In the game Tick Tock Isle, you play as a "confident young horologist" (read: clock man) who has been summoned to a mysterious island to fix a broken clock tower, which should be your first clue that things are about to get weird. Naturally, you end up traveling back in time to the days when the now empty island was a bustling community, and have to figure out how and why it got abandoned by talking to townspeople and solving puzzles.
If you're a fan of adventure games, it's definitely worth the hour or so it takes to play what developer Squiddershins calls "a very short, very silly adventure."
Tick Tock Isle is also described as a "spiritual successor" to Cat Poke, the developer's earlier puzzle game about a little girl annoying her pets on a rainy day. Although it doesn't have nearly as many cats, Tick Tock Isle manages to pack a lot more story (and mystery and humor) into a game that is just as short, sweet, and charming.
I fell in love with Rysa Walker's time travel stories, the CHRONOS Files. Time's Mirror is a new novella exposing one of her most controversial characters!
Laura sez, "For fans of investigative gaming, there's a new time-travel RPG burning up the Kickstarter charts. TimeWatch by Kevin Kulp adapts the GUMSHOE System for a fast-paced romp through alternate timelines. Someone is rewriting history, and it's your mission to get things back on track and bring the culprits to justice. You may even get a helping hand from your future self, Bill-and-Ted-style. The TimeWatch Kickstarter campaign is less than a week old, and has already brought in more than seven times its goal - two campaign extensions and three mission hooks have been unlocked so far. If you've ever wanted to match wits with a psychic time-traveling velociraptor, this is your dream come true."
$10 gets you a PDF, $40 gets you the printed edition.
Michigan Tech physics professor Robert Nemiroff and grad student Teresa Wilson scoured the Interent for evidence of time travelers. They found none. From their scientific paper on the study: Read the rest
The majority of physicists say time travel probably won't work (at least in the Hollywood-go-anytime-you-wanna sense). Several time traveler parties have gone famously unattended by time travelers (at least, any willing to fess up about it). In general, science is kind of a buzz-kill on this one.
But if you want some justification for your daydreams, the person to talk to is Ronald Mallett, a theoretical physicists at the University of Connecticut who is most well-known for being the guy who thinks time travel is totally possible. (Mark wrote about him here back in 2007.) In fact, in 2006, Mallett predicted that time travel would be figured out within a decade.
I honestly have not researched this enough to give you my opinion on Mallett's ideas. His fellow physicists have addressed it, though. You can read one response to Mallett at arXiv. All of that is a long, context-relevant introduction to the video above, where Mallett explains his theories. I wanted to post the video because it's interesting and I thought you all would dig it. I'm also interested in the new video series this comes from—EPIPHANY, a daily video about big ideas taken from interviews with journalists, tech thinkers, scientists, and more. Mallett makes an interesting kick off for a series like this.
My hope, though, is that EPIPHANY doesn't only focus on scientific ideas that are kind of on the fringe. There's so many amazing discoveries that have the bulk of evidence behind them, it seems like a waste of a good platform to not cover the stuff that's more likely to be true. Read the rest