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AGE OF IRON by Angus Watson

AGE OF IRON Angus Watson

Bloodthirsty druids and battle-hardened Iron Age warriors collide in the first volume of this action-packed historical fantasy trilogy.
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THE BROKEN EYEBrent Weeks

The third explosive novel in the New York Times bestselling Lightbringer series!
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Posts Tagged ‘i09’

Talking whales? And David Brin on…MTV? Something’s up…

Is it just me, or is science fiction starting to get more of the attention it deserves? It’s great to see that even MTV are getting in on the action – by filming David Brin at WorldCon 2012.

The topic was: why haven’t more species on Earth naturally self-uplifted to full sentience? With dolphins and apes sharing a similar intelligence level, and with parrots, crows, sea lions . . . and even prairie dogs being not too far behind, is there some kind of sentience “glass ceiling” that prevents bright creatures breaking through? And, if so, how did humanity manage to break through it and progress so far?

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The questions David Brin is asking are timely. Because a recent discovery suggests that perhaps certain animals have the ability to push their limits further…

Research shows that a beluga whale called NOC made vocalisations that sounded extremely close to human speech. What’s more – this wasn’t exactly easy for the whale involved. As an io9.com article explains further, it had to adjust its own vocal mechanics and inflate part of its blowhole (through which it usually breathes) to make these sounds.

Is this an example of a whale trying to reach out to us and meet us halfway? Could this open up possibilities for communication between different species?

And then that raises an even bigger question. Should it now be our duty and obligation to offer other “pre-sapient” species a helping hand? We do, after all, now seem to have the tools of science to be able to do so – as shown by this article on making monkeys smarter using brain implants. Or would that just be the ultimate form of arrogance?

These are among the questions being raised not just in the interview above, but also in David Brin’s classic and award-winning Uplift books, which are soon to be re-released in the omnibus editions UPLIFT (UK | ANZ) and EXILES (UK | ANZ). And he also portrays the beginnings of the uplift process in his latest book: EXISTENCE (UK | ANZ), released as a paperback this November.

EXISTENCE by the award-winning author of the Uplift novels, David Brin, a science fiction book featuring the beginnings of genetic uplift of animals by human beingsUPLIFT: an omnibus edition of the three science fiction novels SUNDIVER, STARTIDE RISING and THE UPLIFT WAR, by the award-winning author David Brin, and featuring genetic uplift of animals by human beingsEXILES: an omnibus edition of the three science fiction novels BRIGHTNESS REFF, INFINITY'S SHORE and HEAVEN'S REACH, by the award-winning author David Brin, and featuring genetic uplift of animals by human beings

 

Top 5 most unusual alien conspiracy theories

On Tuesday, i09 posted an article called “10 Tips for Generating Killer Science Fiction Story Ideas”. The first tip, right bang at the top is “Look at the big unanswered questions – Like, why haven’t we heard from other intelligent civilizations yet?

The cover for the ground-breaking science fiction novel Existence, featuring first contact, from the award-winning author of the Uplift novels, David BrinIt seems to me they’re taking their cue from one of science fiction’s great masters there, as David Brin asks exactly that question his latest novel EXISTENCE (UK | ANZ).

Into his plot, David weaves a number of possible answers to the “Fermi Paradox” – the conundrum of why we haven’t we heard from any alien life forms yet when it’s scientifically probable that they do exist. And the story that results is certainly killer. In fact it’s pretty darn mind-blowing.

But importantly, behind David’s writing is an extremely rich, in-depth scientific understanding of the world and the patterns of our progress within it (he is, after all, a real-life astrophysicist and consultant to NASA).

However, out there on the interwebs, there are also a multitude of fun conspiracy theories about where the aliens are hiding. And some of these are, in my humble opinion, just a tad more unlikely. . . Not that we don’t love hearing about them!

I trawled the internet looking for these theories, and here’s a run-down of my personal top 5 for your reading pleasure . . .

<Digimax S600 / Kenox S600 / Digimax Cyber 630> A dalek from Doctor Who to illustrate the article "top 5 weirdest alien conspiracy theories"

1.       WORLD LEADERS = SHAPE-SHIFTING REPTOIDS. . .

There exists a rather widespread theory stating that thousands of years ago, extraterrestrials from the “Draco” constellation came to earth and mated with humans, forming reptilian-human crossbreeds.

These beings are hiding amongst us, and they only serve the agenda of the reptilian race. Famous such reptilian-human hybrids include: George W. Bush, Tony Blair, The Rothschilds, Vladimir Putin, The British Royal Family (I’m assuming including Kate Middleton?) etc.

Perhaps this could explain a lot? Read the rest of this entry »

Trailer for EXISTENCE by David Brin

Released today is EXISTENCE (UK | ANZ) – the phenomenal new science fiction novel from the multi-award winning David Brin. A book that io9 said will “make you think about the future in a whole new way.

Truly a tour-de-force of storytelling, it’s his first novel to be released in ten years, and in the words of the Guardian: ‘It’s been well worth the wait’.

To mark this fantastic event we have released a first edition of the book with a limited-edition 3D cover. Watch the trailer below to see what lies ahead . . .

 

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