Pyramid Power is based on the theory that pyramid shapes, built to the proportions of the Great Cheops Pyramid in Egypt, can generate energy that produces startling effects. A growing number of scientists, parapsychologists, and kitchen sink experimenters are discovering that a pyramid can alter whatever falls within its energized walls. The special shape of the pyramid is like the special shape of a violin: A violin resonates sound; a pyramid resonates energy.
If 2016 can teach us anything, it is that fiction can become reality. As a common rule, humanity strives for constant progress; movement towards a superior standard of living. But what happens when everything goes wrong instead? As humans we constantly question the 'what if' scenario. The dystopia genre is the anthesis of utopia and is a mainstay of science fiction writing over the years. The genre has taken the 'what if' to speculate about a future where every aspect of life has taken a distinct and frightening turn for the worse. Within the classic dystopian genre there lies the more thought provoking political dystopian theme. A typical tale involves a future society with an oppressive government that demands conformity. Sometimes this is in the wake of a disaster that has befallen humanity or society as a whole has taken a dark and oppressive turn for the worse. Often times there are no beautiful endings in these political dystopian books, only a joyless and dysfunctional future with glimpses into the light.
In Hyperion, Dan Simmons accomplished the creation of one of the most beautifully rendered science fiction universes ever encountered in the readers mind. Hyperion tells the story of a group of seven strangers on their way to the distant world of Hyperion. Earth is dead, but humanity has spread among the stars in a web of worlds (connected by an FTL transportation system called The Web) known as the Hegemony. There are worlds humans live on which are not a part of the Hegemony, but that number is in constant decline as the benefits of conformity outweigh the benefits of independence. Somewhere in the galaxy, a self-aware collective of artificial intelligence known as the TechnoCore have made their home, helping the Hegemony to care for its technology. Also spread in between the stars are the Ousters, “barbarians,” who roam in Zero-G mobile cities and flotilla, attacking Hegemony targets whenever the opportunity presents itself.
“I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm afraid. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H.A.L. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January 1992. My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it I can sing it for you.” - HAL 9000
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First and foremost, dear reader, be assured the fault for his end was not mine, but Fortunato’s. I am the most tolerant of nobles and thoroughly acquainted with the travails of modern travel; I well know the occasional loss of a bag to the random vagaries of moronic computerized airport luggage-tracking systems is only to be expected for one whose obsession requires him to travel widely, but Fortunato’s tracking system, Fortunato’s tracking system was the worst of them all, an obscene beast that couldn’t track a bald man through a crowd of beehive-hairdoed Sixties chanteuses, and I was forever forced into its vile clutches by the malign fact his airport was the only one in the Montresor family’s ancient seat.
“People still read books! This generation has hope!” – Harlan Ellison
My first novel, Big in Japan, is about a neurotic American prog-rocker coming of age in Japan. My second, Jellyfish Dreams, is about a biologist’s quest to reanimate his dead fiancée at the instigation of a black hole beneath his sofa. Readers who’ve read both books usually remark on how different they are, but I don’t see it that way. For one thing: crazy artist, mad scientist—same difference. For another, even if you agree with (a quote I’ve seen attributed to) sf comics genius Warren Ellis that “Prog rock was sick and wrong then and it is sick and wrong now,” one can’t deny that prog drinks as liberally from the sf well as it does from the epic and fantasy ones. And so, a primer on some of history’s more salient prog-sf conjunctions:
I was once in Big Bend National Park and thought I’d stepped onto another planet. If you’ve had the misfortune never to have visited, it’s a mostly parched desert wonderland with the strangest flowers, succulents, and eerie hills that you can imagine. Toss in the sexy wild lawlessness of the historical American West and you can see why science fiction would create some of its most memorable works against such an awe-inspiring backdrop. From cartoons like Cowboy Bebop and Trigun to animated shows like Galaxy Rangers and Bravestarr, science fiction clearly has a great big ol’ crush on the American West. There’s DC Comics’ Jonah Hex, a whole slew of terrible B-movies, and then there are the great ones: films like Westworld and Back to the Future Part III, books like The Gunslinger, and shows like Firefly (*sniff*). If you haven’t seen them yet, check out these incredible tributes to science fiction and the West all in one beautiful biomechanical horse meets pony-express package.
Travel anywhere outside the United States and the name of Nikola Tesla is known. Ask the average person on an American sidewalk? They’re apt to recall the 80’s rock band. Or they’ll nod and mumble about Elon Musk’s motor company.
“If you do not speak English I am at your disposal with 187 other languages along with their various dialects and sub-tongues.”
A few weeks ago I read a book to my kids called Nerdy Birdy. I first grabbed it off the shelf because, I thought to myself, I’m a nerd! Totally my thing. The plot was pretty much what I expected - at first. Nerdy Birdy is a dweeby little guy with a bird seed allergy. He likes reading, video games, and reading about video games, which immediately disqualifies him for membership in the cool crowd. When he's at his lowest point, Nerdy Birdy meets a flock just like him. Now he has friends and is furthermore amazed to discover that there are far more nerdy birdies than cool birdies in the sky.