Peter Jackson releases an iPhone, iPad app for The Hobbit

Peter Jackson’s behind-the-scenes extras are legendary and this new iPhone, iPad app for The Hobbit should be fun:

View animated character portraits, travel through an interactive map of Middle-earth, watch Peter Jackson’s production videos, and explore the stunning narrative imagery of “The Scroll” artwork to immerse yourself in the world of Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves, Orcs, deadly Wargs, giant Spiders and fearsome Dragons.

 
I’m excited to get my geek on! Here is the link to download – http://bit.ly/HobbitMoviesApp

 

 

23 alternate covers for Philip K. Dick’s – ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’

 

Continue reading 23 alternate covers for Philip K. Dick’s – ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’

30 free sci-fi classics on the web in text, audiobook, live-readings and more

An amazing collection fo sci-fi books on the web:

Free Science Fiction Classics on the Web: Huxley, Orwell, Asimov, Gaiman & Beyond

Today we’re bringing you a roundup of some of the great Science Fiction, Fantasy and Dystopian classics available on the web. And what better way to get started than with Aldous Huxley reading a dramatized recording of his 1932 novel, Brave New World. The reading aired on the CBS Radio Workshop in 1956. You can listen to Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

By my count there are over 30 stories in all forms – audiobooks, movie, e-text, and even a few live readings from the author.

 

 
Continue reading 30 free sci-fi classics on the web in text, audiobook, live-readings and more

The Center for Human Imagination – new research institution from the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation

Imagination — one of the least understood but most cherished products of the mind and brain — will become the focus of wide-ranging study at a new center jointly founded by UC San Diego and the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation.

The two institutions have created the UCSD-based Center for Human Imagination, which will involve thinkers from fields as different as technology, sociology, politics, medicine and literature, especially science fiction.

“We are changing the world so fast right now and the level of transformation is profound,” said Sheldon Brown, the UCSD media arts professor who was named director of the center. “This is the outcome of imagination. We need a more thoughtful, deliberative approach to understanding how it works.”

The perils and positives of imagination were a defining theme for Clarke, the British futurist and science fiction author who wrote such acclaimed books as “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Rendezvous with Rama.”

“Every couple of years, we are literally doubling our understanding of how the brain functions,” Brown said. “We can ask specific questions about how imagination works.

 

Keep reading – UCSD creates Center for Human Imagination

Continue reading The Center for Human Imagination – new research institution from the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation

Ray Bradbury reads his poem – “If Only We Had Taller Been” (1971)

Sci-fi author Ray Bradbury reads his space travel-themed poem “If Only We Had Taller Been” in this 1971 video posted yesterday by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Also in the scene are Arthur C. Clarke, Walter Sullivan, Carl Sagan and Bruce Murray

 

“hoping an inch of good is worth a pound of years”

 

// Thx – Laughing Squid

New Yorker to release famous author’s short story as serialized tweets

I do like the idea of serialized stories, similar to Charles Dickens in the 19th century.

Starting Thursday night, the New Yorker’s Twitter fiction handle, @NYerFiction, will post a new tweet of text from Jennifer Egan’s 8,500 word story, “Black Box”, every minute between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. The tweets will continue for 10 straight nights. Readers can find a summary of the text posted on the magazine’s Web site at 9 p.m. each evening.

The article, built around a character in her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “A Visit From the Goon Squad,” will appear in the magazine’s first science fiction issue, which comes out on May 29th.

The story is a running scroll of a spy keeping a log of her current mission. Ms. Egan said that when she was writing, she struggled not to make the language sound “gimmicky” or “cartoonish.”

“I’m just interested in serialization in fiction,” said Ms. Egan. “I’m fascinated by it. I love the 19th-century novels. I’m interested in ways to bring that back to fiction.”

via Media Decoder

 

Follow the story at – @NYerFiction – which currently has 2,375 followers.

Science fiction is now science fact – spacecraft Curiosity on its way to Mars

A signal from NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, including the new Curiosity rover, was received by officials on the ground shortly after spacecraft separation. The spacecraft is flying free and headed for Mars.

The journey will take eight months before its innovative and futuristic landing on Mars.

“Our spacecraft is in excellent health and it’s on its way to Mars,” said Pete Theisinger, Mars Science Laboratory Project Manager from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. He thanked the launch team, United Launch Alliance, NASA’s Launch Services Program and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for their help getting MSL into space.

Interesting that the brainpower behind NASA resides in Virginia, California, and Florida.

John Grotzinger of CalTech: “I think this mission will be a great one. It is an important next step in NASA’s overall goal to address the issue of life in the universe.”

Doug McCuisition, director of the program: “Science fiction is now science fact.”

Takeoff
Leaving the planet.

 

NASA’s latest Mars probe, Curiosity, a nuclear robot with science fiction abilities

Tomorrow morning NASA will launch a Mars Probe, MSL Curiosity, into space for an eight month space journey and then a one year trek across the surface of the planet.

A brief description of the probe:

A new robotic mission to Mars, carrying 10 highly sophisticated instruments to seek the basic chemicals of life in the planet’s ancient rocks, is standing on the launchpad at Cape Canaveral, ready to lift off Saturday morning aboard an Atlas V rocket on a 350 million-mile journey.

The six-wheeled rover named Curiosity is headed for the flanks of a Martian mountain that exists inside a crater where layers of sedimentary rock may hold evidence of what the planet was like a billion or more years ago: warmer, probably; wetter, most probably; and an abode for living organisms – just maybe.

Curiosity’s tools will drill into the mountain’s layered rocks and zap them with a laser so spectrometers can analyze the powdery particles to determine their composition.

Via SFGate

There’s more to the story than lasers and spectral analysis, including a return to nuclear powered robots, this one has a core of plutonium. Not to mention that Curiosity looks like Johnny Five’s bigger, geekier older brother, but that’s not what fascinates me.

It’s the science fiction that does. Two key elements of this mission remind me directly of Star Wars. The first is the Sky Crane that uses rocket thrusters to lower the robot to the surface of Mars.

Continue reading NASA’s latest Mars probe, Curiosity, a nuclear robot with science fiction abilities

NASA's latest Mars probe, Curiosity, a nuclear robot with science fiction abilities

Tomorrow morning NASA will launch a Mars Probe, MSL Curiosity, into space for an eight month space journey and then a one year trek across the surface of the planet.

A brief description of the probe:

A new robotic mission to Mars, carrying 10 highly sophisticated instruments to seek the basic chemicals of life in the planet’s ancient rocks, is standing on the launchpad at Cape Canaveral, ready to lift off Saturday morning aboard an Atlas V rocket on a 350 million-mile journey.

The six-wheeled rover named Curiosity is headed for the flanks of a Martian mountain that exists inside a crater where layers of sedimentary rock may hold evidence of what the planet was like a billion or more years ago: warmer, probably; wetter, most probably; and an abode for living organisms – just maybe.

Curiosity’s tools will drill into the mountain’s layered rocks and zap them with a laser so spectrometers can analyze the powdery particles to determine their composition.

Via SFGate

There’s more to the story than lasers and spectral analysis, including a return to nuclear powered robots, this one has a core of plutonium. Not to mention that Curiosity looks like Johnny Five’s bigger, geekier older brother, but that’s not what fascinates me.

It’s the science fiction that does. Two key elements of this mission remind me directly of Star Wars. The first is the Sky Crane that uses rocket thrusters to lower the robot to the surface of Mars.

Continue reading NASA's latest Mars probe, Curiosity, a nuclear robot with science fiction abilities