AMAZING NEWS: 12/12/20

Tons of good stuff, including holiday gift suggestions, French Super Soldiers, Disney Dump, far too many obituaries and more

SPECIAL NOTE:  Experimenter Publishing, publisher of Amazing Stories and Amazing Selects, releases NO POLICE = KNOW FUTURE, an anthology on the future of policing. After the brutal murder of George Floyd by the police, the world responded in righteous protest, with cries of “Black Lives Matter.” The police responded to these calls in large part with even more brutality, with video after video emerging that showed an assault on the public. And more cries came forth, with calls to defund the police.  What does that mean?  The eleven authors collected in this ground-breaking anthology take science fiction’s gedanken experiment to new heights as they explore possible futures with no police, alternative forms of justice and worlds that show us just what “Defund the Police” can mean.  Edited by James Beamon, science fiction and fantasy author whose short stories have appeared in places such as Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine, Apex, Lightspeed and Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. Pendulum Heroes is his debut novel. Available in both print and electronic editions.

And since it is the holiday season, two other recent releases from Amazing Selects might catch your eye:

ADRIFT IN THE SEA OF SOULS — they call themselves travelers, hopping from body to body, from life to life, but in reality they are body-snatchers. Who are they and what do they want from the stranger who fell into their world? (First publication!) THE WHITE PIANO — In a locked away room, hidden under a sheet, rests a faded old piano. In its glory days it was dazzling white with gold trim, but now in war-torn England, its paint is gray and peeling. No one is allowed to go near it, but sometimes after midnight, a lonely little girl still hears beautiful music. (Reprinted from The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.) JACOB IN MANHATTAN — A sequel chapter to the award-winning horror novel, Jacob, this savage novella shows how dangerous it can be to enrage a vampire. Not recommended for the squeamish or anyone under thirty, contains some graphic sex and violence. Don’t read this at bedtime. (First publication!)

and

CAPTAIN FUTURE, THE GREATEST HERO OF SCIENCE FICTION’S PULP ERA, RETURNS IN YET ANOTHER NEW STORY BY HUGO AND HEINLEIN AWARD WINNING AUTHOR ALLEN STEELE!

At the edge of the Solar System, CAPTAIN FUTURE and the Futuremen discover a plot of interstellar proportions as they confront THE GUNS OF PLUTO. “Cold Hell” was what they called the Sputnik Planitia Penal Colony on Pluto: the toughest, deadliest penitentiary in all of space, a lock-up so remote and forbidding that it was built within an immense iceberg and is guarded by a race of cannibals. Considered escape-proof, Cold Hell was where the worst of the worst were sent, never to be dealt with again…until now.The mysterious Black Pirate has returned, in one swift move blowing open the cell block doors and taking hostages. He’s made demands for the liberation of his hostages, demands only one man can fulfill: Curt Newton, the adventurer known as Captain Future. Yet, as Curt and his strange crew race across the solar system, are they unwittingly entering a cunning trap laid for them by an old enemy?Strap in for the second installment of an epic space adventure by multiple Hugo Award-winning author ALLEN STEELE as he reinvents one of the classic Golden Age heroes of science fiction, Edmond Hamilton’s CAPTAIN FUTURE.

SWASHBUCKLING ACTION, PERILOUS ADVENTURE, AND A LADY TO DIE FOR … ALL IN THE RETURN OF A SPACE LEGEND!  (Don’t forget book one in this stand-alone series – CAPTAIN FUTURE IN LOVE.)

And now, the News!

Chinese Probe lands successfully on the Moon and collects samples.

Best images yet of our neighboring galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds

Will Robinson looks back on his childhood lost in space

What’s the Artemis Moon mission all about?  Ice.

RIP Chuck Yeager 1923 – 2020

Boba Fett has a secret message

ARC Manor books announces the Mike Resnick Award for New Writers

Speaking of Policing:  Police Drones are starting to get smarter

Will our star-travelling descendants be able to understand us?

A discussion on Jewish Science Fiction and Fantasy criticism is calling for papers

Denis Villenueve is not happy with Disney’s plans to rollout Dune on their streaming channel.  (Not happy with Villeneuve’s take on Dune either, so I guess we’re even.)

Everest is Taller.  Both China and Nepal agree

RIP Dean Ing 1931 – 2020

PSA warns of seizure inducing game components.

Covid-19 jumped from bats(?) to people and now it has jumped to lions

Real world example of synonyms and when a Toy-Yoda is not a Toyota

Here’s one theory on how those monoliths got where they got

and here’s a famous cover of a famous SF work, slightly re-touched, to great, minimalist effect

The Los Angeles Public Library interviews David Gerrold on his career and latest novel release Hella.  (That name sounds familiar…yep, check above)

X-ray bubbles, in the sky, make me extinct, in due time” (Not sung by Dean Martin.)  Astronomers see x-ray bubbles surrounding the center of out galaxy.

RIP: Phyllis Eisenstein 1946 – 2020

Did science fiction help shape socialism?  This article thinks so.

Can Barnes and Noble be saved?  It’s new CEO thinks so and is shaking up the book trade in the quest to find out

Disney – the gift that keeps on giving.  Now the studio declares the JJ Abrams Trek films ARE canon.  Not in MY alternative reality!

Disney Dump:  Lots of SW & MCU coming….

Loki trailer

New Aliens series

A Gay, Poly Family has children with THREE dads.  Didn’t RAH introduce us to something like this?

“Super Soldat” doesn’t sound all that concerning, until you realize that France (and at least China) have approved the development of Super Soldiers

“Leaked” UFO Photo.  Those aliens sure never heard of symmetry

FROM OVER THE TRANSOM (Emails Received)

Notes from Arthur C Clarke Center for Human Imagination, ReAnimus Press, Arc Manor books and UFO Publishing.

ICYMI:
BOARDS-02 Mission (Brain Organoid Advanced Research and Development in Space)
In case you missed it: after a scrubbed launch due to poor weather on Saturday, the UC San Diego BOARDS-02 mission to send “mini-brain” organoids to the International Space Station successfully launched Sunday aboard the SpaceX CRS-21 Dragon cargo craft!
The capsule is scheduled to make the first autonomous docking with ISS at 10:30a PT today — tune in to NASA TV to watch!
___
Brain organoids are advanced living structures that are grown up from stem cells of the human nervous system. They are hollow spheres and have layers of brain cells that are interconnected just like the layers in the human body. Organoids are the key component of an entire research process that can help understand development, growth and aging, effects of disease and effects of external stresses on the human brain.
All humans are conceived and live in the gravity of the Earth, called 1G. The shapes of our bodies and brains depend on 1G and how cells communicate within the Earth’s gravity field. What happens if development occurs in microgravity (mG)? Will structures be unleashed from the bonds of gravity and cause cells to signal differently or proliferate faster? Will the organization of their growth and aging change? The BOARDS missions to the International Space Station National Laboratory (ISS NL) aim to answer these questions.
Space Tango is the engineering and mission payload partner of the BOARDS project. Space Tango designed a novel automated life-support system within its standardized CubeLab™ platform to support BOARDS-02 science objectives. With a variety of brain organoid types and different measurement techniques, we will be working towards answering these questions. The CubeLab has sophisticated controls for temperature and gases, has an elaborate microfluidic system to deliver nutrients and remove wastes, a micro-sized traditional microscope able to examine all the organoids several times a day by video and a special motion system designed specifically for brain organoid imaging.
To develop and maintain the brain organoid spheres, a means of gently agitating the fluid they live in is necessary. On Earth, this is done on a small device slowly and constantly moving the dish they live in. In our BOARDS-02 flight, we will be testing a new agitation system that looks a bit like a clothes washer running on gentle cycle, but about an inch across in diameter. With our automated microscope video camera we will be observing the system with organoids sent to the International Space Station (ISS) and then comparing the growth of a parallel test group of organoids that stay on earth. After 30 days, the organoids will be returned to Earth to the UCSD Stem Cell lab. This is the first demonstration of the engineering and science in microgravity. We will see the effect of microgravity on organoids, giving us information on the growth and development of these human systems, advancing medical research and helping us understand the implications for humanity’s desire to travel to the cosmos.
BOARDS-02 will fly on SpaceX’s 21st Commercial Resupply Services Mission (CRS-21) scheduled for December 5, 2020 (subject to change). Of special note, the flight will originate from historic launchpad 39A at Kennedy Space Center where the Apollo Program flights launched to the Moon, as well as the Space Shuttles and the new SpaceX Commercial Crew Dragon missions which have ushered in a new era in space flight, launching American astronauts, on American rockets, from American soil, with the first operational Commercial Crew Mission successfully conducted on November 15th. The CubeLab will be carried across the gantry at the top of the launch tower into the uncrewed Dragon Capsule, just like the astronauts.
Pinar Mesci, Project Scientist, and Alysson Muotri, Director of the UCSD Stem Cell Program, do the brain organoid science and design the research questions, grow and manage the organoids, including the engineering needs for the payloads and carry out the experiments. Jana Stoudemire is our link to Space Tango, the payload company. Erik Viirre is the Principal Investigator for ISS-NL for this flight and, as the Director of the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UC San Diego, helps manage the project science and engineering and gets to direct some of the “Big Questions” about the brain, body and space travel.
The mission logo acknowledges the San Diego connections with the stylized surfboard, the neurons as stars, and the UC San Diego colors of blue and gold.
Other News from the Clarke Center
Writing with AI
An Interview with K Allado McDowell
What is it like to write with GPT-3, the latest language model neural network artificial intelligence system created by Open AI? Clarke Center Assistant Director Patrick Coleman interviewed K Allado McDowell, writer, researcher, and co-author of Pharmako-AI, the first book co-written with GPT-3, for Slate’s Future Tense series. For anyone interested in the nature of artificial intelligence as a model for human intelligence (and imagination) or the use of AI to create art and provoke new lines of thinking, Allado-McDowell’s provocative insights point to new approaches.
Postdoctoral Position:
Developing Applied Augmented Reality
The Institute for Neural Computation (INC), the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology at the University of California, San Diego, in support of the campus, multidisciplinary Organized Research Units (ORUs) is conducting an open search for Postdoctoral Scholar.
This postdoctoral position is a unique opportunity at the intersection of Augmented Reality (AR), visual interface and programming language design, distributed computing, and collaborative work. The postdoc will split time (50/50) between two projects described below. An ideal candidate will have strong interest in immersive visualization, AI/ML, virtualization and container orchestration, and significant previous experience with AR/game development.
The first project is an NSF-funded Cyberlearning project, where the postdoc will take a lead role in developing a human-centered coding platform in augmented reality (AR) under supervision of project PIs. The second project, Nautilus (AR-NOC/PRP/TNRP/CHASE-CI), supervised by Dr. Tom DeFanti (Qualcomm Institute/CalIT2), explores the development of a Cyberinfrastructure Operations Center for the Nautilus distributed hyper-cluster.
For more information and to apply, please visit the UC San Diego Recruitment notice.
Into the Impossible:
Sheldon Glashow
Sheldon Glashow is a theoretical physicist and emeritus professor at Harvard, where he also earned his Ph.D. He was the first to propose a grand unified theory and also worked as a visiting scientist at CERN. Glashow shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics with Abdus Salam and Steven Weinberg. He is a member of the Board of Sponsors for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. It was an honor to have Sheldon Glashow on the INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE podcast.
He joins our Nobel Minds playlist, having won the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics, for his “contributions to the theory of the unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles, including, inter alia, the prediction of the weak neutral current.”
Shelly recounts a remarkable life as the son of a plumber who went to the acclaimed Bronx Science high school and then worked his way through some of the most notable laboratories in the world, meeting colleagues and forming collaborations along the way. Having won science’s top prize over 40 years ago didn’t slow him down, as he only recently retired from research and teaching. Shelly’s 1988 book, “Interactions: A Journey Through the Mind of a Particle Physicist and the Matter of this World,” holds up decades later as one that asks important questions about physics and guides future generations of scientists.
I recommend that everyone curious about the field read it. His writing style is enviously humorous and accessible. I was interested to hear about how his love of science fiction encouraged his career as a physicist. Considering many of the topics we cover would have been considered science fiction even in the time that Shelly has been alive, he is properly impressed and optimistic about the benefits technology can have on scientific discovery. It was also encouraging to see how interested and engaged he still is in the pursuit of knowledge. Though he does express some pessimism about the future of humanity. Perhaps it’s hard not to during the pandemic, combined with the grim news about climate change and other threats. Hopefully, the fields he and I know and love – “useless fields” as he calls them – can continue that Nobel legacy of bettering humankind. You will enjoy this full course: Quantum Field Theory by Sidney Coleman (1975).
For more information, follow host Brian Keating:
Sheldon Glashow: The Power of Useless Ideas!
We are grateful to all of our supporters, including:

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ReAnimus Press News

JUST RELEASED! HURRAH!

TIGER! TIGER! by James Gunn

THE STEEL EYE by Chet Gottfried

…and lots more…

Book cover for Tiger! Tiger!

 

TIGER! TIGER! by James Gunn

Tiger! Tiger!

    • ReAnimus Press store:

www.ReAnimus.com/1655

    • Amazon:

www.Amazon.com/dp/B08LQXXDZN/?tag=reanimus-20

    • Also available in paperback

 

 

An object that shouldn’t be there passed within a hundred yards of the space station.

No one deduced from the waving of the tall grass and the frightened chatter of birds the shape of the tiger moving silently through the jungle clearing.

Tiger!

You passed silently through the night, and we blundered upon you. You were fear, awe, hatred, and opportunity. You were knowledge; you were the shape of the unknown. We stopped; we reacted. And our awareness of your existence changed our lives.

It began at 2141 on June 14

 

 

THE STEEL EYE by Chet Gottfried

The Steel Eye

    • ReAnimus Press store:

www.ReAnimus.com/1669

    • Amazon:

www.Amazon.com/dp/B08P3LSRFM/?tag=reanimus-20

    • Also available in paperback

 

 

Swill a little grease and enter a world run by robots: corporate robots spanning multiple bodies; cop robots armed and dangerous; robot entertainers, drinkers, workers, villains, and the odd innocent victim. Into that hard-boiled world rolls the steel eye, a robot detective who faces treachery from friends and allies but keeps on tracking his elusive quarry.

“Chet Gottfried’s work is vivid, lucid and distinct.”
—James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review

“THE STEEL EYE is a beautifully crafted book which seeks to amuse and edify with its explorations of machine psychology and imperial competition in the industrial world. Sentence by sentence, the writing is beautiful, with its own singular quiet music.”
—Matthew Paris, Home Planet News

 

And lots more…

See the list of our newest books here. Lots of stuff you’ll love!

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Dear Reader,

There appears to be a problem with AERIO and the execution of our paper orders through them. This particularly impacted those readers attempting to purchase books through our Paper Black Friday sale.

I am working with them (and special shout out to one of our readers, Jay, who has provided invaluable information) to resolve this issue.

We will extend the sale and send a notification to you once these issues have been resolved. I’m very sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused.


Christmas is fast approaching, and you still have time to purchase this unique gift, or to treat yourself to a very special edition of Heinlein’s last published book.

Beautifully bound in leather and containing very special sections (including samples of Heinlein’s original manuscript and hand-written notes), each copy is individually numbered and limited to only 400 copies.

You also get to choose your number (from those unassigned at the time of your purchase.) and each book is accompanied by signed certificate.

Unlike many other offers of collectables we are offer a full refund on this purchase.


We have a very special book of the month ahead of the holidays; a true classic: Leigh Brackett’s The Long Tomorrow.
The ebook is regularly priced at $7.99 and is available at a suggested price of $1.99 and, as usual, you can get it for free.Along with this we are offering two additional Brackett bundles. One a trilogy of the first three Erik Stark books and another with two additional titles.

I wish you all an outstanding Holiday Season…

Thank You and Good Evening,

Shahid

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Copyright © 2020 Arc Manor / Phoenix Pick, All rights reserved.

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UFO Publishing announces the release of Issue 9 of Future Science Fiction Digest

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