The Three Body Problem, by Liu Cixin

Winner of the Hugo award for best novel this year, The Three Body Problem is densely packed with interesting ideas--so densely packed that some may find it hard to read. 'Some' does not include me. I think this is the most I've enjoyed a book since Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun series. The prose …

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The Martian (2015)

Ridley Scott's The Martian is an accurate, thrilling survival story that for ONCE portrays scientists as normal human beings (even cool, likable ones!), instead of amoral villains, sociopaths, socially crippled nerds, or emotionless robots. Problem solving is the hero of this edge-of-your-seat thriller, and realism is king. I don't have degree in any of the …

Gravity

I watched this thrilling sci fi movie while on a plane over the ocean, and the turbulence really added to the tense feel of it. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney play astronauts working on repairing the Hubble telescope, when an accident sends them into a dire situation. There is a kind of deep, uneasy fear …

Cloud City on Venus

NASA has plans for a Cloud City on Venus, seriously.  Our nearest neighbor, Venus, is always ignored when it comes to explorations, probably because the surface is around 465C (870F). Venus is very similar to Earth otherwise, though, and is called Earth's twin. It's nearly identical in size and composition and gravity, we just can't …