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The Science Fictional World

On This Day: Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

The name most frequently associated with modern rocketry is that of Wernher von Braun (1912-1977), the German rocket scientist who moved to the United States at the end of the Second World War, known to many as ‘the Father of Rocket Science’. And, to be fair, when one considers that his career is more or […]

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On This Day: Mariner 2 Was Launched

On this day, in 1962, Mariner 2 was launched by NASA.  In December of the same year it flew past Venus, becoming the first space probe to make a successful fly-by encounter with another planet. Designed and built by the famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory at CalTech, the probe carried a variety of scientific instruments designed […]

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On This Day: Hugo Gernsback Died

 On this day in 1967, Hugo Gernsback, one of the most influential figures in the history of science fiction, passed away in New York. How influential? Well, he launched the first fully-dedicated SF magazine, Amazing Stories, first coined the phrase ‘scientifiction‘, which later became the term we know and love; he appended ‘PhD’ to the […]

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On This Day: NASA was Born

On this day in 1958, the creation of the National Aeronautic and Space Administration was authorised by US congress. Eleven years later – almost to the day – they did this:

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Interview with a Time Traveller

A few weeks ago we brought you news of a fantastic new blog (well . . . new to us!) wherein the SF digest magazines of 55 years in the past are reviewed as if they had only just arrived through the letterbox. It’s a terrific window on yesterday’s tomorrows when they were still today’s […]

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It’s a Science Fictional Day

Today is one of those days when the science fictional world spills over into the real world. First of all, today is Asteroid Day, a global event dedicated to increasing the awareness of asteroids and the very real – if statistically small – possibility of one of them impacting the Earth.  Asteroid Day is held […]

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Space Probes

Gateway is on record as being an ardent admirer of NASA and its wonderful Astronomy Picture of the Day site. Wanna know why?  Because this:   To boldly go . . .

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On This Day: M C Escher

On this day in 1898, Maurits Cornelis Escher was born and perspective would, henceforth, never again be something to be taken for granted again. Observe! And if that’s not science fiction, we don’t know what is!

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In Praise of . . . Galactic Journey

Your friendly neighbourhood SF Gateway received an email last week. Nothing unusual about that, of course, except . . . this one appeared to originate in the past. Exactly 55 years in the past, to be precise. The sender thanked us for our work in returning classic SF to availability (a pleasure!) and wondered if […]

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Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

There is an old Vulcan proverb: ‘Only Nixon could go to China’ Last Friday afternoon (GMT), the news broke across the internet that we had lost one of the great actors and personalities of the SF world. Leonard Simon Nimoy, who gained fame across the world for his portrayal of the half-human, half-Vulcan Spock, in […]

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Happy Birthday, Rocket Boy!

On this day, in 1943, Homer Hadley Hickam Jr was born. His is probably not a name that will be familiar to a great many of our readers, but we’d argue (politely but firmly) that it should be. Homer H. Hickam, Jr wrote one of the stand-out books of 1998: Rocket Boys. It told the […]

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Happy Birthday, Buzz Aldrin!

Having suffered the indignity of overlooking a milestone birthday of one great figure, we have no intention of making it two-for-two so early in the year. As one of the most intellectually limited figures ever to hold high office (in)famously said: ‘Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice . . . I won’t […]

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That’s One Small Step for Man . . .

It’s amazing what we can achieve when we direct our resources and imagination towards goals other than the most efficient methods of killing each other and/or extracting every last penny from the economy regardless of the social cost. Forty-five years ago, today, human beings first set foot on another world.   Yes, of course, there […]

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The Science Fictional World: 16th May

Hey, everyone! It’s May 16th – and you know what that means! Er . . . no?  No, nor do we, really, but one of the very interesting things about science fiction is that it is now so culturally all-pervasive and such an integral part of conceptualising the science of the last hundred years or […]

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The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: Images of London (and Others)

It should no longer come as a surprise to hear how clever the editors of the indispensable Encyclopedia of Science Fiction are.  But if 4.3 million words of scholarship aren’t enough for you, the Prosecution offers Exhibit A: the automatically-generating Images of London Slideshow. As they say on the site: With the 2014 London Worldcon […]

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