Regular Readers will know that we’re huge fans of NASA’s remarkable Astronomy Picture of the Day feature (APOD). We encourage anyone interested in astronomy to visit regularly or add it to their RSS feed. And every now and then, the good people at NASA put up something so spectacular that we feel compelled to share […]Read More
Science Fiction Science: A Report From the Front Lines of SETI
We are thrilled to welcome Alex Lamb back to the Gollancz blog for a very special guest post. Alex is the author of the Robotoeer trilgoy (Roboteer, Nemesis, Exodus). Today, Alex takes us behind the scenes of the SETI project and talks about the real life science that influences his fiction. We science fiction writers […]Read More
APOD: An Active Night over the Magellan Telescopes
Our admiration for NASA‘s excellent Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD to the cool kids) is on record. We start every day with a look at the latest wonderful image on the site, and every now and then we decide to share one that we particularly enjoy. This time-lapse footage of the night sky over […]Read More
Happy Birthday, Buzz Aldrin!
Today is a great day to celebrate a great man. We’re sure you’ve seen something about it in the media, and we wanted to throw our hats into the ring and add our voice to the millions who rightly view this man as a real hero – not just of the United States of America, […]Read More
From the Archives: Science is Awesome!
Sometimes a news item catches your eye that is so thoroughly science fictional that you have to just stop and admire the awesomeness of the universe and the tool with which we seek to understand it: science. Take this news, for instance, of the discovery of a rogue planet, wandering (appropriately enough) some hundred light […]Read More
On This Day: Carl Sagan
Four score and two years ago, today, the great Carl Sagan was born. Author of just the one SF novel, Contact, Sagan is nonetheless rightly revered by science fiction fans for his tireless evangelizing on behalf of science in general, but astronomy and the space sciences in particular. His seminal series, Cosmos, is still the […]Read More
Real Life Scientists’ Favourite Science Fiction
It is almost a trope of the genre that SF writers must spend part of every interview defending the ‘predictions’ SF has got wrong by pointing out (again and again and again …) that SF writers are not in the business of prophecy. Warning about a possible future? Yes. Shining a light on the present? […]Read More
The Space Age is 59 Today!
On October 4th, 1957, the Space Race burst into life, with early honours going to the Soviet Union. The launch of Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite, was a landmark in our species’ history – and it’s probably fair to say it took a few people by surprise . . . What it […]Read More
Two Score and Seven Years Ago . . .
So just short of four dozen years ago, this happened: A great day in human history, which – it could be argued – has never been bettered. Millions of kids around the world watched Neil Armstrong take these famous steps and dared to dream that they, too, might one day walk on another world. ** […]Read More
On This Day: Apollo Set in Motion
On this day, fifty-five years ago, US President John F. Kennedy gave a speech to the US congress in which he lit the blue touch paper on the greatest journey the human race has thus far undertaken. I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of […]Read More
Sir Patrick Moore Three Years On
This post first appeared, in a slightly different form, in 2013, a year after Sir Patrick Moore’s death. The emotions that prompted it in that first instance are virtually the same today, so we re-present it here with minimal changes. He was a great man and we still miss him . . . It is […]Read More
APOD: Pluto Fly Past
We’ve mentioned before how much we love NASA‘s incredible Astronomy Picture of the Day site. It’s one of the first sites we go to every day and it’s always interesting and frequently awe-inspiring. We love the high quality photos from the Hubble Space Telescope, the wide range of images captured by Earth-based observatories and the […]Read More
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 […]Read More
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 […]Read More