Thoughts on fertility issues in Science Fiction

Fertility-related topics commonly pop up in SF and even in fantasy. One such trope is the notion that some time in the future/on another planet, women will no longer give birth, but that babies will be designed and grown in an artificial environment, or carried by a surrogate. There are…

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Growing crops in space #2

In truth, this post should read ‘Growing crops in artificial environments’, because it applies equally to crops grown in a hypothetical space station as it does to crops grown on the Moon, or Mars or any fictional celestial body. I’ll start off with a few open doors: – All crops…

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Packing for Mars

by Mary Roach This book is worth reading simply for the laughs. It covers all the niggle and naughty little details about space flight, backed up with details from NASA files. The books focuses on weird and whacky details. Did you know, for example, that rabbits are the only animals…

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The Starflight Handbook

by Eugene F. Mallove Another classic reference for the SF writer. Covers all technical aspects of space flight in a format that is not too hard for non-physicists, although this book does cover a bit more detail than others mentioned here. Most of the discussions focus on principles and restrictions…

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Entering space

Entering Space by Robert Zubrin Another book I would highly recommend for writers of science fiction. This book goes through the history of space flight, the basics of rocket flight, realistic directions for the future of space flight, and a few pie-in-the-sky ones as well. Want to know the realistic…

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Communication in space

Electromagnetic waves, whether gamma ray, microwave, radio or visible light frequencies, travel through vacuum at the speed of—well, uhm—light. When on Earth, this means communication is pretty much instant. If the distance travelled in one second by a photon, a light particle, were a string, it would wrap around the…

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