The Cyborg from Earth
The Cyborg from Earth is a 1998 science fiction novel by Charles Sheffield. It is the fourth in a series of unrelated stories, published by Tor Books in their Jupiter line; the novel starts in a future dystopian Earth where the upper class lives a life of privilege, while most others live in the "pool", an endless crowd of unemployable youths depending on government assistance or crime for survival. The book is told from the perspective of the main character, Jefferson Kopal, a young member of an immensely wealthy and powerful spaceship building family founded by his Great Grandfather, Rollo Kopal, an admiral in the Space Navy; as part of the bylaws, all voting members of the company must have served honorably in the navy. Young Jeff is about to take his final test... "Jefferson Kopal is a coward. He knows it, if he doesn't do something about it soon, so will everyone else." This is the self-evaluation of the novel's main protagonist. Jeff is about to take his final test before a Navy Review Board to see if he is fit for duty as an officer in the Space Navy.
After failing the test most valiantly, Jeff is assigned to the Navy's Border Command, an apparent exile from the solar system and prestigious Central Command, where all the great Kopals have served. Jeff is assigned to a ship that will take him into the Messina Dust Cloud, which residents of the Solar System call Cyborg Territory. After a confrontation with his cousin, Jeff heads into space. Adjustment to naval life is at first hard on engineers, he is able to show his true interest, engineering. Captain Dufferin, the Commanding Officer, feels that the Kopals are a plague on the Space Navy and intends to make Jeff suffer for his last name. Jeff is sent to the forward observation bubble prior to the jump to The Messina Dust Cloud. While contemplating his current situation, Jeff notices the formation of a "space sounder," a terrifying anomaly, known to destroy whole star ships, coming directly for the ship. Jeff warns the Bridge but blacks out as the ship takes evasive action to avoid certain death.
When Jeff awakes, he finds that he has been abandoned by Captain Dufferin and the majority of the crew. Mercy Hooglich, one of the'jinners Jeff had befriended, explains how the captain and other officers had taken the runabout back to the Solar System, are going to charge Jeff with dereliction of duty. Jeff learns that his injuries were so extensive that to be saved, the medical technology of the Cloud, nanotechnology, had to be used; the remainder of the story revolves around the "rebellion" of the Cloud Territory as well as Jeff fighting to restore his name and place in the family business. In the end, Jeff finds that he is not a coward and everyone else knows that as well; the engines used by Vanguard Mining's spacecraft are Diabelli Omnivores. This particular brand of engine is used throughout Sheffield's books, across many different fictional settings
Starswarm is a 1998 science fiction novel by Jerry Pournelle. The plot revolves around a teenage boy, who has grown up on a remote planet used as a research station for its bizarre native life; the boy has been raised by both his "Uncle" Mike and an experimental computer program Gwen, written by his dead mother, that reveals more and more of his important destiny concerning control of the company which owns and controls the planet. Gwen helps him understand the significance of the Starswarms, massive super-intelligent plant-like creatures dwelling in the bottom of the planet's countless shallow lakes and oceans. An obvious theme of the book is expressing the thoughts of computer-like entities, such as Gwen and the native alien neural nets. Example edition: ISBN 0-7861-1829-6
Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction dealing with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, extraterrestrials in fiction. Science fiction explores the potential consequences of scientific other various innovations, has been called a "literature of ideas." "Science fiction" is difficult to define as it includes a wide range of concepts and themes. James Blish wrote: "Wells used the term to cover what we would today call'hard' science fiction, in which a conscientious attempt to be faithful to known facts was the substrate on which the story was to be built, if the story was to contain a miracle, it ought at least not to contain a whole arsenal of them."Isaac Asimov said: "Science fiction can be defined as that branch of literature which deals with the reaction of human beings to changes in science and technology." According to Robert A. Heinlein, "A handy short definition of all science fiction might read: realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world and present, on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method."Lester del Rey wrote, "Even the devoted aficionado or fan—has a hard time trying to explain what science fiction is," and that the reason for there not being a "full satisfactory definition" is that "there are no delineated limits to science fiction."
Author and editor Damon Knight summed up the difficulty, saying "science fiction is what we point to when we say it." Mark C. Glassy described the definition of science fiction as U. S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart did with the definition of pornography: "I know it when I see it." Science fiction had its beginnings in a time when the line between myth and fact was arguably more blurred than the present day. Written in the 2nd century CE by the satirist Lucian, A True Story contains many themes and tropes that are characteristic of contemporary science fiction, including travel to other worlds, extraterrestrial lifeforms, interplanetary warfare, artificial life; some consider it the first science-fiction novel. Some of the stories from The Arabian Nights, along with the 10th-century The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter and Ibn al-Nafis's 13th-century Theologus Autodidactus contain elements of science fiction. Products of the Age of Reason and the development of modern science itself, Johannes Kepler's Somnium, Francis Bacon's New Atlantis, Cyrano de Bergerac's Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon and The States and Empires of the Sun, Margaret Cavendish's "The Blazing World", Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Ludvig Holberg's Nicolai Klimii Iter Subterraneum and Voltaire's Micromégas are regarded as some of the first true science-fantasy works.
Indeed, Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan considered Somnium the first science-fiction story. Following the 18th-century development of the novel as a literary form, Mary Shelley's books Frankenstein and The Last Man helped define the form of the science-fiction novel. Brian Aldiss has argued. Edgar Allan Poe wrote several stories considered science fiction, including "The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall" which featured a trip to the Moon. Jules Verne was noted for his attention to detail and scientific accuracy Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea which predicted the contemporary nuclear submarine. In 1887, the novel El anacronópete by Spanish author Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau introduced the first time machine. Many critics consider H. G. Wells one of science fiction's most important authors, or "the Shakespeare of science fiction." His notable science-fiction works include The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds. His science fiction imagined alien invasion, biological engineering and time travel.
In his non-fiction futurologist works he predicted the advent of airplanes, military tanks, nuclear weapons, satellite television, space travel, something resembling the World Wide Web. In 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs published A Princess of Mars, the first of his three-decade-long planetary romance series of Barsoom novels, set on Mars and featuring John Carter as the hero. In 1926, Hugo Gernsback published the first American science-fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, in which he wrote: By'scientifiction' I mean the Jules Verne, H. G. Wells and Edgar Allan Poe type of story—a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision... Not only do these amazing tales make tremendously interesting reading—they are always instructive, they supply knowledge... in a palatable form... New adventures pictured for us in the scientifiction of today are not at all impossible of realization tomorrow... Many great science stories destined to be of historical interest are still to be written...
Posterity will point to them as having blazed a new trail, not only in literature and fiction, but progress as well. In 1928, E. E. "Doc" Smith's first published work, The Skylark of Space, written in collaboration with Lee Hawkins Garby, appeared in Amazing Stories. It is called the first great space opera; the same year, Philip Francis Nowlan's original Buck Rogers story, Armageddon 2419 appeared in Amazing Stories. This was followed by the first serious science-fiction comic. In 1937, John W. Campbell became editor of Astounding Science Fiction, an event, sometimes conside
Higher Education (novel)
Higher Education is a 1996 science fiction novel by Charles Sheffield and Jerry Pournelle. The book was published through Tor Books; the novel starts in a future dystopian earth where the United States has become a woefully inefficient bureaucratized nation. The public school system is interested in promoting self-esteem rather than learning. For example, the vast majority of public high school graduates are illiterate, end up in "the pool"; the book is told from the perspective of the main character, a high school student named Rick who finds himself expelled after a practical joke goes wrong. Since expulsion means that Rick's family will no longer be able to claim their welfare bonus, Rick begins looking for a job. One of his former teachers encourages him to get a job for the Vanguard Mining corporation, whose primary financial interest is in space mining of asteroids in the asteroid belt; the book follows his progress through an initial grueling examination period on Earth, initial training on an asteroid in a high orbit of Earth, through an apprenticeship on another training facility in the asteroid belt.
After proving himself, Rick is recruited to join a secret program to infiltrate and subvert Earth's education systems away from its current initiative-deadening pandering to the lowest common denominator. "Rick" is the primary protagonist of the novel. He is a high-school student, forced to take a job mining asteroids after being expelled from school. "Turkey Gossage" is Rick's instructor on the asteroid in Earth orbit. He is tough and unyielding. Critical reception was positive, with Booklist listing Higher Education on its Editor's Choice list for 1996 and named it a "Top 10 fantasy novels for young readers." Kirkus Reviews gave Higher Education a mixed review, writing that fans of the authors' previous works would enjoy the novel but expressing frustration that the female characters were "either girlfriend material, corporate saboteurs, or space sluts. Those stereotypical characterizations, the melodramatic plot, the dialogue turn the adventure into a space soap opera."
James P. Hogan (writer)
James Patrick Hogan was a British science fiction author. Hogan was born in England, he was raised in the Portobello Road area on the west side of London. After leaving school at the age of sixteen, he worked various odd jobs until, after receiving a scholarship, he began a five-year program at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough studying the practice and theory of electrical and mechanical engineering, he first married at the age of twenty. He fathered six children. Hogan worked as a design engineer for several companies and began working with sales during the 1960s, traveling around Europe as a sales engineer for Honeywell. During the 1970s he joined the Digital Equipment Corporation's Laboratory Data Processing Group and during 1977 relocated to Boston, Massachusetts to manage its sales training program, he published Inherit The Stars, during the same year to win an office bet. He quit DEC during 1979 and began writing full-time, relocating to Orlando, for a year where he met his third wife Jackie.
They relocated to Sonora, California. Hogan died of heart failure at his home in Ireland on Monday, 12 July 2010, aged 69. Most of Hogan's fiction is so-called hard science fiction. Hogan's fiction represents anti-authoritarian social opinions and as such forms part of anarchistic science fiction. Many of his novels have strong anarchist or libertarian themes promoting the idea that new technological advances render certain social conventions obsolete. For example, the limitless availability of energy that would result from the development of controlled fusion power would make it unnecessary to limit access to energy resources. Energy would become free; this melding of scientific and social speculation is present in the novel Voyage From Yesteryear about a technologically advanced anarchist society in the Alpha Centauri system, a starship sent from Earth by a dictatorial government, the events after their first contact. The story features concepts of post scarcity and gift economy. During his years, Hogan's contrarian and anti-authoritarian opinions favored those considered extremist.
He was a proponent of Immanuel Velikovsky's version of catastrophism, of the Peter Duesberg hypothesis that AIDS is caused by pharmaceutical use rather than HIV. He criticized the idea of the gradualism of evolution, though he did not propose theistic creationism as an alternative. Hogan was skeptical of the theories of ozone depletion. Hogan endorsed the idea that the Holocaust did not happen in the manner described by mainstream historians, writing that he found the work of Arthur Butz and Mark Weber to be "more scholarly and convincing than what the history written by the victors says"; such theories were considered by many to contradict his opinions concerning scientific rationality. During March 2010, in an essay defending Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel, Hogan stated that the mainstream history of the Holocaust includes "claims that are wildly fantastic, mutually contradictory, defy common sense and physical possibility". Inherit the Stars – May 1977; the Genesis Machine – April 1978. The Gentle Giants of Ganymede – May 1978.
The Two Faces of Tomorrow – June 1979. Thrice Upon a Time – March 1980. Giants' Star – July 1981. Voyage from Yesteryear – July 1982. Code of the Lifemaker – June 1983; the Proteus Operation – October 1985. Endgame Enigma – August 1987; the Mirror Maze – March 1989. The Infinity Gambit – March 1991. Entoverse – October 1991; the Multiplex Man – December 1992. The Immortality Option – February 1995. Realtime Interrupt – March 1995. Paths To Otherwhere – February 1996. Bug Park – April 1997. Outward Bound – March 1999. Cradle Of Saturn – June 1999; the Legend That Was Earth – October 2000. The Anguished Dawn – June 2003. Mission to Minerva – May 2005. Echoes of an Alien Sky – February 2007. Moon Flower – April 2008. Migration – 18 May 2010. "Assassin". "Silver Shoes for a Princess". "The Sword of Damocles". "Neander-Tale". "Till Death Us
Jerry Eugene Pournelle was an American polymath: scientist in the area of operations research and human factors research, science fiction writer, essayist and one of the first bloggers. In the 1960s and early 1970s he worked in the aerospace industry, but focused on his writing career. In an obituary in gizmodo, he is described as "a tireless ambassador for the future."Pournelle is known for writing hard science fiction, received multiple awards for his writing. In addition to his solo writing, he wrote several novels with collaborators, most notably Larry Niven. Pournelle served a term as President of the Science Fantasy Writers of America. Pournelle's journalism focused on the computer industry and space exploration. From the 1970s until the early 1990s, he contributed to the computer magazine Byte, writing from the viewpoint of an intelligent user, with the oft-cited credo, “We do this stuff so you won’t have to.” He created one of the first blogs, entitled "Chaos Manor", which included commentary about politics, computer technology, space technology, science fiction.
Pournelle was known for his paleoconservative political views, which were sometimes expressed in his fiction. He was one of the founders of the Citizens' Advisory Council on National Space Policy, which developed some of the Reagan Administration's space initiatives, including the earliest versions of what would become the Strategic Defense Initiative. Pournelle was born in Shreveport, the seat of Caddo Parish in northwestern Louisiana, lived with his family in Capleville, Tennessee, an unincorporated area near Memphis, TN. Percival Pournelle, his father, was a radio advertising executive and general manager of several radio stations. Ruth Pournelle, his mother, was a teacher, although during World War II, she worked in a munitions factory, he attended first grade at St. Anne’s Elementary School which had two grades to a classroom, was located in Memphis. Beginning with third grade, he attended Coleville Consolidated Elementary School, which had about 25 pupils per grade and four rooms and four teachers for 8 grades, was located in Coleville, near Memphis, TN.
Pournelle attended high school at Christian Brothers College in Memphis, TN, which despite its name, was a High School at that time. He served in the U. S. Army during the Korean War. In 1953–54, after his military service, Pournelle attended the State University of Iowa in Iowa City. Subsequently, he studied at the University of Washington, where he received a B. S. in psychology on June 11, 1955. S. in psychology on March 21, 1958. D. in political science in March 1964. The thesis for his M. S. is titled "Behavioural observations of the effects of personality needs and leadership in small discussion groups", is dated 1957. Pournelle's PhD dissertation is titled "The American political continuum. Pournelle married Roberta Jane Isdell in 1969. In 2008, Pournelle battled a brain tumor, which appeared to respond favorably to radiation treatment. An August 28, 2008 report on his weblog claimed. Pournelle suffered a stroke for which he was hospitalized for a time. By June 2015, he was writing again. Pournelle died in his sleep of heart failure at his home in Studio City, California, on September 8, 2017.
Pournelle was raised a Unitarian. He converted to Roman Catholicism while attending Christian Brothers College, despite its name, was a High School run by the De La Salle Christian Brothers and located in Memphis, TN. Pournelle was introduced to Malthusian principles upon reading the book Road to Survival by the ecologist William Vogt, who depicted an Earth denuded of species other than humans, all of them headed for squalor. Concerned about the Malthusian dangers of human overpopulation, considering the position of the Roman Catholic church on contraception to be untenable, he left the Catholic church while an undergraduate at State University of Iowa. Pournelle returned to religion, for a number of years was a high church Anglican, in part because Anglican theology was identical to Catholic theology, with the exception that the Anglicans accepted as moral the use of birth control. Pournelle returned to the Roman Catholic church, as his other beliefs were consistent with the Catholic communion, although he did not agree with the Church's position on birth control.
Notably, he opposed having the government require that Catholic institutions provide access to birth control or abortion. In his online blog, the view from Chaos Manor, he exhibited familiarity with and admiration for Catholic theology quoting Catholic liturgical phrases. Pournelle describes Sunday church attendance as part of his family's routine. Upon his death his family arranged at noon Saturday, 16 September 2017, at St. Francis De Sales Church. Pournelle was an intellectual protégé of Stefan T. Possony. Pournelle wrote numerous publications including The Strategy of Technology; the Strategy has been used as a textbook at the United States Military Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, the Air War College, the National War College. In 1949, while conducting operations research at Boeing, he envisioned a weapon consisting of massive tungsten rods dropped from high above the Earth; these super-dense, super-fast kinetic en
Tor Books is the primary imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, a publishing company based in New York City. It publishes science fiction and fantasy titles, publishes the online science fiction magazine Tor.com. Tor was founded by Tom Doherty in 1980. Tor is a word from Old English meaning the peak of a rocky hill or mountain, as depicted in Tor's logo. Tor Books was sold to St. Martin's Press in 1987. Along with St. Martin's Press. Tor is the primary imprint of Tom Doherty Associates. There is the Forge imprint that publishes an array of fictional titles, including historical novels and thrillers. Tor Books publishes two imprints for young readers: Starscape and Tor Teen. Tor Books has the Tor.com imprint that focuses on short works such as novellas, shorter novels and serializations. A United Kingdom sister imprint, Tor UK exists and specializes in science fiction and horror, while publishing young-adult crossover fiction based on computer-game franchises. Tor UK maintained an open submission policy, which ended in January 2013.
Orb Books publishes science-fiction classics such as A. E. Van Vogt's Slan. Tor Teen publishes young-adult novels such as Cory Doctorow's Little Brother and repackages novels such as Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game for younger readers. Tor Labs produces podcasts. A German sister imprint, Fischer Tor, was founded in August 2016 as an imprint of S. Fischer Verlag, it publishes international titles translated into German, as well as original German works. Fischer Tor publishes the German online magazine Tor Online, based on the same concept as the English Tor.com online magazine, but has its own independent content. Authors published by Tor and Forge include Kevin J. Anderson, Steven Brust, Orson Scott Card, Jonathan Carroll, Charles de Lint, Philip K. Dick, Cory Doctorow, Steven Erikson, Terry Goodkind, Steven Gould, Brian Herbert, Glen Hirshberg, Robert Jordan, Andre Norton, Harold Robbins, Brandon Sanderson, John Scalzi, V. E. Schwab, Skyler White, Gene Wolfe. Tor UK has published authors such as Douglas Adams, Rjurik Davidson, Amanda Hocking, China Miéville, Adam Nevill, Adrian Tchaikovsky.
Tor publishes a range of its works as e-books and, in 2012, Doherty announced that his imprints would sell only DRM-free e-books by July of that year. One year Tor stated that the removal of DRM had not harmed its e-book business, so they would continue selling them DRM-free. In July 2018, Macmillan Publishers and Tor announced that Tor's e-books would no longer be made available for libraries to purchase and lend to borrowers, via digital distribution services such as OverDrive, until four months after their initial publication date; the company cited the "direct and adverse impact" of electronic lending on retail eBook sales, but suggested that the change was part of a "test program" and could be reevaluated. Tor won the Locus Magazine poll for best science fiction publisher in 29 consecutive years from 1988 to 2016 inclusive. In March 2014, Worlds Without End listed Tor as the second-most awarded and nominated publisher of science fiction and horror books, after Gollancz. At that time, Tor had received 316 nominations and 54 wins for 723 published novels, written by 197 authors.
In the following year, Tor surpassed Gollancz to become the top publisher on the list. By March 2018, Tor's record had increased to 579 nominations and 111 wins, across 16 tracked awards given in the covered genres, with a total of 2,353 published novels written by 576 authors. Official website Official website Official website Tor.com community site Tor Online community site Tor Books profile at Reason, December 2008