Evening's Empires is a 2013 science fiction novel by Paul J. McAuley, the fourth in his Quiet War sequence. Dave Hardy of SF Crowsnest noted. Not a magical one, of course, for most of the book, this is about the search for Dr. Gagarian’s head, it is a good example of modern space opera."Greg L. Johnson of SF Site wrote "That's plenty of story for any novel, Paul McAuley places it in a setting, both decaying, from our perspective, full of wonders. For the characters, life in the solar system is akin to Europe after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, with pockets of civilization and relative prosperity separated by lengthy and dangerous travel. It's a far cry from the beginnings of a solar system wide civilization depicted in The Quiet War and Gardens of the Sun, from the cultural struggles going on in distant Fomalhaut in In The Mouth of the Whale, yet McAuley provides enough of an historical background to tie them all together; the life of genetic engineer Sri Hong-Owen is one of the connecting threads in the novels and, in a way, influences every character in Evening's Empires, though it is separated from the other novels by vast distances in time and space"
Sidewise Award for Alternate History
The Sidewise Awards for Alternate History were established in 1995 to recognize the best alternative history stories and novels of the year. The awards take their name from the 1934 short story "Sidewise in Time" by Murray Leinster, in which a strange storm causes portions of Earth to swap places with their analogs from other timelines; the awards were created by Steven H Silver, Evelyn C. Leeper, Robert B. Schmunk. Over the years, the number of judges has fluctuated between three and eight, including judges in the UK and South Africa; each year, two awards are presented at the World Science Fiction Convention. The Short-Form award is presented to a work under 60,000 words in length; the Long-Form award may be presented to a work longer than 60,000 words, including both novels and complete series. At their discretion, the judges may elect to recognize an individual or work with a Special Achievement Award in recognition of works that were published prior to the award's inception. 1995 – Paul J. McAuley, Pasquale's Angel 1996 – Stephen Baxter, Voyage 1997 – Harry Turtledove, How Few Remain 1998 – Stephen Fry, Making History 1999 – Brendan DuBois, Resurrection Day 2000 – Mary Gentle, Ash: A Secret History 2001 – J. N. Stroyar, The Children's War 2002 –: Martin J. Gidron, The Severed Wing & Harry Turtledove, Ruled Britannia 2003 – Murray Davies, Collaborator 2004 – Philip Roth, The Plot Against America 2005 – Ian R. MacLeod, The Summer Isles 2006 – Charles Stross, The Family Trade, The Hidden Family, The Clan Corporate 2007 – Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policemen's Union 2008 – Chris Roberson, The Dragon's Nine Sons 2009 – Robert Conroy, 1942 2010 – Eric G. Swedin, When Angels Wept: A What-If History of the Cuban Missile Crisis 2011 – Ian R. MacLeod, Wake Up and Dream 2012 – C. J. Sansom, Dominion 2013 – D.
J. Taylor, The Windsor Faction & Bryce Zabel, Surrounded by Enemies: What If Kennedy Survived Dallas? 2014 – Kristine Kathryn Rusch, The Enemy Within 2015 – Julie Mayhew, The Big Lie 2016 – Ben H. Winters, Underground Airlines 2017 – Bryce Zabel, Once There Was a Way 1995 – Stephen Baxter, "Brigantia's Angels" 1996 – Walter Jon Williams, "Foreign Devils" 1997 – William Sanders, "The Undiscovered" 1998 – Ian R. MacLeod, "The Summer Isles" 1999 – Alain Bergeron, "The Eighth Register" 2000 – Ted Chiang, "Seventy-two Letters" 2001 – Ken MacLeod, "The Human Front" 2002 – William Sanders, "Empire" 2003 – Chris Roberson, "O One" 2004 – Warren Ellis, The Ministry of Space 2005 – Lois Tilton, "Pericles the Tyrant" 2006 – Gardner Dozois, "Counterfactual" 2007 –: Michael Flynn, "Quaestiones Super Caelo Et Mundo" & Kristine Kathryn Rusch, "Recovering Apollo 8" 2008 – Mary Rosenblum, "Sacrifice" 2009 – Alastair Reynolds, "The Fixation" 2010 – Alan Smale, "A Clash of Eagles" 2011 – Lisa Goldstein, "Paradise Is a Walled Garden" 2012 – Rick Wilber, "Something Real" 2013 – Vylar Kaftan, "The Weight of the Sunrise" 2014 – Ken Liu, "The Long Haul: From the Annals of Transportation, The Pacific Monthly, May 2009" 2015 – Bill Crider, "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" 2016 –: Daniel M. Bensen, "Treasure Fleet" & Adam Rovner, "What If the Jewish State Had Been Established in East Africa" 2017 – Harry Turtledove, "Zigeuner" 1995 – L. Sprague de Camp, lifetime achievement 1997 – Robert Sobel: For Want of a Nail 1999 – Randall Garrett: The Lord Darcy Series The Sidewise Award website
Planetary romance is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy in which the bulk of the action consists of adventures on one or more exotic alien planets, characterized by distinctive physical and cultural backgrounds. Some planetary romances take place against the background of a future culture where travel between worlds by spaceship is commonplace. In either case, it is the planetside adventures which are the focus of the story, not the mode of travel; the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction mentions two caveats as to the usage of the term. First, while the setting may be in an alien world, its nature is of little relevance to the plot, as is the case of James Blish's A Case of Conscience. Second, hard science fiction tales are excluded from this category, where an alien planet, while being a critical component of the plot, is just a background for a scientific endeavor, such as Hal Clement' s Mission of Gravity with embellishments. A significant precursor of the genre is Edwin L. Arnold's Lieut.
Gullivar Jones: His Vacation. In Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels and critic David Pringle named Marion Zimmer Bradley and Anne McCaffrey two "leading practitioners nowadays" for the planetary romance type of science fiction. There is a significant overlap of the genre with that of planet. Almuric by Robert E. Howard Arrakis by Frank Herbert Barsoom and Amtor by Edgar Rice Burroughs Darkover by Marion Zimmer Bradley Eldorado by Francis Carsac Gor by John Norman Hainish Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin Helliconia by Brian Aldiss Jack of Shadows by Roger Zelazny Kregen by Kenneth Bulmer Krishna by L. Sprague de Camp Majipoor by Robert Silverberg Pern by Anne McCaffrey The Radio Man by Ralph Milne Farley Riverworld, The Green Odyssey and World of Tiers by Philip José Farmer The Saga of the Skolian Empire by Catherine Asaro, including the worlds of Raylicon, Parthonia and Skyfall; the Space Trilogy by C. S. Lewis. Michael Kane of Old Mars by Michael Moorcock Tormance in A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay Much of the science fiction work of Jack Vance: the Big Planet duo, the Alastor trio, the Durdane tetralogy, the Cadwal Chronicles trilogy, the Tschai or Planet of Adventure tetralogy, most of the Magnus Ridolph stories, the Demon Princes pentalogy, various stand-alone novels such as Maske: Thaery and short stories such as The Moon Moth.
Adam Strange Buck Rogers Flash Gordon Space Family Robinson World of Two Moons/Abode—Elfquest Den The Trigan Empire Apokolips and New Genesis—Fourth World The Joker System—Five Star Stories Planet Hulk World War Hulk Ythaq: The Forsaken World Avatar – James Cameron film set on the fictional world of Pandora. Defiance – TV series set on a terraformed, altered version of Earth itself. Earth 2 – TV series set on an Earth-like planet known as'G889'. Forbidden Planet — an early film in the genre, set on the planet Altair IV. Irandaam Ulagam – Indian Tamil language film John Carter – A film depicting a romanticised version of Mars. Thor: Ragnarok - A film based on Planet Hulk. Byston Well— Aura Battler Dunbine Eternia and Etheria— Masters of the Universe Sagar— Blackstar Third Earth— Thundercats Planets in science fiction Soft science fiction Space opera Planetary romance on The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
In computer science, artificial intelligence, sometimes called machine intelligence, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans and animals. Computer science defines AI research as the study of "intelligent agents": any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of achieving its goals. Colloquially, the term "artificial intelligence" is used to describe machines that mimic "cognitive" functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as "learning" and "problem solving"; as machines become capable, tasks considered to require "intelligence" are removed from the definition of AI, a phenomenon known as the AI effect. A quip in Tesler's Theorem says "AI is whatever hasn't been done yet." For instance, optical character recognition is excluded from things considered to be AI, having become a routine technology. Modern machine capabilities classified as AI include understanding human speech, competing at the highest level in strategic game systems, autonomously operating cars, intelligent routing in content delivery networks and military simulations.
Artificial intelligence can be classified into three different types of systems: analytical, human-inspired, humanized artificial intelligence. Analytical AI has only characteristics consistent with cognitive intelligence. Human-inspired AI has elements from emotional intelligence. Humanized AI shows characteristics of all types of competencies, is able to be self-conscious and is self-aware in interactions with others. Artificial intelligence was founded as an academic discipline in 1956, in the years since has experienced several waves of optimism, followed by disappointment and the loss of funding, followed by new approaches and renewed funding. For most of its history, AI research has been divided into subfields that fail to communicate with each other; these sub-fields are based on technical considerations, such as particular goals, the use of particular tools, or deep philosophical differences. Subfields have been based on social factors; the traditional problems of AI research include reasoning, knowledge representation, learning, natural language processing and the ability to move and manipulate objects.
General intelligence is among the field's long-term goals. Approaches include statistical methods, computational intelligence, traditional symbolic AI. Many tools are used in AI, including versions of search and mathematical optimization, artificial neural networks, methods based on statistics and economics; the AI field draws upon computer science, information engineering, psychology, linguistics and many other fields. The field was founded on the claim that human intelligence "can be so described that a machine can be made to simulate it"; this raises philosophical arguments about the nature of the mind and the ethics of creating artificial beings endowed with human-like intelligence which are issues that have been explored by myth and philosophy since antiquity. Some people consider AI to be a danger to humanity if it progresses unabated. Others believe that AI, unlike previous technological revolutions, will create a risk of mass unemployment. In the twenty-first century, AI techniques have experienced a resurgence following concurrent advances in computer power, large amounts of data, theoretical understanding.
Thought-capable artificial beings appeared as storytelling devices in antiquity, have been common in fiction, as in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Karel Čapek's R. U. R.. These characters and their fates raised many of the same issues now discussed in the ethics of artificial intelligence; the study of mechanical or "formal" reasoning began with philosophers and mathematicians in antiquity. The study of mathematical logic led directly to Alan Turing's theory of computation, which suggested that a machine, by shuffling symbols as simple as "0" and "1", could simulate any conceivable act of mathematical deduction; this insight, that digital computers can simulate any process of formal reasoning, is known as the Church–Turing thesis. Along with concurrent discoveries in neurobiology, information theory and cybernetics, this led researchers to consider the possibility of building an electronic brain. Turing proposed that "if a human could not distinguish between responses from a machine and a human, the machine could be considered "intelligent".
The first work, now recognized as AI was McCullouch and Pitts' 1943 formal design for Turing-complete "artificial neurons". The field of AI research was born at a workshop at Dartmouth College in 1956. Attendees Allen Newell, Herbert Simon, John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky and Arthur Samuel became the founders and leaders of AI research, they and their students produced programs that the press described as "astonishing": computers were learning checkers strategies (and by 1959 were playing better than the average human
Gardens of the Sun
Gardens of the Sun is a 2009 science fiction novel by Paul J. McAuley, it is a sequel to his 2008 novel The Quiet War. Although The Quiet War and Gardens of the Sun can be read as standalone novels, taken together they form the two halves of the story of the "Quiet War" of the title; the primary conflict is between the radical environmentalism of the inner system, led by the new superpower governments and the posthumanism of the Outers. Having narrowly avoided the destruction of Earth's ecosystems, the feudal Greater Brazil attempted to return most of the planet to a "natural" state, to the extent that most of Earth's population inhabits a few megacities; the Outers, by contrast, survive by terraforming the moons of Jupiter and the other outer planets and practicing genetic engineering, which caused ideological tension with Greater Brazil flaring into a full-scale conflict called the "Quiet War". By the time of Gardens of the Sun, the war is over; the surviving Outers have been forced to Uranus and Pluto as the superpowers of Earth raid the moons of Jupiter and Saturn for Outer knowledge.
However, Greater Brazil's policies are starting to come apart under the strain of their inflexible opposition to change and democracy. The novel follows the major characters from The Quiet War in the aftermath, including the clone assassin Dave #8, ecologist Macy Minnot, Greater Brazilian diplomat Loc Ifrahim, genetic engineer Sri Hong-Owen as they adjust to the new order of the solar system. Parts of the novel are modified versions of elements from the earlier short stories "The Gardens of Saturn", "The Assassination of Faustino Malarte", "The Passenger" and "Dead Man Walking". In his review for the SF Site, Rich Horton recommended The Quiet War and Gardens of the Sun as "among the best hard SF novels of recent years," giving particular praise to McAuley's construction of the setting and politics. Adam Roberts found the ending of the novel to be its weakest aspect and excessively "neat" as well as noting that the books should be combined as an omnibus but concluded that the diptych "is a major work of contemporary science fiction, amongst the great genre achievements of the noughties, a long novel that will still be being read and remembered fifty years from now."
Gardens of the Sun title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
Virtual reality is an interactive computer-generated experience taking place within a simulated environment. It incorporates auditory and visual feedback, but may allow other types of sensory feedback; this immersive environment can be similar to the real world or it can be fantastical. Current VR technology most uses virtual reality headsets or multi-projected environments, sometimes in combination with physical environments or props, to generate realistic images and other sensations that simulate a user's physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment. A person using virtual reality equipment is able to "look around" the artificial world, move around in it, interact with virtual features or items; the effect is created by VR headsets consisting of a head-mounted display with a small screen in front of the eyes, but can be created through specially designed rooms with multiple large screens. Other forms of VR include augmented reality and mixed reality systems. VR systems that include transmission of vibrations and other sensations to the user through a controller or other devices are known as haptic systems.
This tactile information is known as force feedback in medical, video gaming, military training applications. "Virtual" has had the meaning of "being something in essence or effect, though not or in fact" since the mid-1400s. The term "virtual" has been used in the computer sense of "not physically existing but made to appear by software" since 1959. In 1938, French avant-garde playwright Antonin Artaud described the illusory nature of characters and objects in the theatre as "la réalité virtuelle" in a collection of essays, Le Théâtre et son double; the English translation of this book, published in 1958 as The Theater and its Double, is the earliest published use of the term "virtual reality". The term "artificial reality", coined by Myron Krueger, has been in use since the 1970s; the term "virtual reality" was first used in a science fiction context in The Judas Mandala, a 1982 novel by Damien Broderick. One method by which virtual reality can be realized is simulation-based virtual reality.
Driving simulators, for example, give the driver on board the impression of driving an actual vehicle by predicting vehicular motion caused by driver input and feeding back corresponding visual and audio cues to the driver. With avatar image-based virtual reality, people can join the virtual environment in the form of real video as well as an avatar. One can participate in the 3D distributed virtual environment as form of either a conventional avatar or a real video. A user can select own type of participation based on the system capability. In projector-based virtual reality, modeling of the real environment plays a vital role in various virtual reality applications, such as robot navigation, construction modeling, airplane simulation. Image-based virtual reality system has been gaining popularity in computer graphics and computer vision communities. In generating realistic models, it is essential to register acquired 3D data. Desktop-based virtual reality involves displaying a 3D virtual world on a regular desktop display without use of any specialized positional tracking equipment.
Many modern first-person video games can be used as an example, using various triggers, responsive characters, other such interactive devices to make the user feel as though they are in a virtual world. A common criticism of this form of immersion is that there is no sense of peripheral vision, limiting the user's ability to know what is happening around them. A head-mounted display more immerses the user in a virtual world. A virtual reality headset includes two small high resolution OLED or LCD monitors which provide separate images for each eye for stereoscopic graphics rendering a 3D virtual world, a binaural audio system and rotational real-time head tracking for six degrees of movement, optionally motion controls with haptic feedback for physically interacting within the virtual world in a intuitive way with little to no abstraction. Augmented reality is a type of virtual reality technology that blends what the user sees in their real surroundings with digital content generated by computer software.
The additional software-generated images with the virtual scene enhance how the real surroundings look in some way. AR systems layer virtual information over a camera live feed into a headset or smartglasses or through a mobile device giving the user the ability to view three-dimensional images. Mixed reality is the merging of the real world and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. A cyberspace is a networked virtual reality. Simulated reality is a hypothetical virtual reality as immersive as the actual reality, it is most to be produced using a brain–computer interface and quantum computing. The exact origins of virtual reality are disputed because of how difficult it has been to formulate a definition for the concept of an alternative existence; the development of perspective in Renaissance Europe created convincing depictions of spaces that did not exist, in what has been referred to as the "multiplying of artificial worlds".
Other elements of virtual reality appeared as early as the 1860s. Antonin Artaud took the view that illusion was not distinct from reality, advocating that spectators at a play should suspend disbelief and regard the drama on stage as reality; the first references to the more modern concept of virtual reality came from science fiction. Morton Heilig wrote in the 1950s of an "Experience Theatre" that could encompass all the sen