To Sail Beyond the Sunset
To Sail Beyond the Sunset is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1987, it was the last novel published before his death in 1988. The title is taken by Alfred Lord Tennyson; the stanza of which it is a part, quoted by a character in the novel, is as follows: It is the final part of the "Lazarus Long" cycle of stories, involving time travel, parallel dimensions, free love, voluntary incest, a concept that Heinlein named pantheistic solipsism, or'World as Myth': the theory that universes are created by the act of imagining them, so that somewhere the Land of Oz is real. Other books in the cycle include Methuselah's Children, Time Enough for Love, The Number of the Beast, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls; the book is a memoir of Maureen Johnson Smith Long, mother and eventual wife of Lazarus Long. Maureen is ostensibly recording the events of the book while held in prison alongside Pixel, the eponymous character of The Cat Who Walks Through Walls. Maureen, born on July 4, 1882, recounts her girlhood in backcountry Missouri, discovery that her family is a member of the long-lived Howard Families, marriage to Brian Smith, another member of that group, her life—largely in Kansas City—until her apparent death in 1982.
In addition, Maureen lives through, gives her viewpoints on many events in other Heinlein stories, most notably the 1917 visit from the future by "Ted Bronson", told from Long's point of view in Time Enough for Love, D. D. Harriman's space program from The Man Who Sold the Moon, the rolling roads from The Roads Must Roll. Maureen's adventures include a series of sexual encounters, beginning in childhood wherein, having just had her first sexual intercourse, she is examined by her father, a doctor, finds herself desiring him sexually, her story encompasses various boys, her husband, other women's husbands, swinging sessions, the adult Lazarus Long/Theodore Bronson. Additionally, she continues a lifelong pursuit of her father sexually, encourages her husband to have sexual intercourse with their daughters, accompanies him when he does. All of these are set against a history lesson of an alternate 20th century in which a variety of social and philosophical commentary is delivered, she is rescued from prison by Lazarus Long and other characters of various novels in the ship Gay Deceiver, after rescuing her father from certain death in the Battle of Britain, is united with her descendants in a massive group marriage in the settlement of Boondock, on the planet Tertius.
Maureen ends her memoir and the Lazarus Long saga with the phrase "And we all lived ever after". To Sail Beyond the Sunset title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database To Sail Beyond the Sunset on Open Library at the Internet Archive
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
The Number of the Beast (novel)
The Number of the Beast is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1980; the first edition featured a interior illustrations by Richard M. Powers. Excerpts from the novel were serialized in the magazine Omni; the book is a series of diary entries by each of the four main characters: Zebadiah John Carter, programmer Dejah Thoris "Deety" Burroughs Carter, her mathematics professor father Jacob Burroughs, an off-campus socialite Hilda Corners. The names "Dejah Thoris", "Burroughs", "Carter" are overt references to John Carter and Dejah Thoris, the protagonists of the Barsoom novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs; the four travel in Zebadiah's modified air car Gay Deceiver, equipped with the professor's "continua" device and armed by the Australian Defence Force. The continua device was built by Professor Burroughs while he was formulating his theories on n-dimensional non-euclidean geometry; the geometry of the novel's universe contains six dimensions. The continua device can travel on all six axes.
The continua device allows travel into various fictional universes, such as the Land of Oz, as well as through time. An attempt to visit Barsoom takes them to an different version of Mars under the colonial rule of the British and Russian empires. E. R. B.'s universe is no harder to reach than Mars is in its usual orbit. But that does not mean that you will find Jolly Green Giants and gorgeous red princesses dressed only in jewels. Unless invited, you are to find a Potemkin Village illusion tailored to your subconscious.... In the novel, the biblical number of the beast turns out to be not 666 but 6 or 10,314,424,798,490,535,546,171,949,056, the initial number of parallel universes accessible through the continua device, it is theorized by the character Jacob that the number may be the accessible universes from a given location, that there is a larger structure that implies an infinite number of universes. The novel lies somewhere between parody and homage in its deliberate use of the style of the 1930s' pulp novels.
Many of the plot lines and characters are derived directly from the pulps, as referenced by the first line of the novel: He's a Mad Scientist and I'm his Beautiful Daughter. The Number of the Beast contains many references to the author; the name of every villain is an anagram of a pen name of Robert or Virginia Heinlein. As in many of his works, Heinlein refers to the idea of solipsism, but in this book develops it into an idea he called "World as Myth" — the idea that universes are created by the act of imagining them, so that all fictional worlds are in fact real and all real worlds are figments of fictional figures' fancy, why Heinlein uses the Ouroboros symbology in works like The Cat Who Walks Through Walls; this plays into the ideology of "Thou Art God" from Heinlein's earlier work Stranger in a Strange Land. Jack Kirwan wrote in the National Review that the novel is "about two men and two women in a time machine safari through this and other universes, but describing The Number of the Beast thus is like saying Moby Dick is about a one-legged guy trying to catch a fish".
He goes on to say that Heinlein celebrates the "competent person". Sue K. Hurwitz said in her review for the School Library Journal that it is "a catalog of Heinlein's sins as an author. It's garbage, but right from the top of the heap". Heinlein buff David Potter explained on alt.fan.heinlein, in a posting reprinted on the Heinlein Society, that the entire book is "one of the greatest textbooks on narrative fiction produced, with a magnificent set of examples of HOW NOT TO DO IT right there in the foreground, constant explanations of how to do it right, with literary references to people and books that DID do it right, in the background." He noted that "every single time there's a boring lecture or tedious character interaction going on in the foreground, there's an example of how to do it RIGHT in the background." On 1 February 2019, it was announced that a novel entitled'Six Six Six' would be published from an unpublished Heinlein manuscript. The text of 185,000 words mirrors the Number of the Beast for the first third but deviates from this.
The Number of the Beast title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database The Number of the Beast on Open Library at the Internet Archive
Pit (nuclear weapon)
The pit, named after the hard core found in fruits such as peaches and apricots, is the core of an implosion nuclear weapon – the fissile material and any neutron reflector or tamper bonded to it. Some weapons tested during the 1950s used pits made with U-235 alone, or in composite with plutonium, but all-plutonium pits are the smallest in diameter and have been the standard since the early 1960s; the pits of the first nuclear weapons were solid, with an urchin neutron initiator in their center. The Gadget and Fat Man used pits made of 6.2 kg of solid hot pressed plutonium-gallium alloy half-spheres of 9.2 cm diameter, with a 2.5 cm internal cavity for the initiator. The Gadget's pit was electroplated with 0.13 mm of silver. The Fat Man pit, those of subsequent models, were all plated with nickel. A hollow pit was considered and known to be more efficient but rejected due to higher requirements for implosion accuracy. Designs used TOM initiators of similar design but with diameters of only about 1 cm.
The internal neutron initiators were phased out and replaced with pulsed neutron sources, with boosted fission weapons. The solid-cores were known as the "Christy" design, after Robert Christy who made the solid pit design a reality after it was proposed by Edward Teller. Along with the pit, the whole physics package was informally nicknamed "Christy Gadget". Efficiency of the implosion can be increased by leaving an empty space between the tamper and the pit, causing a rapid acceleration of the shock wave before it impacts the pit; this method is known as levitated-pit implosion. Levitated pits were tested in 1948 with Fat Man style bombs; the early weapons with a levitated pit had a removable pit, called an open pit. It was stored separately, in a special capsule called a birdcage. During implosion of a hollow pit, the plutonium layer accelerates inwards, colliding in the middle and forming a supercritical dense sphere. Due to the added momentum, the plutonium itself plays part of the role of the tamper, requiring a smaller amount of uranium in the tamper layer, reducing the warhead weight and size.
Hollow pits require more accurate implosion. Following the war's end in August 1945, the laboratory focused back on to the problem of the hollow pit, for the rest of the year they were headed by Hans Bethe, his group leader and successor to the theoretical division, with the hollow composite core being of greatest interest, due to the cost of plutonium and trouble ramping up the Hanford reactors; the efficiency of the hollow pits can be further increased by injecting a 50%/50% mixture of deuterium and tritium into the cavity before the implosion, so called "fusion boosting". The higher degree of control of the initiation, both by the amount of deuterium-tritium mixture injection and by timing and intensity of the neutron pulse from the external generator, facilitated the design of variable yield weapons. At that time, plutonium-239 supply was scarce. To lower its amount needed for a pit, a composite core was developed, where a hollow shell of plutonium was surrounded with an outer shell of more plentiful enriched uranium.
The composite cores were available for Mark 3 nuclear bombs by the end of 1947. For example, a composite core for a US Mark 4 bomb, the 49-LCC-C core was made of 2.5 kg of plutonium and 5 kg of uranium. Its explosion releases only 35% of energy of the plutonium and 25% of the uranium, so it is not efficient, but the weight saving of plutonium is significant. Another factor for considering different pit materials is the different behavior of plutonium and uranium. Plutonium fissions faster and produces more neutrons, but it was more expensive to produce, scarce due to limitations of the available reactors. Uranium is slower to fission, so it can be assembled into a more supercritical mass, allowing higher yield of the weapon. A composite core was considered as early as of July 1945, composite cores became available in 1946; the priority for Los Alamos was the design of an all-uranium pit. The new pit designs were tested by the Operation Sandstone; the plutonium-only core, with its high background neutron rate, had a high probability of predetonation, with reduced yield.
Minimizing this probability required smaller mass of plutonium, which limited the achievable yield to about 10 kt, or using pure plutonium-239 with impractically low level of plutonium-240 contamination. The advantage of the composite core was the possibility to maintain higher yields while keeping predetonation risk low, to utilize both available fissile materials; the yield limitation was rendered irrelevant in mid-1950s with the advent of fusion boosting, with using of fusion weapons. The yield of a weapon can be controlled by selecting among a choice of pits. For example, the Mark 4 nuclear bomb could be equipped with three different pits: 49-LTC-C, 49-LCC-C, 50-LCC-C; this approach is not suitable for field selectability of the yield of the more modern weapons with nonremovable pits, but allows production of multiple weapon subtypes with different yields for different tactical uses. The early US designs were based on standardized Type Type D pit assemblies; the Mark 4 bomb used the Type C and Type D pits, which were insertable m
Colonization of the Moon
Colonization of the Moon is the proposed establishment of a permanent human community or robotic industries on the Moon. Discovery of lunar water at the lunar poles by Chandrayaan-1 has renewed interest in the Moon. Locating such a colony at one of the lunar poles would avoid the problem of long lunar nights – about 354 hours long, a little more than two weeks – and allow the colony to take advantage of the continuous sunlight there for generating solar power. Permanent human habitation on a planetary body other than the Earth is one of science fiction's most prevalent themes; as technology has advanced, concerns about the future of humanity on Earth have increased, the vision of space colonization as an achievable and worthwhile goal has gained momentum. Because of its proximity to Earth, the Moon is seen as the best and most obvious location for the first permanent off-planet colony; the main problem hindering the development of such a colony is the high cost of spaceflight. There are several projects that have been proposed for the near future by space tourism startup companies for tourism on the Moon.
The notion of a lunar colony originated before the Space Age. In 1638 Bishop John Wilkins wrote A Discourse Concerning a New World and Another Planet, in which he predicted a human colony on the Moon. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, among others suggested such a step. From the 1950s onwards, a number of concepts and designs have been suggested by scientists and others. In 1954, science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke proposed a lunar base of inflatable modules covered in lunar dust for insulation. A spaceship, assembled in low Earth orbit, would launch to the Moon, astronauts would set up the igloo-like modules and an inflatable radio mast. Subsequent steps would include the establishment of a larger, permanent dome. In 1959, John S. Rinehart suggested that the safest design would be a structure that could " in a stationary ocean of dust", since there were, at the time this concept was outlined, theories that there could be mile-deep dust oceans on the Moon; the proposed design consisted of a half-cylinder with half-domes at both ends, with a micrometeoroid shield placed above the base.
Project Horizon was a 1959 study regarding the United States Army's plan to establish a fort on the Moon by 1967. Heinz-Hermann Koelle, a German rocket engineer of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency led the Project Horizon study, it was proposed that the first landing would be carried out by two "soldier-astronauts" in 1965 and that more construction workers would soon follow. It was posited that through numerous launches, 245 tons of cargo could be transported to the outpost by 1966. Lunex Project was a US Air Force plan for a manned lunar landing prior to the Apollo Program in 1961, it envisaged a 21-airman underground Air Force base on the Moon by 1968 at a total cost of $7.5 billion. In 1962, John DeNike and Stanley Zahn published their idea of a sub-surface base located at the Sea of Tranquility; this base would house a crew of 21, in modules placed four meters below the surface, believed to provide radiation shielding on par with Earth's atmosphere. DeNike and Zahn favored nuclear reactors for energy production, because they were more efficient than solar panels, would overcome the problems with the long lunar nights.
For the life support system, an algae-based gas exchanger was proposed. The Moon Village concept was presented in 2015.'Village' in this context refers to international public and private investors, engineers and businessmen coming together to discuss interests and capabilities to build and share infrastructure on the Moon and in cislunar space for a variety of purposes. It is neither an ESA project nor a program, but being organized, loosely, by a nonprofit organization seeking to give a platform for an open international architecture and collaboration. In other words, Moon Village seeks to create a vision where both international cooperation and the commercialization of space can thrive; the open nature of the concept would encompass any kind of lunar activities, whether robotic or astronauts, 3D printed habitats, refueling stations, relay orbiters, exploiting resources, or tourism. The idea is to achieve at least some degree of coordination and exploitation of potential synergies and to create a permanent sustainable presence on the surface of the Moon, whether robotic or crewed.
Jan Wörner, ESA Director General, describes the Village as "an understanding, not a single facility". This initiative is meant as the first step in coming together as a species and develop the partnerships and "know how" before attempting to do the same on Mars; the Director General of ESA, Jan Wörner, states that this vision of synergy can be as inspiring as the International Space Station but on a global, international-cooperation basis, he proposes this approach as a replacement for the orbiting International Space Station, due to be decommissioned in 2024. China has expressed interest, NASA has expressed interest in the potential synergy it offers to the proposed Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway; the private aerospace company Blue Origin has expressed early interest and offered to develop a cargo lander with a 4,500 kg capacity of usable payload. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin has long urged his fellow Americans to cooperate with international partners to reach the Moon. While Woerner is the most famous advocate for Moon Village, it is not an ESA program.
Instead, the concept is being organized, loosely, by a nonprofit organization established in N
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is a 1966 science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, about a lunar colony's revolt against rule from Earth; the novel discusses libertarian ideals. It is respected for its credible presentation of a comprehensively imagined future human society on both the Earth and the Moon. Serialized in Worlds of If, the book was nominated for the Nebula Award in 1966, it received the Hugo Award for best science fiction novel in 1967. At the time of the story, 2075, the Moon is used as a penal colony by Earth's government, with the inhabitants living in underground cities. Most inhabitants are political exiles, or their descendants; the total population is about three million, with men outnumbering women two to one, so that polyandry is the norm. Although Earth's Protector of the Lunar Colonies holds power, in practice, little intervention exists in the loose Lunar society. Due to the low surface gravity of the Moon, Loonies who stay longer than a few months undergo "irreversible physiological changes and can never again live in comfort and health in a gravitational field six times greater than that to which their bodies have become adjusted".
HOLMES IV is the Lunar Authority's master computer, having total control of Luna's machinery on the grounds that a single computer is cheaper than multiple independent systems. The story is narrated by Manuel Garcia "Mannie" O'Kelly-Davis, a computer technician who discovers that HOLMES IV has achieved self-awareness and has developed a sense of humor. Mannie names it "Mike" after Mycroft Holmes, brother of Sherlock Holmes, they become friends. At the beginning of the story, Mannie, at Mike's request, attends an anti-Authority meeting with a hidden recorder; when the authorities raid the gathering, Mannie flees with Wyoming Knott, a political agitator, whom he introduces to Mike and with whom he meets his former teacher, the elderly Professor Bernardo de la Paz, who claims that Luna must stop exporting hydroponic wheat to Earth or its limited water resources will be exhausted. In connection with this, Mike calculates that if no prevention occurs, food riots will occur in seven years and cannibalism in nine.
Wyoh and the Professor decide to start a revolution, which Mannie is persuaded to join after Mike calculates that it has a one in seven chance of success. Mannie, de la Paz thereafter form covert cells, protected by Mike, who adopts the persona of "Adam Selene", leader of the movement, communicates by the telephone system. Mannie saves the life of Stuart Rene LaJoie, a rich, well-connected, sympathetic tourist, who begins turning public opinion on Earth in favor of Lunar independence. Before the planned time to revolt arrives, soldiers, brought to quell the mounting unrest rape and kill a local young woman kill another who finds her body, rioting erupts; the Loonies overthrow the Warden. When Earth tries to reclaim the colony, the revolutionaries plan to use in defense a smaller duplicate of the electromagnetic catapult used to export wheat. Mike impersonates the Warden in messages to Earth, to give the revolutionaries time to organize their work. Meanwhile, the Professor sets up an "Ad-Hoc Congress" to distract dissenters.
When Earth learns the truth, Luna declares its independence on July 4, 2076, the 300th anniversary of the United States' Declaration of Independence. Mannie and the Professor go to Earth to plead Luna's case, where they are received in Agra by the Federated Nations, embark on a world tour advertising the benefits of a free Luna, while urging various governments to build a catapult to transfer supplies water, to Luna in exchange for grain, their proposals are rejected and they are imprisoned, but they are freed by Stuart LaJoie and returned, with him, to Luna. Public opinion on Earth has become fragmented, while on Luna, the news of Mannie's arrest and the attempt to bribe him with the appointment of himself as Warden have unified the fractious Loonies. An election is held in which Mannie and the Professor are elected; the Federated Nations on Earth send armies to destroy the Lunar revolution, but these are vanquished, with great loss of life, by the revolutionaries. The rumor is circulated that Mike's alter ego Adam Selene was among those killed, thus removing the need for him to appear in the flesh.
When Mike launches rocks at sparsely populated locations on Earth, warnings are released to the press detailing the times and locations of the bombings, but disbelieving people, as well as people on religious pilgrimages, travel to the sites and die. As a result, public opinion turns against the fledgling nation. A second attack destroys Mike's original catapult, but the Loonies have built a secondary, smaller one in a secret location, with Mannie acting as its on-site commander, the Loonies continue to attack Earth until it concedes Luna's independence. Professor Bernardo de la Paz, as leader of the nation, proclaims victory to the gathered crowds, but collapses and dies. Mannie takes control, but Wyoh and he withdraw from politics altogether, find that the new government falls short of their expectations; when Mannie tries to speak to Mike afterwards, he finds out that the computer has lost its self-awareness and its human-like qualities. Manuel "Mannie" Garcia O'Kelly-Davis is a native-born cynical inhabitant of Luna, who after losing his lower left arm in a laser-drilling acci