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Science Fiction Thursday

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | July 10, 2014 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | July 10, 2014 |

Orphan Black just got renewed for a third season if you didn’t see Genny’s post yesterday. At some point Tatiana Masley’s mind is going to snap from juggling too many personalities and she’ll get stuck as whoever was the last clone she was playing. The show will end, and she will live her life out in quiet solitude, hardly noticing the soft restraints and pillowed walls as she repeats forever her last monologue. We’re too civilized now to just give broken down actors the Old Yeller anymore.

Next, have you ever wanted to name a planet? Good news, everyone! Since we figured out how to detect planets around other stars, it has become depressingly mundane to find yet another planet we have no way of reaching. Where once we had nine (or eight if you’re in that camp), we now have hundreds, and not even the idea of a ship to reach them. Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.

Well, the International Astronomical Union (who I can’t take seriously, because shouldn’t that be the Intergalactic Astronomical Union? Have some topical ambition) has decided to open up 305 planets to be named by the public. Mind you, these are the official folks, not the con job where you send $30 to a PO Box in Florida and you get a certificate saying that some unspecified dot of light is now named after your late dog Admiral Fredrico Snugglesberry.

You can submit proposals for names in September, and then a vote will be taken in March of next year. Here’s where I’d joke that we need to get a planet named Pajiba, but I don’t trust this whole thing not to be rigged anyway. Last year, they held a vote to name a couple of small moons of Pluto, and though the overwhelming winner was “Vulcan” they threw it out and just named it themselves. God forbid we name the pinpricks of light we dream to visit after the dreams we dreamed together. Astro fascist twats.

(go here to get details on participating in this charade of scientific democracy)

In written sci-fi news, have you ever read Ringworld? If not, you’re a failure at life, go read it. It’s a classic Larry Niven novel of the seventies, which means wicked interesting science, relatively weak characters, and a story that serves primarily as a vehicle for the science. Niven always reminded me of Asimov that way: staggeringly fascinating visions of the future, and not a single character you can recall a year later. Anyway, Ringworld is getting a graphic novel adaptation, and it looks gorgeous. You can see the first sixteen pages of it here.

Steven Lloyd Wilson is a hopeless romantic and the last scion of Norse warriors and the forbidden elder gods. His novel, ramblings, and assorted fictions coalesce at You can email him here and order his novel here.

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.