Sunday, June 22, 2008

Life on Mars? We may know soon

The time may come sooner than you think. Life on other planets may be found in the next day or two...seriously.

Check out the scouring that's going on right now on Mars. This AP article here spells it out for you.

Most life forms are bacteria or some barely multi-cellular forms. That's the nature of the most recent biological findings on the sea-floor and other exotic places here on earth.

So, as NASA analyzes the icy polar region on Mars, they could find life...not bi-peds walking out of spaceships like on Close Encounters of the Third Kind but living organisms not likely to answer S.E.T.I.'s extra-terrestrial life call.

Ice has that one thing life seems to invariably need: water. There are speculations about methane-based life forms on Europa but we'll learn soon enough on that one. For now, where water lives life could breed.

Keep a close eye on the Phoenix mission. Life on other planets may be a reality in your lifetime soon enough...maybe even tomorrow.

Author's note: this didn't have much to do with speculative fiction...but every writer of the sort is keeping watch.

Friday, June 20, 2008

What is speculative fiction?

The people at Books Worth Reading answered this question recently. Since I continue to encounter this same question while discussing my genre of fiction, it's a good subject to occasionally revisit on this blog.

A couple of the names you read about in my blog: Vonnegut and McCarthy, also show up prominently in their list of authors in the right page gutter.

Their article sets up the big mainstream categories first but then drills down into the other powerful areas of fiction that you can't neatly categorize...and they contain great books. To add to your reading list, take a few of their suggestions to heart.