Mark Grealish

> cats and wizardry


science fiction

My Body is Ready

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Clarkian Magic

I live in somebody’s fictional future. Science fiction writers follow a process. First, they decide where their story will be on the spectrum of happiness-utopia or dystopia? Second, they construct a narrative history which links here and there. And finally, the writer exaggerate their made-up tomorrow for dramatic effect. The writer makes sure you know […]

Some shit you cannot make up

I mean, while David Zindell did make up this shit, I didn’t make up my telling of it. Before you lies a description of the mighty dick of a race of hermaphroditic transhuman seal-people.

Rogue One cinematography

It doesn’t matter to me if the rest of Rogue One is awful, not when this is how Gareth Edwards’s presents the Star Wars universe. See, I’m a written science fiction fan. While I don’t keep count of what books I’ve read, I put the count somewhere in the mid hundreds. Some novels I’ve read […]

Yet despite all that, I bought one anyways

Paul Mac Eoin and I have kickstarted a new technology podcast. The Future Of. Our slogan is ‘infinity…awaits!’ The Future Of is not just about technology: I want to explore European views and the wider shifts in culture that new gadgets wreak. There are dozens of American technology podcasts full of the Bay Area or […]

Hermes, from The Martian

The orbit is backward, the solar panels are pointless, and there are a whole boatload of other scientific errors in the first teaser for the film adaptation of Andy Weir’s The Martian, but damn, Hermes looks fine. MATTTTTTT DAMMMMMONNNNNNNN!!

True love

There I am in the Gala Express in Eyre Square. Some lad on the radio was describing himself as being half-Ewok because “my mum is from Monaghan, but my dad is from the planet Endor.” The girl across the counter made eye contact with me and we said, simultaneously, “Endor is a moon…” I am […]

How many avout does it take to change the light bulb?

1 avout to change the light bulb. 1 assistant to help him up the ladder, and then hold it steady. 9 who have fallen back to avocations to grow a tree, chop it down, and carve it into a stepladder. 5 more to collect the sand, smelt the glass, blow the bulb, and spin the […]

Jon Snow L’Oreal

Really, the title explains everything. I giggled at this for a good hour. The best source I have for it is here

I’m not one for the meme bandwagon, but…

…this one made me out-and-out guffaw.

Nitpicking Virga

I’m currently halfway through the third book of Karl Schroeder’s Virga pentalogy. This is a fantastically fun series if you make sure you switch your brain off before reading. There’s swashbuckling derring-do, ships of the line clashing, pirates, knaves and heroes, chivalry, conspiracies, secrets, betrayals and the odd, outright “fuck yeah!” moment. All that said, […]

The Dimensions of a Heighliner

Dune (1965) The Spacing Guild Heighliner in Dune is one of the more iconic starships in science fiction. Helighliners serve as means of transportation, fulcrums for events and convenient plot devices throughout the books of the series. In the first novel, they were described as being of such gargantuan size that Duke Paul Atreides says: […]

(Spoilers) Tron Legacy in ten bullet points

It was a powerfully surreal experience to watch Thirteen play a happy-go-lucky, naive character. If you are a House fan, this alone is worth the price of admission. C.L.U.’s take-over-the-world plot made absolutely no fucking sense. None. Zero. Look at C.L.U.’s master plan logistically: He’s going to subjugate the entire world One aircraft carrier, a […]

Disassembly and consumption

What follows is a lengthy, edited quote from Larry Niven’s 1968 novel, A Gift from Earth, that I just finished reading: The man they wheeled into the organ bank operating room was unconscious…he had been tried and condemned, but in law he was still alive. It was a legal point, nothing more. The operating room […]

The Story

For (maybe) the past six years I’ve been kicking around the basic plotline for The Story. The Story is ostensibly a hard science-fiction tale of how we went there and back again. I actually do have a fair amount of research undertaken; a basic plot, timeline and back story formulated; a rich coterie of interesting […]

The Way

One of my absolutely favourite science fiction novels is Greg Bear’s 1985 Eon, a story of first contact, politics, war, time travel, technology and humanity that centres around the aftermath of the the arrival into Earth’s orbit of a spaceship from our own future, the Thistledown. I sit down and try to read Eon at […]