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news, magazines, webzines

Science, Fiction, and points in between

§ New York Times Magazine November 28, 1999
Timothy Ferris contributes an article about neat things to do in outer space -- ''An adventurous approach to the final frontier needn't be confined to science fiction'' -- with illustrations by Bob McCall.

(Tue 30 Nov 1999)

§ Slate Nov. 22, 1999
Joel Achenbach (author of the just-published Captured by Aliens: The Search for Life and Truth in a Very Large Universe (Simon & Schuster)) has advice on What Do You Say to a Naked Alien?

There's a scene in Carl Sagan's excellent novel Contact when Ellie Arroway, his protagonist, whooshes down some kind of intragalactic ''wormhole'' and winds up on a sunny beach, face to face with an alien. The alien, annoyingly, doesn't seem to know who built that wormhole subway system. Eventually Arroway gets around to asking what is no doubt her most urgent question: ''I want to know what you think of us, what you really think.''

Wow. That's really the wrong question there. That's blowing it big time. This gal crosses half the galaxy and is tossed and rattled around to within an inch of her life, and when it's over she starts fishing for a compliment!

§ Salon Nov. 22, 1999
A profile of ''delightful crackpot'' Rupert Sheldrake, author of Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals (Crown).

§ USA Today 11/18/99
Talk magazine's list of the 10 most-talked-about books of the century.

§ New York Times November 11, 1999
Fiction-Writing Software Takes on Humans. Can you tell which of five opening sentences was written by a computer?

§ Boston Globe November 11/02/99
Michael Prager asks, Forecasts? What for?

(Tue 23 Nov 1999)

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