In a recent article entitled What should spaceships look like?, the BBC asks the following question:
As the next generation of spaceships is being conceived, should shuttle designers take their inspiration from sci-fi illustrators?
In posing such a question the BBC have clearly displayed their ignorance of this very blog. Had they been paying attention, they would know I have already definitively answered this question.
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The BBC has today reported that a statue of Yuri Gagarin is to be erected in London. Exactly why that smoggy, overpopulated tinderbox of crime and debauchery has chosen to honour a man so intrinsically Russian is beyond me, but reading the story provoked my mind into reflection on the man and his achievements, and the state of contemporary space exploration in general.
As a lover of space and sci-fi, I of course greatly respect the achievements of Gagarin, the first man to actually go to space. He went first where few have been, and where most will never go. His eyes beheld a view that the rest of us can only dream of, or find quite easily on Google Images.
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I will admit, shipmates, that I have often struggled to embrace the concept of the Culture, as presented in several of Iain M. Banks’ novels.
As you may already know, I am heavily influenced by my socio-political belief system, which brings together mysticism and libertarianism (at last), and in which self-reliance and strong clan-ties play a central role. Without digressing further, I am basically a survivalist magickian.
Therefore, the concept of a galactic civilisation in which the welfare state has become total fills me with horror.
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