Tag: robots

Three Books About Aliens and #ThingsWeAreNeverMeantToKnow

Alright, so I don’t really think there’s stuff we’re not meant to know – vive la science! – but a lot of people were talking about aliens (and Monty Python – Twitter, never change), so here are some books about aliens to start knowing some things. Maybe. The truth is out there!

Cinder – Marissa Meyer

This is a great start for anyone who likes their sci-fi light and lush, with enough cyborgs, psychics, and space travel to satisfy more die-hard fans. Set in futuristic Beijing, this well wrought fairy tale retelling features plague, sisterhood, and a robot who’ll be your favorite character. What more could you want? Crime? Formal wear? A lost foot? All that and more, plus, your book hangover will be delayed for quite a while, because there are several excellent sequels and a delightful graphic novel companion series. And did I mention Cinder is a mechanic? She’s a mechanic. Heart eyes.

 

These Broken Stars – Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

Quick question – are you ready to suffer? This is a good book, maybe even a great one, but it’s going to break your entire heart and not even be sorry. Two strangers, the only survivors of a massive spaceliner crash, try to find their way across an alien landscape to the ship’s wreckage and hope of rescue. An unlikely pair, an heiress and a former soldier must work together not only to survive harsh conditions on dwindling hope, but to discover the secrets of this planet, long hidden, and more lovely and terrible than they could have imagined. Like I said, this one’ll hurt, but read it anyway. It’s earned.

 

Binti – Nnedi Okorafor

Confession; this one’s from my TBR. But it’s at the top of the list! Brutal, large scale war against terrifying aliens, an intergalactic university, and the terrible pull of leaving the Earth behind. Clocking in at under a hundred pages, this is definitely a quick read, but don’t worry about being abandoned – it’s the first of three novellas. Plus, we always, always stan a heroine who’s good at math. Isn’t that the dream? Be good at math, and risk death to go to space school? Don’t boo me, I’m right.

Images via Amazon

Featured image via DevantArt 

The Real Life Controversy H.G. Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds’

H. G. Wells died this week in 1946. In honor of his death, we’re taking a look at the fake news broadcast that supposedly panicked many listeners.

 

 

Some people may know that H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds was originally released as a radio broadcast in 1938. Played out by a cast of actors and presented as though it were really taking place, The War of the Worlds broadcast caused mass panic, and many people believed aliens were actually invading New Jersey. Or at least that’s how the story goes.

 

Image result for hg wells

Hg wells | Image via thought co

 

There’s some evidence of this. According to NPR‘s Radiolab, about one in twelve people were listening in, enough to constitute mass panic, and many ran from their homes to see what was happening. This matter is contested, however.

Slate argues that this one in twelve number is just out of those with their radios on, in addition to the fact that Wells’ masterpiece was competing with a particularly popular variety show. In a ratings survey shortly after it aired, most respondents referred to it as a “radio play”. Certainly not as a news broadcast.

Still, contemporary news papers seized the opportunity to discredit radio as an unreliable source, and claimed that masses of people had taken to the streets in panic. Sort of ironic. At least we got a few movies about all that hype. And we finally got to see Tom Cruise running for once.

 

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Gif via Gifer

I kid. Somebody let that man rest. He must have other skills that are being neglected. At least put him on a motorcycle sometimes. Wait.

So was there an actual scare? Maybe. A little. Certainly it occurred to someone that it could be interpreted as real news. Ultimately, though, people knew what it was, and if they didn’t, they dismissed it as a prank. Still, pop culture myths are pernicious, and it’s interesting to imagine a world in which a broadcast could convince a nation that aliens had invaded.

 

 

Featured image via Fandom 

Finest Twitter Flash Fiction to Lighten Up Your Feed

From puppy pics to political news, Twitter is a wonderful place. It’s also home of a wave of flash fiction writers. Here are a few to follow to add some fiction to your feed, even when you don’t have time for short stories.

 

1. T. R. Darling

 

Image via Twitter

 

The absolute best Twitter flash fiction has to offer. Fantasy, mystery, and magical realism combined and intertwined in full stories under two-hundred-eighty words, with a philosophical bend that’ll make you contemplate the combination of genres.

Soon to be a book even.

 

 

2. Mythology Bot

 

Image via Twitter

 

This little bot may not know much, but it certainly has bizarre and whimsical grasp of mythological elements. At the risk of feeling like you’ve thrown a bunch of fantasy books in a blender, follow this bot for some strangeness on your feed.

 

3.The Ghost of M.

 

Image via Twitter

 

Ominous and dare I say emo, this twitter provides story snippets of only a few lines. If you like horror or even just vague unease, follow for these tiny ghost stories.

 

 

4. Ritter Coldriss 

 

Image via Twitter

 

For moody magical realism, look no further. Brief character sketches build strange and unlikely worlds, sci-fi flare, and elegant prose that are sure to have you excited for these stories on your feed.

 

5. King Talib

 

Image via Twitter

Here, moody landscapes combine with strange stories, told one line at a time in a threaded feed. Moody and atmospheric, these stories will leave you questioning their reality and even your own.

 

 

 

Featured image via iStock 

 

Elon Musk’s Lab Working on Robot Writers!

Artificial Intelligence is a controversial subject. With technology advancing so rapidly, many fear that all the science-fiction stories about robots taking over the world may actually come true. And that debate doesn’t look like it will end with this newest development.

 

GPT-2 is one of the latest AI creations from OpenAI, a nonprofit lab backed by Elon Musk. It is a machine that could generate synthetic text samples and perform simple language tasks like answering questions and basic reading comprehension.

 

The project was announced in February and is still in development. OpenAI has stated that they are afraid to release the machine out to the public out of fear of the implications it could have, though they are willing to give researchers a smaller version to experiment with.

 

A reporter from The Guardian was able to observe the AI in action. When it was given the first line from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, the machine began writing, albeit in a rambling version of Orwell’s style. The same thing occurred with other famous novels as well, so the AI still needs some work.

 

Still, the idea of a robot able to write is profound. Will we soon be reading books from robot authors?

 

You can read more about OpenAI’s machine here.

 

 

Featured Image Via Techworld