Science Fiction Bits and Bobs

I’ve been quieter than usual due to various commitments and looming deadlines…

One of them is:


Last night I also had a chance to hear Holst’s The Planets played by The Royal Philamonic Orchestra in Bristol – it sure is different from listening to it on any player or radio. I was delighted they also played the accompanying film of the planets. The timing of the orchestra playing the music aligned with the HD perfectly. I’d love to know how the Conductor did that! But some of the images they came up with are inspirational for science fiction writing.


I did manage to sneak into Waterstones before the concert and buy a science fiction book – The Many Selves of Katherine North by Emma Geen.9781408858431

Emma was on the MA Creative Writing course at Bath Spa as me and I’ve been waiting for her novel to come out. I’ve only had chance to read a few chapters in, but so far it is fulfilling the promise of the early draft excerpts I had chance to see on the course. It’s a brave experience with a really new idea.

Finally one bit of science news – they boffins (what a lovely old fashioned term – maybe I should say scientists and engineers) have been able to pull carbon dioxide out of the air and turn it into limestone by getting the carbon dioxide to react with volcanic basalts. See here. They managed to solidify 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide in an unexpectedly quick time (i.e. within two years) instead to the predicted hundreds or thousands of years. There are several points to this:

  • Only certain rocks can do this and they are located in a limited number of countries – we are into global politics – just like I suggested in my short story Ripple Effect – so who pays for the removal?
  • They have upped the removal rate to 10,000 tonnes per year, but what is needed to bring the climate change back into the comfortable bracket is the removal of thousands millions of tonnes of year. It’s a step in the right direction, but much more needs to be done.
  • If we do end up with the capability of controlling the climate globally, what is to be defined as the comfortable bracket for the global climate? Can you just imagine the arguments? I want sunshine – why should you have the sunshine – I need the rain for the crops – but I need the rain for the water supplies – and these are just examples. There are many many more issues.
  • The last point is dependent on being able to predict what will happen to the climate as a result of our interventions. The science has come a very long in understanding the issues and contributing factors. But as you can see from this article we are still learning – or putting it another way, we don’t know enough to be absolutely certain of the results of our interventions. The scale of these experiments are but a drop in the ocean of what could be done, so their impact is not yet noticeable. But if we scale up, what then?


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