Author Archives: Alex R. Howe

About Alex R. Howe

I'm a full-time astrophysicist and a part-time science fiction writer.

TESS Lifts Off

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) lifted off on a SpaceX rocket last night. TESS is a follow-up to the wildly successful Kepler mission that will hunt for transiting planets—that is, planets that pass in front of their stars, blocking … Continue reading

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Movie Review: Ready Player One

Ready Player One is Steven Spielberg’s newest film based on the 2011 novel by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline. The story is set in a dystopian 2045 where economic decline has caused millions of people to seek escape in a … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Return by Joseph Helmreich

The Return is the first novel by journalist and screenwriter Joseph Helmreich—a sci-fi thriller with a fresh take on an old trope: Alien Abduction. After years of conspiracy theories, physicist Andrew Leland unwittingly proves the absolute existence of aliens when … Continue reading

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Happy Amerigo Vespucci Day

Today is the birthday of Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512), an Italian navigator who explored the newly-discovered Americas, got his name attached to them, and arguably deserves his own holiday more than that other Italian navigator you might be thinking of. Columbus … Continue reading

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Movie Review: Black Panther

Black Panther is being hyped as the movie of the year, and it’s certainly making an impact. It’s opening weekend was the fifth-largest of all time and it’s breaking lots of box office records. But how does this Africa-set superhero … Continue reading

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Falcon Heavy Blasts Off

SpaceX successfully completed the maiden flight of its new rocket, the Falcon Heavy, earlier today. This new heavy lifter can launch 63.8 metric tons to low Earth orbit, compared with 22.8 metric tons for the Falcon 9, making it officially … Continue reading

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Book Review: Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

Waking Gods is the sequel to Sylvain Neuvel’s debut novel, Sleeping Giants, which I reviewed previously. In Sleeping Giants, a giant alien robot, Themis, is discovered buried in pieces all over the world. Predictably, the governments of the world and … Continue reading

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