Author Archives: Alex R. Howe

About Alex R. Howe

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

#26 – Vonnegut, Adams, and Modern Satire

While many early works of proto-sci-fi were satires like Gulliver’s Travels, satirical works also appear in modern sci-fi. In this episode, we take a look at the two most famous authors of this subgenre, Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams. Book recommendation: Slaughterhouse-Five … Continue reading

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#25 – Strange New Worlds

While much of the New Wave was about exploring inner space, some authors were still writing about exploring other words. In this episode, we see how this subgenre of “strange new worlds sci-fi” developed, both through Star Trek and through the … Continue reading

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A Study in Parallel Universes: the Diproton “Catastrophe”

Advocates of “fine-tuned universe” claim that if the physical laws of our universe were just slightly different, life would not be able to exist. Some of my colleagues and I previously looked at these claims with the “Weakless Universe,” where … Continue reading

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Episode 25 Delayed

Hi all. Sorry there’s no new episode this week. I have the script finished and everything, but my computer’s gone on the fritz. I barely got it working again after the mess it got into yesterday, and until I have … Continue reading

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#24 – The New Dystopias

In the New Wave, a new batch of dystopian stories appeared that reflected the newer concerns of the time. These were different from the classics like Nineteen Eighty-Four–more diverse, and very often more hopeful. In this episode, we explore the highlights … Continue reading

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Do the Demographics of Logan’s Run Make Sense?

As a companion to this week’s episode of A Reader’s History of Science Fiction, I wanted to take a closer look at the science behind one of the books I’ll be talking about: Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and … Continue reading

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The Logic of “The Gordian Paradox”

In my recent short story, “The Gordian Paradox,” a human attempts to defeat an evil artificial intelligence with a logical paradox: “This sentence is false.” However, instead of getting the AI stuck in a loop, the evil AI and the … Continue reading

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#23 – Overpopulation and Environmental Collapse

In the 60s and 70s, awareness of environmental issues was rising, and that was reflected in the New Wave of science fiction. Of particular note were overpopulation and pollution (leading to widespread environmental collapse). In this episode, we explore the … Continue reading

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The Gordian Paradox

A Short Story “Duck!” Raven yelled, and Dave dropped to the floor. Two bullets whizzed over his head before she blocked the rest of them with her improvised shield. He didn’t know how she could stay ahead of the automated … Continue reading

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The Perseverance Rover Lands on Mars Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is a big day in the world of planetary science. NASA’s Perseverance rover (formerly Mars 2020) will be landing on Mars at 3:55 PM EST. This is something that brings back memories for me. Eight and a half years … Continue reading

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