Author Archives: Alex R. Howe

About Alex R. Howe

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

#11 – John W. Campbell and the Golden Age of Sci-Fi

John W. Campbell was the controversial longtime editor of Astounding Science Fiction who single-handedly directed the course of science fiction in the 1940s, a time that is not called the “golden age of sci-fi.” However, I argue the golden age … Continue reading

Posted in A Reader's History of Science Fiction, Science Fiction

Essay: The Real Problem with “The Cold Equations”

As part of tomorrow’s episode of A Reader’s History of Science Fiction, I felt the need to write a companion essay analyzing one of the most famous (or perhaps infamous) short stories in the history of the genre: “The Cold … Continue reading

Posted in Physics, Science Fiction, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Book Review: Delta-v by Daniel Suarez

Delta-v by Daniel Suarez is a new novel about the exploration of our Solar System. It’s been a popular topic in recent years, but Suarez does put a unique spin on it. This is the first sci-fi story I’ve seen … Continue reading

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New Video: MegaFavNumbers

Yesterday, a bunch of Math (or Maths) YouTubers like Numberphile, 3Blue1Brown, and many others started the #MegaFavNumbers project, where mathematicians talk about their favorite numbers that are larger than 1,000,000. Well, I’m not a mathematician by trade, but I do … Continue reading

Posted in math, Video | Tagged , , , ,

#10 – Stapledon and Lewis

Olaf Stapledon and C. S. Lewis both explored the spiritual side of science fiction, albeit in very different ways. In this episode, we explore how they went about it and why one of them is considered a must read by … Continue reading

Posted in A Reader's History of Science Fiction, Science Fiction

Book Review: Junction by Daniel M. Bensen

This one might need a bit of background. Lately, I’ve been getting interested in something called speculative evolution, which is a branch of science fiction about how life might evolve on other planets—or in the future, or in Earth’s past, … Continue reading

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#9 – The Dystopia Classic

Dystopian fiction has become a popular subgenre of sci-fi in its own right, but the earliest dystopian novels shared some unique elements in common, inverting the standard tropes of the hero’s journey. In this episode, we explore what has made … Continue reading

Posted in A Reader's History of Science Fiction, Science Fiction

The Mars Perseverance Launch Is Tomorrow

Space news of the day: NASA’s Perseverance rover (formerly Mars 2020) will launch at 7:50 am EDT tomorrow morning on its mission to Mars. (It was originally supposed to be July 17, but it was delayed due to equipment problems.) … Continue reading

Posted in Current events, Space exploration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

#8 – The Dawn of Cinema

At the same time science fiction came into its own as a genre, cinema was doing the same. Here, we see an overview of the most notable sci-fi films of the silent and pre-Code eras, and how they influenced the … Continue reading

Posted in A Reader's History of Science Fiction, Science Fiction | 2 Comments

Book Review: A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green

I’ve previously reviewed An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green, a science educator and YouTube host alongside his brother, John (author of The Fault in our Stars). Hank’s debut novel featured a visit by an enigmatic alien robot named Carl, … Continue reading

Posted in Book reviews, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment