Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Space Weather To Universe Weather

Science fiction author Bruce Sterling points out this great article on space weather and asks - but what about galactic weather?

I responded by raising the stakes - what about the weather in our corner of the universe?

Space weather was first described and written about by science fiction writers like A.E. van Vogt, who wrote about space weather maps in his 1943 story The Storm:

On the three-dimensional map at weather headquarters on the planet Kaider III, the storm was colored orange. Which meant it was the biggest of the four hundred odd storms raging in the Fifty Suns region of the Lesser Magellanic Cloud.

But the largest issue, that of the different conditions that obtain throughout the large structures of the universe; that's a different story. Or, to be precise, a set of different stories.

Science fiction writers have described vast fields of force that enclose the solar system. One of the best-known is Poul Anderson's description of the galactic damping field in his 1953 novel Brain Wave.


('Brain Wave (The Escape)' by Poul Anderson)

However, I'd like to quote here a passage from the incredible 1981 novel Radix by A.A. Attanasio. This novel really blew my mind when I read it that year.

"Over a thousand years ago, the sun and its planets entered a stream of radiation that has no origin. The radiation comes from the axle of our galaxy where the gravity of a billion suns has opened our universe to the multiverse. There, in the galactic core, energy gushes in from an infinity of other realities.

Some of that timeless energy is psynergy, modes of being that you and I would recognize as sentient. When that psynergy reaches earth, it changes the genetic structure of humans, and in a generation or two it becomes voors, distorts, and sometimes godminds. These are beings orphaned from the worlds that created them. They fight hard to hold onto the patterns that anchor them to this planet, because the psynergy-stream is sliding away from us. After the skyfires are gone, there will be no more new voors, no more new godminds. Those that survive will possess the earth."

Another example of this story is Atomic Fire (1931) by Raymond Z. Gallun. A dark nebula envelops the sun and plunges the Earth into darkness; the end is near!

Aggar Ho looked up at his assistant. The grave expression on his face did not change. "We can no longer joke about the Black Nebula, Sark Ahar, my son," he said. "Unless something can be done, it will cause all the inhabitants of Aerth to be frozen to death in thirty-five days."

..."There is no chance for a mistake," returned Aggar Ho. "Here are my figures," and he tapped the pad of paper lying on his desk. "You may take them to your work room and check them if you like. Ever since we began to watch the Black Nebula six months ago I have been afraid. We thought that it would miss the solar system by several billion miles but tonight I have plotted its course. It is going to envelope the sun and blot out its light and warmth! Microscopic observations prove that it is a vast cloud of the heavy opaque gas number 106. When it reaches the sun, it will form a dense layer over its surface. Then there will be darkness."

But plucky scientists create a self-sustaining nuclear reaction, and set the moon on fire, creating a small sun to light the Earth until the sun itself can burn through the nebula's clouds.

The earliest reference to this idea that I know about is the poison space cloud in The Poison Belt, a 1913 novella by Arthur Conan Doyle:

"You will conceive a bunch of grapes," said he, "which are covered by some infinitesimal but noxious bacillus. The gardener passes it through a disinfecting medium. It may be that he desires his grapes to be cleaner. It may be that he needs space to breed some fresh bacillus less noxious than the last. He dips it into the poison and they are gone. Our Gardener is, in my opinion, about to dip the solar system, and the human bacillus will in an instant be sterilized out of existence."

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/23/2023)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1955.

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.' - Garrett P. Serviss, 1898.

SpaceX Wants A Moonbase Alpha
'And he had been sent with troops, supplies and bombs to command Russia's most trusted post, the Moonbase.' - L. Ron Hubbard, 1948.

NASA Wants Self-Driving Or Remote-Controlled Vehicles For Lunar Astronauts
'THE autobus turned silently down the wide street of Hydropole. Robot-guided, insulated from noise and cold...'

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

LORIS Passive-Gripper Climbing Robot
'At the end of each appendage's eight fingers there are tinier appendages...'

Neuroplatform Human Brain Organoid Bioprocessor Uses Less Electricity
'Cultured brains on a slab.'

Drug To Regenerate Teeth In Humans
'We want to do something to help those who are suffering from tooth loss or absence,' said lead researcher Katsu Takahashi.

Coin-Sized Nuclear Battery Good For 100 Years
'...power pack the size of a pea.'

Live Stream With Meta-Ban Multimodal Smart Glasses
'...the bug-eyed, opaque gape of her True-Vu lenses.'

'Autonomous' Waymo Improves Driving With Remote Human Operators
'...some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life... in his hands.'

Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
'He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.'

Heinleinís Controlway - Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Corridor In Michigan
'Well, that's us,' said Lazarus.

NYC/Dublin Portal Fails To Meet 'Guardian Of Forever' Standards
I am the Guardian of Forever.

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.'

Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

The FLUTE Project - A Huge Liquid Mirror In Space
'It's area, and its consequent light-gathering capacity, was many times greater than any rigid mirror...'

Robot Preachers Found To Undermine Religious Commitment
'Tell me your torments,' the Padre said, in an elderly voice marked with compassion.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.