Thursday, 25 February 2016
I never know how many blog readers are regular or new so I do not know how often to explain the blog. The focus is Poul Anderson. However, this can involve discussing Anderson's relationships to his predecessors, contemporaries or successors. Sometimes several posts shift to one of those other authors although, so far, the focus has always returned to Anderson. Those predecessors etc are pretty impressive -
science fiction: Mary Shelley
artificial life: Mary Shelley
time travel: Twain, Wells, de Camp, Heinlein
future history: Wells, Stapledon, Heinlein
cosmic fiction: Stapledon
alien invasion: Wells, Heinlein
space travel: Wells, Verne, Heinlein
hard fantasy: Heinlein
future history: Niven, Pournelle
alternative history: SM Stirling
Having explained this, I will continue to mention Niven and Pournelle's The Mote In God's Eye. Can anyone explain this Star Trek/Mote cover? I did not find an answer by googling.
In Mote, Imperial Space Navy regulations about alien contact define sentient beings as employing tools and communication in purposeful behavior but then state that an alien hive rat meets this definition yet is not sentient. Surely the regs just need to clarify "communication" as language, not mere signals? Hive insects signal to each other but do not converse about or discuss anything.