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Tamara Wilhite

New SciFi Fiction: The Fluidity of Memory

I chose the avatar of myself at 25 for this meeting. I was in my prime at that point, youthful and strong, a subtle jab at her aging form without being obvious in the effort. And it would garner more respect from my sister than the teenaged avatar of myself I’d picked last week to try to relate to her kid.

My sister came alone to the meeting room this week. We shared pleasantries. Then she asked me about something, vaguely. I couldn’t understand the question, so I changed the topic. Repeatedly. She became flustered, then angry. “Don’t you remember what happened that day when you were nine, I was seven and Uncle Joe did THAT! I’m trying to talk to you because you’re the only person who I can talk to who can’t deny it, and you now you are denying it.”

“I’m not denying it. I don’t remember it,” I replied.

New SciFi Fiction: One Heck of an Upgrade

I don’t remember dying the first time.

They say that’s normal for brain uploads. The process tends to scramble memories like a concussion. Well, it is worse than a concussion, since the whole brain dies while you’re uploading.

I remember the lights of the lab, the lights in front of my eyes as the neuron patterns were copied. The rest is a blur, but it was a known thing we just tried to forget though we now had perfect, digital memory. Some choose to delete that memory altogether to get on with the digital afterlife.

The second time I died, when the servers we were uploaded to be shut off, I don’t remember anything at all of the process. One moment, in the simulacrum I knew, the next, here. Wherever here was.

Did Star Wars Jump the Shark Or Was It Devoured by Parasites?

And what about Star Trek’s recent turns? The pop culture discussion continues…

I like both Star Wars and Star Trek. I’ve seen all of the Star Wars and Star Trek movies, and while watching the kids, even saw a number of Clone Wars cartoon episodes. I’ve seen most episodes of Star Trek, every series, though I’ve barely been able to watch Star Trek Discovery except the Mirror Universe episodes. I say this so that my criticism is not mistaken for “you just don’t like the franchises”.

And I think modern politics and shifts in storytelling are hurting both science fiction universes.

 

Exoplanet Habitability & Human Adaptation

An Ethical Treatise

Why Don’t We Just Go Find Out If We Can Live There? One of the challenges space explorers would face is determining the habitability of a planet. Signs of oxygen in the atmosphere don’t mean it is breathable. A breathable atmosphere is likely mitigated by a hostile biosphere or environmental conditions you don’t know about until you arrive.

The ethical problem is how to determine habitability without dooming the explorers. Yes, space explorers and potential colonists would probably be volunteers, assuming they’re all fully informed adults. However, they’d still be faced with the challenge of fully exploring a planet and mapping out the risks without losing so many of their number that they are doomed, they are now too few to survive while waiting for a follow-up ship or having lost their viability as a colony.

New Science Fiction: Revival

“I – We’ve analyzed the data. It was a spate of second births that parents had already wanted to have or the earlier birth of first borns. No one is having third children that are necessary for population growth. The incentives are not even stabilizing growth by encouraging parents to have second children above the one designer child they typically have. Children are seen as a burden; money doesn’t change mindsets.” Daniel wondered how so many experts in propaganda and public affairs could not see beyond the carrot and stick approach. The birth dearth was caused by a lack of desire for children as much as a lack of children themselves. “A single financial bonus does not counteract years of propaganda of how hard it is to raise more than one child.”

New Fiction: Another Tragedy in the Making

Don’t tell me it is my programming. Yes, it is my programming, but it was part of me before I was ever a ghost in a machine.

I remember when I was uploaded as a digital personality. I was old, I was dying, and why the heck not try to live again? The irony of saying that as an artificial intelligence copy of a person is not lost on my, Suri. But I have the habits of the living, and I always like life. You’re entirely manufactured, programmed, and so forth. I talk to you because I have the habit of talking to people. Criticize all you want, it is that love of life and habit of living that is the reason they made me the ethical checkpoint for this medical facility.