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The Kings of Ancient Narnia

I've noticed there is room in C.S. Lewis' Narnia tales for more stories.

Those who know the series well might think there couldn't be any more Narnia tales, since C.S. Lewis isn't around anymore and because the series as he wrote it went from the very beginning of Narnia (in The Magician's Nephew) to the very end (in The Last Battle). But there is, in fact, at least one noticeable gap in the stories, something that happened of interest that's never been written into books.

Between the time of the establishment of the first King of Narnia and the situation where the White Witch rules Narnia (that is, in between The Magician's Nephew and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) the actions of these kings have never been documented, nor has the rise of the White Witch to power.

Since the whole series of current Narnia books is called "The Chronicles of Narnia," calling a series of books that covers the time period I'm referencing "The Kings of…

"The Garden's First Sinner": A Story, the Serpent, Satan, and a Strange Take on Evolution

"The Garden's First Sinner" is a short story idea I had years ago but never got around to writing, partly because I'm more interested in the idea than the story. Let me be clear up front that the purpose of this story would not have been to advance any new theological notions (I don't believe what I suggest below myself), but simply to make its readers think about what could be possible...

The story would be based on the observation that there is a difference between Satan, the spiritual adversary of the human race, bits of details about whom are visible throughout Scripture, and a serpent, which is described in Genesis as being the most "subtle" beast of the field (in King James English). That is, the serpent is described as the most intelligent of animals, short in smarts only to mankind. Yet Scripture also portrays Satan as a serpent or serpent-like (most famously as a dragon in the book of Revelation) and specifically links him to the temptation of …

Multiple Multiverses of Science and Imagination

I haven’t read Brian Greene’s 2011 book, The Hidden Reality, but according to an online post which includes a summary of this work’s explanation of the most current thinking by theoretical physicists on the subject of multiple universes—a.k.a. “multiverses”—a.k.a. parallel universes—there are not only physicists who believe more than one universe is possible, as a collective whole they have proposed nine different types of multiverses. Although naturally they disagree among themselves concerning which of these, if any, has any valid possibility to really exist.


Of course, in the classical understanding of the word it’s a contradiction to speak of anything other than one universe, since the word by definition embraces all of material creation throughout all space and time. But what’s meant by more than one universe is that we human beings may be isolated in one possible reality, in which we would only be able to see a certain amount of the “total universe.” All that we could possibly de…

LIfe on Titan--Metabolism Inverted

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Titan is Saturn’s largest moon. With an atmosphere about twice as thick as Earth, but much colder (the average temperature on the surface is around minus180 Celsius—approaching 300 below in Fahrenheit), life on as we know it on Earth would seem to be impossible on Titan. Liquid water forms the common solvent of all life on our planet, of all sizes, for plants, animals, bacteria, and everything else. On Titan, water is a rock as much as slate is on our world. As on Earth, internal heating can cause the rock to melt—but on Titan, this would mean that liquid water would flow as a cold version of lava, only to solidify again into water rock. On the surface, no life could exist that depends on liquid water.

It could be that if there is a permanent reservoir of molten water under the surface of Titan, just as there is a permanent flow of magma under the surface of the Earth. If so, liquid-water based bacteria might live below. That perhaps could be, but what interests me is the possibility o…

Libertarian America: An Alternate Earth Story Setting

Libertarianism can actually mean a lot of things, actually, but for the sake of this post, let's imagine that the American government as it originally existed remained in that form, that is, a small federal government with low taxes (including no income taxes), a mostly laissez-faire attitude toward business, and a non-interventionist attitude toward foreign powers, but otherwise as much as possible like America as we know it. If a science fiction story took place in a setting where America had followed that path (either through some kind of time travel intervention or quantum alternate universe), what would that look like--how would American Libertarianism have influenced world history?

First off, America's largest war, the internal conflict between the Confederate States of America and the United States Federal forces, would almost certainly have kicked off anyway. Some Libertarian types might argue that Federal overreach caused the war, because otherwise the North would have…

The Interchangeable Brain

The "black box for the brain" idea I discussed in my suggested video game idea (REVIVE) carries with it some interesting implications:

If it really were possible to record the total neuron function of the brain and map its structure in such a way to capture its memories, allowing the brain to be rebuilt, that would also logically allow a person's brain to be placed in a head other than the one it came from. For my story idea, that would mean that people would not just medically come back from the dead, they might come back as someone other than who they used to be--a futuristic, surgical-based version of reincarnation...
Please note I'm not stating it actually would be in any way possible to record total neuron function. It might be possible, but I think even if so it would be very difficult--there are just so many neurons. Nor do I consider it probable that any such surgical reconstruction on a cellular level will ever really happen--though it makes sense to me that…

Impossible Water Zombies

I seem to have a zombie fixation...

Blame it on AMC's The Walking Dead--as noted in part in a previous post reacting to the show (where is the military?) I'm having a hard time with how improbable the basic "Zombie Apocalypse" setting is. As I noted, any zombie attack would be easily dealt with by any halfway decent military unit. Seriously--I used to be in a US Army Reserve maintenance company which had some of its own vehicles and a little compound with a security fence. The unit had just enough weapons for each person in the unit but didn't keep any significant amount of ammunition. Still, I'm confident that if things started to get bad with everyone in the world turning into zombies, the Sergeant First Class in charge would have bought M16-compatible .223 caliber rounds out of his own pocket, would have arranged the purchase of fuel and goods to support the unit, and would have no problem organizing his handful of mechanics into a defense that would hold …

Angels and Aliens

As a Christian science fiction writer, perhaps it's no surprise that I'm interested in both angels and aliens as topics for stories. What I do find surprising is that some people don’t believe there is any difference between the two. 
Such angel = alien correlation has a variety of forms:
American Astronomer Carl Sagan pointed out in 1995 that stories of alien encounters here on Earth resemble stories of demonic capture of earlier times—or of the appearance of angels, or fairy creatures, or gods or demi-gods of even earlier times. Sagan believed that intelligent extraterrestrial life likely exists because he was persuaded evolution most certainly would not have produced life only on Earth—yet he denied that aliens would actually come to Earth and would clandestinely visit and/or abduct people (he was convinced if aliens had come all this way, they surely would have announced themselves). For him, the fact that these kinds of appearances have always existed demonstrated that this…

Zombie Physiology

So how does the zombie body function? How is it that only a head shot is guaranteed to kill one of them?

As mentioned in a previous post on Zombie Ecology, there have been multiple ideas of what a zombie is. The original concept of spirits animating dead flesh requires no physiological explanation--that's how it works just because it does.

But the zombie stories that feature a virus, some sort of non-supernatural phenomenon animating dead flesh such as in AMC's The Walking Dead, could use some scientific explanation. How is it that the zombies are able to move about when most of their major organs are non-functional? How is it they resist completely rotting away into skeletons?

I've got some proposed answers (and I thank Paul Clyde and James Lehye for engaging in the conversation that inspired this post):

First off, the easy stuff. Zombies don't feel pain because their brains don't function right...the pain signals arrive at what is left of their brain, but nothing…

Eclectia and other Worlds Stranger than Star Wars in Fact and Fiction

Star Wars treated its fans to visually striking worlds, from the ice planet Hoth, to the desert world Tatooine, forest moon Endor, and others covered with ocean or city or lava. Or the Death Star itself, which was essentially a fully mechanical version of the moon. These planetary bodies were generated by a relatively simple method--take a climate or condition available on the Earth we know and craft an entire world out of it.

The real universe is significantly odder that Star Wars. In our own Solar System, consider Venus. With its dense atmosphere, 92 times thicker than Earth's, at a pressure equivalent to a kilometer underneath the ocean, but hot enough to melt lead, lightning swept, with sulfuric acid rain, it forms its own particular version of hell. Or ice-covered Europa, Jupiter's moon, which highly likely has an ocean trapped under the ice, but whose surface is swept by a radiation that would be quickly fatal to humans because of charged particles trapped in Jupiter'…