Classic sci-fi books, reviews, and the best of from a dedicated fan and author!
Matt Williams is a professional writer, science fiction author, and science communicator who currently writes for Universe Today, Interesting Engineering, Stardom Space, and Stellar Amenities. He is also the Director of Media Communications for Mars City Design and a member of Enterprise in Space and Explore Mars. His novels, The Formist Series, are available at Amazon.com and through Castrum Press. He lives with his wife and family on Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia.
The topic for the second episode of my new podcast is (drumroll!) the Fermi Paradox! In 1950, famed physicist and Manhattan Project scientist Enrico Fermi asked the question that launched a thousand possible resolutions – “Where is Everybody?” Given that the Universe is immensely vast, incredibly old, and filled with the ingredients for life, it stands to reason that intelligent life and advanced civilizations have evolved many times in our galaxy alone. So why haven’t we heard from any of them?
This is the essence of the Fermi Paradox, which is still going strong 70+ plus years later. And the range of proposed resolutions is wide and varied. Are they ignoring us? Are they all dead? Are they so advanced that we can’t recognize them? Are we not looking in the right places and/or for the right things? Addressing this question forces us to think big, dig deep, and confront how little we know about life, intelligence, and our place in the Universe. And this episode is just the tip of the iceberg!
Gee, that title kind of says it all, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, I am happy to announce that my latest chat with Marco Ciapelli and Sean Martin at ITSP Magazine was not only a good time, talking about exoplanet studies and science. It was also a chance to introduce Stories from Space, my new podcast at ITSP Magazine, which is all about the history, future, and people that make human spaceflight a reality.
The episode is part of Ciapelli and Martin’s series, Audio Signals, where we talked about the various methods astronomers use to detect, confirm, and study planets beyond our Solar System. We also got into how all of that is about to change thanks to next-generation telescopes like theJames Webb, which will be releasing its first images on July 12th (one of which is of an exoplanet’s atmosphere)!
Check out the interview here and stay tuned for more!
It’s officially Launch Day! My podcast series, Stories from Space, just released its first episode. The topic, “We’re Going Back to the Moon!” talks about Artemis and related programs that will send astronauts back to the lunar surface with the long-term goal of establishing a sustained human presence on the Moon. Mostly, the episode addresses the question: why did it take us over fifty years to go back?
Answering a question like that takes about half an hour (or the length of a podcast episode). You can check it out at the Stories from Space homepage (https://www.itspmagazine.com/stories-from-space), or just click on the play button below. The episode is also available for streaming on Spotify and Apple
The course consists of six lessons (2 hours each) that explore humanity’s fascination and understanding of the Red Planet, culminating with two questions: One, how has our knowledge and understanding evolved over time? Two, can human beings thrive (not just survive) there someday? Considering that humans Mars have been exploring Mars for more than sixty years, and been looking up at the Red Planet since time immemorial, there’s a fair bit to unpack there.
This news has been a few months in the making, but with the final preparations underway, I feel like it’s time to announce it! In a few weeks, I will be launching my podcast series – Stories from Space – with the Intersection Of Technology, Cybersecurity, And Society Podcast (ITSP), a highly-respected channel that hosts multiple shows. Each of these is dedicated to exploring the past, the present, and the future of humanity’s relationship with technology and the profound effects it can have on our society.
In 1948, famed astrophysicist John von Neumann spoke of machines that could consume normal matter and replicate themselves endlessly. Years later, the idea became the basis of “Von Neumann Probes,” self-replicating machines that explore the Universe for other life forms. Could our Universe be teeming with extraterrestrial versions of these probes right now?
Good news! My podcast series, Stories from Space, is now available on iTunes and Spotify! These are the audio podcasts, not to be confused with the video series (of the same name) that is available on Youtube.
You can access all these episodes via Apple Podcasts, or click on the bar below to listen on Spotify:
Could it be that the reason we are confronted by the “Great Silence” is that advanced civilizations are being wiped out? This is the essence of the Berserker Hypothesis, inspired by science fiction, but rooted in scientific theory. It combines the concept of von Neuman Probes, nanotechnology, and the idea that the greatest threat to advanced life is itself!
In the search for life and intelligence beyond Earth, astronomers look for telltale “signatures.” These include the chemical elements that we associate with life as we know it and its biological functions (“biosignatures), and indications of technological activity (“technosignatures”) as we would recognize it. At present, the search for signatures is limited by two factors: the limits of our instrumentation, and the limits of our frame of reference.
Is it possible that humanity hasn’t heard from advanced extraterrestrials because they have us trapped in some grand simulation? Or perhaps they have enclosed our region of space and are simulating an empty Universe. This is known as the Planetarium Hypothesis, originally proposed by scientist and science fiction author Stephen Baxter in 2001. While this possibility is likely unprovable, it has an internal logic that is hard to ignore. If you were a super-advanced extraterrestrial intelligence, isn’t this what you’d do?