The Way I See It!
Musings of an iconoclast.
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A sample "celestial billboard" concocted by StartRocket, a Russian startup.
Hijacking the Heavens:
The Commercialization of the Final Frontier
by Lorin R. Robinson
Imagine you’re out for a walk one fine spring evening. There’s a blanket of stars overhead, pinpoint sharp in the cool night sky. Suddenly you are shocked to see what appears to be a long train of UFOs speeding quickly from horizon to horizon. You wonder if you’re witnessing the beginnings of an alien invasion.
Later you learn you’ve witnessed something quite different—the launch of 60 satellites, the first of what may be thousands—by one of several for-profit space “exploration” companies.
Such mega “constellations” of satellites could soon blight the view of the night sky as evidenced by the recent launch of Tesla-founder Elon Musk’s Starlink vehicles. The first 60 of what could be 12,000 satellites were successfully blasted into orbit by Musk’s company, SpaceX, which says it plans to use them to beam internet communication to unserved or underserved areas of the planet.
What Happens When
Truth Catches Up with Fiction?
Lessons from Tales from The Warming
By Lorin R. Robinson
Novelist-poet-playwright Doris Lessing famously said: "There's no doubt that fiction makes a better job of the truth." It is interesting, however, that—at least in the case of climate fiction (cli-fi)—the truth is catching up with fiction much faster than anticipated.
In my book, Tales from The Warming, I tried to apply Lessing’s dictum to telling the truth through fiction about what I call “the warming.” Until recently, the warming has been framed primarily in scientific terms. What’s happening to our planet has been and is being thoroughly documented, described and defined by climate and earth science.
But the science-based warnings about the climate crisis have not resonated well with the public. Despite decades of red flags, recent polls indicate that only 66 percent of Americans believe global warming is real and that the phenomenon’s existence is supported by solid evidence. And, despite clear evidence to the contrary, just 59 percent believe its effects have begun, while only 45 percent think it poses a serious threat during their lifetimes. (Gallup, March 2019).
Writing Outside One’s Racial Box:
by Lorin R. Robinson
When I began writing The 13: Ashi-niswi I didn’t know I was blissfully wandering into a minefield. I guess I must live in a bubble.
The 13 is historical fiction—the tale of 13 Native American (Anishinaabe/ Ojibwe) teenagers who seek to restore the honor of their band by tracking down and savaging the Dakota war party that devastated their village.
When I described the project to a fellow author, she raised an eyebrow and said, “But you’re a white guy.” At the time I was unaware of the ongoing and heated conversation about the appropriateness of writers stepping outside their racial boxes to write about races other than their own.
My reaction was, “huh?”