May 3, 1987
Elizabeth Mehren's piece on Harvard Prof. Thomas McMahon ("Scientist, Novelist: A Tradition of One," April 15) perpetuates C. P. Snow's myth of "The Two Cultures." McMahon does disservice to novelists, scientists, the intellectual community, The Times and himself by insisting that there are no other scientist novelists: "Zero . . . name one." Less than a week earlier The Times ran an obituary on the internationally famous chemist/novelist Primo Levi. A few weeks ago, an obituary praised aerospace researcher Tom Scortia, co-author of "Glass Inferno," the basis of the film "Towering Inferno."
June 28, 2008
Re "Resetting Earth's thermostat," Opinion, June 23 Samuel Thernstrom's survey of geo-engineering is correct, yet many scientists still oppose even researching its possibilities. I took part in several of the conferences he describes. The most striking work came not from climate scientists but from economists, including a Nobelist. No economist thought the carbon dioxide restriction strategy could work in time. Carbon caps and the like ask billions of people to act against their interests for many decades.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 1986
John Tirman's biased view (Opinion, Feb. 9) of the presidential science adviser's office is more interesting for what it leaves out than for what it says. He indicts George Keyworth, the departed adviser, for strongly supporting the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), and for "not voicing top scientists' pervasive doubts." Tirman apparently thinks President Reagan only gets advice from Keyworth. Actually, unlike most presidents, Reagan often goes to outside, informal bodies for advice.
September 22, 1996
In " 'Star Trek' as SF Lite" (Sept. 8), Gregory Benford eloquently states the minority point of view: that "Star Trek" has done more to diminish than enhance most people's ability to achieve any insight into the starkly awesome but distinctly discomforting and dislocating implications of our so far meager venturings beyond our own planet. Aside from reducing the cosmos to fireside coziness, making it accessible to those who want their assumptions vindicated, it simply displaces the Wild West with another exotic backdrop: a comfortingly geocentric universe, defined entirely within a megalomania for meaningless gadgetry and "aliens" with mundanely human characteristics.
February 13, 1994 |
Fred Flintstone powered his car with his own feet. Speed Racer drove the Special Formula Mark Five. The Jetsons flew rocket ships. Wonder Woman piloted an invisible aircraft. Captain James Kirk beamed up to the star ship Enterprise. Captain Video hopped a rocket named Galaxy. Captain Midnight flew the Sky King to battle the evil Tut and Ickky. It's not that these characters faced snarls of traffic on the freeways.
February 1, 1987 |
The Nebula Awards are presented annually by the Science Fiction Writers of America for the best SF/fantasy in four length categories (novel, novella, novelette and short story). Short fiction, almost vanished from mainstream literature, is alive and well in SF/fantasy genre where monthly half a dozen magazines publish short fiction in quantity. The annual Nebula Awards anthology collects the prize-winning stories in the three short categories, along with some of the nominee stories.
April 7, 1996
The first Los Angeles Times Festival of Books will be held April 20 and 21 at UCLA's Dickson Plaza. Admission is free; parking at UCLA is $5. Times are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 20 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 21. A full schedule of events, ranging from author panels to children's book and poetry readings, will appear in a special section in The Times on Sunday, April 14.