Torn’s Science Fiction, Technology, and Science: This Week 15–21 January 2023

Short science fiction by Torn MacAlester


2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

It’s been 22 years since 2001.  The world in the nov­el and film has not qui­et been real­ized, but I thought it might be inter­est­ing to look at Clarke’s nov­el and film by Stan­ley Kubrick to see what has been real­ized. In con­text, the nov­el and the film date from 1968. That was before the Apol­lo Moon landings.

Obvi­ous­ly, sev­er­al things in the nov­el are inac­cu­rate. First, the ISS at the time of the film was far cry from the dou­ble pin­wheel of the space sta­tion. Next, the end of Moon mis­sions after Apol­lo 17 made it impos­si­ble for there to be a Moon base by 2001 (or 2023 for that mat­ter). The reusable space plane could be con­sid­ered as pos­si­ble because some of the shut­tle fol­low on vehi­cles designed in the 90’s, but none ever flew due to com­pet­ing bud­gets.  A crewed mis­sion to Jupiter (or Sat­urn as in the nov­el) is even out of our reach today. Last­ly, HAL 9000 was not real­ized in 2001. Many sug­gest such a machine might be avail­able today, but the sci­ence does seem a few years off yet.

The movie 2001 has a spe­cial place in my mem­o­ry. I was bare­ly old enough in 1968 to see it on the big screen.  It was at the 1000 seat movie the­ater that I saw Star Wars at years lat­er.  The movie was stun­ning. I loved the music and remem­ber the huge space sta­tion spin­ning on the screen to the Blue Danube waltz. With­in a cou­ple of years, I was attempt­ing to read the book. 2001 also fas­ci­nat­ed me because I real­ized that I would see the 21st cen­tu­ry and live in a time of wonder.







This week’s discord chat

Week of Jan 15 2023 [15th at 1 PM EDT (6 PM GMT), 18th at 9 PM EDT (19th 2AM GMT)]

  • 2001 A Space Odyssey : A dis­cus­sion of Arthur Clarke’s classic

Currently Reading

The New Fron­tiers Series, Book One: The Ship by Jack L. Knapp

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

The Space Envi­ron­ment: Impli­ca­tions for Space­craft Design — Revised and Expand­ed Edi­tion by Alan C. Tribble

Lunar Source­book: a Users Guide to the Moon edit­ed by Grant H. Heiken, David T. Van­i­man, and Bevan M. French

Thunder Moon Tussle Trailer

Thunder Moon Tussle by Torn MacAlester available on

This Week’s Short Fiction by Torn MacAlester

This week, I offer the vignette Y+1



For more ref­er­ences and videos see my page: Fusion


Extrasolar Planets

Dust grains are the for­ma­tion of plan­ets.  Here is an effort to under­stand those grains:

For more ref­er­ences and videos see my page: Extra­so­lar Plan­ets.

A new novel by Torn MacAlester

The long awaited sequel to Thunder Moon Tussle:

Mask of the Joyful Moon

Coming Soon

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