Torn’s Science Fiction, Technology, and Science: This Week 22–28 January 2023

Short science fiction by Torn MacAlester


The Fer­mi Paradox

A few weeks ago, I began a dis­cus­sion about the Kar­da­shev scale.  The Kar­da­shev scale builds lev­els of tech­nol­o­gy that rep­re­sent advanced civ­i­liza­tions, most­ly beyond our own. Giv­en the tech­nol­o­gy scale, and spec­u­la­tion from sci­ence fic­tion, we can scale pos­si­ble galaxy cross­ing times.

The galaxy cross­ing times can also be con­nect­ed to a civ­i­liza­tion’s col­o­niza­tion time for the galaxy.  Once we get those num­bers, it becomes appar­ent that the col­o­niza­tion time is small com­pared to the age of the uni­verse.  Enri­co Fer­mi noticed that the galaxy cross­ing time is small com­pared to the rel­a­tive age of the uni­verse. Hence the para­dox.  We should be in con­tact with aliens, but we aren’t. There’s more to the para­dox, but at the most gen­er­al — this is it.

In my arti­cle on the sub­ject, It Starts With A Para­dox, I dis­cuss this in more depth.

Eliz­a­beth How­ell wrote an exten­sive arti­cle Is any­body out there? for in Decem­ber of 2021, that I high­ly recommend.

Anoth­er good arti­cle appears recent­ly in Big Think, Where is Every­body? A new hope for solv­ing the Fer­mi Para­dox. It dis­cuss­es the Square Kilo­me­ter Array (SKA) radio tele­scope, that may pro­vide us a use­ful tool in answer­ing this inter­est­ing sci­ence question.

Final­ly, this week.  I’d like to leave my read­ers with an inter­est­ing ques­tion: In sci­ence fic­tion where faster than light (FTL) trav­el is the norm, what is the most plau­si­ble means of dis­cov­ery of oth­er FTL capa­ble civilizations?


This week’s discord chat

Week of Jan 22 2023 [22nd at 1 PM EDT (6 PM GMT), 25th at 9 PM EDT (26th 2AM GMT)]

  • The Fer­mi Paradox

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 Com­man­der.



Here is a sur­prise.  When would you expect that Fusion and JP Mor­gan to appear in the same sentence?

Fusion ener­gy pio­neer Toka­mak hires JP Mor­gan for huge fundraising


For more ref­er­ences and videos see my page: Fusion


Extrasolar Planets


Here is anoth­er exam­ple of a close orbit­ing ‘Earth like’ exo­plan­et in a video from Dr. Becky Smethurst.


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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