Old Time Military Sci-Fi

The tradition is that military science fiction, especially future infantry with political undertones, began with Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. Then came Bill The Galactic Hero and The Forever War and offered a more cynical counterpoint, and a genre was born.

The tradition, it turns out, is wrong. Around 1955, a radio series called 2000 Plus broadcast a story called A Veteran Comes Home [mp3]. Go listen to it. It sounds eerily like the Vietnam-influenced stories that were to come about 20 years later, especially The Forever War. And it could just as easily have been written today, with Mars standing in for Iraq or Afghanistan.


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Filed under defense, history, old time radio, science fiction

What they’re watching in outer space?

The Aldebarans must have a pretty bad opinion of us right around now:

Abtruse Goose: Electromagnetic Leak

Via Abtruse Goose, a webcomic any fans of XKCD will probably enjoy.

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London Calling

Boing Boing reminds us that today is the 30th anniversary of London Calling being released in the US. Shamefully, I listened to it beginning-to-end for the first time only a few months ago. I always feel a little guilty listening to it at work – I can’t imagine Joe Strummer would approve.

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Band or Defense Program?

1. RJD2

2. Cobra Judy

3. Iron Butterfly

4. BQM74

5. Boomerang

6. Ground Soldier Ensemble

7. Lightning Bolt

8. Stryker

Band: 1, 3, 7
Defense Program: 2, 4, 6
Both: 5, 8

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They deserve an exclamation point.

Airships were awesome:

USS Macon under construction

The USS Macon under construction, 1933

And they are still awesome today:

Lockheed Martin Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle

The Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle. (c) Lockheed Martin

See here for NAVAIR seriously geeking out over airship airlift. Not that I blame them.

via TYWKIWDBI and The DEW Line

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Filed under defense, steampunk

Spies Down Under

If you’re like me, you get a kick when bits of the espionage world peek out into daylight. Especially when they’re just tacky enough to have that noir romance appeal. John le Carre rocks this, for example.

Which is why this account of an Australian Security Intelligence Organization operation against the Community Party of Australia is so fascinating.

Wechsler also received abundant non-monetary assistance from ASIO. This ranged from driving him to various appointments, visiting him in hospital, expediting delayed payments of sickness benefits (including direct intervention on Wechsler’s behalf to the Department of Social Security), expressing constant praise, gratitude and reassurance, finding him accommodation when evicted and arranging the storage of his furniture.

You know these things happened, and still happen, all the time.

Incidentally, that guy? Is now the guy writing this.

h/t Laura Rozen.

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Hello World

Wikipedia sez:

The heliopause is the theoretical boundary where the Sun‘s solar wind is stopped by the interstellar medium; where the solar wind’s strength is no longer great enough to push back the stellar winds of the surrounding stars.

This is my Nth attempt to start a personal blog. Let’s see where this attempt goes. Welcome to the heliopause.

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