About 15 members of the R.I. Science Fiction Club attended our monthly meeting on April 11, 2015. The theme was "5 Minute Introductions", and members discussed their interests in everything from Alternative Fiction, video games, ShadowRun, Anime, and more.
Historian Christian Henry Tobler will be master of ceremonies for the annual gathering to recognize the life and works of H.P. Lovecraft on Sunday, April 12, 2015, 3 to 4 pm, at the Ladd Observatory, 210 Doyle Avenue, Providence, RI.
The event, marking the 78th anniversary of the passing of the horror writer, is free and open to the public.
For more information, send an email to Carl L. Johnson, one of the organizers, at email@example.com
ABC Family is branching out from its typical family dramas and making room in its lineup for an epic fantasy saga.
The network, most famous for shows like Pretty Little Liars and Switched at Birth, has ordered 13 episodes of Shadowhunters, a new drama based on the The Mortal Instruments, a series of young adult novels by Cassandra Clare.
In the books, Clary Fray is an 18-year-old girl who learns that she comes from a long line of Shadowhunters, a.k.a. human-angel hybrids who hunt demons and protect the innocent. When her mother disappears, Clary finds herself thrown into the dangerous world of the Shadowhunters, home to a mysterious and extremely attractive Shadowhunter named Jace.
Along for the ride are her best friend Simon and fellow Shadowhunters Izzy and Alec. In a world where fairies, warlocks, vampires, and werewolves are real, Clary begins a journey of self-discovery as she uncovers her hidden family history.
Shadowhunters is just the latest adaptation of The Mortal Instruments series. The first book in the series, City of Bones, was adapted for the big screen in 2013, with Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower taking on the roles of Clary and Jace. Plans for a feature film franchise were abandoned when the movie failed to impress at the box office. That's probably for the best, though, because television is a much better fit for the series' complicated and complex mythology.
Casting for Shadowhunters' first season will be announced at a later date. Ed Decter (Helix) is on board as an executive producer and showrunner.
Three crew members arrived at the International Space Station, and two of them will be living there for one year.
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are expected to spend about 342 days living and working on the International Space Station — marking the orbiting outpost's first yearlong space mission. Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka also joined Kornienko and Kelly on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft that docked with the space station on Friday, March 27, 2015, at 8:33 p.m. EDT. Padalka will stay on the space station for about six months, the usual amount of time people live on the space laboratory.
Kelly's twin brother and former astronaut Mark Kelly will also participate in experiments on Earth to help researchers studying his brother in space. The identical twins will be monitored in a variety of ways throughout the mission and after Scott comes home to help scientists understand how the long-term mission might alter Scott by comparison to his brother.
When Marvel Comics begins its Secret Wars story in May 2015, it will also be ending 33 comics in its lineup.
The books include: All-New Captain America, All-New Ghost Rider, All-New X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man, Amazing X-Men, Angela: Asgard’s Assassin, Avengers, Avengers World, Captain Marvel, Cyclops, Deadpool, Elektra, Fantastic Four, Guardians 3000, Guardians of the Galaxy, Hulk, Inhuman, Iron Fist: The Living Weapon, Legendary Star-Lord, Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man, New Avengers, Nightcrawler, Nova, Rocket Raccoon, Secret Avengers, Spider-Man & The X-Men, Spider-Man 2099, Storm, Superior Iron Man, Thor, Uncanny X-Men, Wolverines, and X-Men.
As with most comics, many of these characters will return in some form or another, with their own titles, or as part of a team.
You can learn more about Marvel comics on their website: www.marvel.com
Sir Terence David John "Terry" Pratchett died on March 15, 2015, at age 66. He was an English author of fantasy novels, especially comical works. He was best known for his Discworld series of about 40 volumes.
He wrote more than 70 novels, translated into 37 languages, in a career spanning 44 years, with total sales of 70 million. He completed his final book last Summer.
And in this week's installment of Star Trek Sci-Fi Becoming Sci-Fact we present... Allen Zderad, a 68-year-old Minnesota man who last week saw his wife for the first time in a decade thanks to an innovative device that resembles Geordi La Forge's VISOR from Star Trek: The Next Generation. According to the Mayo Clinic, Zderad lost his vision to the degenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa. Enter a Mayo Clinic resarcher/opthalmologist, Raymond Iezzi Jr., who was researching the "Second Sight Argus II" retinal prosthesis system when he met Zderad and selected the grandfather of 10 for the so-called "bionic eye" implant.
Iezzi told the television station KARE that he installed 60 electrodes in Zderad's eye. The electrodes interact with a camera in Zderad's glasses—VISOR, anyone?—and a wearable computer pack to convey information to the electrodes implanted in his retina. The signals are then sent straight to Zderad's optic nerve, allowing him to "see" shapes and forms, if not yet the finer details of people's faces.
Still, it's a start—and it was plenty for Zderad, who cried tears of joy along with his family upon seeing his wife. Of the breakthrough device, he said as he shook Iezzi's hand, "It's crude, but it's significant. It'll work."
NASA's prolific Kepler space telescope, which has discovered more than half of all known planets beyond our solar system, just celebrated six years in space.
The $600 million Kepler mission blasted off atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on the night of March 6, 2009 (March 7 GMT). After a two-month commissioning phase, Kepler began searching for exoplanets, and began etching its name into the history books.
Kepler finds alien worlds by watching for the tiny brightness dips they cause when they cross the face of their host stars from the spacecraft's perspective. (During its original mission, Kepler stared at more than 150,000 stars simultaneously.)
To date, the sun-orbiting spacecraft has discovered 1,019 exoplanets, with more than 3,100 additional "candidates" awaiting confirmation by follow-up observations or analysis. Mission scientists expect that around 90 percent of these potential planets will end up being the real deal. To put Kepler's tally into perspective: Scientists have discovered a total of about 1,800 alien planets.
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The Rhode Island Science Fiction Club