AltSciFi.Zine: The Million Year Picnic, Sci-Fi Noir, Artist Rick Guidice and the Most Mysterious Star in Our Galaxy.

Welcome to the AltSciFi zine.

Our zine brings you inspiration and information regarding independent science fiction and futurescience. Themes and topics covered include dystopia, cyber+punk, futurism, h+, utopia, and science-based hard sci-fi.

If you’re an artist, organization or technologist searching for new ideas or looking to promote your work, join us.

We also strongly encourage you to contribute to our Patreon page.

Feature: The Million Year Picnic, by Ray Bradbury.

+ The Million Year Picnic, by Will Elder and John Severin. From a story by Ray Bradbury.

Somehow the idea was brought up by Mom that perhaps the whole family would enjoy a fishing trip. But they weren’t Mom’s words; Timothy knew that. They were Dad’s words, and Mom used them for him, somehow.

Immediately, there was a tumult anda shouting, and quick as jets, the camp was tucked into capsules and containers, Mom slipped into traveling jumpers and blouse, Dad stuffed his pipe… his eyes on the Martian sky, and the three boys piled… yelling… into the motor boat… […]


+ Imperfect (2012)

Imperfect (2012), directed by Michael Tucker. Starring Zach Brown, Marisa Persson, and Morgan White. [23m]

When a fashion model is found murdered on his set, photographer Brendan Holloway begins to suspect that his new muse isn’t to be trusted. […]


Artist: Rick Guidice

Guidice was born and raised in San Jose, California, not far from the tech start-up companies sprouting across Silicon Valley. He began doing architectural illustrations when he was just 16-years-old, later studying fine art at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Between stints illustrating game advertisements for Atari and military maneuvers for the United States Air Force, Guidice worked for more than a decade alongside NASA scientists, illustrating missions and research so that their work could be shared with the public.

For example, Guidice remembers receiving fuzzy photos of Jupiter and Saturn—the source material available at the time—and being asked to paint NASA’s Pioneer probes zooming past the planets. “I drew paintings of these missions and what these planets would possibly look like without them being seen before,” he says. […]


+ The Most Mysterious Star in Our Galaxy.
Jason Wright, an astronomer from Penn State University, is set to publish an alternative interpretation of the light pattern. SETI researchers have long suggested that we might be able to detect distant extraterrestrial civilizations, by looking for enormous technological artifacts orbiting other stars. Wright and his co-authors say the unusual star’s light pattern is consistent with a “swarm of megastructures,” perhaps stellar-light collectors, technology designed to catch energy from the star.

“When [Boyajian] showed me the data, I was fascinated by how crazy it looked,” Wright told me. “Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build.” […]

Comment: This article falls into the category of “When Science Is Fiction”. Fun to read and imagine — and maybe write a story.

+ Google Granted Patent for Smart Contact Lens. The chip and sensor are embedded between two layers of contact lens material and a tiny pinhole lets tear fluid from the eye reach the glucose sensor, and the sensor can measure levels every second. […]

+ Will Drones of the Future Constantly Collide? “If you postulate that future,” says Parimal Kopardekar, NASA’s principal investigator for drone traffic management, “then all of a sudden you say, ‘Hey, how do I manage all of these vehicles in the sky at the same time?’” […]

Comment: Geofencing, precision agriculture and automated pizza delivery.

+ What Would Real Brain-to-Brain Communication Look Like? The past few years has seen “brain-to-brain communication” move from the realm of science fiction into reality.

Suppose it were possible for me to send messages into your brain which you experienced, not as messages from me, but as your own thoughts or decisions (shades of Inception here). This would be radically unlike any existing form of communication, including our existing brain-to-brain devices. […]

+ The first rule of zero-days is no one talks about zero-days (so we’ll explain). Everything about the zero-day market, from research and discovery through disclosure and active exploitation, is predicated upon this fear of the unknown—a fear that has been amplified and distorted by the media.

Is the world really at threat of destabilisation due to lone-wolf hackers digging up vulnerabilities in popular software packages and selling them to whichever repressive government offers the most money? Or is it just a classic case of the media and megacorp lobbyists focusing on the sexy, scary, offensive side of things? […]

+ Pay No Attention to the Server Behind the Proxy: Mapping FinFisher’s Continuing Proliferation. Although marketed as a tool for fighting crime,1 the spyware has been involved in a number of high-profile surveillance abuses. Between 2010 and 2012, Bahrain’s government used FinFisher to monitor some of the country’s top law firms, journalists, activists, and opposition political leaders. Ethiopian dissidents in exile in the United Kingdom and the United States4 have also been infected with FinFisher spyware. […]

+ Adventures in Twitter Censorship. If this tool is in use, it has several interesting capabilities. If a post can be hidden for a time, its reach will be severely limited. But worse than that, even if a person is dead sure, the effects soon become non-reproducible, which reduces the chances that the person can prove it. Censorship that doesn’t look like censorship. […]

Comment: Note — PDF document.

+ The History of the Bar Code. Research scientist Theodore Maiman created an “atomic radio light brighter than the center of the sun.” Maiman produced for the newsmen his “laser,” an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

Maiman said the laser beam was so concentrated, so “coherent,” that if it were beamed from Los Angeles to San Francisco it would spread only 100 feet. The tiny beam was hot and sharp enough to cut through materials. Could it be used as a weapon?

That was not the intention, Maiman assured reporters. Nevertheless, the Los Angeles Herald headlined its story: “LA Man Discovers Science Fiction Death Ray.” This became a popular theme in the newspapers. As Maiman wrote, “I did not foresee the supermarket check-out scanner or the printer.” […]

+ Drones and Atomic Clouds. Drone planes penetrated where no man could have ventured, flew through the mushroom cloud on photographic missions, sampled its poisonous content, televised to remote onlookers their instrument panel readings for flight analysis. The samples were crucial, and drones remained of vital importance in collecting them. […]


+ Network Engineer. Tenable Network Security Inc. is looking for: Network Engineer. […]

Comment: Tenable Network Security, founded in 2002, provides continuous network monitoring to identify vulnerabilities, reduce risk and ensure compliance.

+ BSides Baltimore – Seeking Volunteers. If anyone is interested in volunteering for @BSidesCharm in April, send email to […]

+ Congressional Innovation Fellowship. Tech Congress bridges the divide of knowledge and experience between DC and Silicon Valley for better outcomes for both.

The Congressional Innovation Fellowship provides a unique opportunity to change Congress by injecting desperately needed technological expertise into the Legislative Branch. […]

Comment: Infosec folks! Frustrated with tech policy and law? Here’s your chance to educate Congress and make a difference.

+ ChatSecure for Mac. if you’re an Adium developer, I am hiring to create a modern sandboxed successor to Adium… ChatSecure for Mac. […]

+ GDC 2016 IGDA Scholarships Open. Celebrating our 15th year in 2016, the IGDA Scholarships Committee is delighted to announce that applications for the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in 2016 are officially open. […]

+ Tech Internship Opportunities: Internships via Outreachy. Paid EFF internship working on PrivacyBadger! People who are typically marginalized in tech encouraged to apply. […]

Comment: Job alert! EFF is offering a paid internship, working on Privacy Badger.

+ Open Call for Entries. International Architectural Design Competition for the New Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Center at Tel Aviv University […]

+ GEORGE & BRAD TAKEI Present: Team Takei. Come see Allegiance on Halloween in your full Star Trek regalia for #TrekOrTreat night & a chance to meet me, George Takei! […]

Comment: Your certified meme masters and of course, the official ambassadors of ‘The Way of The Takei’ – Say hello to Team Takei.

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