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As part of the first manned mission to Mars, Philip knew he would be part of history. But after the accident left him alone, with no way to contact Earth, he assumed he would be not only the first person on Mars, but the last.

He tried to find any way to survive. Most of the supplies were lost in the accident. He had food for a while, if you could call it food. But long-term survival would require some terraforming. He needed to find a water source.

As he arrived at the nearest valley, he examined the surface to see if there was any evidence of past water, and where it might have gone. But what he found was ... curious.

Some fibrous tissue. A rope? No. A net. If he didn't know better, he'd think somebody was fishing here. But, that was impossible. Even if there had been life, including both marine and intelligent land-based life, this net couldn't be more than 150 years old. And 150 years ago, we certainly would've been able to see lakes and villages on the Martian surface. This is impossible. It's something else. A strange rock formation, or something.

"Excuse me."

He jumped. He hadn't heard a voice for days. Now there was a woman standing right above him.

"What are you doing out here? And in that ancient suit?"

"What? I just got here. Who are you?"

"Alara. Pleasure to meet you. And you are?"


"Philip! How funny! You've got such a silly old-fashioned name and you're wearing that ancient suit, like you see in the movies about the first Martians, and when they settled here. You know, like before they adapted to the climate, and before they destroyed the climate. Your parents must be old fashioned to give you a name like that. Why don't we head back underground together and you can tell me why you're wearing such a silly costume. Are you an actor?"

@[email protected]

Steven Spielberg's first Film, Firelight, which he wrote, directed, and produced at the age of 16, cost $500 to produce. He made $501 at the box office.

This is the only known surviving footage.

Spoilers for WIP time travel story

I've got an idea for a novella I'm going to start writing soon (I've been in a small slump, lately). It's a time travel story with an interesting twist, but I'm curious if others will buy it.

The idea is that our hero will meet two other versions of herself who time traveled at some future point in their lives. So, let's call them 1, 2, and 3, where 3 is our hero.

1, in her 30s, travels forward about 1000 years, but can't get back. She tries to send a message to her younger self, a couple years before she left, to prevent her from going. But this backfires and she ends up making it so that 2 just invents time travel sooner, and travels forward to about the same time.

So, now 2 and 3 are both in the future. 2 is a few years younger (late twenties) than 3. They try to work together to undo this, but end up developing very different ideas, and have a falling out.

They work separately for several years, 1 becoming more bitter, while 2 becomes more hopeful. Eventually 2 has an idea, but she needs something that only 1 has, and 1 won't listen to her.

So, 2 sends a message back once more to an even younger version of themselves, 3, our hero, who's in her early twenties, and working on her PhD (maybe at MIT). 3 comes forward, and 2, in disguise, convinces her to go get the thing (haven't worked out what that is, but I'll come up with some appropriate technobabble) from 1.

The story starts, though, with 3, and her work in grad school that eventually culminates in her coming to the future.

So, I've been thinking about this, and am trying to decide if this is even believable (insofar as time travel stories are at all believable). So, what do y'all think? Would a plot like this work?

  • Yes, I'd find that believable 50% (2 votes)

  • It's about as believable as any other time travel story 50% (2 votes)

  • No, sorry, I don't buy that 0% (0 votes)

  • Other (comment below) 0% (0 votes)

I'd heard that ChatGPT sometimes recommends books to read that don't exist. I decided to try my hand at it, and honestly got some good recommendations. I double checked the ones I'd not heard of, and these are all real, and all good recommendations for me.

Here's the chat transcript.

I'd like some book recommendations. My favorite authors are Michael Crichton, Robert Heinlein, and Isaac Asimov.

Sure, here are some books you might enjoy based on your favorite authors:

  • Michael Crichton: "Jurassic Park," "The Andromeda Strain," "Sphere"
  • Robert Heinlein: "Stranger in a Strange Land," "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress," "Starship Troopers"
  • Isaac Asimov: "Foundation," "I, Robot," "The Caves of Steel"

These books are all within the science fiction genre and feature fast-paced action, complex technology, and thought-provoking ideas.

Can you recommend some lesser known books that fit that theme?

Certainly, here are some lesser known books in the science fiction genre that you may enjoy:

  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson
  • "The Diamond Age" by Neal Stephenson
  • "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells
  • "Dune" by Frank Herbert
  • "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley
  • "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Philip K. Dick
  • "The Invisible Man" by H.G. Wells
  • "The War of the Worlds" by H.G. Wells

These books feature imaginative worlds, futuristic technology, and thought-provoking ideas, similar to the works of Crichton, Heinlein, and Asimov.

I've read all of those, and like them all. Can you recommend others that I might not have read?

Certainly, here are some more obscure science fiction books that you may enjoy:

  • "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch" by Philip K. Dick
  • "The Man in the High Castle" by Philip K. Dick
  • "The Dispossessed" by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • "The Left Hand of Darkness" by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • "The Culture" series by Iain M. Banks
  • "The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury
  • "Ringworld" by Larry Niven
  • "The Day of the Triffids" by John Wyndham
  • "The Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison

These books offer unique perspectives on technology, society, and the human experience, and offer a different take on the science fiction genre.

Thank you. I particularly like cyberpunk stories, such as "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" and "Snow Crash". Any more like that that you can recommend?

Certainly, if you enjoy cyberpunk stories, you might like these books:

  • "Neuromancer" by William Gibson
  • "Count Zero" by William Gibson
  • "Mona Lisa Overdrive" by William Gibson
  • "Altered Carbon" by Richard K. Morgan
  • "Burning Chrome" by William Gibson
  • "The Diamond Age" by Neal Stephenson
  • "Virtual Light" by William Gibson
  • "A Deepness in the Sky" by Vernor Vinge
  • "The Glasshouse" by Charles Stross

These books often feature a blend of high technology and low life, with a focus on artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and the blurring of the line between the physical and digital world.

I've been using this account as my primary for about a week now, and I'm think I'm settled on using it for the foreseeable future, so I guess it's time to do another post.

I'm a dad of four kids, and a web developer. I have a college degree in (or ) and had aspirations of being an actor. I kind of fell into web development as a career. It was a hobby back in high school, and I just needed to pay some bills after college, so I ended up doing this.

I always have aspirations to do other things, but for now, I'm pretty happy spending most of my time as a dad and husband.

Some day, I'd like to get back into , or maybe do some . I also enjoy and will, from time to time, post some , usually from somebody's .

I love , and usually watch at least one episode nearly every day. I like all really, though, as well as . I used to read a lot, but find I don't have as much time or mental capacity for it as I used to. I also enjoy watching , and have really been enjoying the new episodes of lately.

Feel free to follow me if you think we have similar interests, and I may follow you back, if I think likewise. 👋