Review of “Oryx and Crake” and “Year of the Flood,” by Margaret Atwood

Atwood proves herself a master science fiction writer in these books, the first two of a trilogy (the third has not yet been published). Spoiler alert: this review begins with plot summaries!

Oryx and Crake tells the story, in reverse via flashbacks, of how Crake, a genius with a grudge against the world, designs […]

The Black Hole Engine — Take Two

The Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) has now awarded first prize in its annual essay contest to Louis Crane for Stardrives and Spinoza. This is a follow-up to Are Black Hole Starships Possible? by Crane and Shawn Westmoreland, which I have already commented on below.

The theme of this year’s contest is “What is ultimately […]

The Black Hole Engine — And Consequences

By a strange coincidence, only a few days after I read the proposal for a dark matter engine, I find on the arXiv another, probably even more significant proposal by Louis Crane and Shawn Westmoreland of Kansas State University: Are Black Hole Starships Possible? (

The gist of Crane and Westmoreland’s paper is that […]