Friday, May 11, 2012

Now, I'm not going to say aliens, but . . .

I love a good conspiracy, and when that conspiracy involves aliens I love it even more. Nothing gets my writer juices flowing better than a delicious what if? scenario.

That being said, I recently came across some articles about a possible unidentified flying object hovering around the sun. The pictures are pretty interesting to look at, and NASA's reaction a bit underwhelming for my taste. But even if it just happens to be some cosmic rays or a camera glitch, it's still fun to speculate what else it could be. Maybe some extraterrestrials refueling on the sun? An alien space station, perhaps?

I'll tell you one thing it definitely is: some great sci-fi story inspiration.

If aliens are out there, and they finally make their way to Earth, how do you think first contact will go down?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Unsinkable Ship, Take Two

Asked if Titanic II could meet the same fate as its predecessor, 
Palmer told reporters: "Of course it will sink if you put a hole in it." 
He added: "Of course, if you are superstitious … 
you never know what could happen."

An Australian billionaire is apparently replicating the Titanic to scale, fitting it with modern amenities, and then having it sail the same maiden voyage the original never completed. My immediate reaction was: when can I buy a ticket? and, less dignified, TAKE MY MONEY TAKE IT.

That might seem strange to the skeptics and superstitious out there who see this as a bad idea or tempting fate, but I've always held an unshakeable fascination for the Titanic. As a history lover, I'm frequently exposed to important human events in the past, and every now and then one of them takes hold of my heart and refuses to let go. With Titanic, it started with the James Cameron film and has since evolved into a hungry consumption of documentaries and non-fiction works related to the ship's sinking. Anything and everything I can get my hands on.

Something about the disaster keeps me wondering, marveling at the tragedy. All you have to do is look at pictures of the ship -- black and white and pristine and huge, they called the ship unsinkable and that's exactly how it comes across. Then imagine it disappearing beneath the waves on a black April night, taking over a thousand souls with it. It's as unbelievable now as it was when it happened.

In all likelihood, I will not be sailing the Titanic II's maiden voyage, not out of fear but because of funds. I imagine tickets will sell like hotcakes, no matter the price, as soon as they go on sale. That's fine, though. I'd be just as happy (and probably quite emotional) to watch the Titanic II pull into port in New York -- something it's spiritual predecessor never did. Because, to me, that's what this endeavor represents: A second chance at something great.

What about you? Would you sail on the Titanic II?