Stories about space

Artemis is one giant leap in the wrong direction for Andy Weir

The massive success of a debut project may propel its creator to global stardom, but it can also have some side effects. Operating under the shadow of an acclaimed first effort while struggling to meet its standards thenceforth can have its downsides, an idea that is conveniently illustrated by the phenomenon of the sophomore slump. Artemis appears to be Andy Weir’s sophomore slump. The American writer’s first novel, The Martian – the story of an astronaut stranded alone on Mars – was one of the most exciting, interesting and compelling science fiction adventures of recent years. Unfortunately, exciting, interesting and compelling are three of ...

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Netflix’s Unacknowledged had me low-key believing aliens have been visiting Earth

Stephen Hawking once wrote: “The idea that we are alone in the universe seems to me completely implausible and arrogant, considering the number of planets and stars that we know exist, it’s extremely unlikely that we are the only form of evolved life.” It’s not a crazy idea, but rather an arrogant one to believe that aliens, creatures, other living beings do not exist in our vast Milky Way. However, what can most certainly get you labelled as ‘crazy’ is saying that aliens have visited our planet. As someone with minimal interest in aliens and the conspiracy theories surrounding it, especially ...

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First Man: Watching Ryan Gosling take a giant leap for mankind will be one rewarding cinematic experience

The Apollo 11 moon landing remains one of the most iconic milestones in human history, while Neil Armstrong remains one of the world’s most celebrated heroes of the Space Age. The remarkable story of the first lunar landing and the first man to walk on the moon is the subject of Damien Chazelle’s latest project First Man; a look at the events and circumstances surrounding the historic mission and the man at its centre. Set to be released next month, the film is based on James R Hansen’s terrific biography, First Man: The Life of Neil A Armstrong. The movie’s trailer ...

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It’s been 50 years to ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and it’s still a futuristic masterpiece

It is not an easy film to watch. But Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is a film that you must watch. It was released 50 years ago and is considered a landmark film. But how do you watch it? There is little dialogue in the film and some of the best lines are spoken by HAL, that ominous and mysterious computer that takes over controls of the spaceship. I first watched this movie in the mid-80s in Karachi. Video shops and Videocassette recorders (VCR) were in vogue and 26-inch TVs were considered ‘large’. I had heard of A Space Odyssey as a great science fiction ...

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‘Lost in Space’ will make you want to fly into outer space to reconnect with your family

I am sure we all have some favourite books from our childhood that have profoundly influenced our collective lives in one way or another. The Swiss Family Robinson happens to be one of mine. Johann David Wyss’ classic novel tells the story of a Swiss family that gets shipwrecked and finds refuge on a deserted tropical island somewhere in the East Indies, when they were on their way to Australia. According to the author, he wrote the novel in order to teach his four sons about family values, good husbandry, the uses of the natural world and self-reliance. I don’t ...

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‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ feels like two films in one, and neither fares well

The prequel movie formula is one that barely works. In hindsight, you can understand its purpose – which is fan service – but for anyone who isn’t a fan of a particular franchise, this can be an issue. Because let’s face it, making a movie with a predetermined beginning and end while having to fill in between the middle just isn’t the most effective way of telling a story, nor does it give a lot of room to try something fresh. The latest Star Wars prequel series has tried its best to avoid these mistakes, and with Rogue One they succeeded in creating something ...

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5 reasons why ‘The Expanse’ has what it takes to be the new ‘Star Trek’

There is an abundance of science fiction shows on television today. Every TV channel has its horse running in the race to attract the geek fandom and create a following like no other TV show. Over the years, there have been some iconic sci-fi shows that have left a lasting impact on the viewers, and continue to live despite finishing their respective TV runs decades ago. Shows like Star Trek, Firefly and Battlestar Galactica will undoubtedly continue to be watched by generations to come. For how many sci-fi shows that have aired in the past decade could we pass the ...

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Farewell to our very own star on Earth, the extraordinary Stephen Hawking

“They’re named black holes because they are related to human fears of being destroyed or gobbled up. I don’t have fears of being thrown into them. I understand them. I feel in a sense that I am their master.” These are the words of Stephen Hawking who passed away on March 14th at the age of 76. He was not afraid of death. And why would he be? He was told, at the age of 22, that he was suffering from a rare motor neuron disease and was given only a couple of years to live. But nobody loved defying odds ...

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Listening to the whispers of merging black holes

A little over a billion years ago, two black holes were orbiting each other somewhere in a galaxy far, far away. At this time, life on Earth had just found a successful way to include more than one cell in a body. Indifferent to the happenings on the Earth, these black holes were locked in a spiral of death. One black hole had mass equivalent to 36 Suns. The other was 29 times as massive as our Sun. Nature had already sealed their fates. With a sudden gasp, the two black holes merged into one. This larger black hole had ...

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Yes, Imran Khan’s marriage IS my priority

Let me begin this with a disclaimer: I have nothing against Reham Khan. She should not be harassed or have her private space infiltrated. She is free to choose whatever and whoever she wants to. I hope it’s clear; this is not about Reham Khan. This is about the discrepancy in Imran Khan’s choices. Imran, like any other right wing politician, exploits the religious sentiments of his voters. We are a nation who as children fall into the trap of our grandma’s religious manipulation, “Hazoor (SAWW) ne toh kabhi kisi khanay se inkaar nahi kiya, chalo achay bachoon ki tarha kaddu kha lo.” (The Prophet ...

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