5 Everyday Signs You Live in a Multiverse

5250782266_da793ea401_zDid you ever feel like you accidentally stepped into another universe?

Maybe that déjà vu feeling of “I’ve been here before” means you are picking up signals from another universe.

Some physicists believe we are part of a multiverse, a mind-bogglingly huge collection of universes with different properties. Over at Open Culture, writer Colin Marshall wondered if déjà vu could be an everyday sign that we are living in a multiverse.

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The Intelligence of Plants

flowerdewWhat if plants were intelligent, exploring and analyzing  the world with a sophisticated system of senses?

Over at Reality Sandwich, a long essay outlines a growing body of research about the intelligence of plants.

Increasing numbers of researchers, in a multiplicity of fields, are beginning to acknowledge that intelligence is an inevitable aspect of all self-organized systems—that sophisticated neural networks are a hallmark of life.

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Earth 2.0 Could Be Six Billion Years Old

452b_artistconcept_comparisonwithearthWhat kind of life could have risen and fallen on a six billion year old planet?

NASA scientists discovered Kepler-452b, a planet 1,400 light years away from our planet. It has the potential to be “Earth 2.0,” a planet orbiting within the “habitable zone” of a star that resembles our sun.

In the image above, you can see how Earth (left) measures up beside Kepler-452b.

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Terry Pratchett’s Soul Music

The great science fiction and fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett has died.

To remember his inspiring career, I built a free Spotify playlist collecting the great novelist’s favorite music. The list opens with the work of Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf, two artists that Pratchett listened to for writing inspiration.

Follow this link to listen to the playlist. Add any of your favorite music from Pratchett books in the comments section…

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A Million Stars in the Sky

black holeHow would our sky appear if we could see one million stars glowing every night?

An international team of astronomers used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to explore “a monster black hole lurking inside one of the tiniest galaxies ever known.”

The ominous mass throbs inside the M60-UCD1 dwarf galaxy, a corner of the universe that “crams 140 million stars within a diameter of about 300 light-years”–a bare fraction of the size of our own galaxy.

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Researching the End of the World

WorldOfTrouble_FinalWhat would do if you knew that an asteroid was going destroy the world?

Novelist Ben H. Winters wrapped up his Last Policeman trilogy last month, a series of novels about how our world would cope with an impending strike by an asteroid.

Ever since I finished the final book, I have been obsessed with the idea of asteroid strikes. So I caught up with Winters to find out more…

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Scripts & Scribes Interviews Donyea Rochlin

typewriter

What mistake do aspiring screenwriters make? Donyea Rochlin explained over at Scripts & Scribes.

In a podcast interview, the excellent screenwriting site interviewed the head of development at True Pictures–getting screenwriting advice, book recommendations and a peek at our work.

You can listen to the podcast at this link.

The interview included a bonus round of 20 questions. Here’s an excerpt:

8.  The best thing I have ever read is…This is a hard question- like what is my favorite movie. There are two things that have stuck with me and I think of often- Mark Twain’s  LETTERS FROM EARTH and THE HORSE DEALER’S DAUGHTER by D.H. Lawrence.
17.  One mistake that most aspiring screenwriters make is… writing what they think people want and not a story they want to tell.
18.  If I knew the apocalypse was coming in 24 hours, I’d… catch a flight to Arizona to be with my sister.  We would hang out in her pool and remember stories of our family – laugh, cry and make the best of the time we have being together.

Explore the Digital Comics Museum

letter from the stars

What will our comic book visions of the future look like in 50 years?

The Digital Comics Museum archives more than 15,000 public domain comic books, helping preserve books from the Golden Age Comics.

Open Culture has more about the collections:

Interested in understanding how homefront American culture reflected fighting in World War II and Korea, and the anxieties of the Cold War? The archive is full of titles like “Fighting Yank”  (or “Wartime”) that trade on true stories of past combat and present-day engagements. Many, like these“Atomic Attack” books from the early 1950s, have a distinctive Cold War flavor, with science-fictional imaginings of futuristic combat. (“See how the war of 1972 will be fought! The war that YOU, yourself, might have to take part in…”)

You should start with Out of This World Adventures, a combination of science fiction journal and comic book. We’d love to see more like this in the 21st Century.

You need to register with the site and download a comic book reader app before reading the comics.

Open Culture also recommends you check out the ‘Pre-Code’ Horror comics of the 50s archived on the site–a peek at some of the most vivid and controversial comics ever created.

Books of the Future

mars610

What mind-bending books and comic books do you look forward to reading this year?

To find out about upcoming books, we caught up with Lindsey Allyson, a blogger from The Bevy Bibliothèque. She is also a writer, working on a number of projects. You can read her work in Inaccurate Realities No. 2.

“I have been hearing a lot of great things about Pierce Brown’s Red Rising,” she told us. “It takes place on Mars and I actually haven’t come across too many novels that take place in space that I immensely enjoyed. This one sounds like it’s going to be good.” Here’s a synopsis of Red Rising:

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

“I cannot wait to get my hands on Sarah J. Maas’ Heir of Fire, the third book in the Throne of Glass series,” she added. “Her series is a must-read for any fan of YA fantasy or just an all-compelling read in general.” Here is a synopsis of the book:

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did.

Allyson also added some support for self-published authors, people sometimes overlooked by readers.

I definitely can say that I think that self-published authors as a whole deserve more attention this year. In the past, I feel like when someone saw a writer was “self-published,” it was automatically paired with ““not good enough to sell” or “no editor wanted to publish this.”

That’s definitely not always the case. Sometimes a story is totally awesome, but maybe the elements that make up the story or the plot are a hard sell because the market is super-saturated at the moment. I have a friend, for example, who wrote this awesome high fantasy novel about elemental magic users, but there are already SO many books on the MG/YA
book shelves that feature this. In the end, she decided to self-pub.

Does that mean her book isn’t good enough because that’s the publishing route she chose? No way. I think bloggers and readers are well on their way to realizing this now and it’s a great thing because some of my most memorable reads last year were self-pubbed titles that the general audience were not aware of.

While many of the people buying and reading books do frequent social media, it can still be a bit of a challenge to find out about self-pubbed titles because much of the promotion is through word of mouth. I think that’s why self-pubbed writers may be overlooked. After all, they are re in charge of their own promotions and the costs come out of their own
pockets, and that whole process can get pretty expensive.

“I’m also eagerly awaiting two books from two different series by one of my favourite authors, Silver Shadows and The Immortal Crown by by Richelle Mead,” Allyson concluded. “She’s the author who wrote Vampire Academy which was recently adapted into a film. I’m really into stories about strong, badass females.”

Here’s a synopsis of Silver Shadows:

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

And a synopsis of The Immortal Crown:

Religious investigator Justin March has Mae Koskinen, the beautiful supersoldier, assigned to protect him. Together they have been charged with investigating reports of the supernatural and the return of the gods, both inside the Republic of United North America and out. With this highly classified knowledge comes a shocking revelation: Not only are the gods vying for human control, but the elect—special humans marked by the divine—are turning against one another in bloody fashion.

(Image via NASA)