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A E van Vogt


Year 1953
Publisher Panther  (Granada Publishing Ltd)
ISBN 5860243872



Slans - a super-race, capable of mind-reading, and equipped with bodies many times more resistant to fatigue than ordinary mortals.  But they live in constant fear of discovery, for the rewards are great if anyone should capture a Slan - dead or alive ...

Jommy Cross was their only hope.  He alone had the secret of his father's invention.  He alone was capable of proving that the Slan's knowledge could benefit mankind.




A.E. Van Vogt's Slan is a historical piece of science fiction. It's easy to trace numerous concepts back to Slan (e.g. Marvel Comics "X-Men"). It is also an interesting allegory on human nature and the theme of "Man's inhumanity to man." It's probably no coincidence that this book was published in 1946, when WW II was over, and the genocide that it entailed was known. However, much like its contemporaries, Slan frequently falls victim to the conventions of science fiction of the time, and so a reader will almost certainly feel star-crossed.
Ian Fowler


Image from HD broadcast in Times Square



Credit: NASA

Another Historic First
Images from the world's first high definition television (HDTV) broadcast from space flashed across the screen yesterday in Times Square. On Nov. 15, 2006, NASA made history with the first live HDTV broadcasts from space, in cooperation with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Discovery HD Theater and Japanese broadcast network NHK.

The two HDTV broadcasts featured Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria on the International Space Station, with Flight Engineer Thomas Reiter serving as camera operator aboard the 220-mile-high laboratory.

"HDTV provides up to six times the resolution of regular analog video," said Rodney Grubbs, NASA principal investigator. "On previous missions, we've flown HDTV cameras but had to wait until after the mission to retrieve the tapes, watch the video and share it with the science and engineering community, the media and the public. For the first time ever, this test lets us stream live HDTV from space so the public can experience what its like to be there."

Known as the Space Video Gateway, the system transmits high bandwidth digital television signals to the ground that are not only spectacular, but also valuable to scientists, engineers and managers.

NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, along with both NHK and Discovery, are cooperating in this effort though a Space Act Agreement originally signed in 2002.

NASA Image of the day archive





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