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Edmund Cooper


The Overman Culture
Year 1971
Publisher Coronet  (Hodder and Stoughton)
ISBN 0340178604



Michael was quite young when he discovered that some of his playmates bled if they cut themselves, and some didn't.  For a long time he didn't think about it.  Nor did it seem strange to see Zeppelins being attacked by jet fighters above London's force field, or glimpse Queen Victoria walking with Winston Churchill in the Mall.  Not at first.

But later he thought about these things - he couldn't help it.  The world was real, and yet unreal.  It was all desperately worrying.  So Michael and his friends formed a society to investigate the world around them.

Despite the terrible things they discovered, things that made some of them insane, they never actually guessed the truth about the Overman culture.  Until Mr. Shakespeare told them.




This is one of those classic tales set in an artificially sustained reality, such as in Shakespeare's The Tempest and Michael Moorcock's Dancers At The End Of Time and The New World's Fair.

Yet The Overman Culture unfolds like a set of Chinese boxes, to finally reveal the reason for the many paradoxes, temporal and otherwise, that haunt the reader as she/he progresses through this masterpiece.

Why is Sir Winston Churchill walking arm in arm with Queen Victoria as the Battle of Britain is re-fought above London's transparent pressure dome? Why do some children bleed and not others?

The answers are all in there. Treat yourself. Then pick up Cooper's A Far Sunset and Sea Horse In The Sky. Trust me.
Steven Cain



GALEX photo of Pinwheel Galaxy



Credit: NASA

The Lives and Times of Stars
This image of the nearby spiral galaxy M101, better known as the Pinwheel Galaxy, is a three-color combination of images from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) spacecraft. The ultraviolet light, seen in blue in the arms of the galaxy, shows young stars (only 10 million years old), while the diffuse green visible light traces stars that have been living for more than 100 years. The red visible light image shows the stars that formed over a billion years ago.

GALEX makes observations at ultraviolet wavelengths to measure the history of star formation in the universe 80 percent of the way back to the Big Bang. GALEX has been awarded a "Best of What's New" award from Popular Science magazine, along with another NASA spacecraft, the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF).

NASA Image of the day archive





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