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Offworld Report: March 2003

01/04/2003. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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This month's offworld report looks at the secret history of TV series Red Dwarf, DNA computers, an interview with Betsy Mitchell of Del Rey, has Robert Silverberg reflecting on the Columbia shuttle disaster, and looks at the shocking real life of a Dalek.

Synthetic Trees will Purify Air
A scientist has invented an artificial tree designed to do the job of plants. Can anyone say carbon sequestration?

'My life as a Dalek’, the nemesis of Doctor Who, by, well, an old Dalek.

When Aliens Attack
A teacher is suing the SciFi channel after an actor dressed as an alien on a Candid Camera-style show chased her.

A Successor for the Shuttle
Nasa reveals the Orbital Space Plane (OSP), the space vehicle due to replace the space shuttle from 2012.

China's First Astronaut
China reveals the identity of their first astronaut, due to go into space before 2004.

US and China join Fusion Project
China and the US both sign up for the largest international science project of the next decade.

The DNA Computer
Israeli scientists devise a computer that can perform 330 trillion operations per second (that’s 100,000 times the speed of today’s fastest PC). The secret? It runs on DNA.

Better Red than Dead
Series creator Doug Naylor looks at the secret history of British TV SF comedy series Red Dwarf.

Core Blimey
Scenario depicted in Paramount Pictures' upcoming science fiction thriller 'The Core,' coincidentally mirrors geophysicist dr. J. Marvin herndon's hypothesis.

Alien Life Search Inches Forward
For four years, the SETI@Home distributed computing project has sifted through billions of radio signals from space. Soon, scientists will converge on Puerto Rico to work out which might point to extraterrestrial life.

Destination Mars
Simulating life on the Red Planet in a NASA project deep in the Utah desert

Hydrogen: Saving the Free West
Oil has held the world hostage for a century, but the USA can be energy-independent in 10 years if it embraces the new hydrogen economy.

Colonizing Under the Earth
There will never be more land. But there's plenty of undeveloped space underground. This article looks at the underground cities of the future and the technologies that will take us there.

Something Big in Smallville
The creator of the TV series Smallville, Alfred Gough, looks at the future for the adventures of the teenage Superman.

Summer in the (SF) City
Trent Walters takes a fascinating look at the many SFF workshops for budding writers, comparing what they have to offer. Includes, Clarion, James Gunn's Writers Workshop and SF Institute, Clarion West, and last but not least … Odyssey.

2003 TAFF & DUFF winners
News of 03’s winners of The Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund and The Down Under Fan Fund.

Alien Five
News on the latest outing from Sigourney Weaver.

The Conquest of Space
SF author Robert Silverberg reflects on the Columbia shuttle disaster.

Future Remix
An interview with Ian McDonald, author of middling SF novels such as Ares Express.

Tim Lebbon
An interview with this horror novelist.

Tolkien is the Lord of SFF
J.R.R. Tolkien hits the number one spot in a new ranking of science fiction and fantasy books. Poor old J.K. Rowling failed to make the top 10!

Nanotech's Promise
Catching a nano-tube elevator to orbit; are the technologies maturing?

Frequent Filers
James Patrick Kelly casts his mind back to 1977 and the early days of Asimovs.

Heavens to Betsy
The head honcho at Del Rey, Betsy Mitchell, is interviewed about her lovely life in the SFF publishing world.

Upcoming Book Signings

Who: David Gemmell
When: Saturday 5th April 2003, 1pm
Where: Forbidden Planet, New Oxford Street, London, UK
Item being hyped: White Wolf, a new fantasy novel featuring a guest appearance by Druss the Legend.

Who: William Gibson
When: Saturday 26th April 2003, 1pm
Where: Forbidden Planet, New Oxford Street, London, UK
Item being hyped: Pattern Recognition, his new cyberpunk book which isn't cyberpunk because its not set in the future.

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