Intro

This is the blog and homepage of Mark R. Kelly, the founder of Locus Online in 1997 (for which I won a Hugo Award in 2002 — see the icon at right) and of an index to science fiction awards in 2000 that became sfadb.com in 2012. I’m retired from my day job of 30 years, from 1982 to 2012, as an aerospace software engineer, supporting the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station.

Posts here are mostly about my reading, of science fiction and of books about science, history, philosophy, and religion; and comments to articles in newspapers that I link to. Movie reviews and pics from travels are posted on Facebook.

More on my About page, including a photo of the Hugo Winners the year I was among them, and links to an index of my columns and other writings, and to my earliest homepage with links to some of my work.

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Personal History: View from the East Coast of England

This is one of my two favorite photos that I’ve taken in my entire life. This is a photographed snapshot. It’s a view from the east coast of England, when I visited the place my parents lived in the 1950s when they had me, in Felixstowe, near Ipswich. I made a trip there in 1992, and this was a view off the coast, looking onto the North Sea, one evening. Click to embiggen. Sorry for the smudges on the print, which is nearly 30 years old.

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Heinlein’s STARMAN JONES (1953)

Starman Jones is the 7th of 14 novels that Heinlein published from 1947 to 1963, at annual intervals except for a four-year gap between the last two, that were called “juveniles” at the time — that is, designed for younger readers — what are now called YA, for Young Adult, novels. (It’s worth noting that the 13th of these, Starship Troopers, is usually *not* considered YA, in the way all the others are, but that’s a topic for another time.)

I read most of these books in the early ’70s, before my 20th birthday, but I came to Heinlein later than I bonded with Asimov, Clarke, and for that matter, Bradbury. Over the decades my regards have shifted, though I still find myself rereading Heinlein after I’ve already, in the past five years, reread most of AB&C.

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Ls&Cs: Visiting Flooded Cities Simply Explained

Water through the body; human inability to account for long-term threats; how sometimes the answers to conspiracy theories are simple.

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Ls&Cs: Two from Free Inquiry

From the October/November 2021 issue, articles about Christian Morality and about how understanding COVID does not depend on a Kuhnian paradigm shift.

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Personal History: World Fantasy Con Badges

One more set of badges with commentary for today, then I’ll move on to other things, and catch up on links and comments. Today: badges from World Fantasy Conventions.

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Personal History: Worldcon Badges

Another afternoon of sorting and photographing photos and artifacts. For today, here’s a group shot of badges I’ve collected from the World Science Fiction Conventions (Worldcons for short) over the years.

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Personal History: Work Badges and Travel

I’m going through — one more time! — artifacts of my family’s life, and my own life, that have been gathering dust in a couple closets, determined once and for all to take photographs and write up descriptions of them, for posterity.

Let’s begin with a set of work badges. (Click to embiggen.)

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Ls&Cs: You Suggest Having Ice Cream, They Hate Ice Cream

The principles of an angry 3-year-old; the anti-business party; Supreme Court justices’ motivations.

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Ls&Cs: Look at the (Economics) Evidence

More evidence that economics (and psychology) are becoming sciences, not just ideologies.

This year’s Nobel Prizes in economics are interesting, Paul Krugman explains, because their recipients applied real-world evidence which turn out to undermine ideological economic theories that that have intuitive appeal for certain mindsets.

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Robert Sheckley, MINDSWAP (1966)

Robert Sheckley was a science fiction writer who debuted in the early 1950s, right about the time Philip K. Dick that did. They were both prolific short story writers through the ’50s, each publishing several stories a year, in the various magazines of the time, year after year.

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