This is a selective list of some short stories and novels that use more or less accurate science and can be used for teaching or reinforcing astronomy or physics concepts. I include both traditional “science-fiction” and (occasionally) more serious fiction that derives meaning or plot from astronomy or physics ideas.

Here now is a first look at the CCCP Cook Book: True Stories of Soviet Cuisine (Fuel Publishing) by authors and historians Olga and Pavel Syutkin. It's a rare glimpse into the decades around when the USSR (CCCP) was transitioning to Communism. Food shortages and limited access to staples like bread, milk, and fresh produce were commonplace in the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s. Whenever rations are tight, creativity rules. Every day citizens were inspired to invent dishes that sustained them through long winters and hard economic times. Meanwhile, the ruling class feasted on luxuries like suckling pig and caviar. Class distinctions are crystal clear in each recipe; the Syutkins note that some of the images are of dishes that would have only been considered "aspirational fantasy for the average Soviet household."

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival will announce next week that it has commissioned translations of all 39 of the Bard’s plays into modern English, with the idea of having them ready to perform in three years. Yes, translations—because Shakespeare’s English is so far removed from the English of 2015 that it often interferes with our own comprehension.

“I… I died?”

“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

Nothing drives me crazier than authors—or patrons at Renaissance Faires—addressing everyone and everything as “mi’loooooooord.” Firstly, no one outside of possibly a few British comedians in the 1970s has ever pronounced the word “my” that way. Secondly, not everyone is a lord; that notion defies the most basic grasp of economics. Thirdly, there are different kinds of lords, especially in different periods—the system was constantly evolving. Finally, there are specific ways to address each type depending on who you are.

Looking for some new material to add to your science fiction reading list? Below are 32 books that have pushed the boundaries of the genre, inspired generations of thinkers and in some cases have even predicted key aspects of societies development.

Alien invasions usually involve extraterrestrials arriving at Earth to destroy, enslave, or eat humans. It’s always humans, too—I’ve never read a story where the aliens were bent on destroying all squirrels.

American Biblical scholar Joseph Atwill will be appearing before the British public for the first time in London on the 19th of October to present a controversial new discovery: ancient confessions recently uncovered now prove, according to Atwill, that the New Testament was written by first-century Roman aristocrats and that they fabricated the entire story of Jesus Christ. His presentation will be part of a one-day symposium entitled "Covert Messiah" at Conway Hall in Holborn (full details can be found at http://www.covertmessiah.com).

Do you like fiction and mathematics? Are you looking for a book or story that might be useful for the students in your math class? Are you interested in what our society thinks about mathematicians? Then you've come to the right place. This database lists over one thousand short stories, plays, novels, films, and comic books containing math or mathematicians.

Uchronia: The Alternate History List is a bibliography of over 3100 novels, stories, essays and other printed material involving the "what ifs" of history.

The genre has a variety of names, but it is best known as alternate history. In an alternate history, one or more past events are changed and the subsequent effects on history somehow described. This description may comprise the entire plotline of a novel, or it may just provide a brief background to a short story. Perhaps the most common themes in alternate history are "What if the Nazis won World War II?" and "What if the Confederacy won the American Civil War?"

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