ETT travel timeSeating a maximum of six passengers per tube plus a baggage compartment, the ETT can travel at a speed of approximately 4,000 miles per hour while remaining airless and frictionless. Thanks to magnetic levitation, the vacuum speed means you can go from New York to Los Angeles in a mere 45 minutes, New York to Beijing in two hours, or around the world in only six hours. Despite the high velocity, passengers will not experience discomfort because the tube apparently only produce 1G of force at top speed, comparable to riding in a normal car on a highway.

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?"

Last week, we reported on the astounding confirmation that all solar systems in the Galaxy probably have planets, and that Earthlike planets are more common than previously thought. While this seems like good news for SETI-enthusiasts, the revelation is actually quite disturbing.

Given that we have yet to meet any extraterrestrials, the finding could mean that basic life may be very common — but that it gets snuffed out before having a chance to leave the cradle. That could be very bad news for humans.

The following list combines the best of the online resources for DRM-free science fiction suggested by the BoingBoing community with the excellent “13 DRM-free ebook sites” resource by Mark Gladding at Text2Go Blog.

Escape Pod is the premier science fiction podcast magazine. Every week we bring you short stories from some of today’s best science fiction stories, in convenient audio format for your computer or MP3 player.

Our most powerful 21st-century technologies - robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotech - are threatening to make humans an endangered species.

There are Klingons off the starboard bow, starboard bow, starboard bow. It's worse than that, he's dead Jim, he's dead Jim. It's life Jim but not as we know it, not as we know it. We come in peace, shoot to kill, shoot to kill.

I had a discussion recently with friends about the various depictions of space combat in science fiction movies, TV shows, and books. We have the fighter-plane engagements of Star Wars, the subdued, two-dimensional naval combat in Star Trek, the Newtonian planes of Battlestar Galactica, the staggeringly furious energy exchanges of the combat wasps in Peter Hamilton's books, and the use of antimatter rocket engines themselves as weapons in other sci-fi. But suppose we get out there, go terraform Mars, and the Martian colonists actually revolt. Or suppose we encounter hostile aliens. How would space combat actually go?

Our Discussion Forum is the largest gathering of alternate history fans on the internet.

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Alternate history is the exercise of looking at the past and asking "what if"? What if some major historical event had gone differently, and how could that have changed the world? Popular "what if" questions that you may have seen in fiction include "what if the Nazis had won the Second World War?" and "what if the South had won the US Civil War?", but it can be just as interesting to think about Aztecs resisting Spanish colonization or a Japan that did not turn its back on the world under the Shogunate. Alternate history is a literary genre, but here we're mainly interested in history itself - and the politics, strategy, culture, and more that define it. We spend most of our time debating our own ideas about history and how it could have gone differently, so this is a community focused on creativity and learning.

Public understanding of major achievements of the Space Age over the past 30 years -- carried out by both the former Soviet Union and the United States -- increasingly seems to have been nothing more than a carefully constructed "version" of a much more extraordinary truth.

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