I Don’t Want to Go to School!

My daughter was more difficult to get to sleep tonight than usual. She often talks and plays with the toys she wants to sleep with, but usually goes to sleep within about thirty minutes. Tonight, it took her one and a half hours to go to sleep. You see, she wanted to talk about school.

It started off with her asking if we will go to school with her. She was hoping we’d stay in the class with her. However, I explained to her that we can take her to school and pick her up, but we can’t stay in the school with her. She’ll be with the teacher and her new friends. But she started to cry and told us she didn’t want to be with the teacher. She didn’t want to be with friends. She didn’t want to play with the toys at school.  She wanted to play with me and my wife and her toys.

It’s still a month until school starts, and she’s usually happy about going to school. However, she occasionally says she doesn’t want to go to school. But hopefully, she’ll enjoy going to school. She’ll probably cry, and she said she’d cry, but that’s pretty common. I’ve taught kids around the same age who cried.

One more month. Better make the best of that month with her.

Galactic Density of Alien Life in Science Fiction

In science fiction, especially involving interstellar space travel, we often see aliens. Often, but not always. And this is something we wonder today. How many civilisations are there in space? How far are they from us? Will we ever encounter any alien civilisations on other planets?

In Star Trek, the population density of the galaxy is very high. Pretty much any star system with a planet in the Goldilocks zone has life and possibly a civilisation. Alpha Centauri has life, but not a native civilisation. Vulcan, Andor, and Tellar are all fairly close to Earth. Life is everywhere.

In the book that I’m reading now, Redemption Ark (Revelation Space), the galaxy is fairly empty. There have been civilisations, but they’re few and far between and happen at different times. But there’s a reason for it, and that’s explained in the book.

In my own Ariadne universe, I hint at other civilisations, but I don’t go into it so much, because all the action takes place on one planet. At least for now.

In these three, the mode of transportation is also different. In Star Trek, they have warp engines that take their ships out of normal space in a warp bubble, and propel that bubble through space many times the speed of light. No relativistic effects are experienced. In Revelation Space, the spacecraft are able to travel at nearly the speed of light, and there are major relativistic effects. But in Ariadne, I use a modified warp system that is unable to pass the speed of light. However, they use sleeper ships, so the effects of relativity are not felt, but the people also don’t age. In Star Trek, thanks to the form of propulsion, they are able to meet many different civilisations and visit many planets without any difficulties. In Revelation Space and Ariadne, the speeds are not enough to make regular interstellar travel practical.

I find that both kinds have their place in science fiction. I enjoy reading and watching science fiction that use either one. Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments below.