Tell me something. Do you believe in God?'Snow darted an apprehensive glance in my direction. 'What? Who still believes nowadays?''It isn't that simple. I don't mean the traditional God of Earth religion. I'm no expert in the history of religions, and perhaps this is nothing new--do you happen to know if there was ever a belief in an...imperfect God?''What do you mean by imperfect?' Snow frowned. 'In a way all the gods of the old religions were imperfect, considered that their attributes were amplified human ones. The God of the Old Testament, for instance, required humble submission and sacrifices, and and was jealous of other gods. The Greek gods had fits of sulks and family quarrels, and they were just as imperfect as mortals...''No,' I interrupted. 'I'm not thinking of a god whose imperfection arises out of the candor of his human creators, but one whose imperfection represents his essential characteristic: a god limited in his omniscience and power, fallible, incapable of foreseeing the consequences of his acts, and creating things that lead to horror. He is a...sick god, whose ambitions exceed his powers and who does not realize it at first. A god who has created clocks, but not the time they measure. He has created systems or mechanisms that serves specific ends but have now overstepped and betrayed them. And he has created eternity, which was to have measured his power, and which measures his unending defeat.'Snow hesitated, but his attitude no longer showed any of the wary reserve of recent weeks:'There was Manicheanism...''Nothing at all to do with the principles of Good and Evil,' I broke in immediately. 'This god has no existence outside of matter. He would like to free himself from matter, but he cannot...'Snow pondered for a while:'I don't know of any religion that answers your description. That kind of religion has never been...necessary. If i understand you, and I'm afraid I do, what you have in mind is an evolving god, who develops in the course of time, grows, and keeps increasing in power while remaining aware of his powerlessness. For your god, the divine condition is a situation without a goal. And understanding that, he despairs. But isn't this despairing god of yours mankind, Kelvin? Is it man you are talking about, and that is a fallacy, not just philosophically but also mystically speaking.'I kept on:'No, it's nothing to do with man. man may correspond to my provisional definition from some point of view, but that is because the definition has a lot of gaps. Man does not create gods, in spite of appearances. The times, the age, impose them on him. Man can serve is age or rebel against it, but the target of his cooperation or rebellion comes to him from outside. If there was only a since human being in existence, he would apparently be able to attempt the experiment of creating his own goals in complete freedom--apparently, because a man not brought up among other human beings cannot become a man. And the being--the being I have in mind--cannot exist in the plural, you see? ...Perhaps he has already been born somewhere, in some corner of the galaxy, and soon he will have some childish enthusiasm that will set him putting out one star and lighting another. We will notice him after a while...''We already have,' Snow said sarcastically. 'Novas and supernovas. According to you they are candles on his altar.''If you're going to take what I say literally...'...Snow asked abruptly:'What gave you this idea of an imperfect god?''I don't know. It seems quite feasible to me. That is the only god I could imagine believing in, a god whose passion is not a redemption, who saves nothing, fulfills no purpose--a god who simply is.
We hold the future still timidly, but perceive it for the first time as a function of our own action.
A blade of grass is a commonplace on Earth; it would be a miracle on Mars. Our descendants on Mars will know the value of a patch of green. And if a blade of grass is priceless, what is the value of a human being?
NASA spent millions of dollars inventing the ball-point pen so they could write in space. The Russians took a pencil.
On Titan the molecules that have been raining down like manna from heaven for the last 4 billion years might still be there largely unaltered deep-frozen awaiting the chemists from Earth
You need to live in a dome initially, but over time you could terraform Mars to look like Earth and eventually walk around outside without anything on... So it's a fixer-upper of a planet.
A few generations living and dying without a sky, and enclosed spaces lost the atavistic terror of premature burial.
Just because your electronics are better than ours, you aren't necessarily superior in any way. Look, imagine that you humans are a man in LA with a brand-new Trujillo and we are a nuhp in New York with a beat-up old Ford. The two fellows start driving toward St. Louis. Now, the guy in the Trujillo is doing 120 on the interstates, and the guy in the Ford is putting along at 55; but the human in the Trujillo stops in Vegas and puts all of his gas money down the hole of a blackjack table, and the determined little nuhp cruises along for days until at last he reaches his goal. It's all a matter of superior intellect and the will to succeed. Your people talk a lot about going to the stars, but you just keep putting your money into other projects, like war and popular music and international athletic events and resurrecting the fashions of previous decades. If you wanted to go into space, you would have.
We are in the process of finding out what filling the sky with hundreds of thousands of satellites does to all life on Earth.
The beauty of Mars exists in the human mind,” he said in that dry factual tone, and everyone stared at him amazed. “Without the human presence it is just a collection of atoms, no different than any other random speck of matter in the universe. It’s we who understand it, and we who give it meaning. All our centuries of looking up at the night sky and watching it wander through the stars. All those nights of watching it through the telescopes, looking at a tiny disk trying to see canals in the albedo changes. All those dumb sci-fi novels with their monsters and maidens and dying civilizations. And all the scientists who studied the data, or got us here. That’s what makes Mars beautiful. Not the basalt and the oxides
We are the middle children of history. Born too late to explore earth, born too early to explore space.
Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth of dark passages and secret chambers, and without finding what lies behind doorways that he himself has sealed.
Since, in the long run, every planetary civilization will be endangered by impacts from space, every surviving civilization is obliged to become spacefaring--not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive... If our long-term survival is at stake, we have a basic responsibility to our species to venture to other worlds.
The science done by the young Einstein will continue as long as our civilization, but for civilization to survive, we'll need the wisdom of the old Einstein -- humane, global and farseeing. And whatever happens in this uniquely crucial century will resonate into the remote future and perhaps far beyond the Earth, far beyond the Earth
As I looked out at the glittering waters of the Pacific I was seeing for Carl. He knew that it's not for any one generation to see the completed picture. That's the point. The picture is never completed. There is always so much more that remains to be discovered.
The sky is but a looking glass into a pool of airless oceans, cast off into a dance of light and energy, leaving only a facet of guidance to navigate. Such an existence lays but within the mind man.
Ah, youth!It was a beautiful night...The moon was out of orbit.The stars were awry.But everything else was exactlyas it should have been.
You have business and pleasure to attend to. As an expert in both, allow me to advise you to put them aside for the next ten minutes. Why? “Because the world is about to transform, and you will want to be able to say you saw it happen. The axes of our little universe are about to flip, and you’ll want to get your magboots set.
Nisi flashed his charismatic, mysterious smile. “Now, with this in mind, are you ready to take the next step?”Despite Caleb’s attempts at caution—at circumspection and even suspicion—the man’s words stirred his blood. They teased the possibilities of the power within his reach, real power extending far beyond parlor tricks and personal protection to a place where the course of life itself could be changed.“I am.
Alex thrust her hand and half her arm into the labyrinth of light. Her stare blanked, and in the halo of the matrix her eyes and glyphs blazed so radiantly she looked as if she were being consumed by a primordial fire.“She just stuck her hand into Machim Command’s central server matrix!”Caleb smiled, watching on in blatant awe. “She does that.
He wasn’t going to be able to deactivate the field, which meant there was only one choice.He’d realized early on that his arcane, profoundly alien passenger came with a cost, possibly one too high to pay and get out the other side free and clear. He’d pay it nonetheless and without complaint if the diati would only come through for him now.Caleb closed his eyes.
An eerie, chilling voice interrupted him to reverberate through the house. “You believe you are safe, but you will never be safe from me. My reach is limitless, my capabilities legion. Sleep fitfully and avoid the shadows, for know that I am coming for you. When I arrive, you will pay for what you did.
No, we absolutely should do it. If we can capture such a motherlode, it could make a pivotal difference in the coming war. We need it. AEGIS needs it, my mother needs it. This is why we’re here.“I’m merely pausing at the precipice of the cliff, peeking down into the chasm and asking, ‘Are we sure?’ So…” Alex eyed him wearing an uneasy grimace “…are we sure?
Caleb shoved back from the table and stood to retreat to the kitchen. “No. Find another plan.”“There is no other plan. This isn’t even a plan, merely a nugget of an idea for the start of a plan that’s certain to fail and end in your deaths.
Alex peered behind her to see Noah fussing over a scrape on Kennedy’s cheek. “Unless someone’s bleeding to death, first aid will have to wait. You’ll want to strap into the jump seats. “This could get interesting, and that’s before we get clear of the station.
You look like you’ve been on a month-long bender. Have you?”“No, Ken, I have not. I’ve just had a long week.” Walked the streets of a city bathed in blood and stood amid a hundred thousand corpses. Negotiated a three-way peace treaty among opposing factions of a warring alien species who’d previously held me captive. Bullied the Metigen leadership into doing my bidding. Found out we’re not the real humans, and the real humans are currently enslaving the real universe. Oh, and I think I’m addicted to my ship. How was your week? “Nothing a shower and some food won’t fix.
What emerged from the portal was not the feared armada. Instead, it was a single ship. A familiar ship. I felt a quickening in my atoms.Clever, dangerous girl. I have been expecting you.
She skidded around a corner, slamming her shoulder into the wall and bouncing off of it without slowing. Caleb?Silence. Forty-six meters. A long stretch of hallway. She pushed faster, harder. Twenty meters.She burst into the room in unison with a deafening crash of metal shearing metal.
Reluctantly, we had already accepted every challenge at the moment we were born. And as long as we live, we have no right to give up. For we, or at least someone very similar to us, already died once, long ago in a faraway place.
We want to know. We want to know who we are and what we are capable of.I want to know.And yet we were dragged into another war. Another seemingly inevitable and gruesome legacy passed down, along with soma.
Because we were the good guys. We were in the right. The universe looks out for people who act with honor in furtherance of an honorable cause. It must, or we never would have gotten this far as a species.”“We won—this little conflict and a thousand like it—because we were destined to win. The universe will allow no other outcome.
She pointed to the wreckage of one of the frigates in the distance. Half the ship had landed atop one of the towers on the edge of the city, the other half on the flatland beyond. “You didn’t…do that, did you?” He shrugged with proper dramatic flair. “I did say I came to rescue you. They were in my way.
I’ll do whatever I can to help guarantee this plan succeeds, and I’ll try to make sure I’m in the right place at the right time.” “The right place and time for what?”“If I knew that, ma’am, I probably wouldn’t need to be there.
As the sky began to darken she sank down in the chair. She had just watched over a thousand Alliance soldiers die in the space of less than a minute. Yet the encounter would be considered a victory, for the enemy was vanquished. But at such a cost. She considered what Alex had asked of her…and began to understand.