Monday, June 13, 2005

Don't you just HATE when that happens?

I'm a HUGE hard SF fan. Larry Niven is one of my favorite authors in this genre. He has recently released a new novel written with Brenda Cooper titled "Building Harlequin's Moon". I picked up a first edition while I was on a business trip to wonderful downtown Lafayette La. I've managed to get about 2/3 of the way through so far. It supposedly takes place in a solar system around the star Gliese 876, which until just recently was thought to be composed of two super Gas Giants. One orbiting the Class M Yellow dwarf very closely and one at about the same distance as Saturn is from Sol. In the story they posit two (so far, fictional) more gas giants but at distances exceeding neptune's orbit which could be plausible given the very small perturbations they would have on the star. So far, everything agrees with the known properties of that solar system at the time of the writing of the manuscript. Well, today I read that they've discovered a third planet in that solar system. Damn! I hate when a perfectly good Hard SF novel is ruined by later scientific discoveries. What's worse, this discovery happened about the time the first issues rolled off the printing press. The only other time I can think of THAT happening is with Niven's FIRST published work ("The Coldest Place"), which was invalidated just as it too was being published. I'm starting to think Larry is cursed....

Update: Clayton Cramer was apparently on the same track....


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