Two recent news stories have captured my imagination of late – or more likely, confirmed an imagination already groomed for the news by having read sci-fi novels since I was eight years old.
Asteroid mining has been a staple of Science Fiction novels for decades – even the video game inspired Halo novels mentions mining colonies built into asteroid belts and supplying the UNSC fleet with precious metals for war.
And what seemed so far away from possibility from when I was a kid is now the very near ambition of private industry who has been leading the way into making this a reality, by sending a bunch of satellites into space in the next couple of years to search out the best targets for mining. Amazing.
Then I read another article that some people believe the technology is there to start the early stages of building a Dyson Sphere – or at least a Dyson swarm. So what the heck is a Dyson thingy?
Well, for who don’t share my particular nerdish fascination with sci-fi or old Star Trek: Nest Generation episodes,
or never read Larry Niven’s Ring World, or played the video game Halo (which is a Dyson Ring)or know what the heck a Dyson Sphere is – just go here.
I love the collective imagination of our species and that we live in a time to see some of the strangest and most ambitious of these innovations come to fruition – perhaps even in our lifetime. It’s nice to get a peek through the smog and catch a peek at something brighter that glimmers with hope and calls us to something better.
I know the solution for humanity will never come from the stars or Dyson Sphere’s or asteroid mining, but maybe these glimmers and wild flurries of imagination, will remind us of something lost and something just beyond our reach. And that the ache of it will call us forward into a startling place or an unexpected truth.
Now, to world build my new sci-fi fantasy apocalyptic space opera that takes place in a Dyson Sphere that is falling apart due to old age! Actually, never mind. Dystopian future’s are too easy. It’s always been the optimistic sci-fi that has sparked our collective imaginations, don’t you think?