Fine Structure

Bruce Coville Thinks We'll Beat Lightspeed

A blast from the past if you're close to my age: Bruce Coville, author of children's sci-fi and fantasy books, was interviewed on Gizmodo the other day. The interview is mostly about how he feels about certain technology from his My Teacher is an Alien series, and he gets into an exchange about the likelihood of the fictitious technology he uses in his books. He pins faster-than-light travel as "the big one" and he's optimistic that we'll find a way around it.

To put this all in perspective, Bruce Coville probably wrote the first sci-fi book I ever read. His books, along with many a science teacher along the way, were a huge inspiration for me as I became interested in science and technology through the years. I had read his My Teacher series but they didn't really stick in my mind. What really got me stuck was his A.I. Gang series. Here's a series about a bunch of kids who are shipped off to a remote island so their parents can work on a secret science project about creating artificial intelligence. They're smart kids so along the way they get into a lot of trouble, save the island and the project a couple times and and generally have the right ideas while the authority figures are oblivious. There's some really smart stuff in between and the entire series culminates with the A.I. becoming self aware and deciding that humanity just isn't ready for it to exist yet, and it hides away at the bottom of the ocean. This was a pretty epic story as a kid and it probably cemented my interest in science and technology. So, if you're out there Bruce - Thanks!