The best sci-fi films

Latest post in my blog on popular science:
The best sci-fi films


Manuel, I would be interested in your “take” on this article!–JQVqNw

Thanks, Mike, for the reference, which I hadn’t seen (the scientific paper discussed was published on December 30, this popularization today).

My last post in my blog ( addresses the same questions as this paper. This shows that this research is not exactly new. In fact, the popular paper says practically nothing new; except that one of the authors of the scientific paper declares his belief in the real existence of tachyons.

I have also looked at the scientific paper, and found that there is little new. The cinematic of the tachyon world is known since a long time ago. Perhaps there’s something new in the dynamic, but I’ve noticed that they don’t mention Tegmark’s paper, which proves that orienting in a tachyon world would be impossible. Tegmark’s paper, which can be considered a preliminary of this paper, was published in 1997, 25 years ago.

I consider this paper as another mathematical exercise without practical consequences. In other words, sci-fi.


Yes, I had seen your reporting on orienting/navigating in a faster-than-light environment as likely “impossible,” but I was more interested in what you would say about the proposal that incorporating the existence of a faster-than-light “observer” can mathematically unite/reconcile general relativity with quantum theory into a kind of “quantum gravity” theory. I sense that you are dismissing it as a mathematical trick or exercise with no link to objective reality, but I’m wondering if that is too hasty? There aren’t many candidates (in my math-limited knowledge base) that can do that so neatly… or am I wrong about that?

Thanks for taking the time to reply. And sorry to SpareOomers for the lack of a Lewis link, who I do not think ever used faster-than-light concepts in his body of work. Or am I wrong about that, too?


Ah, yes, that’s the reason why I wrote that “perhaps there’s something new in the dynamic” part of the scientific paper.

But take into account that this is just the last proposed joint theory of relativity and quantum theory, and there have been many, since the first unsuccessful attempt by Stephen Hawking and James Hartle in 1983. To find whether this new theory is better than the previous ones, one would have to get in depth in the dynamic section of this paper, which I haven’t done. I am suspicious, however, from the fact that this theory seems to be applicable to the world of tachyons, which we don’t even know whether it exists.

As to your second question, I’m not aware that C.S. Lewis wrote anything about faster-than-light travel. I suspect that he would be opposed to inter-stellar travel, since he was opposed to inter-planetary travel, thinking we perhaps would contaminate the solar system with our fall. However, he was interested in sci-fi novels such as David Lindsay’s “Voyage to Arcturus”.


I think that Ransom’s travel to Venus, since it was by “angelic” power, could be considered “faster than light” (:-). In one of his letters, Lewis, in response to criticism of the science of his description of Ransom’s spaceship in Out of the Silent Planet, said that to avoid such scientific faults, he had Ransom taken to Venus by angels.

But there was no need of faster-than-light travel! The distance of Venus from the Earth is between 3 and 14 light-minutes, depending on the relative positions of both planets. That the travel was not instantaneous can be deduced from the fact that Ransom was “awakened (if that is the right word)” during his fall on Venus. That the travel could have taken several minutes is a fair deduction from Ransom’s description in chapter 3 of Perelandra. :grinning:


It can also be deduced from the fact that one side of him (the side that had been facing the sun during his journey) was very tan, and the other very pale, hence the Green Lady’s description of him as Piebald.

True! To get tanned in this way, 14 minutes seem too little, therefore the travel was clearly much slower-than light :grin:


I guess that maximal “angel power” was not used (:-).