No it isn’t a hopeful robot-thespian answering a casting-call for the lead droid role in the next Star Wars episode. Below–via NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day–is the anime-esque JEM Internal Ball Camera–or Int-Ball for short–courtesy of JAXA (the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), currently fluttering about aboard the ISS. Don’t leave Earth without one.
Jesse Willis at SFFaudio has posted an updated entry on Arthur C. Clarke’s audio recording of his story “Transit of Earth,” the old link for which which I dug up from SFFaudio’s archives a couple of posts back. The new update includes links to further material by Clarke, published in Omni magazine many moons ago, on the story and mentioning the latest transit of Venus.
Of Venus. That is, the planet Venus is visibly crossing the face of the sun as its orbit takes it betwixt the sun and our planet Earth–a rare astronomical event which can be observed from various locations on Earth today. The Love Goddess won’t cross Apollo’s path again for over a century.
And then there is Arthur C. Clarke’s imaginative retake, the story “Transit of Earth,” which is available in audio form here via SFFaudio and Record Brother.
Clarke’s story is told from the standpoint of an astronaut stranded on the planet Mars (and comes to us from back in the day when a lot of us still thought we might someday soon be putting people on the red planet, as well as doing personal jet-packs and Moonbases and suchlike).
The SFFaudio post includes a link to a true online gem of recorded audio–of Clarke himself reading not only the long short story “Transit of Earth,” but also two of his most brilliant shorter tales–“The Nine Billion Names of God” and “The Star,” two wondrous stories which approach religious subjects from sharply different but equally startling angles. (The recording is from a Caedmon Records release from 1975.)