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Science Fiction Book Cover Art We Wish Was Really Covering Science Fiction Books

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1984The old adage warns against judging a book by a cover, but sometimes book covers can be pretty awesome in and of themselves, even when divorced from the actual book. There’s another adage about a picture being worth a thousand words, and there’s definitely an art to creating a single image that evokes the themes, characters, or story contained within those covers. And let’s face it: a lot of time the actual, official art that gets slapped on a book release isn’t nearly as creative or interesting as it could be. So while the images in this post might not actually adorn the covers of any of these science fiction classics, let’s imagine an alternate dimension where they do, because that alternate dimension would be nifty.

These designs were created by various artists from all over the Interwebs, brought together by the delightfully titled Artsy Musings of a Bibliophile blog. (We would like to give that blog a hug, but virtual reality technology hasn’t advanced far enough yet.) First up, the lovely mock Penguin Books cover for George Orwell’s 1984, designed by Luke James. The security camera speaks for itself, but it’s a really nice touch to have its beam illuminating a line from the novel. Sometimes simple is best.

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Today’s Douglas Adams Google Doodle Is Full Of Hitchhiker’s Guide Easter Eggs

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HHGG

If you haven’t been by Google’s homepage today, you’re missing out on one of the best ones they’ve ever done. Today would have been the 61st birthday of author Douglas Adams, who passed away far too young at the age of 49 back in 2001. His Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books have been a fundamental part of the geek culture landscape for decades, and they still hold up marvelously even today.

The Google doodle is a treasure trove of Easter eggs and references to his work, from Babel fish to Marvin the Paranoid Android (the BBC version, not the inferior version from the 2005 movie). Here is a quick guide to all the references we’ve found so far, with descriptions via the HHGG Wikipedia page. (Oddly appropriate, since Wikipedia is a sort of real-world Hitchhiker’s Guide, only lacking the crucial “Don’t Panic” emblazoned on the cover…if it had a cover.)

Babel Fish – A fish which when inserted into your ear gives you the ability to understand any language. The Guide’s entry on the subject says, ‘Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful could evolve purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.’

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Douglas Adams Was Right, Dolphins May Be Able To Do High-Level Math

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Scientists have long known that dolphins were smarter than the average bear (just to throw out a completely arbitrary basis of comparison), but you might be surprised by some of the ways that intelligence presents itself. A new study suggests that the aquatic mammals may be capable of using nonlinear mathematics to assist with their echolocation hunting. And the best part? We owe this new discovery to the Discovery Channel.

According to MSNBC, it all started with an episode of the Discovery Channel’s Blue Planet. Tim Leighton, a professor of ultrasonics and underwater acoustics at the University of Southampton, was watching the show when he noticed that the dolphins in the footage were blowing out small bubbles while they hunted their prey. This didn’t make any sense to him, because he knew that the bubbles would scatter the sonar pulses, hampering the dolphins’ ability to hunt. So how were the dolphins able to hunt amongst the bubbles? As Leighton explains:

These dolphins were either ‘blinding’ their most spectacular sensory apparatus when hunting — which would be odd, though they still have sight to reply on — or they have a sonar that can do what human sonar cannot…perhaps they have something amazing.

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