This paper airplane—the Tumblewing—is a type a walkalong glider. The authors note that it’s designed to fall steadily forward and down, in a spiral. If you walk too fast, the Tumblewing will fly over your shoulder; if you walk too slowly, it will fall to the ground. So flying it takes a bit of practice. Would Orville and Wilbur have headed back to the bicycle shack if their first attempt failed?!? No!
VERDICT: It took us a couple of practice sessions to get the hang of the Tumblewing. Our first attempt fizzled because we used the wrong size cardboard. (Also, our boss told us to get back to work.) With the correct size cardboard, it was much easier to keep the Tumblewing aloft, and keeping it in sustained flight was just a matter of practicing.
But the task of science fiction is not to predict the future. Rather, it contemplates possible futures. Writers may find the future appealing precisely because it can’t be known, a black box where “anything at all can be said to happen without fear of contradiction from a native,” says the renowned novelist and poet Ursula K. Le Guin. “The future is a safe, sterile laboratory for trying out ideas in,” she tells Smithsonian, “a means of thinking about reality, a method.”
LOTS of good stuff in this article!
I'm looking forward to plowing through the whole issue soon. (AND PATRICK STEWART IS ON THE COVER, SWOON.)
First, my name. It is Jaclyn Moriarty. It’s a good name. You can remember it by thinking of Sherlock Holmes. I can't tell you how happy I am to have an arch-villain’s name. I wake up each morning and remember my name and a slow smile forms on my face. Then I get up and have breakfast.