Doctor Who: Day of the Daleks

Day of the Daleks episode 1 was broadcast 1 January 1972. This story features a British diplomat named Sir Reginald Styles, who organises s peace conference to avert World War III, and invites UNIT. So the Third Doctor, Jo and the Brigadier go over to Auderly House, and interview Sir Reginald Styles. Then UNIT soldiers discover a severely injured guerrilla from the future who has been attacked and take him to hospital. The Doctor then discovers a number of high tech alien devices nearby including a rudimentary time machine and decides to stay at Auderly House to investigate What is going on.

Then Three more guerrilla’s from the future turn up and confront a UNIT Patrol before meeting the Doctor. The Doctor tries to fix the alien device however the guerrillas explain that operating this rudimentary alien time machine could bring some unwelcome guests to Earth. The Doctor learns that the guerrillas are trying to assassinate Styles and tries to change their minds. The guerrillas imprison Doctor and Jo in the cellar. However The Doctor Then Jo manage to escape although Jo soon finds herself in even greater danger….

Meanwhile In the future, the evil Daleks have detected a weak signal emanating from the rudimentary alien time machine at Auderly House and send an evil Dalek supported by Ogrons to attack. Two futuristic guerrillas Anat and Boaz aided by The Brigadier return fire. Elsewhere the Doctor encounters a Dalek before himself Anat and Boaz journey to the 22nd century where they encounter more Daleks and Ogrons. Then The Doctor discovers a rebel factory where he meets the Manager. However the Manager is killed and the Doctor is captured by an Ogron, before being interrogated. The Dalek Controller arrives, and imprisons the Doctor who learns that The Daleks have discovered time travel and intend to invade Earth again.

The Controller explains that at the end of the 20th century, a hundred years of devastating worldwide wars began on Earth, killing 7/8ths of the population. Then the Daleks invaded, conquering the world and using it for raw materials to fuel the expansion of their empire, so in order to survive some humans cooperated with the Daleks.

Suddenly The Rebel Guerrillas under their leader Monia attack the Controller’s base before trying to rescue the Doctor and Jo. The guerrilla rebels then inform the Doctor about Styles nefarious activities concerning the peace conference and his part in the subsequent conflict. The Doctor then finds out that the guerrillas have brought a Dalek bomb with them to Auderly House, and warns them that they will create a predestination paradox by causing the very conflict that they went back in time to prevent in the first place. Meanwhile The Controller, the Interrogator and the Daleks betray each other. Elsewhere the Delegation is evacuated from Auderly House. Then all hell breaks loose as The Guerrillas, the Ogrons, The Daleks and UNIT all converge on Auderly House and confront one another in an explosive finale.


National Science Fiction Day

National Science Fiction Day Takes place annually on 2 January in memory of the birthday of prolific Science fiction author Isaac Asimov, who defined “Science fiction as that branch of literature which deals with the reaction of human beings to changes in science and technology.”

“Science fiction” includes a wide range of subgenres and themes. James Blish wrote: “Wells used the term originally to cover what we would today call ‘hard’ science fiction, in which a conscientious attempt to be faithful to already known facts (as of the date of writing) was the substrate on which the story was to be built, and if the story was also to contain a miracle, it ought at least not to contain a whole arsenal of them.” According to Robert A. Heinlein, “a handy short definition of almost all science fiction might read: realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world, past and present, and on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method.”

Lester del Rey wrote, “Even the devoted aficionado or fan—has a hard time trying to explain what science fiction is”, and that the reason for there not being a “full satisfactory definition” is that “there are no easily delineated limits to science fiction.” Author and editor Damon Knight summed up the difficulty, saying “science fiction is what we point to when we say it”, while author Mark C. Glassy argues that the definition of science fiction is like the definition of pornography: you do not know what it is, but you know it when you see it.

The first use of the term “Sci-Fi” (analogous to the then-trendy “hi-fi”) is credited to Forrest J Ackerman in 1954. Then as science fiction entered popular culture, writers and fans active in the field came to associate the term with low-budget, low-tech “B-movies” and with low-quality pulp science fiction. By the 1970s, critics were using sci-fi to distinguish hack-work from serious science fiction. Peter Nicholls writes that “SF” (or “sf”) is “the preferred abbreviation within the community of sf writers and readers.” Robert Heinlein found even “science fiction” insufficient, and suggested the term speculative fiction to be used instead, which has continued to be applied to “serious” or “thoughtful” science fiction.

Science fiction had its beginnings in the time when the line between myth and fact was blurred. Written in the 2nd century AD by the Hellenized Syrian satirist Lucian, A True Story contains many themes and tropes that are characteristic of modern science fiction, including travel to other worlds, extraterrestrial lifeforms, interplanetary warfare, and artificial life. Some consider it the first science fiction novel. Some of the stories from The Arabian Nights, along with the 10th century The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter and Ibn al-Nafis’s 13th century Theologus Autodidactus also contain elements of science fiction.

Products of the Age of Reason and the development of modern science itself, Johannes Kepler’s Somnium, Francis Bacon’s The New Atlantis, Cyrano de Bergerac’s Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon  and The States and Empires of the Sun, Margaret Cavendish’s “The Blazing World” (1666), Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726), Ludvig Holberg’s novel Nicolai Klimii Iter Subterraneum  and Voltaire’s Micromégas are some of the first true science fantasy works. Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan considered Somnium the first science fiction story. It depicts a journey to the Moon and how the Earth’s motion is seen from there. Mary Shelley’s books Frankenstein and The Last Man helped define the form of the science fiction novel. Brian Aldiss has argued that Frankenstein was the first work of science fiction. Edgar Allan Poe wrote several stories considered science fiction, including one about a trip to the Moon. Jules Verne was noted for his attention to detail and scientific accuracy, especially Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea which predicted the modern nuclear submarine. The 1887 novel El anacronópete by Spanish author Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau introduced the first time machine.

H. G. Wells is one of science fiction’s most important authors. His notable science fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898). His science fiction imagined alien invasion, biological engineering, invisibility, and time travel. In his non-fiction futurologist works he predicted the advent of airplanes, military tanks, nuclear weapons, satellite television, space travel, and something resembling the World Wide Web. In 1912 Edgar Rice Burroughs published A Princess of Mars, the first of his three-decade-long planetary romance series of Barsoom novels, set on Mars and featuring John Carter as the hero. Then In 1926 Hugo Gernsback published the first American science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories. In 1928 E. E. “Doc” Smith published, The Skylark of Space in collaboration with Lee Hawkins Garby, appeared in Amazing Stories. It is often called the first great space opera. In 1928 Philip Francis Nowlan’s original Buck Rogers story, Armageddon 2419, appeared in Amazing Stories. This was followed by a Buck Rogers comic strip, the first serious science fiction comic.

In 1937 John W. Campbell became editor of Astounding Science Fiction, which featured stories celebrating scientific achievement and progress In 1942, Isaac Asimov started his Foundation series, which chronicles the rise and fall of galactic empires and introduced psychohistory. Theodore Sturgeon’s 1953 novel More Than Human explored possible future human evolution.In 1957 Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale by Russian writer and paleontologist Ivan Yefremov presented a view of a future interstellar communist civilization. In 1959 Robert A. Heinlein published Starship Troopers Which is one of the first and most influential examples of military science fiction, and introduced the concept of powered armor exoskeletons. In 1961 The German space opera series Perry Rhodan, was begun chronicling the first Moon landing, this has since expanded to the entire Universe taking place over billions of years. In 1961 the science fiction story Solaris was published by Stanisław Lem. Thisdealt with the theme of human limitations as its characters attempted to study a seemingly intelligent ocean on a newly discovered planet.

During the 1960s and 1970s New Wave science fiction became known for a high degree of experimentation, The 1965 science fiction novel Dune by Frank Herbert featured a much more complex and detailed imagined future society than had been common in science fiction before. In 1968 Philip K. Dick published his best-known novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Which became Blade Runner. In 1969 Ursula K. Le Guin published the science fiction novel The Left Hand of Darkness. This was set on a planet in which the inhabitants have no fixed gender and became one of the most influential examples of social science fiction, feminist science fiction, and anthropological science fiction. In 1976 C. J. Cherryh published Gate of Ivrel and Brothers of Earth, which began her Alliance-Union universe future history series. In 1979 Science Fiction World began publication in the People’s Republic of China.

In 1984 William Gibson’s first novel Neuromancer helped popularize cyberpunk, and the word “cyberspace” — a term he coined in his 1982 short story Burning Chrome. In 1986 Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold began her Vorkosigan Saga. 1992’s Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson predicted immense social upheaval due to the information revolution. In 2007 Liu Cixin’s novel, The Three-Body Problem, was published in China. It was translated into English by Ken Liu and published by Tor Books in 2014, winning the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel. Liu was the first Asian writer to win “Best Novel.” The latest science fiction themes include environmental issues, the implications of the global Internet and the expanding information universe, questions about biotechnology and nanotechnology, as well as a post-Cold War interest in post-scarcity societies, steampunk and biopunk.

Other Events and holidays happening on 2 January

  • National Buffet Day
  • National Cream Puff Day
  • National Motivation and Inspiration Day
  • National Run it Up the Flagpole and See if Anybody Salutes It Day
  • Personal Trainer Awareness Day

Isaac Asimov

Prolific Russian-American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, Isaac Asimov, was born January 2, 1920, he is best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Isaac Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. His works have been published in all ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System (although his only work in the 100s—which covers philosophy and psychology—was a foreword for The Humanist Way). Asimov is widely considered a master of hard science fiction and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, he was considered one of the “Big Three” science fiction writers during his lifetime. Asimov’s most famous work is the Foundation Series; his other major series are the Galactic Empire series and the Robot series. The Galactic Empire novels are explicitly set in earlier history of the same fictional universe as the Foundation Series. Later, beginning with Foundation’s Edge, he linked this distant future to the Robot and Spacer stories, creating a unified “future history” for his stories much like those pioneered by Robert A. Heinlein and previously produced by Cordwainer Smith and Poul Anderson. He wrote many short stories, among them “Nightfall”, which in 1964 was voted by the Science Fiction Writers of America the best short science fiction story of all time. Asimov wrote the Lucky Starr series of juvenile science-fiction novels using the pen name Paul French.

Asimov also wrote mysteries and fantasy, as well as non-fiction. Most of his popular science books explain scientific concepts in a historical way, going as far back as possible to a time when the science in question was at its simplest stage. He often provides nationalities, birth dates, and death dates for the scientists he mentions, as well as etymologies and pronunciation guides for technical terms. Examples include Guide to Science, the three volume set Understanding Physics, Asimov’s Chronology of Science and Discovery, as well as works on astronomy, mathematics, the Bible, William Shakespeare’s writing and chemistry. Asimov was a long-time member and Vice President of Mensa International, albeit reluctantly; he described some members of that organization as “brain-proud and aggressive about their IQs.” He took more joy in being president of the American Humanist Association. Such is Isaac Asimov’s influence on popular culture that Many things have also been named in his Honour including The asteroid 5020 Asimov, a crater on the planet Mars, an Elimentary school in Brooklyn, New York and the Isaac Asimov literary award.

Most of Asimov’s robot short stories are set in the first age of positronic robotics and space exploration. The unique feature of Asimov’s robots are the Three Laws of Robotics, hardwired in a robot’s positronic brain, which all robots in his fiction must obey/follow, and which ensure that the robot does not turn against its creators. The stories were not initially conceived as a set, but rather all feature his positronic robots — indeed, there are some inconsistencies among them, especially between the short stories and the novels. They all, however, share a theme of the interaction of humans, robots, and morality. Some of the short stories found in The Complete Robot and other anthologies appear not to be set in the same universe as the Foundation Universe. “Victory Unintentional” has positronic robots obeying the Three Laws, but also a non-human civilization on Jupiter. “Let’s Get Together” features humanoid robots, but from a different future (where the Cold War is still in progress), and with no mention of the Three Laws. The multiple series are interconnected in some way.

The first four robot novels The Caves of Steel (1953), The Naked Sun (1955), The Robots of Dawn (1983), and Robots and Empire (1985) make up the Elijah Baley (sometimes “Lije Baley”) series, and are mysteries starring the Terran Elijah Baley and his humaniform robot partner, R. Daneel Olivaw. They are set thousands of years after the short stories, and focus on the conflicts between Spacers — descendants of human settlers from other planets, and the people from an overcrowded Earth. “Mirror Image”, one of the short stories from The Complete Robot anthology, is also set in this time period (between The Naked Sun and The Robots of Dawn), and features both Baley and Olivaw. Another short story (found in The Early Asimov anthology), “Mother Earth”, is set about a thousand years before the robot novels, when the Spacer worlds chose to become separated from Earth. Many of the Robot novels were written prior to 1962, hence they were not eligible for science fiction awards, such as the Hugo. However Robots of Dawn was retrospectively nominated for both the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1984, and Robots and Empire was shortlisted for the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel in 1986.

Asimov sadly passed away 6 April 1992 but has left a rich legacy of science-fiction novels. January 2 has also been declared National Science Fiction Day by many science fiction fans in the United States to commemorate Isaac Asimov and although It is not an official holiday as such, As it is not recognized or declared by any government, it is a good excuse to watch loads of Science Fiction including Star Wars, Star Trek, and read loads of Isaac Asimov stories.