Real-life Meteor Freaks? The coolest extrasolar planets? Mutants bred by space radiation?

Here’s a round-up of recent stories that hint at hoary sf clichés of yore.

Space is big. Really big. And those other worlds out there may be stranger than we imagine. Lately, we’ve had lists of the Ten Most Interesting Extrasolar Planets and some hypothetical extrasolars as well.

A recent study shows that microbes can become more virulent in space, while a meteor strike in Peru may have had some unusual effects on the locals, as reported here and here.

Finally, here’s a recent reflection on Robert Heinlein, who helped invent modern SF.