Out Of This World
May 27, 2011 11:34 AM Subscribe
Out Of This World: Science Fiction But Not As You Know It
posted by dng (13 comments total)
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is an exhibition at the British Library exploring the origins of Science Fiction, running until September. China Mieville takes a look at the exhibition for the BBC
. (Out Of This World postcards
- images from the exhibition
The British Library's science fiction blog
has some good articles about the show, too.
The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing-World, by Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (1666)
. Gender issues are an integral part of the utopian genre nowadays, but in the 17th century it was a new idea in the blazing-world of utopias. As a woman, Margaret Cavendish could not travel, but the education she received allowed her to create her own world. Her husband compared her with Columbus, but ranked her higher than Columbus, since he had only found a new world, whereas she had created it in her imagination.
China Mieville on alternate histories. Notting Hill, dir. Roger Michell (1999). To celluloid, and a movie of brilliant, chilling, minatory vision. Roger Michell and Richard Curtis's is a dystopian image of contemporary London after the triumphant rise of some unseen fascist authority. With searing rage, the film underscores the totality of this victory, this dreadful alternative path, in its depiction of Notting Hill, famous for its Afro-Caribbean community and culture, as successfully ethnic cleansed. An area defined by diversity, the history of the British Black Power movement, the Mangrove restaurant, Claudia Jones and social struggle, is, with satire more bitter than Dean Swift's, stripped of people of colour, the streets instead wholly populated with mindless, twittering, wittering, lily-white rich. There is no more Carnival, with its history in struggle and play, nor shall there ever be again. A bravura cinematic hell to be shelved alongside Pasolini's Salò.