Join 3,442 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Dagger of the Mind
May 6, 2009 3:01 PM   Subscribe

The SF Signal Mind Meld feature poses science fiction related questions to a number of SF luminaries and the scientist, science writer or blogger. Subjects have included the best women writers in SF, taboo topics in SF, underated authors and the most controversial SF novels of the past and present. The also cover lighter topics, such the role of media tie-ins, how Battlestar Galactica could have ended better (bonus Geoff Ryman) and the realistic (or otherwise) use of science on TV SF shows.
posted by Artw (17 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
The how Battlestar Galactica could have ended better link asks Chris Roberson how he would have improved the ending. His thoughtful, measured response begins:

Um, written a decent finale? Perhaps one that wasn't a steaming pile of dogshit? Honestly, that was like a trainwreck wrapped inside a clusterfuck topped with a healthy splash of "Fuck the audience."

Dear Chris: Avoid hyperbole. Not one writer in a million can use it correctly.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:24 PM on May 6, 2009


He's actually an angel.
posted by Artw at 3:26 PM on May 6, 2009


this is pretty fabulous. thank you!

the section on women writers in sf is pretty pertinent to me.
when browsing i generally look for two things: female authors and non-european names. it doesn't always work out, but it does keep the offerings found more enticing.

(and when you say that he's an "angel" does that mean he's lacking in the fun parts?)
posted by artof.mulata at 3:39 PM on May 6, 2009


Another one which may be of interest.
posted by Artw at 3:56 PM on May 6, 2009


when browsing i generally look for two things: female authors and non-european names. it doesn't always work out, but it does keep the offerings found more enticing.

Tyler Cowen (marginal revolution blogger) had an interesting heuristic. Read translated novels. If someone thought they were good enough to bother translating that is higher barrier to publication and filters out some of the crap.
posted by srboisvert at 4:02 PM on May 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Making Solaris double good!
posted by Artw at 4:03 PM on May 6, 2009


Nice post. Love the discussions you linked to.

I would put Dianetics on the list of most controversial, if that counts as science fiction.
posted by misha at 4:12 PM on May 6, 2009


Shoulda, woulda, coulda.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:12 PM on May 6, 2009


misha and eavesdroppers: i took my first solo cross-country (u.s.) flight when i was 12. my stepfather decided to grab me a book. i wanted a science fiction book. i wanted space opera.

the old man asked a bookstore clerk who he considered good in the field and the sub-genre and the guy pointed someone out. the old man, aware of what a voracious and swift reader the brat was grabbed the biggest volume he could find of the suggested author. he handed me a copy of dianetics as we drove to the airport.

i am permanently screwed and cannot distinguish between good writing and bad, reality and katie holmes and upper and lower case. thank you, science fiction.
posted by artof.mulata at 4:37 PM on May 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Excellent post. I am now going to go read "His Dark Materials" which a family member has been hounding me for 5 years to read.
posted by bz at 5:20 PM on May 6, 2009


artof.mulata - Could have been worse, could have been a Dune sequel.
posted by Artw at 5:22 PM on May 6, 2009


There were some cool posts on tor.com recently with SF reading suggestions for Black History Month and Women’s History Month you might find interesting as well.
posted by Artw at 5:26 PM on May 6, 2009


Artw, i'd be careful mocking frank herbert; i'm pretty sure he lived on one of the islands across the water from us. hark. that could be wormsong...

(thank you for the other suggestions, too!)
posted by artof.mulata at 5:29 PM on May 6, 2009


On the Tor list I'd have to admit I've only read four of those authors (and one of them on womens history list is perhaps most famous for everyone thinking they were a guy) so I probably ought to do some reading there myself.
posted by Artw at 5:34 PM on May 6, 2009


Oddly though I scan through SF Signal every day I rarely bother with the Mind Meld (though the Battlestar Galactica one was great). I really must pay it more attention.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:40 AM on May 7, 2009


Man, no one got my super nerdy title reference...
posted by Artw at 2:11 PM on May 7, 2009


what? title ref? what?

thanks for all the Tor lists, Artw; i've got a number of holds at spl.org now.
posted by artof.mulata at 6:18 PM on May 7, 2009


« Older Linux kernel hacker Jon Masters has begun recordin...  |  As I read Incest, I realized t... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments