Ted Chiang is perhaps the finest author in contemporary science fiction -- and the most rarefied. A technical writer by trade and a graduate of the distinguished Clarion Writers Workshop, Chiang has published only twelve short stories in the last twenty years, one dozen masterpieces of the genre whose insightful, precise, often poetic language confronts fundamental ideas -- intelligence, consciousness, the nature of God -- and thrusts them into a dazzling new light. Click inside for a complete listing of Chiang's work, with links to online reprints or audio recordings where available, as well as a collection of one-on-one interviews, links to his nonfiction essays, and a few other related sites and articles. [more inside]
On Tor.com, Mefi'sown Patrick Garcon (smoke) is writing lively essays on Victorian fantasy illustration, from the Pre-Raphaelites to Orientalism. [via mefi projects]
The His Dark Materials movie is taking shape. The award-winning children's series, considered the "anti-Narnia", is due on the screen in 2007, starring a actress found in open casting, along with Nicole Kidman (as Mrs. Coulter, for those who know the books). Unfortunately, the screenplay by Tom Stoppard has been dumped, though the new one appears to be to the author's liking. There is no official trailer yet, but there are several more or less painful fan-made ones. The series has also been made into a successful play, and a radio program. For those who haven't read it, an excerpt is here; and for those that have, try the interactive alethiometer or find out your daemon's name. Previous discussion on the debate with the Archbishop of Canterbury was here.