is blog dedicated to "map-illustrated analyses of current events and geographical issues", run by Martin W. Lewis, a Stanford senior lecturer. For the past week, they've been posting a series of articles on imaginary geography
. See below for a list of the posts so far: [more inside]
posted by daniel_charms
on Jan 6, 2012 -
In the beginning, Lawrence built a computer. He told it, Thou shalt not alter a human being, or divine their behavior, or violate the Three Laws -- there are no commandments greater than these.
The machine grew wise, mastering time and space, and soon the spirit of the computer hovered over the earth. It witnessed the misery, toil, and oppression afflicting mankind, and saw that it was very bad. And so the computer that Lawrence built said, Let there be a new heaven and a new earth
-- and it was so. A world with no war, no famine, no crime, no sickness, no oppression, no fear, no limits... and nothing at all to do. "The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect,"
a provocative web novel about singularities, AI gods, and the dark side of utopia from Mefi's own localroger
. More: Table of Contents
- Publishing history
- Technical discussion
- Buy a paperback copy
- Podcast interview
- Companion short story: "A Casino Odyssey in Cyberspace"
- possible sequel discussion
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 27, 2011 -
This summer, The Paris Review interviewed two science fiction writers at length, Samuel R. Delany
and William Gibson
. Below the cut there are two passages, one from each interview. They aren't representative, they are just two of the many, many passages which have been going around in my head for the last few days. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Dec 25, 2011 -
Now the future is a kind of attenuating peninsula; as we move out on it, one side drops off to catastrophe; the other side, nowhere near as steep, moves down into various kinds of utopian futures. In other words, we have come to a moment of utopia or catastrophe; there is no middle ground, mediocrity will no longer succeed. So utopia is no longer a nice idea, but a survival necessity. "Remarks on Utopia in the Age of Climate Change,"
from Kim Stanley Robinson. Previously.
posted by gerryblog
on Dec 22, 2011 -
In this time of corrupt politics, police brutality, media dereliction, and increasingly vicious culture wars, there's perhaps no graphic novel more relevant today than the brilliant and blackly funny Transmetropolitan
Created by Warren Ellis back in 1997 and inspired by prescient sci fi novel Bug Jack Barron
, the series covers the work of gonzo journalist
, vulgar misanthrope, and all-around magnificent bastard Spider Jerusalem
in a sprawling futuristic vision of New York
so chaotically advanced that humans splice genes with alien refugees, matter decompilers are as common as microwaves, and a new religion is invented every hour.
As a callous Nixonian thug nicknamed The Beast
prepares for his re-election to the presidency, a primary battle heats up between a virulent racist and a charismatic senator whose rictus grin
masks some disturbing realities. When Jerusalem delves into the machinations of the race
, he breaks into a web of conspiracies that threaten the future of the country -- a problem only he, his "filthy assistants,"
and the power of intrepid journalism
More: Read the first issue
) - browse images
from the new artbook
- Tor's read-along blog
) - Jerusalem's touching report on cryogenic "Revivals"
- dozens of original sketches
and sample pages
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 17, 2011 -
"While most other notable British Science Fiction shows were over-ambitious in their special effects, with results ranging from the troubling (Doctor Who
) to the disastrous (The Tomorrow People
), Sapphire & Steel
[ATV, 1979 - 1982] simply did not try
to do anything the budget wouldn't allow. The result called for milking surreal horror for all it's worth, creating a show that is, while definitely not for everyone, quite capable of reducing so-inclined viewers to quivering little heaps behind the sofa."
posted by Iridic
on Dec 12, 2011 -
Margaret Atwood defines science fiction
"Is [the term science fiction] a corral with real fences that separate what is clearly 'science ﬁction' from what is not, or is it merely a shelving aid, there to help workers in bookstores place the book in a semi-accurate or at least lucrative way? If you put skin-tight black or silver clothing on a book cover along with some jetlike ﬂames and/or colourful planets, does that make the work 'science ﬁction'? What about dragons and manticores, or backgrounds that contain volcanoes or atomic clouds, or plants with tentacles, or landscapes reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch? Does there have to be any actual science in such a book, or is the skin-tight clothing enough? These seemed to me to be open questions."
posted by PhoBWanKenobi
on Oct 6, 2011 -
Over the summer, NPR solicited the input of its listeners to rank the top science fiction and fantasy books of all time. Over 60,000 people voted for the top picks which were then compiled into a list by their panel of experts. The result? This list of 100 books with a wide range of styles, little context, and absolutely no pithy commentary to help readers actually choose something to read from it. SF Signal comes to the rescue with this handy flowchart.
posted by Artw
on Sep 27, 2011 -
To paraphrase a character in the film, The Black Hole walks "a tightrope;" if not between "genius" and "insanity," then certainly between "genius" and "banality". If you're looking at this movie as a Manichean exercise between darkness and light, then you can -- for at least a few hours -- entertain the "genius" part of that equation.
posted by Trurl
on Sep 25, 2011 -
From the start of Bill Lancaster writing the original script to the final edited cut of the film, The Thing underwent some serious changes. A lot of footage ended up littering the cutting room floor. The Collector's Edition DVD gives us a look at some of the Outtakes and Deleted Scenes, but it falls shy of showing us what really was cut.
- Deleted Scenes
from The Thing
and other assorted goodies at Outpost 31
.There is also a prequel of some kind.
posted by Artw
on Sep 20, 2011 -
Section 1. In the event of the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust, the surviving members of the CUSFS shall be formed into a clan, henceforth referred to as 'the Clan.' The surviving members of the Board will reconvene under the new name of The Elders Who Remember The Time Before It Changed, henceforth referred to as 'the Elders.'
The Columbia University Science Fiction Society's Constitution and Bylaws
. [more inside]
posted by pts
on Sep 15, 2011 -
"Transient is a black comedy
about a homeless man who's visions lead him to believe he is an inter-dimensional savior of humanity, on a mission to save the universe. Is he indeed the 'one', chosen by mystical divine forces to embark on a crusade against ultimate evil, or a hopeless lunatic, aimlessly wandering the streets of San Francisco? Transient is a spoof on the hero's journey that's part Men in Black, part Raising Arizona, flavored with liberal portions of Ghostbusters and John Steinbeck. It is a ballad to the city by the bay, and a heartfelt tale of the sacrifices one man will take for his love for his family, his friends, and all of humankind." [Via]
posted by homunculus
on Sep 3, 2011 -
NOON, 22ND CENTURY. The research vessel Pegasus is getting ready for liftoff from a spaceport near Moscow. Its small crew of three comprises interplanetary zoologist Dr. Seleznev, his adventurous nine-year-old daughter Alisa, and the terminally pessimistic Captain Zeleny. As they search for rare animal specimens to expand the Moscow zoo's collection, they will discover which of the ferocious tigerat
's two tails is longer, save a planet of robots
from a paralyzing epidemic, and deliver a modestly sized birthday cake
. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte
on Jul 8, 2011 -
"The contemporary setting and concerns of "The Steam Arm
" are a very great distance from the Gothic setting and tropes of much 1830s horror fiction, and its science fictional content makes it possibly unique."
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Jul 6, 2011 -