17 posts tagged with sciencefiction by Kattullus.
Displaying 1 through 17 of 17.
The long-term optimism comes from the the fact that no matter how bad things seem and how idiotically and cruelly we behave. . . well, we've got this far, despite it all, and there are more people on the planet than ever before, and more people living good, productive, relatively happy lives than ever before, and—providing we aren't terminally stupid, or unlucky enough to get clobbered by something we have no control over, like a big meteorite or a gamma ray buster or whatever—we'll solve a lot of problems just by sticking around and doing what we do; developing, progressing, improving, adapting. And possibly by inventing AIs that are smarter and more decent than we are, which will help us get some sort of perspective on ourselves, at the very least. We might just stumble our way blindly, unthinkingly into utopia, in other words, muddling through despite ourselves.In 2010 Jude Roberts interviewed Iain M. Banks for her PhD. Banks discusses his utopia, The Culture, which he created in a series of science fiction novels.
An Alderson Disk is a science fiction megastructure imagined first by scientist Dan Alderson. It's a solid disk that is thousands of kilometers thick, with a circumference equal to the orbit of Mars or Jupiter. The habitable zone would be on both sides of the disk and would be millions of times the surface area of the Earth. Not much theoretical work has been done on its feasibility, but some have tried. Missile Gap, by MeFi's own Charles Stross, which won the Locus readers' award for best novella of 2006, features a 1960s Earth transposed to an Alderson disk and is available for free on the publisher's website.
Tekhnika Molodezhi was the Popular Mechanics of the Soviet Union. The magazine, whose name means Technology for the Youth, had illustrations of everything from space stations, computerized farming, transport of the future, friendly robots, to more abstract images. If you don't want to hunt through the archive, Mythbuster's Tested website has a gallery of 201 great images from the magazine.
Day at Night was an interview series on the public television station of the City University of New York that aired from 1973-4. CUNY TV is in the process of digitizing and uploading the 130 episodes that were produced, with 46 done so far. The episodes are just under half an hour in length. Among the people interviewed by host James Day are author Ray Bradbury, actress Myrna Loy, medical researcher Jonas Salk, singer Cab Calloway, writer Christopher Isherwood, nuclear scientist Edward Teller, comedian Victor Borge, tennis player Billie Jean King, linguist and activist Noam Chomsky, composer Aaron Copland, actor Vincent Price and boxer Muhammad Ali.
"We fall into genre wars, of literature versus science fiction, and I don't think it's a real war." - Lauren Beukes
The Guardian interviewed four science fiction authors on the theme of the current state of SF. These authors are, in order, Lauren Beukes, Michael Moorcock, Alistair Reynolds and Jeff Noon, the latter two being interviewed together. Opinion ranges from bullish to crotchety, with plenty of shades and nuances.
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]
Selene is a hip hop EP inspired by Duncan Jones' fine science fiction film Moon. The beats, which heavily sample Clint Mansell's score for the movie, were created by Max Tannone, best known for mashup album Jaydiohead, Doublecheck Your Head and Mos Dub/Dub Kweli. The MC is Brooklyn rapper Richard Rich.
Back to the Hugos is a series by Sam Jordison of the Guardian Books blog where he reads and reviews old Hugo Award winners. He was once skeptical of the literary quality of science fiction but then started to examine the validity of the critical orthodoxy and is now a firm convert, as this review of The Man in the High Casle demonstrates, and now even goes to science fiction events. Among the other books he's covered so far are A Case of Conscience by James Blish, Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner and the latest review is of The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin. It's not all sunshine and roses though, The Big Time and The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber don't appeal to him and the dreadfulness of They'd Rather Be Right by Mark Clifton and Frank Riley makes Jordison doubt the value of democracy, at least when it comes to selecting litearary award winners.
The Art of Penguin Science Fiction is a historical guide to the design of book jackets in the Penguin SF line by James Pardey. But before reading the essay I recommend looking at some of the wonderful cover designs, for example We, Deathworld, Rork!, The Drowned World, Star Maker, The Evolution Man, Fifth Planet and Alternating Currents. They certainly don't make SF book jackets like they used to. All hundred plus covers can also be browsed alphabetically by author. [via The Guardian Books Blog]
Clarkesworld Magazine has been serving up new science fiction and fantasy short fiction monthly free of charge since October of 2006. The current issue has a story by Robert Reed. Among the authors who have been published in Clarkesworld Magazine are Mike Resnick, Elizabeth Bear, Jeff VanderMeer and Sarah Monette. Clarkesworld has a podcast of readings of selected stories from the magazine. The magazine also publishes non-fiction, separated into two categories, commentary and interviews. Among those interviewed are Gene Wolfe, Kage Baker and Steven Erikson. There is also a covers gallery and a discussion forum.
The Smithsonian's Jules Verne Centennial site has a collection of a large number of high quality scans of original, engraved illustrations from Verne's works. From the fantastic (interior of space vehicle, flying ship, spacewalking) and mundane (two dogs, a nice meal, elephant trying to break free from a hot-air balloon). And don't forget to check out the portrait of Jules Verne and his many technological prophecies. For information about the publishing history of Jules Verne read this scholarly article by Terry Harpold about illustrations of Jules Verne stories, focusing on Le Superbe Orénoque. It also includes a wealth of illustrations. Finally, as a bonus, here's a picture of the National Air and Space Museum's scale model of the spacecraft Verne came up with for his De la Terre à la Lune.
Free Speculative Fiction Online is a database of free science fiction and fantasy stories online by published authors (no fan-fiction or stories by unpublished writers). Among the authors that FSFO links to are Paul Di Filippo (14 stories), James Tiptree, Jr. (4 stories), Connie Willis (3 stories), Eleanor Arnason (3 stories), Bruce Sterling (5 stories), Robert Heinlein (7 stories), Ursula K. LeGuin (3 stories), Jonathan Lethem (5 stories), Michael Moorcock (6 stories), Chine Miéville (2 stories), Samuel R. Delany (3 stories), Robert Sheckley (8 stories), MeFite Charles Stross (33 stories) and hundreds of other authors. If you don't know where to start, there's a list of recommended stories.
Design and the Elastic Mind is a MOMA exhibit of cool objects, gadgets, websites and ideas. Some personal favorites are The PainStation, The Religious Helmet, Body Modification for Love, The Minutine Space and Lightweeds.
Owen Hatherley, has three blogs where he expounds on culture and architecture from an English Leftist perspective, sit down man, you're a bloody tragedy, The Measures Taken (which has longer essays than the previous blog) and the group film blog kino fist. To give you an idea of the range of subjects he covers, here's a sampling of his blogposts: Towards a Communist Couture? Sartorial Socialism from Huey P Newton to Honecker, Zuckendes Fleischer (on pre-WWII American cartoons), Industrial Island Machine - Vorticism and the absence of an English Avant-Garde, Hurrah for the Black Box Recorder (on songwriter Luke Haines and The Daily Mail), The Children’s Book as a Revolutionary Object (with a bunch of pictures from Soviet avant-garde children's books), Architectural Drawings of the 1960s, Art is a branch of Mathematics (Taylorism and Russian SF classic We), Brechtian Productivism in an age of Mechanical Stagnation and Notes towards an attempted refutation of the 'Associational Fallacy' (on architecture). All of the blogs are heavily adorned with pretty pictures, some not safe for work. [more inside]
"Claude Degler attended the Chicon in 1940, and at Denver in 1941 delivered a speech purporting to have been written by Martians." So begins the Fancyclopedia I entry on Degler's Cosmic Circle. Claude Degler believed that science fiction fans were destined to evolve into a new species superior to homo sapiens, "cosmen." In 2001 (the year) David B. Williams went in search of Degler, who had disappeard from fandom in 1951. Teresa Nielsen Hayden wrote in 1986 a story/essay about the inner Degler called Hell, 12 Feet. He was as infamous as fans got, though some remember him sort of fondly. Degler crops up regularly in the "All Our Yesterdays" columns written by fandom historian, Harry Warner Jr. The ones with most information are the columns H.C. Koenig. Claude Degler, O Pioneers and The Cosmic Circle. Here's a Degler quote from the last link: We have created a fannationalism, a United World Fandom. Someday soon we will have our own apartment building, then our own land, our own city of Cosmen, schools, teachers, radio programme — later; our own laws, country perhaps! Our children shall inherit not only this earth — but this universe! Today we carry 22 states, tomorrow, nine planets!
How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later is a speech by Philip K. Dick which he never delivered. In it he details his theory of time and reality. A complimentary speech, which he did deliver, is If You Find This World Bad, You Should See Some of the Others. According to one account "people left the auditorium, it was later reported, looking as though they'd been hit with a hammer." Other essays by him in that vein are Man, Android and Machine and Cosmogony and Cosmology.
Here are some excerpts from his exegesis. Also, a collection of interviews with Dick.
Here are some excerpts from his exegesis. Also, a collection of interviews with Dick.
Robert Sheckley, the science fiction author, has been taken ill in a hospital in Kiev. Here is an interview, an appreciation by James Sallis of the Boston Globe and a few short stories from the SciFiction archives: The Prize of Peril, Protection, Cordle to Onion to Carrot, Bad Medicine and A Wind Is Rising.