Posts Tagged: science fiction

Hugos, Hijacked

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What has happened is simple: an angry mob has exploited a loophole in how nominations occur in order to crash a party that they seemingly detest anyway. The gaming of the Hugo Awards Ballot wasn’t executed for frivolous reasons: it was organized by racist, homophobic people who want science fiction to be going backwards instead of looking toward the future.

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The Rumpus Interview with Benjamin Parzybok

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Author Benjamin Parzybok talks about his new novel, Sherwood Nation, climate fiction, the difference between post-collapse and post-apocalyptic, and how novels can predict the future if they try hard enough (and get lucky). ...more

Little is the Next Big Idea

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Two years ago, it seemed the publishing industry couldn’t get enough of the XXL novel. But now, the trend may be shifting towards something smaller: the novella. Over at io9, Charlie Jane Andrews speaks with science fiction publisher Tor.com about their list of upcoming novellas:

For our readers, time is the precious commodity they invest in every book they decide to purchase and read.

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Remembrance: The Protector of Sci-Fi Poetry

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Suzette Haden Elgin, the pioneering writer at the intersection of science fiction, linguistics, and activism, is remembered at io9 after her passing last week. Elgin leaves behind a body of work that is both fantastical and practical, escapist and activist; though she is perhaps best known for her nonfiction book The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense, her accomplishments also include creating a whole constructed language for her novel Native Tongue and founding The Science Fiction Poetry Association.

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Josh Weil author photo by Jilan Carroll Glorfield

The Rumpus Interview with Josh Weil

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Writer Josh Weil talks about his novel, The Great Glass Sea, magical realism vs. science fiction, Russia’s experiments with mirrored satellites, his early days as an aspiring playwright, and how he uses fear as a fuel to accomplish his work. ...more

Science Fiction’s Diversity Makeover

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For the Guardian, Damien Walter applauds the growing diversity of science fiction titles in 2014, particularly the work of Kameron Hurley and Anne Leckie’s debut novel Ancillary Justice. Of Leckie’s work Walter writes:

Its unconventional take on gender politics helped Ancillary Justice make a clean sweep of the Hugo, Nebula, Clarke and BSFA awards, a rare and deserved achievement.

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Science Fiction Can Show Us How

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In the wake of the events surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, science fiction can offer a particularly compelling alternative to illustrate a future without violence and inequality. Mary Hansen at Yes! talks with author and activist Walidah Imarisha, who coined the term “visionary fiction:”

I think that science fiction and visionary fiction, as my co-editor Adrienne Maree Brown says, are a perfect testing ground to explore the countless alternatives that could exist to policing and institutions like prisons.

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Jeff VanderMeer author photo by Kyle Cassidy 2014

The Rumpus Interview with Jeff VanderMeer

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Jeff VanderMeer discusses the environment, his childhood, and the conception and conclusion of his Southern Reach Trilogy. ...more

Sci-Fi Tide Sweeps through China

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Science fiction is a growing force on the Chinese literary landscape now that government scrutiny of the genre has loosened up, according to a recent article in the Times. The English publication of Liu Cixin’s The Three Body Problem, following the inclusion of several of the author’s stories in the prestigious People’s Literature journal in 2012, serve as evidence of a growing readership.

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Writing Tomorrow Better

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Find yourself at the New York Times for Nick Bilton’s most recent article, a piece on the ways in which the sci-fi of the past has affected our real-life present. Moreover, Bilton highlights a recently formed group of writers, aware of literature’s future-shaping effects, interested in writing more auspicious future fiction:

One thing writers are pushing back against in particular is Hollywood’s depiction of the future.

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Chipping at Wonder Woman

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Samuel “Chip” Delany’s penned the landmark 800 page science fiction tri-sexual space novel, any number of short stories set through all corners of the galaxy, and a craft book Junot Diaz calls “a measure of what all criticism and literature should aspire to be, but what you might not know is that he also wrote for Wonder Woman:.

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Straight out of Kafka

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All for a novel? Eighth grade school teacher Patrick McLaw was placed on leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education and is currently being investigated by the County’s Sheriff, James Phillips, who explained—somewhat cryptically—that McLaw is at a “location known to law enforcement .

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Disappearing Act

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Invisibility has a long literary history, from science fiction, like in H.G. Wells’s Invisible Man, to fantasy, like in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Often, the difference is between methodology and motive. Wells focused on scientific accuracy to illustrate “the messy outcome of this collision between science and myth.” Tolkien employs invisibility as metaphor; the magic behind it is unimportant.

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A Journey to the Center of the Literary Canon

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In the Weekly Standard, Algis Valiunas debates the literary legacy of Jules Verne.

“William Butcher, the foremost English Verne scholar, boasts that his man is “the world’s most translated writer, the best-seller of all time, the only popular writer to have increased in popularity over more than a century.” Yet in the next breath the enthusiast bleats that too few know that Verne, in fact, reigns supreme in worldwide popularity and that all too few serious persons realize how serious Verne really is.

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Digital Age Fuels Sci-Fi Short Stories

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The digital era has brought on a new golden age of science fiction. Electronic books, self-driving cars, and video phones may not seem too fictional these days, but technology like the Internet has empowered all sorts of new distribution methods connecting sci-fi writing with the fans who support it. New science fiction magazines launch with crowd funding campaigns, while tools like podcasts make fandom even easier— and ultimately, it’s all about the fans:

Sci-fi and fantasy’s online success is down to the strength of its community.

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Classic Literature or Science Fiction Backstory?

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Science fiction creates its whimsical magic by imagining new worlds, or sometimes even new universes, for readers to lose themselves in. But what if the best inspiration we can get for writing about the future comes from our past?

A lot of works, especially those of Orwell, aren’t just painting the portrait of a skewed society, they are showing how that society might spring from our own.

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How Accurate Is Chang-Rae Lee’s New Novel?

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Perhaps American sci-fi is made to tell immigrant stories. And maybe there’s a reason why, during a 24-hour travel back to Taipei, I felt welcomed home by the collective voice of B-more.

Kevin Tang’s review of Chang-rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea for BuzzFeed Books brings to bear his experience growing up in late-’80s Taiwan, where, despite austere living conditions and endless work hours, “we were content, and didn’t know how to protest.”

Tang seems like the perfect person to illuminate Lee’s novel about a grossly unequal futuristic America’s division between the individual and the collective.

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