Posts Tagged: science fiction
Is HBO’s bookish Westworld poised to give science fiction the Game of Thrones treatment?
National Geographic‘s autumn book recommendations—sushi, hiking, murder, oh my!
Elon Musk name-drops Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy....more
In a universe slowly sinking into entropy, writing can take the disordered pieces of our experience and fit their edges together into something organized. If the work of a writer is to tease out meaning from the tangled mess of life, many of these algorithms essentially do the opposite, taking meaningful human posts or experiences and reducing them to their barest reportable facts.
For JSTOR Daily, Chi Luu examines the long-conflicting ideas of whether writing is a form of technology or a separate dialect of its spoken form. Luu references the upcoming film Arrival and the sci-fi novella it’s based on, Ted Chiang’s The Story of Your Life, which takes a linguist’s point of view in telling its story of a human-alien first encounter....more
At the Atlantic, Vann R. Newkirk interviews Hugo-winner N.K. Jemisin about her novel The Fifth Season and the hardline conservatives who boycotted it:
It’s the same sort of reactionary pushback that is generally by a relatively small number of very loud people.
At the Huffington Post, Maddie Crum and Maxwell Strachan ask 7 science fiction authors to hypothesize about what a dystopian Olympics might look like. While most of the authors acknowledge the influence that climate change and technology will have on the Olympics, Crum and Strachan note that the authors’ responses are surprisingly optimistic....more
Any Luddite with half a brain has already begun stockpiling nonperishables for the inevitable moment the robots rise up against us. Over at the Ploughshares blog, Joelle Renstrom recounts how writers were awakened to the threat of artificial intelligence:
A certain likeness to humans inspires kinship, but when the line blurs, that kinship turns to fear.
Less than two percent of science fiction stories published in 2015 were by black writers. And a recent study found that black speculative fiction writers face “universal” racism—more damning evidence demonstrating the institutionalized racism in book publishing, and the importance of introducing more diversity at every level of the process....more
I think what has brought imaginative fiction, imaginative literature, back into central centrality is that so much of it is very good, and so much of it is kind of needed because of the fact that it sort of opens doors to other possibilities—and that it gives the imagination exercise.
“The first impulse is to go, oh man, are you supposed to be writing about that, as a white American?” he said. “We tend to think of racism and slavery as something that’s appropriate only for black artists to engage with, and there’s something troubling and perverse about that.”
In a new novel, white author Ben H....more
Released this May, director Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s 1975 sci-fi novel High-Rise converts the dystopian work into a tableau of striking visuals made all the more seductive by the presence of elegant Internet boyfriend du jour Tom Hiddleston. At Electric Literature, Michael Betancourt analyzes the contrasting versions of masculinity presented in the book and the film:
If the appeal of the high-rise in Ballard’s novel lay in the fact that it “was an environment built not for man, but for man’s absence,” Wheatley’s adaptation dismantles the sexist humanist language at work in the author’s rhetoric.
A new exhibit, Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction 1780–1910, is on view at the newly renovated Smithsonian Libraries Gallery at the National Museum of American History. The exhibit explores the imaginations of 18th and early 19th century science fiction writers like H.G....more
David M. Perry writes for Pacific Standard on the newest wave of progressive speculative fiction. Perry writes in conversation with Daniel José Older, author of Shadowshaper and the Bone Street Rumba series....more
The technology news site CNET has begun publishing a crowdsourced science fiction novel. The project started with National Novel Writing Month, when CNET’s Erick Mack introduced the idea, calling it “MMOSFN: Massively Multiwriter Online Science Fiction Novel.” The novel, Crowd Control, will be published in installments....more
Some people write about dystopian futures, or reimagined folktales, or ghosts, or science fiction. Sequoia Nagamatsu, author of the upcoming story collection Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone, does it all. The debut collection, out this month from Black Lawrence Press, weaves Japanese folklore and pop culture into fantastical plots and futuristic settings to create stories that illuminate the human heart in modern times....more
This is where poetry approaches music. Because you cannot put meaning in words as intellectually comprehensible. It’s just there, and you know it’s there. And it is the rhythm and the beat and the music of the sound that carries it.
For Electric Literature, Anya Groner discusses the role of space tourism in modern science fiction, and explores how the focus of space exploration narratives have shifted from the technological aspects of interplanetary life to the anxieties and psychological challenges faced by space travelers:
Practical questions give way to unsettling existentialism and thrilling narrative possibilities.
We may have the necessities of life, but that’s never been enough for us as a species. We are forever pushing at the boundaries, never quite convinced that we’ve got what we need to live as we want… But I do want to know what we’ll do when we get what it is we think we want, and what the ripple effects will be, and what we’ll decide to want next.