Posts Tagged: science fiction

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The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Jonathan Travelstead

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I try to...consider the writing process as seriously as I do entering a house with black smoke puffing from its eaves. ...more

Hugo and the Sad Puppies

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The Hugo Award is one of the highest honors bestowed upon science fiction, a genre which is (finally) broadening to include a diversity of authors and views. That’s not a good thing, according to many white male writers and fans, who have banded together as the “Sad Puppies” to fight against what they see as affirmative action for women and writers of color who are dominating the nominations for the Hugos.

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Apocalypse Now

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Take that, Mom and Dad. Turns out studying literature can be practical. The Atlantic looks at the evolution of climate fiction, a new genre that’s getting readers interested in environmental issues and inspiring students to study STEM subjects:

In this respect, cli-fi is a truly modern literary phenomenon: born as a meme and raised into a distinct genre by the power of social media.

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All Things Weird and Literary

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We can toss around “sci-fi,” “fantasy,” “magical realism,” “surrealism,” and a dozen other genres in our struggle to categorize literature, but the term “weird fiction” is an interesting category that attempts to encapsulate a unifying element. Over at Lit Hub, Tobias Caroll makes the case for “weird fiction” and covers several examples of its wide breadth.

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The Sci-Fi “Code”

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For Electric Literature, Ryan Britt interviews Cuban sci-fi novelist Yoss. Their discussion covers the influence of heavy metal on Yoss’s fiction, as well as how science fiction can work as “code” for contemporary social issues:

In Cuba, on the other hand, it is normal that if one deals directly with the most critical points of the “real world,” the official response will be, in fact, intolerant: If one does not draw an optimistic panorama, one will be accused of being a defeatist, of siding with the enemy, etc.

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Looking Back on Frank Herbert’s Dune

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The idea for the novel Dune evolved from a magazine article Frank Herbert began researching about the government’s efforts to stabilize shifting sand dunes on Oregon’s coast in 1959. At the Guardian, Hari Kunzru looks at how the science fiction novel changed the world:

Though Dune won the Nebula and Hugo awards, the two most prestigious science fiction prizes, it was not an overnight commercial success.

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The Greatest Experimentalist You’ve Never Heard Of

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She felt that this approach illuminated a fundamental truth about language: The very act of using language, she once told an interviewer, involves a ‘castration. The moment we utter a sentence, we’re leaving out a lot.’

A “nanopress” has begun reissuing the work of novelist, poet, and essayist Christine Brooke-Rose, who died in 2012. 

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Urban Escape

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Of course Zadie Smith’s written a science fiction epic, set on September 11, 2001, chronicling the haphazard relationship between Marlon Brando, Michael Jackson, and Elizabeth Taylor. And of course it’s based on a true story, or at least an urban myth, supported by textual evidence, that she just felt the need to fill in the details of.

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Daniel Jose Older by Kevin Kane

The Rumpus Interview with Daniel José Older

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Author Daniel José Older talks about his new novel, Shadowshaper, noir influence in urban fantasy, gentrification, white privilege and the publishing industry, and why we need diverse books, now more than ever. ...more

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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parzybok

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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