Posts Tagged: science fiction

Imagining A Dystopian Olympic Games

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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.

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Visible: Women Writers of Color #4: Jaquira Díaz

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Jaquira Díaz discusses the challenge of writing about family members, her greatest joy as a writer, and her literary role models. ...more

Carving the Uncanny Valley

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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.

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Anti-Blackness in Sci-Fi Publishing

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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.

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The Rumpus Interview with Ben H. Winters

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Ben H. Winters discusses his new novel Underground Airlines about an America where the Civil War never took place, writing speculative fiction, and modern racism. ...more

But for Man’s Absence

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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.

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CNET Publishes Crowdsourced Novel

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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.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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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.

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Let’s Have an Existential Crisis… In Space

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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. 

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The Rumpus Interview with Minsoo Kang

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Writer and historian Minsoo Kang talks about his new translation of The Story of Hong Gildong, a touchstone novel of Korea written in the 19th century. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Manuel Gonzales

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Manuel Gonzales talks about his new novel, The Regional Office is Under Attack!, transitioning from nonprofit work to teaching, and how to zig when a trope wants you to zag. ...more

Fueling the Future of Fiction

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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.

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The Double Agency of Will Smith in Sci-Fi

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Smith’s characters act as witnesses for the rehabilitated offender, the white-supremacist nation-state. ...more

Sci-Fi =/= Unrealistic

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Tired of being met with condescension when she says she likes science fiction, Justina Ireland argues for science fiction’s importance in understanding very real contemporary issues faced by marginalized groups:

By refusing to absorb those ideas, by considering them unrealistic, readers are refusing to even contemplate the reality of others.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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This week, we have two stories of time machines and space stations, but mostly of people who clean up messes. Amber Sparks’s second collection of short stories, The Unfinished World, published on Monday by Liveright, is a vivid and imaginative blend of sci-fi and fantasy, magical realism and surrealism.

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