I’ve not been feeling too good recently, so while I crawl away to recuperate, here are a few things I’ve noticed around the internet.
Ken MacLeod’s new novel, The Corporation Wars: Dissidence is the first volume in a new trilogy (the second volume will be along before the end of the year). To mark it’s publication, he’s written this essay about the distinction between sf as a literary form and sf as a commercial genre.
On much the same subject, there’s this essay, “A Better Way to Think About the Genre Debate“, from the New Yorker, which takes as its starting point Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel. The article is a couple of years old now, but I missed it when it first appeared.
Another interesting essay, this time by philosophy professor Neil Levy, who asks: “Would it be immoral to send out a generation starship?”
Jo Lindsay Walton has been compiling a list of economic science fiction. This is still very much a work in progress, there’s an awful lot missing from the list (practically everything by Charles Stross, for instance, should be included, not just this handful of titles), but it’s still an interesting start.
From economics to architecture (the two are perhaps more closely linked than you might imagine); here’s an interesting article about what Afrofuturism has to say about architecture.
We don’t see nearly enough fiction from the Middle East here in the West, so this article about how Middle Eastern writers are turning to dystopias is particularly interesting. It starts with a debut novel, The Queue, by Basma Abdel Aziz, which looks particularly intriguing.
For most sf readers, our image of the Middle East was probably formed by Frank Herbert’s Dune, so here’s a timely piece by Hari Kunzru (check out his wonderful novel, Gods Without Men) which looks at the influence of Dune 50 years after it was first published.
Finally, I have to say that to my mind the finest sf film ever made was Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, A Space Odyssey, and now 17 minutes of footage missing from the film that was released have now been rediscovered.
From Nebula and Hugo Award–nominated Carolyn Ives Gilman comes Dark Orbit, a compelling novel featuring alien contact, mystery, and murder.
Reports of a strange, new habitable planet have reached the Twenty Planets of human civilization. When a team of scientists is assembled to investigate this world, exoethnologist Sara Callicot is recruited to keep an eye on an unstable crewmate.