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Elsewhere

By / February 28, 2017 / no comments

It’s the end of the month, and time to do another round up of things we’ve spotted elsewhere on the internet.

Through the Valley of the Nest of SpidersAnd since we’ve spent the last month talking about black science fiction writers, let’s start with more of the same. In particular, let’s start with Samuel R. Delany. Here’s a conversation he had with Conner Habib, mostly about sex, but that’s something that plays a big part in a lot of his books, up to and including Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders.

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RosewaterStill on the subject of black sf, here’s Nick Wood, author of the wonderful Azanian Bridges, interviewing his friend and sometime collaborator, Tade Thompson, author of Rosewater.

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Both Tade Thompson and Nnedi Okorafor, author of Lagoon, are originally from Nigeria, Lagoonso it’s only natural that both should crop up in this essay about Scientists in Nigerian Science Fiction.

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Broadening the scope to world sf in general, two Pakistani writers, Usman Malik, author of The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn, and Tehseen Bewaja have launched The The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn: A Tor.Com OriginalSalam Award for Imaginative Fiction, the first prize for science fiction and fantasy written by writers of Pakistani origin.

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YEAR OF THE SEX OLYMPICSFor those of us with a long memory, here’s an interesting little essay about Nigel Kneale’s attack on fascism in his 1968 television drama, The Year of the Sex Olympics.

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2001: A Space OdysseyAnd while we’re on the subject of drama, it seems that even after nearly 50 years we still can’t go very long without a new revelation or debate or argument about 2001, A Space Odyssey. But this particular piece is long, interesting and for the most part quite convincing.

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Borne: A NovelBack to literature, and alongside all the other pressing issues facing our world today, perhaps the most urgent is climate change. In that light, The Huffington Post has asked five sf writers – Emmi Itaranta, author of Memory of Water; Thoraiya Dyer, author of Crossroads of Canopy; Jeff VanderMeer, author of Borne; Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Book of Joan; and John Scalzi, author of The Collapsing Empire – to write about the future of climate change.

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CladeOn the same subject, here’s a fascinating essay by James Bradley, author of Clade, about climate change in fact and fiction.

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As for the month in science, the big news has to have been NASA’s announcement that they have discovered 7 Earth-sized planets orbiting a dwarf star they call Trappist 1. Though somewhat more detailed reports of the discovery reveal that only two of the planets are within what is commonly called the “Goldilocks Zone”. Still, there’s a sense that we are getting ever closer to finding life elsewhere in the universe.

Another startling space discovery is that a giant galaxy has appeared as if from nowhere.

Most of these discoveries are likely to remain forever out of reach, but now someone has come up with an idea that could apparently get us to Mars in just 30 minutes. Hmm.

Perhaps more immediately realistic is the first large-scale quantum computer, which would apparently bring a technological revolution on a par with the invention of computing itself.

And if that raises thoughts of AIs taking over the world, I leave you with this piece about the Post-Human World. Happy dreams.

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Paul

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