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By / August 18, 2017 / no comments

There seems to have been a lot out there on the web lately. Partly, of course, this is because people have been responding to current events.

The Collapsing EmpireAs, for instance, John Scalzi, author of The Collapsing Empire, does here when he says that under Trump’s presidency it’s hard to write the future. He makes the important point that too many people forget, that “science fiction has its setting in the future, but the people writing it and reading it live now, and the stories they’re writing and reading reflect the hopes and fears of whatever age the story is written in.”

William Gibson's Archangel Graphic NovelThis, of course, reminds me that William Gibson had to revise his forthcoming novel, Agency, when Trump won the election last year. In the meantime, he has his first graphic novel, Archangel coming out in a couple of months. It’s a time travel story about the collapse of civilisation, and here he is talking about dystopias.

New York 2140Another dystopian look at our world as shaped by current events is Kim Stanley Robinson’s account of a drowned New York in New York 2140, and here’s a podcast discussion about climate change and technology and, inevitably, Donald Trump.

I wonder how much novels like New York 2140 have influenced the work of futurists, like the one who paints this picture of life in 2040, which is really only just around the corner.

Walkaway: A NovelAnd since we can’t seem to get away from dystopia in the current political climate, here’s Cory Doctorow talking about dystopias in the context of his latest novel, Walkaway. And while we’re on the subject, here’s Doctorow again talking at Arizona’s Center for Science and the Imagination.

The Moon and the OtherAnother of the big current novels is John Kessel’s The Moon and the Other, and here he is talking about influences and challenges and teaching science fiction.

The Forever WarAnother writer talking about teaching science fiction is Joe Haldeman in this YouTube interview on the 40th anniversary of his first Hugo for The Forever War.

Mother GoJames Patrick Kelly marks the audiobook release of his latest novel, Mother Go, with an interview in which he asks who is going to pay to colonize space?

Aliens in DelhiOne of the things we’re always trying to do on this blog is point out that science fiction is an international literature, and you can now find great stuff everywhere in the world. You might start, for instance, with this brief history of science fiction in India, written by Sami Ahmad Khan, author of Aliens in Delhi.

Meanwhile, Geoff Ryman has taken over The Manchester Review for a special issue devoted to African science fiction. It is packed with an amazing selection of stories by Lauren Beukes, Nnedi Okorafor, Tade Thompson and Nick Wood, plus a host of other Africa writers who deserve to be much more widely known.

Finally, it looks like Omni Magazine is about to rise from the dead, and the rumour (which isn’t mentioned in this article) is that Ellen Datlow will be returning as editor.

And, as ever, there are weird and astonishing stories emerging from the world of science that should provide fodder for any sf writer out there:

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