Let’s start our tout of the internet with a tour of the world. The more people recognise that science fiction is a truly global literature, the more we get articles directing us to different parts of the world.
Recently, for instance, we’ve had this survey of the current state of science fiction in South Africa. And honestly, if there is one nation that has suddenly started producing exciting sf, this is it. There’s a lot of great recommendations here for you to follow up. We particularly recommend Moxyland by Lauren Beukes, Azanian Bridges by Nick Wood and Fever by Deon Meyer, but there’s obviously lots more for you to discover.
And talking of afrofuturism, here’s an interesting essay that asks the provocative question: “Is Science Fiction still Science Fiction when it is written on Saturn?”
Then we move over to China, for this account of the way that science fiction is obviously undergoing a renaissance there. It is interesting to note that the young writers picked out in the article, such as Chen Qiufan, author of the collection Future Disease, and Wang Jinkang, author of the novel Pathological, along, of course, with Cixin Liu, Hugo-winning author of The Three-Body Problem, tend to associate more with traditional hard sf.
And then there’s Ireland, not often thought of in terms of its science fiction, but as this article makes clear, there have been some great Irish sf writers, including James White, author of the Sector General novels; Bob Shaw, author of such wonderful novels as Orbitsville; and more recently, Ian McDonald, whose most recent novel is Luna: Wolf Moon.
With all of that in mind, you might agree that science fiction is in a new golden age. Though when Greg Bear, author of the War Dogs Trilogy, uses that phrase in this interview, he seems to be talking only about the way sf seems to have taken over film and television.
But you have to admit that this really is a pretty special time for science fiction on television, with the upcoming production of Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death?, with George R.R. Martin of Game of Thrones as Executive Producer. That is just one of the topics that comes up i this wide-ranging interview with Nnedi Okorafor.
Harlan Ellison has long been one of the troubled, or troubling, geniuses of science fiction, producing a string of brilliant short stories, winning a host of Hugo and Nebula awards, taking part in some pretty odd stunts, but making as many enemies as friends, and giving no totally reliable account of his life. So taking on the task of writing a biography of Harlan Ellison must have been a daunting prospect. But that is exactly what former film critic Nat Segaloff did, and here’s a fascinating interview about The Lit Fuse, which has the entirely appropriate subtitle of: “The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison”.
Another major new book on its way shortly is No Time To Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin. It’s actually a collection of pieces taken from her blog, which she started in 2010 when she was already 81. Here’s an article about the book; and here is an essay by Le Guin herself.
If we are constantly expanding our understanding of what science fiction actually means, or what it encompasses, here’s some interesting news: Cat Rambo, President of the SFWA, has announced that from 2018 there will be an additional Nebula Award category for Best Game Writing.
Finally, as ever, here are a few science stories that might prove inspiring.
- In the week that Cassini plunged to its death in Saturn, here are some of the amazing images it sent back.
- Powerful repeating radio pulses have been detected from a distant galaxy.
- Scientists are having to rethink everything we know about Dark Matter.
- Astronomers have detected the second largest black hole in the Milky Way.
- And Nasa’s Curiosity rover has found yet more evidence about life on Mars.
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.