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Elsewhere

By / October 20, 2017 / no comments

Time to check out what is happening elsewhere on the web.

Things Will Never Be the Same: A Howard Waldrop Reader: Selected Short Fiction 1980-2005 Other Worlds, Better Lives: Selected Long Fiction, 1989-2003 (A Howard Waldrop Reader)The other day we wrote about the “Great Peculiars” of science fiction, one of which was Howard Waldrop, (whose best short fiction is collected in Things Will Never be the Same and Other Worlds, Better Lives), so it’s good to see this profile of a writer whose mind and whose fiction are stuffed full with odd and fascinating information.

The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (Valis Trilogy)  The Divine Invasion (Valis Trilogy)  VALIS (Valis Trilogy)

If we were purely to restrict ourselves to the way they thought rather than the way they wrote, another candidate for Great Peculiar would surely be Philip K. Dick. Here you can watch Dick talk about the curious “pink light” vision that informed much of his late work, including the VALIS trilogy of VALIS, The Divine Invasion and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: SF MasterworksBlade Runner: The Final Cut Blade Runner 2049Dick, of course, is best known as the author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which was adapted as the film Blade Runner, now consistently recognized as one of the best sf films of all time. Blade Runner is back in the news because the sequel, Blade Runner 2049 has just been released, to generally very positive reviews. In the flurry of pieces relating to those films, a Stalker: A Film by Andrei Tarkovsky [2 Discs] Collectors editioncouple of interesting ones caught our eye. This one asks why the film was called Blade Runner in the first place, a question that takes us back to a now little-known sf writer called Alan E. Nourse, who wrote a medical sf thriller called The Bladerunner. While this one uses the new Blade Runner film as a springboard for looking back at Tarkovsky’s Stalker which was in turn based on Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.

Going back even further into history, there a suggestion that the first ever science fiction convention was held at the Royal Albert Hall in 1891. Now that claim doesn’t really hold water, nevertheless, this gathering inspired by Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s 1871 novel, The Coming Race (a novel which, incidentally, featured an energy source called “Vril” which in turn was in turn incorporated into the name of a brand-new beef drink, Bovril), is certainly an historical curiosity.

Who Fears DeathTime to come up to date a bit, with a bunch of contemporary writers who have been active recently.

Here’s a profile of Nnedi Okorafor, whose novel Who Fears Death is being adapted for television series with George R.R. Martin as Executive Producer; who is writing a comic for Marvel with a black female superhero; and who is speaking at TED conferences.

The Murders of Molly SouthbourneHere’s an interview with Tade Thompson, whose latest novella, The Murders of Molly Southbourne, has just come out.

ProvenanceHere Ann Leckie is interviewed on the podcast “The Skiffy And Fanty Show”, about her latest novel, Provenance.

And here’s another interview for you to listen to, this time with William Gibson, author of the forthcoming novel, Agency. Here he talks about real-world issues, like money and access to technology, that have a Agencyremarkable resonance in his fiction.

The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017 (The Best American Series ®)And another interview: John Joseph Adams, Series Editor of The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, talks about the current state of the genre, ad in particular the question of whether we are living in a dystopia.

Finally, before we move on to the science part of our post, there’s a database being compiled of Aromatic and Asexual characters in speculative fiction, which looks like it could be an interesting project to follow.

And as promised, there is some really exciting science news that has come out lately, particularly about the Moon, that should lead to interesting ideas for the sf writers among you:

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