We’re about to take a break for the holiday, but we thought we’d leave you with a meaty selection of goodies found around the web.
Let’s start with something historic and modern at the same time. Adam Roberts, author of The Real-Town Murders, is continuing his read-through of the entire works of H.G. Wells, and it has brought him back to some of Wells’s later utopian science fictions, Men Like Gods (which he discusses here, check out the comments) and The Dream (which he discusses here). Perhaps even more interesting is “Mors Solis”, a brand-new H.G. Wells story as written by Adam Roberts, or to put it another way a story Roberts has written fleshing out an idea that Wells sketched in his introduction to a French science fiction novel.
It’s been a good time for interviews lately, quite a lot seem to be cropping up all over the place. To start with, here’s an interview with Vandana Singh in advance of the appearance of her second collection of short stories, Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories.
Samuel R. Delany, whose diaries, In Search of Silence: The Journals of Samuel Delany, Volume I, 1957–1969, came out recently, is the subject of a two-part interview by Adam Fitzgerald, here and here. And there’s also an interview about his working methods.
John Crowley has also been pretty busy recently following the publication of his new novel (which he also claims will be his last novel), Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr. There’s an interview with him here, and there’s also a revealing profile of him that appeared in his local newspaper.
And here’s William Gibson talking about time travel, alternate history, and his forthcoming novel, Agency, with Elizabeth Hand, author of, among others, Waking the Moon.
Of course, there are other things beside interviews, so here are a bunch of interesting articles on various sf-related topics.
For instance, Ursula K. Le Guin has a couple of extracts from her new book, No Time to Spare: at Electric Lit she talks about how to build a better utopia, and in The Paris Review she muses on the Literary Prize for the Refusal of Literary Prizes.
Following on from a column in which he identified The Book of the New Sun (in two volumes: Shadow and Claw and Sword and Citadel) as Gene Wolfe’s masterpiece, here Matthew Keeley talks about the best way to approach that rich, complex and extraordinarily rewarding work.
Annalee Newitz, whose novel Autonomous was one of the most higly-praised debuts of 2017, here talks about how to write a novel set more than 125 years in the future.
Here’s an interesting oddity. In 1968 Vladimir Nabokov declared “I loathe science fiction,” yet just eight months later his own sf novel, Ada, or Ardor, appeared. Here’s the story of that curious incident.
A couple of more general pieces now. Someone has scoured the internet, including Best Science Fiction Books, naturally, to arrive at a list of the top sf and fantasy written by women. It’s good to see our own choices so well represented.
Another list: Gillian Polack, editor of Baggage, an anthology of Australian speculative fiction, is starting to put together a list of New Zealand sf writers. There’s more there than we expected, so a lot of names to look out for.
Finally, here’s a contentious speculation. Those of use who’ve been reading sf for decades tend to notice the same ideas coming round again and again. So here’s somebody wondering if there can be new ideas for the new century. In contrast, here are Lauren Beukes (Zoo City), Kim Stanley Robinson (New York 2140), Ken Liu (The Paper Menagerie), Hannu Rajaniemi (Invisible Planets), Alastair Reynolds (Revenger), and Aliette de Bodard (The House of Shattered Wings) all talking about how science fiction is relevant to the 21st century.
And finally, as ever, here are some of the latest scientific discoveries and speculations that could be finding their way into sf stories in the near future:
- Russians claim to have found extraterrestrial life
- Our alien visitor Oumuamua is being checked for signs of technology
- Something weird is happening on Saturn’s moon, Titan
- NASA has used AI to find a solar system with as many planets as our own
- They’ve also found a planet that shouldn’t exist
- Two galaxies are colliding
- And two neutron stars are colliding
- There’s a supermassive black hole from early in the history of the universe
- Is the universe conscious?
- Closer to home, researchers have created synthetic photosynthesis
- And London’s Victoria & Albert Museum has an exhibition coming up to show how new technologies can change the world
And that’s it for this year. We’re off until the new year, so we wish you all a wonderful holiday. See you again in January.
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.