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Elsewhere

By / December 22, 2017 / no comments

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.

Jaine Fenn talks about her latest novella, The Martian Job, which she describes as “The Italian Job on Mars”, in this interview.

And here’s William Gibson talking about time travel, alternate history, and his forthcoming novelAgency, with Elizabeth Hand, author of, among others, Waking the Moon.

Jeff Noon talks about his latest novel, Man of Shadows, here.

And yet another interview has Andy Weir talking about his new novelArtemis.

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.

After we talked about books about Iain M. Banks recently, here’s an essay about the revolutionary optimism you’ll find in Culture novels like Use of Weapons.

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:

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.

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Paul

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