Space, the final frontier. But is science fiction the final frontier when it comes to being a literature of ideas? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll wax philosophical about science fiction with two of the genre’s greatest writers — George R.R. Martin and Ursula K. Le Guin. And we’ll explore H.P. Lovecraft’s literary philosophy of "Cosmicism."
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Author Ursula Le Guin gives Owen Bennett Jones a lesson in science fiction and talks about how her work has been influenced by anthropology and Taoism. She also tells the story of Ishi, a native American who escaped the massacre of his tribe.
Writer China Mieville talks to American science fiction writer Ursula Le Guin.
Le Guin was a trailblazer - writing in the 1960s, her series of books about the adventures of a boy wizard, Ged, included characters of every race and colour. Her fiction has been acutely concerned with politics, portraying worlds destroyed by environmental catastrophe that prefigured modern concerns about global warming, and societies without gender just as modern-day feminism began to take off.
Featuring contributions and tributes from Iain Banks and Margaret Atwood.
Science fiction is the marmite of literature – people tend to love it or hate it. Yet no one could deny that it has produced many of the great myths of our age, from Frankenstein’s monster to William Gibson’s cyber-reality.
SF blogger Damien Walter joins our panellists to discuss where it is now, and why we should all tune in to a genre that can be satirical, prophetic, political and plain good fun, often all at the same time. He also outlines some of the titles to look out for in 2010.
We also look at John Wyndham’s previously unpublished novel, Plan for Chaos, and interview China Miéville, rising star of the "new weird".