A catastrophic event renders the Earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere: in outer space. Only a handful of survivors remain … Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown, as they voyage to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth. Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable.
adactio / Jeremy Keith
An Irish web developer living in Brighton, England working with Clearleft.
I built Huffduffer.
There are thirty-six people in adactio’s collective.
William Gibson : The Peripheral - Tin House
Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran’s benefits, for the neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC’s elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there’s a job he’s supposed to do—a job Flynne didn’t know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. The job seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. He’s supposed to get in their way, edge them back. That’s all there is to it. He’s offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isn’t what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it might also be murder.
Ted Chiang : Exhalation - Tin House
“Ted Chiang has no contemporary peers when it comes to the short story form. His name deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Carver, Poe, Borges, and Kafka. Every story is a universe. Every story is a diamond. You will inhale Exhalation in a single, stunned sitting, because true genius doesn’t come along nearly as often as advertised. This is the real thing.”—Blake Crouch, author of Dark Matter
Doireann Ní Ghríofa : A Ghost in the Throat & To Star the Dark - Tin House
Irish poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa joins us to talk about her latest poetry collection, To Star the Dark, and her prose debut, A Ghost in the Throat, a debut that has captured the imaginations (and all the awards) in Ireland and the UK and is just out now in North America. A Ghost in the Throat is wonderfully hard to categorize: a memoir, a work of historical fiction, an autofiction, a translation, a book about translation, a book about poetry, a book that is poetry. It is all of these things and yet reads less like a work of avant-garde literary experiment and more like a detective or adventure story, an act of literary archaeology, a love letter, and a reclamation against the erasure of women’s lives and women’s art.
We talk about the erasure of women, the erasure of motherhood in literature, the erasure of Irish language, Irish culture and the Irish social order under British colonization, and how she conjured the largely erased life of Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill (who wrote the Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire, one of the great laments of keens in Irish literature) in the face of such absence and silence. We also talk about translating the Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire and about self-translation (of Doireann’s own Irish language poetry into English), about oral poetic traditions carried down from one woman’s body to another versus text-based poetry fixed to the page. All this and much more.
Videogames – from fantasy to reality
The architect Sandra Youkhana takes readers on a tour of the structures of modern digital worlds in Videogame Atlas (co-authored with Luke Caspar Pearson). From Minecraft to Assassin’s Creed Unity she examines the real-world architectural theory that underpins these fantasy worlds, and their influence on concrete designs today.
The journalist Louise Blain presents BBC Radio 3’s monthly Sound of Gaming which showcases the latest and best gaming soundtracks. She explores how composers help create not only the atmosphere in a game, immersing players in these invented worlds, but their music is also integral to the game’s structure and design.
Adrian Hon spent a decade co-creating the hit game Zombies, Run but has become increasingly disillusioned with the way real world institutions – corporations, governments and schools – are using gamification to monitor and control behaviour. In You’ve Been Played he shows how the elements of game playing have been co-opted as tools for profit and coercion.
Tagged with bbc start the week games gaming book:author=adrian hon
Tom Hanks | Maximum Fun
Tom Hanks is an actor that needs no introduction. He made his film debut in the 80’s and has since cemented himself as a cultural icon. Films like Castaway and Forrest Gump have earned Hanks many accolades. His two consecutive Academy Award wins and many nominations speak for themselves. But, his films have done so much more. They’ve transformed pop culture, earning him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016. Tom Hanks joins the show to talk about the limits of charm, shares driving etiquette tips and tells us about his new role in A Man Called Otto.
Crafting with Ursula : Kim Stanley Robinson on Ambiguous Utopias - Tin House
Today’s guest, Kim Stanley Robinson, is perhaps the living writer most associated with utopian literature today. And as a student of the philosopher, political theorist, and literary critic Fredric Jameson, Robinson has thought deeply about the history of utopias, the history of the novel, and the strange hybrid form that became the utopian novel. In […]
S2E15: Religion in Sci-Fi | Science Meets Fiction
In this episode, I give an overview of the different ways that religion and religious themes are used in science fiction.
Book recommendation: Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny
Other works discussed:
Riverworld series by Philip Jose Farmer A Case of Conscience by James Blish Terra Ignota series by Ada Palmer
“R.E.M., early” with Merlin Mann - Unjustly Maligned #48 - The Incomparable
On a day that shouldn’t exist comes a podcast equally paradoxical. Merlin Mann joins Antony to sit still, garden at night, and talk about the passion of rock band R.E.M.’s early work.
Tagged with merlin mann music:artist=r.e.m.
The Dancer and Her Shoe Maker
The story of two people connected by a ballet shoe.