Sci-fi and fantasy stories "can short-circuit our assumptions about the world around us," says author Ann Leckie.
Tagged with “book:author” (32)
Kim Stanley Robinson and Sheldon Solomon on exploration and death – books podcast | Books | The Guardian
Can humanity escape extinction by reaching for the stars? We confront final questions with the science fiction novelist Kim Stanley Robinson and the psychologist Sheldon Solomon.
We’re heading off into the unknown in this week’s podcast, with a pair of writers who explore what drives our human experiment.
The writer Kim Stanley Robinson has been examining possible futures for humanity for 40 years in a series of novels that stretch from nuclear devastation through climate chaos to Mars and beyond. His latest novel, Aurora, pushes 500 years onwards with a story of a vast starship on a 200-year journey to Tau Ceti.
Robinson explains why he decided to write a generation starship novel and why he’s happier pushing at the boundaries of fiction rather than the boundaries of science.
The psychologist Sheldon Solomon has, by contrast, been expanding the realm of science, putting an insight from ancient philosophy – that our lives are shaped by our awareness of our own mortality – on a sound experimental footing.
Solomon explains how he and his colleagues Jeff Greenberg and Tom Pyszczynski have been measuring the ways in which the fear of death alters our behaviour and how the stories we tell ourselves against that fear have forged history.
From the short story collection With A Little Help.
From Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to George Orwell’s 1984 to Spike Jonze’s Oscar-winning Her, artists have imagined what the future will look like. In this week’s episode, Kurt Andersen explores how science fiction has shaped the world we’re living in right now. The inventor of the cell phone gives credit to Star Trek’s communicator; International Space Station superstar Chris Hadfield explains the ups and downs of space; and science writer Carl Zimmer says the giant sandworms of Dune got him interested in life on Earth. And we answer the age old question: where’s my flying car?
In a keynote speech for The Literary Conference 2014, author and renowned digital publishing pioneer Cory Doctorow talks about his creative experiments on and offline, and addresses head-on the thorny question of ‘Intellectual Property in a Digital Age’.
Journalist and academic Aleks Krotoski presents the second of her three guest curated events on the theme of ‘Connections’.
James Burke takes a sideways look at the connective nature of innovation and its social effects. Two ideas come together to produce something that is greater than the sum of the parts. The result is almost a surprise (in the way, for instance, the first typewriters boosted the divorce rate!).
Innovation has usually attempted to solve some aspect of the problem with which we have lived for two million tool-using years: scarcity. As a result, our institutions, value systems, modes of thought and behaviour have all been shaped by the fact that there’s never been enough of everything to go around.
However, thanks to the internet and a radically-accelerated rate of connective, inter-disciplinary innovation, we may be on the verge of solving the problem of scarcity once and for all. In ways that may really surprise us. What will abundance do to us? And how should we prepare for it?
This week, Tim speaks with his childhood friend Cory Doctorow, who is digital rights activist, the co-editor of BoingBoing, and the author of several science fiction novels, including Little Brother and Homeland. Cory discusses why he writes for young adults, the state of copyright law, and more.
A History of the World in Maps - Late Night Live - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Throughout history, maps have always been as much about their creators and their worldviews as about reproducing an accurate replica of the world. Early maps were also about the unknown and how to display the borders of the known world. Monsters in illustration were often used to represent what lay beyond the edge of the world, and cartographers competed to create the best and scariest monsters on their creations.
Professor and BBC documentary presenter Jeremy Brotton has produced a study of the cultural values embodied in maps and collected them in a book called A History of the World in Twelve Maps.
In his debut novel The Windup Girl, science fiction writer Paolo Bacigalupi explored a world ravaged by climate change and energy scarcity — and won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards while he was at it.
Though his dystopian future might not seem like the best place for kids, he followed up with two books for young adults: Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities. Set in the same universe as The Windup Girl, they are gripping adventure tales about kids doing what it takes to survive in a world where the odds are always stacked against them.
In this episode of the Storyboard podcast, Bacigalupi talks to Wired senior editor Adam Rogers about the appeal of YA fiction, life in the “Accelerated Age” and writing political novels that don’t feel like polemics. There is a brief moment of mature language.
If anyone tries to tell you that science fiction isn’t literary, please point them to the work of Charles Yu. His debut novel, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, used the conventions of sci-fi to tell the deeply emotional story of a time-travel technician searching for his missing father.
His latest genre-bending effort is Sorry Please Thank You, a short-story collection in which people outsource their bad days and zombies go on dates.
In this episode of the Storyboard podcast, Yu talks to Wired senior editor Adam Rogers about making metaphors literal, how sci-fi tropes let him explore the inner lives of his characters, and his particular brand of futuristic ennui.
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