RE: Worldbuilding – can sci-fi help build a better world?

Science shows us how the world is built. Can science fiction help us build a better world? Follow @damiengwalter on Twitter The Blue Marble Astronaut Jack Schmitt released the shutter on the 70 millimeter Hasselblad camera at 5:39 AM on 7th December 1972. The Apollo 17 mission to the moon was 45,000 kilometers from Earth.Continue reading “RE: Worldbuilding – can sci-fi help build a better world?”

Women Are Destroying Science Fiction! (That’s OK; They Created It)

What what makes, one may also destroy. Women writers, having created science fiction in works like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, are now destroying it. NPR books picks up this idea today. Of course, science fiction isn’t being destroyed. It’s changing, and the new space being claimed by diverse voices in the genre is the energy changingContinue reading “Women Are Destroying Science Fiction! (That’s OK; They Created It)”

Who is the most outrageous and imaginative scifi writer in the world?

Today’s best search term to reach my blog was “most outrageous and imaginative scifi writer in the world”. Which of course leads me to ask the question, who IS most outrageous and imaginative scifi writer in the world? Outrageous and Imaginative. That’s a killer duo of adjectives to combine. I’m going to put my thinking capContinue reading “Who is the most outrageous and imaginative scifi writer in the world?”

My nominations for Speculative Fiction 2014

Criticism and non-fiction writing seem to play an ever bigger part in science fiction and fantasy. Consider the issue of diversity in these genres, which has reached some kind of apogee in 2014. And a great deal of the energy driving that change has been generated online by non-fiction writing. Most of this writing isContinue reading “My nominations for Speculative Fiction 2014”

Genre needs a lot more cruel and nasty reviews

I’ve reviewed my fair share of sci-fi genre novels. I started right here on this blog…eek!..about 8 years ago. Not long after that I began doing reviews for The Fix. I began blogging and reviewing for The Guardian waaaaay back in the historic mists of 2008. And I’ve contributed book reviews here and there toContinue reading “Genre needs a lot more cruel and nasty reviews”

Can sci-fi ever not be political?

When is a giant lizard not a giant lizard? When it’s a metaphor for the might of the military-industrial complex. Audiences turning up for the latest cinematic incarnation of Godzilla have expressed some disappointment that much of the battling kaiju action was kept off screen. In its place director Gareth Edwards makes the smart decisionContinue reading “Can sci-fi ever not be political?”

The remarkable Neal Stephenson interview

Neal Stephenson – legendary author of speculative fiction –  on Elon Musk and geek culture, the  NSA revelations of Edward Snowden, how negative cultural narratives are killing big science  – and the upbringing that made him the writer he is. “I grew up in an environment that seemed utterly normal at the time and thatContinue reading “The remarkable Neal Stephenson interview”

Superhero teams. Proof positive that women are at most 25% of the human population

For most of my life I’ve been led to believe by statistics that women represented some 50% of the human population. Scientific people have suggested that the ratio of male to female births is around 106 boys to 100 girls, but scientific people also argue about this ratio. External factors like gender-control and gendercide furtherContinue reading “Superhero teams. Proof positive that women are at most 25% of the human population”

A Nebula award shortlist that makes me feel good about SF

The Nebula award shortlists have just been announced by the Science Fiction Writers of America. And they are excellent. Focusing on Best Novel… We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler (Marian Wood) The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman (Morrow; Headline Review) Fire with Fire, Charles E. Gannon (Baen) Hild,Continue reading “A Nebula award shortlist that makes me feel good about SF”