Transrealism: the first major literary movement of the 21st century

A Scanner Darkly is one of Philip K Dick’s most famous but also most divisive novels. Written in 1973 but not published until 1977, it marks the boundary between PKD’s mid-career novels that were clearly works of science fiction, including The Man in the High Castle and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and hisContinue reading “Transrealism: the first major literary movement of the 21st century”

A Scanner Darkly by Philip K Dick

Philip K Dick’s partially autobiographical chronicle of 70s hippie drug culture takes place under the eternal sunshine of southern California. Even the book’s nighttime is saturated with the electric glare of strip mall lighting and the glow of the television screen. And in a society that never switches off the lights, the dark has becomeContinue reading “A Scanner Darkly by Philip K Dick”

Who is the wisest Sci-Fi & Fantasy author?

Over on Twitter and Facebook I asked folk to tell me which SF author they would turn to for life advice, for words of wisdom and guidance through the labyrinth of life. And I got quite a response! [View the story “Wisest of the wise in SF & Fantasy” on Storify] Popular choices include NeilContinue reading “Who is the wisest Sci-Fi & Fantasy author?”

GUEST POST: Serious writing must mirror both reality and imagination

Will Ellwood asks the simple question, can serious writing succeed without facing both the real…and the fantastic? Follow Will on Twitter @fragmad Discovering your voice as a writer is more complex problem than is often acknowledged. This is not a problem of simple replicable craft that can be taught in a classroom, but is insteadContinue reading “GUEST POST: Serious writing must mirror both reality and imagination”

Is speculative fiction poised to break into the literary canon?

The Booker prize judges have yet to acknowledge the flowering of British SF and fantasy. Will 2011 be a breakthrough year? Speculative fiction has produced many great works of literature. Even a partial list of SF’s canonical works could fill many blogposts. It would be difficult to talk seriously about the last century of literatureContinue reading “Is speculative fiction poised to break into the literary canon?”

A Little Something for Us Clarionauts

Today is the two year anniversary of the start of Clarion 2008. This time two years ago I was being collected by Dan Pinney and Megan Kurashige from a random street corner in San Diego, for the drive up to La Jolla and UCSD where I and seventeen others were going to spend six weeksContinue reading “A Little Something for Us Clarionauts”

So, like, where’d all the politics go?

Tomorrow I lead the first of three workshops in Science Fiction and Politics. (The organisers have sold 14 out of 12 tickets, which I take as a good sign.) I’ve had good fun selecting books to talk about, and looking through the sometimes odd political perspectives SF writers have taken over the years. I’ve alsoContinue reading “So, like, where’d all the politics go?”

Is Madmen Science Fiction?

Now work with me here. I know its a leap, but I’m starting to think that the hit television show Madmen is a work of science fiction. I’ve been geeking out over Madmen season two for the last fortnight. And when I say geeking out, I mean obsessing. Having watched season one three times (friendsContinue reading “Is Madmen Science Fiction?”

Philip Jose Farmer, rebel against reality

Philip José Farmer, who passed out of this world yesterday, was among the last of a generation who emerged from the revolutionary literature of science fiction. Along with contemporaries including Robert Heinlen, Isaac Asimov, Philip K Dick and and Kurt Vonnegut, Farmer dedicated his life to writing stories that forced their readers to confront andContinue reading “Philip Jose Farmer, rebel against reality”