“The only part of an argument that really matters is what we think of the people arguing." So goes one line in this passage from Kim Stanley Robinson's sci-fi novel about settlers on Mars. I think it's more true than we want to admit.
What is courage, and how do we get more of it to face the difficult days ahead? Insights from sci-fi, art, and social activism.
Why is 'Frankenstein' considered the mother of the genre? How did we go from seeing so many utopian stories to dystopian ones? Where did the word "robot" come from? Will SF ever be recognized as "true" literature?
In a Slate op-ed published earlier this week, author Lee Konstantinou argues that "something is broken in our science fiction" and that we need to move beyond the cyber punk aesthetic. Perhaps, but there's one particular insight of cyber punk we should never abandon, which is that technology doesn't just serve us, it changes us---and not always for the better.
Historian Yuval Noah Harari does not believe religion has anything relevant to say about the technological challenges of the future. His argument reminds me of a passage from an award-winning novel that suggests otherwise.
Insights from three critically-acclaimed authors of fantasy fiction about the intricacies of world building. World building is cool and fun, but it's anything but easy. It takes you to the heart of culture and human nature.
Martin Silenus in 'Hyperion' waxes poetic on the unique power of words, and quotes Russell Bertrand along the way: “Language serves not only to express thought but to make possible thoughts which could not exist without it.”
In an economy where substance is abundant but attention is scarce, style can become more important than the substance it conveys. The implications for writers are profound. Featuring examples from fantasy, sci-fi, Calvin and Hobbes, Deadpool, and Borderlands!