Eileen Gunn writes in the Smithsonian magazine on the influence of science fiction.
Science fiction, at its best, engenders the sort of flexible thinking that not only inspires us, but compels us to consider the myriad potential consequences of our actions.
I finally got around to reading Red Men by Matthew De Abaitua recently. It’s like Nick Harkaway crossed with Jeff Noon.
Here’s hoping that this short film will be developed into a full-length feature.
This fun-looking short film—funded by Brighton’s Lighthouse Arts—is screening at the Duke Of York’s Cinema on Saturday, March 1st followed by a panel discussion with the director and science-comedienne Helen Keen.
Okay, this might just be my new favourite blog:
This site is dedicated to all aspects of movie and TV typography and iconography as it appears in Sci-Fi and fantasy movies.
The first post is all about 2001, and the writing is just the right shade of fun.
I’m already looking forward to future posts. (See what I did there?)
Realistically, what happens when you detonate a large metallic satellite (about the the size of the second Death Star) in orbit around an inhabited world (like, say, the forest moon of Endor).
It isn’t pretty.
Michael Chabon muses on The Future, prompted by the Clock of the Long Now.
Iain M.Banks and dConstruct, together at last.
Omni returns with a Bruce Sterling short story that marries alternative history and satire with a dash of digital preservation.
Go ahead, just wait a year, or two years, or maybe five years. Then try to find this, later. There will be no sign of this website, because it’s just made of pixels. No remains of the machine that you read it with, either.
Scenes from a future Sweden.
Molly Crabapple interviews Warren Ellis. Fun and interesting …much like Molly Crabapple and Warren Ellis.
I like this theory!
H.P. Lovecraft meets James Bridle in this great little story commissioned by the Institute For The Future.
Corridors in science fiction films.
I’ve linked to this before, but with the death of Iain M Banks it’s worth re-reading this fascinating insight into The Culture, one of science fictions’s few realistic utopias.
The brief mention here of The Culture’s attitude to death is apt:
Philosophy, again; death is regarded as part of life, and nothing, including the universe, lasts forever. It is seen as bad manners to try and pretend that death is somehow not natural; instead death is seen as giving shape to life.
Francis Spufford—author of the excellent Backroom Boffins—writes a cover story for the New Humanist magazine remembering Iain Banks with the middle initial M firmly to the fore: it was Iain M Banks—and his creation, The Culture—that took the seemingly passé genre of space opera to new heights.
Sorta sci-fi from Adam.
Consider this a shooting script for one of those concept videos so beloved of the big technology vendors.
A white paper that looks to sci-fi films as potential prototypes for habitats for humans in space, with an emphasis on dealing with the psychological issues involved.
A magnificent piece of writing from Michael, examining the influence of Sergio Leone on George Lucas.
Now this looks like my kind of event:
A new micro-conference on science, technology, communication and fiction, organised by the Arthur C. Clarke Award.
A damning analysis of the Empire’s military strategy at the battle of Hoth, complete with illustrations. The comments are good too:
Guys, cut Palpatine some slack. He’s still in his first term as Emperor…
Lauren talks about The Shining Girls and the tools she uses to write with.
A well-written white paper on time travel. Alas, it relies a bit too much on semantic nitpickery to offer any real insight.
A look at the depiction of computer hardware and peripherals in sci-fi movies over time.
The out-of-copyright books of Olaf Stapledon are available to download from the University of Adelaide. Be sure to grab Starmaker and First And Last Men.
Ostensibly about gaming (and written by Matt Colville who works in the games industry), this blog actually has a lot of interesting observations on sci-fi cinema. I like it.
Design Fiction at work, imagining a possible future city.
This looks like an excellent deal: buy eight sci-fi books for as much money as you think is fair. Lauren Beukes, Paolo Bacigalupi, Cory Doctorow …all good stuff.
A well-executed sci-fi short film on augmented reality and gamification.
This (free!) PDF looks like it could be a nice companion piece to Chris and Nathan’s recent book:
Human-computer interaction in science-fiction movies and television.
It’s a work in progress. You’ll notice a lot of placeholders where the images should be. That’s because the studios are demanding extortionate rates for screenshots.
Chris and Nathan’s book is finally out. I’m going to enjoy reading through this.
A really enjoyable interview with Neal Stephenson.
The opening keynote from Warren Ellis for this year’s Improving Reality. I’d like to walk into space with this man.
The not-so-new-but-hella-fun aesthetic.
An evening with Lauren Beukes, China Miéville and Patrick Ness in London the week after dConstruct. Sounds like fun!
A terrific little conspiracy theory short story from Charles Stross set at last year’s (very real) 100 Year Starship gathering.
In light of the recent death of Ray Bradbury, I think we should all honour his memory by revisiting this song (featuring some future-friendly headgear).
I’ll feed you grapes and Dandelion Wine and we’ll read a little Fahrenheit 69…
A satirical parody of post-singularity existence by Tom Scott inspired by Jim Munroe’s Everyone in Silico and Rudy Rucker’s Postsingular.
Magazine covers created by Tom Southwell for background scenes in Blade Runner.
Oh, dear. Christopher Priest is being a bit of a cock.
Good writer though.
A new publication from New Scientist dedicated to future thinking. The first issue has articles and stories from Bruce Sterling, Margaret Atwood, China Miéville, and Alastair Reynolds.
Well, that’s my reading list sorted then.
I want to go to there!
This is what Photoshop is for. Be sure to watch the slideshow.
A collection of articles on the tricksy art of Futurism from—amongst others—Bruce Sterling, Annalee Newitz, and Matt Novak, creator of the Paleofuture blog.
Neal Stephenson speaks at Solve For X on the relative timidity of scientific (and science fictional) progress in our current time.
This is an intriguing suggestion: watch the Star Wars saga in the order IV, V, II, III, VI (notice that Episode I is missing entirely). The reasoning is very sound and well worth a read.
A rallying cry from Neal Stephenson for Getting Big Stuff Done.
This blog by the visual effects supervisor on Moon is packed full of wonderfully geeky sci-fi movie stories.
Asking what the difference is between science fiction and design fiction. The answer may be …usefulness.
An architectural overview of the Star Wars universe. Design fiction.
A crowd-funded, creative commons licensed sci-fi film currently in production.
A classic (very) short science fiction story that posits an interesting solution to the Fermi paradox.
One of the greatest games designers in the world is making a game based on one of my favourite science fiction stories. I hope this turns out as well as I’m fantasising it could.
China Miéville gives a rundown of some underrated classics of the alternative history subgenre …including Richard Curtis’s Notting Hill.
There’s a whole series of sci-fi related events going on at the British Library.
James Bridle is my favourite Blogpunk author.
Adrian Hon’s Kickstarter project has already reached its goal. I can’t wait for the podcasting to start.
A production of the Brighton Speculative Fiction group. It was simply wonderful.
Matt is, as usual, eloquent and inspiring.
A gorgeous sci-fi short film with some fine interface porn.
The influence of science on science-fiction and the influence of science-fiction on science. Or rather, how science-fiction mods science, and how science (and software) mods science-fiction.
Yet even as it has become ever more familiar and commonplace, this mash‐up of the word “science” with the word “fiction” still seems to insist on a certain internal incoherence, as if the tiny typographic space inside the label of “science fiction” were to signify a vast chasm, a void between alien worlds.
Julian Bleecker explains design fiction in the context of science fiction using the examples of gestural interfaces and virtual reality.
The Paleofuture blog, that excellent trove of past visions of the future, has a corresponding video channel. The first episode is all about food.
A personal ode to cyberpunk.
A fantastically detailed look by Michael at the evolution of the design of Chewbacca.
A great sci-fi short story—yours to watch online.
Douglas Trumbull reveals the secrets of the opening scene of Blade Runner.
An oldie but goldie: time travel in the age of the internet.
This is wonderful, just wonderful; an in-depth piece on corridors in science fiction movies. Swoon!
Cute aliens invading vintage postcards of Switzerland.
How to ensure consistency in time travel narratives.
Download the PDF of this essay from the Near Future Laboratory and wallow in the sci-fi/tech/design goodness.
An online animated spaceship and experimental aircraft art magazine. Gorgeous.
I know this sound uncharitable but there's a good chance that the reason why Bruce Sterling's books aren't selling is because he's just not a very good writer. And I say that as a big sci-fi fan. I mean, really... have you read Distraction? I tried ...and failed.
It's been years since I read this charming Bruce Sterling short story but there isn't a week goes by that I don't think of it. It has grown more relevant over time.
The classic Kurt Vonnegut short story Harrison Bergeron has been turned into a film. I hope it doesn't suck.
I'm not entirely clear what this is all about but I don't care. There's some imaginative stuff in here.
Put all those years of reading science fiction to use. Help track down first usage of sci-fi terms.
A holding page for Malarkey's upcoming series of workshops. Add you name if your interested.
A great 1994 newsgroup posting by Iain M Banks that gives us a peek behind the scenes of the Culture: fascinating and fun.
A Q&A with Ridley Scott on the eve of releasing Blade Runner: The Final Cut.
Great collection of fictional locations—Summerisle, Overlook Hotel—and companies—Wayland Yutani, Tyrell Corporation, Hudsucker Industries...
Science-fiction author Lews Shiner is releasing many of his short stories online for free (HTML or PDF).
Read the first two chapters of Tim Eldred's graphic novel online.
Cory Doctorow's new novel is out. Buy the dead tree version or download and enjoy, it's your choice.
Sergio posts a fragment of a short story that would make Cory Doctorow proud.