pkd 30 years disconnected

Commemorating the 30th anniversary of his death, ↑to the best of our knowledge has put online a ↑selection of audio interviews on ↑Philip K. Dick: Nobody blurred the line between his life and his literature more than the legendary science-fiction author, Philip K. Dick. And that’s only fitting since one of the major themes of his fiction is, “What is reality?” This week we take a look at the life and work of the man who’s been described as “one of the most valiant psychological explorers of the twentieth century,” as we commemorate the 30th anniversary of his death. via … Continue reading

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huxley to orwell

↑Letters of note has put online the following letter (Huxley 1970: 604-605) from ↑Aldous Huxley [on the right] to ↑George Orwell [on the left]: Wrightwood. Cal. 21 October, 1949 Dear Mr. Orwell, It was very kind of you to tell your publishers to send me a copy of your book. It arrived as I was in the midst of a piece of work that required much reading and consulting of references; and since poor sight makes it necessary for me to ration my reading, I had to wait a long time before being able to embark on Nineteen Eighty-Four [Orwell … Continue reading

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colossus

But—and it was a very large but—his had been the guiding brain, the one with the big overall concept, the vision. And that was the one that counted. (Jones 1966: chpt. 1)     Briefly he considered his future, but the idea of life without the Project lacked reality. (Jones 1966: chpt. 1)     They were both roughly the same age, in their very early fifties, though a hundred years earlier they would have appeared much younger. (Jones 1966: chpt. 1)     Now it’s all over, and in the last few weeks, I’ve begun to realize what it … Continue reading

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afrocyberpunk

Finally Africa! In 2005 I learned that cyberpunk literature offers a platform for the issues of Latin America (Toledano Redondo 2005), and five years later the existence of a ↵literary steampunk scene in Brazil (Lori-Ribeiro & Silva 2010) came to my knowledge. What’s apt for the Latin American World seems to be apt for Africa, too. Jonathan Dotse, an IT student and science-fiction writer living in Accra, Ghana, runs the blog ↑AfroCyberPunk, ↑which is here to explore the possibilities of African science fiction and to expose it’s immense creative potential to the world. For too long, science fiction has failed … Continue reading

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astronaut mike mullane

He promised it ↵in a comment here, and made it true: The podcast ↑JetHead live with astronaut Mike Mullane is online. ↑Mike Mullane is a former NASA astronaut and author of the book ↑Riding rockets: The outrageous tales of a space shuttle astronaut (2006). The tagline of JetHead’s interview with Mullane reads: ‘What’s it like to ride over 4 million pounds of explosive thrust into earth orbit? Three times?’ This gives an overall impression, but there’s more in the book and the podcast, e.g. Mullane’s evolution from a ‘male sexist pig’ [his own words] towards a human being ;-) Much … Continue reading

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radium age sf

While reading ↑Brian Aldiss‘ ‘Billion Year Spree: The True History of Science Fiction’ (1973) [a revised and expanded edition was published as ‘Trillion Year Spree’ (Aldiss & Wingrove 1986)] Joshua Glenn thought that Aldiss unfairly neglected the period from 1904 to 1933: I’ve concluded that it’s an era of which science fiction historians and fans ought to be proud, not ashamed! I’ve dubbed this unfairly overlooked era ↑science fiction’s “Radium Age” because the phenomenon of radioactivity—the 1903 discovery that matter is neither solid nor still and is, at least in part, a state of energy, constantly in movement — is … Continue reading

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hartmann the anarchist

‘↑Captain Nemo was a technical anarcho-terrorist.’ wrote Bruce Sterling (1991: 39) about the main protagonist of ↑Jules Verne‘s ‘↓20,000 leagues under the sea‘ (1870). The same can be said about the character Robur appearing in Verne’s ‘↓Robur the Conqueror‘ (1886) and its sequel ‘↓Master of the World‘ (1904). By way of his submarine ‘Nautilus’ Captain Nemo rules the oceans. Robur rules everything above through his vessels, the ‘Albatross’ and the ‘Terror.’ Just recently I learned that around the same time yet another literary ‘technical anarcho-terrorist’ appeared: ‘↓Hartmann the Anarchist‘ by Edward Douglas Fawcett (1893): ↑A sensational tale of the evil … Continue reading

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