This week I’ve been working extra hours on the first floor in Amsterdam, covering for colleagues on holiday. Especially for all the lovely customers I’ve helped this week, here’s a special collection of sci-fi lit links.
“Ballardian” is an adjective “resembling or suggestive of the conditions described in JG Ballard’s novels & stories, esp. dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes & the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments.” — Wikipedia The brilliant Boing Boing points out a flickr pool of Balliardian photos.
Why does so little science fiction rise to the standards of literary fiction? Good question. As someone who hasn’t read sci-fi (except for the more literary speculative fiction of Atwood and Orwell) this was a really interesting read.
Not strictly sci-fi, but fascinating, the photographer Steve Schofield has an online gallery of his portraits of people in costume. Not cosplay, as such: most of them are characters from popular sci-fi films, but there’s a a good helping of pioneers and injuns too.
Also from io9.com, prompted by the news that Buzz Aldrin thinks that sci-fi killed space travel: Does sci-fi help or hinder real science?Actually, I’m only posting that link because I really like this rebuttal, which argues that science-fiction and science-fantasy are two entirely different things.
The Long Now Foundation aims to provide a counterpoint to what it views as today’s “faster/cheaper” mindset and to promote “slower/better” thinking. Neal Stephenson’s new novel Anathem was inspired by the Clock of the Long Now, or was it the other way round?
Neal Stephenson (again – he’s on the promo trail, obviously) lectures on the (un)importance of genres in literature. If you have about 40 minutes to spare, that is.