Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Holy Fire - Bruce Sterling

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Bruce Sterling's novels are smart. And, oh man, is Holy Fire smart. In recent years, billionaires have funded projects to get the whole telomere lifespan extension thing going. But Sterling was thinking about telomeres as a route to increasing the human lifespan in the mid '90s.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Solaris - Stanislaw Lem

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Solaris' critique is two-pronged, considering two distinct subjects: the pursuit of advanced scholarship in educational institutions and understanding human psychology. 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Progress and Collapse in Science Fiction


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            In Revelation Space (2000), the name of Alastair Reynolds’ ship Nostalgia for Infinity communicates what was once a systemic view in sf. With his ship’s name, Reynolds invokes the post-war attitudes of the atomic age and its concomitant sf narratives. The reigning monomyth of the atomic age was that with the secrets of science unlocked, progress was inevitable, humans would soon achieve a utopian existence. But instead of achieving utopia in the 20th century, humans irradiated nuclear weapons testing sites and fought endless wars in the name of ideology and for the control of resources. With the dream demeaned, sf dropped its utopian narratives in favor of telling stories that reflected a cultural collapse.