Tag Archives: climate

Author interviews and other good stuff to read

Futurismic is currently in redevelopment, having a new engine fitted … two evenings without posting to it, and I feel a peculiar absence. Blogging definitely has addictive properties.

So, in the interim, I’ll round up a batch of good stuff for sf heads to read on the web and post them here instead.

Kim Stanley Robinson on climate change

The man behind the much lauded Mars Trilogy (which I’ve still never read), Kim Robinson talks about climate change issues at Wired, in the context of his latest novel, Sixty Days and Counting.

Watts, MacLeod, McAuley and Slonczewski on science fiction and the biosciences

Thanks to Peter Watts, we can read [warning – PDF] a group discussion interview from Nature magazine where he, Ken MacLeod, Paul McAuley and Joan Slonczewski talk about their writing, the biological sciences, and the connections between the two.

There is apparently a longer and unexpurgated online version to come, reached by the URL at the end of the piece, but it doesn’t appear to be live yet.

(Special bonus material! Ken MacLeod is not too worried about doctors who think they can be terrorists. It’s the engineers we should be looking out for.)

Lewis Shiner gives it away

A little late to the pixel-stained revolution, but very welcome nonetheless, is Lewis Shiner’s decision to release all of his short fiction online under a Creative Commons licence. Yes, all of it, along with a manifesto about the importance of short fiction for developing one’s writing – and for cultivating readers, too.

I must confess to not having read any Shiner before, but his is a name I’ve had recommended to me countless times. Now I have no excuse, except the old ‘lack of time’ saw. Thanks to the omniprescient BoingBoing for the tip-off.

Happy reading!

Foresight consultancy; worldbuilding redux

Remember me linking to Jamais Cascio’s post about worldbuilding a little while ago, where he said that what he does (foresight consultancy, or what used to be referred to as ‘futurism’) is a remarkably similar skill to science fiction writing in some respects?

Well, here’s Jamais on the Worldchanging blog, pitching four brief potential future scenarios set three decades from now, showing the potential results of different reactions to the climate change issue. I’ll quote one as an example:

02037: I stumbled across a memory archive from twenty years ago, before the emergence of the Chorus, and was shocked to see the Earth as it was. Oceans near death, climate system lurching towards collapse, overall energy flux just horribly out-of-balance. I can’t believe the Earth actually survived that. I had assumed that the Chorus was responsible for repairing the planet, but no — We told me that, even by 02017, the Earth’s human populace was making the kind of substantive changes to how it lived necessary to avoid real disaster, and that 02017 was actually one of the first years of improvement! What the Chorus made possible was the planetary repair, although We says that this project still has many years left, in part because We had to fix some of We’s own mistakes from the first few repair attempts. The Chorus actually seemed embarrassed when We told me that!

OK, so it doesn’t have the snap and crackle of the prose of a practiced novelist, but that’s a slice of science fiction right there. I know for a fact that Karl Schroeder does this sort of work for a living, too; maybe foresight consultancy will be an industry where sf writers can use their skills to earn a good living in times to come?

Go and read the whole post, by the way. The scenarios are hauntingly familiar to any sf reader, and there’s some serious food for thought there.