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Science fiction, science fact, and all that's in between ...

Last Build Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:56:31 +0000



Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:56:31 +0000

To my great shame, I don’t recall the name of the school librarian who suggested I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Hiding out in school libraries was a habit I developed at boarding school, because it was a space of last resort. The habit persisted into my years at a (comparatively) normal grammar … Continue reading Pirsig

Strategies in huckster narratology

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 12:59:41 +0000

A few new accessions to the critical futures lexicon, courtesy Stefan Collini’s dissection of the B-school blandishments of UK HE policy: One of the most revealing features of [the HE White Paper’s] prose is the way the tense that might be called the mission-statement present is used to disguise implausible non sequiturs as universally acknowledged general … Continue reading Strategies in huckster narratology

Nominations and nominality

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 13:40:54 +0000

Quoth the redoubtable Nicholas Whyte: This is a very well done and well executed piece of work, and I really enjoyed reading it and can understand why people nominated it. However it is clearly a work of fiction, so I won’t vote for it at all in the Best Non-Fiction category. Well, it’s clearly not a … Continue reading Nominations and nominality

Immortality and infrastructure

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 13:20:29 +0000

Every technology requires a physical infrastructure in order to operate. But this infrastructure depends on social institutions, which are frequently subject to breakdown. I made this point when I bumped into some ardent advocates of cryonic suspension in California in the 1980s. How long would it take to develop the technologies that were needed to … Continue reading Immortality and infrastructure

Literature as laboratory

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 14:23:41 +0000

Nailed it, Naomi. Every utopia contains a dystopia. Every dystopia contains a utopia. The conclusion I’ve come to through extensive speculative fiction voyaging is that the best we can hope for, probably, is to create a society that tries hard not to leave people out. And to be vigilantly alert to the people we are … Continue reading Literature as laboratory