Tag Archives | Science Fiction

William Gibson interview: time travel, virtual reality, and his new book

William Gibson (CC by-sa 2.0)

William Gibson (CC by-sa 2.0)

via The Verge:

Our geography is dissolving into the digital.

Science fiction author William Gibson’s work, from cyberpunk classic Neuromancer to his more recent, less overtly futuristic novels, is usually more concerned with smart cultural analysis than plotting the mechanics of new technology. Gibson has given us a lens to see everything from high fashion to virtual reality, coining the term “cyberspace” to refer to what would soon become a ubiquitous computer network in the real world (“And they won’t let me forget it,” he quipped after being introduced with that factoid in the TV show Wild Palms.)

But time travel is one of the most mechanical genres around — not necessarily in scientific rationale, but in the rigorous attempt to fit together pieces of the past, present, and future without leaving loose ends or, at worst, unresolved paradoxes. And Gibson’s latest novel, The Peripheral, fits at least a few of its tropes.

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[Rap News] The Singularity – feat. Ray Kurzweil & Alex Jones

“Today we travel into the pure world of sci-fi to investigate the much vaunted, mysterious potential future event known as ‘The Singularity’. What will a machine consciousness mean for humanity? What are the ethical, political, military and philosophical implications of strong A.I.? And what would an AI sound like when spitting rhymes over a dope beat? All this and more shall be revealed in Rap News 28: The Singularity – featuring a special appearance from famed technocrat, futurist and inventor, Ray Kurzweil, in full TED talk mode; everyone’s favourite warmonger, General Baxter; and we welcome back the dauntless info warrior Alex Jones, who last made an appearance in RN6. Join Robert Foster on this epic Sci-Fi quest into the future/past of humanity.”

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Author Ray Bradbury’s Sci-Fi Art Collection Up for Auction

The cover illustration from Bradbury's acclaimed novel, Fahrenheit 451, now up for auction. Credit: Nate D. Sanders auction

The cover illustration from Bradbury’s acclaimed novel, Fahrenheit 451, now up for auction.
Credit: Nate D. Sanders auction

If only I had extra money like that lying around..

via Live Science:

Fans of the renowned American author Ray Bradbury take note: The writer’s personal collection of sci-fi memorabilia and art is now being auctioned off online.

Bradbury is best known for his 1953 dystopian masterpiece, “Fahrenheit 451,” as well as a collection of short stories about a human colony on Mars, called “The Martian Chronicles,” published in 1950. For decades, he worked in Hollywood, where his writing was adapted for television, the big screen and comic books.

Bradbury died in 2012 at the age of 91, leaving behind a huge collection of art and memorabilia inspired by space, science fiction and fantasy. Among the items up for sale are the original-concept drawings and illustrations for many of Bradbury’s novels and short stories, most of them by Joseph Mugnaini, Bradbury’s longtime collaborator.

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Romancing the Biomechanoid: H.R. Giger’s “San Gottardo”

News keeps coming down the vine about lesser known projects H.R. Giger had left unfinished before his recent passing. The latest is a little-known science fiction movie idea called The Mystery of San Gottardo, which he was working on since the 1970’s. “A unique love story… about a man and his love for a freak of nature, Armbeinda, which is really a sentient limb combining an arm and a leg.”

This is why we love Giger.

A 1994 magazine called Cinefantastique goes into more detail:

The story concerns a race of biomechanoids created by a military organization. The premise: your arms and legs are slaves that do your bidding, but what if they have a mind of their own and were set free? Ink drawings depict the disembodied parts attacking their creator (Giger’s self-portrait) in the San Gottardo border tunnel which links Switzerland and Italy. To insure that his vision remains intact, Giger hopes to retain creative control as a producer on the film… and not be forced to rely on CGI.

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Erik Davis on VALIS, P.K.D. and High Weirdness

APhilipKDickMomentAs part of the inaugural reread series on Reality Sandwich, Erik Davis, author ofTechGnosis and Nomad Codes, spoke with me recently about the “High Weirdness” of Philip K. Dick and the postmodern pink-gnosis of VALIS, a partly autobiographic scifi novel where Dick literally wrote himself into fiction, and, as it were, “hacked the Hero’s Journey” (1).  Erik tells us about how he first discovered Dick’s work when he was no pop culture icon but a pulp cult underground writer.

VALIS is loaded with half-fiction, half-truth narratives told by a multitude of personas. Philip K. Dick. Phil Dick. Horselover Fat. As Erik Davis will tell us, there is a method to this madness, PKD was always more than one author, and Dick may have ended up writing himself (2).

Just watch your step through the hallucinatory fiction this side of Chapel Perilous.

J: While doing some research myself, I noticed in this article you mention studying Philip K.Read the rest

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Charming Vintage Soviet Animation of Ray Bradbury Stories

Via Open Culture:

Sergei Bondarchuk directed an 8-hour film adaptation of War and Peace (1966-67), which ended up winning an Oscar for Best Foreign Picture. When he was in Los Angeles as a guest of honor at a party, Hollywood royalty like John Wayne, John Ford, Billy Wilder lined up to meet the Russian filmmaker. But the only person that Bondarchuk was truly excited to meet was Ray Bradbury. Bondarchuk introduced the author to the crowd of bemused A-listers as “your greatest genius, your greatest writer!”

Ray Bradbury spent a lifetime crafting stories about robots, Martians, space travel and nuclear doom and, in the process, turned the formerly disreputable genre of Sci-Fi/Fantasy into something respectable. He influenced legions of writers and filmmakers on both sides of the Atlantic from Stephen King to Neil Gaiman to Francois Truffaut, who adapted his most famous novel, Fahrenheit 451, into a movie.

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Philip K. Dick – The Man Who Remembered the Future

PKD bookDid sci-fi author Philip K. Dick see the future? Could he literally have been precognitive? This is one of the conclusions of a new biography by the consciousness theorist Anthony Peake.

It’s over thirty years since the writer’s death, but fascination for the work of Philip K. Dick continues to grow with more than ten major Hollywood movies based on his novels and short stories, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report and The Adjustment Bureau. Peake’s new biography shines further light on the man himself, attempting to both sift the details of his complex personal life and penetrate the unique inner life that fuelled his work with something that may have been more than merely imagination.

“What I wanted to do was get into the man’s head,” said Peake. “His psychology is as interesting as his novels, [as is] his life itself.” A Life of Philip K. Dick: The Man Who Remembered the Future is the first biography to emerge following the publication of Dick’s Exegesis, the fabled million word late-night diary that was his attempt to fathom the bizarre visionary experiences of 1974, which he termed “2-3-74″ and described as “an invasion of my mind by a transcendentally rational mind, as if I had been insane all my life and suddenly I had become sane.”

Anthony Peake seems an ideal investigator of Dick’s inner landscape with a back catalogue that includes such titles as The Infinite Mindfield: The Quest to Find the Gateway to Higher Consciousness and The Labyrinth of Time: The Illusion of Past, Present and Future, books unafraid to weave neuroscience, quantum physics and esoteric lore in an effort to engender insights into matter and mind.… Read the rest

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David Cronenberg’s POD Implant For Your Brain

david cronenbergDavid Cronenberg has a new multimedia project involving a fictional mobile body-add-on gadget called "Personal On-Demand," or POD for short, ostensibly created by biotech startup firm BODY/MIND/CHANGE. Are you ready for your fitting?
MEET POD (PERSONAL ON-DEMAND), THE ULTIMATE RECOMMENDATION ENGINE. POD IS AN EMOTIONAL SENSORY LEARNING AND DATA-MINING ORGANISM. WE’VE REDESIGNED THE RECOMMENDATION ENGINE TO MAKE DISCOVERING THE THINGS YOU NEED, LOVE OR DESIRE EFFORTLESS. POD GROWS WITH YOU TO BECOME AN INTUITIVE COMPANION, FULFILLING YOUR DEEPEST DESIRES ON DEMAND.
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