Tag Archives | Science Fiction
Publisher 40kBooks has fresh answers from key science fiction and futurism writer Bruce Sterling, in response to questions from Cory Doctorow and others:
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[Is the world] improved by technology? From the point of view of almost anything in this world that’s not a human being like you and me, the answer’s almost certainly No. You might get a few Yea votes from albino rabbits and gene-spliced tobacco plants. Ask any living thing that’s been around in the world since before the Greeks made up the word “technology,” like say a bristlecone pine or a coral reef.
It’s mostly the past’s things that will outlive us. Things that have already successfully lived a long time, such as the Pyramids, are likely to stay around longer than 99.9% of our things. It’s a bit startling to realize that it’s mostly our paper that will survive us as data, while our electronics will succumb to erasure, loss, and bit rot.
Via Monster Brains, a glimpse at the breathtaking illustrations inside scientist/author/artist Dougal Dixon’s rare and much sought-after Man After Man: An Anthropology of the Future, a book exploring the many possible disturbing changes which humanity may undergo in the far future:
The book begins with the impact of genetic engineering. For 200 years modern humans morphed the genetics of other humans to create genetically-altered creatures. The aquamorphs and aquatics are marine humans with gills instead of lungs. One species – the vacuumorph – has been engineered for life in the vacuum of space. Its skin and eyes carry shields of skin to keep its body stable even without pressure. Civilization eventually collapses, with a few select humans escaping to colonize space. Other humans, the Hitek, become almost totally dependent on cybernetic technology.
There are a lot of ways to characterize a legacy. You could start with numbers: 44 published novels, at least 121 short stories, and a dozen movie adaptations, most of them major Hollywood affairs — and then the expanding circle of influence that includes 12 Monkeys, eXistenz, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Over $1 billion in film revenue...
Jonathan Zap is an author, photographer, teacher, paranormal researcher and philosopher who has written extensively on psychology and contemporary mythology. Jonathan has done numerous radio and television interviews including four three-hour shows on Coast to Coast AM. Reality Sandwich, the popular online magazine, has published numerous of his articles. His book is titled Crossing the Event Horizon: Human Metamorphosis and the Singularity Archetype.
Jonathan Zap gives a talk titled “The Singularity Archetype and Human Evolution.” The talk is broad ranging and touches possible futures, SciFi, 2001: A Space Odyssey Carl Jung, 2012, Near Death Experience, Rupture Plane Events, Out of Body Experiences, traveling through event horizons, Singularity, and much more.
For those who may be interested, here’s a short story I wrote about drones kicking ass in the future. Enjoy!
Tolerance has never brought civil war, intolerance has covered the earth with carnage.
We have guided missiles and misguided men.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Monday, August 10th, 2020
The father and son sat in the air-conditioned car during heavy morning traffic outside of downtown San Diego. Through the smog the silver skyscrapers of that sweltering city could be seen snaring and pulsating in the haze. Swelling the freeway were thousands of cars that crept along like termites in the heat of a vast mirage. The hot sun rose high above the Cuyamaca mountain range as hoards of vehicles inched along the fuming, concrete inferno. The searing traffic was unbearable.
“Jesus Christ,” the father sighed, “we’re stuck in a parking lot.”
From the back seat his son let out a moan of frustration, having expected that they would have reached their destination by now. “How much farther?” his son asked.… Read the rest
Manual adderall? A fascinating, torturous device from a century ago, created by a sci-fi pioneer, the Isolator beautifully illustrates the hazards of single-minded focus, although it also would make a splendid fashion accessory. Via A Great Disorder:
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These images are from the July, 1925 issue of “Science and Invention”, which was edited by Hugo Gernsback, who later became famous as a pioneer in the field of science fiction. He also invented this contraption which, to my mind, nicely illustrates the folly of taking an excessively narrow approach to solving a problem. The “Isolator” is designed to help focus the mind when reading or writing, not only by by eliminating all outside noise, but also by allowing just one line of text to be seen at a time through a horizontal slit. Obviously…this could be profoundly counterproductive: how would he know that his house was on fire -or, what if he dropped his pencil?
Just when America thought it couldn’t be any more confused by Mormonism, Romney went and said this. To be fair, he added that his favorite book overall (nonfiction included) is the bible, an answer which all Republican presidential candidates must give from now to eternity. A nugget from the New York Times five years ago:
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“What’s your favorite novel?” is a perennial campaign question, the answer to which presumably gives insight into leadership. A “Moby-Dick” lover may understand the perils of obsessively chasing of a goal. A fan of “To Kill a Mockingbird” may well focus on racial justice.
When asked his favorite novel in an interview shown yesterday on the Fox News Channel, Mitt Romney pointed to “Battlefield Earth,” a novel by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. That book was turned into a film by John Travolta, a Scientologist. A spokesman said later it was one of Mr.
Philip K. Dick’s innovative science fiction is best-known for its portrayal of characters trapped in Gnostic false realities which they may unravel by way of divine or god-like helpers, mystical experiences, and active paranoia. As his career progressed, his novels became increasingly bizarre—and increasingly autobiographical. By the time he died in 1982, he had come to regard his collected work not as the production of his own fertile imagination, but as a kind of Scripture; the novelization of essential truths revealed to him in a series of visionary experiences with a higher intelligence.
A new window into the intense process of dizzying introspection by which Dick struggled to explicate his mystical experiences has recently opened with the publication of a 900-page collection of his private papers. As Daniel Karder of The Guardian puts it, “…if you want to know what it’s like to have your world dissolve, and then try to rebuild it while suffering mental invasions from God, Asklepios or whomever, you should read The Exegesis:”
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Philip K Dick rewired my brain when I was a mere lad, after I plucked Clans of the Alphane Moon at random from a shelf in my local library.