“It is fanciful to invest too much faith in the isolated act of reading – the stimulated, inspired or entertained brain does not store carbon.”
Tag: Speculative Fiction
“Black Genius Against the World”
In 1937, a newspaper trumpeted two speculative fiction stories—“Black Internationale” and “Black Empire”— as dramatically as if they were news.
Can Solarpunk Save the World?
Today, solar power merely fuels capitalism and imperialism. But drawing power from the sun is so radical it might transform that status quo.
Shola von Reinhold’s novel is central to any reckoning with the politics of the archive, not to mention contemporary literature itself.
Law’s Force, Law’s Farce
Books about law are often utilitarian. But perhaps sometimes we should embrace sublime uselessness.
One More Embrace: Octavia’s Future/Present
Butler’s work helps us see how time is a spiral, how the present moment is always layered with multiple pasts and underlying alternate futures.
Octavia E. Butler: The Next 75 Years
Rather than politically utopian, Butler’s stories teach us about grief, consolation, hope, and—most of all—how to live in struggle.
“Keep Your Own Counsel”: Talking Octavia E. Butler with Lynell George
“She wanted people to be curious and take action in their lives. Not be sheep. To find the ways we can work together in crisis.”
The Work of Inhabiting a Role: Charles Yu Speaks to Chris Fan
“I am paralyzed by the infinite degrees of freedom that you start out with, and so constraints can be freeing. To say, I can start here—I'm writing a story about time travel.”
A Quiet Disaster: Mexico City, Mexico
Apocalyptic writers would be surprised by the suddenness with which Mexico City, during the pandemic, took on the guise of a ghost town.
The Realism of Our Times: Kim Stanley Robinson on How Science Fiction Works
“We're in a science fiction novel now that we are all co-writing together.”
Can Comics Save Your Life?
In lockdown, one shop asked for people to submit comics of “a utopian world after we survive this moment.” Hundreds around the world answered.
Motherhood and Other Monsters
In The Babadook and The Need, the introduction of a monster amplifies preexisting anxieties, rather than generating fresh ones.
MAGA: Margaret Atwood’s Gilead Again
Margaret Atwood has argued that there is “within each utopia, a concealed dystopia; within each dystopia, a hidden utopia, if only in the form of the world as it ...
Asimov’s Empire, Asimov’s Wall
Isaac Asimov loved large numbers. He was born a century ago this month, and when he died, in 1992, he was both the most famous science fiction writer in the ...
Saboteurs in the Modern Academy
What hope remains for the masses of disillusioned graduate students, unemployed PhDs, and embittered faculty who still, despite everything, believe in ...
Black Speculation, Black Freedom
Many black scholars—especially those who study black life, history, and culture—would recognize an uncomfortable and familiar situation that epitomizes ...