Category: science fiction

Monkeys of Mayhem

In March we saw a big brawl between two rival gangs of monkeys in Lop Buri, Thailand, and then their  final take over of the town. Then, in June, came a life sentence for Kalua, the alcoholic Indian monkey who terrorized  over 250 pedestrians and will be spending the rest of his days in solitary…

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Identity politics, artistic autonomy, and a disappearing SF Story

It all began with a silly, transphobic meme [image right]…Then came the story, “I sexually identify as an Attack Helicopter,” which first appeared in Clarkesworld (Jan 2020 issue), but caused a huff among certain hypersensitive readers who claimed it was insincere, inauthentic, and insensitive to  transgendered people in the same spirit as the original meme. After…

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Serious Soviet Stuff

Currently working on a conference paper on ‘Weird fiction’ that I’ll present in March andran across a lot of interesting stuff related to Soviet Union (unrelated to my topic). First was an interesting AV club sketch about the Zone trope in science fiction, from whence I wound up reading an old (2014) Slate article on the…

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Understanding Chinese SF

A good bit has already been written on understanding China through its science fiction, but here’s an informative post that gives a “brief history of Chinese science fiction magazines” (GB Chinese) as well.

Chen Qiufan Links / 网路上的陈楸帆 (ongoing)

Just some Chen links that are worth noting: Gary K Wolfe reviews The Waste Tide for Locus Magazine “Staying sensitive in the crowd” (Ken Liu interview) “何平访谈陈楸帆 :它是面向未来的一种文学” (He Ping interview) “陈楸帆:科幻是最大的现实主义” (commentary w/Hu Yong interview) His non-fiction works to 2013 (from old blog) Magazine of SF and Fantasy: “Chen Qiufan on ‘The Year of…

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Chen Qiufan: “Science Fiction is the Height of Realism”

Holy cows, in this interview  the author exactly affirms what I claim in my paper…Excerpt: “陈楸帆:科幻是最大的现实主义” 2015-09-10 鈦媒體 陳楸帆屬於前者,他在自我剖析時說:「雖然我創作資歷尚淺,但是通過有意識的回顧,在自覺與不自覺間,我發現在創作里確實貫穿著這樣的一個母題/主題/意象:異化。」他所稱的異化包括了生物上的變形、疾病或變異;心理學上的疏離扭曲、分裂;社會體系/人際結構上的隔離、對立、變遷。比較鮮明的作品包括:《墳》(2004)、《麗江的魚兒們》(2006)、《深瞳》(2006)、《遞歸之人》(2007)、《第七願望》(2007)、《雙擊》(2009)、《鼠年》(2009)、《喪屍》(2009)、《開竅》(2011)等。這些都是通過技術變革作為其誘因或結果出現,屬於比較明顯的「異化」母題。 「事實上這也是我對科幻小說這個文類鍾情的原因,可以從一個極端真實的語境出發,通過可理解的/邏輯自洽的條件外延及思想實驗,將文本中的情節/人物推向一個極端超現實的境地,從而帶來一種驚異感及陌生化效果。」在陳楸帆看來,當代(或近未來)中國這個大背景下,本身就是一片異化的最佳試驗田,即使遭遇發表坎坷,他也執著地堅持思考、體驗、和書寫中國科幻故事的緣由。 Another interview with Chen: “何平访谈陈楸帆 :它是面向未来的一种文学”

Chen Qiufan and Stan Lee

As i’m tweaking my paper for the fast approaching ACCL conference in Changsha I’ve run across a lot of interesting things on Chen Qiufan (陈楸帆, whose work I’m writing about), with perhaps the most intriguing being this (uncredited) image of the author posing in shades with the legendary Stan Lee.