Leaving Omelas
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by Vector editors
1M ago
By Christopher Kanski Chris Kanski, “a reluctant yuppie who dances often and writes sporadically”, encounters Omelas for the first time. In amateur philosophy, thought experiments try to get to the core of questions, usually ethical ones, by stripping them of context; the trolley problem that’s taught in high schools has faceless victims and no perpetrator and you, the imagined agent at the lever, have no context for your being there. I think they’re useless. I think every thought experiment I’ve ever encountered makes an assumption that stripped context isn’t a context itself. What you would ..read more
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Henry Farrell talks to Kim Stanley Robinson
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by Vector editors
1M ago
Henry Farrell teaches democracy and international affairs at Johns Hopkins University. Kim Stanley Robinson is a science fiction writer whose most recent novel is The Ministry for the Future. Their conversation took place in March 2023 at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, around Tor’s forthcoming June 2024 re-issue of Robinson’s 1984 novel, Icehenge. HF – How did you come to write Icehenge? KSR – When I was a kid I loved stories about archeology, including pseudo-archaeology. There were quite a few fake archaeologies about when people first got to the Americas ..read more
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David Rix interviews Alexander Zelenyj
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by Vector editors
1M ago
Alexander Zelenyj is the author of the books Blacker Against the Deep Dark, Songs for the Lost, Experiments at 3 Billion A.M., Black Sunshine, and others. His most recent book is These Long Teeth of the Night: The Best Short Stories 1999-2019. His books and stories have been translated into several languages, including German, French, Romanian, Italian, Spanish, and Ukrainian. He has a collection of brand new stories forthcoming from Eibonvale Press in Fall 2024. Zelenyj lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada with his wife and their growing menagerie of animals. Visit ..read more
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Mary Branscombe reviews All Tomorrow’s Futures: Fictions that Disrupt
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by Vector editors
2M ago
Explore where technology might take us and what that might mean for how we live with this anthology that brings together experts and writers.  It’s easy to view fiction as merely entertainment and escapism (both important in their own right), but stories – especially science and speculative fiction (SFF) – are also wonderful tools for exploring and learning, imagining possibilities and seeing how they might work. It is serious play and playful thinking.  It’s almost a tenet of SFF that technology is secondary to the story. While SFF writers tend to explore ideas and the stories thos ..read more
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Science-Fiction, Quantum Physics and the Modernists
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by Vector editors
2M ago
By Steven French Introduction In 1926, Erwin Schrödinger published the paper containing his eponymous equation, one of the most significant scientific achievements of the twentieth century. In the same year Hugo Gernsback founded Amazing Stories, dedicated to what he insisted at the time on calling ‘scientifiction’. Given this, an obvious question to ask is whether the new theory of quantum mechanics had any impact on this emerging genre of literature, and if so, in what form?[1] As far as I can tell, however, no one has seriously considered this before now.[2] That’s not to say ..read more
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Vector 299/Modernisms: Guest editorial by Paul March-Russell
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by Vector editors
2M ago
Over the course of the last thirty years, the standard model of literary modernism has eroded. This model offered an origin story, beginning with the fiction of Joseph Conrad and Henry James and the poetry of W.B. Yeats; a consolidation in the figure of Ford Madox Ford and the ethos of Impressionism; a quickening in the face of war and the avant-garde, as represented by Imagism and Vorticism; a fluorescence in the post-war aftermath of T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf; and then a slow decay during the 1930s and `40s, culminating in the endgames of Samuel Beckett. What this narrative ..read more
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Vector 299/Modernisms: Torque Control by Phoenix Alexander
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by phoenixalexandereditor
2M ago
Peculiar Shuttling Movements I half-jokingly say to anyone who engages me on the topic of science fiction that the 1960s and 1970s were the pinnacle of craft in the genre. This period, of course, encompasses the New Wave, interpreted by Philip Wegner (cited by our wonderful guest editor, Paul March-Russell) as the moment when science fiction crashes into the modernist sensibilities of Literature-with-a-capital-L, exploding formal and thematic conventions. When science fiction, in Wegner’s words, ‘briefly becomes modernist.’  This is far too brief a space (and far too ignorant an author) t ..read more
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Stuck in the Middle with You: Speculative Structure and Concentric Reading in David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas
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by Vector editors
2M ago
By Matthew Burchanoski Immediately praised upon its release, David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (2004) stands as one of the most significant books of the 21st century. Though it has its skeptics, the novel was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Arthur C. Clarke Award, and Nebula Award for Best Novel and won in Literary Fiction at the British Book Awards. The novel’s support across the communities of historical, speculative, and literary fictions is itself quite interesting but, suffice to say, the novel was well received and remains so in myriad lists of Best Books of the Century.  One reason ..read more
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Interview with Samantha Mills
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by Vector editors
2M ago
by Jean-Paul L. Garnier Samantha Mills is a Nebula, Locus, and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award winning author living in Southern California, USA. You can find her short fiction in Uncanny Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, and others, as well as the best-of anthologies The New Voices of Science Fiction and The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2023. Her debut science fantasy novel, The Wings Upon Her Back, is out now. You can find more at www.samtasticbooks.com.  JPG – The culture in The Wings Upon Her Back is a theocracy where labor and religion are intertwine ..read more
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Issue 300, ‘Community’— Call for proposals
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by Vector editors
2M ago
Solaris (1972), Andrei Tarkovsky Science fiction, for all it encompasses strange new worlds and fantastical creatures, is a literary genre that is built and sustained by human communities. Writers, artists, and creators have imagined new social formations, technologies, economic, ecological, and sociopolitical systems for centuries; indeed, science fiction may be the most nakedly political of all literary genres, as thought-provoking as it is beguiling. Who is present in narratives of futurity? What kinds of technologies enable—or stymie—human connection? How can inter-species communities dev ..read more
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