What do we call ourselves?

Adam Roberts @ 22-04-2009

The Adam Roberts Project

I don’t mean “what do we call ourselves as SF fans”. I mean, what do we, SF fans and writers, call ourselves as inhabitants of this planet? It’s been troubling me. Continue reading “What do we call ourselves?”

Nick Gevers surveys the sf short fiction scene at Locus Online

Paul Raven @ 16-02-2009

Just arrived in my inbox is a note from Nick Gevers informing me that starting today, Locus Online will be running a series of interviews titled SF Quintessential.

The column will see Gevers quizzing the creators and publishers of science fiction short stories in an attempt to map the current state of play:

I intend that the series will help promote valuable short fiction publications and provide a forum for discussion of trends in the short form: creative movements and the rather troubled state of the market. There’s a huge amount to talk about; I hope “SF Quintessential” can supplement and augment existing debate, at a vital time in the history of genre literature.

The first instalment of SF Quintessential features an interview with Australia-based anthologist extraordinaire Jonathan Strahan, and Pyr’s Lou Anders is also in the pipeline. This promises to be a fascinating (if potentially grim) read for anyone writing short stories for publication.

[Full disclosure: Nick Gevers is part of the editorial team at PS Publishing, who are clients of mine.]

To a Delightful Weekend in the Country: the New Generation of British SF

Jonathan McCalmont @ 04-02-2009

This month in Blasphemous Geometries, Jonathan McCalmont takes a look at the new generation of British science fiction writers.

They can be hard to spot – for one thing, they’re not explicitly marketed as such. And furthermore, instead of describing futures defined by ever-increasing complexity, they seem preoccupied with the very British pursuit of “getting away from it all”.

Blasphemous Geometries by Jonathan McCalmont


In the November 2003 issue of Science Fiction Studies, Roger Luckhurst wrote an article entitled “Cultural Governance, New Labour and the British SF Boom”. In the article, he describes the emergence of a new generation of British SF authors in the context of a series of cultural shifts that neatly coincided with the election of New Labour in 1997. With the once glorious political force that was New Labour now consuming itself in flames of incompetence, cowardice, corruption and authoritarianism, it seems an appropriate time to look ahead to the next cycle of boom and bust in British Science Fiction; to a generation of authors intent upon leaving it all behind. Continue reading “To a Delightful Weekend in the Country: the New Generation of British SF”

SF Awards – rubbish.

Adam Roberts @ 28-01-2009

The Adam Roberts Project

A new year is upon us, which means in the happy lands of SF the first prize shortlists are peeking over the lip of their nests. Here’s the BSFA shortlist; Clarke, Nebula, Hugo and Phil Dick are all in the offing, sifting through 2008’s output to boil it down to a list of the best of the best.

Award shortlists are all rubbish.

Let me explain what I mean. Continue reading “SF Awards – rubbish.”

NEW COLUMN: announcing The Adam Roberts Project

Paul Raven @ 25-01-2009

It is with great pleasure that I can announce that the coming week sees the first instalment of a new monthly column here at Futurismic!

Its creator is no stranger to the site – having been a regular commenter, as well as providing us a review of all of the Arthur C Clarke Award shortlist nominees for 2008 – and may well be no stranger to your bookshelves, whether in the form of his science fiction novels, criticism or histories.

Of whom do I speak? Well, let’s let The Adam Roberts Project explain it for [him/it]self, shall we?

The Adam Roberts Project is an algorithm for observing the world and generating text. It belongs to the future (hence ‘futurismic’) but more specifically to a 1970s future. The future promised us by Prog. The future we have been hitherto denied.

Among Adam Roberts Project’s previous productions are the concept albums Genesil, Land of Head-Yes, 21st Century Swiftly Man and Yellow Blue Tarkus.

Columns will be monthly and will be varied. No refunds will be offered.

The Adam Roberts Project also blogs at europrogovision.blogspot.com

Next Wednesday, we will be told why all genre fiction awards shortlists are rubbish.

Rest assured, I shall be pushing for a future column that explains the ongoing absence of our jetpacks…

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