i09 ON SCIENCE FICTION AND KANT
A musing essay that's worth a look. Read it here.
SF SIGNAL'S SF TIDBITS
Including interviews and some oddball news items. Read them here.
THE IRONICALLY NAMED SFGate HAS SF BOOK REVIEWS
CHINA MIEVILLE GIVES TALK AT SAN DIEGO LIBRARY
Here's an excerpt:
One genre convention that particularly ticks Miéville off — and which he’s deliberately tried to avoid or subvert in his own work — is the notion of the “Chosen One,” the one hero uniquely fitted to the task of redeeming the human race from the peril the author has invented to jeopardize it. “The schtick [of Un Lun Dun] is that the Chosen One fails, and the funny sidekick has to take over — and succeeds by cheating and skipping to the end,” he said. “As a kid, I always hated books about the Chosen One because that implies all the others are not chosen, and that’s fascist. I always was drawn to the sidekicks.”
Responding to a question about born-again Christians and their use of media like science fiction and rock music to express their ideas — including the belief that young people who remain virgins for religious reasons are the real transgressors in a hyper-sexualized age — Miéville expanded his analysis beyond science fiction to Right-wing books in general like the Left Behind series (minister Tim LaHaye’s and author Jerry Jenkins’ best-selling series dramatizing the apocalypse predicted in the Book of Revelation) and The Turner Diaries, William Pierce’s 1978 novel about a Right-wing revolution against a U.S. government dominated by Jews and socialists. Indeed, Miéville seemed to admire The Turner Diaries even though it’s not only an extremely Right-wing book (“a fascist dystopia,” he called it) but it’s not at all well written. [more...]
The Deej, when asked, responds to that first paragraph about Chosen Ones with the following: "What's wrong with special people saving the day? We can't all get picked first in P.E. class. So get over it."
FORBES INDIA ON PHILIP K. DICK
Pravin Palande discusses the popularity of Dick's ideas and his influences:
He was an ardent follower of the German philosopher Kant and felt that reality in itself is unknown to any sentient organism. His other influences were eastern philosophies like Zen Buddhism and Taosim, but one of his biggest influences was C.G. Jung, the German psychologist. PKD felt that the most productive ideas in science fiction come from alchemy, religion, Greek philosophy and Roman literature. He spent much of his time understanding eastern religions. And then he mixed it all up with LSD to explore his own understanding of what it means to be human. [more...]