Science Fiction

skinny

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Overblown piece of Hollywood horseshit. I can not wait to see it on the big screen in 3D while munching my $30 cup of corn kernels.

Good to see Arwen back in the game.
 
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I recommend Liu’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy and Folding Beijing, by Hao Jingfang.

Science fiction’s new golden age in China: what it means to the authors, many female, leading the way

Recent Hugo Awards for Liu Cixin and Hao Jingfang have shone spotlight on new generation of Chinese sci-fi writers; we talked to some about their hopes and the deeper meaning of their works at a recent Hong Kong conference

The science-fiction genre in China was little known before Liu Cixin was honoured with the Hugo Award for best novel in 2015 for The Three-Body Problem. The first book in Liu’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy, it tells of an alien invasion during the Cultural Revolution and has sold more than a million copies in China alone. The English translation was recommended by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to members of his book club, and praised by former US president Barack Obama as “wildly imaginative, really interesting”.

Last year, Liu’s compatriot Hao Jingfang earned a Hugo Award for Folding Beijing, in which the city is divided into zones, each with a different number of hours in the day.

Liu has been nominated for another Hugo Award this year, for the final episode in his trilogy, Death’s End.

The two winning books are now being adapted for the big screen in China, marking a turning point for Chinese sci-fi and potentially expanding the genre’s exposure globally.

Some 104 original sci-fi titles were published in China in 2016, compared to 75 the previous year, and 461 novelettes were released last year.

Author Regina Wang Kanyu, 27, a long-time sci-fi fan, has witnessed its growth in recent years. “It’s the golden age of Chinese science fiction,” she says. ...

http://www.scmp.com/culture/books/a...al&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Liu Cixin's trilogy and the real world advance of China.

As the standoff has intensified, Liu has become wary of touting the geopolitical underpinnings of his work. In November, when I accompanied him on a trip to Washington, D.C.—he was picking up the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation’s Award for Imagination in Service to Society—he briskly dismissed the idea that fiction could serve as commentary on history or on current affairs. “The whole point is to escape the real world!” he said. Still, the kind of reader he attracts suggests otherwise: Chinese tech entrepreneurs discuss the Hobbesian vision of the trilogy as a metaphor for cutthroat competition in the corporate world; other fans include Barack Obama, who met Liu in Beijing two years ago, and Mark Zuckerberg. Liu’s international career has become a source of national pride. In 2015, China’s then Vice-President, Li Yuanchao, invited Liu to Zhongnanhai—an off-limits complex of government accommodation sometimes compared to the Kremlin—to discuss the books and showed Liu his own copies, which were dense with highlights and annotations.

Liu’s tomes—they tend to be tomes—have been translated into more than twenty languages, and the trilogy has sold some eight million copies worldwide. He has won China’s highest honor for science-fiction writing, the Galaxy Award, nine times, and in 2015 he became the first Asian writer to win the Hugo Award, the most prestigious international science-fiction prize. In China, one of his stories has been a set text in the gao kao—the notoriously competitive college-entrance exams that determine the fate of ten million pupils annually; another has appeared in the national seventh-grade-curriculum textbook. When a reporter recently challenged Liu to answer the middle-school questions about the “meaning” and the “central themes” of his story, he didn’t get a single one right. “I’m a writer,” he told me, with a shrug. “I don’t begin with some conceit in mind. I’m just trying to tell a good story.”

The trilogy’s success has been credited with establishing sci-fi, once marginalized in China, as a mainstream taste. Liu believes that this trend signals a deeper shift in the Chinese mind-set—that technological advances have spurred a new excitement about the possibilities of cosmic exploration. The trilogy commands a huge following among aerospace engineers and cosmologists; one scientist wrote an explanatory guide, “The Physics of Three Body.” ...

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/...161694&esrc=&utm_content=B&utm_term=TNY_Daily
 

Mythopoeika

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Liu Cixin's trilogy and the real world advance of China.

As the standoff has intensified, Liu has become wary of touting the geopolitical underpinnings of his work. In November, when I accompanied him on a trip to Washington, D.C.—he was picking up the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation’s Award for Imagination in Service to Society—he briskly dismissed the idea that fiction could serve as commentary on history or on current affairs. “The whole point is to escape the real world!” he said. Still, the kind of reader he attracts suggests otherwise: Chinese tech entrepreneurs discuss the Hobbesian vision of the trilogy as a metaphor for cutthroat competition in the corporate world; other fans include Barack Obama, who met Liu in Beijing two years ago, and Mark Zuckerberg. Liu’s international career has become a source of national pride. In 2015, China’s then Vice-President, Li Yuanchao, invited Liu to Zhongnanhai—an off-limits complex of government accommodation sometimes compared to the Kremlin—to discuss the books and showed Liu his own copies, which were dense with highlights and annotations.

Liu’s tomes—they tend to be tomes—have been translated into more than twenty languages, and the trilogy has sold some eight million copies worldwide. He has won China’s highest honor for science-fiction writing, the Galaxy Award, nine times, and in 2015 he became the first Asian writer to win the Hugo Award, the most prestigious international science-fiction prize. In China, one of his stories has been a set text in the gao kao—the notoriously competitive college-entrance exams that determine the fate of ten million pupils annually; another has appeared in the national seventh-grade-curriculum textbook. When a reporter recently challenged Liu to answer the middle-school questions about the “meaning” and the “central themes” of his story, he didn’t get a single one right. “I’m a writer,” he told me, with a shrug. “I don’t begin with some conceit in mind. I’m just trying to tell a good story.”

The trilogy’s success has been credited with establishing sci-fi, once marginalized in China, as a mainstream taste. Liu believes that this trend signals a deeper shift in the Chinese mind-set—that technological advances have spurred a new excitement about the possibilities of cosmic exploration. The trilogy commands a huge following among aerospace engineers and cosmologists; one scientist wrote an explanatory guide, “The Physics of Three Body.” ...

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/...161694&esrc=&utm_content=B&utm_term=TNY_Daily
Maybe the Chinese should read Nineteen Eight-Four, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, Animal Farm...
 
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Maybe the Chinese should read Nineteen Eight-Four, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, Animal Farm...
If you haven't read the full article it's worth doing so. The journalist/interviewer is also Chinese but has lived in the US for 30 years. Different viewpoints.
 
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Yes it was crap wasn't it. 4 teenagers save the earth [temporarily]. The CGI was good, that's about all I can say for it. As to the story..
I didn't think it was that bad:

The Wandering Earth: Chinese SF epic. The Sun is ailing and will soon turn into a Red Giant. A worldwide effort builds engines to move The Earth to the Alpha Centauri System. As Scotty said: Ye Cannae Change The Laws of Physics! But lets suspend our sense of disbelief for a while. A space platform is built which will navigate the Earth and protect it from collisions etc. Seventeen years into the mission some of the engines fail and the Earth is in danger of crashing into Jupiter.

The action is centred around a taikonaut on the Space Platform and his family on Earth who are caught up in the efforts to repair the engines. Good effects in space, well imagined satellites and spaceships. The Earth based adventure is engaging as massive trucks race across the frozen Earth. About half of the world's population has perished as the Earth's rotation was stopped, the remainder living underground. Some of the CGI becomes a bit ropey at times but this is an engaging film. Based on the novella by Liu Cixin and directed by Frant Gwo, The Wandering Earth is on a par with the better Hollywood disaster movies. 7/10. On Netflix.

:
 

skinny

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Maybe the Chinese should read Nineteen Eight-Four, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, Animal Farm...
You can be quite sure the Ministry of Shitty Bastards would have had a team of lickspittles combing every line for hints of political and social notrightery. Probably why the author is so nervous about comparisons and western praise. Artistic fame in The Land of Paradise is a very very dubious honour. Just ask AWW. He's still waiting for his fingernails to grow back.
 

hunck

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I didn't think it was that bad:

The Wandering Earth: Chinese SF epic. The Sun is ailing and will soon turn into a Red Giant. A worldwide effort builds engines to move The Earth to the Alpha Centauri System. As Scotty said: Ye Cannae Change The Laws of Physics! But lets suspend our sense of disbelief for a while. A space platform is built which will navigate the Earth and protect it from collisions etc. Seventeen years into the mission some of the engines fail and the Earth is in danger of crashing into Jupiter.

The action is centred around a taikonaut on the Space Platform and his family on Earth who are caught up in the efforts to repair the engines. Good effects in space, well imagined satellites and spaceships. The Earth based adventure is engaging as massive trucks race across the frozen Earth. About half of the world's population has perished as the Earth's rotation was stopped, the remainder living underground. Some of the CGI becomes a bit ropey at times but this is an engaging film. Based on the novella by Liu Cixin and directed by Frant Gwo, The Wandering Earth is on a par with the better Hollywood disaster movies. 7/10. On Netflix.

:
We'll have to agree to disagree. Let's be honest, the plot is preposterous. I thought

It would've been better had it ended a half hour earlier when the earth was doomed after trying everything. Would've made it a darker film. Instead it suddenly goes Hollywood with 4 teenager tech wizards getting their arse into gear & saving the world. For a while.
 

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It's a crying shame what the Chinese Govt have done to the Hong Kong cinema industry since 1997. The Wandering Earth was diabolical, it made the physics in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle look like a Professor Brian Cox lecture.
 
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It's a crying shame what the Chinese Govt have done to the Hong Kong cinema industry since 1997. The Wandering Earth was diabolical, it made the physics in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle look like a Professor Brian Cox lecture.
Well I did say: Ye Cannae Chane The Laws Of Physics!

I found it entertaining though.
 

GNC

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Don't get me wrong, I can enjoy a stupid movie with the best of them, but mix that with a smug, know it all tone when they plainly knew nothing other than their way around a CGI program or two, and it starts to get on the nerves. I don't mean all sci-fi has to be scientifically flawless, there wouldn't be much of it left if it did, but the determination to be so wrong and then pretend to be very clever about it made the film practically unwatchable.

I am aware Chinese fantasy is a stronger genre than Chinese science fiction, though.
 

brownmane

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Don't get me wrong, I can enjoy a stupid movie with the best of them, but mix that with a smug, know it all tone when they plainly knew nothing other than their way around a CGI program or two, and it starts to get on the nerves. I don't mean all sci-fi has to be scientifically flawless, there wouldn't be much of it left if it did, but the determination to be so wrong and then pretend to be very clever about it made the film practically unwatchable.

I am aware Chinese fantasy is a stronger genre than Chinese science fiction, though.
As long as an author can establish and maintain the logic set up in a story, I can enjoy a tale that would not possibly happen. When a writer does not establish a clear logic and the characters and setting continually react against the set up premise/logic, then I find a story like that unreadable.

Unless it is "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy":D
 

Yithian

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Brief but interesting article on Arthur C Clarke and his predictions of the future:

Arthur C Clarke was never one to hide his light under a bushel. He referred to his office as his ‘ego chamber’ and bought an English manor house to accommodate his archives, aka the ‘Clarkives’. And yet, when it came to imagining the future, he adamantly refused to take credit for any predictions. The internet, 3D printers, email: he may have described them all long before they existed, but these were not predictions. They were, he insisted, extrapolations.

Terminology aside, Clarke arguably did more than any other author since HG Wells and Jules Verne to catapult his mind into the future, taking a vast global readership along with him for the invariably wild ride. As a science writer, he conjured up the idea of a ‘personal transceiver’ small enough to be carried about, enabling contact with anyone in the world and also featuring global positioning, making getting lost a thing of the past. That essay was written back in 1959, and what he was essentially describing was the mobile phone.

Full Article:
http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20190621-the-man-who-created-our-vision-of-space
 

INT21

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You seem to forget E.M. Forster.

'The Machine Stops' has lots of modern things in it. Skype in particular. And it was written in the thirties. And also the dire warning of what may happen when the machine does indeed stop; when The internet of Things crashes.

INT21.
 
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I'll definitely get the paperback.

The Future Is Female!: 25 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women, from Pulp Pioneers to Ursula K. Le Guin

edited by Lisa Yaszek
Library of America, 530 pp., $27.95

... Three years before Weinbaum’s Martian adventure, Leslie F. Stone published “The Conquest of Gola” in the April 1931 issue of the science-fiction pulp magazine Wonder Stories. This was not Stone’s first published story, but it became her best known. Gola is a planet ruled by a gentle civilization of telepathic nonhumanoid females with movable eyes and sensory functions available on all parts of their round, golden-fur-covered bodies. The males of the planet are docile pleasure-consorts. Into this edenic world plunges a cadre of Earth men who desire “exploration and exploitation.” The queen rejects their plea for trade and tourism. She isn’t just dismissive of what she feels are the Earthlings’ barbarian mentality and low-grade intelligence; she simply can’t be bothered to take them seriously. “To think of mere man-things daring to attempt to force themselves upon us,” she says. “What is the universe coming to?” Rebuffed, the Earth men launch a full invasion; the Golans (who narrate the tale) obliterate them. End of story. A case study in thinking better than men but not like men.

“The Conquest of Gola” is one of the twenty-five SF tales written by women that are collected in the enjoyable new anthology The Future Is Female, edited by Lisa Yaszek, a professor of science fiction at Georgia Tech. It encompasses the genre’s pulp years (1926–1940) and the so-called Golden Age (approximately 1940–1960), and ends just before the emergence of feminist SF in the 1970s. The anthology dispels the commonly held belief that women didn’t participate much in science fiction before the Seventies and argues that a category of fiction often thought to be socially retrograde, technologically fetishistic, and poorly written is in fact rich in style and humanity. Not every story in the anthology serves this argument—Katherine MacLean’s colonization tale “Contagion” (1950) is about as socially daring as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Leigh Brackett’s well-meaning “All the Colors of the Rainbow” (1957), set in the Jim Crow South, simply exchanges dark-skinned humans for green-skinned aliens, only with a slightly better outcome. But many offer potent reminders that, as N.K. Jemisin put it in her incendiary Hugo Award acceptance speech last year, “Science fiction and fantasy are microcosms of the wider world, in no way rarefied from the world’s pettiness or prejudice.” ...

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/07/18/universe-of-ones-own-women-science-fiction/
 

James_H

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Maybe the Chinese should read Nineteen Eight-Four, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, Animal Farm...
It's worth seeking out a volume called 'invisible planets', a collection of contemporary Chinese SF short stories translated by Ken Liu. Certainly for the time being writers are getting away with writing dystopias.

The flip side of that is that liu cixin's work implies that totalitarianism is necessary for the world of the future. He's seen as the generation above the current crop of young SF writers in China though.

I met some Chinese SF writers once, and apart from the surprise that they were all beautiful young women (goes against my stereotypes), a lot of them seemed to have jobs with companies like tencent, presumably as 'ideas guys'.

The Chinese SF scene sprung out of Chengdu, where a magazine called 'science fiction world' is published. In its early days it reprinted (unauthorized) translations of classic short stories from Western writers, which had a big influence on the next generation of Chinese writers.

On an unrelated note I've finally started reading gene Wolfe's book of the new sun. Only a hundred pages in but I love it. So far it reminds me of the shadowy, guildy world of Pratchett's ankh morpork books, but without the annoying jokes.
 

Mythopoeika

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The flip side of that is that liu cixin's work implies that totalitarianism is necessary for the world of the future. He's seen as the generation above the current crop of young SF writers in China though.
It's probably true, looking at the logic, that the only way to have something important done (environment, population) is to have it imposed on people.

On an unrelated note I've finally started reading gene Wolfe's book of the new sun. Only a hundred pages in but I love it. So far it reminds me of the shadowy, guildy world of Pratchett's ankh morpork books, but without the annoying jokes.
It's a great set of works. Wolfe was a genius.
 
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On an unrelated note I've finally started reading gene Wolfe's book of the new sun. Only a hundred pages in but I love it. So far it reminds me of the shadowy, guildy world of Pratchett's ankh morpork books, but without the annoying jokes.
It's a great set of works. Wolfe was a genius.
Yes and yes.
 
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It's worth seeking out a volume called 'invisible planets', a collection of contemporary Chinese SF short stories translated by Ken Liu. Certainly for the time being writers are getting away with writing dystopias.

The flip side of that is that liu cixin's work implies that totalitarianism is necessary for the world of the future. He's seen as the generation above the current crop of young SF writers in China though.

I met some Chinese SF writers once, and apart from the surprise that they were all beautiful young women (goes against my stereotypes), a lot of them seemed to have jobs with companies like tencent, presumably as 'ideas guys'.

The Chinese SF scene sprung out of Chengdu, where a magazine called 'science fiction world' is published. In its early days it reprinted (unauthorized) translations of classic short stories from Western writers, which had a big influence on the next generation of Chinese writers.

On an unrelated note I've finally started reading gene Wolfe's book of the new sun. Only a hundred pages in but I love it. So far it reminds me of the shadowy, guildy world of Pratchett's ankh morpork books, but without the annoying jokes.
And now a new collection of translations by Ken Liu.

TRANSLATED BY KEN LIU, Broken Stars is a welcome second collection of 16 Chinese speculative fiction short stories and three short essays recounting the genre’s recent cultural and academic prominence. The volume gives voice to an eclectic group, serving as a who’s who of SF authors, critics, and other anchors in China’s burgeoning SF culture industry brought to Anglophone audiences by Ken Liu’s deft translation. The eclecticism of these works provides testament to the breadth, allure, and challenges of Chinese-language SF as a genre that miraculously thrives even in the repressive atmosphere of the Xi Jinping era.

It’s not hyperbole to say that without Ken Liu and his Herculean efforts in translation, Chinese SF would not exist — or at least it would not exist in its current state. When Ken Liu’s 2014 translation of Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem (2008) won the Hugo Award in 2015, not only was it the first Chinese work awarded the honor, it was the first work in translation from any language to be lauded so. At some point in the past decade, Chinese SF went from “having a moment” to “enjoying its golden age,” and if 2015 wasn’t the exact moment that shift happened, it was certainly when the translation heard round the world was sounded. The Three-Body Problem’s award signaled the significance of Chinese SF to many Anglophone readers for the first time, but equally important was its reaffirmation of Chinese SF for local readers. Liu’s translation has in turn been the source for the novel’s translations into other languages, putting Liu at the vanguard of Chinese SF’s march toward the world. Within hours of the award announcement, domestic internet searches and sales of both the first book and of Liu Cixin’s whole 2008–2010 trilogy increased more than tenfold. Publishing houses and state institutions like the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China redoubled their efforts using SF as a vehicle for promoting China’s “peaceful rise,” and have identified SF as a key aspect of their propaganda and publicity campaigns. ...

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/dispatches-from-the-future-of-a-new-china/#!
 
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Interesting review/essay.

American Science Fiction: Eight Classic Novels of the 1960s
By Gary K. Wolfe
Published 11.05.2019
Library of America
1500 Pages

An Uneven Showcase of 1960s SF
By Rob Latham

... And Gary K. Wolfe, in 2012, assembled two volumes of 1950s novels by Robert Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, Alfred Bester, Leigh Brackett, and other SF authors. While such compendia raised the question of whether some of these talents should have received their own individual volumes, they nonetheless effectively showcased the kind of ambitious, provocative work that had long been marketed and consumed as popular fiction.

Now, the Library of America has released a second two-volume set edited by Wolfe, gathering eight “Classic [SF] Novels of the 1960s.” Since Wolfe is one of the genre’s most celebrated critics, author of the important study The Known and the Unknown: The Iconography of Science Fiction (1979) and for many years lead reviewer for the trade journal Locus, and because the 1960s was one of the most consequential — and controversial — decades in SF history, I was really looking forward to this collection when it was first announced. Even though I had already read seven of the eight novels it contained, having the chance to sample them again in this context, enshrined as the cream of a very rich crop, promised to be an exciting and gratifying experience. So why was I ultimately so disappointed?

The shortcomings of this set derive, in large part, from constraints not wholly of the editor’s making. Probably because the press wanted to extend its coverage as much as possible, a decision was made to exclude writers who had been featured in the earlier 1950s volumes, meaning that talents who continued to produce compelling work into the subsequent decade — Heinlein, Fritz Leiber, James Blish, Frederik Pohl — were programmatically passed over. At the same time, major authors whose work has come to define the 1960s, but who were already spotlighted in single-author collections, were barred as well: hence, this set does not include Dick’s The Man in the High Castle (1962) or Ubik (1969), Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), or Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle (1963) or Slaughterhouse-Five (1969). And the goal of gathering as many texts as possible into two manageable volumes meant that exceptionally long books could not be chosen, which ruled out the novel often voted by fans as the best ever written in the genre, Frank Herbert’s Dune (1965). ...

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/uneven-showcase-1960s-sf/
 
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I can't seem to get away from wild boars today.

His Novels of Planetary Devastation Will Make You Want to Survive
Jeff VanderMeer, the author of “Annihilation,” brings us fresh horrors with each new book. So why does he remain an optimist?

Jeff VanderMeer was hiking the grassy, swamp-lined pathways of a wildlife refuge outside Tallahassee, Fla., a few years ago when he and a friend found themselves in the path of a charging wild boar. The area is a sea-level palimpsest of wetland and plains, all damp grass and grassy water, much of it as flat as the Serengeti — which made it possible for them to see the animal coming from across a vast, but still alarming, distance.

As the boar barreled toward them, growing slowly but irreversibly larger, VanderMeer felt his fight-or-flight reflexes stir — yet he and his companion still had plenty of time to discuss: Should they run, counting on the boar to wear itself out and lose speed over time? Would it be better to dive off the path and into the abutting reeds, or would they be pursued, forced to defend themselves against a full-grown, razor-toothed hog? Over a half-million feral pigs populate the backwoods of Florida, many the mottled-brown descendants of those brought to North America in 1539 by conquistadors, and though it wasn’t unusual to see them out scavenging peacefully during the day, articles about trappers whose legs had been sliced open by their sharp, curved tusks regularly surfaced in the local news. Eventually, VanderMeer and his friend decided to stand their ground, hoisting their packs like weapons — but then, the boar veered unexpectedly off the path, crashing through the thick stand of reeds and grasses and vanishing into the marsh.

The experience inspired a scene early in “Annihilation” (2014), the first volume of VanderMeer’s breakout novel trilogy “The Southern Reach.” In the book (which was made into a film starring Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac), a small band of women known by only their professional designations (“the biologist,” “the surveyor,” “the psychologist”) explore Area X, a mysterious, expanding zone within which the laws of nature have taken on an alien and forbidding aspect. As the group makes for their camp, they are charged from a distance by an enormous wild hog, the team’s first encounter with the modified fauna of the area. Readying their rifles and long knives as the creature draws closer, their leader shouts orders: Don’t get close to it! Don’t let it touch you! One member of the party, an anthropologist, falls victim to a fit of nervous giggling at “the absurdity of an emergency situation that was taking so long to develop.” As in VanderMeer’s real-life encounter, the beast suddenly turns from the group and disappears into the swampland, and the novel’s narrator notes its strange posture, “its head willfully pulled to the left as if there were an invisible bridle” and its expression “somehow contorted, as if the beast was dealing with an extreme of inner torment.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/12/magazine/jeff-vandermeer-dead-astronauts.html
 
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An interview with Neal Asher.

Asimov’s Editor: What is the story behind this piece?

NA: Again, as is usual with me, I was ahead of my publishing contract with Macmillan having one book, The Human (third book of the Rise of the Jain trilogy), ready, bar a bit of editing, for publication almost a year before I needed to hand it in. I’ve wanted to return to writing more short stories for some time, since it was through them I got my first stuff published. I also feel that the change, the discipline and the necessity for brevity are good for my writing. I can explore stuff outside of my long-running space opera series too. It also makes good business sense to expose readers who might not have heard of me to my stuff. And opportunities had arisen (which I can’t talk about) concerning the TV streaming services. So I started writing some more short stories.

AE: How did this story germinate? Was there a spark of inspiration, or did it come to you slowly?

NA: I am lucky enough to spend half of my year on the island of Crete and there, besides kayaking and swimming, I spend a lot of time walking in the beautiful mountains. One of the advantages of only needing a laptop, or even just pen and paper to do your job, is that you can do it anywhere. Being an SF writer, I of course visualized all sorts of sensawunda stuff in those mountains: starships in the sky, alien plants growing amidst the rest, some places where you could think you were on an alien world, how the walk would be while installed in a new Golem chassis and, of course, an alien landing there. This last was the one I took—a very tiny spark of inspiration—and expanded. As they say: ten percent inspiration, ninety percent perspiration.

https://fromearthtothestars.com/2019/12/18/qa-with-neal-asher/
 
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