Geoff Ryman, et al. – The Mundane Manifesto

I reproduce below the full text of “The Mundane Manifesto,” signed by Geoff Ryman and others from the 2004 Clarion West workshop (the complete list of workshop participants at the end of this post). The Manifesto argued for a science fiction that was squarely centered on humans and the future of planet Earth, including its

A short note on Borges’ “Pierre Menard, Author of Quixote”

The other day, while getting rid of some old papers which had been occupying the shelves for a while, I discovered a short piece I wrote about 6 years ago for a seminar on Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentine master. A search on my email folders gave me a soft-copy which I post today. This

The Aesthetic Effects of Science: Three Voices

Three voices in today’s post: Bertrand Russell on the aesthetic effects of science, Stanislaw Lem on the possibilities of science fiction, and, as the last word, Ursula LeGuin on science fiction as a “thought experiment”. All three describe, in different ways, the impact of science on the literary imagination, and thus raise awareness about science

Hugo Gernsback: The Father of SF?

In April 1926, Hugo Gernsback used the term “scientifiction” to refer to the content of his new magazine. In his profile piece on Gernsback in the September 1960 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories, Sam Moskowitz concludes his encomium thus: “‘His editorial in the first, April, 1926, AMAZING contained the statement, “Edgar Allan Poe may