CALIFORNIA in/and SCIENCE FICTION
By Jonathan AlexanderAugust 15, 2013
CALIFORNIA IN SCIENCE FICTION: THE FUTURE IS HERE
California has long been a place that writers figure as a dreamland, a wide open frontier for the imagination, or a nightmare reality-check in which dreams meet the hard edges of concrete sprawl — a fantastical Disneyland of high-tech futures, as well as boom-and-bust-ridden ride of economic disparity, inflation, and excess. Little wonder that SF authors have worked many of their ideas through California — the place, the idea, the dream, the reality. This special collection of articles looks back at how the Golden State has fired both the utopic and dystopic imaginations of some of the most important SF writers of the last 50 years.
Organized by Jonathan Alexander, with Catherine Liu and Rob Latham
Building the Millenium Falcon for LEGOLAND California (Brick Journal)
JONATHAN ALEXANDER introduces the many SF authors who wrote about California (Philip K. Dick, Kim Stanley Robinson, Neal Stephenson, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Silverberg, Octavia E. Butler, and William Gibson), their themes, and their critics, followed by a conversation with PATRICK SHARP, SHERRYL VINT, VANDANA SINGH, CATHERINE LIU, and AUSTIN GROSSMAN. [Read More]
GREGORY BENFORD on science fiction and science in California, the role played by the University of California, the aircraft industry, the Jet Propulsion Lab, CalTech, and Silicon Valley, and how what he calls the Technopolis functions in his novels and those of others. [Read More]
KATHI INMAN BERENS and DAVIN HECKMAN on The LA Flood Project, a sprawling work of speculative fiction produced by the eight-person, Angeleno writing collective LAinundación. [Read More]
Anthropologist SAMUEL GERALD COLLINS reflects on the sprawling epic 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson, and the tools we have for imagining the future. [Read More]
ROB LATHAM on Jake Arnott's novel, The House of Rumor, and the technocultural pioneer, rocket scientist, CalTech professor, satanist, crypto-pagan, and science fiction fan, Jack Parsons. [Read More]
The West Coast Avengers, says MATTHEW WOLF-MEYER, were spawned by California's literature and its liberatory sexual politics, and they in turn generated much of the Marvel Comics universe that followed. [Read More]
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