I’d like to introduce, Lissa Bilyk, author of ‘The Edge of Darkness,’ a futuristic, dystopian scifi novel with subjugated cyborgs who find a means to revolt. I love the sound of this, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to ask Lissa some questions related to this and her continuing participation in NaNoWrimo since it’s November again. Thanks Lissa …
1) ‘The Edge of Darkness’ is dystopian sci-fi, right – among other things? What’s your opinion about why dystopian realities have such appeal? Also, how did you make use of dystopian themes in the story, and what’s the effect you were looking for?
Lissa: I think that dystopians appeal to a lot of readers because ...
If I asked you what is the answer to the ultimate question, the question of life, the universe and everything, I expect you would already know the answer. It’s forty two. Simple. But now, what if I asked you to come up with a unified theory of how the universe works, something along the lines of the ultimate question (and answer). Any ideas?
The answer – my answer, anyway – is ‘imagination.’ It too is pretty simple, and yet even the most complex of theories are rooted in seemingly simple ideas...
Utopia Forever - Visions of Architecture and Urbanism. An inspirational exploration of utopias and radical approaches to city planning. Edited by Robert Klanten and Lukas Feireiss (available on amazon USA and UK .) ...
[...] Five themes govern the selection of projects. Great Scapes examines proposals of living in inhospitable spaces: deserts, caves, online, up in the sky, etc. As its name suggests the chapter Rising Tides is all about projects that responds to rising sea levels. Ecotopia Emerging presents projects that have distinctly (and at times, extreme) eco-conscious ideals. Technology Matters highlights the impact of innovation on the way architects envision utopia. The last section, Sky's the Limit engages with vertical architecture. [...]
The "fifth planet" is a hypothesized giant world that was flung out of our solar system 4 billion years ago.
Some recent simulations on how the Solar System was formed have indeed shown highly unlikely results when assuming 4 giant planets only (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune). But a much better outcome with a 5th planet.
Now, where is it? Somewhere wandering in the dark cold space within the Galaxy...
When I was about six or so, I realized that what separated humans from other animals was our intelligence rather than our physical capabilities. Sure, there are other differences, such as the degree of tool use, or the social aspects of our species and how we employ culture and altruism to lead to ever increasing success, but ultimately we’re smart critters. We figure out how to do really complicated things both as individuals and as groups working together. Silly me, I logically decided to focus on intellectual achievement.
The Rise of the Intelligent MachineHuffington Post UK (blog)This weekend in New York City, the Singularity Institute organised the 2011 Singularity Summit, an international gathering of scientist and futurologists.
[19 November, 2011 update: Anomaly has reached #95 on Amazon (last I checked) and #1 in science fiction. This is amazing for an indie author with only one other published book and being so new to the scene: literally just a few months.]
Peter Cawdron is a hard SF author of two recently released Indie titles, ‘Anomaly’ and ‘Out of time.’ Last week ‘Anomaly’ reached the #2 position in Amazon’s Hot New Releases in High Tech Science Fiction category! This is evidently a great achievement for an Indie author just starting out and would never have been remotely possible just a few years ago.
Peter has a long-standing interest in science and is very keen on incorporating science-related content and themes into his fiction; in addition, as you will see from what he says below, Peter has a firm handle on the nature and purpose of fiction; consequently, it will be no surprise that his style of hard SF is infused with an understanding of characterisation and storytelling that make his work compelling on many levels.
[...] Science fiction is never about the future and/or aliens — it's about the present and ourselves, as we are at that time. To me, it's fascinating to see how our imagined dealings with the alien have changed over the course of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Philip Jose Farmer and Theodore Sturgeon were the first writers that I knew of who wrote about xenophilia — loving the alien, if you will. I remember a very quiet story by Sturgeon in which an affair between an alien and a woman in a loveless marriage is thwarted by a matter of unfortunate proportions. The mores of the day meant Sturgeon could not be explicit, which actually makes the story that much more powerful: at the end, while the husband gives a patronising speech consoling his wife because he thinks the man in question is gay and cannot return her feelings, she stares at his arm resting on the table thinking, Yeah, that's just about the size of it. (Insert your own puny earth man joke here.) [...]
[...] To conclude, then, that this collection is almost more of historical interest than as extrapolative SF is no criticism: since contemporary mediascapes change so quickly, what else could it be? In fact, some of the best stories in the collection are actually those less accurate in their predictions, and generally less concerned in the first place with rigorous extrapolation about future technologies. For example, today we are effectively no closer than we were in 1967 to achieving the capacity to transmit personal emotions and a subjectively-experienced sensorium directly from one person's brain to another for commercial purposes, yet Kate Wilhelm's "Baby, You Were Great" does not suffer in quality simply because the technology it imagined shows no signs of arriving soon. The story works just as well on the level of metaphor as a meditation on media, celebrity, and the various forms of vicarious pleasure we obtain from our technologies—of the '60s and today—and the fantasies of access that those technologies permit. [...]