Monday, July 12, 2010

MUST READ: Kim Stanley Robinson

UCSD Guestbook: Kim Stanley Robinson UCtelevision February 29, 2008

Dr. Robinson, who received both his B.A. and Ph.D. from UCSD, is a highly acclaimed writer of science fiction and science fiction criticism; the recipient of numerous major literary awards; and the author of 14 books (novels, short stories, criticism), including his multiple prize-winning "Mars" trilogy. Series: "UCSD Guestbook" [7/2000] [Humanities] [Show ID: 5001]

Bonus Kim Stanley Robinson Video: ‘We Are Living in a Science Fiction Novel That We All Collaborate On’

KSR describes life in the present as a science fiction novel we all collaborate on. This is an excerpt from a pair of talks he gave at the Duke in January; the entirety of the other talk is available here. Here's an exerpt:

KSR: I think it's very true that we are living in a science fiction novel that we all collaborate on, and it's because everything that science fiction was about through its historical named period, the twentieth century, has kind of come true. And also we live in a world that is so intensely structured by science and technology that we can't get out of it. If we were to get out of it would still be a science fiction move, the retreat to the farm. So it's hegemonic, you can't escape it, we're in that world created by science and technology is a website dedicated to the American author and thinker Kim Stanley Robinson, and to the discussion of his works.

Major Works:

The Mars trilogy: Red Mars (1992), Green Mars (1993), and Blue Mars (1996) deal with the first settlement and terraforming of the planet Mars by a group of scientists and engineers.

The Science in the Capital series: Forty Signs of Rain (2004), Fifty Degrees Below (2005), and Sixty Days and Counting (2007). This series explores the consequences of global warming, both on a global level and as it affects the main characters.

The Years of Rice and Salt (2002) is an alternate history in which the Black Plague wiped out 99 percent of the European population, leaving the world free for Asian expansion. It covers ten generations of history, focusing on the successive reincarnations of the same few characters as they pass through varying genders, social classes, and, in one notable example, species. (study guide)

Galileo's Dream (2009) describes the life of 17th century scientist and astronomer Galileo Galilei, and the far-future society living on the Galilean moons he discovered.

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