Science Feed

Oh Dear, The World Just Exploded

August 21, 2012 | Thomas | Comments (7)

Some of my favourite books were written after the world ended.

That is to say, I’m a huge fan Dystopic sci-fi, written about planets (often Earth) disfigured by some sort of calamity (usually the result of stupid, stupid humans) & struggling to regain some sort of balance.

The Drowned CitiesThis particular stream of Science Fiction has gained a whole pile of popularity with the recent phenomenal success of The Hunger Games, in which North America has been torn apart by a colossal and unidentified apocalyptic event. Similarly, Paolo Bacigalupi’s books Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities cast woefully young characters into an anarchic world created by massive global warming and resource depletion.

 The DroughtlandersCanada’s Carrie Mac (who I’ve mentioned before) has her own fantastic postapocalyptic series called The Droughtlanders, in which the hyper-rich have invented technology that controls the climate and rain. They sit in massively fortified cities in pockets of excess while the vast majority of the world slowly starves to death (and ferments plots of retribution).

The Future Dystopic novel is not a new genre by any means however. Margaret Atwood has written a whole pile of excellent "oh no, the world's all messed up" books including Oryx and Crake, about genetic engineering gone haywire. To go a little further back, the Cold War and the fear of Nuclear destruction A Canticle for Leibowitzproduced such gems as A Canticle For Leibowitz, in which Monks in the future try to piece together our past society from the remnants left over by colossal nuclear war.

All this to say that humanoid science fiction fans have long been able to read about their own demise. H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, about an alien attack on earth was written over a century ago, after all. As one of the first Science Fiction novels, it also serves as an important influence on the books about the world getting massively fracked to follow.

The Science Fiction genre is at its heart attuned to describing the potentials of intellectual and technological progress. As human’s scientific capacity has increased exponentially, so has our ability to destroy ourselves in new and novel ways. So I guess the twisted upside to our own self-destructive tendencies is that we get to read a whole pile of great books about the world ending!

Are you a fan of Postapocalyptic Science Fiction? Write a comment to share some of your favourites!

Speaking of Frankenstein...

August 14, 2012 | Alice | Comments (0)

This Dark EndeavourAs you may have figured from my review of This Dark Endeavour this morning, I'm loving it, and find the original Frankenstein story pretty fascinating, too. So. You can imagine I was pretty happy to find video of the author himself talking in more depth about the book, and about the story of Frankenstein. But I'm a giver, so I'm sharing these videos with you, too. (You're welcome! You can also find them on Kenneth Oppel's own website, here.)

First up, our author, Keneth Oppel, talks about the book:

Continue reading "Speaking of Frankenstein... " »

Canucks in Space: Canadian Science Fiction is Awesome! (Pt. 2)

August 6, 2012 | Thomas | Comments (2)

Canada space(This post is the second in a series about Canadian Science Fiction. Here's a link to the first post)

Its taken decades, but the Science Fiction genre has finally proven that its got a legitimate place in the world of high literature. The contributions of a small but incredibly talented group of Canadian writers have contributed to Sci Fi's nefound literary legitimacy.

In the last post, I talked a little about the authors that broke ground for a Canuck sci-fi rennaisance. In this post, I want to introduce y'all to some of the most innovative, exciting, creative and downright cool Speculative Fiction writers out there, who just happen to also hail from the Great White North.

Continue reading "Canucks in Space: Canadian Science Fiction is Awesome! (Pt. 2)" »

Canucks in Space: Canadian Science Fiction is Awesome! (Pt.1)

August 2, 2012 | Thomas | Comments (9)

William shatnerLittle known fact: Canadians write the best Science Fiction.

For decades, Science Fiction has been written off as a nerdy pulp genre, hardly meriting consideration as literature by 'serious' readers (y'know, the ones that get all choked up over Jane Eyre). Recently however, Sci fi has started to gain a foothold in the world of literary criticism, in part due to a wave of innovative writers that not only have challenged the "spaceships and rayguns" conventions that have dominated the genre for so long, but are also incredibly skilled wordsmiths.

And a heck of a lot of these writers are Canadian.

Continue reading "Canucks in Space: Canadian Science Fiction is Awesome! (Pt.1)" »

Wheels Of Change: How Women Rode The Bicycle To Freedom With A Few Flat Tires Along The Way

July 25, 2012 | Tara | Comments (2)

Wheels Of ChangeWheels of Change: how women rode the bicycle to freedon (with a few flat tires along the way)

by Sue Macy

Using a variety of photographs, advertisements, cartoons and songs, the reader is taken on a historical tour to see how women have used the bicycle to improve their lives. The book examines the invention of the bicycle, early safety concerns, objections to women riding bicycles and how the bicycle has influenced fashion and its impact on social change.

 

Continue reading "Wheels Of Change: How Women Rode The Bicycle To Freedom With A Few Flat Tires Along The Way" »

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