Over the past three days, I worked with my City Tech colleagues–Laura Westengard, Lavelle Porter, and Lucas Kwong–and student–Jessica Roman–to inventory the City Tech Science Fiction Collection. Two years ago, I began the collection’s finding aid by cataloging the 4,000+ magazines. Last year, I inventoried the collection’s nearly 1,700 monographs and anthologies. This year, we are creating an inventory of the remaining parts of the collection: scholarly journals and novels. Read details of our progress on the Science Fiction at City Tech OpenLab site here.
I received another eBay find today: Interzone issue 14 (Winter 1985/1986). This is a special magazine issue for me, because it contains “The New Science Fiction” manifesto by Vincent Omniaveritas (pseudonym for the science fiction writer and activist Bruce Sterling; his alter ego also appears as publisher of the zine Cheap Truth–read scanned issues here or text of each issue here).
Originally published in the Puerto Rican fanzine Warhoon, this hard-hitting call-to-arms advocates that, “We must create the native literature of a post-industrial society” (40).
This isn’t necessarily a manifesto for the movement known as cyberpunk, but many cyberpunk works fit. Instead, it is a larger artistic movement, which he describes thus at the end of the essay:
What, in short, is the New Science Fiction? How do you write it, how do you recognize it?
First, it is not the property of any editor, clique, publisher, or regional or national association. It is not a question of personal influence, creative writing classes, or apprenticeship to genre gurus. It is a question of approach, of technique. And these are its trademarks:
(1) Technological literacy, and a concern with genuine modern science as opposed to the hand-me-down pseudoscience guff of past decades.
(2) Imaginative concentration, in which extrapolations are thoroughly and originally worked out rather than patched together from previous notions.
(3) Visionary intensity, with a bold, no-holds-barred approach to sf’s mind-expanding potential.
(4) A global, 21st-century point of view, which is not bound by the assumptions of middle-aged, middle-class white American males.
(5) A fictional technique which takes the advances of the new Wave as already given, using the full range of literary craftsmanship, yet asserting the primacy of content over style and meaning over mannerism.
The New Science Fiction is a process, directed toward a goal. It is an artistic movement in the fullest sense of the word. It is the hard work of dedicated artists, who know their work is worthwhile, who treat it as such, and who push themselves to the limit in pursuit of excellent.
And it is for real. (Omniaveritas 40)
The entire manifesto is worth reading–for its historical significance, its ideas for the New Science Fiction, and its prize-fighter-like style of sending its message home blow-after-blow. You can find a copy on Archive.org’s Internet Wayback Machine here.
Omniaveritas, Vincent (Bruce Sterling). “The New Science Fiction.” Interzone. No. 14 (1985), pp. 39-40.
I first met Marleen in 2006 at my first Science Fiction Research Association Conference in White Plains, New York. She and I were on the same panel. As you might imagine, I, having just graduated with a B.S. from Georgia Tech, was a bit nervous presenting in front of an audience of professional scholars. Marleen gave me words of advice and encouraged me. Since then, she and I have worked together on different projects, such as The Postnational Fantasy, which includes an essay by her, and her two consecutive presentations at the first and second City Tech Science Fiction Symposia. In addition to these personal anecdotes, Marleen is, of course, a scholar and writer whose work has been instrumental to the on-going development of science fiction studies and deservedly earned her recognition and awards, including the SFRA’s prestigious Pilgrim Award for Lifetime Achievement. Now, she has a new work of science fiction–a collection of parodic short stories–featuring the United States’ current president. Read below for details about this new collection and how to order it from the publisher B Cubed Press.
Award winning feminist science fiction scholar and writer Marleen S. Barr brings you The Feminist Science Fiction Justice League Quashes the Orange Outrage Pussy Grabber: Political Power Fantasy Fiction (forthcoming from B Cubed Press). This book, the world’s first single-authored satirical Trump-focused short story collection, is a guide to the Trump revenge fantasy galaxy. Barr turns to fiction to move beyond wishing for Trump’s impeachment. She subjects our President to close encounters with feminist extraterrestrials, alternative Hillary winning history, Godzilla-esque male metamorphosis, lock up in the Phantom Zone—and that’s on a good day. In the end, Barr transports Trump to a galaxy far far away from us. Those who recoil at pussy grabbing need to grab this laugh out loud funny groundbreaking feminist power fantasy. Liberals will rate it a ten. Will Trump call science fiction a fake book? Will he expect feminist extraterrestrials to characterize him as a very stable genius? Parody is powerful! Books can be ordered at https://bcubedpress.com/contact/.
Rob Latham sent the following announcement and table of contents to the SFRA email list for The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction. It looks like an amazing lineup of stories, and I can’t wait to see the final product when it is released late Summer 2010.
The editors of Science Fiction Studies are pleased and proud to announce the imminent publication of a project we have been working on for some years. The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction is designed to provide a historical survey of the genre and includes 52 works ranging from Hawthorne’s “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” published in 1844, to Ted Chiang’s “Exhalation”(2008). The chronological table of contents follows; the anthology will also include a thematic table of contents that divides the stories into nine themes: Alien Encounters, Apocalypse and Post-Apocalypse, Artificial/Posthuman Lifeforms, Computers and Virtual Reality, Evolution and Environment, Gender and Sexuality, Time Travel and Alternate History, Utopias/Dystopias, and War and Conflict. An introduction offers historical and theoretical guidance to readers of sf, and individual headnotes for each text provide an overview of each author’s life and characteristic concerns as a writer, as well as historical/contextual information.
While we believe that the Wesleyan Anthology of SF will supply an abundance of reading pleasure for anyone interested in the genre, the work is geared for classroom use as well. Concurrent with the book’s publication, we will be launching a website to provide supplementary materials, including study questions for each story, possible topics for essays and exams, sample syllabi based on the anthology’s contents, and links to other online resources. Wesleyan has announced the book for August 2010, so we believe that it will be available for use in classes beginning in the Fall. If you are scheduled to teach a course in sf during the coming year, we hope that you will consider adopting the book; the paperback edition will be priced at $39.95.
Table of Contents
Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Rappaccini’s Daughter” (1844)
Jules Verne, excerpt from Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864)
H. G. Wells, “The Star” (1897)
E. M. Forster, “The Machine Stops” (1909)
Edmond Hamilton, “The Man Who Evolved” (1931)
Leslie F. Stone, “The Conquest of Gola” (1931)
C. L. Moore, “Shambleau” (1933)
Stanley Weinbaum, “A Martian Odyssey” (1934)
Isaac Asimov, “Reason” (1941)
Clifford Simak, “Desertion” (1944)
Theodore Sturgeon, “Thunder and Roses” (1947)
Judith Merril, “That Only a Mother” (1948)
Fritz Leiber, “Coming Attraction” (1950)
Ray Bradbury, “There Will Come Soft Rains” (1950)
Arthur C. Clarke, “The Sentinel” (1951)
Robert Sheckley, “Specialist” (1953)
William Tenn, “The Liberation of Earth” (1953)
Alfred Bester, “Fondly Fahrenheit” (1954)
Avram Davidson, “The Golem” (1955)
Cordwainer Smith, “The Game of Rat and Dragon” (1955)
Robert Heinlein, “All You Zombies—” (1959)
J.G. Ballard, “The Cage of Sand” (1962)
R. A. Lafferty, “Slow Tuesday Night” (1965)
Harlan Ellison, “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman” (1965)
Frederik Pohl, “Day Million” (1966)
Philip K. Dick, “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” (1966)
Samuel R. Delany, “Aye, and Gomorrah…” (1967)
Pamela Zoline, “The Heat Death of the Universe” (1967)
Robert Silverberg, “Passengers” (1968)
Brian Aldiss, “Supertoys Last All Summer Long” (1969)
Ursula K. Le Guin, “Nine Lives” (1969)
Frank Herbert, “Seed Stock” (1970)
Stanislaw Lem, “The Seventh Voyage” from The Star Diaries (1971)
Joanna Russ, “When It Changed” (1972)
James Tiptree, Jr., “And I Awoke and Found Me Here On the Cold Hill’s Side” (1973)
John Varley, “Air Raid” (1977)
Carol Emshwiller, “Abominable” (1980)
William Gibson, “Burning Chrome” (1981)
Octavia Butler, “Speech Sounds” (1983)
Nancy Kress, “Out of All Them Bright Stars” (1985)
Pat Cadigan, “Pretty Boy Crossover” (1986)
Kate Wilhelm, “Forever Yours, Anna” (1987)
Bruce Sterling, “We See Things Differently” (1989)
Misha Nogha, “Chippoke Na Gomi” (1989)
Eileen Gunn, “Computer Friendly” (1989)
John Kessel, “Invaders” (1990)
Gene Wolfe, “Useful Phrases” (1992)
Greg Egan, “Closer” (1992)
James Patrick Kelly, “Think Like a Dinosaur” (1995)
Geoff Ryman, “Everywhere” (1999)
Charles Stross, “Rogue Farm” (2003)
Ted Chiang, “Exhalation” (2008)
The Georgia Tech Sci Fi Lab Radio Program #3 is on Sunday night at 7:00pm on WREK FM91.1 in Atlanta, Georgia. The program’s theme is music and SF. I’ll be reading a review of Brasyl from SFRA Review #282, and a bit about music and textual SF works (I’ll post my segement on Dynamic Subspace over the weekend).
Here’s the full announcement from Lisa Yaszek:
I’m pleased to announce that WREK will broadcast the third episode of The Sci Fi on Sunday, November 25 from 7-9 pm. Please pass along the good word, and be sure to tune in for “the best of everything sci fi”!
The Sci Fi Lab is a joint production of WREK and Georgia Tech’s School of Literature, Communication, and Culture. Sunday’s episode focuses on science fiction music and will include interviews with Michael Liebmann of the Greater Atlanta Filkers and Prof. Jason Freeman of Georgia Tech’s music technology program, a feature on _Forbidden Planet_, and lots of moog and theremin music.
Those of you living in the Atlanta metro area can tune in live on 91.1 FM. Our long distance friends can stream the show from http://www.wrek.org. It will also be available for your listening pleasure in the WREK archives for one week after the live broadcast (check us out under “Sunday Special”). After that, you’ll be able to download mp3s of the show from the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture <http://www.lcc.gatech.edu/stac/creativeprojects.php> and Nophi Recordings <http://www.nophi.net/>.
Like the announcement says, if you aren’t in the Atlanta area, please check out the program online at wrek.org.