|The Early Days of a Better Nation|
Tuesday, January 07, 2020
Zero Books, 2016
It can be disconcerting to read a book that upends your way of looking at the world. It's even more disconcerting when that book claims your own work as part of its inspiration. About which, more later.
The book's title and Soviet-kitsch cover are deeply ironic: baiting for some, and bait for others. In the alternate-history world Cunliffe imagines, Lenin is almost forgotten, because he succeeded. (It's tempting to add 'beyond his wildest dreams' but success beyond Lenin's wildest dreams would have meant spreading the revolution to the canal-builders of Mars.)
For what Lenin and the Bolsheviks set out to do in 1917 was to detonate an international, indeed global, revolution. This was an immediate perspective, where revolutionary romanticism meant staking all on the world revolution breaking out next week, while sober realism meant bearing in mind that it might be delayed for a few more months. In fact even the realists were too optimistic: it was delayed for a whole year. In November 1918 the red flags went up over the naval base at Kiel, and flew over all Germany within days. And then...
Well, everybody knows.
But what if the grip of German Social Democratic reformism had been that little bit shakier, and the revolutionary Left that little bit better organised and luckier? Cunliffe speculates on what sort of world might now exist, and how it might have come about, if the revolution that began in Russia had not only spread – as it did – but won, as it didn't.
In this missed turn of history, a decade or so of wars and civil wars see the capitalist core countries having gone socialist. The major independent underdeveloped countries have gone democratic, and the former colonial holdings have mostly opted to remain in loose voluntary federations that have replaced the empires. It's not all plain sailing but the resulting democratic workers' states of Europe and America are much less repressive than Bolshevik, let alone Stalinist, Russia was in our world. Planning emerges from increasing coordination (as indeed it did under the New Economic Policy) rather central imposition. Industrialisation proceeds at a brisk but measured, rather than a frantic, pace. Art, science, culture and personal freedom flourish. This is a world with no fascism or Stalinism, no Depression and no Second World War. Whether or not the reader finds it feasible or desirable, it's attractively and vigorously portrayed.
Cunliffe's alternate history has no decisive moment (no Jonbar Point, to use the science-fictional term) that I can see. Instead, the international revolutionary working-class movement (which, as Cunliffe usefully and repeatedly reminds us) actually did exist at the time is imagined as having been just a little bit stronger in arm and clearer in mind than it was in our world. It's by no means an unrealistic speculation. Even in our world, it was a close-run thing. So close, in fact, that stamping out every last smouldering ember of world revolution took tens of years and tens of millions of lives. But its suppression is now, at last, complete.
E. H. Carr, in an article or interview for New Left Review, remarked that all of Marx's predictions had come true, except for the proletarian revolution. Cunliffe's view is gloomier: he thinks that they all came true, including the revolution. It really happened, in 1917-1923, and the revolutionaries bungled it.
When most readers of the Communist Manifesto encounter the passage about how throughout history classes have waged 'an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in the revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes' the example that springs to mind is the Fall of the Roman Empire to the barbarians. What Marx and Engels were really alluding to, Cunliffe argues, was subtly different: the Fall of the Republic, rather than the Fall of the Empire. It was the class struggles of patrician and plebeian in the Roman Republic that ended in mutual ruination, and stymied any chance of further progress centuries before the Empire fell.
If readers of the Manifesto are socialists, the common ruin they envisage for bourgeoisie and proletariat is a nuclear war or environmental catastrophe. No such luck, Cunliffe tells us: the common ruin has already happened. The class struggle between bourgeoisie and proletariat is over. The good guys lost. Get over it.
But the non-socialist reader can take no comfort. The suppression of communism, Cunliffe claims, undermined capitalism, sapping its economic dynamism and political stability. With no competing model – however unattractive in many respects – to keep it on its toes, capitalism becomes a couch potato. With no union militancy and shop-floor organisation to contend with, capitalists have less incentive to innovate and rationalise. With no need to integrate the working class in the affairs of state, mass political participation and engagement have been texted their redundancy notices.
The result, however, is that the elites and the rest of the population are more mutually alienated than they ever were in the class struggle. To the political class and state authorities, the ideas and attitudes of the underlying multitude are as a dark continent, viewed with alarm and suspicion, alternately patronised and deplored. Unmoored from the clash of material interests, politics drifts into a Sargasso Sea of slowly, pointlessly, endlessly swirling debris. Debate degenerates into a grandstanding narcissism of small differences around an elite consensus dedicated solely to keeping the show on the road. Political apathy and populist eruptions are its morbid symptoms. The ruin was mutual, and the ruins are where we must henceforth live.
This exhausted order could in principle totter along indefinitely, were it not for the instabilities, internal and external, that result. The political and moral authority of the state quietly unravels, even as its hard power and reach expand. As Britain's riots of 2011 starkly exposed, social order itself can dissipate overnight. And the quest for moral authority at home is transmitted all too easily into rash adventuring abroad, in the name of democratic and liberal values. To explain, say, the Iraq war as motivated by strategic or economic concerns, a 'war for oil', as leftists are wont to do, is misconceived. There's no underlying interest to expose: the war's liberal-democratic rationalisation really is what it's all about. As Tony Blair said: 'It's worse than you think. I believe in it.'
Readers of my own novels, particularly the Fall Revolution books and some of the more recent ones such as Intrusion and Descent, may find some of the themes outlined above familiar. In the early 1990s when I started writing my first novel, I was convinced that the Left had suffered a whopping, world-historic defeat with the fall of the Soviet bloc regardless of how critical or even hostile they had been to it. However, I did expect that this defeat would in time be overcome.
[Added 10 Jan 2020 The controversial magazine Living Marxism (which became LM and then Sp!ked) spelled out the depth of the defeat and its consequences forcefully in the 1990s, and naturally I paid attention. Cunliffe seems to have drawn on that school of thought too, and in fact has spelled out its logic in Marxist terms more clearly than most. Hence, I think, any parallels. As Cunliffe has kindly clarified, the main source of inspiration in my work for Lenin Lives! was the alt-history novella The Human Front, which doesn't deal with these themes at all.]
Whatever else it does, Lenin Lives! answers a question that has baffled better minds than mine: how on earth did a splinter of the far left mutate into a cadre of contrarian libertarian Brexiters? Two lines of explanation are often explored. The first is that they remain revolutionary communists under deep cover, engaged in some nefarious long-term scheme. The second is that they have been themselves subverted, suborned by the corporations from which they receive funding. I could go into the various reasons why both are wide of the mark, but I've already gone on long enough. By now you can figure it out for yourself:
It's worse than you think. They really believe in it.
Tuesday, December 31, 2019
So if you wanted to know what I thought about Brexit, Trump, Corbyn etc you'd have to look at my Twitter feed. Even on Twitter, I've more or less stopped arguing. Life's too short and I have books to write. But I should have said more here about recent developments in Britain while they were happening.
I registered as a supporter of the Labour Party in time to vote for Jeremy Corbyn. I joined in time to vote for Richard Leonard. And I've been reasonably active locally since, knocking on doors and going to meetings. Inverclyde, the constituency where I live, used to be solid Labour and is now solidly SNP. After a massive swing to the SNP in 2015, the gap narrowed to a few hundred in 2017. We worked very hard to close it over the past couple of years and harder still in the election campaign, to be rewarded by a vastly increased SNP majority.
As for the rest of the UK...
Leave was England's Yes.
Monday, November 18, 2019
I returned just over a week ago from eight days in Beijing, courtesy of the China Association for Science and Technology, which on Sunday November 3 held the China Sci-Fi Convention 2019. My airfare, and our hotel stay during the convention weekend and some incidental expenses, were covered by CAST. One further hotel day was covered Tsinghua University. (My wife's airfare, and other hotel days, we paid ourselves.) Throughout our stay, including all but the last of our sightseeing days either side of the convention, we were most cordially guided and helped by science fiction scholar Fan Zhang, and accompanied by student volunteer translators.
Riverside Hotel on the outskirts of the city. The hotel lobby was already prepared to greet SF fans. While Carol slept off the jet-lag, Fan took me and Francesco out for dinner with a local publisher in the nearest restaurant, which was miles away and reached by a DiDi (local equivalent of Uber) cab. The restaurant was in a residential suburb of high-rise apartments, in a street with a lot of people on bicycles and mopeds as well as in cars, and was big, ornate, and well-patronised. This was my first experience of eating Chinese food in China. I can recommend it.
For our first full day Carol and I decided to explore the hotel's own neighbourhood. This turned out to be the sprawling Beijing International Garden Expo Park, which extends from some rather neglected and run-down exhibits from the 2013 expo to a succession of stunning, elaborate traditional Chinese formal gardens.
One exhibition that we encountered by accident was the Astronautical Theme Park, which had two disused hypermodern exhibition buildings, a closed but still imposing 1.2 scale model space station, and a battery of rocket and spacecraft models on various scales. Grannies and small children wandered through it, over cracked concrete and dry grass. A crow had nested in the upper stage of the tallest rocket. Every few minutes a high-speed train whizzed by on the overhead viaduct. In its melancholic, nostalgic futurism this park was the most Ballardian sight I'd ever seen.
On we wandered, into a Garden Valley built over an old landfill site, past some fish and lily ponds to a viewing platform high above. The approach was by a ramp so wide and long it was like walking into the sky. From there we looked out over Beijing. The city has a few skyscrapers, a CBD cluster, and lots and lots and lots of high-rise apartment blocks. It was a fine day with only a slight haze, and we noticed a zigzag line across the distant hills. The Great Wall!
By mid-afternoon we were searching for refreshments. We later found there are indeed plenty of stalls, but along a main route through the park which just happened not to be the one we'd taken, except now and then accidentally. We went into what was called a souvenir shop, which turned out to be full of jade pieces – from expensive-enough bracelets to eye-filling work at eye-watering prices. In yuan, the price tags of these enormous and elaborate carvings had lots of zeroes. After a mental conversion to sterling, they still had lots of zeroes. But you could see why. The shopkeeper (having evidently sussed us as not likely customers) was warm and friendly, urged us to sit on furniture fit for a palace, took photos for us and waved us a cheery goodbye.
We left the park (which I've only begun to describe) late in the afternoon, via a visit to the shop at the exit gate, which sold soft drinks, snacks and tourist tat. In China this includes quantities of revolutionary kitsch, which seems to fill the exact market niche that royalty kitsch does in the UK. The shop also had a table heaped with of vintage pocket-sized comic-books on patriotic and revolutionary themes.
The following day, after an interview by Cora Chen for Science Writing, a popular science and science fiction magazine, I was introduced to Cece, my volunteer translator. She managed to do what had defeated me and even Fan: she set me up an account on WeChat, the universal communications app in China. Then Carol and I promoted ourselves from tourists to tour guides and conducted Rob Sawyer, Francesco Verso and Jim Kelly around the gardens, accompanied by Cora Chen and by Cece and Vivian, our translator volunteers.
The convention was held in the gigantic conference centre behind the gigantic Riverside Hotel, and was quite unlike any other SF convention I've been to. It was officially sponsored, with representatives from government ministries and other institutions giving opening speeches. Simultaneous translation was available throughout. Huai Jinpeng, the leading Party official at CAST, spoke frankly of China's continued need for further development in science and technology as well as science fiction, and of the importance of 'the sci-fi industry' to Chinese socialism. Professor Wan Yu recounted the field's current statistics and status, which are already impressive. The success of Liu Cixin's Three-Body trilogy and the blockbuster film The Wandering Earth have raised the international profile of Chinese SF, and written SF is seen as an inspiration and source for TV, film, videogames and their associated merchandise, adding up to a multi-billion-dollar sector with huge growth potential.
The group I was in included Francesco Verso, Tullio Avoledo, Robert J Sawyer, Lavie Tidhar, James Patrick Kelly, and Ian McDonald. Other writers from overseas, who spoke on other tracks or in the opening ceremony, included Kevin J. Anderson, Mary Robinette Kowal and Russell Davis. We were only a small part of the convention, which featured many high-profile Chinese SF writers and scholars including Hugo winners Liu Cixin and Hao Jinfang, internationally active fans such as Carolina Gomez Lagerlöf, Crystal Huff and Vincent Docherty, as well as presentations and exhibitions from the media and tech industries. Altogether there were at least a thousand fans in attendance, and the convention was well covered by the Chinese media.
The afternoon session was followed in short order by a banquet. A Chinese banquet consists of many small courses, and many toasts. (Options for the toast were wine, orange juice and a potent Chinese spirit.) Our hosts from every institution involved went around the tables chatting to each individual, group or couple, and each such conversation was concluded by a toast. After that we were hastened through to the conference centre, where a less formal banquet (buffet-style) was going on for the attendees. A local band was performing Frank Sinatra songs. We took a glass or two of wine from the circulating trays, picked up our freebie bags and headed off for an early night.
On Monday, after a later than usual start, Fan decanted us all to the Holiday Inn Beijing Deshengmen, much closer to the city centre. Rob invited us and Jim to go out with him and a local friend, Nancy. Nancy took us further downtown by foot and by taxi, via lunch at a local diner, to two very different bookshops. The first was Zhengyang Shuju Two, in a courtyard containing a pagoda tower, and specialised in books and memorabilia of Old Beijing.
The second was the Beijing Book Building, the biggest bookshop in China. It's like a very big Borders, with one small difference. Near the entrance there's a bookcase of 'Leaders' Works' – on one side Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, then on the other an aisle devoted to Mao and Deng and their comrades and successors, and on to the works of President Xi Jinping. A table alongside displayed copies of Reliable Marx, a recently-published popularising work. Next, a couple more aisles on 'Party-Building in the New Era' and 'Honest Administration'. And then, for aisle after aisle and floor after floor, book after book on everything else: art, craft, science, economics, management, history, philosophy, and Chinese and foreign fiction of all kinds – science fiction very much included.
A hasty half-hour browse there was followed by a taxi back to the hotel, a quick change, and another taxi that took me, Rob, and Jim to Tsinghua University, to a regular weekly class taught by Jia Liyuan (who writes SF under the penname Fei Dao) on writing science fiction. We each spoke for about thirty minutes (with an interpreter) on various aspects of the craft. The class was of about fifty people, more or less evenly divided between men and women, and between science and humanities backgrounds. They listened with great attention and asked searching questions. The campus was still whizzing with bicycles when we emerged at about 10 pm.
On Tuesday morning Fan took Jim, Rob, Carol and I (with Alice, our translator) to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Besides beauty, the scale of the succession of walls and palaces gives an overwhelming impression of power.
By contrast the Summer Palace, which we visited in the afternoon, gives an equally powerful impression of tranquillity.
On Wednesday Fan took Carol and I, Rob and Jim, and Alice to the Great Wall. The views are sweeping, the climb exhilarating, the Wall astonishing. We had a good day for it, clear and sunny and above all dry – climbing a succession of steep ramps and steeper stairs was challenging enough in these perfect conditions, and must be outright scary in the wet. At some parts it's like clambering on a roof. Naturally we were overtaken at various stages by old folk and small children.
On the (even steeper) route down I paused at the foot of a stone ladder that I'd descended one stoic step at a time to see a young woman dance down, arms out.
Fan then took us all out to dinner, during which we discovered that Alice was a science fiction fan herself, and in a science fiction club at her university in Beijing. Quite a small club, she explained, with only a few hundred members...
For our last day in Beijing, Carol and I took a walk through two linked parks south of the hotel, along the shores of Xihai Sea and Hoahai Lake, to a busy historic shopping street with a marked variety of shops – from the boutique where we admired but didn't buy exquisite and expensive painted fans to the dusty, untidy antique shop where I bought a small green stone Buddha for 800 yuan. After buying gifts and souvenirs at shops and stalls in between these extremes we negotiated (with some spontaneous help from a young woman passer-by) a late-afternoon taxi ride to The Bookworm – a thriving English-language bookstore, library, cafe and meeting place which, as we'd sadly learned, was about to have to close down (as indeed it just has).
There we met Rob, Jim and some local friends for a beer, a quick dinner and a lively discussion, followed by an all too brief session with a science fiction fan group which (like the shop's clientele in general) was a mix of expats and locals. The local fans had interesting things to say about Chinese SF, based on their own reading of it from childhood on. The expats gave an interesting perspective on how fast Beijing is changing. Air quality has improved markedly over the past few years, as Rob Sawyer had noticed as soon as he arrived.
An early start on Friday, as we met Fan in the lobby at 8 and he arranged us a final taxi, to the airport. Our warmest thanks to him! -- and to all who made our trip so unforgettable.
Monday, September 16, 2019
J. A. Smith, Zero Books, 2019
Around 2010 or so, I attended a Battle of Ideas panel on populism and/or Euroscepticism, featuring David Aaronovitch and (I think) Bruno Waterfield. In the discussion, someone said that populism reacted to a political system that empowered elites and excluded ordinary people. Aaronovitch retorted that ordinary people had never been more enfranchised: if you were discontented, there were plenty of parties to choose from, petitions to start or sign, FOIA appeals to make... How much more open could a political system be?
I pointed out from the floor that if you read comments on blogs and below-the-line on newspaper articles (this was before Twitter and Facebook took off), you found a boiling pit of fury and hostility towards every element of the Blair-Brown-Cameron continuity: the EU, climate change policy, immigration, 'political correctness', smoking bans, forever wars, bank bail-outs ... and a real sense that railing against them online was all that could be done.
To which Aaronovitch responded: 'These could all be by the same two hundred people!'
I had no come-back to that, not even in my mind. Well, we ken noo.
The unexpected rise of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party has some things in common with the unexpected size of the Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum, the unexpected victory of Leave in the EU referendum, the unexpected victory of Trump in the US, and the unexpected surge of the Labour vote in 2017. Each was more than a surprise. They registered as events that shouldn't have happened, and by all past reckoning couldn't have happened: an anomaly, a shock, an affront. Social media played a big part in all of them – sometimes at the expense of face-to-face campaigning, the ground game, but this under-the-radar aspect contributed to the shock of their actual or near success.
Ironically enough, Britain's unprecedented and unparalleled post-referendum upsurge of a mass pro-EU movement, with its huge street demonstrations, tragic face-painters and flag-wearers, and hashtag #FBPE, could itself be seen as a variety of populism: one that constitutes a different 'people' against a different 'elite'. Instead of 'the bankers' or 'the establishment', the villains become hedge-funds and disaster capitalists. #FPBE have their own conspiracy theories: Cambridge Analytica, Russian dark money, Putin. Heck, they're even convinced that the BBC is biased against them. From the outside, viewed in the small shiny rectangle of the smartphone screen, #FBPE can seem as closed-minded, obnoxious and deluded as the Brexiters do to them, as the cybernats did to me, and as Corbynism's own online army (in which I'm a very minor footslogger) evidently does to New Labour's middle-aged old soldiers (aka 'centrist dads').
But, as Smith puts it, populism is always 'other people's politics'. The bright rectangle is always a window, seldom a mirror. Smith walks us through that mirror. If we can bear to look at it, he argues, Corbynism too is a populism, and all the better for it. All populisms say the 'unsayable', but not all of them say the same. A left populism would blame the powerful, not the powerless, for social problems. Trump says things his supporters wish they 'could' say, whereas Corbyn says things his supporters have been for years on end inwardly screaming for someone, anyone with a public platform to say. There's no doubt that Corbynism has constituted a 'people' of its own: the leftists and socialists who never went away but were excluded from any recognition in the mainstream, and who were largely isolated from each other and indeed unaware of each other's existence. Like the cybernats, now a permanent presence in Scotland, they can be repeatedly dismissed as an online bubble – until they suddenly manifest in the real world. 'Where did all these people come from?' – as a Labour candidate is heard to ask in 2017 as her canvassers are reinforced by an army of volunteers, mobilised by Momentum's 'My Nearest Marginal' app.
Strong and persuasive though this book is on the emotional and ideological intricacies of how a populist appeal can gain traction, and how it can confound the expectations of the sensible centre – tracing, for example, the success of Donald Trump's transgressive rampages, and the conniving nods and winks of irony and deniability in the memetic tactics of the alt-right – it has little to say on the record of left-populism itself, barely glancing at its greatest debacle: Syriza. But to ask that of it would be to ask for a different book. (It's not like there aren't plenty of left critiques of left populism to choose from.) This one does its own job, and does it well.
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
The then Labour Government led by James Callaghan tried to deal with the crisis of the postwar settlement by extending social reforms in exchange for wage restraint. This strategy, begun under Harold Wilson, was known as the Social Contract, and was already under severe strain. The reforms were significant but seemed inadequate, and in any case their effects were for the most part jam tomorrow. Wage increases were jam today. The government's policies were widely opposed by the left inside and outside the Labour Party, by a militant minority of trade unionists, and by broader unrest among women, black people and disaffected youth. In Northern Ireland, no hope for an end – of any kind -- to the Troubles was remotely in sight. The Labour Government was opposed or pressured from the right, of course: by sections of the state, the City, almost all the press, the Conservative Party led by Margaret Thatcher, and the small but fast-growing National Front and other fascist groups. Seldom has the spotlit enclave been more relentlessly shelled.
One GLC constituency in which we stood was Southall, central to which was the largest Asian community -- overwhelmingly industrial working class and small-business in social composition -- in West London. The Socialist (IMG) candidate for Southall was Gerry Hedley, a modest, serious and cheerful militant. A lecturer in art, he had no roots in Southall, but he had support and endorsement from local activists who did. When Hedley addressed one meeting of what seemed like hundreds, from bearded elders to young radicals, he got supportive speeches from the platform in Urdu and Punjabi, as well as English.
One local labour movement left-wing activist whose support we were keen to get was John McDonnell. I, along with a far more dedicated and experienced comrade, met him in a cafe to sound him out. McDonnell may have agreed with many of our criticisms of Callaghan's Labour, but he was adamant that he wouldn't endorse our candidate. The Labour Party's rules, then as now, were strict. Any member who supported a non-Labour candidate in an election would be slung out on their ear. McDonnell had no intention of that happening to him. In the end, we pleaded with him to at least privately vote for us, and perhaps hint to a few close and trusted comrades that lending us their vote might... McDonnell was having none of it. We parted cordially, empty-handed.
If we'd been more persuasive, or if he'd been less staunch in his loyalty to the Labour Party, John McDonnell would almost certainly not now be the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. Say not the struggle naught availeth.
This footnote in history has two footnotes of its own:
1. GLC May 1977 Southall election results (Source, pdf) (See also)
Seive, Mrs Y. Labour 13,330
Schindler, R. Conservative 12,417
Stevens, K. Liberal 2,094
Franklin, Mrs B.P. National Front 1,872
Hedley, G.A. Socialist (IMG) 996
2. Gerry Hedley became Reader at the Courtauld Institute of Art and an innovative researcher in the field of fine art conservation, where he is still – many years after his untimely death in a climbing accident -- remembered with great respect.
Sunday, March 31, 2019
Full disclosure up front: the author is an old friend. Unbound is a crowd-funded publisher, and my name is one of hundreds listed who pre-supported this book.
In my early teens, reading the stories collected in Revolt in 2100 ('"If This Goes On—"', 'Coventry', and 'Misfit') had a lasting impact. Heinlein had a knack for the throwaway, delayed-action bombshell: a casual reference to a theology curriculum that included 'mob psychology and basic miracles' being one from that book. And Starship Troopers gave me a lot to think about at the time, though probably not the thoughts the writer intended, which says something for him.
I've read nearly all the juveniles, many of the short stories and nearly all the novels except the late long ones, which I've always bounced off.
Heinlein has been the subject of a definitive biography, major critical studies during and after his life, and an immense and growing amount of academic and fan criticism. But he remains so vast and various that there's always more to say, and Mendlesohn says it here. Her approach has been to read (re-read) every publicly available thing Heinlein wrote, and only then to read (re-read) everything in print, and a lot of what's online, about him.
After a brief introduction and a useful potted biography, Mendlesohn devotes successive chapters to Heinlein's fiction (short stories, juveniles, and adult novels), technique and rhetoric. She then applies her close reading of the texts to Heinlein's handling of civics and politics, racism and antiracism, ethics, sex and sexuality. Heinlein's political shifts are related to his deeper consistencies in interesting and unexpected ways: individual and community, patriotism and radicalism, democracy and revolution, family and free love all turn out to have more complicated dialectics across his work as a whole than a partial reading -- which is, of course, all that most readers have – would suggest.
Mendlesohn's dismantling of the disaster of Farnham's Freehold -- and her answer to the inevitable appalled question 'What the fuck was he thinking?' – is patient and persuasive. The discussion of sex, sexuality and gender in Heinlein's work is full of surprises and rigorously argued.
This effort to read with fresh eyes has paid off. On almost every page there's a new insight or an arresting remark. Mendlesohn takes Heinlein seriously as a thinker, and makes you think.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
And there's more!
The enterprising folk at Shoreline of Infinity are putting on an Event Horizon special for the Edinburgh International Science Festival. The topic is:
Science Fiction: can it guide us to a glorious future ... or will it lead us to disaster and dystopia?
8pm – 9.30pm, THURSDAY 11th April 2019
Pleasance Cabaret Bar, Edinburgh
Tickets £8.50/£6.50 from the Science Festival website, here.