The Early Days of a Better Nation

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

' ... to re-forge the alloy that once made SF great.'

Late last year Geoff Ryman invited me to take part in an intriguing experiment: an anthology of science fiction short stories, each story written in consultation with an actual scientist and based on that scientist's current research. My own contribution was inspired Dr Richard Blake's work on the project known as the Virtual Physiological Human. My immediate vague notion of taking the usual SF approach to such humane, beneficial developments (how could this advance be grossly misused, and what are the military applications?) suddenly came into focus and got an opening line and a title when I heard my son (a journalist) say: 'I hate death knocks.'

Looking down the list of other contributors, and recalling the research areas I was too slow to grab (the Large Hadron Collider! Antarctica! the Moon! Nanotech armour!), I'm really looking forward to seeing the anthology, and I don't have long to wait: When It Changed: Science into Fiction is to be published and launched next month.

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Ken, that looks great. I might well order the book. It's right up my alley. But yes, join the crowd. There's far too much real science to learn the basics of, much less get enough cutting-edge knowledge of to write SF about. I hope that's good grammar, BTW. Otherwise I will be criticised by Mr. Mullan for doing something "weird."

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