|The Early Days of a Better Nation|
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Science fiction is a literary genre that identifies itself with popularising science and imagining the social consequences of scientific and technological change. It might seem an obvious focus for overcoming the mutual misunderstandings of the ‘two cultures’ of the arts and the sciences. However, it’s often seen as an embarrassment to both: using illiterate writing to spread inaccurate science.At 4 p.m. on Thursday 24 June 2010 I'm doing a spot at that fine pub The Illicit Still as part of the West Port Book Festival. They say:
The Night Sessions is Ken MacLeod’s latest novel, set in an Edinburgh under threat; ‘A bishop is dead. As Detective Inspector Adam Ferguson picks through the rubble of the tiny church, he discovers that it was deliberately bombed. That it’s a terrorist act is soon beyond doubt…’ Ken will be reading from his work, as well as telling us about the science and philosophy in his mind-expanding fiction. We are also chuffed to be pairing up with the Illicit Still: a pint, a sandwich and science fiction make for a heady afternoon in the West Port.[Update 10 June] The West Port Book Festival is pleased to announce that they have an exclusive 20 advance copies of The Restoration Game for sale at this event, and that I'll be reading from that book. Be the first to get a signed copy! [end update]
On Sunday 22 August I'll be on a panel with Adam Roberts at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (details TBA).
And finally ... alongside the official book festival, Edinburgh's radical bookshop Word Power runs the lively (and free!) Edinburgh Book Fringe, and on Wednesday 25 August at 5.30 p.m. I'm chairing an event with author Francis Spufford and computer scientist Paul Cockshott on Francis's latest book, Red Plenty, which I've already enthused about a couple of posts below. Details:
For almost two centuries, many socialists have claimed that a planned economy can do better than the market. Economists such as Mises and Hayek argued that this was impossible. The fall of the Soviet Union seemed to settle the question.In my pitch to Word Power for this last event, I claimed that it would be of interest to SF fans, socialists, economists, computer scientists, social scientists, and students. Everyone I know in Edinburgh in any of these categories is going to hear from me over the summer ...