notes from other peoples' notes

Thrilling Wonder Stories on Friday had a great mixture of French and British speakers. The former being daringly intellectual, the latter doomily realistic. It was the hottest day of the year so far. My notes aren't great - too many doodles. And decontextualised quotes that I liked - mainly from François Roche: “protocolising the witch in the forest”, "swimming in a charming distress".

For a succinct glide through the day, check Jim Rossignol's notes.

Bryan McKay wasn't even in the AA! That probably made his concentration span better. On Iain MacLeod:

“SF is a concept and the concept of the future resides in that. It is one of the major myths of Western society. Before SF we had the western, another projection of the American dream, risk, possibilities, wide-open dreams, and prospects waiting to be discovered.”

Eight Problems for Writing on an SF Future:

  • The future isn’t going to be dominated by Western culture
  • People won’t be people as we know them now.
  • Space travel isn’t likely to happen in the way we once imagined.
  • Science itself is becoming increasingly incomprehensible.
  • Real aliens would be barely recognizable to us as alive.
  • The physics and technology required to drive a society more advanced than ours would be incomprehensible to us.
  • Language and means of expression will be different.
  • There’s a strong likelihood that we’re all going to be dead.

“Maybe, someday, we will get back to the moon, which is never that far away.”

Which makes me think of Le Guin's Anarres:

An anarchist society living on the moon: an ambiguous utopia: the best fiction I've read in a long time.


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