One of my delights discovered this year was the series of audiobooks narrated by Philip Pullman. One of the short stories tells how out balloonist Lee needs Iorek’s help to sort out some political shenanigans in the Arctic town of Novy Odense. Pullman has a wonderful reading voice, and these full cast recordings bring the stories to life.
The full dark materials trilogy is available, read by Pullman himself. Highly recommended.
Just to round off the year for Critical Mass, we invite you to jot down some notes on your best new discovery for the year, so that you can spend five minutes telling us about it. What genre book, film, TV show, comic or play took your fancy this year? Come along and tell us about it!
As it’s our last meeting for the year, we’re inviting you to join us for dinner after the meeting: around 8:15 at East of Norman, a short walk from the meeting at Kappy’s.
As usual, a 7pm start Wednesday night!
The Christian Science Monitor has an entertaining on-line quiz about surviving in the Star wars universe.
Adam’s going to talk about Margaret Cavendish, utopian feminist — 7pm at Kappy’s, 22 Compton St, Adelaide. Don’t miss it! Note this is on the second Wednesday of October.
First published in 1666, written by Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World is the first fictional portrayal of women and the new science. Blazing World is the first science-fiction novel known to have been written and published by a woman, and represents a pioneering female scientific utopia.
While you can download the original edition from project Gutenberg, the 2016 edition by Sara Mendelson includes additional critical material and is considered the preferred edition (available online from broadview press).
“Sara Mendelson’s edition of Blazing World is a major contribution to the ever-increasing scholarship on the works of this remarkable woman. Cavendish’s utopian romance, which also functions as a critique of the new experimental science, is becoming one of the canonical texts of the Scientific Revolution.”
— Lisa Sarasohn, Oregon State University
The Guardian reports that Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston is to star in a new 10-part science fiction series called Electric Dreams: The World of Philip K Dick, from Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D Moore.
Each episode will be adapted and made contemporary by a team of British and American writers, “both illustrating Philip K Dick’s prophetic vision and celebrating the enduring appeal of his work”.
more info from the Guardian
Stanisław Lem was probably the first sci-fi writer to accurately predict the end of paper books and the arrival of electronic formats and e-book readers. He did so in his 1961 novel A Return from the Stars, some 40 years ahead of any first attempts with e-paper.
I spent the afternoon in a bookstore. There were no books in it. None had been printed for nearly half a century. And how I have looked forward to them, after the micro films that made up the library of the Prometheus! No such luck. No longer was it possible to browse among shelves, to weigh volumes in hand, to feel their heft, the promise of ponderous reading. The bookstore resembled, instead, an electronic laboratory. The books were crystals with recorded contents. They could be read with the aid of an opton, which was similar to a book but had only one page between the covers. At a touch, successive pages of the text appeared on it.
More about things predicted by Lem in the article from culture.pl http://culture.pl/en/article/13-things-lem-predicted-about-the-future-we-live-in