The Expansive Futures Sci-Fi Bundle, curated by Amy DuBoff and the SFWA:
Since the early days of science fiction, authors have explored the future of humanity and what other life might be out there among the stars. From cybernetics to spaceships to alien contact, future-focused sci-fi lets us explore complex issues while escaping from everyday life. Eighteen diverse visions of Expansive Futures have been gathered in a special collection curated by SFWA members, now available in a limited-time bundle.
SFWA is an organization dedicated to promoting and supporting science fiction and fantasy writers in the United States and worldwide. Featuring award-winning authors and fresh new voices, the Expansive Futures StoryBundle is sure to please fans of futuristic sci-fi and space opera. Note that the bonus includes Eugen Bacon’s Claiming T-Mo. The bundle is available for the next 9 days at https://storybundle.com/scifi
With great sorrow we learn that Yvonne Rousseau died on Saturday, 13 February, in the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, Melbourne, from Parkinson’s disease. She had suffered from Parkinson’s from before she returned to Melbourne from Adelaide four years ago, after her husband John Foyster died there in 2003, but had entered hospital only two months ago.
She leaves behind her daughter Vida Weiss (who has kept us all informed over recent months), her sisters Val and Glenda, and her brother Linton, and their families; sister-in-law Jo; and former husband Mick Weiss, as well as the friends who enabled her to move back to Melbourne (Kathy and Ian, and Jane and Richard). Her brother George died several years ago.
She had a great ability to make and keep close personal friends, including those in the worldwide science fiction community and the Australian literary and editing world.
She was a Life Member of the Victorian Society of Editors, and was the author of The Murders at Hanging Rock, several published short stories (the best known being “The Importance of Being Oscar”), and many penetrating critical and personal articles.
She was a member of the Collective who published Australian Science Fiction Review, Second Series, and contributor to ASFR, SF Commentary, and many other publications. We feel keenly the loss of Yvonne’s generous and modest personality and her fine mind.
“Scientific romance” is now commonly used to refer to science fiction of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as in the anthologies Under the Moons of Mars: A History and Anthology of “The Scientific Romance” in the Munsey Magazines, 1912-1920 and Scientific Romance in Britain: 1890-1950. One of the earliest writers to be described in this way was the French astronomer and writer Camille Flammarion, whose Recits de l’infini and La fin du monde have both been described as scientific romances. The term is most widely applied to Jules Verne, and H. G. Wells, whose historical society continues to refer to his work as ‘scientific romances’ today. Edgar Rice Burroughs’s A Princess of Mars (1912) is also sometimes seen as a major work of scientific romance, and Sam Moskowitz referred to him in 1958 as “the acknowledged master of the scientific romance,” though the scholar E. F. Bleiler views Burroughs as a writer involved in the “new development” of pulp science fiction that arose in the early 20th century. The same year as A Princess of Mars, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published The Lost World,which is also commonly referred to as a scientific romance. 1902 saw the cinematic release of Georges Méliès’s film Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon); the time period and the fact that it is based partially on works by Verne and Wells has led to its being labelled as a scientific romance as well.
Kate Treloar will discuss cli-fi through the lens of two Kim Stanley Robinson offerings written almost 20 years apart.
The Ministry for the Future (2020) is set in the very near-future with climate change impacts increasing in severity. The novel follows the titular international organisation as it advocates for future generations.
KSR has been at this for a while and back in 2004 he published the first of the “Science in the Capital” series. This Trilogy also focuses on looming climate change, with numerous perspectives including scientists, bureaucrats, political advisors, sea-rise refugees and flood victims. Kate will discuss the first novel in the trilogy, Forty Signs of Rain (which she also briefly reviewed at the recent virtual mini-con).
Robinson is perhaps best known for his “Mars” Trilogy – Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars – chronicling the settlement of Mars. But he also wrote other cli-fi novels including 2312 and New York 2140. It would be interesting to hear comments from anybody in the group who has read these.
This month’s Critical Mass will happen at Kappy’s from 6:45pm. Please take standard COVID precautions: you will be required to sign in; please do not attend if you are feeling unwell. You can join the meeting via zoom: Time: Mar 17, 2021 7pm Adelaide, 7:30 Melbourne Doors open at 6:45pm
Then there was Kim Stanley Robinson’s towering The Ministry for the Future. It was published in October, but I got to read it in mid-February. It struck like a mallet hitting a gong, reverberating through the year. Told mostly from the perspectives of a young aid worker who survives a horrific tragedy in India and a middle-aged Irish bureaucrat running a UN body tasked with representing the rights of future generations in a time of eco-collapse, it’s terrifying, unrelenting, but ultimately hopeful. Robinson is the SF writer of my lifetime, and this stands as some of his best work. It’s my book of the year.
…If you were planning a holiday or vacation and could visit any location, whether in the real world or fictional worlds, where would you go? Why?
I love portal fantasies. I always dreamed of the doors in other peoples’ writing and of walking through those doors into enchanted lands. Then I wrote my own. I now want to visit the house in Borderlanders and travel to strange places. I seldom want to visit anywhere I’ve written about, for I know all the downsides of all the places, but doors that lead to hidden seas or to rooms lined with liquid glass? That’s different.
Chiwetel Ejiofor has been cast in the lead role of “The Man Who Fell to Earth” series currently in the works at Paramount Plus, Variety has learned. The series is based on Walter Tevis’ 1963 novel and the 1976 Nicolas Roeg film that starred David Bowie, both of the same name. In the series version, a new alien character (Ejiofor) arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution and must confront his own past to determine our future.
This month’s Crit Mass will be an in person meeting at Kappys!
(You can also join via zoom if you think it’s too soon for public gatherings) We’re inviting members to pick 5 sf films they’d like to talk about (whether for good or ill is up to them), and to gather at Kappys Tea & Coffee merchants, 22 Compton St Adelaide, from 6:45pm for a 7pm start of the Crit Mass meeting on February 17th. Old or New, Good or Bad, let us know why the film is of interest! As you might expect, you’ll have to conform to Kappys COVID requirements. For those who wish to join remotely: Topic: Crit Mass, Adelaide Time: Feb 17, 2021 07:00 PM Adelaide, 7:30 Melbourne Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83772232344?pwd=cDhjVjZNWG5NelhMaEtuWjJaVVdjdz09
Several members have asked whether it might not be time to meet in person again. If we wished to meet at Kappy’s for the February meeting, they would be willing to host us.
Two questions then, for the members of Critical Mass in Adelaide: (i) do we want to gather in person in February? or is it too soon? (ii) who wishes to talk about something this month?
We intend to continue with a zoom component, for those interested who might not be able to meet in person. Please respond to these questions to either Roman or Adam, so that we might make appropriate action.