I find myself wondering if the rise of global authoritarianism might be deeply—like, inextricably—connected to the maturing nature of technological surveillance, or perhaps just global telecommunications more generally. Since I'm probably not the first person to think about this, I'm curious what stories, novels, long-form articles, or other analyses (fiction or nonfiction) are out there that focus on speculating/extrapolating what happens after the age of the authoritarian panopticon. Bonus points for plausibility; not really looking to get too "far-out."
I've been a fan of classic science fiction since I was a little kid - think stuff from the 30s-70s. I haven't had as much luck with 21st century stuff, but I just read Embassytown by China Miéville, and loved it. What other more recent novels might I enjoy? More about my preferences inside. [more inside]
I'm looking for examples of archaeology of the present day, and/or of the ruins of the modern world, from the perspective of the future, as expressed in fiction or film. These could be major plot points, recurrent themes, or merely passing references. [more inside]
I'm interested in good science fiction in any format (book, film, comics, etc.) that explores that idea that we are not alone in the universe, but wildly mismatched with everybody or nearly every else in terms of civilization stages, kinds of technology, perception, etc. [more inside]
I read this book of short stories years ago, and for some reason I remember most of the stories in it but have had no luck with Googling for it. Must be that the stories' premises were creative enough or caught my imagination in a particular way. The most memorable story was about trying to survive on Earth after a supernova. I'm pretty sure these are all from the same book: [more inside]
In search of accessible contemporary SF—help! [more inside]
So I'm a dedicated Culture fanatic and have loved almost everything I've read by Iain M. Banks. (His Iain Banks stuff is pretty good too, but his sci-fi is what I really dig.) I particularly love the holistic, humanist morality that pervades his work and the way that he digs right down into the philosophical implications of various ideas and worldviews while simultaneously serving up lots and lots of sex, action, and sensawunda. However, I've read everything he's written several times over. What should I read next? [more inside]
I just read China Mieville's The City and the City and really enjoyed it. I have a long train ride tomorrow and would like to download some more books for the road. Can you recommend some intelligent, literary speculative fiction, including perhaps others by Mieville? [more inside]
As a reader of fiction (especially if you're a devotee of speculative fiction), how much do you like detailed descriptions and/or lists as part of the story? What if the story switches between detail and expediency? [more inside]
I'm looking for the best sci-fi and speculative fiction written by women in the past 10-or-so years. I don't care if it's hard or soft sci-fi, merely that it creates a realistic world and is well-written. If it helps, my favourite authors include Umberto Eco, Susanna Clarke, and George R. R. Martin. I'm still chewing through Perido Street Station, so I don't quite know if I like Mieville or not. Any recommendations?
Help me construct a typology of fictional (but familiar) technological epochs -- along with the genre-conventions and stock-elements that characterize each. [more inside]
I want to talk with people about potential future trends as background research for near-future speculative fiction. Where wouldn't this be chatfilter? [more inside]