Robinson on optimism, self-actualization and transhumanismSubmitted by Kimon
SHAMAN just came out, September 3 2013; but before the host of interviews and readings that that one will involve, some non-Shaman material:
Adam Ford recently interviewed Robinson for 33rd Square (probably during the Humanity+ event last December). This resulted in a fascinating interview where Robinson discusses many of his ideas and worldviews, from science fiction, transhumanism and the role of technology to optimism, Buddhism and self-actualization. It is well worth your time and summarizes many of his interviews in the past few years. The interview is on YouTube in 5 short parts, below is Part 1:
Kim Stanley Robinson is featured on the very KSR-focused cover of the August 2013 issue of Locus Mag. The magazine features a conversation with Stan, "Making Worlds".
From the beginning of my career, I’ve done the Solar System set a few hundred years in the future. So for this new one, I stole from myself: the city of Terminator on Mercury comes from The Memory of Whiteness. But when I tried to describe the rest of the Solar System, it began to get so detailed it was goofy. That was when I thought of Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner, and how he had used John Dos Passos’s USA Trilogy methodology. My lists, extracts, and quantum walks all have their equivalent in Dos Passos. Using his method clarified things a lot. With it, I could tell the lovers’ story, and the mystery they’re involved in, and all the rest of it. Instead of using the typical expository lump, which is the famous problem of science fiction writing (and I’m often criticized for being a monster in that regard), I was able to chop the exposition into little bits, make it more something like little prose poems scattered through the text. It’s sort of an internet version of the Encyclopedia Galactica of the 1950s, which I think was one of the things people loved about science fiction, actually: learning about a far-flung civilization by way of direct description. But my impression now is that a lot of new readers don’t remember Stand on Zanzibar, and never read the USA Trilogy, so they think I’ve done something new and peculiar. Some have complained, but I feel those people are a little too narrow-minded about what the novel can be.
Will human civilization on Earth be imperiled, or enhanced, by our own world-changing technologies? Will our technological abilities threaten our survival as a species, or even threaten the Earth as a whole, or will we come to live comfortably with these new powers? Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology David Grinspoon convenes scientists, humanists, journalists, and authors to explore these questions from a wide range of perspectives, and to discuss the future of human civilization in an anthropocene world.
Date: Thursday September 12, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Place: The John W. Kluge Center, Room 119, Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA
Robinson will also be participating at A Science Fiction Symposium at Williams College in Massachussetts on October 24:
Please join us on October 22nd, 23rd, and 24th for a Science Fiction Symposium that will include readings, panels, and lectures by leading writers and thinkers from across the United States. October 24th will include a panel discussion as well as a 4pm Reading. Participants will include Samuel R. Delany, Kim Stanley Robinson, Elizabeth Kolbert, David Hartwell, Paolo Bacigalupi, William Gibson, Terry Bisson, and John Crowley. More information will be coming soon. Sponsored by the English Department, The Margaret Bundy Scott Fund, American Studies, Environmental Studies, Africana Studies and the Oakley Center.
Date: Thursday October 24 2013, 4pm to 9pm
Place: Griffin Hall, 3 844 Main St, Williamstown, MA 01267, USA
More SHAMAN-related material very soon!
Stanley Von Medvey also has some concept art of Swan:
Wow thanks! I'd like to see more!