12 Nov 2011

Robinson in SF in SF

Submitted by Kimon

Kim Stanley Robinson will be appearing with Cecilia Holland to be interviewed with fellow SF writer Terry Bisson in San Francisco for a reading and a Q&A later today (!).

Details follow:

Saturday, November 12th

Kim Stanley Robinson & Cecilia Holland

Each author will read a selection from their work, followed by Q&A from the audience moderated by author Terry Bisson. Booksigning and schmoozing follows in the lounge, and books will be for sale, courtesy of Borderlands Books

6:00PM – doors and cash bar open
7:00PM – event starts

Suggested $5-$10 donation at the door – benefits Variety Children’s Charity of Northern California – to date, we’ve helped raise over $25,000 for the kids in our community!

The Variety Preview Room Theatre
The Hobart Bldg., 1st Floor — entrance between Quiznos and Citibank
582 Market Street @ 2nd and Montgomery
San Francisco, CA 94104


9 Nov 2011

Jonathan Strahan (editor of The Best Of Kim Stanley Robinson) and Gary K. Wolfe (professor and critic) conducted an interview with Kim Stanley Robinson during the last World SF Convention Renovation last August.

The interview is available from their Coode Street Podcast (direct download).

Robinson talks candidly about attending these annual Conventions, gives quite a bit of information on his next novel 2312, discusses writing his short stories, the themes he writes about, science fiction figures like Asimov and Wolfe (Gene, that is!), and writing in general. Well worth your time!

Pictured: Strahan and Wolfe

3 Nov 2011

Kim Stanley Robinson will be giving a talk on "Valuing the Earth and Future Generations: Imagining Post Capitalism" at the University of Texas Dallas as part of a five-lecture series on Science, Policy and Cultural Values.

When: 7:30pm, Wednesday November 16, 2011
Where: Jonsson Performance Hall, UTD

This public lecture is free and open to the public. You are also invited to join the Center for Values Fellows for this lecture for $45. Center for Values Fellows will have reserved priority seating, will receive the speaker's recent book in advance, and will be invited to an exclusive reception and book signing after the lecture. Sign up for this lecture or you can sign up for the entire series.

Climate change and population growth will combine in the twenty-first century to put an enormous load on humanity's bio-infrastructural support system, the planet Earth. Kim Stanley Robinson argues that our current economic system undervalues both the environment and future human generations, and it will have to change if we hope to succeed in dealing with the enormous challenges facing us. Science is the most powerful conceptual system we have for dealing with the world, and we are certain to be using science to design and guide our response to the various crises now bearing down on us. A more scientific economics – what would that look like? And what else in our policy, habits, and values will have to change?

As a photo for this article, the writer being a green European, it would have been too easy to put an oil rig. Instead, I've put an image from the Pickens Plan, an initiative by Dallas resident T. Boone Pickens towards a greener economy via renewables, energy conservation and natural gas. A solid and economically sound initiative!

8 Oct 2011

Last year, Stan Robinson participated in the conference "Changing the Climate: Utopia, Dystopia and Catastrophe" at Australia's Monash University. One year later, several of the talks given there have resulted in a publication by the Arena Journal: Issue 35/36 (2011) is dedicated on exactly this topic.

Changing the Climate explores nature and environment, power and society, narrative and image in meditations on ecology, ecocriticism, science and speculative fiction, film and contemporary art. With a chapter by Kim Stanley Robinson.

The paper in this issue cover a wide range of contemporary art, from literature to film. There is an entire section dedicated to Kim Stanley Robinson, appropriately entitled "Science in the Capital"! Apart from Robinson's contribution, "Remarks on Utopia in the Age of Climate Change", this part also includes a paper by Tom Moylan, "N-H-N': Kim Stanley Robinson's Dialectics of Ecology", and another by Chris Palmer, "Free Exchange and Dark Secrecy in the Capital". All three papers must be reworkings of some sort of the speeches they gave at the conference. The abstracts are accessible via the above links.

The Arena Journal has massively published on utopias and the future previously: Issue 25/26 (2006) was dedicated to "Imagining the Future: Utopia and Dystopia" and Issue 31 (2008) was dedicated to "Demanding the Impossible: Utopia and Dystopia".

8 Oct 2011

There is so much music out there! Man-made, of course, but so much of it sounds alien or even science-fictional to our Western, mass-media-fed ears.

Take for example traditional music from Tanzania, choral singing from tribes living in African savannahs, songs passed down orally and never put on record -- until very recently! Impossible Music has released a CD of recordings of the "Loruvani Choir: Songs of the Maasai Steppe".

As CS says (he helped produce the record, and met Robinson when he was in Antarctica), a Westerner might not think of that music when he thinks "classical", but it is certainly classical to the ears of the Maasai culture! Think twice of that when you read The Memory Of Whiteness and try to conceptualize its Orchestra!

From the CD insert:

Spiritual and uplifting, Maasai and Swahili gospel songs, based on ancient and traditional tribal tunes which float out of the heart of the sweeping African grasslands, are the roots of rhythm which will affect East African music for decades to come.

These songs from the origin of the world will be as important and defining to East Africa as the Delta Blues were to America.

They will combine with sounds coming out of the Congo to form something we haven’t yet imagined.

It is possible to hear samples and purchase here.


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