I realise it’s been a *long* time since I last blogged, so I thought why not park some information here about what I’ve been looking at. I always feel that it’s easier to remember when you write down notes of what you’re reading, in fear that it drops out unprocessed out of your ear. With that rather disturbing imagery set aside, I will begin. The sooner the better, I guess!
Some of the things that I’ve been researching has been split into 3 – one being of the origins of the scientific romance (Stableford’s take on the concept, as well as Parrinder (naturally) and Hayne on HG Wells). Science Fiction, as I may have said many times before, is most notable as a reactive genre to the state of current affairs, a term used by Roger Luckhurst as “Conditions of Emergence”. It’s interesting to see how Wells helped to develop this socialist take on SF – that human beings needed to be aware of their place in the universe, and to harness these new scientific discoveries with a high level of social responsibility. Verne on the other hand, seems to focus on the Voyages Extraordinaires, with a lot of detail on the journey and its implementations, whereas Wells depicts the destination in a much more thorough manner.
I’m also doing a bit of Utopian reading for another paper that I will be presenting for a conference. I’m seeing the way in which utopian literature has been classified, namely the distinction between models in which they are categorised, i.e. The Paradise model, The Externally Altered World, The Willed Transformation, and the Technological Transformation (the latter of which is most related to SF). I will be applying it to the wonderful catalogue of Adam Roberts’ writing, actually – so watch this space if you want to know more about the conference!
I’m also writing a play about the mismatch between Artificial and Human intelligence, which is becoming a rather tricky one to envisage in its entirety. I guess in some ways it will have a similar aesthetic feel to Fishbowl, but a homier environment. This is about a woman who has programmed her own House AI to suit her needs in a microcosm environment, but when she brings external flora and fauna (human relations et al), tensions become more heated. What I particular find interesting is to play on the idea of the theatre space – and that we don’t know what’s going on outside of the house, and neither does the house itself. We surrender our knowledge primarily on the human characters, who are unreliable in themselves as they troop in and out. There’s a lot I can play with, and that’s what makes it harder in some ways. I’ll get there, I hope!
I’m also researching Possible Worlds theory, and the “logical” rules that makes our world believable to us and how some fictive worlds can be posed as simply alternate universes that share our particular physics, and of course those who work against these. I’m still hung up on the aspects of absurdism vs. SF theatre, but for a good reason – both are simply mind blowing. It’s a good a reason as any, I’d imagine.
I shall also be running some creative writing workshops (fingers crossed), and some on the theming of science fiction which is absolutely awesome! I will keep you posted on this too. I’m also tutoring on creative writing/comprehension and the level of 10 year old creativity is simply astounding. Schools seem to have transformed beyond my ken – they have learning objectives instead of grades and they can be partially, fully or not met!
So I’d better get started. Seriously, I start everyday fresh and I have to remind myself of what I am and what I’m doing sometimes. I should sort that out. Maybe updating my blog more often will remedy that problem.