Whether to write dystopian or utopian stories is an ongoing choice for science fiction writers and something I’m often questioned about. I’ve been pondering this for a while and my thoughts to date are featured in this month’s Focus, the British Science Fiction Association’s magazine for writers.
As the editor says, “Stephen discusses the implications for writers and also explores whether it’s a binary choice between the two.”
PS this was written before the current crisis, but it’s probably even more pertinent now.
I was at the gym the other day, which is a strange experience for me. There were people pushing large tractor tires around the room and it made me wonder. If we spend our time replicating work from a past generation to keep fit, what might the gym of the future look like? Will it be rows of desks with people exercising their typing fingers now voice activation is ubiquitous? Or maybe machines with three pedals and a steering wheel?
Emails to PITH subscribers are infrequent and fairly random, but always short and pithy.
I’m not particularly public about it either – avoiding the ‘subscribe now and get a free gift’ approach. However, from time to time I let people know it exists, hence this post.
I’m inspired by the people I meet, the science I’m exposed to and the tech that might become, but it’s unusual for me to use art to inspire my near-future fiction. So, it was interesting to be asked to write a piece for Hallidonto’s latest exhibition – Cyborg Cadavers.
I read the blurb and pondered, studied the art and pondered and then had a few too many beers with the artist. Then, I let all that sink in and allowed a story to surface.
The result was Death Life Transfer and in the video below you can watch me reading it at the opening night of the exhibition, along with other contributors and Hallidonto himself.
“Are we the fallen and in what image will be the re-imaging of our flesh.” Hallidonto 2019.
Hallidonto’s work explores these themes in an attempt to answer the complex questions that ever-evolving technology poses to humanity. In his latest work, ‘Cyborg Cadavers’ a series of nine pencil works that explore the very of concept of the body, and if we don’t choose wisely, we won’t be in a position to select the body we need or for that matter the body that is required. This poses deeper questions of we view ourselves within our technological world. Is the flesh redundant and shall we proceed with the morphological freedoms embedded within the post-humanist/ trans-humanist discourses where alteration and the evolution of body intertwined Halliidonto with other leading, artistic luminaries to explore the rise of the artificially sentient and the ascent of the cyborg. Hallidonto has curated nine speakers to respond to the work and pathos created by the artist.