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Posts Tagged ‘science fiction’

Will the people of the future still be reading classical literature and thinking about ancient exempla – and, if so, in what ways? This isn’t a topic that gets a great deal of attention in science fiction; I’m not thinking of the sorts of books that imagine a new Roman Empire with spaceships (see this list – the Trigan Empire lives!) or which deploy classical motifs as a key plot element (hello BSG) but rather those that try to imagine the world of the future in its own terms, but take the time to mention whether anyone still references Thucydides. (more…)

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In William Gibson’s Count Zero, cyberspace is haunted, by ghosts, demons or voodoo gods – or rather, non-human intelligences choosing to present themselves in those forms. It’s the aftermath of When It Changed, when an AI achieved full sentience and autonomy and almost immediately fragmented; and I’ve always assumed, given how prescient Gibson’s books have turned out to be, that the first signs of the Singularity will not be the sudden refusal of computer systems to cooperate (nothing new there), but a load of Weird Shit happening out in the wilder reaches of the Internet. (more…)

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Crooked Timber is running an online book seminar about Jo Walton’s ‘Thessaly’ novels, The Just City and The Philosopher Kings, and the main aim of this post is to point you in that direction forthwith. My contribution reflects on the books as meditations on different aspects of the classical tradition, and I would hope that most visitors to this blog with an interest in classical reception will need little persuasion to take a look at them. However, I had far more things to say than would fit comfortably into a more or less coherent blog post, and so I’m going to take this opportunity to try to persuade sceptical historians, ancient or otherwise, that they should be just as interested in a fictional exploration of Platonic political philosophy, its limits and its implications. (more…)

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