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Thursday, March 19, 2009


* The claim that 'independent researcher' Dr. John Casson has discovered six new plays by William Shakespeare (alias Sir Henry Neville alias Christopher Marlowe alias "Tony Nuts" alias Queen Elizabeth alias Harvey the Rabbit) is all over the place today—but my proof that Shakespeare/Newfield is a time-traveling Lizard Person born 3000 A.D. remains completely ignored by the fools in the MSM.

* (South) Indian Superman. I love this video.

* Gynomite! has sitcom maps of New York City and the U.S. There's more from Dan Meth, who started it all off with the trilogy meter from not that long ago.

* has the latest bracketological research into the science of upsets. See also: Nate Silver crunches the numbers on Obama's shameless bias towards universities in swing states.

* Scenes from the recession, at the Big Picture.

* And a short piece at BBC News considers the science in science fiction. Of the four, Paul Cornell's gesture towards satire seems by far richest to me, especially with regard to its Darko Suvinian disdain for fantasy:

The mundane movement is challenging writers to drop ideas that once promised to be scientific ones, but are now considered as fantasy - faster than light travel, telepathy etc - and to concentrate on the problems of the human race being confined to an Earth it is using up.

But this is as much an artistic movement as an ethical one. The existence of such a movement, though, suggests that science fiction feels a sense of mission.

Unlike its cousin, fantasy, it wants to be talking about the real world in ways other than metaphorical.

One of the problems is that where once there was a consensus view, broadly, of what the future was going to be like - bases on the Moon, robots etc - post-Cold War chaos leaves everyone thrashing around, having to invent the future anew.

Artificial intelligence, aliens and easy space travel just haven't shown up. They may never do so.

It's an exciting moment, but the genre needs to be strong to survive it, and see off fantasy's vast land grabs of the territory of the stranded human heart.
UPDATE: Paul responds in the comments to this notion of disdain:
Just to be clear: I love fantasy as much as SF, but we asked to talk about some of the current issues facing, specifically, SF. I think fantasy's done really well lately, and that SF has to respond to match it. No anti-fantasy thing going on there with me at all.