The Tumultuous Transition to Post-Scarcity

I read science fiction. A lot. It goes hand-in-hand with the reasons I fell in love with science, as I posted about a while ago. One of the most fascinating concepts in science fiction in recent years (being since the 1970’s that I’m aware of, though probably much older than that) is the idea of a post-scarcity society. They’re all over the place in science fiction (just check out this list on io9). I always found the idea of post-scarcity alluring (who wouldn’t want to live in a world where you don’t have to work?), but even more fascinating to me is what the transition from our current society to a post-scarcity society would look like. Continue reading

Star Wars Nostalgia

As all you beautiful nerds are aware, Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens comes out in less than two weeks. It just makes me giddy in anticipation. So much so that I’m going to include the trailer again here, just so you don’t have to go hunt it down to watch again.

In anticipation of this event, I wanted to reminisce on my introduction to Star Wars and my love affair with it through my early teen years.

Nerdy Star Wars Darth Vader T-shirt
And here’s awkward middle-school Rob with his rebellious (get it?!) middle hair part and airbrushed Darth Vader t-shirt.

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On Realizing that It’s OK to Dislike a “Classic” Book

I’ve been an avid reader of science fiction for a very long time. I honestly cannot say what brought me into the genre, but I have a feeling it was my introduction into Star Wars sometime in sixth or seventh grade. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Star Wars the Roleplaying Game 2nd Edition

Some time in college, I decided that I should read some of the more important books in the genre. To help me along, I decided to try and read as many of the books on the Basic Science Fiction Library list maintained by the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas. I’m still slowly making my way through the books, but I’ve had some trouble with one in particular.

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The Hugo Awards Debacle

For many years, the Hugo Awards have been a well-respected industry award for some of the best science fiction stories. Originally dominated by white men, the Hugos have realized that there is a much wider audience for science fiction with vastly different perspectives and have begun including those authors. The variety and quality of works recently are, in my opinion, the true golden age of science fiction.

Hugo Awards Logo

Numerous times when I’ve been looking for a new book to read, I would just go to the Hugo Award winners or nominees for the past couple years and pick something out. It’s how I discovered Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Sword and Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl, among others. I’m currently reading (very slowly, I might add) The Hugo Winners Volumes I and II, which collects the Novella, Novelette and Short Story winners from 1955 to 1970. There are many titans of the science fiction world collected in that book: Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, Ursula K. Le Guin, Fritz Leiber, Poul Anderson, and others. In short, the Hugos meant something. Until this year.

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