“Where Has All the Science Fiction Gone?”
A couple of weeks ago, I did a talk at the Kenton Country Library on the topic “Where Has All the Science Fiction Gone?” — it was the overall theme of a larger symposium, so I applied myself toward it. As it happens, the Cincinnati public television station sent someone to make a recording of my blatherations, and now they’ve put the entire talk — 74 minutes — online, in streaming Microsoft video format.
Here’s the page that will pop up a standalone video player (I’m currently the top feature, but I imagine that will slide down over time)
In addition to the general talk, I also read from two works: The first part of the first chapter of Old Man’s War, around about the 48-minute mark, and also “New Directives for Employee – Manxtse Relations,” a short-short story which I suspect almost none of you know about, at about the 1:04 mark. I also name drop a lot of folks, including Charlie Stross, China Mieville, Hal Duncan, David Louis Edelman and other current writing notables during the course of the talk, and make some general points about the state of science fiction today. And of course you’ll get to see me blather on for an hour and a quarter, apparently without drawing breath. It’s a skill.
Those of you who have never seen me in action are, heh, well, in for a treat, I suppose. One of the things about this video is that I stand and pace during the talk, which means that the poor cameraman always had to pan to keep up with me; sometimes I walk right out of frame and it takes him a second to catch up. It’s me, not him. Also, you’ll see that Ian McDonald’s description of me as “fidgety as a whippet” is not really exaggeration. I got tired just watching me. Also, clearly, I need to watch the “uhhhhhh” and “you know” moments. But by and large I think it’s an interesting piece, and if nothing else shows that I can extemporize at great length — which is to say I had no idea what I was going to say about anything until I opened my mouth and began to speak.
One thing: Patrick doesn’t actually call me every day. But I feel his presence. Yes I do.