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Susie Wild is a poet, writer, journalist, critic, lecturer, festival organiser and editor based in Cardiff. Her debut poetry collection 'Better Houses' is out now through Parthian Books. 'The Art of Contraception' was her first book. It was long-listed for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2011 and won 'Fiction Book of the Year' in the Welsh Icons Awards 2010. Her Kindle novella 'Arrivals' was released globally through Parthian Books in May 2011. She edited the illustrated short story anthology 'Rarebit' for Parthian's 21st birthday, released December 2013. Illustrated by John Abell. She is Publishing Editor at one of Wales' Leading Indie Publishers, Parthian Books. @Soozerama

Saturday, 14 May 2011

I have been reading...

1.Great voices of science fiction: In these interviews, recorded between 1987 and 2001, past masters of the genre discuss why they write SF, the future and how 'this thing called the internet' might change the world 

[Sat 14 May, Guardian]

Douglas Adams: 'This phrase "virtual reality" needs to be explained, because in fact we all live in virtual reality. We think that the world is a solid, vivid place, full of shape and colour and solid objects like this table and this microphone and so on, but we actually create that in our heads out of the bits of information that hit the back of our eyeballs, or hit our eardrums, or hit our tongues, or whatever. It's very raw data, and we have wonderful pattern-matching systems inside our head that we use to synthesise the world, which we then move and walk through. But there are all sorts of things we don't see, we don't hear, patterns we fail to respond to, things that get filtered out because they were not appropriate to cavemen. What the computer in virtual reality enables us to do is to recalibrate ourselves so that we can start seeing those pieces of information that are invisible to us but have become important for us to understand.'

JG Ballard: Throughout your work there is an emphasis on psychological metamorphosis, on the way in which human beings change, first of all in relation to natural or manmade disasters and then in the work in the 1970s in relation to image society. How far do you think you're describing real psychological metamorphosis and how far is this a sort of metaphor?

JGB: It's used metaphorically. Crash is a metaphor for what I see as the dehumanising elements that are present in the world in which we live. We're distanced by the nature of the society we inhabit from a normal human reaction. We're crossing some complex flyover in our cars, we perhaps see an accident on a lower level – people clustered around a fallen victim. We feel a moment's pity, but we're swept on by this elaborately signalled highway landscape. We have no time to stop and express our normal human feelings. And Crash is an extreme metaphor of the dangers that I see lying ahead of us.

Guardian Books is SF crazy today... so also:

2. Zoo City by Lauren Beukes – review

This Arthur C Clarke award-winner, recommended by William Gibson, is the other side of cyberpunk
~ personally I hated Moxyland, so am a little dubious about this.

3. A life in writing: China 
'People say, "you're escaping the genre". Not really! I know it's meant nicely, but I would much rather operate as a conduit than an outlier'~His latest book interests me, I reckon I'll read it.

4. The stars of modern SF pick the best science fiction

To celebrate the opening of the British Library's science fiction exhibition Out of this World, we asked leading SF writers to choose their favourite novel or author in the genre

5. Iain M Banks: Science fiction is no place for dabblers

6.Sam Leith's top 10 alternative realities

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