City Lights in conjunction with PM Press present a weekend-long symposium exploring the radical currents of Science Fiction.
Celebrating the US launch of
Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950 to 1985
Edited by Andrew Nette & Iain McIntyre, published by PM Press
Session Five: The Forever War: Vietnam’s impact on sci-fi – Sunday, February 27, 2022, 11:00 am PST / 2:00 pm EDT
Moderated by Andrew Nette with Terry Bisson and Marge Piercy
Session Six: The Bridge of Lost Desire: A Conversation with Samuel Delany – Sunday, February 27, 2022, 12:30 pm PST / 3:30 pm EDT
Daniel Shank Cruz in conversation with Samuel Delany
Session Seven:Ten Thousand Light Years From Home: Reflecting on the work and impact of James Tiptree Jr – Sunday, February 27, 2022, 2:00 pm PST / 5:00 pm EDT
Moderated by Lucy Sussex with Karen Joy Fowler and Jonathan Lethem
Session Eight: False Dawns and Wandergrounds: Dystopia, Then and Now – Sunday, February 27, 2022, 3:30 pm PST / 6:30 pm EDT
Moderated by Nick Mamatas with Matt Bell, Cory Doctorow, Vandana Singh, and Ann VanderMeer
All events are free but required registration.
All sessions will be recorded and posted on You Tube afterwards.
About Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950 to 1985
Much has been written about the “long Sixties,” the era of the late 1950s through the early 1970s. It was a period of major social change, most graphically illustrated by the emergence of liberatory and resistance movements focused on inequalities of class, race, gender, sexuality, and beyond, whose challenge represented a major shock to the political and social status quo. With its focus on speculation, alternate worlds and the future, science fiction became an ideal vessel for this upsurge of radical protest.
Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950 to 1985 details, celebrates, and evaluates how science fiction novels and authors depicted, interacted with, and were inspired by these cultural and political movements in America and Great Britain. It starts with progressive authors who rose to prominence in the conservative 1950s, challenging the so-called Golden Age of science fiction and its linear narratives of technological breakthroughs and space-conquering male heroes. The book then moves through the 1960s, when writers, including those in what has been termed the New Wave, shattered existing writing conventions and incorporated contemporary themes such as modern mass media culture, corporate control, growing state surveillance, the Vietnam War, and rising currents of counterculture, ecological awareness, feminism, sexual liberation, and Black Power. The 1970s, when the genre reflected the end of various dreams of the long Sixties and the faltering of the postwar boom, is also explored along with the first half of the 1980s, which gave rise to new subgenres, such as cyberpunk.
Dangerous Visions and New Worlds contains over twenty chapters written by contemporary authors and critics, and hundreds of full-color cover images, including thirteen thematically organised cover selections. New perspectives on key novels and authors, such as Octavia Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin, Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, John Wyndham, Samuel Delany, J.G. Ballard, John Brunner, Judith Merril, Barry Malzberg, Joanna Russ, and many others are presented alongside excavations of topics, works, and writers who have been largely forgotten or undeservedly ignored.
Sponsored by the City Lights Foundation
About the authors (in order of appearance)
Andrew Nette is a writer of fiction and nonfiction based in Melbourne, Australia. He is the coeditor of Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, 1950 to 1980 (2017) and Sticking it to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1956 to 1980 (2019), as well as the author of a monograph on Norman Jewison’s 1975 dystopian science fiction film Rollerball, published by the independent film and media studies publisher Auteur in 2018. His contributed reviews and nonfiction to the Los Angeles Review of Books, Sight and Sound, Australian Book Review, the British Film Institute, and Australian Centre for the Moving Image. He has written two novels, Ghost Money (2012), a crime story set in Cambodia in the mid-90s, and Gunshine State (2016), and his short fiction has appeared in numerous print and online publications.
Iain McIntyre is a Melbourne-based author, musician, and community radio broadcaster who has written a variety of books on activism, history, and music. Previous publications include Sticking It to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1956 to 1980 (2019); On the Fly! Hobo Literature and Songs, 1879–1941 (2018); Girl Gangs, Biker Boys and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, 1950 to 1980 (2017); How to Make Trouble and Influence People: Pranks, Protest, Graffiti & Political Mischief-Making from across Australia (2013); Wild About You: The Sixties Beat Explosion in Australia and New Zealand (2010); and Tomorrow Is Today: Australia in the Psychedelic Era, 1966–70 (2006).
Annalee Newitz is a journalist, editor, and author of both fiction and nonfiction, who has written for the periodicals Popular Science and Wired. From 1999 to 2008 Newitz wrote a syndicated weekly column called Techsploitation, and from 2000 to 2004 was the culture editor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian. In 2004 Newitz became a policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. With Charlie Jane Anders, they also co-founded Other magazine, a periodical that ran from 2002 to 2007. From 2008 to 2015 Newitz was Editor-in-Chief of Gawker-owned media venture io9, and subsequently its direct descendant Gizmodo, Gawker’s design and technology blog. As of 2019, Newitz is a contributing opinion writer at The New York Times. She is the author of numerous books of fiction and non-fiction, her latest book being Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age (W.W. Norton, 2021)
Shelley Streeby is Professor of Ethnic Studies and Literature at the University of California, San Diego. She is the author of American Sensations: Class, Empire, and the Production of Popular Culture and a coeditor of Empire and the Literature of Sensation: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Popular Fiction. Her most recent book is Imagining the Future of Climate Change: World Making Through Science Fiction and Activism. Since 2010, she is Director of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop at UCSD. She is also on the Internal Board of UCSD’s Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination.
Rebecca Baumann is the Head of Public Services at the Lilly Library. They have worked in a number of positions at the Lilly Library since 2012, sharing the library’s eclectic and wide-ranging collections with visitors of all sorts. As Head of Public Services, they coordinate and actively participate in reference services, instruction, outreach, exhibitions, and social media. During their tenure at the Lilly, they have taught over 600 individual class sessions on the library’s collections, covering topics from medieval manuscripts to modern poetry. As adjunct faculty with the Department of Information and Library Science, Rebecca also teaches semester-long courses on The History of the Book, 1450 to the Present; Rare Book Librarianship; and Rare Book Curatorship.
Meg Elison is a San Francisco Bay Area author. Her debut novel, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife won the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award and was a Tiptree longlist mention that same year. It was reissued in 2016 and was on the Best of the Year lists from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, PBS, and more. Her second novel was also a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award. Elison was the spring 2019 Clayton B. Ofstad endowed distinguished writer-in-residence at Truman State University, and is a co-producer of the monthly reading series Cliterary Salon.
Maitland McDonagh is an American film critic and the author of several books about cinema. She is the author of Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento and works of erotic fiction and erotic cinema, as well as providing DVD commentary. Her essays have appeared in numerous anthologies. She is also the founder of 120 Days Books, which became an imprint of Riverdale Avenue Books.
Monidipa “Mimi” Mondal is Hugo and Nebula Award-nominated author of science fiction and fantasy, and a columnist writing about history, politics, technology and futures. She writes in many genres, including science fiction. Mondal is the co-editor of Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler, an anthology of letters and essays, which received a Locus Award in 2018. Mimi has also been the Poetry and Reprint Editor of Uncanny Magazine, a three-times-Hugo-Award-winning magazine of science fiction and fantasy, and an editor at Penguin Random House India.
Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a writer, independent scholar, poet, dramaturge, activist and educator based in Durham, North Carolina. Ms. Gumbs was the Winton Chair in the Liberal Arts in the Department of Theater Arts and Dance at the University of Minnesota (2017–2019). She is the Founder and Director of Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind and founder of BrokenBeautiful Press. She is the dramaturge for “dat Black Mermaid Man Lady”, a performance by Sharon Bridgforth.
adrienne maree brown is a writer, doula, activist and Black feminist. From 2006 to 2010, she was the executive director of the Ruckus Society. She is the authors of the books Emergent Strategy, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, and We Will Not Cancel Us. She has served as a social justice facilitator at the World Social Forum and worked extensively with social justice organizations in the Detroit area. In 2010, she published the Octavia Butler Strategic Reader with Alexis Pauline Gumbs and in 2013, she received a Detroit Knight Arts Challenge Award to run a series of Octavia Butler-based science fiction writing workshops.
Michael Moorcock is a writer, best-known for his work in science fiction and fantasy. He is considered one of the leading voices of the genre. He has also published a number of well-received literary novels as well as comic thrillers, graphic novels and non-fiction. He has worked as an editor and is also a successful musician. He is best known for his novels about the character Elric of Melniboné, a seminal influence on the field of fantasy since the 1960s and ’70s. As editor of the British science fiction magazine New Worlds, from May 1964 until March 1971 and then again from 1976 to 1996, Moorcock fostered the development of the science fiction “New Wave” in the UK and indirectly in the United States, leading to the advent of cyberpunk. His publication of Bug Jack Barron (1969) by Norman Spinrad as a serial novel was notorious; in British Parliament, some British MPs condemned the Arts Council for funding the magazine. Mr. Moorcock is also a recording musician, contributing to the bands Hawkwind, Blue Öyster Cult, Robert Calvert, Spirits Burning, and his own project, Michael Moorcock & The Deep Fix. In 2008, The Times named Mr. Moorcock in its list of “The 50 greatest British Writers”.
Mike Stax is a writer, editor, publisher, record producer, and musician. He is the founder and editor of Ugly Things Magazine, and frontman of the musical group The Loons. His work with Ugly Things has been instrumental in the preservation of late 20th century garage, psychedelic, punk, and alternative rock music history. He is currently working as co-writer (with Rick Brown) on a feature film about the seminal 60’s psychedelic rock group The Misunderstood.
Terry Bisson is an award winning science fiction and fantasy author. He is best known for his short stories, including “Bears Discover Fire”, which won the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award, and “They’re Made Out of Meat”. He is the author of numerous novels and his short fiction has appeared in countless anthologies. For many years he was a Kentuckian living in New York City, is now a New Yorker living in California.
Marge Piercy is an award winning poet, novelist, and activist. She is the author of seventeen novels including The New York Times Bestseller Gone To Soldiers; the National Bestsellers Braided Lives and The Longings of Women and the classic Woman on the Edge of Time. She has produced seventeen volumes of poetry; and a critically acclaimed memoir Sleeping with Cats. Born in center-city Detroit, educated at the University of Michigan, and the recipient of four honorary doctorates, she has been a key player in many of the major progressive political battles of our time, including the anti-Vietnam war and the women’s movement, and more recently an active participant in the resistance to the war in Iraq. Praised as one of the few American writers who are accomplished poets as well as novelists — Piercy is one of the country’s bestselling poets — she is also the master of many genres: historical novels, science fiction (for which she won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction in the United Kingdom), novels of social comment and contemporary entertainments. She has taught, lectured, and performed her work at well over 400 universities around the world.
Born into a distinguished Harlem family, Samuel R. Delany was a success at nineteen, changing the tone, the content, and the very shape of modern science fiction with his acclaimed novels and stories that bridged the apparent gap between science and fantasy to explore gay sexuality, racial and class consciousness, and the limits of imagination and memory. His vast body of work includes memoir, comics, space adventure, mainstream novels, homosexual erotica, and literary criticism of a high order. He has received numerous honors for his work including numerous Nebula and Hugo Awards, the J. Lloyd Eaton Lifetime Achievement Award in Science Fiction, the Kessler Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award amongst others. His fiction includes Babel-17, The Einstein Intersection (winners of the Nebula Award for 1966 and 1967 respectively), Nova, Dhalgren, the Return to Nevèrÿon series, and Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders. Until his recent retirement he was a professor of English and creative writing at Temple University.
Daniel Shank Cruz is Associate Professor of English at Utica College in New York. Cruz is the author of Queering Mennonite Literature: Archives, Activism, and the Search for Community (Penn State University Press, 2019. Their research has merged queer theory with Mennonite studies producing illuminating and original work that explores the intersection of critical theory with gender studies and religion.
Lucy Sussex is an award winning author working in fantasy and science fiction, children’s and teenage writing, non-fiction and true crime. She is also an editor, reviewer, academic and an educator. She has published six novels and over 30 short stories, which have been collected across three anthologies. Her novels include The Revognase, Black Ice, The Penguin Friend, among others. She is the winner of the Ditmar Award, Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Short Story, Victorian Community History Award, and a Sir Julius Vogel Award.
Karen Joy Fowler is an award winning author of science fiction, fantasy, and literary fiction. Togehter with Pat Murphy she founded the James Tiptree, Jr. Award in 1991, a literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that “expands or explores our understanding of gender.” She has received numerous honors for her work including a Nebula Award, a Shirley Jackson Award, a World Fantasy Award, amonst others.
Jonathan Lethem is a novelist, essayist, and short story writer. His first novel, Gun, with Occasional Music, a genre work that mixed elements of science fiction and detective fiction, was published in 1994. In 1999, Lethem published Motherless Brooklyn, a National Book Critics Circle Award-winning novel that achieved mainstream success. In 2003, he published The Fortress of Solitude, which became a New York Times Best Seller. In 2005, he received a MacArthur Fellowship. Since 2011, he has taught creative writing at Pomona College.
Nick Mamatas is a horror, science fiction and fantasy author and editor for Haikasoru’s line of translated Japanese science fiction novels for Viz Media. His fiction has been nominated for a number of awards, including several Bram Stoker Awards. He is the author of six novels including The Last Weekend (PS Publishing), Love is the Law (Dark Horse), The Damned Highway with Brian Keene (Dark Horse), and Under My Roof (Counterpoint/Soft Skull), amongst others. His latest collection is The Nickronomicon, from Innsmouth Free Press. His novels have been translated into German, Italian, and Greek. Nick is also an anthologist and editor of short fiction: with Masumi Washington he co-edited the Locus Award-nominated The Future Is Japanese (Haikasoru), and with Ellen Datlow he co-edited the Bram Stoker Award-winning Haunted Legends (Tor Books). Nick’s own short fiction has appeared in genre publications such as Asimov’s Science Fiction and Tor.com, lit journals including New Haven Review and subTERRAIN, and anthologies such as Hint Fiction and Best American Mystery Stories 2013. His fiction and editorial work has been nominated for the Bram Stoker award five times, the Hugo Award twice, the World Fantasy Award twice, and the Shirley Jackson, International Horror Guild, and Locus Awards.
Matt Bell is the author most recently of the novel Appleseed (a New York Times Notable Book) published by Custom House in July 2021. His craft book Refuse to Be Done, a guide to novel writing, rewriting, and revision, will follow in early 2022 from Soho Press. He is also the author of the novels Scrapper and In the House upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, as well as the short story collection A Tree or a Person or a Wall, a non-fiction book about the classic video game Baldur’s Gate II, and several other titles. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, Tin House, Fairy Tale Review, American Short Fiction, Orion, and many other publications. A native of Michigan, he teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.
Cory Doctorow is a blogger, journalist, and award winning science fiction author who served as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licences for his books. He has served as Canadian Regional Director of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. In 2007, together with Austrian art group monochrom, he initiated the Instant Blitz Copy Fight project, which asks people from all over the world to take flash pictures of copyright warnings in movie theaters. He’s recieved numerous honors for his work including a Promethius Award, the Locus Award for Best First Novel, the Sunburst Award, John W. Campbell Memorial Award as well as nominations for the Hugo and Nebula awards.
Vandana Singh is a science fiction writer and physicist. She is a Professor of Physics and Environment at Framingham State University in Massachusetts. Vandana is a 2021 Climate Imagination Fellow at the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State, and also serves on the Advisory Council of METI. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous collections including Year’s Best Science Fiction and Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, Foundation – The International Review of Science Fiction, amongst others. She has two collections of short stories to her credit, the most recent of which, Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories, is a 2018 Philip K. Dick Award Finalist. Her website is http://vandana-writes.com/.
Ann VanderMeer is a publisher and editor, and the second female editor of the horror magazine Weird Tales. She is the founder of Buzzcity Press and also the founder of The Silver Web magazine, a periodical devoted to experimental and avant-garde fantasy literature. She has received numerous honors for her work. Her work as Fiction Editor of Weird Tales won a Hugo Award. She has also edited with her husband Jeff VanderMeer such influential and award-winning anthologies as The New Weird, The Weird, and The Big Book of Science Fiction.