Unsettling Futures

By Matthew Claxton

Unsettling Futures

Unsettling Futures

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Unsettling Futures - Three Fun New Ways to Argue About Science Fiction & Fantasy!

There are various traditional ways fans of fantasy and science fiction divide up the field (primarily for the purpose of arguments).The most venerable of those is the hard sci-fi vs. soft sci-fi debate, an argument that, after all these years, is less beating…


Unsettling Futures - Broken Road Podcast and Patience Lake!

So this has been a while coming, but there's an adaptation of one of my stories out this week! (I was going to do this post yesterday, but life and what wound up being almost a 12-hour work day intervened.) Broken Road is on the Fable and Folly network, and i…


Unsettling Futures - Free Fiction - "Payday Weather"

Good morning! Rather than ranting about old books or whatever I think is Wrong With Science Fiction this week, I thought I'd send out a copy of my most recent short story. Escape Pod editors S.B. Divya and Mur Lafferty were kind enough to buy this one late la…


Unsettling Futures - Deep Strata: Spider World and sci-fi's psi-power obsession

Welcome to Deep Strata, the (very) intermittent feature where I talk about a book that was influential on me in some way, for good or ill.The first thing that drew me to Spider World: The Tower when I was a wee little adolescent sci-fi nerd was definitely the…


Unsettling Futures - Brandon Sanderson, fame, and the failure of the Long Tail

One of the worst science fiction premises of the last 50 years is that of Danny Boyle's 2019 film Yesterday. It imagines a man who wakes up to find himself in a world in which the Beatles never existed, and he's the only one who remembers their songs – so he …


Unsettling Futures: The Rise and Fall of Snark in Science Fiction

From eager anticipation at casting news, to trepidation as early clips were released, to a messy reception once it aired, the live-action Netflix adaptation of Cowboy Bebop had plenty of ups and downs. Its biggest memetic legacy in fandom is likely to be "Wel…


Unsettling Futures - Why it's hard to get beyond capitalism in science fiction

I got up Sunday morning to find that there were quite a few people on Twitter gleefully dunking on a Salon article by fantasy author Kyle Galindez, called Why Can't Sci-Fi or Fantasy Imagine Alternatives to Capitalism or Feudalism? Most of the responses were …


Unsettling Futures - New fiction: Payday Weather

Just a brief note today to let you know that my new story, 'Payday Weather,' has been published at Escape Pod. You can read it or listen to it on their site, or download it via your favourite podcast app.I usually make self-promotion a joke around these parts…


Unsettling Futures - Colouring inside the lines of the genre

One of the things that almost kept me from becoming a science fiction writer was the fannish use of the word mundane. That used to just, like, like kill me. Because, y'know, they'd be talking about some unutterably mundane piece of science fiction, and yet it…


Unsettling Futures - Repost: Like a hot-fired, hand-stoke heart

Camelot is servedBy a sixteen-track stub terminal done in High Gothick Style,The tracks covered by a single great barrel-vaulted glass roof framed upon iron,At once looking back to the Romans and ahead to the Brunels.I mean, what can you say against an openin…


Unsettling Futures - When Clarion is not an option

'Tis the season, when folks are filling out their applications for Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop again.Clarion, its sibling Clarion West, and the similarly structured Odyssey Writing Workshop, are the premiere six-week bootcamps for ne…


Unsettling Futures - Dune, Cowboy Bebop, and adaptation

My favourite adaptation is five minutes of a play within a TV show.Slings & Arrows was a brief Canadian comedy-drama about a Shakespeare festival. Every season focused on the production of a different play, with the second season tackling Macbeth. Geoffre…


Unsettling Futures - FICTION - The Acheulean Gift

The Acheulean Gift was originally published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact's March/April 2021 issue. Many thanks to editor Trevor Quachri both for accepting it, and for giving advice on which New York City parks might most appeal to adolescents with a nee…


Unsettling Futures - Influence vs fame in science fiction and fantasy

I keep meaning to re-read Jurassic Park. I keep not doing it.I should be eager to do it! I mean, I'm a dinosaur nerd, I'm a science fiction nerd, I'm an advocate for repeatedly re-reading books to suck the narrative marrow from their bones… but I don't actual…


Unsettling Futures - Exhuming the bones of a genre

The surprising thing is how much these late-'80s works looked like a genre from the very beginning. The early entries include Megan "Robin Hobb" Lindholm's Wizard of the Pigeons, Emma Bull's The War for the Oaks, Charles de Lint's Yarrow and Jack the Giant Ki…


Unsettling Futures - Patience Lake is being adapted!

His right knee gave out thirty clicks outside of Saskatoon. He pitched forward onto the gravel shoulder of the Five, plastic pads on his hands sending flashes of PAIN-PAIN-PAIN while red SEEK REPAIR messages flared in the corners of his visual field. He’d bee…


Sharpening our expectations about publishing – Unsettling Futures - Issue #19

This is a newsletter about science fiction and fantasy, so let me tell you a fantasy story.To become a successful author in SFF, you start with short stories. You hone your craft, and you mail your manuscripts (complete with SASEs) to Fantasy & Science Fi…


Flashback Friday – Science Fiction Should Stop Trying to Save the World – Unsettling Futures - Issue #17

If you picked up a novel set during World War II, would you expect it to end with the hero killing Hitler?Obviously, that’s a silly question. World War II novels, if they’re of the two-fisted variety, might be about commandos doing daring raids or saving POWs…


Akira and the Creative Power of Absence – Unsettling Futures - Issue #16

There were a few other reviews or clips that turned up around the same time, but few of the brief items I saw in newspapers, magazines, or on TV, were interested in trying to unpack the plot or even naming the characters.So while I was fascinated by the art s…


Deep Strata: Virtual Light, VR dreams, and the Spirit of the '90s – Unsettling Futures - Issue #15

Virtual Light is the start of Gibson's second trilogy of novels, the Bridge series. Published in 1993, it's set in a nebulous but quite-near future, often said (even on the jacket copy) to be 2005 or 2006, but not confirmed in internal text. (Co-protagonist B…