When It Changed
Science Into Fiction
Edited by Geoff Ryman
978 1905583195 / 1905583192
£7.99 or £6.75 if you buy online now.
New Edition: 28 April 2010
First Edition: 3 Dec 2009
Also available for the Kindle and iPhone/iPad.
* Featuring Sara Maitland's 'Moss Witch' - Runner Up in the BBC National Short Story Prize 2009 *
'Stunning' - New Scientist, 5 Dec 09.
'Highly engaging and fascinating... this thought-provoking collection reminded me why I used to like science fiction so much... Eventually, one hopes, science fiction will regain its rightful place - as once again stranger than science.'
- The Guardian, 20 Dec 09.
'All hit, no miss... thought-provoking at worst, and stunning at best... shows that science can inspire anyone and everyone.'
– New Scientist, 5 Dec 09.
– THE, 19 Nov 09.
'A diamond of compression.'
– Financial Times, 20 Dec 09.
WRITERS: Justina Robson, Paul Cornell, Sara Maitland, Ken MacLeod, Gwyneth Jones, Adam Marek, Geoff Ryman, Michael Arditti, Simon Ings, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Kit Reed, Chaz Brenchley, Liz Williams, Patricia Duncker and Adam Roberts.
SCIENTISTS: Dr Andrew Bleloch, Dr Rob Appleby, Dr Jennifer Rowntree, Dr Richard Blake, Dr Kai Hock, Dr Vinod Dhanak, Emmanuel Pantos, Dr John Harris, Dr Matthew Cobb, Dr Tim O’Brien, Dr Steve Williams, Dr Sarah Lindley, Dr Steve Furber, Tim O’Brien and Dr Rein Ulijn.
How much of Science Fiction is genuine science? Take away the fantastical clichés of space-travel, time-travel and artificial intelligence, and how much of what remains accurately represents contemporary scientific thinking?
When It Changed is an attempt to put authors and scientists back in touch with each other, to re-introduce research ideas with literary concerns, and to re-forge the alloy that once made SF great. Composed collaboratively – through a series of visits and conversations between leading authors and practicing scientists – it offers fictionalised glimpses into the far corners of current research fields, be they in nanotechnology, invertebrate physiology, particle physics, or software archaeology. From Planck's Length (the smallest indivisible distance) to Plankton (potential saviours of the Earth's ecosystem), from virtual encounters between Witgenstein and Turing, to future civilisations torn asunder by different readings of the Standard Model, together these stories represent a literary 'experiment' in the true sense of the word, and endeavour to isolate a whole new strain of the SF bug.
* * Featuring Sara Maitland's 'Moss Witch' - Runner Up in the BBC National Short Story Prize 2009.* *
If you are a science fiction writer, or a writer interested in science, you might be interested in our Ten Things Not To Do When Writing About Science. If you agree with us, then feel free to get in touch - we may well need you for our next project in this field!
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Geoff Ryman (Editor) has published ten books and won 14 awards. His novella Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter is currently on the shortlist for the Nebula Award, given by the Science Fiction Writers of America. In addition to being an established author, he has editorial experience. Among is his ten books is Tesseracts9, an anthology of original Canadian science fiction and winner of the Prix Aurore. His most recent SF novel, Air won the Arthur C Clarke Award, the British Science Fiction Association Award, the Canadian Sunburst Award, and the James Tiptree Jr Memorial Award. He is the founder of the Mundane SF movement, which agrees to avoid badscience tropes. In 2008 he edited the Mundane Special Issue of Interzone magazine.
Michael Arditti is a novelist, short story writer and critic. He began his career writing plays for the stage and radio. His novels are The Celibate (1993), Pagan and Her Parents (1996), Easter (2000), Unity (2005), A Sea Change (2006), and The Enemy of the Good (2009). His short story collection, Good Clean Fun, was published in 2004. He was awarded a Harold Hyam Wingate scholarship in 2000, a Royal Literary Fund fellowship in 2001, an Arts Council Award in 2004 and a Leverhulme artist in residency in 2008.
Chaz Brenchley has been making a living as a writer since he was eighteen. He is the author of nine thrillers, most recently Shelter, and two major fantasy series; his most recent book is Bridge of Dreams. His novel Light Errant won the British Fantasy Award in 1998. He lives in Newcastle upon Tyne with a quantum cat and a famous teddy bear.
Paul Cornell is the author of two SF novels, Something More and British Summertime. His Doctor Who episode ‘Father’s Day’ was nominated for a Hugo Award in the Best Drama: Short Form category and he has a new two-parter due this year. He’s written widely in television, and is the author of ‘Wisdom’ for Marvel Comics.
Frank Cottrell Boyce is a novelist and screenwriter. His film credits include Welcome to Sarajevo, Hilary and Jackie, Code 46, 24 Hour Party People and A Cock and Bull Story. In 2004, his debut novel Millions won the Carnegie Medal and was shortlisted for The Guardian Children’s Fiction Award. His second novel, Framed, was published by Macmillan in 2005. He also writes for the theatre and was the author of the highly acclaimed BBC film God on Trial. He has previously contributed stories to Comma’s anthologies Phobic, The Book of Liverpool, and The New Uncanny.
Patricia Duncker was born in Kingston, Jamaica on 29 June 1951. Her novels include Hallucinating Foucault (1996), which won the Dillons First Fiction Award and the McKitterick Prize, James Miranda Barry (1999), and The Deadly Space Between (2002). Her short stories have been published in two collections Monsieur Shoushana’s Lemon Trees (1997), Miss Webster and Chérif (2006), which explores themes of desire, jealousy and revenge, and was shortlisted for the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award and Seven Tales of Sex and Death (2003).
Simon Ings is an English novelist and science writer living in London. He was born in July 1965 in Horndean and educated at Churcher’s College, Petersfield and at King’s College London and Birkbeck College, London. His six novels include Hotwire, Headlong, Painkillers and The Weight of Numbers.
Gwyneth Jones, born in Manchester, 14th February 1952, writer. She’s the author of more than twenty novels for teenagers, mostly using the name Ann Halam, and several highly regarded sf novels for adults. She’s won two World Fantasy awards, the Arthur C. Clarke award, the British Science Fiction Association short story award, the Dracula Society’s Children of the Night award, the P.K.Dick award, and shared the first Tiptree award, in 1992, with Eleanor Arnason.
Ken MacLeod was born in Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, and currently lives in South Queensferry near Edinburgh. His novels often explore socialist, communist and anarchist political ideas, or extreme economic libertarianism, in SF contents, and include The Star Fraction (1995), The Stone Canal (1996) and Learning the World (2005), all of which won the Prometheus Award in the respective years.
Sara Maitland grew up in Galloway and studied at Oxford University. Her first novel, Daughters of Jerusalem, was published in 1978 and won the Somerset Maugham Award. Novels since have included Three Times Table (1990), Home Truths (1993) and Brittle Joys (1999), and one cowritten with Michelene Wandor – Arky Types (1987). Her short story collections include Telling Tales (1983), A Book of Spells (1987) and most recently, On Becoming a Fairy Godmother (2003). She also contributed a story to The New Uncanny (Comma, 2008) and is currently writing an entire collection of stories for Comma, with scientists, born out of this project.
Adam Marek’s stories first appeared in Parenthesis (Comma 2006), and New Writing 15 (2008), edited by Maggie Gee and Bernardine Evaristo. His debut collection Instruction Manual for Swallowing was published by Comma Press in 2007. He has also had stories in Prospect magazine and The New Uncanny (Comma, 2008) edited by Sarah Eyre and Ra Page.
Kit Reed is an American author primarily of fantasy, horror and and science fiction. Her first story was published by seminal mystery editor Anthony Boucher, and a good deal of her work could be classed as feminist SF. She has published 14 novels, including Mother Isn’t Dead She’s Only Sleeping (1961), Armed Camps (1969), Magic Time (1980) and most recently Enclave (2009). She has also published seven collections of short stories, most recently Dogs of Truth (2005). She has been been nominated for the James Tiptree, Jr Award three times.
Adam Roberts is an academic, critic and novelist. He also writes parodies under the pseudonyms of A.R.R.R. Roberts, A3R Roberts and Don Brine. He also blogs at The Valve, a group blog devoted to literature and cultural studies. He has a degree in English from the University of Aberdeen and a PhD from Cambridge University on Robert Browning and the Classics. He has been nominated twice for the Arthur C. Clarke Award: in 2001, for his debut novel, Salt, and in 2007, for Gradisil.
Justina Robson attended the Clarion West Writing Workshop and was first published in 1994 in the British small press magazine The Third Alternative, but is best known as a novelist. Her debut novel Silver Screen was shortlisted for both the Arthur C Clarke Award and the BSFA Award in 2000. Her second novel, Mappa Mundi, was also shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award in 2001. It won the 2000 Amazon.co.uk Writer’s Bursary. In 2004, Natural History, Robson’s third novel, was shortlisted for the BSFA Award, and came second in the John W Campbell Award. Novels since have included Living Next-Door to the God of Love and Keeping It Real.
Liz Williams’ first two novels, The Ghost Sister (2001) and Empire of Bones (2002) were both nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award. She is also the author of the Inspector Chen series. She has had short stories published in Asimov’s, Interzone, The Third Alternative and Visionary Tongue. From the mid-nineties until 2000, she lived and worked in Kazakhstan. Her experiences there are reflected in her 2003 novel Nine Layers of Sky. This novel brings into the modern era the Bogatyr Ilya Muromets and Manas the hero of the Epic of Manas. Her novels have been published in the US and the UK, while her fourth novel The Poison Master (2003) has been translated into Dutch.
ABOUT THE SCIENTISTS:
Dr Rob Appleby is a physicist based partly at CERN, Switzerland and partly at Cockcroft Institute and the University of Manchester.
Dr Richard Blake is the Director of the Computational Science and Engineering Department of the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
Professor Andrew Bleloch lectures at Liverpool University and is Director of the SuperSTEM Laboratory, Daresbury.
Dr Matthew Cobb, is Programme Director Biology, the University of Manchester.
Dr Vinod Dhanak is a Senior Research Fellow in the Physics Department at the University of Liverpool. He has published research in nanoscience and on the use of nanotechnology in body armour, and is currently working on the use of nanostructures on metal surfaces.
Dr Steve Furber is the ICL Professor of Computer Engineering, the University of Manchester
Professor John Harris is Lord Alliance Professor of Bioethics, and Director of the Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation, University of Manchester. He is also author of On Cloning and Enhancing Evolution.
Dr Kai Hock is a Lecturer in Accelerator Physics at Liverpool University, where he designs small accelerators that can be used for cancer therapy.
Dr Sarah Lindley is Lecturer in Geographical Information Systems at the School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester
Dr Tim O’Brien is Senior Lecturer and Head of Outreach, for the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics.
Dr Manolis Pantos has been leading heritage and archaeological science research at the Science Technologies and Facilities Council (STFC), Daresbury Laboratory for the last ten years.
Dr Rein Ulijn is Professor of Chemistry, the University of Strathclyde,
Dr Jennifer Rowntree is post-doctoral researcher in the Faculty of Life Science, University of Manchester, specialising in bryology.
Dr Steve Williams is a Professor working in the Imaging Sciences Research Group, in the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, University of Manchester.