Wed, 26 March 2008
Kim Stanley Robinson, the best selling and award-winning science fiction author is our featured guest. Probably best known for his Mars trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars); his other novels include: Fifty Degrees Below, Forty Signs of Rain, The Years of Rice and Salt, and most recently, Sixty Days and Counting.
Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the March 26, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 83 minutes]
In today’s interview Kim Stanley Robinson covers many topics: his conversations with Sir Arthur C Clarke; how the TV show 24 encourages and justifies the use of torture; his observation that terrorists have become an exaggerated enemy; why English has become the world language; the vision he has tried to put forth in his latest novel Sixty Days and Counting; how frustrating it is that there are lots of exoplanets but we can't go look at them; and his worry that people are losing interest in space exploration because our ability to travel has not extended to the stars and is limited to our own solar system.
He also speaks to the difficult issues of the deeper future including: his opinion of the Singularity; his expectations of Artificial Intelligence; why he has moderated some of his views about Nanotechnology (he used to be more dismissive); and just how long he thinks human longevity might become stretched.
He also responds to the host's questions: What would people do differently if we all knew we were going to live for 300 years? How would this change civilization?
Kim Stanley Robinson's writings have won the Hugo, the Nebula, the Asimov, the John W. Campbell, the Locus, and the World Fantasy Awards. He has a Bachelors degree in literature, a Masters in English, and a Ph.D. also in English. He considers science fiction to be one of the most powerful of all literary forms, which explains why his doctoral thesis was titled The Novels of Philip K. Dick.
Other items in this episode include: the recent death of Sir Arthur C. Clarke (one of the hosts personal heroes); how the upcoming Yuri's Night celebrations will take place in two worlds instead of one (the anniversary of the first human in space); LED light bulbs; and an essay concerning the host's new theory about the origin of NGC-6543, also known as the Cat's Eye Nebula.