Re: Herding Extropycats [was Shame on Australia]

From: Charlie Stross (
Date: Sun Sep 02 2001 - 08:43:14 MDT

On Sun, Sep 02, 2001 at 09:32:46PM +1000, Russell Blackford wrote:
> >(Are you going to try and tell me that Ken McLeod is an objectivist? ;-)
> Nup. Though he does seem able to treat all sorts of political theories,
> including Randian libertarianism with a great deal of knowledge and seeming
> sympathy. Despite those Prometheus Awards that he won, I take it he is
> really some kind of socialist. Is this correct?

Correct. He isn't -- quite -- a member of the Scottish Socialist Party,
but he grew up in and messed around in left-wing Scottish fringe politics
and has kept a keen interest in all sorts of fringe parties. And he goes
drinking with the local libertarians on occasion, where they bicker good-
naturedly about politics. But fringe is fringe ...

> Forgive my ignorance, but
> I'm not very clear on where some of the new crop of UK hard-sf writers fit
> in. I even tend to get Ken McLeod mixed up with Ian McLeod. But some
> excellent work has been coming out from the UK of late.

There is no Movement. However, let's see ... Iain Banks and Ken MacLeod
went to school together and egged each other on; it's just that Ken is
less prolific and took longer to break through into print. Al Reynolds
and Steve Baxter are getting lots of coverage, as is Peter Hamilton,
but again: there's no movement. What there is is Interzone, which began
publishing quarterly in 1979 and is now a monthly magazine. Interzone gave
a lot of writers their first break into print and there's a discernable
"Interzone generation" in British SF -- probably two-thirds of the
writers to make it since 1980 came through that magazine. (Myself included.)

-- Charlie

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