Unsettling Scientific Stories

Blogging the History of the Future

June 13, 2016
Amanda Rees

Species, Race, Slavery: SF Literature and Defining Humanity

Author: Amanda Rees


By their works, you shall know them…according to Vercors (the war-time pen name of French writer, Jean Bruller). His 1952 novel, Les Animaux dénaturés, opens with the death of a baby in Guildford. The father, who has arranged for the infant’s birth to be registered and for him to be baptised – thus ensuring that both Church and State recognise the child’s existence – is the killer: the mother, on the other hand, is a member of the species Paranthropus erectus (a genus of extinct hominins). So, is the father a murderer?



June 7, 2016
Mat Paskins

Science Fictions: Mat’s List

Author: Mat Paskins

  1. Michel Faber, The Book of Strange New Things

61hBn-jTCcL._SX324_BO1204203200_ (more…)

June 2, 2016
Lisa Garforth

One of my favourite words is ‘sfnal’

Author: Lisa Garforth

Sfnal: it’s a term that says a lot about contemporary sf, its journeys, its uses, the cleverness of its readers and writers. I like the idea that something can be ‘science fictional’, that sf is not necessarily an object or a genre in the sense of a container, but rather that it is a shared way of thinking and doing things. (more…)

May 27, 2016
Amy C. Chambers

(Don’t) Ask a Scientist!: The Good, the Bad, and the Accuracy

Author: Amy C. Chambers

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 10.29.20At the end of March I went to my first science fiction convention: EasterCon. Also known as the British National Science Fiction Convention, now in its 67th year, the convention is given a name that reflects its location or theme each year and for the Manchester EasterCon we had Mancunicon (for the 2018 convention, being held in my hometown of Harrogate [North Yorkshire, UK], we have FollyCon – I have high hopes for lots of Victorian folly and steampunk revelry!). The convention, which is primarily literary, was drastically different from my convention expectations of cosplayers and comic books. It was a serious and engaging event where, as a SF researcher, it was great to speak to a huge range of writers, fans, and commentators. Audience questions were perceptive and revealing and I found the entire experience very rewarding. (more…)

May 16, 2016
Amy C. Chambers

Science Fiction Suggestions: Amy’s list

Author: Amy C. Chambers

amypicI’m a postdoctoral researcher on the Unsettling Scientific Stories project based at the Newcastle University. I work in the fields of science communication and screen studies and I’m interested in the relationship between movies and the public understanding of science. (more…)