SOLARIS RISING 2 Countdown To Launch (T minus 4 Days): Mike Allen's favourite SF short story

In less than a week, Solaris Rising 2 will launch at Waterstones Gower Street in London where editor Ian Whates will be joined by authors Paul Cornell, James Lovegrove, David Mercurio Rivera, and Martin Sketchley, to talk about their contributions to this cosmic collection.

Solaris Rising 2 is jam-packed with SF short stories that explore man's efforts to leave this humble dot of blue in a sea of black, and all this week on the Solaris blog, authors from the collection are talking about the short story form and their favourite examples of it from SF.

This evening's contestant is Mike Allen...

"When Ian Whates asked me to write a few words about my favorite science fiction story, it surprised me how quickly my mind turned to Harlan Ellison's I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream.

"I first read it when I was in grade school, well over thirty years ago. Had I truly encountered nothing since that intrigued me more? What about James Tiptree Jr., Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia Butler, Philip Jose Farmer, even Ellison's other works that I wolfed down when much older? The list could go on.

"Yet, in the sense that the fates of Ted and Ellen and those three other unfortunates still haunt me, there's no need. I read that story at an age when I was mentally unprepared for its merciless postulations: that a machine could become an all-knowing, all-powerful god driven by hatred and psychosis; that a desperate, heroic act of mercy could be rewarded with eternal damnation.

"The story seared itself into my brain and never left. Certainly the concepts of malleable bodies and fluid realities have permeated my own work, as “Still Life with Skull” demonstrates, and so has the notion of preserving morality and dignity while in the jaws of an inescapable trap."

No comments: