Living in a Material World


I’ve been approached by the producer of BBC Radio 4’s Material World to appear on this afternoon’s programme.

Topic of discussion will be the fictional travelogue True Histories , written by Lucian in second century AD, and its relationship to modern science fiction.

More details and thoughts after the show at 4.30pm this afternoon . . .



    August 11, 2005

    So now the Ancient Greeks are credited with the invention of Science Fiction. They wouldn’t have been as productive if they had first invented the televison!

    Pete Grehan

    August 11, 2005

    I heard this on the BBC’s online listen again service (very useful) and was impressed, not least that I followed the discussion and, indeed, wanted to. It’s a credit to the course so far that I did so, I think. The perennial questions ‘What is science fiction?’ and ‘What is the start of science fiction?’ were at least intelligently explained as ‘clearly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty’ and I think this was helped by what seemed to be a sympathetic presenter.

    My biggest dissapointment was the bloke who butted in at the end saying ‘I don’t like science fiction because it doesn’t do science any favours.’ (In other words the exclusive role of sf is to act as a propagandist for science). He missed the opportunity of being educated by the Prof. (that would have been worth the licence fee!) as that short exchange would have conveyed the nature of sf’s role in culture better than the rather polite (but interesting) discussion that had gone before I suspect.


    August 11, 2005

    You’re right Peter; I was ready to give him a good kicking.

    The presenter had the good sense to intervene before the fireworks

    More later . . .

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