American science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson, best known for his award-winning
"Mars" trilogy, joins Lucy Sussex at the Melbourne Writers Festival to discuss the inspiration for his work and the problems facing planet Earth.
Robinson explains to his audience why it is important for everyone to know about science, especially in the face of the climate change crisis. It's a subject very close to the author's heart: virtually all of Robinson's novels have an ecological component with sustainability being one of his major themes. Robinson also defends science fiction, believing it deserves more attention by literary awards such as the Booker Prize. After all, if one of his favorite authors, Virginia Woolf, was a science fiction fan, why can't contemporary literary audiences appreciate the genre more?
Kim Stanley Robinson
Kim Stanley Robinson is the winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling “Mars” trilogy and the critically acclaimed “Forty Signs of Rain,” “The Years of Rice and Salt,” and “2312.” In 2008, he was named a “Hero of the Environment” by Time magazine, and he works with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute. His new novel is "Aurora".
Lucy Sussex was born in New Zealand in 1957. She has degrees in English and Librarianship from Monash University, and is a freelance researcher, editor and writer. She has published widely, writing anything from literary criticism to horror and detective stories. In addition she is a literary archaeologist, rediscovering and republishing the nineteenth-century Australian crime writers Mary Fortune and Ellen Davitt. Her short story, My Lady Tongue, won a Ditmar (Australian Science Fiction Achievement Award) in 1988. In 1994 she was a judge for the international Tiptree award, which honors speculative fiction exploring notions of gender. Her first adult novel, The Scarlet Rider, is about biography, Victorian detective fiction, voodoo and a ghost.
Author Kim Stanley Robinson compares science fiction to weather forecasts: the predictions are not necessarily accurate, he says, but they can change the way people approach the future and live their daily lives.
Kim Stanley Robinson, author of Galileo's Dream, discusses his controversial article published by McKinsey that details his "plan of action" to address climate change. Because _McKinsey Quarterly_ is a business journal, Robinson explains that he used phrases like "Ponzi scheme" and "predatory dumping" to frame the climate issue in terms its readers would respond to.