As you might be able to tell from recent posts, I’m suffering from exhaustion, which is causing stress headaches and random bursts of crying, hence the few days off from posting recently. Tomorrow is an actual day off, where I don’t have to do anything at all, so I plan to get a backlog again then, but for tonight you get links.
Watch the first British science fiction film, A Message From Mars, free online (If your browser supports it — my particular combinations are the versions of Iceweasel and Chromium that come with Debian Wheezy, and I don’t have Adobe’s Flash installed but do have Gnash, and I can’t get the BFI player to work. More normal combinations probably will)
A zombie story (NB, Slate Star Codex, so comments not checked and not a safe space)
The “Make A Dredd Sequel” campaign has made a free comic available with a couple of classic Dredd reprints
A great YouTube collection of truly horrible novelty records, including Reginald Bosanquet’s disco single, Jim Bowen doing Walk The Dinosaur, and Come Outside by the supergroup of Frank Bruno, Bruno Brookes, Samantha Fox and Liz Kershaw
Various Doctor Who-related items on BBC Radio iPlayer
And I’m sure I’ve linked this before, but the recent discussion about The Imitation Game brought it back to mind, and it’s worth linking again: Oracle by Greg Egan, one of my very favourite SF stories ever; a story that is basically about “what if Alan Turing had lived and had an argument about the nature of the soul with C.S. Lewis?”
The link to the TED talk article is fucked up. Which is unfortunate, because it is a very good article.
I’m afraid I find that story rather odious, in its misattributation to the C.S.Lewis character of things Lewis was never actually known to think or say, that support other people’s misreadings of his work. For example rather than be self-satisfied at a correspondant writing that Susan was forever barred from Heaven (implicitly conceding the “problem of Susan”), C. S. Lewis would have been more likely to write back carefully explaining what he actually said ‘that we are never told anyone’s story but our own’. While I am (these days) an atheist, I retain considerable regard for Lewis, and constructing a story set in a knowably atheist universe in which atheism has all the cards including time travellers from an atheist future with demonstrable ‘mind’ creation via machinery, is hardly a fair depiction of his circumstances. You might as well write a story in which Turing is shown in Hell, and pretend it proves a point.
I agree that Lewis (who I have huge respect for myself) would never concede the “problem of Susan”, but I think he would still have appreciated the overall sentiments of that letter (and of course the letter is foreshadowing his own character’s eventual fate).
I also don’t think that the story is nearly as much of a polemic for atheism as you think — the time travellers aren’t from a knowably-atheist universe, they’re just from a future where most people are atheists. What I find interesting about that story is that *even though* Egan’s sympathies are obviously with the Turing character, he presents Lewis very sympathetically, and his beliefs fairly.