About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Paul Gilster on the science fiction of Edgar Allan Poe

Paul Gilster, a technology writer and specifically an expert on the prospects of interstellar travel and exploration, has published a superb essay on the science fiction of Edgar Allan Poe over on his Centauri Dreams site. It doesn't hurt that he's cited my "Science Fiction as a Lens into the Future" piece, which I have recently republished here. Check out both of them if this topic interests you.

I was not aware of Centauri Dreams until Gilster kindly contacted me today to let me know he'd cited my work. However, it looks like a wonderful resource, and I'll be browsing it further. If you have any interest in space travel you would probably benefit from doing likewise.

It was slightly galling to find that on the site's "about" page Gilster uses the trope of building star-faring craft as an intergenerational task like building a medieval cathedral. It's an excellent image, so the galling part of it is that he beat me to it! In my latest book, At the Dawn of a Great Transition: The Question of Radical Enhancement, I used the same image for the construction of a post-human, star-faring civilization. In future writings where I make that point, I'll be sure to cite Gilster's prior use of a similar idea!

In all, though, the point is just: do check out Centauri Dreams and particularly the newly published essay on Poe.

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