The Satanic in Science Fiction and Fantasy, the new book by our colleague and Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing Adam Dalton, has just been published by Luna Press.
The Satanic in Science Fiction and Fantasy officially launches at the BSFA national science fiction convention in April, but copies can already be ordered from Amazon. It’s published under the author name A J Dalton (www.ajdalton.eu), but his alter-ego is Dr Adam Dalton of Middlesex University.
Here’s the official blurb:
Satan, Dracula, Sauron, Lord Foul, Darth Vader. The motif of the Satanic Dark Lord is ever-present in science fiction and fantasy, a malign intelligence seeking to thwart the Chosen One.
In the literature of the 1980s and 90s, the Dark Lord is always defeated. However, post-millennium, there are signs that he has finally begun to get the upper hand, as we witness his change from anti-hero to hero.
In this enthralling study, prize-winning author A J Dalton considers how our understanding and characterisation of Satan has developed over time. From early depictions of Satan as a brutal dragon in the Bible, to the playfully seductive friend in the works of Chaucer and Marlowe, to the sympathetic and sensitive vampire of the modern-day, to the alien and unknowable artificial intelligence of tomorrow.
This book provides a starting point for researchers, writers and fans of science fiction and fantasy interested in the development of one of the biggest tropes in speculative fiction.
Our colleague at BA English at Middlesex Dr Josie Barnard presented a BBC Radio 4 programme on 3rd Sept at 11am. It investigates the deep social divides created by the digital world.
Hear it here.
Whether booking a flight to go on holiday or ordering a takeaway, digital technology is so embedded in everyday life that it’s easy to assume everyone is on a level playing field. Or that those who aren’t are part of an older generation who didn’t grow up with computers. But that’s a dangerous assumption.
22% of the British population lack the digital skills they need to get by day-to-day. That’s more than one in five people who struggle with signing their child up to school, filling in a tax return, or even using a smartphone to make a call. And as more and more essential services move online, falling behind the pace of change carries severe consequences.
For young people, the risks of being left behind are buried under the assumption that they are digital natives – that they have supposedly grown up with an innate ability to use digital technology. But as the number of smartphone-only households grows, millions of children are in danger of their digital world shrinking around a tiny touchscreen.
Dr Barnard asks if this is simply a question of affordability and motivation, or whether more complicated factors are at play. She speaks to people struggling to find space at public computer banks to complete their Universal Credit forms, and a group who are jumping hurdles to get online because of their severe dyslexia, and gets behind the screens of smartphone-only teenagers to find out how the kind of device and the way we use it can be just as detrimental as not having it at all.
Presenter: Dr Josie Barnard
Producer: Emma Barnaby
Executive Producer: Deborah Dudgeon
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio
On a daily basis we face deeply ingrained beliefs that your gender determines your skills and preferences, from toys and colours to career choice and salaries.
On Tuesday 19th March 18:30 our colleague Lorna Gibb participates in a sold-out event at Waterstones London – Gower Street.
In her new book The Gendered Brain, Gina Rippon draws on her work in cognitive neuroimaging to unpack the stereotypes that bombard us from our earliest moments. Lorna Gibb‘s masterful Childless Voices paints a global portrait of people without children, from the playgrounds of Glasgow to the villages of Bangladesh, a first-of-its-kind, global investigation into an issue that affects millions of people.
Chaired by literary critic Lucy Scholes, Gina and Lorna discussed the expectations put upon women by society and science alike, and unpacked deeply ingrained beliefs about gender, motherhood and sexism from their differing perspectives.
Our colleague’s Lorna Gibb new book ‘Childless Voices: Stories of Longing Loss, Resistance and Choice’ will be published on 7 February 2019.
From the playgrounds of Glasgow to the villages of Bangladesh; from religious rites to ancient superstitions; from the world’s richest people to its powerless and enslaved, Lorna Gibb’s masterful Childless Voices paints a global portrait of people without children. Brilliantly grouped by thematic commonality (Those who long, Those who were denied, Those who Choose, etc) the book is a testament to the power of listening, and the power of sharing stories. It is an essential, moving and surprising book on a subject which touches everyone.
To get the book, click here.
Lorna was born in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire and used to work as a professional dancer. She is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Middlesex University. In the past she’s lived in four different countries but is now back in London with her husband, two rescue cats from Qatar and a rescue snow Bengal from Chichester. Her debut novel A Ghost’s Story is published by Granta in Nov 2015. Prior to this she wrote two biographies, West’s World, on the fabulous Dame Rebecca West (Pan MacMillan) and Lady Hester on the wondrous Lady Hester Stanhope (Faber).