Artblog's Reader Advisor is back! This week, he writes about the boundary-shattering, trail-blazing sci-fi author, Octavia Butler, with assorted observations about The Future. – Artblog editor

Octavia Butler Fanrasy Faire
Octavia Butler at the 1986 Fantasy Faire in Pasadena. Photo by Dik Daniels

What will the future bring? Will it be bliss or apocalypse? Imagining the future has always been a means of actively processing the history of the present. In 1895, H.G. Wells’ novel The Time Machine critiqued labor and class conditions of the day by transporting his protagonist to a future ruled by bloodthirsty proletariat mutants feeding off the waifish decedents of the aristocracy. In the racially charged climate of 1966, Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek envisioned a future where the races worked side by side to seek out new civilizations and new sexual conquests. Perhaps most strikingly of all, in the 1980s and ’90s Octavia Butler provided an alternative to the stagnantly white male visions of the future and created stories that were sculpted by the past and current oppression of women and blacks. So for this week’s Reader Advisor I offer few links that examine how we shape the future and how our projections shape the here and now.

This is an old link but a good one that address a very important question: WHEN WILL I SEE LILITH’S BROOD IN IMAX?! [ via Newsworks ]

In the future, fonts will be VERY important. Check out this typographical examination of Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner.” [ via ]


“Black Quantum Futurism (BQF), along with the AfroFuturist Affair, both activist-oriented collectives celebrating and disseminating black science fiction culture, has opened a community resource space envisioned as a “time capsule” in Sharswood/Blumberg.” [ via Hyperallergic ]

Douglas Coupland gets depressed/excited at the prospect of technology leading art into its next big phase: oblivion. [ via e-flux ]

I’ve highlighted videos of robots falling down before. Part of the appeal is knowing that a descendant of this robo-dog will most likely be shepherding my descendants into tiny labor cubicles or body heat power adapters. But for now we can both share a sloppy happy laugh. [ via ]