Albion Imagined

Very interesting series recently begun on BBC Radio 4: Imagining Albion – the Great British Future. Fronted by Francis Spufford (who wrote the charming Child That Books Built and The Backroom Boys – the Secret Return of the British Boffin, which I reviewed on the Alien Online a few years back) it is looking at the history of British SF, with the first episode (still available on the BBC’s archive) focussing on utopias.

As well as Spufford Gwynneth Jones and China Mieville made appearances, as did Iain Banks who discussed the utopian aspects of the Culture. Scientist and writer Steve Jones is also included along with John Carey, who edited the Faber Book of Utopias a few years back (one of the first non-fiction books I reviewed online, back in the day when modems were powered by clockwork wound by small, trained monkeys and we posted primitive blogs using new-fangled Difference Engines). Well worth a listen – the second part is due this Thursday and will take the theme of invasions.