Did you know George Washington Carver made more than 300 products from peanuts?
Did you know Lewis Howard Latimer was a draftsman who worked closely with Thomas Edison and Hiram Maxim while creating the light bulb? Latimer also helped Alexander Graham Bell draft the patent for his telephone.
In the spring of 2015, with the release of the first issue, Ken Layne's DESERT ORACLE carved a place in the unforgiving Mojave Desert. The moment I took one into my hands, I felt like I was reading something important and ominous. The articles were describing what all desert dwellers know to be true; that the world is a mysterious place of high-strangeness, and that the Mojave is an epicenter for varied exotic phenomena to present itself. I was captivated.
Writing is a craft. We talk of crafting a story, and of wordsmiths who forge metaphors from the white heat of their imaginations. The creation of fiction, therefore, involves a process akin to that of making art. This process involves the mind constructing a fabrication which will more clearly define our reality, or even go beyond our understanding of what reality is.
At the dawn of the 1960s, the history of science fiction took a huge turn from its past. In two decades, the whole genre of sci-fi would change in ways that would alter mainstream perspectives of the science fiction genre.
The seminal science magazineOMNI was known for many things: its futurist articles, stunning artwork and famous fiction.
Some of science fiction's greatest writers were published in OMNI's pages, including Stephen King, Arthur C. Clark, Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. leGuin, William Gibson, Orson Scott Card and more. Most sci-fi fans are familiar with those names; but for every famous writer published in the magazine, there are many other lesser-known writers with whom you might not be familiar.
At the start of the 20th century, the history of science fiction took a great turn thanks to the emergence of motion pictures and the proliferation of pulp magazines. It is thanks to these two entertainment forms that the landscape following H.G. Wells' sci-fi novels took such a different direction than the scientific romances of the 19th century.
When chronicling the history of science fiction, you need to think about the history of sci-fi as it pertains to the history of mankind. Throughout its span, sci-fi asks where we are as a species, where we will go, and what will happen when we get there.
In 2014, H.R. Giger died, and, thus, science fiction lost one of its greatest artists – but left behind were a multitude of H.R. Giger illustrations. Giger created some of the most exotic, darkest depictions of bio-mechanical sexualization put to the canvas.
This story is excerpted from the novel Haveck: The First Transhuman by Matt Cates (Sable Mare Media, 2015).
Smiljan Village, Croatia, 7 August 1864
I've been asked to interview a reclusive artist. An artist whose work I find to be exquisitely revolting. Work that, in my eyes, causes awkward hyper-sexualized repulsion in absolute terms. Like the protagonist, Alex, from A Clockwork Orange, we are all but programed to become ill when confronted with such confusing attractions. Kill, fuck, bleed, burst, dismember; this art is eerie and unsettling. It's clearly powerful, but it's a deeply personal intrusion to look at it. It's art that demands to be discussed; if you can bare to keep your gaze on it before averting your eyes and feeling shame.
Fabrice Giger is easily one of the most influential trailblazers in the comic book world, yet many fans and professionals don’t know his story. In 1988, at the age of 23, he purchased Humanoids, Europe’s renowned comic book publisher. Since then he has worked with some of the industry’s most visionary legends, such as Jean Giraud (Moebius), Enki Bilal, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Ridley Scott, overseeing the development of cutting edge properties that have pushed the boundaries of the comic book medium and science fiction. The catalog he’s shepherded includes: The Incal, Metal Hurlant, The Metabarons and much more. Giger revolutionized the approach to how graphic novels are printed, treating each book as an individual work of art meant to stand out on the reader’s shelf. He has also made great strides in changing the rules of the industry. I had the opportunity to sit with him to discuss his legacy and the future of Humanoids.
If you ask me, no single genre of literature ever really comes close to the aesthetic awesomeness that science fiction does. Sci-fi illustrators seem to have an innate ability to make a book's fantastic scenery come to life and make you want to dive into that strange world.