Science fiction scholar and critic Farah Mendlesohn's latest book, The Intergalactic Playground: Children and Science Fiction
is a keen-eyed, affectionate, insightful and cranky look at science fiction novels aimed at kids. Mendlesohn starts with some of the earliest kids-lit, from the thirties, and surveys all they way up to the present day, looking at how changes in work, adolescence and science education have changed the sort of work that gets published for young people.
In particular, Mendlesohn looks into the way that "extreme sport readers" -- kids who devour books at the rate of one or two a day -- have dropped out of the modern conception of how kids read (and how many of today's adult science fiction fans were that kind of reader in their childhoods). She also takes issue with the idea that books have to sneak up on kids in order to teach them things -- that kids never read fiction with the explicit goal of finding out how and why the world works -- an idea that has hammered a stake through the didactic traditions of science fiction.
Intergalactic Playground combines reader surveys, extensive literature review, and a distillation of the fights waged on kids-literature mailing lists, synthesizing them into a deep, intelligent, and engrossing read.
There are three more stops on my tour for Walkaway: tomorrow at San Diego Comic-Con, next weekend at Defcon 25 in Las Vegas, and August 10th at the Burbank Public Library.
Scott Edelman writes, “I interviewed George R. R. Martin at a Thai restaurant on Episode 42 of my Eating the Fantastic podcast (MP3), and after I returned home, remembered I’d also interviewed him back in 1993. After digging out the tape, I couldn’t resist incorporating his amusing admission about ‘a fantasy novel I’ve been working […]
Zero-knowledge proofs are one of the most important concepts in cryptography: they’re a way to “validate a computation on private data by allowing a prover to generate a cryptographic proof that asserts to the correctness of the computed output” — in other words, a way to prove that something is true without learning the details.
Just because English has become the common global tongue doesn’t mean it’s the easiest language to write—even for native speakers. If you’re looking to improve your written communication skills, especially on your smartphone, take a look at Ginger Page.Ginger is a cross-platform app that offers corrections for phrasing as well as grammar. It’s powered by […]
The current web development landscape is rife with buzzwords and technology that gets abandoned almost as soon as it’s made. If you’ve never written a line of code before, it can be hard to figure out what’s coming, what’s here to stay, or how to get ahead.This Beginner Web Development Bundle is a great place […]
The Fader Stealth Quadcopter from TRNDlabs packs incredible flight performance into a package small enough to land on your phone screen, and it’s available now in the Boing Boing Store.The Fader’s six-axis gyroscope module gives it perfect balance in the air. This makes the onboard 720p HD camera all the better for shooting amazing flight […]