Beyond Blade Runner: Imagining Community In Cities Of The Future
Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 7:00pm
Beyond Blade Runner: Imagining Community In Cities Of The Future

Speaker: Carl Abbott, PH.D. Professor Emeritus

Day: Thursday, April 6

Time: 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Place: Parsons Gallery, Urban Center 506 SW Mill St. Portland, OR

Science fiction often gives short shrift to cities. Nothing says trouble like a great city smashed to smithereens on screen by natural cataclysms, creepy aliens, or ill-tempered Godzilla. When cities survive in SF cinema, they’re places we’d rather not visit, like nasty New York in Soylent Green and Escape from New York, antiseptic City of Domes in Logan’s Run, or menacing Los Angeles in Blade Runner.

Look again, however, and Blade Runner’s city is also diverse, disordered, and alive. The entire pulsating mishmash of food carts, sushi bars, and discount retailers that line L.A. streets in 2019 streets match one of the standard prescriptions for vitalizing bland American cities and provide a launch point for examining science fiction that celebrates the social vitality and cultural dynamism of urban life with its mix of creativity and community. The presentation highlights the work of Samuel R. Delany, China Miéville, Nicola Griffith, and Nalo Hopkinson, and concludes with comments on themes of community and resilience in Kim Stanley Robinson’s most recent book New York 2140.