Nick Richardson

Nick Richardson, a former editor at the LRB, is now a software engineer.

On the Interface: M. John Harrison

Nick Richardson, 15 July 2021

Some​ of M. John Harrison’s books have aliens in and carry endorsements from China Miéville; others are alien-free and endorsed by Robert Macfarlane. He has fans who’ve read all the science fiction but not Climbers (1989), his semi-autobiographical masterpiece about rock climbing in the North of England, and fans who are effusive about Climbers but won’t go near the...

Short Cuts: The Classic Apocalypse

Nick Richardson, 7 January 2021

Theend of the world has always been nigh. The ancient Assyrians, nearly five thousand years ago, expected it to arrive any minute. Tenth-century Christians thought it would come in 1000, 17th-century Christians in 1666, Cotton Mather in 1736, Charles Wesley in 1794, Mother Shipton in 1881, Pierre Lachèze in 1900 and Jim Jones in 1967. The end of the great plague of 2020 may be in...

The hero​ of The Man in the Moone, a novel written in the late 1620s by the Anglican bishop Francis Godwin, is carried to the moon in a sky chariot pulled by a flock of wild swans. He spends the next few months among the peaceful ‘Lunars’ and gains a measure of fluency in their language, which ‘consisteth not so much of words and letters’ as of melodies ‘that no...

Diary: Elves and Aliens

Nick Richardson, 2 August 2018

The US government have publicly admitted, in effect, that highly trained and experienced pilots have seen aircraft that they are unable to identify, doing things that they and their colleagues are unable to explain. ‘Unexplained’ doesn’t mean alien, as the astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson emphasised on CNN after the footage was released: ‘Just because you don’t know what it is you’re looking at doesn’t mean it’s intelligent aliens visiting from another planet.’ Well, yes, but credible alternative explanations are lacking.

Even what doesn’t happen is epic: Chinese SF

Nick Richardson, 8 February 2018

Cixin Liu’s monumental Three-Body Trilogy – first published between 2006 and 2010, and recently translated into English by Ken Liu, a Chinese-American sci-fi writer – is Chinese science fiction’s best-known work. Barack Obama is a fan, and the forthcoming movie adaptations are already being described as ‘China’s Star Wars’. The story begins during the Cultural Revolution and ends 18,906,416 years into the future.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences