re: L.A. as the “capital of science fiction.”

Also – “Some of the early LGBT leaders were also active in early sci-fi reading circles, and they used the genre to explore possible futures where they would find acceptance for their sexuality… I’m always interested in how science fiction or speculative fictions refers back to the moment in which it’s created. We tend to think of it as pie-in-the-sky fantasy, but there’s a strong strain of social commentary. A lot of dystopian or apocalyptic writing about Southern California – much of which blurs the line between pop culture and literary culture – seems to grow out of science fictional tropes.

thom_bonaventure

L.A.’s Bonaventure Hotel, photographed by Wayne Thom in 1978. Courtesy of the USC Libraries – Wayne Thom Photography Collection.

Via kcet.org, featuring thoughts from Christopher Hawthorne, William Deverell and David Ulin instigated/edited by Nathan Masters.

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Regarding imagined cities…

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Monday, July 9th, 2012, Impossible Cities was written by Darran Anderson, an Irish writer. In the essay Mr. Anderson reflects on the varied fictional cities found throughout history, whether in the arts, architecture; poetry, or fiction. He concludes “A lasting consequence of these imagined cities is their effect on the way we view real-life cities…Today, we largely deal with the cities we actually possess (or possess us) but the great fictional cities have not disappeared…In recording and editing our own view of a city, however real it is, are we producing a fictionalised version, warped by our preferences and prejudices…Imaginary cities need not necessarily be invented then. We already inhabit them“.