The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Warren Ellis Has Arrived


“I’m a comic book writer. I still don’t think this is going to be run by The Paris Review.”

Warren Ellis, author of Gun Machine and Dead Pig Collector, in conversation with Molly Crabapple for The Paris Review:

I try not to get involved in the business of prediction. It’s a quick way to look like an idiot. There’s an expectation around writers of science fiction, which I sometimes am, that we’re predictors of the future, that that is the business of science fiction. Which we’re not, and never were.

Science fiction is social fiction. That’s the line from Mary Shelley through H. G. Wells and Aldous Huxley and George Orwell to the politically committed writers of the sixties and seventies. It’s about using speculation as a tool with which to examine the contemporary condition. The closest it comes to prediction is in the provision of long-range weather warnings.

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