The pound sterling known as the pound and less referred to as sterling, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the British Antarctic Territory, Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence. A number of nations that do not use sterling have currencies called the pound. Sterling is the third most-traded currency in the foreign exchange market, after the United States dollar, the euro. Together with those two currencies and the Chinese yuan, it forms the basket of currencies which calculate the value of IMF special drawing rights. Sterling is the third most-held reserve currency in global reserves; the British Crown dependencies of Guernsey and the Isle of Man produce their own local issues of sterling which are considered equivalent to UK sterling in their respective regions. The pound sterling is used in Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, Saint Helena and Ascension Island in Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha; the Bank of England is the central bank for the pound sterling, issuing its own coins and banknotes, regulating issuance of banknotes by private banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Banknotes issued by other jurisdictions are not regulated by the Bank of England. The full official name pound sterling, is used in formal contexts and when it is necessary to distinguish the United Kingdom currency from other currencies with the same name. Otherwise the term pound is used; the currency name is sometimes abbreviated to just sterling in the wholesale financial markets, but not when referring to specific amounts. The abbreviations "ster." and "stg." are sometimes used. The term "British pound" is sometimes incorrectly used in less formal contexts, it is not an official name of the currency; the exchange rate of the pound sterling against the US dollar is referred to as "cable" in the wholesale foreign exchange markets. The origins of this term are attributed to the fact that in the 1800s, the GBP/USD exchange rate was transmitted via transatlantic cable. Forex traders of GBP/USD are sometimes referred to as "cable dealers". GBP/USD is now the only currency pair with its own name in the foreign exchange markets, after IEP/USD, known as "wire" in the forward FX markets, no longer exists after the Irish Pound was replaced by the euro in 1999.
There is apparent convergence of opinion regarding the origin of the term "pound sterling", toward its derivation from the name of a small Norman silver coin, away from its association with Easterlings or other etymologies. Hence, the Oxford English Dictionary state that the "most plausible" etymology is derivation from the Old English steorra for "star" with the added diminutive suffix "-ling", to mean "little star" and to refer to a silver penny of the English Normans; as another established source notes, the compound expression was derived: However, the perceived narrow window of the issuance of this coin, the fact that coin designs changed in the period in question, led Philip Grierson to reject this in favour of a more complex theory. Another argument that the Hanseatic League was the origin for both the origin of its definition and manufacture, in its name is that the German name for the Baltic is "Ost See", or "East Sea", from this the Baltic merchants were called "Osterlings", or "Easterlings".
In 1260, Henry III granted them a charter of protection and land for their Kontor, the Steelyard of London, which by the 1340s was called "Easterlings Hall", or Esterlingeshalle. Because the League's money was not debased like that of England, English traders stipulated to be paid in pounds of the "Easterlings", contracted to "'sterling". For further discussion of the etymology of "sterling", see sterling silver; the currency sign for the pound is £, written with a single cross-bar, though a version with a double cross-bar is sometimes seen. This symbol derives from medieval Latin documents; the ISO 4217 currency code is GBP, formed from "GB", the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for the United Kingdom, the first letter of "pound". It does not stand for "Great Britain Pound" or "Great British Pound"; the abbreviation "UKP" is used but this is non-standard because the ISO 3166 country code for the United Kingdom is GB. The Crown dependencies use their own codes: GGP, JEP and IMP. Stocks are traded in pence, so traders may refer to pence sterling, GBX, when listing stock prices.
A common slang term for the pound sterling or pound is quid, singular and plural, except in the common phrase "quids in!". The term may have come via Italian immigrants from "scudo", the name for a number of coins used in Italy until the 19th century.
Neal Town Stephenson is an American writer known for his works of speculative fiction. His novels have been categorized as science fiction, historical fiction, cyberpunk and baroque. Stephenson's work explores subjects such as mathematics, linguistics, philosophy and the history of science, he writes non-fiction articles about technology in publications such as Wired. He has written novels with his uncle, George Jewsbury, under the collective pseudonym Stephen Bury. Stephenson has worked part-time as an advisor for Blue Origin, a company developing a spacecraft and a space launch system, is a cofounder of Subutai Corporation, whose first offering is the interactive fiction project The Mongoliad, he is Magic Leap's Chief Futurist. Born on October 31, 1959 in Fort Meade, Stephenson came from a family of engineers and scientists, his mother worked in a biochemistry laboratory, her father was a biochemistry professor. Stephenson's family moved to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in 1960 and in 1966 to Ames, Iowa.
He graduated from Ames High School in 1977. Stephenson studied at Boston University, first specializing in physics switching to geography after he found that it would allow him to spend more time on the university mainframe, he graduated in 1981 with a B. A. in geography and a minor in physics. Since 1984, Stephenson has lived in the Pacific Northwest and lives in Seattle with his family. Stephenson's first novel, The Big U, published in 1984, was a satirical take on life at American Megaversity, a vast and alienating research university beset by chaotic riots, his next novel, was a thriller following the exploits of a radical environmentalist protagonist in his struggle against corporate polluters. Neither novel attracted much critical attention on first publication, but showcased concerns that Stephenson would further develop in his work. Stephenson's breakthrough came in 1992 with Snow Crash, a comic novel in the late cyberpunk or post-cyberpunk tradition fusing memetics, computer viruses, other high-tech themes with Sumerian mythology, along with a sociological extrapolation of extreme laissez-faire capitalism and collectivism.
Snow Crash was the first of Stephenson's epic science fiction novels. Stephenson at this time would be described by Mike Godwin as "a slight, unassuming grad-student type whose soft-spoken demeanor gave no obvious indication that he had written the manic apotheosis of cyberpunk science fiction." In 1994, Stephenson joined with his uncle, J. Frederick George, to publish a political thriller, under the pen name "Stephen Bury". Stephenson's next solo novel, published in 1995, was The Diamond Age: or A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, which introduced many of today's real-world technological discoveries. Seen back as futuristic, Stephenson's novel includes broad-range universal self-learning nanotechnology, robotics and cyber cities. In a plot involving weapons implanted in characters' skulls, near-limitless replicators for everything from mattresses to foods, smartpaper and blood-sanitizing nanobots, set in a grim future world of limited resources populated by hard-edged survivalists, an amalgamation hero is accidentally conceptualized by a few powerful and wealthy creatives and hackers.
This was followed by Cryptonomicon in 1999, a novel concerned with concepts ranging from computing and Alan Turing's research into codebreaking and cryptography during the Second World War at Bletchley Park, to a modern attempt to set up a data haven. It has subsequently been reissued in three separate volumes in some countries, including in French and Spanish translations. In 2013, Cryptonomicon won the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award; the Baroque Cycle is a series of historical novels set in the 17th and 18th centuries, is in some respects a prequel to Cryptonomicon. It was published in three volumes of two or three books each – Quicksilver, The Confusion, The System of the World – but was subsequently republished as eight separate books: Quicksilver, King of the Vagabonds, Bonanza, Solomon's Gold and System of the World; the System of the World won the Prometheus Award in 2005. Stephenson worked at Blue Origin—Jeff Bezos' spaceflight company—for seven years in the early 2000s when its focus was on "novel alternate approaches to space, alternate propulsion systems, business models", but left after Blue became a more standard aerospace company.
Following this, Stephenson published a novel titled Anathem, a long and detailed work best described as speculative fiction. It is set in an Earthlike world, deals with metaphysics, refers to Ancient Greek philosophy, while at the same time being a complex commentary on the insubstantiality of today's society. In May 2010, the Subutai Corporation, of which Stephenson was named chairman, announced the production of an experimental multimedia fiction project called The Mongoliad, which centered around a narrative written by Stephenson and other speculative fiction authors. Stephenson's novel REAMDE was released on September 20, 2011; the title is a play on the common filename README. This thriller, set in the present, centers around a group of MMORPG developers caught in the middle of Chinese cyber-criminals, Islamic terrorists, Russian mafia. On August 7, 2012, Stephenson released a collection of essays and other pr
Samuel R. Delany
Samuel Ray Delany Jr. Chip Delany to his friends, is an American author and literary critic, his work includes fiction, memoir and essays on sexuality and society. His works include Babel-17, The Einstein Intersection, Nova and the Return to Nevèrÿon series. After winning four Nebula awards and two Hugo Awards over the course of his career, Delany was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2002. From January 2001 until his retirement in May 2015, he was a professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia. In 2010 he won the third J. Lloyd Eaton Lifetime Achievement Award in Science Fiction from the academic Eaton Science Fiction Conference at UCR Libraries; the Science Fiction Writers of America named him its 30th SFWA Grand Master in 2013. Samuel Delany was born on April 1, 1942, raised in Harlem, his mother, Margaret Carey Boyd Delany, was a clerk in the New York Public Library system. His father, Samuel Ray Delany Sr. ran the Levy & Delany Funeral Home on 7th Avenue in Harlem, from 1938 until his death in 1960.
The civil rights pioneers Sadie and Bessie Delany were his aunts. He used their adventures as the basis for Elsie and Corry in "Atlantis: Model 1924", the opening novella in his semi-autobiographical collection Atlantis: Three Tales, his grandfather, Henry Beard Delany, was the first black Bishop of the Episcopal Church. The family lived in the top two floors of a three-story private house between five- and six-story Harlem apartment buildings. Delany envied children with nicknames and took one for himself on the first day of summer camp, at about the age of 12, by answering "Everybody calls me Chip" when asked his name. Decades Frederik Pohl called him "a person, never addressed by his friends as Sam, Samuel or any other variant of the name his parents gave him."Delany attended the Dalton School and, for two months out of each summer for five years, from 1951 through 1956, attended Camp Woodland in Phoenicia, New York, followed by the Bronx High School of Science, during which he was selected to attend Camp Rising Sun, the Louis August Jonas Foundation's international summer scholarship program.
Delany and poet Marilyn Hacker met on their first day together in high school in September 1956, were married five years in August 1961, due to her pregnancy. Their marriage endured for 14 years. Delany and Hacker permanently separated in 1975 and divorced in 1980. Delany has identified as gay since adolescence, though his complicated marriage with Hacker has led some authors to classify him as bisexual, he has publicly spoken about his support for NAMBLA, saying that he would have appreciated the organization's existence during his own adolescence. Upon the death of Delany's father from lung cancer in October, 1960 and his marriage in August 1961, he and Hacker settled in New York's East Village neighborhood at 629 East 5th Street. Hacker's intervention, helped Delany become a published science fiction author by the age of 20, though he finished writing that first novel while at 19, shortly after dropping out of the City College of New York after one semester, he published nine well-regarded science fiction novels between 1962 and 1968, as well as two prize-winning short stories.
In 1966, with Hacker remaining in New York, Delany took an extended trip to Europe, writing The Einstein Intersection while in France, Italy and Turkey. These locales found their way into several pieces of his work at that time, including the novel Nova and the short stories "Aye, Gomorrah" and "Dog in a Fisherman's Net". After returning, Delany played and lived communally for six months on the Lower East Side with the Heavenly Breakfast, a folk-rock band, one of whose members, Bert Lee, was a founding member of the Central Park Sheiks. Delany published his first eight novels with Ace Books from 1962 to 1967, culminating in Babel-17 and The Einstein Intersection, which were consecutively recognized as the year's best novel by the Science Fiction Writers of America. Calling him a genius and poet, Algis Budrys listed Delany with J. G. Ballard, Brian W. Aldiss, Roger Zelazny as "an earthshaking new kind" of writer, leaders of the New Wave. Delany's first short story was published by Pohl in the February 1967 issue of Worlds of Tomorrow, he placed three more in other magazines that year.
After four short stories and Nova were published to wide acclaim in 1968 alone, an extended interregnum in publication commenced until the release of Dhalgren, abated only by two short stories, two comic book scripts, an erotic novel, The Tides of Lust, reissued in 1994 under Delany's preferred title, Equinox. On New Year's Eve in 1968, Delany and Hacker moved to San Francisco, again to London in the interim, before Delany returned to New York in the summer of 1971 a
Eon is a 1985 science fiction novel by Greg Bear. It is the first story written in The Way fictional universe. Events in Eon take place in 2005, when the U. S. and U. S. S. R. are on the verge of nuclear war. In that tense political climate, a 290 km asteroid is detected, following an anomalous and powerful energy burst just outside the solar system; the asteroid moves into a eccentric Near-Earth orbit, the two nations each try to claim this mysterious object. Eon was nominated for an Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1987; the asteroid itself is an elongated prolate spheroid that appears to be identical to Juno, a large asteroid in the main belt. It has been hollowed out along its long axis, subdivided into seven vast cylindrical chambers, rotates to provide artificial gravity; the chambers are terraformed, with the second and third containing vast abandoned cities that have been maintained by automatic systems for centuries. As the Earth investigators explore the asteroid's interior, they make an more stunning discovery: The end of the Stone's seventh chamber opens into a vast cylindrical corridor -- a "pocket universe" that extends far beyond the physical limit of the asteroid, may be infinite.
These discoveries indicate both that the Stone's creators have mastered the technology to open portals into other dimensions and alternate universes, that, for unknown reasons, these original inhabitants had been evacuated from the Stone at some time in its past, could well be living somewhere further along the Way. However, the momentous discovery of The Way is overshadowed by a far more pressing problem, uncovered in the records in the libraries of the abandoned cities; the investigators learn that the Stone is indeed Juno, that it has been shaped into a massive starship by humans from Earth's future, whose ancestors had escaped a global nuclear holocaust in the early 21st century. Most disturbingly of all, they realize that these "histories" match events on present-day Earth precisely, that they therefore predict Earth's immediate future — making it certain that a global nuclear war is imminent. At the opening of the novel, Judith Hoffmann, head of the commission that coordinates the exploration of the Stone, recruits a brilliant young theoretical physicist, Patricia Vasquez.
Hoffmann sends Vasquez to the Stone, hoping that she can unravel its secrets and find a means of altering Earth's timeline and averting the coming catastrophe. Vasquez arrives at the Stone and receives highest clearance for all the secretive information discovered by the existing science teams, she continues to absorb knowledge about all the chambers within the Stone and wonders why she is treated with such a high regard. She learns that only NATO science teams are allowed to have access to all the chambers, though on a need-to-know basis. Chinese and Russian science teams don't have a similar access to the whole Stone or to the discovered knowledge. Meanwhile, the Soviet government protests and demands a right to the recovered knowledge, while secretly training space assault teams. At the climax of the novel's first half, the Soviets secretly dispatch a commando force to invade and seize control of the Stone, but the NATO security troops have been forewarned—they succeed in containing the Soviets, Hoffman brokers an uneasy cease-fire.
However, as the two sides battle for control of the Stone, the exploration team's worst fears are realized: a full-scale nuclear war breaks out on Earth, devastating much of the planet, killing billions and triggering a nuclear winter. Meanwhile, the descendants of the Stone's creators have realized that, thanks to advanced information gleaned from the Stone's libraries, Vasquez is now close to discovering key scientific secrets of the Stone and the Way. To forestall this, to prevent her from falling into the hands of the Soviet forces, Vasquez is kidnapped by two of the Stone's "future" inhabitants — Olmy, a humanoid agent of the Hexamon, his nameless colleague, an alien known as a Frant, they take her to Axis City, the main settlement of the'Stoners' and the various alien races with whom they are cooperating. Meanwhile, four of Vasquez's colleagues are searching for her using a specially-modified V/STOL craft, connected to a "tuberider", a device that allows the craft to be'hitched' to the tubular singularity that runs through the center of the Way, to travel along it at high speed.
They are intercepted when they near Axis City and reunited with Vasquez, but they soon find themselves enmeshed in the complex politics of the Hexamon, facing its own impending crisis in the form of a ruthless species of alien invaders called the Jart. The humans who built the Stone seem to come from 1,200 years in the future, their libraries record that human civilization was nearly destroyed by "The Death", a calamitous World War involving nuclear weapons, in 2005. Events recorded in the libraries prior to The Death are identical to events occurring on Earth in the explorers' present time. Rising tensions between the U. S. and U. S. S. R. Now exacerbated by both rumors of the information in the libraries and the general situation on the Stone, suggest that not only is such a war imminent, but the appearance of the Stone may make it worse than recorded. Since the Stone appears immedi
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster, Inc. a subsidiary of CBS Corporation, is an American publishing company founded in New York City in 1924 by Richard Simon and Max Schuster. As of 2016, Simon & Schuster was publishing 2,000 titles annually under 35 different imprints. In 1924, Richard Simon's aunt, a crossword puzzle enthusiast, asked whether there was a book of New York World crossword puzzles, which were popular at the time. After discovering that none had been published and Max Schuster decided to launch a company to exploit the opportunity. At the time, Simon was a piano salesman and Schuster was editor of an automotive trade magazine, they pooled US$8,000, equivalent to $117 thousand today, to start a company that published crossword puzzles. The new publishing house used "fad" publishing to publish books that exploited current fads and trends. Simon called this "planned publishing". Instead of signing authors with a planned manuscript, they came up with their own ideas, hired writers to carry them out. In the 1930s, the publisher moved to what has been referred to as "Publisher's Row" on Park Avenue in Manhattan, New York.
In 1939, Simon & Schuster financially backed Robert Fair de Graff to found Pocket Books, America's first paperback publisher. In 1942, Simon & Schuster and Western Printing launched the Little Golden Books series in cooperation with the Artists and Writers Guild. In 1944, Marshall Field III, owner of the Chicago Sun, purchased Pocket Books; the company was sold back to Schuster following his death. In the 1950s and 1960s, many publishers including Simon & Schuster turned toward educational publishing due to the baby boom market. Pocket Books focused on paperbacks for the educational market instead of textbooks and started the Washington Square Press imprint in 1959. By 1964 it had published over 200 titles and was expected to put out another 400 by the end of that year. Books published under the imprint included classic reprints such as Lorna Doone, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Robinson Crusoe. In 1966, Max Schuster sold his half of Simon & Schuster to Leon Shimkin. Shimkin merged Simon & Schuster with Pocket Books under the name of Simon & Schuster.
In 1968, editor-in-chief Robert Gottlieb, who worked at Simon & Schuster since 1955 and edited several bestsellers including Joseph Heller's Catch-22, left abruptly to work at competitor Knopf, taking other influential S&S employees, Nina Bourne, Tony Schulte. In 1979, Richard Snyder was named CEO of the company. Over the next several years he would help grow the company substantially. After the 1983 death of Charles Bluhdorn, head of Gulf+Western who acquired Simon in Schuster in 1976, the company made the decision to diversify. Bluhdorn's successor Martin Davis told The New York Times, "Society was undergoing dramatic changes, so that there was a greater need for textbooks and educational information. We saw the opportunity to diversify into those areas, which are more stable and more profitable than trade publishing."In 1984, Simon & Schuster with CEO Richard E. Snyder acquired Esquire Corporation, buying everything but the magazine for $180 million. Prentice Hall was brought into the company fold in 1985 for over $700 million and was viewed by some executives to be a catalyst for change for the company as a whole.
This acquisition was followed by Silver Burdett in 1986, mapmaker Gousha in 1987 and Charles E. Simon in 1988. Part of the acquisition included educational publisher Allyn & Bacon which, according to editor and chief Michael Korda, became the "nucleus of S&S's educational and informational business." Three California educational companies were purchased between 1988 and 1990—Quercus, Fearon Education and Janus Book Publishers. In all, Simon & Schuster spent more than $1 billion in acquisitions between 1983 and 1991. In the 1980s, Snyder made an unsuccessful bid toward video publishing, believed to have led to the company's success in the audio book business. Snyder was dismayed to realize that Simon & Schuster did not own the video rights to Jane Fonda's Workout Book, a huge bestseller at the time, that the video company producing the VHS was making more money on the video; this prompted Snyder to ask editors to obtain video rights for every new book. Agents were reluctant to give these up—which meant the S&S Video division never took off.
According to Korda, the audio rights expanded into the audio division which by the 1990s would be a major business for Simon & Schuster. In 1989, Gulf and Western Inc. owner of Simon & Schuster, changed its name to Paramount Communications Inc. In 1990, The New York Times described Simon & Schuster as the largest book publisher in the United States with sales of $1.3 billion the previous year. That same year, Schuster acquired the children's publisher Green Tiger Press. In 1994, was fired from S&S and was replaced by the company's president and chief operating officer Jonathan Newcomb; that year, Paramount was sold to Viacom. In 1998, Viacom sold Simon & Schuster's educational operations, including Prentice Hall and Macmillan, to Pearson PLC, the global publisher and owner of Penguin and the Financial Times; the professional and reference operations were sold to Hicks Muse Furst. In 2002, Simon & Schuster acquired its Canadian distributor Distican. Simon & Schuster began publishing in Canada in 2013.
At the end of 2005, Viacom split into two companies: CBS Corporation, the other retaining the Viacom name. In 2005, Simon & Schuster acquired Strebor Books International, founded in 1999 by author Kristina Laferne Roberts, who has written under the pseudonym "Zane." A year in 2006, Simon & Schuster launched the conservative imprint Threshold Editions. In 2009, Simon & Schuster
Margaret Eleanor Atwood is a Canadian poet, literary critic, inventor and environmental activist. She has published seventeen books of poetry, sixteen novels, ten books of non-fiction, eight collections of short fiction, eight children's books, one graphic novel, as well as a number of small press editions in poetry and fiction. Atwood and her writing have won numerous awards and honors including the Man Booker Prize, Arthur C. Clarke Award, Governor General's Award, Franz Kafka Prize, the National Book Critics and PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Awards. Atwood is the inventor and developer of the LongPen and associated technologies that facilitate the remote robotic writing of documents; as a novelist and poet, Atwood's works encompass a variety of themes including the power of language and identity, religion and myth, climate change, "power politics." Many of her poems are inspired by myths and fairy tales which interested her from a early age. Among her contributions to Canadian literature, Atwood is a founder of the Griffin Poetry Prize and Writers' Trust of Canada.
Atwood was born in Ottawa, Canada, as the second of three children of Carl Edmund Atwood, an entomologist and Margaret Dorothy, a former dietitian and nutritionist from Woodville, Nova Scotia. Because of her father's ongoing research in forest entomology, Atwood spent much of her childhood in the backwoods of northern Quebec and travelling back and forth between Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Toronto, she did not attend school full-time. She became a voracious reader of literature, Dell pocketbook mysteries, Grimms' Fairy Tales, Canadian animal stories and comic books, she attended Leaside High School in Leaside and graduated in 1957. Atwood began writing poems at the age of six. Atwood realized. In 1957, she began studying at Victoria College in the University of Toronto, where she published poems and articles in Acta Victoriana, the college literary journal, participated in the sophomore theatrical tradition of The Bob Comedy Revue, her professors included Northrop Frye. She graduated in 1961 with a Bachelor of minors in philosophy and French.
In 1961 Atwood began graduate studies at Radcliffe College of Harvard University, with a Woodrow Wilson fellowship. She obtained a master's degree from Radcliffe in 1962 and pursued doctoral studies for two years, but did not finish her dissertation, "The English Metaphysical Romance". In 1968, Atwood married an American writer, she formed a relationship with fellow novelist Graeme Gibson soon afterward and moved to a farm near Alliston, where their daughter, Eleanor Jess Atwood Gibson, was born in 1976. The family returned to Toronto in 1980. Although she is an accomplished writer, Margaret Atwood claims to be a terrible speller. Atwood's first book of poetry, Double Persephone, was published as a pamphlet by Hawskhead Press in 1961, winning the E. J. Pratt Medal. While continuing to write, Atwood was a lecturer in English at the University of British Columbia, from 1964 to 1965, Instructor in English at the Sir George Williams University in Montreal from 1967 to 1968, taught at the University of Alberta from 1969 to 1970.
In 1966, The Circle Game was published. This collection was followed by three other small press collections of poetry: Kaleidoscopes Baroque: a poem, Cranbrook Academy of Art. Atwood's first novel, The Edible Woman, was published in 1969; as a social satire of North American consumerism, many critics have cited the novel as an early example of the feminist concerns found in many of Atwood's works. Atwood taught at York University in Toronto from 1971 to 1972 and was a writer-in-residence at the University of Toronto during the 1972/1973 academic year. A prolific period for her poetry, Atwood published six collections over the course of the decade: The Journals of Susanna Moodie, Procedures for Underground, Power Politics, You Are Happy, Selected Poems 1965–1975, Two-Headed Poems. Atwood published three novels during this time: Surfacing. Surfacing, Lady Oracle, Life Before Man, like The Edible Woman, explore identity and social constructions of gender as they relate to topics such as nationhood and sexual politics.
In particular, along with her first non-fiction monograph, Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature, helped establish Atwood as an important and emerging voice in Canadian literature. In 1977 Atwood published her first short story collection, Dancing Girls, the winner of the St. Lawrence Award for Fiction and the award of The Periodical Distributors of Canada for Short Fiction. By 1976 interest in Atwood, her works, her life were high enough that Maclean's declared her to be "Canada's most gossiped-about writer." Atwood's literary reputation continued to rise in the 1980s with the publication of Bodily Harm. Despite her distaste for literary labels, Atwood has since conceded to referring to The Handmaid's Tale as a work of science fiction or, more spec
Kenneth Macrae MacLeod is a Scottish science fiction writer. MacLeod was born in Stornoway, Scotland on 2 August 1954, he graduated from Glasgow University with a degree in zoology and has worked as a computer programmer and written a masters thesis on biomechanics. He is married and has two children, he lived in South Queensferry near Edinburgh before moving to Gourock, on the Firth of Clyde, in June 2017. MacLeod is opposed to Scottish independence, he is part of a group of British science fiction writers who specialise in hard science fiction and space opera. His contemporaries include Stephen Baxter, Iain M. Banks, Paul J. McAuley, Alastair Reynolds, Adam Roberts, Charles Stross, Richard Morgan, Liz Williams, his science fiction novels explore socialist and anarchist political ideas Trotskyism and anarcho-capitalism. Technical themes encompass singularities, divergent human cultural evolution, post-human cyborg-resurrection. MacLeod's general outlook can be best described as techno-utopian socialist, though unlike a majority of techno-utopians, he has expressed great scepticism over the possibility and over the desirability of strong AI.
He is known for his constant in-joking and punning on the intersection between socialist ideologies and computer programming, as well as other fields. For example, his chapter titles such as "Trusted Third Parties" or "Revolutionary Platform" have double meanings. A future programmers union is called "Information Workers of the World Wide Web", or the Webblies, a reference to the Industrial Workers of the World, who are nicknamed the Wobblies; the Webblies idea formed a central part of the novel For the Win by Cory Doctorow and MacLeod is acknowledged as coining the term. Doctorow and Charles Stross used one of MacLeod's references to the singularity as "the rapture for nerds" as the title for their collaborative novel Rapture of the Nerds. There are many references to, or puns on, zoology and palaeontology. For example, in The Stone Canal the title of the book, many places described in it, are named after anatomical features of marine invertebrates such as starfish; the Science Fiction Foundation have published an analysis of MacLeod's work titled The True Knowledge Of Ken MacLeod, edited by Andrew M. Butler and Farah Mendlesohn.
As well as critical essays it contains material by MacLeod himself, including his introduction to the German edition of Banks' Consider Phlebas. Fall Revolution series The Star Fraction – Prometheus Award winner, 1996. Dark Light – Campbell Award nominee, 2002 Engine City The Corporation WarsDissidence Insurgence Emergence Newton's Wake: A Space Opera – BSFA nominee, 2004. According to the author, "In The Restoration Game I revisited the fall of the Soviet Union, with a narrator, at first a piece in a game played by others, works her way up to becoming to some extent a player, but – as we see when we pull back at the end – is still part of a larger game." Intrusion: "an Orwellian surveillance society installs sensors on pregnant women to prevent smoking or drinking. Descent: "My genre model for Descent was bloke-lit – that's first-person, self-serving, rueful confessional by a youngish man looking back on youthful stupidities...... Descent is about flying saucers, hidden races, Antonio Gramsci's concept of passive revolution, all set in a tale of Scottish middle class family life in and after the Great Depression of the 21st Century.