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"Hard Reading" Medievalist/sci fi critic Tom Shippey

UK author's many excellent books

One of my new favorite authors and a scholar of ancient and future worlds I can only dream of being in the same league with: Tom Shippey. On his 2016 "Hard Reading: Learning from Science Fiction":

" The essays argue further that science fiction derives much of its energy from engagement with vital intellectual issues in the "soft sciences," especially history, anthropology, the study of different cultures, with a strong bearing on politics. Both the rhetoric and the issues deserve to be taken much more seriously than they have been in academia, and in the wider world. Each essay is further prefaced by an autobiographical introduction. These explain how the essays came to be written and in what ways they (often) proved controversial. They, and the autobiographical introduction to the whole book, create between them a memoir of what it was like to be a committed fan, from teenage years, and also an academic struggling to find a place, at a time when a declared interest in science fiction and fantasy was the kiss of death for a career in the humanities..."

(My upcoming work - titled Otter's Ransom- combines historical and futuristic themes such as climate chaos and socioeconomic/ecological collapse and how these influence human mythologies and political structures, as well as the individual heart.

While researching prehistoric and pagan "Dark Ages" northern Europe, as well as delving into modern forms of fascism and religio-utopian movements, I stumbled across Shippey. A delight).  

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