Marina Abramović and Kim Stanley Robinson perform "The Hard Problem," a performance-art podcast

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"The Hard Problem" is a new episode of the Into The Impossible podcast from the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination: it features the outcome of a collaboration between legendary performance artist Marina Abramović (previously) and environmentalist science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson (previously): a short story about an interstellar journey incorporating elements of Robinson’s outstanding 2015 novel Aurora – a novel that is pitiless in its insistence on rigor in our thinking about the problems of living in space and on other planets.


Aurora was well thought out, and well written, but it was so fucking depressing I couldn’t finish it.


I made it three chapters and I love Stan Robinson’s work. Maybe I’ll get back to it this year.

Yup. It was depressing, though, in the same way 2K1ASO was depressing. You feel bad for the humans in both stories, but that wasn’t really what either story was about. The transcendent truth in the end, goes beyond those characters’ concerns.

Kind of like in a murder mystery. The reader can feel bad for the victim and their family, but that’s usually not the point of the whole story. It’s the unraveling of the puzzle, arriving at the truth, that’s supposed to engage us.

I think/hope that “depressing” stories like rogue one and aurora are going be better appreciated in the Trump year(s).


I have no idea what this acronym means.

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Took me a minute… 2001: A Space Odyssey


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