Space. The final frontier.

An empty, endless expanse of nothing? Or teeming with life?
But do we really need to look beyond the confines of our world to find loneliness? We are currently fighting a pandemic, and in its wake, a loneliness epidemic.

Despite our constant striving for companionship, it could be said that to be lonely, is to be human. And what’s more human than exploring our hopes and fears in literature?!

Here to help us discuss loneliness and the human condition as seen through the science fiction lens is the incomparable Aliya Whitely. Aliya’s latest book, Skyward Inn, is published on 16 March 2021 from Rebellion Publishing.

This is a place we can be alone, together

Texts and authors mentioned in this episode include:

  • I Am Alive and You are Dead: A Journey Inside the Mind of Philip K. Dick by Emmanuel Carrère
  • Graham Greene
  • Laura Purcell
  • Star Wars: A New Hope
  • Her
  • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
  • Minority Report
  • Blade Runner
  • London Centric: Tales of Future London edited by M. R. Carey and Neal Asher
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Star Trek: Discovery
  • Stanisław Lem
  • Star Trek: First Contact
  • Ursula K. Le Guin

Aliya Whiteley

Aliya Whiteley writes across many different genres and lengths. Her first published full-length novels, Three Things About Me and Light Reading, were comic crime adventures. Her 2014 SF-horror novella The Beauty was shortlisted for the James Tiptree and Shirley Jackson awards. The following historical-SF novella, The Arrival of Missives, was a finalist for the Campbell Memorial Award, and her noir novel The Loosening Skin was shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award.

She has written over one hundred published short stories that have appeared in Interzone, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Black Static, Strange Horizons, The Dark, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and The Guardian, as well as in anthologies such as Unsung Stories’ 2084 and Lonely Planet’s Better than Fiction.

She also writes a regular non-fiction column for Interzone.