Scotland in Space

Creative Visions and Critical Reflections on Scotland’s Space Futures

Edited by Deborah Scott and Simon Malpas

With a foreword by Ken MacLeod

Take a bunch of science fiction writers, scientists, humanists and artists, and throw them into a room. Give them a whiteboard, a pile of sandwiches and a pot of coffee. Let’s see what happens.

The result? Scotland in Space!


Pippa Goldschmidt
, Alastair Bruce
, Sean McMahon
, Elsa Bouet, Laura Lam, 
Beth Biller
, Tacye Phillipson
, Russell Jones, 
Catherine Heymans, 
Matjaz Vidmar

Artists: Andrew Bastow
, Sara J. Campbell

Afterword: Colin R McInnes


Scotsman with deep, green eyes and rich red beard holding a golden glowing orb in his hand with a Science fictional background

Scotland in Space is by turns enlightening and entertaining.”

—The Guardian

Scotland in Space presents dialogues that imagine and explore Scotland’s space futures. In each of the book’s sections, a science fiction story is accompanied by essays responding to the ideas evoked, to produce cross-disciplinary discussions about how contemporary developments in Scottish space science and industry might shape our futures.

Themes: Scotland and Mars, Fringe in Space and Scotland at the End of the Universe.

Big Plans for Scotland

Scotland has big plans for its space industry in the next decade: opening Europe’s first orbital spaceport, expanding further its satellite research and manufacturing industry, and developing a £4 billion space industry by 2030.

Astronomy and Astrophysics have been important fields of study in Scottish universities since the eighteenth century, and world-leading research continues to be produced here today.

And in contemporary Scottish literature, science-fiction writing is flourishing. Scotland in Space: Creative Visions and Critical Reflections on Scotland’s Space Futures brings together these three strands to generate dialogues between literary authors, natural and social scientists and scholars working in the humanities, to envision some of Scotland’s potential space futures.

The book comprises three sections, in each of which an original piece of science fiction is accompanied by essays that respond to the ideas the story evokes. The essays, written by specialist scholars and practitioners working closely with the literary authors, identify, explore and comment upon the physical, social and cultural possibilities and potentials evoked in the science fiction.

These cross-disciplinary discussions speculate about the ways in which research and innovation currently taking place in Scotland might change our sense of the possible futures of this country, this world and, perhaps, other worlds.

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