The difficulty was in trying to make the time and place more real—all this happened more than a thousand years ago, and in a part of the world that we don’t usually learn much about. Set a story in Ancient Rome or 12th Century England, and the reader will most likely have a mental file of background information; medieval Kiev is pretty much a mystery.
[On coining the term "the singularity"]: I used that term first, I think, at an artificial intelligence conference in 1982. [...] I made the observation that if we got human-level artificial intelligence, that would certainly be a world-shaking event, and if we got superhuman-level intelligence, then what happened afterward would be fundamentally unintelligible.
Rakhmatullin’s characters often confront the viewer head-on, whether the subject is an alien with skin as variegated as an artist’s palette, or a mechanic who is, beneath all of the technology, aging, grizzled, and subject to the wear and tear of time. The environments he creates range from the nearly abstract to the thoroughly-realized worlds of his concept landscapes and battle scenes.
Welcome to issue twenty-four of Lightspeed! We’ve got another great issue for you this month, so click-thru to see what we have in store.