The 21 most significant science fiction storytellers of the 21st century (so far)

As the first twenty one years of the twenty-first century come to a close, who are the creators of science fiction defining the century ahead? Damien Walter writes on technology, culture and science fiction for The Guardian, BBC, Independent, Wired, Buzzfeed, SFX and Aeon. He teaches The Rhetoric of Story & Writing the 21st CenturyContinue reading “The 21 most significant science fiction storytellers of the 21st century (so far)”

Lord of the Rings = 1984 + Hobbits

On the surface Lord of the Rings and 1984 look very different. But JRR Tolkien and George Orwell were men of the same generation, the same class, and the same culture, writing about the same matter – power.

00:00 Tolkien & Orwell
04:24 Surface Exterior vs Deep Interior
07:12 Symbols vs Symbols
12:14 Class & Communism
13:18 1984 is the future where Sauron won the Third Age
15:09 Meaning vs Nihilism
16:40 We would use power for good…but can we resist using our One Ring?

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Dreams are messages from the deep : meditation on Dune

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune opens with a sentence that is not in Frank Herbert’s DUNE. “Dreams are messages from the deep”. What do these words mean? And why does Denis Villeneuve choose to open his movie with them?

Follow the Science Fiction podcast: https://damiengwalter.com/podcast

Join the Science Fiction community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/324897304599197

Follow the full course in Writing the 21st Century Myth : https://damiengwalter.com

Enroll on Udemy:
https://www.udemy.com/course/advanced-science-fiction-fantasy/?referralCode=B7B13C5C3D413999ED95

Subscribe monthly via Skillshare: https://skl.sh/3pO6pPV

Dune : the 7 levels of meaning

Part Seven of Advanced Science Fiction & Fantasy: writing the 21st century myth Dune is a phenomenon, a novel written in the 1960s that seems to become more popular with every decade. The story of Paul Atreides and the battle for Arrakis fascinates readers who follow the young hero on his journey of transformation. ButContinue reading “Dune : the 7 levels of meaning”

Brave New World vs 1984

Part Six of Advanced Science Fiction & Fantasy: writing the 21st century myth The twentieth century produced two great visions of dystopia. George Orwell’s 1984 is still the most terrifying depiction of totalitarian control ever depicted, a nightmare future of surveillance, torture and mind control. Aldous Huxley’s dystopia shows us a future of pleasure andContinue reading “Brave New World vs 1984”

The Avengers : how Marvel made our modern supergods

Part Five of Advanced Science Fiction & Fantasy: writing the 21st century myth The Disney owned Marvel franchise is the biggest and most profitable story in human history, a vast metanarrative built around the interwoven stories of a modern pantheon of supergods. How are such huge stories told? The answer lies in understanding the archetypalContinue reading “The Avengers : how Marvel made our modern supergods”

Blade Runner : what is human?

Part Four of Advanced Science Fiction & Fantasy: writing the 21st century myth Blade Runner challenges us to ask – what is human? The science fiction author Philip K Dick believed that our humanity was based not in our body, or in our mind, but in our capacity for empathy. Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner isContinue reading “Blade Runner : what is human?”

Meaning vs Atheism: can science fiction bridge the gap?

Science fiction is a strange beast. A exploration of the hard edged future of science and technology, fused with the transcendent hunger for imagination and self-transformation. Can science fiction be a bridge between the two “non-overlapping magisteria” of Science and Religion?

This episode of the Science Fiction podcast is a crossover with my series commenting on the “Intellectual MMA” of YouTube philosophy. The Four Horsemen of Atheism – Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett VS The Four Horsemen of Meaning – Jordan Peterson, Jonathan Pageau, John Vervaeke and Bishop Barron. Who is who? And who won?

00:00 Science fiction bridges religion and science
01:04 What happens when Science meets Fiction?
02:21 The era of Intellectual MMA
03:43 Horsemen of Meaning vs Horsemen of Atheism
05:09 The rise of the YouTube intellectual
07:19 Which Horseman is which?
12:01 The Meaning Crisis
14:58 The problem of Self-Deception
20:52 So…who won?
22:12 We need a participatory philosophy
24:59 Religious dogma? BAD! Religious debate? GREAT!

Star Wars : beyond the hero’s journey

Part Three of Advanced Science Fiction & Fantasy: writing the 21st century myth Star Wars changed cinema forever, introducing the would to the “scifi blockbuster” that has dominated box offices for the last four decades. To create his masterpiece George Lucas employed an ancient structure of mythic storytelling discovered by Joseph Campbell – the Hero’sContinue reading “Star Wars : beyond the hero’s journey”

2001 : how Stanley Kubrick rewrote science fiction

Part Two of Advanced Science Fiction & Fantasy: writing the 21st century myth It’s more than a little ironic that the motion picture widely called the “greatest science fiction story ever told” was made by an artist who hated science fiction. Stanley Kubrick thought science fiction was a failure at myth making, and set outContinue reading “2001 : how Stanley Kubrick rewrote science fiction”

The Wheel of Time gets rolling…and nothing happens

The Wheel of Time hits streaming screens worldwide…and people everywhere fall asleep. $100M is an impressive sum of money to spend on something this boring. So, how did we get here? The answer begins with Lord of the Rings, American book pirates and the birth of Epic Fantasy…and ends with the ultimate commodification of theContinue reading “The Wheel of Time gets rolling…and nothing happens”

Frankenstein : the first science fiction novel

Part One of Advanced Science Fiction & Fantasy: Writing the 21st century myth Two hundred years ago Western civilisation was gripped by a revolution. Science was tearing down religion, and changing how we saw reality. Religious myths had given us answers to eternal questions. Who are we? Why are we here? What does it allContinue reading “Frankenstein : the first science fiction novel”