Science fiction has always been woke

So. Star Wars just went woke did it?

But…wait…

Isn’t Star Wars the story of a army of male CLONES fighting for an authoritarian, colonialist Empire?

versus

An intersectional alliance of diverse species with capital ships commanded by sentient LOBSTERS???

How much more woke can scifi get?

Er. Star Trek’s original multiracial crew? Marvel’s encoded counter cultural messages? HG Wells anti-colonialist novels? The existentialist skepticism of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley?

The truth is..scifi has always been woke.

00:00 Diamond Disney
04:20 Welcome to the Science Fiction podcast
05:53 The woke mind virus of Elon Musk
10:39 Scifi has always been woke
16:22 The CEF (Corporate Entertainment Franchise)
19:36 Centralized vs Decentralized Culture
22:50 Disney can’t serve both sides of the culture wars
26:51 The only good side in the Culture War is…

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Writing Hard SF with poetic beauty

An advanced level workshop in writing Hard SF with the tools of metaphor and symbolism Hard SF begins in the realm of pure logic, extrapolating scientific ideas into credible near futures. But the greatest Hard SF by writers like Arthur C Clarke, Ursula Le Guin and William Gibson weaves stories of poetic beauty. This workshopContinue reading “Writing Hard SF with poetic beauty”

Workshop: Writing Hard SF

Hard SF begins in the realm of pure logic, extrapolating scientific ideas into credible near futures. But the greatest Hard SF by writers like Arthur C Clarke, Ursula Le Guin and William Gibson weaves stories of poetic beauty.

00:00 Writing Hard SF
01:38 The problem with Had SF
03:51 Thinking about thinking
06:39 What is Hard SF?
10:51 Hard SF : Ideas
12:27 4 stages of ideation
20:23 Hard SF : Toolkit
22:30 Toolkit ONE – Character
26:26 Toolkit TWO – Structure
29:24 Toolkit THREE – Novum
32:10 Toolkit FOUR – Metaphor
34:14 Toolkit FIVE – Symbol
37:05 Toolkit SIX – Subtext
40:52 Toolkit SEVEN – Allegory
43:54 Toolkit EIGHT – Myth
49:08 Toolkit NINE – Theme
50:38 Toolkit TEN – Emotion

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Arthur C Clarke’s forgotten masterpiece of hard SF

It’s Arthur C Clarke’s greatest novel and a classic of “hard” science fiction. The Fountains of Paradise is a brilliantly realized story of humankind’s ascent to the stars, not on rockets, but by building the first space elevator. Clarke predicted the discovery of carbon super materials with the “diamond hyperfilament” that is strong enough to stretch 36,000km from Earth to geosynchronous orbit.

But it’s not the science that makes Arthur C Clarke’s novel so great.

It’s the symbolism.

00:00 The Fountains of Paradise
03:50 Science Fiction Q & A
06:49 The forgotten masterpiece of Arthur C Clarke
09:49 The three stages of Clarke’s career
14:07 Was Clarke a good writer?
17:04 The competent engineer
19:30 Hyperfilament
24:50 The Clark-o-verse of Low Orbit SF
27:04 Symbolism and the poetic beauty of hard SF
37:57 Could we…and should we…build a space elevator?
43:51 The Wealth Transfer Frontier we need

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Dune part 2

There are many challenges between Denis Villeneuve and completing one of the few truly great science fiction movies ever made. Can Denis capture Paul Atreides transformation of consciousness on screen? Can his Feyd-Rautha compete with Sting stepping out of a steam shower? And most of all…can Dune part 2 overcome the problematic writing of Frank Herbert?

00:00 Play that funky music Denis
02:20 The only great science fiction movies
04:14 The problematic writing of Frank Herbert
06:46 Offences to the purity of Dune
08:02 Can Dune part 2 TRANSFORM our consciousness?
10:16 The Water of Life
11:49 The Fremen
13:21 Chani
14:47 Feyd-Rautha
18:07 The Sandworms of Arrakis

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The hidden meaning of Blade Runner 2049 + Extended Addendum

Many creators have contributed to the Blade Runner mythos. Philip K Dick’s original novel and the directorial talents of Ridley Scott and Denis Villeneuve are widely recognised. But the screenwriter of the Blade Runner movies provided their mythic magic – Hampton Fancher.

Fancher encoded the Blade Runner mythos with psychological symbols drawn from the work of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. The first Blade Runner uses Freud’s concepts of the Doppelganger and the Other. Blade Runner 2049 is structured around the Persona, Shadow, Anima and Self – Jung’s Archetypes of the Unconscious.

This episode of the Science Fiction podcast re-publishes The Hidden Meaning of Blade Runner 2049, with an extended addendum on archetypal storytelling, answering some of the most frequently asked questions arising from the original essay.

00:00 An addendum to my most questioned essay
01:56 Thank to members of the Science Fiction podcast
04:42 Why archetypes?
06:43 Where does Gandalf live?
09:10 All of these stories are within you
12:29 Switching of the psychological architecture of our self
15:00 Mapping the Unconscious
23:16 Story is the gateway to the Unconscious
26:42 The Archetypes of the Unconscious
34:39 Blade Runner and BR 2049
39:30 The spiritual experience of stories

Watch the original video essay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5fbQ4hf068

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Listen to the storytelling of Clarissa Pinkola Estes: https://amzn.to/36Njm81

Your place in eternity

Today is the last chance to become a Founder Member of the Science Fiction podcast.

Membership gets you early access to new episodes, and to my courses in scifi storytelling, AND invites to participate in the Science Fiction seminars that start next month.

Join before the end of March and you’ll be listed as a Founder Member for all eternity!

Join here: https://damiengwalter.com/members/

The light cycles of TRON still look like the future

In retrospect, TRON was the moon mission for CGI. A project of questionable value in itself, with the real aim of advancing the technology. Honestly, I can’t remember much about the story of TRON. But boy, those light cycles! Those are seared into my long-term memory from childhood. And they still look amazing 40 years on.

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The true history of science fiction

“With Jules Verne and the publisher Hugo Gernsback, H.G. Wells invented the genre of science fiction.” Tweet by @nytimesbooks, November 2021

A badly worded tweet by the New York Times revealed a deep anger at the false history of science fiction. Written out of that history were hundreds of women writers of the 1800s who created what today we call science fiction.

The true history of science fiction is deeper and richer than many fans and readers know. It reaches back to the Enlightenment and the collapse of belief in the Christian mythos. It is the search for a new mythos for the modern world, that continues into the 21st century.

00:00 The forgotten authors of science fiction
02:30 Welcome to the Science Fiction podcast
07:07 The true history of science fiction…why does it matter?
09:21 Commercial Genre vs Creative Movement
17:12 The Problem : the collapse of the Christian mythos
23:36 All science fiction is myth, not all myth is science fiction
26:38 The seeds of science fiction
29:01 The Novel Experiment
36:20 Birth of Genre
38:41 The ideological capture of science fiction by John W Campbell
43:47 The New Mythic
50:01 The process of genrefication
54:44 Writing the 21st century myth

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Pre-1950 Utopias and Science Fiction by Women https://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/_collections/utopias/utopias.html

Murakami’s scifi homage to Marcel Proust

There aren’t many science fiction novels with the nerve to riff on Marcel Proust. In fact I think 1Q84 might be the only one. Part of Haruki Murakami’s success is his skill at reworking science fiction concepts – alternate realities, secondary worlds & mumbling sheep men – via the toolkit of literary fiction. Yes…it’s trueContinue reading “Murakami’s scifi homage to Marcel Proust”

Rendered Reality : further thoughts on the Unreal

What is reality?

For tribal societies reality was birthed from a great mother. For agrarian peoples it grew from a seed. And for our modern, industrial world reality started with an explosion.

Now as our society transforms into a post-modern, post-industrial world our model of reality is changing again. To a reality made of data, information and computation.

And at the heart of this new model of reality is…you! The render engine of your own reality.

Watch the video version of this episode here https://youtu.be/4TFSu_db7fg

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The work of Marco Di Lucca https://www.artstation.com/marcodilucca

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00:00 Real or rendered?
02:13 The work of Marco Di Lucca
04:20 Mata 3D, Unreal Engine, Metahuman
09:07 Isn’t this what art has always done?
12:27 Crossing a threshold into the Unreal
15:33 Welcome to Rendered Reality
17:31 The reification of reality
19:25 What is rendering?
24:00 The cultural mythos of reality
33:53 Our new digital mythos
40:04 The mythic cycle
49:01 You are the render engine of reality

Lord of the Rings and the fascist fantasy

Fascism lures people in with a fantasy of return to older, better times. A golden age before the modern world. Nazi Germany had the fantasy of the Third Reich and the Ubermensch. Today the Russia of Vladimir Putin has a fantasy of a Eurasian Empire and the Return of the Tsar.

Critics of Lord of the Rings sometimes compare JRR Tolkien’s fantasy to the fantasies of fascism. Is Lord of the Rings a fascist fantasy? Or did Tolkien create a mythos beyond the understanding of his critics?

00:00 An alternate history of England
03:59 Welcome to the Science Fiction podcast
07:17 The rise of a fascist fantasy
10:09 Is LotR a fascist fantasy?
11:54 Premodern, Modern, Postmodern
13:45 The pre-modern fantasy
17:15 The synthetic fantasy of fascism
21:51 The fascist fantasy in 2022
27:22 The Return of the King
33:22 The bit people who are angry at the title should listen to first
34:23 The modern vision of scifi
38:51 The postmodern vision of transhumanism
43:22 A mass retreat to the premodern
47:24 LotR as integrated mythos
52:33 LotR as a call for WISDOM
56:16 LotR as path into the Unreal

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