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?”

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”

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”

Relax – The Matrix Resurrections is going to be great

Phew. Matrix Resurrections is going to be great.

This is the shot in the trailer where I knew it. There’s so much that works here. Not swapping out your 54 year old leading actress for a younger model, is just a start. This is a gang of older, wiser creatives than the bunch who got rushed into the early sequels. Everything in this trailer says self-reflective, smart, a clever play on the original…with upgraded CGI.

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Rhetoric of Story – Part 6

Structure – the key to complex storytelling The sixth element of the Rhetoric of Story is the key to telling stories at longer lengths and greater complexity. Without a clear structure, novels and plays are unlikely to hold the attention of an audience for any length of time. Structure is bigger than any single writerContinue reading “Rhetoric of Story – Part 6”

Rhetoric of Story – Part 5

Events – stories within stories We continue the Rhetoric of Story with the fifth element – events! What are stories made of? Not words, not pictures, but events. And what are events made of? More events. Stories are made of events. Our mind pays close attention to events, times when reality does not meet expectation.Continue reading “Rhetoric of Story – Part 5”

Rhetoric of Story – Part 4

Conflict – why can’t we all just get along? The fourth element of the Rhetoric of Story – conflict! Why can’t we all just get along? And even if we did, why stories would still always contain conflict. The important ideas introduced in this lecture include: Conflict arises inevitably because al humans have their own,Continue reading “Rhetoric of Story – Part 4”