I’m glad they didn’t turn Paul Atreides into a girl

It’s notable looking at the beautiful Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya side by side at Dune photocalls that they are near identical in height and build…and beauty. “We all admire toxic masculinity when it’s being played out by a young woman” It would have been all too easy to gender-flip their roles. Have Zendaya knife trainingContinue reading “I’m glad they didn’t turn Paul Atreides into a girl”

My new collaboration with Academia.edu

YouTube recently reminded me that it will be five years (on 7th May) since I uploaded my first video and began my journey into making online courses for writers and storytellers. Since then my courses on Udemy and Skillshare have had over 35,000 enrolled students worldwide. That success has also brought new opportunities. This weekContinue reading “My new collaboration with Academia.edu”

I’ve never shouted so loud

The first clue was mud all over the floor. Then I saw the doors of my wardrobe were open. The wardrobe where I keep my camera equipment. The camera equipment which was now gone, gone, gone. I stomped around my house for the next five minutes searching for my obviously stolen camera equipment. Honestly, I’veContinue reading “I’ve never shouted so loud”

Dyson Spheres, Sam Harris and skillful free will

What do Dyson Spheres and the philosophical discussion have to do with one another? In this talk Damien has fun with a response to Sam Harris’ denial of free will, as widely debated on Clubhouse in the week of this recording.

Talk to Damien on Clubhouse : https://www.joinclubhouse.com/@damiengwalter

Follow the full course in Scifi and Fantasy : https://damiengwalter.com

Terry Pratchett fans will love The Watch…eventually

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Star Wars – addiction or recovery?

My major teaching project for this year has been Advanced Scifi & Fantasy : Writing the 21st Century Myth. This new course is my journey to try and understand what myths are doing in our lives today. I’m happy that almost five thousand students have so far enrolled on the course to join that journey.

A highlight of the course – and of my year – was interviewing John Vervaeke, Professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Toronto (where he teaches alongside Jordan Peterson) on the meaning of myth. And of Star Wars.

A member of John’s community created a brief edited video from out 90 minute conversation. In just a few minutes, it captures the whole meaning of our discussion.

You can follow the full course for 90% off by enrolling today using course code DAYOFMYTH – https://www.udemy.com/course/advanced-science-fiction-fantasy/?couponCode=DAYOFMYTH

Follow free talks from the course by subscribing to the podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/science-fiction-with-damien-walter/id1530666687

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The book that inspired the Culture of Iain M Banks

Long time readers will know I am a super-fan of the Culture novels by Iain M Banks. I’ve essayed and videoed them half to death already, and in recent years have read or re-read almost Banksy’s entire output. Great artists steal, goes the saying, and Iain Banks was something of a magpie for cool ideasContinue reading “The book that inspired the Culture of Iain M Banks”

Is geek culture mere escapism?

“The only people who hate escapism are jailers.” The quote is attributed to both C S Lewis and to J R R Tolkien. Whomever said it first, it captures the spirit that both wrote their fantasy stories in. A generation later, the fantasy writer Michael Moorcock revised the quip: “Jailers love escapism — it’s escapeContinue reading “Is geek culture mere escapism?”

We need the spirit of Dangerous Visions (but we don’t need Dangerous Visions)

I loved short form scifi storytelling. Mirrorshades, the anthology that defined cyberpunk, made me want to write SF. In my 20’s I published two dozen short stories. I really enjoyed subbing stories to these mysterious old magazines that – back in the day – often still demanded you send manuscripts in PRINT! In 2008 IContinue reading “We need the spirit of Dangerous Visions (but we don’t need Dangerous Visions)”

Is this the moment that inspired the Force in Star Wars?

Much has been written about the origins of Star Wars in ancient mythology, via the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell. But the blockbuster movies’ origins in modern mythology are sometimes forgotten. The Foundation saga by Isaac Asimov is one of the most influential science fiction stories ever written. It inspired classic storytelling from Frank Herbert’sContinue reading “Is this the moment that inspired the Force in Star Wars?”

Science Fiction is not here to entertain you

“Are you not entertained?” Roars a muscular Russell Crowe at the crowd being entertained by murder in a provincial Roman gladiatorial arena. Maximus Decimus is a soldier. To kill men is his profession. He’s better at it than any gladiator. But as a slave he is now reduced to killing for the lowest reason –Continue reading “Science Fiction is not here to entertain you”

How corporate marketing created the Geek identity

Corporations took the intense, subversive, revolutionary force that was science fiction, and they turned it to trash culture. Today’s post is because I was thinking about the idea of the “scifi fan”. And how much I hate it. One thing that may not be apparent to people who don’t work in marketing, because it isContinue reading “How corporate marketing created the Geek identity”