SEASON 1 FINALE : Writing the 21st Century Myth

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Advanced Scifi & Fantasy Writing
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The Rhetoric of Story
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What does a metamodern future look like?

We’re in a civilisational war between the pre-modern, the modern, and the post-modern. Or to give them their “culture war” names – the Reactionary, the Neoliberal…and the Woke. We need a better future for our civilisation. A future some people are starting to call the Metamodern.

In this episode of the Science Fiction podcast I think about what a Metamodern future might look like. It’s a not a cyberpunk dystopia or a solarpunk utopia.

Instead I think our Metamodern future might look like…a theme park.

Watch my original critique of Hanzi Freinacht – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJpR-TwJ-gc

Read Oliver Amrowson’s full question – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJpR-TwJ-gc&lc=Ugx436_Gbl2ip_plwbd4AaABAg

Learn more at the Metamodern Spirituality community on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/metamodernspirituality

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Advanced Scifi & Fantasy Writing
https://damiengwalter.com/advanced-scifi-and-fantasy/

The Rhetoric of Story
https://damiengwalter.com/the-rhetoric-of-story/

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

Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman – The High Cost of Fantasy

There’s a reason why Neil Gaiman is the most famous writer scifi, horror & fantasy ever made. That rockstar reputation didn’t start with appearances on The Simpsons.

By the age of 32, when most writers are just getting started, Gaiman had already written a masterpiece of fantasy. The 75 issues of The Sandman are a tour through the mythos of humanity, and a masters thesis on the uses, and abuses, of fantasy.

But the origin of The Sandman in comic books kept it a cult classic for over 30 years. Gaiman became better known for novels like American Gods and stories for children. (The Sandman is NOT for children.)

Now a new Netflix adaptation, created by Neil Gaiman himself, is a chance for The Sandman to meet the mainstream. Will it succeed where previous adaptations of Gaiman have failed? I feel quietly confident the answer is yes.

Audio extracts from The Sandman audiobook produced by Dirk Maggs
https://amzn.to/3ox9qox

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Advanced Scifi & Fantasy Writing
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Our war with the algorithm

“How does one fashion a book of resistance, a book of truth in an empire of falsehood, or a book of rectitude in an empire of vicious lies? How does one do this right in front of the enemy?

Not through the old-fashioned ways of writing while you’re in the bathroom, but how does one do that in a truly future technological state? Is it possible for freedom and independence to arise in new ways under new conditions? That is, will new tyrannies abolish these protests? Or will there be new responses by the spirit that we can’t anticipate?”

Philip K. Dick in interview, 1974

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Advanced Scifi & Fantasy Writing
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The Rhetoric of Story
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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”

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

On the reification of science fiction

Originally posted to the Science Fiction community on Facebook One important factor to think about in the arguments around “what is science fiction?” is how SF was reified into concrete form in the 30s and 40s. The real creators of science fiction from Mary Wolstonecraft Shelley to H G Wells had no concept of scienceContinue reading “On the reification of science fiction”

Rebel Wisdom with Damien Walter – Dune and the deeper meaning of scifi

The excellent Rebel Wisdom invited me to discuss science fiction and the meaning crisis and the release of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. We take a super deep dive into the mythos of science fiction and the wider role of stories in modern society.

Science Fiction: the mythos of science and modernity

Does the modern world of science and technology still have, or need, a mythos? Every early society had a powerful mythos that unified millions of peoples into a unified culture. If modernity does have a mythos, science fiction is a good candidate. I sat down with Ralph Cree of the Evolving Spiritual Practice podcast forContinue reading “Science Fiction: the mythos of science and modernity”

The Science Fiction podcast in India

The Science Fiction podcast has been hitting some highs in the podcast charts in recent weeks, including #86 and #33 in the US and UK Apple Podcast>Books chart. But we marked a first today when the Science Fiction podcast joined the Apple Podcast>Books charts in India at position number 8. Yes. 8. India is oneContinue reading “The Science Fiction podcast in India”