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”

The Unreal future of science fiction

I’m resisting the temptation to throw it all in and disappear down the Unreal Engine rabbit hole. Forget outer space, the future of humankind lies in the infinite exploration of inner space and the realms of the human imagination. But don’t worry….the world-building AI will always need storytellers.

00:00 The Unreal Engine rabbit hole
04:44 Humans are never going to outer space
08:23 J G Ballard’s take-down of outer space
10:12 The future of inner space
15:35 We are all science fiction creators
17:16 Even the gods of world-building still need storytellers

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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)”

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”